Anime: Pretty Sammy

Pretty Sammy is a spin-off series of the Tenchi Muyo! universe, taking the existing characters and re-purposing them for a tongue-in-cheek Magical Girl show. It spans three OAVs (Magical Girl Pretty Sammy) and a 26-episode TV series (Magical Girl Pretty Sammy TV, or Magical Project S in the United States).

The basic plot of both the OVA and the TV series is the same: in the magical land of Juraihelm, a ditzy but kind mage called Tsunami is chosen to be the next queen. Rumia, her main rival to the throne, is pissed off something fierce by this and plots to sabotage Tsunami's claim.

As part of the succession rites, Tsunami must choose a "kindred spirit" on Earth to bestow magical powers upon so that her protégé can help restore the Balance of Good and Evil that has become misaligned in the former queen's absence. Tsunami chooses a precocious girl named Sasami Kawai, who is less-than-thrilled with the dated costume and extra baggage that comes with being a designated crusader of justice. However, unknown to Tsunami, Rumia has also chosen a "kindred spirit" to create a Dark Magical Girl rival that will derail Sasami's efforts: Misao Amano, Sasami's shy and lonely best friend who is hypnotized into the raging Id known as Pixy Misa.

The OVA and TV series divulge in a few aspects, most notably how certain Tenchi Muyo! alumni are re-cast. The TV series is also much more dedicated to being an Affectionate Parody of the Magical Girl genre with its own unique cast of characters instead of a simple Alternate Universe short.

The TV series had a strange official release in English: unlike every other iteration of the Tenchi Muyo! franchise, the show was released in a subtitles-only format without an English dub. It was also advertised as being intended for very young children (ages 3 and up) and had mild censorship to fit this demographic, despite the fact that their target audience was too young to read. This release is currently out of print.

A three-volume Pretty Sammy manga series was also released in Japan, but no English version was ever produced. The series is a little odd, in that the first half of the first volume is based on Magical Girl Pretty Sammy, while the remaining two-and-a-half volumes are based on Magical Project S. A two-part short story based on the OVA continuity also appeared in an issue of the Tenchi Muyo! manga.


These shows provide examples of:

