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Anime / Pretty Sammy

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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 OVAs (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 (Chisa Yokoyama) is chosen to be the next queen. Ramia (Maya Okamoto), her main rival to the throne, is furious about 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 (Yokoyama), 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 (Rumi Kasahara), Sasami's shy and lonely best friend who is hypnotized into the raging Id known as Pixy Misa.

The OVA and TV series diverge 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.

On September 21, 2017, a Kickstarter was started by AIC to create a five-minute promo for a possible sequel to Magical Project S called "Pretty Sammy 14", which continues the adventures of Pretty Sammy and Pixy Misa as teenagers.

These shows provide examples of:

  • Amazon Brigade: A villainous example with Team Sexy Mrs. (aka Team Lovely Madams) in the TV series.
  • 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 led 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.
  • Anime Theme Song
  • Bland-Name Product: In episode 2 of the OVA, 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 Pioneer's official sub of 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.
  • Casting Gag: Ryoko and Ayeka's expies, Omyo and Romio are also voiced by their original voice actors, Ai Orikasa and Yumi Takada, respectively, in Magical Project S.
  • 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.
    • In both shows, Sasami feared in the beginning that everyone can see her through her Pretty Sammy identity.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Konoha Haida is this way around Hiroto. Ditto for Ryoko and Tenchi in the OVAs.
  • Colony Drop: Happens in OVA 2, and in the final arc of Magical Project S.
    • In OVA 2, Bif Standard activates a series of tractor beams around the world to pull and drop the Moon onto Earth, so that he can build his "standardized" world.
    • In the final arc of Magical Project S, Romio plans to send the Earth on a collision course with the sun.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Pixy Misa is technically this, but she's not really "bad" as much as she is a troublemaker.
  • 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.
  • Frilly Upgrade: In the OVA, Pretty Sammy transforms into Hyper Sammy before casting her Pretty Coquettish Bomber.
  • Gender Flip: Ryo-Oh-Ki is a boy in this continuity.
  • 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.
  • Harmless Villain: Some of the Love Love monsters this. Such as Line Girl, who is literally just a sentient line of chalk from the school's dodgeball court. Chemistry Girl, a giant beaker is completely useless in her fight against Sammy because she has no feet and therefore can't actually move. And Fake Sick Girl, who technically isn't really "villainous" since she never even attempts to do anything bad and mostly just lies around trying to get attention from Peter while staying on his island with the other Love Love monsters.
  • Heel–Face Turn: After she became aware of her identity, Pixy Misa works with Pretty Sammy in the final episodes of Magical Project S.
  • Here We Go Again!: Happens in The Stinger of OVA 2; after Chihiro finishes singing her karaoke song, her computer crashes, and she faints once again.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Eimi Date; the students have to gag her to keep her from singing, and her horrible singing carries over after her transformation into Love-Me Amy.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Market-Based Title:
    • Magical Girl Pretty Sammy TV was renamed to Magical Project S for the United States release to distinguish it from the OAV series and because supposedly, the OVA series did so poorly as to seem feasible to attempt distancing away from it.
    • Pretty Sammy was called "Pretty Samy" (with one "M") in Japan.
  • 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.
  • Mood Dissonance: Later episodes still retain the very light-hearted opening and ending in spite of the episodes they sandwich.
  • More than Mind Control: Misao, while certainly acting different as Pixy Misa, isn't really being brainwashed.
  • Mythology Gag: In one of the final episodes of Magical Project S, Washu has a lot of Washu Dolls, named A-F; Washu Dolls A and B originally appeared in Tenchi Universe.
  • 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 and Pixy Misa are on the side of the ninjas and cowboys, respectively. 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 OVA 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.
  • Pocket Dimension: In Magical Project S, Pretty Sammy casts Pretty Space (shown as shooting stars and hearts on a pink background) before she casts Pretty Coquettish Bomber. The Team Sexy Mrs. has Sexy Space (shown as shooting lips and high heels on a purple background) to counter against Pretty Space.
  • 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.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Although the OVA has some new music by Seikou Nagaoka, the majority of the soundtrack was taken from Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki.
  • Revenge of the Sequel: The second OVA is subtitled "Revenge of the Imperial Electronic Brain".
  • 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: In the final arc of Magical Project S, Pretty Sammy and Pixy Misa has to save both Earth and Juraihelm from Romio.
  • Shout-Out: In Magical Project S, one of Sasami's classmates notes that her cousin is Jinnai from El-Hazard: The Magnificent World.
    • In Episode 8, Sasami pulls out her Nintendo 64.
    • In episode 13, when Honoka attempts to explain how she and Ginji met to Sasami, a brief shot appears directly referencing a near identical scene in Lupin III: Part 1, with Ginji replacing Lupin (while wearing Lupin's red jacket from Part II) and Honoka added in as Fujiko (who wasn't there in the referenced shot).
    • After hijacking a space shuttle to search for Pretty Sammy, Pixy Misa dresses up as Captain Harlock.
  • Showdown at High Noon: What happens in the conclusion of "East Vs. West" in Magical Project S.
  • Spin-Off: The show itself is a spin off of Tenchi Muyo and the OVA series.
  • Spoiler Opening: The episode titles, especially ones like "Farewell Team Lovely Madams!"
  • 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.
  • 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".

Alternative Title(s): Magical Project S


Pretty Sammy

Mihoshi gets kicked in the stomach, and...

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