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Manga / Akazukin Chacha

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Chacha is an orphaned girl who lives with Seravy— the World's Greatest Magician— at the top of Mochi Mochi mountain. Seravy tried to teach Chacha magic, but her spells always go awry. When Chacha goes to the magic school, she meets Shiine (pronounce it She-neh), another apprentice magician, and Riiya the wolfboy. When the three are together, Chacha can transform into "Magical Princess" in order to fight the minions of Daimaou, the Great Devil King.

Akazukin Chacha (赤ずきんチャチャ, literally meaning "Red Riding Hood Chacha") is Cute Witch manga series that was strongly influenced by the Little Red Riding Hood story. Written by Min Ayahama, it ran in Shueisha's Ribon from 1991 to 2000 with 13 volumes. An anime series was produced by Studio Gallop and Nihon Ad Systems (NAS) for TV Tokyo's 6PM timeslot and ran from 1994 to 1995. In an attempt to compete with Sailor Moon, the adaptation gave Chacha a transformation that turned her into a Magical Girl Warrior, complementing it with all of the hallmarks of the now-standard magical girl anime. The anime was preceded by another of Ribon's Cute Witch series, Himechans Ribbon and would later be followed by two more Ribon series, Nurse Angel Ririka SOS, and Kodocha, all of which shared production companies. The series was quite popular during its heyday, lasting for 74 episodes and even spawning three OVA episodes from 1995 to 1996, sometime after the series ended. It even had at least four video game adaptations, appearing on the Game Boy and Super Famicom and the obscure Sharp X68000 and PC-FX.

Like with Hime-chan no Ribon before it, the anime's opening was initially performed by SMAP, though strangely, starting with a laserdisc boxset released in 1997, the theme was rearranged, with the new version being by Shoko Sawada. Apparently, JVCKenwood Victor Entertainment (SMAP's exclusive CD contracting company), King Records (who held the publishing rights for the television broadcast), and Johnny & Associates (SMAP's talent agency) couldn't reach an agreement on the rights of the song's usage, leading to this decision. Something must have been cleared in recent years as the original version of the opening was used when the series was broadcast on BS Animax from February 2020 to spring 2021, and would also used when the series was distributed on d-anime Store's streaming service on August 2021. Johnny & Associates' change in management around this time was possibly at least one contributing factor.

Time has shown to have been kind to this series, getting a significant Colbert Bump from Another Note, whose Villain Protagonist is a huge fan of this manga. In 2011, two new one-shot manga titled Akazukin Chacha N were published in the May 2011 and January 2012 issues of Cookie Magazine. Akazukin Chacha N then became a monthly series from 2012 to 2019. In 2022, the series was also featured alongside the other series in the Studio Gallop's Ribon-quartet as well as Full Moon, in a pop-up eatery in Shibuya, Tokyo, known as the Eternal Shojo Cafe.


This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Ace: Seravy is the world's greatest magician.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Dorothy has black hair in the manga, but the anime changed it to red hair.
  • Aerith and Bob: Well, some of these names like Dorothy sound reasonable, but who names their kid "Chacha"? Even by Japanese standards, the name seems odd.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Seravy. In fact, Daimaou considers him the only real threat and he is likely the only reason why the rest of the magical world hadn't actually been conquered yet at the start of the series.
  • Always Someone Better: The main source of Dorothy's frustrations with Seravy, who both does magic better and can actually cook and clean, unlike her.
  • Alternate Universe: The Akazukin Chacha N manga takes place in modern-day Tokyo.
  • Anachronism Stew: Thereís fantastic elements and machines in the same universe.
  • Anime Chinese Girl: Mayachon, the teacher of the orange class, wears a Chinese tunic, has a Chinese-esque name, and uses martial arts to fight.
  • Archer Archetype: Chacha as Magical Princess uses a magic bow-and-arrow.
  • Ascended Extra: Orin the pink ninja girl? Yeah, she's been in class with the rest the whole time. She is first seen in episode 7.
  • Back for the Finale: All the villains (except for Daimaou) attended Seravy & Dorothy's wedding.
  • Badass Adorable: Orin.
  • Barrier Warrior: At one point Chacha brings up her shield to protect against a volley of missiles. It wasn't needed because the magic circle she was standing in had a shield of its own.
  • Beach Episode: Where Riiya met Marine. Daimaou's spy even tells the viewers that it's a beach episode.