  • The Ace: Sasami's Father.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Ending of Magical Project S. Also parodied. At the end of the episode Tsunami asks Sasami to become a Magical Girl again (with an upgraded Magic Wand) to stop a problem on Mars. The Stinger reveals that the problem was hostile Martians lead by Romio and then shows that Sammy and Misa have arrived to stop her. The very last scene is an attack that leaves a giant heart-shaped hole in Mars.
  • Amazon Brigade: A villainous example with Team Sexy Mrs. (aka Team Lovely Madams) in the TV series.
  • Anime Theme Song
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: See episode 20 of Magical Project S.
  • Anti-Villain: Just about all of her main enemies.
  • At Arm's Length: In episode 17 when Pretty Sammy fights against Team Lovely Madams
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: There is an actual Good/Evil scale that most of the series spends on balancing.
  • Beneath the Mask Misao Amano , as a mater of fact she inspired the trope
  • Berserk Button: Never tell Bif Standard that his software is slow.
  • Bland-Name Product / Parody Names : In episode 2 of the OAV, StandardSoft is a parody of Microsoft, the SynchroniCity OS is a parody of Microsoft Windows, and the Pineapple Mach 8 OS is a parody of the Apple Macintosh.
  • Bowdlerization: In Magical Project S, almost all instances of the word "Sexy" were replaced with "Lovely" (e.g., "Sexy Calling Mystics!" became "Lovely Calling Mystics!", and the Team Sexy Mrs. became Team Lovely Madams), presumably because the series was released as rated "3 and Up" on Pioneer's rating system.
  • Brainwashed: In one episode of Magical Project S Konoha gets Sammy's wand and uses it to become a magical girl. She then proceeds to make Hiroto fall in love with her and even dresses him up to as a prince. However it has hilarious repercussions.
    • Also happens to Eimi.
  • Butt Monkey: Rumiya and Sasami in the TV series.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Played straight for the most part.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Pixy Misa.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: In Magical Project S. It starts off as a full blown parody of the Magical Girl genre where the characters can and do Break The Fourth Wall. (A notable exception is episode 12, which is somewhat serious.) This culminates in a two-parter in episodes 16 and 17 where the Big Bad forcibly recruits a group of housewives who eventually take on the military. The arc finally ends with Pretty Sammy using the Power of Love for the first time...leading into the rather serious episode 18. And then the trope sets in with episodes 19 and 20 - the comedy vanishes entirely and the plot becomes very Darker and Edgier. But then...
    • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The comedy begins to return in episode 21. However, the show does not return to being a parody of magical girl series. In fact, the show becomes a magical girl series, one which has about equal amounts of seriousness and silliness.
  • Clark Kenting: Sasami and Sammy look pretty much identical except for their clothing, yet nobody except Washu seems to put two and two together immediately. In the end of the final episode, when she's re-recruited in front of everyone, it's revealed that they all knew from the moment they saw her, but since she insisted that she was "Pretty Sammy", not "Sasami", and seemed so embarrassed, they decided to play along. Naturally Sasami is mortified.
  • Class Representative: Eimi Date in the TV series.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Konoha Haida is this way around Hiroto. Ditto for Ryoko and Tenchi in the OAVs.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Pixy Misa and Romio
  • A Day in the Limelight: Funky Connie
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The openings to both the original OV As and Magical Project S were sung by Sasami's voice actress, Chisa Yokoyama. Yokoyama also provided the first and last ending themes for the original OV As.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Ramia often abuses her young brother Rumiya when she is angry. Always Played for Laughs without repercussion.
  • Empathic Weapon: Sammy's Baton
  • Enemy Within: Pixy Misa is a part of Misao that she's not aware of, and gradually is growing stronger. After The Reveal and Journey to the Center of the Mind, they start to integrate.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: How Misa reacted when she saw her parents in episode 19.
  • Everybody Knew Already: Turns out everybody was just "being polite". (On the other hand, it's suggested that at least initially they thought Sammy and Sasami were two different people).
  • Evil Costume Switch: Inverted as when Hiroto is brainwashed by Konoha into falling in love with her she dresses him up in princely attire but it doesn't make him evil.
  • Expy: In Magical Project S, some of the characters-of-the-day are based on characters in the Tenchi Muyo! series, like Shinobi Hagakure being an expy of Achika, Genjuro Hagakure an expy of Katsuhito, and Nobuyuki Onijigoku an expy of Nobuyuki. Of course, there's Ayeka and Ryoko as Romio and Oryo, respectively.
  • Eye Catch: Magical Project S used a typical Eye Catch, though in at least one episode Pretty Sammy's appearance at the end of the Eye Catch was replaced by her parents dressed as Sammy and Ryo-Ohki. Episode 20 notably has a completely unique eye catch, illustrating the gravity of the story.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Kenji.
  • Facial Markings
  • Failure Is the Only Option:Ramia will never become the Queen.
  • Fallen Hero: Romio!
  • Frilly Upgrade: In the OAV, Pretty Sammy transforms into Hyper Sammy before casting her Pretty Coquettish Bomber.
  • Gender Flip: Ryo-Oh-Ki is a boy in this continuity.
  • Genki Girl: Misa is very... yeah. So is Washu.
  • Genre-Busting: Magical Project S started as a parody of magical girls, but then becomes an indecisive parody that sometimes took its elements seriously. Then it explored psychological and deep themes, then explored the concept of friendship. Afterward it went to romance.
  • Gratuitous English: Misa spouts a lot of this. It's really quite distracting.
  • Heel-Face Turn
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Eimi Date
  • Humans Are Bastards: The reason Romio wants to destroy Earth
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Sasami doesn't exactly want to be Pretty Sammy. It's not that she terribly minds the magic stuff, it's just the outfit is really embarrassing...
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Misao Amano
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: This is Misao wish despite being very shy
  • Ill Girl: Misao in the OVA series is suggested to be this.
  • Image Song: For Pretty Sammy, Pixy Misa and later.... Love Me Eimi
  • Indecisive Parody: In Magical Project S, and it was likely intentional. The first seventeen episodes are an obvious parody of the Magical Girl genre (with the possible exception of the somewhat serious episode 12). Episode 18, however, isn't much of a parody at all. And then episodes 19 and 20 are dead serious. After that the series plays the Magical Girl genre straight, though not without injecting plenty of comedy and some fourth wall breakage.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Inverted? Sasami and her father are playing in the bathtub and her father goes under the water making her blush...Squick.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Inconsistent, but Sammy sometimes gives a speech
