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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
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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 Realm, 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 fairies and keep them behind bars for their use in spells. When she releases all the captive fairies back into the wild, the Grand Master of Witches 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 fairies and break her new friends' curse.

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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...

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.

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

Compare Little Witch Academia.


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This series provides examples of:

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    General 
  • Aerith and Bob: The names range from fantastic ones like "Atelia", "Sigma", and "Presatio" to average Western names like "Sheila", "Eva", and "Wil".
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: No one in-universe never addresses the absence of Eva, Qoo, and Nito's parents and Sigma's mother.
  • Another Dimension: The Magical Realm exists separately from the Human Realm, with the latter being sometimes described as such by the inhabitants of the Magical Realm.
  • Arc Words: "Anyone can use magic as long as they believe with all their heart!"
  • Art Shift: The prologue sequence shifts to the medieval art style.
  • Bizarrchitecture: Dragon House.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Eva (blonde), Sheila (brunette), and Arusu (redhead).
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Every single character has their own unique design, so once you remember their names, you can tell who is who.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Anyone can use magic as long as they believe with all their heart!"
  • Curtains Match the Window: Zigzagged with Arusu. She has reddish-orange hair and eyes, though the latter comes off as gold while the former is always reddish orange.
  • Cute Witch: All three witches in the picture.
  • Flying Broomstick: The witches fly on brooms in contrast to the magic-using warlocks flying on Magic Carpets.
  • Genki Girl: Arusu. At one point she's taken on the task of saving the animals normally used for potion ingredients, learning magic, rescuing her friends, and reuniting witches and warlocks. Her friends note that she may have bitten off more then she can chew. When cursed with dangerous levels of bad luck, she tries to use the humor of her own misfortunes to get Sheila to smile.
  • Goroawase Number: Arusu and later some witches use one of these to cast magic, as opposed to the traditional way which uses Greek numerals instead. The English dub replaces them with direct translations of puns. For example:
    • 0141963215 (a spell for hallucinogenic magic) becomes "oishii kuromitsu ichigo".
    • 80588109696 (a spell for petrification magic) becomes "yamagoya hairegu rokkunrōru".
  • Humanoid Abomination: The witches and warlocks look human, but their powers, culture, technology, and degenerate wings make it clear they're not, though they are not Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Lady Land: Witch Haven consists entirely of witches.
  • Leitmotif:
  • Magical Girl: Of the Cute Witch variety. Though unlike other MG shows, it is a human girl who transports into another world.
  • Magical Incantation: Magic in Tweeny Witches requires an incantation that is made of numerals. While most witches use Greek numerals, Arusu and later some witches use Goroawase Number (see above for details).
  • Magical Land: The Magical Realm is a world filled with witches, warlocks, and fairies.
  • 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.
  • Mother Nature, Father Science: The witches live in a lush, Miyazaki-flavored valley-town fueled by magic, while the in-name-only warlocks and their witch wives live under the desert in an underground fortress (basically the one in Neon Genesis Evangelion), surrounded by very high technology and artificial food. There are a few actual warlocks who can use magic, but they have been cast out from the fortress.
  • Only One Name: Every single character has only one name.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: The fairies are a kind of creature found in the Magical Realm. Their body parts are used as the tools to activate magic.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: The gryphons are a kind of fairy that looks like owls. Their feathers are used as the tool for the witches to fly on brooms.
  • Our Mages Are Different: Witches and wizards are a mix of Race and Scholars: they are born with the ability to use magic and have to learn how to control it through study. Arusu initially seems to be a mere Gadget User empowered by the True Book of Spells, but she turns out to be a Lottery Winner as she becomes a powerful witch through study despite her human origins.
  • Trapped in Another World: When some bullies try to steal Arusu's book, a mishap sends her falling (literally) into the world of the witches.
  • Winged Humanoid: The three first illustrations in the prologue sequence portray winged humanoids that would be the ancestors of the witches and warlocks, who inherit wings only in the degenerated form. In the TV series, Eva finds out that Lennon is a 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 fairies). 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 fairies.
  • Witch Species: The witches (female) and warlocks (male) are a human-like species with magical powers in the Magical Realm. With the exception of people called wizards, most warlocks have no magic. They are the descendants of a race of winged humanoids who inherit their ancestors' wings only in the degenerated form.
  • World of No Grandparents: Qoo and Nito are the only characters known to have a living grandparent.