  • Beast and Beauty: Umibouzu and Marine, despite the former's sincere feelings getting brushed off by the latter.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Seravy and Dorothy. He wishes she would return to how she originally was when they were young (when she was still a demure lady-type with natural golden curled locks, instead of the feisty amazon with magically dyed red-pink straight hair that she is now) and she hates the fact that he's always going to be magically better than her, no matter what she does (ironically, it's eventually revealed that it's actually is his love for her which inspires him to be all-powerful, the sheer purity of which enables him to constantly surpass any and all limitations). Also Rascal-sensei and Mayachon-sensei, who were childhood rivals, but are secretly attracted to each other, though they Cannot Spit It Out.
  • Betty and Veronica: Shiine and Riiya for Chacha.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: We only see Barabaraman get mildly miffed once but creepy roots grow when he gets mad.
  • Big Bad: Daimaou (anime only). He doesnít serve as this throughout the whole show, however- Chacha destroys him in Episode 50.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Seravy always coming to the rescue while wearing poor disguises.
  • Big Eater: Riiya LOVES to eat!
  • Blessed with Suck: Poppy's telepathy.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: After Marine walks away angry at Chacha again, she notices people are staring so she switches to her "nice girl" mode because it's a Shojo anime.
  • Butt-Monkey: Barabaraman-sensei
  • The Cameo: In OVA 1, Pac-Man gets summoned by Chacha to capture Poppy.
  • Cat Girl: Shironeko.
  • Characterization Marches On: Seravy the borderline Jerkass Jerk with a Heart of Gold used to be a stern yet kind teacher in the first few episodes.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Riiya has this.
  • Cheerful Child: Shiine, who plays this up to contrast himself from Riiya.
  • Children Do the Housework: Dorothy is an ever-so-slightly Wicked Stepmother to Shiine and makes him do her cleaning and cooking. By the time the series takes place, he's grown to like it.
  • Chromatic Arrangement / Freudian Trio: Chacha (red, ego), Riiya (green, id), Shiine (blue, super ego)
  • Clip Show: 5 of them.
    • Episode 14 recaps Chacha's continual victories over Daimao's minions while Sorges tries to figure out how to beat her.
    • Episode 26 is a recap of Episode 3 with the in-universe framing of Yakko visiting Chacha while she tends to Seravy's house.
    • Episode 40 is a recap of Chacha getting the Phoenix Sword with Shiine reminiscing over breakfast.
    • Episode 51 is mostly a recap of all the important episodes while Chacha reflects on her victory over Daimaou.
    • Finally, Episode 65 is a recap of all the episodes Dr. Mikeneko appeared in as he prepares to fight Chacha again- unaware that the world is at peace and that there is no one is fighting anymore.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Chacha. Sheís ditzy and often silly.
    • Principal Urara isn't much better, apparently not realizing the gravity of situations.
  • Cock Fight: Shiine and Riiya, a lot.
  • The Comically Serious: Access
  • Cool Sword: The Phoenix sword.
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": Orin's grandpa.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: Doris.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Shiine vs Umibozou the sea giant.
    • Chacha and Pickle vs. Seravy
    • Generally, Magical Princess vs. anyone — all she has to do is hit them with her attack, and they're finished.
  • Cute Little Fangs: Riiya's fangs often show up when he's grinning widely, as he's a wolf.
  • Cuteness Proximity: People just can't help but hug Riiya in his wolf form (except for Marine).
  • Cute Witch: Chacha in the manga, Marin, Yakko.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Yakko is the parody of this trope.
  • Demoted to Extra: Poppy was a side character in the manga who had a recurring appearance from time to time. In the anime, he only appeared in the OVAs.
  • De-power: Chacha gives up her Magical Princess items to seal the gate to hell in episode 56.
  • Didn't Think This Through: In Dr. Mikeneko's third and final outing before he reforms, he creates the biggest mech yet, around the size of a skyscraper. However, this time itís so big that he canít even move it an inch.
  • Dirty Coward: Marin in the anime when things get rough she conjurers a huge shell and hides in it.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Occasionally, the villains get distracted by how cute Chacha as Magical Princess is. Bariki Massuru in particular briefly stops fighting to try and date/kiss her.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Yakko was a wizard like Chacha but switched to alchemy in later appearances.
