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Left to right: Eva, Arusu and Sheila.

"Anyone can use magic as long as they believe with all their heart!"
Arusu

Tweeny Witches (魔法少女隊アルス, Maho Shôjo Tai Arusu, translated as Magical Girl Squad Arusu) is a 2004 anime by Studio 4°C, and is certainly one of the darker takes on the Magical Girl genre.

Arusu is an 11-years-old girl who has a thing for the occult and is especially obsessed with witches and magic, thanks to a book given to her for her 5th birthday by her Disappeared Dad. When some bullies try to steal her book, a mishap sends her falling (literally) into the world of the witches. Almost immediately, she meets Sheila and Eva, two apprentice witches who are close to her age.

Delighted as she is to be in the magical world, Arusu is less than delighted at how their society is run. Everyone is either miserable or scared, certainly not overjoyed at the reality of magic, while she believes magic should be used to make people happy. More disturbing to her is how the witches capture sprites and keep them behind bars for their use in spells. When she releases all the captive sprites back into the wild, the Grand Master of Witch Haven punishes Sheila and Eva with the Curse of Eternal Youth, leaving Arusu bound in duty to become an apprentice witch and join them on their quest to recapture the sprites and break her new friends' curse.

As the series continues, Arusu becomes more familiar with magic and her new friends. She also learns more about her new world and its extremely dark underbelly, one which seems intent on tearing everything apart, and is also very interested in that book of hers...

This series was licensed in North America by Media Blasters, who dubbed and released it in 2008.

Needs Wiki Magic Love.


This series provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 
    General 
  • Aerith and Bob: The names range from fantastic ones like "Atelia", "Sigma", and "Presatio" to average Western names like "Sheila", "Eva", and "Wil".
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted with the warlocks.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: No one in-universe never addresses the absence of Eva, Qoo, and Nito's parents and Sigma's mother.
  • Mini Series: Very mini — the episodes are only 12 1/2 minutes long, counting the (very long) opening in odd-numbered episodes and the ending and preview in the even numbered episodes. Without that, the episodes are about nine to ten minutes a piece.
    • There are 40 half-length episodes in the main storyline. Combining them into a standard 25-minute slot yields 20. Add to that the six normal-length side story episodes released later, and you've got a full season.
  • Only One Name: Every single character has only one name.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The sprites are a kind of creature found in the magical world. Their body parts are used as the tools to activate magic.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: The griffons are a kind of sprite that looks like owls. Their feathers are used as the tool for the witches to fly on brooms.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The True Book of Spells can be one when someone performs the forbidden Black Magic with all the different types of the sprites, the book, and a witch.
  • Winged Humanoid: Long ago, the witches and warlocks had wings. For some reason, they have degenerated now. In the TV series, Eva finds out that Lennon is human when she sees his back has no degenerate wings.
  • Witch Classic: Nearly every witch wears the pointy hats, rides brooms, wears black dresses, and casts magic with natural resources (particularly the body parts of the sprites). Arusu, the protagonist is also a part of a trio of friends (who are also witches), and Atelia, the authority figure in Witch Haven, is one of the three sages who formes a group of three witches to recapture every different type of the sprites.
  • Witch Species: The witches (female) and warlocks (male) are a human-like magic-using species in a magical dimension; witches who can't use magic get exiled to the human world. They were the same human-like species which once upon a time had wings.

