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My Friends and I: International Magical Defence Force, Go! is a Magical Girl action/romance/comedy Izeran anime. Taking place on Earth (Japan) in 3553, the anime features a small group of girls from various nations across the Known Galaxy (as well as a sirian male and a Norb frame embedded in a housecat) who must combat and overcome interdimensional kaiju-monsters using their new-found magical abilities, the Power of Friendship and self-esteem, all while trying to succeed as ordinary exchange students and dealing with the normal aspects of teenage life.

Also known as I.M.D.F or simply My Friends and I, the series was originally voice-acted in Rihansu, but dubs are available for Spanish, Equit, English, Japanese and French, with subtitles available for most other languages.

Season 1 had 45 episodes and aired in 3554. Season 2 has been confirmed and is set to be released in 3558.

CharactersEdit

  • Sennal O'Hara: A spunky, energetic Verandi girl who fancies herself as the leader of the group. She is always up for adventure but is also quick to anger. 17 Standard Years old.
  • Alunn Aqeil: A handsome but reserved young Sirian male. Often struggles to express himself, especially around girls, but has a kind heart. He is a straight-A student. 17 Standard Years old.
  • Arih Natra: The oldest of the group, but only by a few months. A young Theran woman, she is very easy-going, but often ends up being the most responsible member of the team, much to her chagrin. 18 Standard Years old.
  • Miko Tanaka: A Japanese/Terran girl, she is quite shy and prefers to spend her time alone with a good book, but she is loyal and always ready to help a friend in need. 17 Standard Years old.
  • Sally: A Norb Frame embedded within a housecat, she sometimes struggles to understand the intricacies of organics' relationships, but nonetheless tries her best to help her friends.
  • Volton: A sentient computer/space station of mysterious origins.
  • Shogun Brain is the nickname Miko gives to the series' Big Bad; a gigantic, psychic brain-like creature that controls the Angels.
  • D'Rali: the Shogun Brain's evil lieutenant, she is put in charge of understanding the IMDF and crafting schemes to defeat them.
  • Mecha-Sennal: an evil robot crafted by D'Rali in Sennal's image, in an attempt to foil the IMDF. Serves as her rival.
    • The Kaiju Crew: D'Rali made robots to try and counter all members of the IMDF (except Sally), but Mecha-Sennal is the only one with independent thought.

Defence Force UniformsEdit

Key to the IMDF's efforts against the Angels are the Magical Uniforms provided to them by Volton. These costumes dramatically increase the Defence Force's physical abilities, giving them incredible speed, strength and resilience.

In episode 2, when Sennal, Arih and Alunn grill Voltron for answers, he tells them that the Uniforms look the way they do in order to ensure maximum freedom of movement while still ensuring that vital organs are protected, telling the trio that their supposedly exposed skin is actually protected by "magical microfibers." Sennal demands to know why, if the Uniforms protect their vital organs, her chest isn't covered. Volton avoiding answering this question becomes a running gag for the entirety of the series.

However, Volton also tells them that the magic in their Uniforms are powered by "a positive mindset," and that cynicism, negative feelings towards one-another and low self-esteem will drain the magic and weaken them.

The girls, with the exception of Sally, find themselves equipped primarily with a skin-tight, leathery leotard that leaves their shoulders (and a bit less than half their bust) exposed. Their complete outfit includes a cowl to hide their identities, knee-high high-heeled boots and gloves that stop short of their elbows.

Sennal's cowl goes over the top of her head and covers much of the upper part of her face but leaves her nose exposed. Her leotard is white with red stripes on the sides, and her cowl, gloves and boots are also red. In episode 3, when the characters receive their weapons, she wields (often with one hand) the Righteous Fury, an enormous magical greatsword that is longer than she is tall and almost as wide as her hips. In episode 15, it is shown to be able to burst into flames, increasing its range and power.

Arih's outfit is largely the same, though her colour is blue. Her weapon is the Moonlight Katana, an extra-long single-edged blade (and a katana, obviously). In Ep. 15, it is shown to be able to fire an energy beam that Arih calls "Crescent Cutter," which penetrates (nearly) all armour.

