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Hikari no Densetsu

Alter titles:
光の伝説
Type: TV (19 episodes), 25 min
Aired: 3 May, 1986 - 20 September, 1986
finished airing
Genres: Music
Romance
Sports
Slice of Life
Studio: Tatsunoko
Rating: 6.93
Weighed: 6.5 (6 votes)
Grabbed by: 11
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Summary:

The story is about Hikari Kamijou, a fifteen-year-old junior-high-school girl who develops a passion for the sport of rhythmic gymnastics ever since she saw her idol, Diliana Gueorguiva perform and win a contest of rhythmic gymnastics at a young age. When she meets her idol, she proposes to train Hikari in Bulgaria when she is professional rhythmic gymnast. Hikari accepts and quickly began to train in the sport. Many years later, Hikari is training very hard to become the best rhythmic gymnast in her school. She soon becomes a member of her school's rhythmic gymnastics team.
At first Hikari does not seem to be very good, but this soon changes when Hikari meets Takaaki Ooishi, a schoolmate who helps her to improve her abilities as a rhythmic gymnast. Ooishi is the most popular guy in school and the best gymnast of the entire school body. With the help and support of Takaaki Ooishi, Hikari's true talents in rhythmic gymnastics come to light in one of the local tournaments between high schools. This new sign of talent that Uenaga shows on this tournament quickly put her on the map of popularity along with the best rhythmic gymnast of her school, Hazuki Shiina in the national level of competition. Soon both of them begin training hard for the World Cup competition.
Hikari begins to admire and respect Ooishi for his help and soon develops feelings for Ooishi. During this time she has also become friends with Hazuki. A healthy rivalry develops between the two and soon they begin to admire the strengths that they each have. While Hazuki represents the tranquility, elegance, grace, and sobriety of the sport; Hikari is the explosiveness of colorful, fresh, and energetic part of the sport. As Hikari begins to form a friendship with Shiina she begins to wish she could have Shiina's flexibility, aesthetics, and the gracefulness of Hazuki. Also Hazuki begins to wish she could have the potential, power, and colorfulness of Hikari.
Though Hikari doesn't show her strength in her performances, she has a natural sense of knowledge and observation when it comes to gymnastics and is able to learn the techniques better than Hazuki and with time is able to surpass her. However, there is something that Hikari needs to work on: she needs to add more grace and elegance to her performances. She is able to achieve this with the help of Mao Natsukawa.
Natsukawa is a childhood friend of Uenaga who is the lead singer of a Rock band called Mr. D. Mao, like Hikari, has dreams of his own. He dreams of becoming a world-renowned rock'n'roll idol. Meanwhile as he is working on his dreams, he helps Hikari achieve her dream by creating the music that Hikari uses in her performances. Together they form a very impressive duo that is able to receive the respect of the music and gymnast judges, and the admiration of the viewers who watch them perform. Although he constantly teases Hikari, he is always there for her when she needs him.
Over the years, Mao has come to love Hikari very deeply although he has a hard time expressing his feelings for her. When there is tension between them, it can be seen in the way Hikari performs, but when they are united and on good terms they are invincible. Even though they have a close relationship, Hikari is in love with Ooishi, and this causes hard times in Hikari and Mao's friendship. He knows of her feelings for him, but remains by her side no matter what.
This love triangle soon becomes a love square when Hikari discovers that Hazuki also has feelings for Takaaki Ooishi. Now they are not only friends, but also rivals in sport and love. Hikari does not know how Ooishi feels about her, and she is always a bit nervous when he is around. She feels that, because she has yet to be the best rhythmic gymnast, Ooishi might fall for Shiina because of her gymnastic skills and talent. Hikari begins to perfect her skills, and is soon competing at the national and international level, where she meets new rivals.
This is where the manga and the anime series differ. In the TV series, Hikari wins Ooishi's heart and we are shown a little flash forward: Hikari is an Olympic champion, Ooishi is recovering from a lesion but with Olympic expectations, Mao is working on his career as a musician and Hazuki has retired and is working with as a trainer for young children who want to be gymnasts.

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