Steel Angel Kurumi

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

It's Japan in the 1920s, only not the one we know from our history -- the politics are familiar, but steam-powered mechanisms are everywhere. And there's more... When 12-year-old Nakahito Kagura, brother of an Onmyouji priest and himself a priest-in-training, allows himself to be talked into trespassing in an allegedly "haunted" house, he accidentally activates Kurumi, a busty pink-haired battle android of incredibly advanced design. Because he awoke her, the innocent (and powerful) Kurumi regards Nakahito as her undisputed master, fawning over him and hanging on his every word. And defending him from harm -- such as the bullies who sent him into the haunted house, or the steam-powered mecha of the Imperial Japanese Army...

When her creator Dr. Ayanokoji (who can't figure out why Nakahito could activate Kurumi when he couldn't) shows up, he is promptly kidnapped by an agent of an even more dangerous force than the Army, the mysterious group of scientists responsible for the anachronistic technology flooding Japan. With the help of Ayanokoji's former assistant Dr. Amagi and a second steel angel named Saki (initially sent to capture Kurumi but subverted), Nakahito and Kurumi begin a pursuit of her kidnapped creator. In the process they acquire more allies, battle the forces of their enemies, and learn the secret origin and purpose of the steel angels -- and the dangerous secret hidden within Kurumi herself.

Kurumi was originally part of an anthology series in Japan, so each individual episode is not quite 15 minutes in length. The North American dub by ADV Films includes an extensive set of interviews with the English voice actresses; especially noteworthy is the presence of Claudia "Aeryn Sun" Black of Farscape fame in a surprise role.

Steel Angel Kurumi proved to be quite popular. Steel Angel Kurumi Encore, four extra "epilogue" episodes, were made for the original series (and released by ADV). A sequel series, Steel Angel Kurumi 2 (also available in the US from ADV) set in the 1990s and featuring Mark II models of all the android characters followed it. A prequel series, Steel Angel Kurumi Zero, is also available; it is set in the future and features the human girls on whom the androids apparently were based, but unlike the previous two series it is a low-key romance-oriented Shojo story.

The subbed version can be viewed legally at Crunchyroll here.

Tropes used in Steel Angel Kurumi include:

General: "Then, would she do things like... And things like..."
Dr. Akagi gives him a level, unamused gaze.
Dr. Akagi: "If I order her to do so." (completely deadpan)