    The Series 
  • The Ageless: Sheila and Eva were made ageless as punishment for letting Arusu release all the captive fairies 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 100 fairy species, but they never do it.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The synopsis of episode 15 in the Japanese official site reveals that "deadly grey" (死の灰色, shi no hai-iro) is the name of the "disease" Sigma tells Arusu and Sheila about.
  • Antimagical Faction: Wizard Kingdom is a land of high technology that rejects magic as unreliable and forces all the wizards to live outside the fortress. Ironically, its government plans on using dark magic to create a new world for the warlocks to live in.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • Due to the overexploitation of magical and scientific resources, the X-4 scale destruction of the Magical Realm is approaching. As Sigma's father foretold, Arusu prevents it with the magic of light.
    • Grande's plan is to save the Magical Realm and create a new world for his people to live in... by performing dark magic to bring the X-4 scale destruction of both the Magical Realm and the Human Realm. How extreme.
  • 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: Dark magic is a forbidden spell to destroy everything and everyone's spirit. Its performer requires the True Book of Spells, all the 100 fairy species, and a witch with inner darkness. Grande seeks to destroy both the Magical Realm and the Human Realm with it, which he believes will make a new world for his people to live in. Only the magic of light, a legendary spell that the first savior is said to have performed to create the Magical Realm, can undo dark 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 dark magic, she makes her eat a chestnut to remind her of their friendship, performing the magic of light in the process.
  • Bread and Circuses: Wizard Kingdom may be a warlike nation that forbids magic, but at least everyone in the fortress always has food and entertainment created by its high technology.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Eva explains to Arusu that the witches and warlocks are the descendants of a race of winged humanoids who inherit their ancestors' wings only in the degenerated form. When Eva sees Lennon's back lack degenerated wings, she finds out that he is a human, not a witch.
  • Dark Secret:
    • The government of Witch Haven hides the fact that all the captive fairies 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 went to the Magical Realm again in search of his lost son Lennon and was imprisoned in Wizard Kingdom for 6 years.
    • 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.
  • Eldritch Abomination: When Eva perform dark magic, she merges with a huge, grotesque monster made up of all the 100 fairy species.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Grande plans to perform dark magic to destroy both the Magical Realm and the Human Realm so he and his people can Restart the World for them to live in. However, as the Grand Master of Witches points out, he has made a grave mistake to do so by using the magic that also destroys everyone's spirit.
  • Exact Words: Arusu and her friends need to collect all the 100 fairy species 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 100 fairy species 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 Realm, a fate all witches fear.
    • Wil states that Grande banished all the wizards (magic-using warlocks) 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.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Arusu and her friends must capture every different type of the fairies 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 Realm.
    • While the audience knows from the start that all the captive fairies 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.
  • Last Day to Live: At the end of episode 15, Sigma tells the heroes that Arusu and Sheila will die of "deadly grey" 24 hours later. It was a lie for him to get the True Book of Spells.
  • Light Is Good: Only the magic of light can undo dark magic.
  • The Magic Goes Away: As the destruction of the Magical Realm approaches, witches start losing their magic and fall ill in the process. Even the Grand Master of Witches and the three sages are no exception.
  • Magic Versus Science:
    • Magic is represented by the female witches and science by the male "warlocks", who hardly use magic at all. 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 is mainly used for amusement or oppression. The two groups get back together in the end.
    • The wizards (magic-using warlocks) and Wizard Kingdom have been battling for more than 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).
  • Magic Hair: Undoing petrification magic requires a witch's long hair.
  • Memento MacGuffin: The True Book of Spells that Jidan gave Arusu for her 5th birthday.
  • Mistaken for Dying: Invoked. At the end of episode 15, Sigma tells the heroes that Arusu and Sheila will die of "deadly grey" 24 hours later. It was a lie for him to get the True Book of Spells.
  • 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 a pumpkin head getting imprisoned and exiled to the Human Realm for not casting magic. However, in the actual episodes, Qoo almost gets exiled to the Human Realm for her inability to cast magic.
  • 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 fairies 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.
  • Spell Book: The True Book of Spells is the only book that mentions every spell a witch can use. It sent Arusu to the Magical Realm and enabled her to use magic without using a fairy's body part in the first place. Her father gave her the book for her 5th birthday, which raises her question why he managed to get such a thing that would exist only in the Magical Realm. It later turns out that Jidan is responsible for the theft of the book that the Grand Master of Witches states happened 14 years ago.
  • 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 inept witches to the Human Realm 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 are the three witches who make up the Magic Girl Squad.
    • Atelia, Presatio, and Credelle are the three sages who assist the Grand Master of Witches.
    • Barunn, Biris, and Nerabu are the three witches who make up the special capture squad, the group formed by Atelia to recapture all fairies.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 16: Sigma reveals that he approached Arusu and her friends to get the True Book of Spells.
  • 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.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: At the end of episode 15, Sigma tells the heroes that Arusu and Sheila will die of "deadly grey" 24 hours later. It was a lie for him to get the True Book of Spells.

    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 usually comedic.
  • No Antagonist: "The Magical Girls Squad - Transformed into Fish!", where the main conflict is the heads of Arusu and her friends accidentally turning into fishes.

Alternative Title(s): Tweeny Witches The Adventures

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