is an urban fantasy shoujo
manga/anime series created by Wataru Yoshizumi of Marmalade Boy
The main characters are Ayu Tateishi, a realistic, no-nonsense Muggle
desperate to maintain her "cool" image because her crush told her it was admirable, and Nina Sakura, a Cute Witch
who is Book Dumb
, magic-wise, and has come to the human world in order to get better at her craft... which is about where the similarities between the anime and manga end
. The anime gives Nina a new magical rival
, a quest to obtain a Plot Coupon
, and a Magical Girl Transformation Sequence
whenever Nina uses her magic.
The manga's storyline isn't amazingly deep; it's a story of relationships and innocent fun. It briefly takes a dark turn near the end
, but things turn out all right. It's a cute series, and Yoshizumi's first attempt at a fantasy.
It was popular enough to be adaptated into a stand-alone OVA by Production Reed
in 2002 and as a 26-episodes-long series in 2003 by the same studio.
Ain't got nothing to do with Ultraman
Ultra Maniac provides examples of the following tropes:
- Adaptation Distillation: The anime focuses more on the comedical and magical girl aspects of the series than the manga.
- Animorphism: One of Nina's spells lets Ayu and Nina turn into kittens and spy on Hiroki and Tetsushi. They also do the reverse: Ayu, Hiroki, and Nina's pets turn into humans.
- Author Appeal: In a nonsexual sense; Yoshizumi is well-known for including tennis in her manga.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Ayu and Tetsushi, and later on, Nina and Hiroki (especially in the anime where their mutual admittance of it literally saved lives, including theirs). Also applies to Yuta and Sayaka in the manga, although theirs was more of a struggle.
- Berserk Button: "Leo never hurt you, Sayaka... but I will." Cue a magic bolt that blows a hole in the roof and would've killed Sayaka had Nina not been restrained as she fired the bolt.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall/Medium Awareness: Manga. After Sayaka attacks, Nina says that this is way too violent for Ultra Maniac. Hiroki tells her that being in a shoujo manga does not exempt them from pain.
- Done so funnily in the first episode of the anime series. It's a tradition to Magical Girls to have a dedicated Transformation Sequence; Nina is no exception. After Nina does her transformation she gives her standard wink to the camera followed by Ayu snapping her back to business.
- Canon Foreigner: Maya Orihara is the main antagonist in the anime; while in the manga her appereance is reduced to a cameo.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Nina discovers her magic potential while under the influence during the bar scene. Ayu and Yuta are not amused, as they see it as careless violation of the masquerade they're supposed to maintain (Ayu as Secret Keeper, and Nina and Yuta as magic users). Indeed, Nina was lucky to not be fined, let alone recalled, after that incident.
- Catch Phrase
- In the Viz manga, "Spamola!"
- In the Japanese version, "Practice!"
- Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: Yuta and Luna's Last Minute Hookup. Maya and the prince's romance may also qualify, as this isn't revealed until the last episode.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Hiroki's cat, Shinosuke.
- Continuity Cameo: Inverted. Maya, Nina's rival from the anime, appears in a photograph of Nina's friends at her magic school.
- Cool Big Sis: Mito, Nina's fellow "failure" as a witch.
- Crossdresser: One of Nina's magic school classmates (who turns out to be a boy) impersonates her to her friends in the epilogue, and his game is only up when Nina herself shows up as he shows off to them blatantly.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Nina, in the manga. During a battle with Sayaka in the school gym, Nina trips and leaves herself open to attack. Sayaka takes the opportunity to throw magic and ends up hitting Leo. Nina gets pissed and accidentally blows a ginormous hole in the ceiling.
- Cute Witch: Nina.
- Cypher Language: The rune-like script used by people from the magic kingdom is actually a cypher of the Latin alphabet. The text is usually English, but sometimes romanized Japanese.
- Darker and Edgier: The Sayaka arc winds up becoming the darkest part of the series ever, with Leo undergoing a Disney Death after Taking the Bullet meant for Nina and part of the school actually being destroyed at the end of the fight when Nina's Berserk Button is pressed as a direct result.
- Dark Magical Girl: Sayaka, Yuta's girlfriend.
- Maya Orihara isn't far off, either, considering how she lives her life alone.
- Distant Finale
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Ayu tries to take advantage of Tetsushi while he's bolt-jolted out cold, but Hiroki caught her in the middle of doing it. Don't worry, Ayu-chan. He won't tell.
- Dungeon Masters Girlfriend: Subverted. Tetsushi's very cool about Ayu and everyone keeping Nina's secret from him.
- Emotion Less Girl: Played with. People think that Ayu is very calm and collected, but in reality, she simply isn't paying attention, or is pretending.
- Filler: Most of the anime's episodes.
- First Kiss: During another Gender Bender spell, Ayu got hers stolen by an older girl. She freaked.