    The Series 
  • The Ageless: Sheila and Eva were made ageless as punishment for letting Arusu release all the captive sprites back into the wild. Arusu didn't understand how this was a punishment until they explained that since they can't reach adulthood, they can never reach their full magical potential. Not to mention, since they're stuck as kids, they will never be able to experience adult things like getting married.
  • Aborted Arc: Arusu and her friends need to capture all the different types of the sprites, but they never do it.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • The magical world is slowly approaching its destruction by the exhaustion of the magical powers, counting as an X-4.
    • Grande's plan is to bring about an X-5, wiping out the magical world and the human world so his people can resettle in the latter.
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: In episodes 11 and 12, Arusu, Eva, and Menow celebrate Sheila's birthday, but Sheila is still 12. Justified because Sheila is made ageless at that point.
  • Art Shift:
    • In the trailer for episodes 11 and 12, the animation shifts to a childish crayon style after showing a picture of Menow holding a baby Sheila under her arms.
    • In episode 11, the animation shifts to a childish crayon style for the scene where Eva explains to Arusu the traditions of the witches.
  • Black Magic: The Black Magic is a forbidden spell to wipe out everything and make everyone cross the Despair Event Horizon. Its performer requires the True Book of Spells, all the different types of the sprites, and a witch. Grande seeks to wipe out both the magical world and the human world with it, which he believes will make a new world for his people to live in. Only the light magic, a legendary spell that the first savior is said to have performed to create the magical world, can undo the Black Magic.
  • Book-Ends: The story shared between Arusu and Eva both begins and ends with the former making the latter eat a chestnut. The key difference is that in the first one, she wins her over with a chestnut, while in the second, after Eva becomes the performer of the Black Magic, she makes her eat a chestnut to remind her of their friendship, performing the light magic in the process.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Anyone can use magic as long as they believe with all their heart!"
  • Dark Secret:
    • The government of Witch Haven hides the fact that all the captive sprites had escaped from the public. However, after the angry hydra attacks an entire town in episodes 9 and 10, the warlocks find out it. In episodes 13 and 14, a bunch of young witches including Sae and Hata finds out it, being arrested for discovering a top secret.
  • Darker and Edgier: The anime features mature themes, such as animal rights, society abandoning the weak and powerless, abandonment issues, war, and The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Jidan, Arusu's father, vanished when she was young. He lived in Witch Haven for a while with Atelia, but left since he was still married. Atelia... wasn't pleased.
    • Sigma's father was killed for rebelling against Grande's way of doing things.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The scene where Sigma asks Sheila to escape from the world with him looks and sounds more like he's confessing his love to her.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Grande plans to perform the Black Magic so he and his people can Restart the World after the destruction of both the magical world and the human world. However, as the Grand Master of Witches points out, he has failed to see that the magic makes everyone cross the Despair Event Horizon, destroying the will to restart things.
  • Exact Words: Arusu and her friends need to collect all the different types of the sprites so the Curse of Eternal Youth can be undone. In the finale, the Grand Master of Witches undoes the curse because, in a way, Eva has collected all the different types of the sprites by her Fusion Dance with them and the True Book of Spells.
  • The Exile:
    • Witches who cannot use magic by the time they are sixteen get exiled to the human world, a fate all witches fear.
    • The magic-using warlocks have been casted out from Wizard Kingdom.
  • Faceless Goons: On both sides: The witches' have mosquito like gas masks while the warlocks' wear armor that makes them look like sharks.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In episode 15, after he shot a warlock soldier to save Eva, Sigma sends a red signal to the soldier. In episode 16, he sends the same red signal to a white creature the warlock army rides on. It's implied that he manipulated not only the heroes but also the warlock army for his own ends.
  • Goroawase Number: In the Japanese version, Arusu uses one of these to cast magic.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Arusu and her friends must capture every different type of the sprites to undo the Curse of Eternal Youth.
  • Hands-Off Parenting:
    • Yoko is so depressed and/or drunk that Arusu has to do everything. Then again, she still has a sense of humor so there could be hope for her yet.
    • Sheila and her mother have been estranged for years.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode is called a "destiny".
