Magical Girl Pretty Sammy

OAV - 3 episodes

This show also goes by the name 'Pretty Sammy OAV' and brings the Tenchi Muyo cast into a new world; that of the Magical Girl.

Sasami Kawai is a school girl living a normal life with her karaoke obsessed mother Chihiro, brother Tenchi and best friend Misao. However, in the magical world of Juraihelm Tsunami has been voted in as the new queen and has chosen Sasami to be her magical girl; Pretty Sammy. Her rival Ramia decides she won't stand for this and sends her brother Rumia to find her a magical girl of her own; Pixy Misa. Unfortunately for Sasami he chooses Misao for the job. And so begins three stories that take on the magical girl genre. The first sees all of this unfold, sweeping all of the regular Tenchi Muyo characters into the mess. In the second we have Computer giant Biff Standard trying to make the world one big conformist society and the last has Ramia go missing with severe consequence for the magical girls.

This show is both a member of the 'Magical Girl' genre and a very nice send up of it at the same time. The feel of the show is very similar to the other Tenchi Muyo series', but with no fan service since the target audience is younger. The show in general is bright and funny and doesn't take itself too seriously which is great since it is sending up all the conventions of the genre and the storylines it uses. Notably the Biff Standard episode is full of references to Microsoft and the technological system. The last episode is slightly more serious in nature, but allows for a nice climax to the series. The show is also very cute.

Pretty Sammy is good for pretty much every audience. People who like Tenchi Muyo and other magical girl shows will particularly get a lot out of it due to the referencing and in jokes. However no real knowledge of either is needed to enjoy the show. Children will like it as it is generally light and funny and adults will get the more subtle jokes. Absolutely nothing to worry about here with the possible exception of Sasami appearing nude briefly for the transformation sequence a couple of times.

The animation on this show is very eye pleasing, on par with 'Tenchi Muyo! [Ryo-Ohki]' a lot of the time but the style is a lot more focused on the cute end of the spectrum. The character designs are more rounded and less serious, with more comic deformation occurring than in other Tenchi shows. The colours are nice and vibrant to help give the style, even when in darker scenes. The music is very much in the same vein as the 'Tenchi Muyo! [Ryo-Ohki]' series' with many of the same tracks used, which I found to be nice hearing them again in the new scenario. There are also a nice selection of rather cute tracks for the opening and endings as well as the karaoke sequences.

The English dub for this show was a very pleasant surprise. It is certainly one of the better of the Tenchi related dubs and utilises all the original cast members giving, in my opinion, some of their best performances thanks to the comic material and new roles for each character. The new characters also have very nice voices all of whom fit them well, especially Biff Standard and Chihiro. If there is a weak point to this dub it is the voice of Misao during some moments of the first episode where she seems a little too quiet with not enough feeling, but that soon changes and the roll does very well when compared to the Japanese for the most part. The English script is obviously not a literal translation but it does flow really well with very nice takes on the jokes and casual speech. Liberties are always taken to get a dub to feel right and they definitely succeed here. They have also dubbed the songs, which are all very well sung although again the lyrics are often very different from the originals. The first closing 'Baka' became 'Money no More'. I like both!

In the end this is an easy recommendation, particularly for fans of the magical girl genre and Tenchi fans, since the regular Tenchi crew do get a fair bit of screen time. However, if you dislike those two or cute shows in general you will most likely want to give this a miss. At only three episodes it isn't expensive for a fun show like this and if you really want more when you are done there is the 'Magical Project S' TV series.


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Some of you may also know me as 'Nutzoide'!
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