  • Dub Name Change: In the English dub:
    • Orin - Suzu
    • Piisuke - Chicky
    • Daimao - Daimaru
    • Que - Cula
    • Magical Princess's weapons:
      • Beauty Serene Arrow - Magical Selene Arrow
      • Wing Kris - Wing Sword Of The Phoenix
      • Bird Shield - Ban Shield
  • Dumb Muscle: Riiya is both ridiculously strong... and ridiculously stupid.
  • Easy Amnesia: Riiya in the third episode.
  • Energy Ball: Seravy tosses some of these in the fight against Daimaou.
  • Evil Laugh: Daimaou loves giving these off whenever he can.
  • Face of a Thug: Rascal looks frightening and even has a brash personality to boot, but he adores his "precious" students and is very kind to them.
  • Fairy Tale Free-for-All: Plenty of fairy tale references abound here. For a good example, Chacha summons three pigs in Episode 4, and they attack with- what else?- straw, wood, and bricks.
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Yakko had actually met Chacha, Riiya and Shiine when they were kids.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: Yordas and Hadenyans turn into a giant crab and lobster in Episode 25 as part of their order to kill Sorges. Naturally, neither are any match for Magical Princess.
  • Genki Girl: Chacha
  • Gentle Giant: Riiya's grandfather is positivity huge, but he's got a kind soul.
  • Good Costume Switch: Access.
  • Gratuitous English: Rascal loves to compliment beauty in English.
  • Head Pet: Piisuke.
  • HeelĖFace Turn: Ultimately, all of the bad guys — even those who do get killed and don't make repeat appearances — with the obvious exception of the Big Bad. They even appear as guests at the wedding in the series finale!
  • Hot-Blooded: Rascal-sensei
  • Hufflepuff House: Banana class led by Barabaraman and Orange class led by Mayachon.
  • Humongous Mecha: NYANDEBER Z!
  • Hurricane of Puns: This makes the series impossible to dub in a way that makes sense. Chacha is a Cute Witch who mixes up her spells. For example, trying to summon Riiya but getting an old man (jiya) instead or trying to turn dandelions into clouds (kumo) but instead making them turn into spiders (kumo).
  • Inept Mage: Chacha
  • Invincible Hero: Magical Princess. Most of the villains were lucky to even get to attack her. She did have trouble more frequently in Season 2, but she still won all but one fight in the end.
  • Invocation: "I call upon love, courage, and hope. Magical Princess, Holy Up!"
  • Ironic Name: In early episodes, the Urara School is alternatively referred to as the "Magic School", but does it actually teach magic? It looks just like your average elementary school except a lot crazier, and none of the subjects the teachers teach about are magic-related. It doesn't help that there are students in it that aren't magicians, such as Riiya or Orin.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Seravy. Seriously, the guy's just disinterested and indifferent most of the time, but at least he'll secretly show up in the sidelines of the action when things get too rough.
  • Likes Older Women: Yakko.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: The punchline of Episode 65. Dr. Mikeneko goes to fight Chacha again, but when he arrives, he discovered that the world is at peace and there is no need to fight anymore. Itís not all bad as he gets nominated as the royal scientist.
  • Lost in Translation: How inevitable and pervasive this would be is a big reason they've never been officially translated.
  • Love at First Sight: Shiine claims to feel this way for Chacha.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Seravy, Yakko.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Shiine
  • Love Potion: Yakko was always trying to slip these to Seravy.
  • Love Triangle: Marin likes Riiya (but hates his wolf form, which she doesn't realize is him) and Orin likes Shiine, but Shiine and Riiya both like Chacha. While Chacha is oblivious to the two's attraction to her in the anime, in the manga, she returns Riiya's feelings. Pickle likes Yakko, but Yakko — and Shironeko and Doris — likes Seravy, who is too busy having Belligerent Sexual Tension with Dorothy. Access courted Dorothy for a time until he left the kingdom, and Poppy had a crush on her.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: After a bow and a sword, the next weapon Chacha gets is a magic shield.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Access is actually Shiine's father.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Mikenekko, who fights Chacha three times throughout the anime with increasingly bigger mechs.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Chacha's transformation in the anime.
  • Maou the Demon King: Canít get more obvious than a main villain literally named Daimaou.
  • Master of Disguise: Seravy, Dorothy and Elisabeth. Well, kinda- their disguises are easy to see through, and Chacha and her friends tend to recognize them easily, but Daimaouís minions are always fooled.
  • Meaningful Name: Seravy is the Japanese pronunciation of C'est la vie, which pretty much describes his personality.