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: Eva's house can turn into a dragon.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: The anime opens with an orchestral instrument theme by composer Tamiya Terashima.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • While the audience knows from the start that Arusu is human, Sheila, Eva, Obecitus, and Magna assume her to be an apprentice witch. However, she proves herself to be really human with a chestnut because it is not native in the magical world.
    • While the audience knows from the start that all the captive sprites had escaped, everyone except Arusu, Sheila, Eva, wardens, and the upper echelons of Witch Haven does not know this. However, after the angry hydra attacks an entire town in episodes 9 and 10, the warlocks find out it. In episodes 13 and 14, a bunch of young witches including Sae and Hata finds out it, being arrested for discovering a top secret.
  • Jumped at the Call: Being a fan of magic, Arusu is delighted to find herself in a genuine world of magic full of real witches.
  • Light Is Good: Only the light magic can undo the forbidden Black Magic.
  • Magic Versus Science:
    • Magic is represented by the female witches and science by the male "warlocks", who hardly use magic at all (there's one real warlock, and he's very old). The two communities became divided and now witches only go to the warlocks' fortress if they're seeking children or if they've been cast out of Witch Haven. It seems that this split has stagnated both groups: the witches technology hasn't really advanced past the dirigible, and while it appears that the warlocks live in a man-made underground cavern of plenty all their technology mainly used for amusement or oppression. The two groups get back together in the end.
    • The magic-using warlocks and Wizard Kingdom has been battling over 200 years.
  • Magitek: The female witches tend to a more primitive steampunk-style of magitech while the technologically advanced male "warlocks" now use very little magic at all (there's only one "real" warlock left, and he's very old).
  • Memento MacGuffin: The True Book of Spells that Jidan gave Arusu for her 5th birthday.
  • Mother Nature, Father Science: The witches live in a lush valley surrounded by nature, while the warlocks (who have lost the ability to use magic, save for a few very old outcasts) live in an underground high-tech fortress. Appropriately they used to live together, but then the men were taken over by what amounted to warlike scientists.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The promo trailer looked awesome and got a lot of people excited about the series. Thing is, that was actually a mini-pilot and not an actual trailer.
    • The trailer for episodes 9 and 10 shows a witch with pumpkin head getting imprisoned and exiled to the human world. However, in the actual episodes, Qoo gets exiled to the human world.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Literally. Sheila and Eva are cursed to remain young girls. They get better.
  • Not Growing Up Sucks: Sheila and Eva were made ageless as punishment for letting Arusu release all the captive sprites back into the wild. Arusu didn't understand how this was a punishment until they explained that since they can't reach adulthood, they can never reach their full magical potential. Not to mention, since they're stuck as kids, they will never be able to experience adult things like getting married.
  • Not So Different: Sigma tells Sheila that they are like each other because they believe in and act only for themselves. However, while Sheila cares for Eva, Sigma outright says Eva is a burden on the trio.
  • Title Drop: Episode 20 has Arusu literally say "Magical Girl Squad."
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Both Witch Haven and Wizard Kingdom are amazing places of magic and technology, respectively, but both have dark sides: The warlike Warlocks are very authoritarian and the witches have a habit of banishing witches to the desert to live with the Warlocks or, if they've been really bad, making them risk going through a very unstable portal into our world, where neither magic nor technology exists at that level.
  • The Weird Sisters:
    • Arusu, Sheila, and Eva.
    • Atelia, Presatio, and Credelle are the three sages who assist the Grand Master.
    • Barunn, Biris, and Nerabu are the three witches who make up the special capture squad, the group formed by Atelia to recapture all sprites.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 16: Sigma reveals that he approached Arusu and her friends to get the True Book of Magic.
  • Wham Shot: At the end of episode 16, Arusu and Sheila turn out to be alive 24 hours later, revealing that their "disease" Sigma told them about wasn't real in the first place.

    The OVAs 
  • Apocalypse How: Magica's father in "The Secret of Dragon House" planned to bring about a 0 by his computer program to destroy Witch Haven and then Wizard Kingdom.
  • Body Horror: In "The Magical Girls Squad - Transformed into Fish!", Arusu, Sheila, and Eva's heads turn into fishes. They are implied to have got better.
  • Civilization Destroyer: In "The Secret of Dragon House", Magica's father created a computer program to destroy Witch Haven and then Wizard Kingdom.
  • Humiliation Conga: In "The Magical Girls Squad - Transformed into Fish!", Arusu, Sheila, and Eva initially consider being laughed at their fish head to be this.
  • Lighter and Softer: Unlike the TV series, the OVAs are comedic.

Alternative Title(s): Tweeny Witches The Adventures

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