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Majokko Tickle is an early Magical Girl series created by Go Nagai, airing from 1978 to 1979 on TV Asahi. The anime was produced by Toei Company, but not Toei Animation, with the animation production farmed out to several other studios, including Sunrise. It was the first magical girl show since the end of Majokko Meg-chan in 1975, and Tickle (after Meg-chan) was the second magical girl to be voiced by Rihoko Yoshida. Due to being Lighter and Softer than Nagai's usual oeuvre, it's one of his more obscure works, despite having been broadcast in Europe as well as Japan. (Interestingly, although Nagai created the series and wrote the opening theme song lyrics, he did not draw the spinoff manga.)

Tiko, a shy Japanese schoolgirl, receives a book as a gift from her father on her eleventh birthday. When Tiko opens the book, she releases Tickle, a mischievous fairy who was imprisoned inside the book for playing pranks on people. Tickle spends the series living with Tiko (having cast a spell so that the family believes she's Tiko's sister), using her powers to solve everyday problems, and of course playing tricks on people, particularly Tiko's annoying kid sister, Hina.

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Tropes:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Hina. She loves nothing more than butting into whatever her "sisters" are doing.
  • Art Evolution: The episodes animated by Neomedia, especially the first dozen or so, feature very poor animation in general. The animation quality begins to improve with episode 14 (the first to be animated by Kaze Production), with both Tickle and Tiko receiving updated character designs that looked less Nagai-esque. Sunrise (then known as Nippon Sunrise) became involved beginning with episode 31, and Sunrise's episodes feature generally the best quality of animation.
  • Book Burning: The final episode, in which Tickle exposes herself as a witch when she uses her magic to stop her mother from being impaled by a knife. This means Tickle must return to the magic realm, but Hina, upset that she can't come with Tickle, angrily tosses the book that was to have been Tickle's only way home into a bonfire. Despite being warned that she'll lose her powers if she lets the book burn out, Tickle refuses to leave her human family and lets the book burn, accepting the loss of her magic as a consequence.
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  • Butt-Monkey: Hina. She often gets her comeuppance via Tickle's magic.
  • Cassandra Truth: Nobody believes Hina when she claims to have seen Tickle using magic.
  • Cute Witch: Tickle.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Italian dub, Tickle is Lilli and Tiko is renamed Mirtilla. The girls retain their original names (more or less) in the French and Spanish versions.
  • Fat Girl: Fuuko, a girl in Tickle and Tiko's class who gets bullied a lot. Tickle makes friends with her.
  • Fish out of Water: Living in the human world and having a family are both new experiences for Tickle.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Tickle. She has pony tails as hair dressing.
  • Intoxication Ensues: In the episode "Cooking Magic! Furanpa!", Tickle accidentally swallows some whiskey while she and Tiko are trying to cook for the first time. The result: Tiko's bedroom is left in shambles as a drunken Tickle starts casting magic spells indiscriminately.
  • Lighter and Softer: With regards to Go Nagai's other works, and in particular his first magical girl series, Cutey Honey.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Averted. In fact, one can tell which animation studio worked on which episode by the clothes Tickle and Tiko are wearing: for example, if Tickle is wearing a red sweater and blue jeans and Tiko has on a green turtleneck and black skirt, it's a Sunrise episode.
  • Magical Incantation: "Maharu Tamara Furanpa" (translated as "Sparkle, Twinkle, Magic will be") is Tickle's.
  • Mitsuko Horie: Sings the opening and ending themes.
  • Muggle Best Friend: Tiko.
  • Muggle Foster Parents: Complete with the "hypnotism of family" subtrope that's common in Magical Girl shows.
  • The Prankster: Tickle is a mischievous fairy.
  • Remember the New Guy?: In-Universe. Tiko uses Tickle's magic to manipulate everyone's memories, making them believe she has always been Tiko's twin sister.
  • Rich Bitch: Satomi. She is very snobby, and usually causes problems for Tiko.
  • Sealed Mischief In A Can: Tickle was imprisoned in a book for playing tricks before being freed by Tiko (although she claims to be a magical princess on the run from a dragon).
  • Secret Chaser: Hina is constantly trying to expose Tickle as a magic-user, but it never works.
  • Shout-Out: The entire series premise is sometimes construed as a shout-out to '70s J-pop superstars Pink Lady, due to the series having two female protagonists who do everything together. One episode has a more obvious shout-out to Pink Lady as Tickle, Tiko and Hina are shown watching the duo perform their hit song "Southpaw" on television.
  • Shrinking Violet: Tiko, she is a very shy girl.

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