Miko's outfit is slightly different, with her cowl being more of a mask that wraps around her head, and her leotard having a black trim along the seams instead of stripes. Her colour is gold. Since she joins later, Miko's weapon does appear until episode 12, where it is initially revealed to be a bow called Kiryu Striker (some say this is a possible reference to Strike Fighter). In Ep. 15, it is shown to be able to transform into a modern handgun for short periods of time, allowing for much more powerful shots.

Alunn finds himself with a similar cowl, though his outfit is a skin-tight, leathery two-piece set that leaves his midriff, legs and arms exposed. His Uniform is black with a green trim. In episode 4, his weapon is revealed to be the Berserker Canon, an enormous artillery cannon that Alunn can only safely fire while crouched and stationary. In Ep. 15, it transforms into a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher, allowing for a faster rate of fire at the cost of damage-per-shot.

Sally is not shown to even have a Uniform until episode 35, and receives no weapon. However, in episode 44, she is revealed to have limited mind-control abilities, briefly controlling an Angel as part of the series' climax.

Intro & OverviewEdit

Sennal and Arih have been best friends for years, and attend the fictional "International Academy of Arts and Sciences" together. One day, they come across a notice advertising the student exchange program, which states that volunteers will get to study in Japan and live with a Japanese family for a few months. As they are both huge weeaboos big fans of anime and Japanese culture, they excitedly sign up for the program.

A few weeks later, the two of them arrive at the Tokyo Spaceport, where they meet Alunn, a fellow student, who greets them awkwardly but tries to be friendly. Not long after, the trio is picked up by Miko, who is excited to meet them but doesn't say much, due to her shyness. The four of them quickly become friends on the car-ride over to Miko's house, where they meet her family and are shown around the house. While Miko is showing them around, a housecat hops in through a window and introduces itself as "Sally," a Norb Frame. Sally tells the others that she is part of a Norb "Cultural Exchange Program" that works closely with the Academy's exchange program. Miko tells her that she must have misread the Academy's notification, and tells her that there are only three rooms available. Sally offers to sleep on the couch, pointing out that she is a cat, and can sleep in a wide variety of places.

That night, when Miko and Sally are sleeping, Sennal and Alunn spot a mysterious green glow in the distance. Sennal wakes Arih and convinces her to sneak out with her to go investigate. The three of them meet up while sneaking out of the house, much to their mutual surprise, and they head off towards the green light. Abruptly, the teens find themselves transported to a strange space station, whereupon a sentient computer of unknown origins introduces itself as "Volton" and quickly explains to the bunch that the Angels are actually giant, interdimensional monsters that plan to use Earth as a staging point for their campaign of galactic destruction. The computer further explains that the nations of the galaxy are doomed, as the Angels are immune to non-magical weapons.

Before they can ask any questions, Volton tells the three of them that the first Angel will arrive momentarily, and that they must "suit up" and defeat it quickly. This prompts the series' first Transformation Sequence, after which Sennal, Arih and Alunn find themselves back on Earth, wearing their Magical Uniforms for the very first time. After only a few moments to complain and feel embarrassed, the first Angel appears on Earth. Sennal, trembling and clearly frightened, tries to pretend that she isn't scared and offers to hold Arih to make her feel better. Arih jumps into her arms and wails. Alunn faints.

Coming to grips with their fate and discovering their new powers are common themes throughout the entire first half of the season, and both lead to numerous instances of hilarious hijinks and misadventures (and a great deal of fanservice). Miko and Sally join the team by episode 10, and by episode 22 they have officially named themselves The International Magical Defence Force. The latter half of the season is slightly more serious, but the show's humour is ever-present (and there's still plenty of fanservice).

ReceptionEdit

Keikaku Magazine's Jana Loray gave it a 7.9/10, calling it "colourful, exciting, hilarious and totally over-the-top." Despite this, Loray noted that "the fanservice [...] can be a little much, sometimes [...] For the first quarter of the series, hardly anything can happen without a close-up of someone's magnificent bosom or finely-toned rear." Nevertheless, Loray went on to recommend the series, and praised the series' decision to not relegate the fanservice only to female characters, saying "I will never look at Sirian abs the same way again."

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