  • Monster of the Week: Played with. While itís very common to see a one-and-done villain, on occasion one of them would come back to fight Chacha again. Villains who did this include Que the vampire, Dr. Mikenekko, and the Twin Witches. During Episode 49, Daimaou summons three previous villains to defend the castle, and every villain comes back for a cameo in the final episode.
  • Mood Whiplash: Anything that involves Daimaou in the anime.
  • Ninja: Orin and her grandfather.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Yakko and Dorothy.
  • Ocular Gushers: Parodied with Riiya's grandfather, who, being a giant, nearly drowns everyone during the graduation ceremony with them.
  • Older Alter Ego: Chacha looks to be about 7-8, but as Magical Princess she looks to be around 16.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Dr. Mikenekko felt really sad after finding out that the Magical Princess was gone for good.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Justified- Daimaou cannot leave his castle because thereís a barrier around it preventing him from leaving, so he has to rely on his minions to attack Chacha.
  • Orphaned Punchline: After the OP got a new singer to replace SMAP for home releases, all jokes and references to the latter make less sense.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Marin can shapeshift at will to a normal human form and has elemental magical control of water.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Riiya comes from a family of them. He tries to invoke being a Noble Wolf, but as you can see from the picture above, it doesn't quite take.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Seravy (and Dorothy on occasion).
  • Posthumous Villain Victory: Sure, Soprano did get sent back to the Evil World empty handed after being beaten by Magical Princess, but during their fight, the Gate to Hell was accidentally opened, and thus Chacha and her friends are forced to give up their Transformation Trinkets to seal it off for good. So even though Soprano didn't beat Magical Princess, in a sense, she still won against her.
  • Power of Friendship: Itís revealed in Episode 36 that if Chacha, Riiya, and Shiine are not on good terms with each other, Chacha cannot transform.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: The Crescent Aurora Bracelet's Assistance Boomerang, which serves as Magical Princess's replacement after having all of it's items sealed along with the gates of hell. Although, it always turns into something else when it comes back.
  • Princess Protagonist: Chacha, and not only because of her Magical Princess form.
  • Put on a Bus: Sorges decides to go into hiding after being saved from Yordas and Haideyansu. It's revealed in Episode 56 that they took up living with him after Daimaou's defeat.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: The opening theme was originally sung by SMAP, but in all home releases, the opening theme was re-arranged and sung by a different vocalist.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: In episode 24, Chacha finds out she's the princess of the Magic Kingdom.
  • Retool: An unique case, as the anime becomes a straighter adaptation of the manga after Daimaou's defeat.
  • Running Gag: Seravy, Dorothy, and Elizabeth frequently watch over Chacha's group in completely transparent disguises.
  • Satellite Character: Yordas and Haideyansu's only notable personality trait is being loyal to Daimaou and nothing else.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Daimaou. See Orcus on His Throne for why.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: In contrast, Chacha's grandfather Genius was sealed in the Princess Medallion after losing a fight with Daimaou. He comes out once Daimaou's defeated.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Barabaraman and Rascal.
    • To a lesser extent, Riiya and Shiine.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Riiya does the Kamen Rider pose when he transforms for the first time.
    • The 2nd time Dr. Mikeneko shows up (this time with his siblings), they suit up in their pilot outfits to initiate their robot's combining sequence. Their suits resemble those from the Super Sentai team Gosei Sentai Dairanger.
    • You could make a drinking game out of all the Himechans Ribbon references. Bonus as that was the previous work of the animation studio.
  • Signature Laugh: "Ohoho-no-hooooo!" from Yakko serves as her battle cry.
  • Slapstick: All the main characters regardless of gender get put through the wringer on a regular basis in the name of comedy, especially Chacha.
  • Snap Back: A slight aversion with this example — Episode 19 ends with Dorothy, Shiine's master, trapped in a dungeon at her childhood home, then she's absent for much of Episode 20. In Episode 21 (the Hot Springs Episode), she's back in the countryside near the magic school with no explanation as to how she was able to get out (Fridge Logic suggests she realized she had magic powers and poofed her way home).