  • Interspecies Romance: Hinted at — see the Intimate Healing entry below.
  • Intimate Healing: In the OVA, Ryo-Ohki takes a human form and kisses Sasami to revive her.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: How Sasami finally "cures" Misao/Pixy Misa. Turns out Pixy Misa is powered by Misao's feelings of worthlessness, made worse by Sasami doing everything for her.
  • Karaoke Box: In the OVA series, Chihiro Kawai (Sasami and Tenchi's mother) is a karaoke addict.
  • Keep It Foreign: In the English dubbed OAVs, Pixy Misa's Gratuitous English became French.
  • Knight Templar: Parodied Love Me Eimi's song: I'll protect the world....By destroying it! Love Me Eimi Protector of the Universe!
  • The Lancer: Misa to Sammy near the end of the series.
  • Laughably Evil: Pixy Misa is this tropes with a T.
  • Lemony Narrator: Of sorts. Occasionally 'Magical Project S'' will have text appear on screen that is overly critical of the characters. In at least one episode the characters seem to react to it.
  • Lighter and Softer: Versus Tenchi Muyo!. Sasami Magical Girls Club is a Lighter and Softer version of this series.
  • Living with the Villain: Sasami and Misao are best friends in real life, but bitter enemies transformed. The latter is unaware of what she's doing, however. The two discover each other's identities later on.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Subverted on the last episode.
  • Mad Scientist: Washu.
  • Magical Girl Queenliness Test: Albeit it's Tsunami, not Pretty Sammy/Sasami who is the candidate for Queen but Pretty Sammy is her champion and her success is instrumental in Tsunami getting the throne
  • Magitek: One of the later characters in the TV series employees a lot of this.
  • The Man Behind the Man
  • Market-Based Title: Magical Girl Pretty Sammy TV was renamed to Magical Project S for the United States release because supposedly, the OVA series did so poorly as to seem feasible to attempt distancing away from it.
  • Mentor Mascot: Ryo-Ohki
  • Mind-Control Device: When Konoha gets a hold of Sammy's wand, she uses it to make Hiroto fall in love with her with hilarious repercussions.
  • Mini Dress Of Power
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Mihoshi
  • Monogender Monsters: In the TV series, every last one of the Love-Love Monsters is female.
  • More Than Mind Control: Misao, while certainly acting different as Pixy Misa, isn't really being brainwashed.
  • Monster of the Aesop
  • Monster of the Week
  • Mood Dissonance: Later episodes still retain the very light-hearted opening and ending in spite of the episodes they sandwich.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Sasami is unknowingly responsible for Pixy Misa.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Turns out Ramia's idea of transforming Misao to Misa in the day where her father is coming for a visit just gives the result of Sasami and Misao discovering each other's magical girl identities.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: In the TV series the episode, "East Vs. West", is, to put it simply, ninjas vs. cowboys. Pretty Sammy is on the side of the ninjas, while Pixy Misa on the side of the cowboys. The ninjas eventually win after figuring out ways to counter the cowboys, but the ninja leader then decides he was mistaken too since only destruction comes from disputes, and offers to use both ninjas and cowboys in the entertainment land.
  • Not Brainwashed: Pixy Misa. Turns out Pixy Misa is a repressed persona
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: In the second OAV episode, Bif Standard, owner of Standardsoft, is a parody of Microsoft's Bill Gates.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Misa is this way around Sammy, even assisting her a couple times.
  • Open-Minded Parent: Sasami's parents don't seem the slightest bit fazed when they finally figure out who Sammy is.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Both Sammy and Misa are just average fourth grade students given extraordinary abilities.
  • Parental Abandonment: Misao rarely ever sees her mother and hasn't seen her father in years at the start of the series, having to stay home alone a lot.
  • The Power of Friendship
  • The Power of Love
  • Pretty in Mink: One of her outfits has furry puff balls on her boots... and her wand.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Rumiya
  • Quirky Household: Sasami's parents are practically certifiably insane, but seem to still operate well enough to survive.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: The fake trailer for the Pretty Sammy TV (AKA Magical Project S) movie, Magical Girl Pretty Sammy The Motion Picture: The God Boys VS. Magical Girls. It parodies practically every movie trailer cliche in the book.
  • Right Behind Me: Sort of. Misa teleported to America without realizing that her classmates Hiroto, Kenji, Konoha, and Eimi have discovered her secret.
  • Save Both Worlds
  • Shout-Out: InMagical Project S, one of Sasami's classmates notes that her cousin is Jinnai from El-Hazard: The Magnificent World
  • Showdown at High Noon
  • Shrinking Violet: Misao.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Especially in Magical Project S.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears
  • Spin-Off: The show itself is a spin off of Tenchi Muyo and the OAV series.
  • Spoiler Opening: The episode titles, especially ones like "Farewell Team Lovely Madams!"
  • Spoof Aesop: A couple of these come up.
  • The Stinger: Last episode of Magical Project S.
  • Stock Footage: Lots of it shows up in the TV series. It was even spoofed in one episode where Sammy had been physically altered, yet the footage remains the same and Sammy can't figure out why she changed right back.
  • Stripperiffic: Misa's outfit is commented on by other people as being very gaudy.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Played straight considering this is a spoof, but later subverted by Pixy Misa.
  • Tearjerker: Sasami and Misao discovering their magical girl identities and fighting each other all this time.
    • In the same episode, Pixy Misa gets a Villainous BSOD when she sees her father and mother together looking for her.
    • The entire 20th episode.
  • Third-Person Person: Sasami in the Japanese version.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The last episode of Magical Project S is this for Rumiya.
  • Transformation Sequence: This gets spoofed early on in the TV series, with Misa gleefully kicking down Sammy after a transformation, with the latter saying "no fair attacking while I'm posing".
  • Villainous Harlequin: Pixy Misa
  • Villain Song: Pixy Misa's image song.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Happens to Mihoshi after Chihiro kicks her in the stomach in OAV 2.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World

Alternative Title(s):

Magical Project S