- Gender Bender: The first spell Nina casts on Ayu after Ayu asks for a spell that will make her stronger so she can beat the boy's tennis club is to turn Ayu into a boy. All this achieves is Ayu's timing and balance being thrown off due the height and upper body strength increase. Later on Nina and Ayu become boys temporarily for mildly convoluted reasons surrounding a triple date.
- Humanity Ensues: Ayu, Hiroki, and Nina's pets turn into humans. Nina's kitten Leo (Rio in the Viz manga translation) is recurring character who becomes a young boy. Hiroki's pet cat Shinnosuke becomes a teenage boy with an apparent crush on Hiroki which weirds Hiroki out. Ayu's pet Tamako becomes a young girl who Leo develops a friendship with/crush on shame she's a puppy.
- Inept Mage: Nina and, apparently, Mito. It turns out Nina has a lot of magical power behind her despite her reckless overclocking of her none computer-aided spells and her terrible tactical planning.
- Kiss Diss
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: The winner of the Magical Girl Queenliness Test will be forgotten by everyone on Earth once they've married the prince.
- Love Confession: Pretty much all the main characters give one or receive at least one.
- Love Potion: Nina gives Ayu a pill to give to Tetsushi to make him fall in love with her. Naturally, things don't go according to plan... and Hilarity Ensues.
- Magical Camera: It shows who the subject of the picture likes.
- Magical Girl Queenliness Test: It's a Magical Girl Queenliness Contest, too.
- The Mole: Sayaka.
- Nice Hat: Nina gets one with her uniform in the anime.
- Nice Guy: Tetsushi. Well, Bastard In Sheep's Clothing, actually.
- No Sense of Personal Space: It's cool when Shinnosuke is in his natural cat form, but when Hiroki changes him into a human, he's thoroughly creeped out by this.
- Official Couple: One too many.
- Ayu and Tetsushi.
- Nina and Hiroki.
- Yuta and Sayaka.
- In the anime, Maya and the prince, and Yuta and Luna
- Parental Obliviousness: Yuta's adult sister Mita gives Ayu and Nina magic vitamin pills which turns them into scantily clad, busty adults so they can go to a bar! What do Nina's foster parents say about this? "Have a good time!" It should be noted, though, that Mito gave the trip as a "learning experience" for both girls.
- Reality Ensues: When Nina destroys a chunk of the gym from the inside after Sayaka assaults Leo, it's made clear that the roof being fixed by magic was a mere illusion, so some of the protagonists, especially Nina, have to fix the roof for realľand it takes hours.
- The Rival: The Animated Adaptation's Maya Orihara. Like Nina, she's also out for the Plot Coupon which will win her the Magical Girl Queenliness Contest.
- School Idol: Ayu and Tetsushi, both respected by the entire school for their performance, diligence... and looks.
- Secret Keeper: Ayu and Hiroki. Later, Tetsushi, too, when he finds out Nina's little secret with Nina's permission... only Nina herself wasn't around to witness Ayu revealing it to him, but rather a male double who immediately takes the opportunity to flagrantly violate the masquerade before Nina shows up to rebuke him for being a Jerkass to her friends because of how he's alienating them.
- Shout-Out: The music that plays in the anime when Nina's young triplet cousins are around sounds a lot like the theme song to The Powerpuff Girls. In fact, Wataru Yoshizumi loves The Powerpuff Girls.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: How Yuta's sister Mito describes her relationship with her boyfriend in the Distant Finale of the manga.
Mito: We kiss. We argue. We kiss. We argue. In other words, we're in love.
- Static Stun Gun: In the form of Ring Of Power. Supposedly protects Ayu from potential harrassment. But Nina isn't adept at producing usable Phlebotina, so the ring stuns even the most innocent of boys, much to Ayu's chagrin.
- Straight Man: Ayu, in all her no-nonsense glory, won't take any of Nina's wacky magical hijinks, because in her defense, it usually just adds to her problems.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: Tetsushi, on the flip side, was also motivated by Ayu. Deconstructed, that is, considering how he accepted all the chocolates given to him by his Estrogen Brigade, only to secretly toss them aside after school.
- Third-Person Person: Nina. It's inconsistent, but justified by the author in that she wanted Nina to sound a little weird; Nina justifies it by saying that the spell she used to learn Japanese wasn't perfect.
- Totally Radical: The Viz "translation" has the characters saying things like "Holy sushi!" and "Galloping geishas!" in surprise. Just... no. It's worth noting that according to Anime News Network, Ultra Maniac is the only manga the person in charge of adaptation (John Lustig, who is more well known for working on Disney Comics) worked on.
- Traitor Shot: Sayaka gets these after conversing with other characters, but especially after talking with Nina and Ayu.
- Transformation Sequence: Nina gets a mildly lengthy one with Bishie Sparkles whenever the full costume is in need. Sometimes, it ends with a wink. For our sake, Ayu points out that last part.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Yuta.