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • In its purest form, Seravy constantly, and rather disturbingly, with his unhealthy fixation on blonde Dorothy, to the point where he makes multiple efforts to magically sabotage her hair and deliberately provokes fights with her over something that happened some fifteen years before the series began (When Chacha and co. traveled back to the moment when Dorothy changed her hair to provoke Seravy into fighting her in a magic duel in Episode 62, they could have told Seravy to man up so this whole example wouldn't be existent). The fact that, as a grown man, he's deeply attached to and constantly carries a doll of young Dorothy. Which he diligently voices via ventriloquism.
    • Less horrifically concentrated, everybody in the cast who's in love with somebody does this at some point, but more often than not the female, rather than the male, members of the cast.
  • Start of Darkness: A 2-part time travel episode showed how Chacha and friends contributed to Dorothy's current personality and appearance.
  • Stylistic Suck: It's not that Seravy CAN'T do a good disguise, it's just that he never really bothers with it. Everybody seems to fall for his disguises however, with the exception of Riiya, who nobody believes anyway (then again, considering how powerful Seravy is, it may be a case of "The Emperor's New Clothes"-syndrome.)
  • Terrible Artist: Marine sends an advance letter to the school administration requesting to be transferred into the banana class during her second year. Unfortunately, her banana looks more like an apple, leaving her stuck in Barabaraman's class for another year.
  • Transformation Sequence: One that gets longer and longer as the series goes on. Worse, it's never shortened at any point; the entire sequence always played out in full, and it only got longer as her arsenal expanded. And in spite of the show's comedic nature, it's hardly ever parodied; the anime just played its Magical Girl tropes way too straight...
  • Transformation Trinket: Medallion (Chacha), Bracelet (Riiya) and Ring (Shiine).
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Cheetah the caveboy, Osu the boy with the really big head and Mary the conjurer. Also, our main trio of Chacha, Riiya, and Shiine.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Chacha's parents.
  • Underwear Swimsuit: In Episode 23, the students of Urara School have to participate in a race to a mountaintop, and the first obstacle is crosssing a lake. Riiya's solution is to simply strip to his boxers, tie his clothes on top of his head, and swim across.
  • The Unreveal: After the three-legged race in Episode 63, Principal Urara mentioned that Chacha and Barabaraman's win was so memorable, she claimed she could see the result with her eyes closed. Just as she is about to turn, her eyes are conveniently covered by Piisuke, who was flying in front of her.
  • Vain Sorceress: Dorothy
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Dr. Mikeneko and Cream the pastry chef always end their sentences with "nya" and "dasu", respectively.
    • Sorges tends to end his sentences with "gesu".
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Daimaou. Sure enough, the anime completely stops being serious after his defeat.
  • Villain Ball: Daimaou for depending on Sorges for relying on him to send assassins, the only decent one, a chalkboard eraser that could have been used for intel, he forces him to fight Chacha (though that one, at least, had a second form).
  • Visual Pun: Chacha's constant magical mishaps generally manifest as these — causing a door to "jellyfish" instead of "open up", turning dandelion fluff into an old man instead of Riiya. And no, they don't make sense in English — see Lost in Translation above.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Shiine and Riiya regard each other as rivals over Chacha's affection and won't hesitate to put each other down, but they do consider each other friends. Yakko and Marine are only friends because of their mutual hatred for Chacha, otherwise they don't get along.
  • Wham Line: In episode 32, Access was having a talk with Dorothy. This is the first thing he says:
    Dorothy: Why... why did you come here?
    Access: I left my son with you. He seems to be away.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: An odd example of this trope applying in a literal term- in Episode 20, once Nezumi Kid has his robots merge into a giant one, he disappears from the episode and is not seen again for the rest of the series, apparently being smart enough to know that fighting Magical Princess will not end well for him.
  • When All You Have Is a HammerÖ: Dr. Mike-Nekko's only solution for fighting the Magical Princess is Humongous Mecha.
  • Whip of Dominance: Rascal takes the "whip the students into shape" idea very literally and actually carries a whip with him to school and often brandishes it around, scaring the hell out of the kids who all see him as a Sadistic Teacher.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Doris, who's in love with Seravy and trying to get him to fall in love with him, by making himself into the mirror-image of his sister Dorothy's original appearance (which is what Seravy is smitten with).
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Parodied by Principal Urara. The woman has no eyelids!
  • Wizarding School: One of the ending themes is even called Welcome to Magical School!
  • Yandere: Yakko is the harmless variety. Marine's suitor Umibouzu, when he got mind-controlled; and his sister, Umibouko (on behalf of her brother whom she felt sorry for), until he reprimanded her and made her stop.

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