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Manga / Hime-chan's Ribbon
aka: Himechan No Ribon

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All she wanted was to become alot more feminine.

Parareru, Parareru, [insert name here] ni naare!

Himeko "Hime-chan" Nonohara is a magical Tomboy with a Girly Streak of the cute witch type who can transform into anybody in the human world for one hour. This is due to her getting a magic ribbon from her alternate universe counterpart Erika, who just happens to be a princess in The Magical Kingdom. For one year, Himeko is allowed to use the ribbon as she sees fit because it is needed for Erika to study the human world. There are a few limitations, however:

  • If she does not turn back to normal before the hour is up, she is stuck that way until she dies.
  • The person into whom she transforms is still in existence.
  • She needs to have some way of seeing herself in order for the magic to work.
  • The ribbon only works on humans.
  • No one is allowed to learn about the ribbon's power.
  • You say the incantation backwards to reverse the transformation.
  • Stopping Time really messes up the ribbon's internal timer.

Despite the rule that no one must know about her secret, Daichi Kobayashi (Himeko's eventual best friend), is the first one to find out about it after a series of incidents she got involved with. However, if anyone finds out about it, they and everyone involved are under the threat of memory erasure. Which, while that would help Hikaru Hibino (Himeko's self-named rival for Daichi's affections) in some ways... if only someone could explain that to her so that she would stop almost discovering the secret.

The original manga was created by Megumi Mizusawa, and ran in the appropriately-named Ribon magazine from 1990 to 1994. It received an anime adaptation in 1992 by NAS and Studio Gallop, and ran for 61 episodes. It was the first of four Ribon anime adaptations to air back-to-back on TV Tokyo's 6PM timeslot.

A remake manga entitled Hime-chan no Ribbon Colorful also ran in Ribon from 2009 to 2010, created by Shiho Komiyuno, who was also responsible for Ribon's adapation of Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z. The setting was updated to the present day, and Pokota (the stuffed lion) was replaced by a shape-changing Princess Erika (in the form of a cat).

This series provides examples of:

  • Berserk Button: Do not ever confuse Pokota with a cat. He is a lion!
  • The Bet: Sei's driving force for trying to steal Himeko's ribbon was all over a bowl of ramen.
  • Bland-Name Product: Beginning with the opening credits, even!
  • Bokukko: Inverted. Daichi expects Himeko to refer to herself as "boku" due to her boyish appearance and behavior, but he is surprised when she uses the female-exclusive "atashi".
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Himeko goes normally through this, but keeps going worse as time goes by. She lampshades this about her crush on Kouichi at the start of the show.
  • Crash-Into Hello: In Sei's first appearance, he gets accidentally hit by Himeko's schoolbag.
  • Cute Bruiser: Himeko is a terror on the soccer field.
  • Cut Short: The anime has an unusual count of 61 episodes. In-show evidences suggest it could have been more (at least 78), but it wounds up with a rushed and abrupt ending.
  • Death Is Cheap: As it turns out, death is a cheap way to escape the eternal consequences of ribbon misuse. Because while being stuck in a transformed form is permanent and can't be undone by any magic, apparently the same doesn't apply to death.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Variation. The original OP sequence was changed to remove shots of Himeko and Daichi double-riding on a bicycle, after parental complaints that the series was setting a bad example. This gets lampshaded in the show - every time they ride together, they pass a guard that yells at them for it.
  • Embarrassing Damp Sheets: Yumeko has a nightmare and wets her bed in the anime's 41th episode.
  • First Girl Wins: Applied to both Himeko and Daichi's romantic interests. No matter how hard Sei tries to win Himeko's heart, or how Hikaru tries to with Daichi's, they meet each other before any other plausible love interest combination appears.
  • First-Name Basis: It takes a while, but Himeko, Daichi, and Sei know each other on a first name basis as "friends".
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: The time-reversal magic would've been very useful on at least one occasion where Himeko completely forgets about it.
  • Gender Vocabulary Slip: Himeko saying "I'm in the same middle school" leads to Daichi suddenly realize she's a girl — she uses the female-only "atashi".
  • Genki Girl: Himeko's peers actually refer to her as a very "energetic girl".
  • Hair Reboot: Partially with Erika. While it isn't immediate, upon returning to the Magical Kingdom, Erika's hair regains its original length gradually, going from Himeko's short boyish cut to her original length.
  • He Knows Too Much: Himeko's mother wrote a book. The events of the book were duplicated within the show against her. Please note that this is what leads to the earning of the growing/shrinking power.
  • Heroic Bystander: The driver who helped with rescuing Shintaro from the gun-tooting kidnapper. As soon as Himeko and Daichi informs him about the incident, he instantly descides to help them out.
  • Hit Me, Dammit!: Himeko says this to Daichi after they had a discussion about Sei faking his (original) interest for her, because she felt guilty about slapping him.
  • Important Haircut: Erika gets one of these when she switches places with Himeko.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Himeko, once she acquires the ability to increase or decrease the size of things. Since she is trying to keep things secret, we don't see much of the growth ability.
  • Instant Fan Club: Some of the school's handsome students have fanclubs devoted to them, like Kouichi's and Daichi's. When Sei transfers to the school, he instantly gets a club as well on the first day... even if it meant Daichi's fan club breaking up that day because they all left to join Sei's fan club. However, Daichi's fan club reforms after he leaves.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Hikaru teams up with one of these in an attempt to expose Himeko's secret.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Even though Himeko firstly loved her senpai, she eventually found out that he loved her older sister, and that she reciprocated his feelings. She attempts to play matchmaker while transforming into them, and she succeeds.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sei went to the human's world with "evil" intentions (a bet), but he eventually had a change of heart... even though his feelings for Himeko can mean trouble.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: While this is played straight in the manga, the anime actually avoids it with the presence of boyband SMAP. That is, of course, because one of the band's members was voice acting in the show to begin with.
  • Lethal Chef: Himeko's cookies make little girls cry.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: Sei's house (which was actually an abandoned loan) vanishes when he leaves.
  • Living Toys: Pokota is one after Himeko gets the ribbon. Level 4 on the scale.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Most of the time it is, but cheap loopholes get exploited on occasion.
  • Magical Girl: Of the Cute Witch type. A cute little girl who gains the ability to transform into anybody in the human world (for one hour) after gaining a magic hair ribbon.
  • Magical Girl Queenliness Test: A variation. Erika created the ribbon, and Himeko must use it for one year to determine whether it is useful, and consequently, if Erika will prove herself worthy to inherit the crown.
  • The Masquerade: Nobody else is allowed to learn about what Himeko can do. Memory loss is an effective deterrent.
  • Men Don't Cry: Gender Flipped with Himeko, because of her tomboyishness, and only when other people are around.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Yumeko is convinced that Erika is Himeko's girlfriend.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Himeko's mother, Hanako, is a writer who likes to take the real life ideas and use them in her stories.
  • New Transfer Student: Sei gets introduced as a newly transferred student in Himeko's class.
  • Only Six Faces: It's lucky that everyone in the Magic Kingdom looks exactly like someone in the human world.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: Himeko's and Erika's relationship is very much like this even though they spend a huge amount of time apart, saying they love each other, etc.
  • Punny Name: The women in the Nonohara household have feminine names, since Hana(ko), Ai(ko), Hime(ko) and Yume(ko) mean "Flower", "Love", "Princess", and "Dream", respectively. The Japanese suffix "ko" serves to give a child a very feminine name, as well. It gets really ironic in Himeko's case.
  • Recap Episode: Six of them within the last seventeen episodes. They're all in pairs too, which makes getting through the last quarter of this anime a chore.
  • The Rival: Hikaru Hibino wants to think of herself as one for Himeko, although she often doesn't acknowledge her.
  • Secret Diary: Aiko finds Himeko's diary, and from it she finds that her sister had feelings for Hasekawa.
  • Secret-Keeper: Daichi becomes the secret keeper for Himeko about her ability to magically transform after she had to do it in front of him to save somebody.
  • Sentimental Music Cue: One of the piano pieces in the soundtrack is used this way.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Daichi to Himeko, and viceversa. It happens so many times due to many incidents (though they feel something for each other as time passes by).
  • Shout-Out: A very Mickey Mouse-like plush appears in Yumeko's room in episode 41.
  • The Show Must Go On: Himeko's magically-arranged SMAP "appearance" at the school.
  • Stable Time Loop: When Himeko visits her future self, there is any consequence to the main plot's timeline.
  • Third-Person Person: Yumeko uses this because she is only a child. Although strictly speaking, she refers to herself as "Yume" rather than "Yumeko".
  • Time Stands Still: Himeko acquires this ability, with all its unexpected consequences.
  • Toast of Tardiness: Complete with the toast, even! Inverted when Himeko has to go to school early, and everyone at her house panics and thinks that they all overslept.
  • Tomboy: Himeko acts more as a boy than a girl, for the surprise of Erika, who is her magical Alternate Universe self. Her name even gives an ironic layer to her character ("Hime" means "princess", and "ko" is a suffix that Japanese use to give a girl a more feminine name). However, as the plot goes on, Himeko shows more aspects of a Tomboy with a Girly Streak, than just a mere tomboy.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl:
    • Himeko is an impulsive Genki Girl who is good at sports and has Boyish Short Hair. Her Alternate Universe counterpart Erika is a near-mirror image of Himeko, except that she is a long-haired girly princess.
    • Another foil to Himeko is her sister Aiko, a soft-spoken, domesticated girl who is considered very beautiful. Himeko would like to be more feminine like her.
  • Transformation Sequence: Visibly lacking in Fanservice.
  • Transformation Trinket: The titular "ribbon". It, however, only works with the Earth's humans, as members of the Kingdom of Magic count as non-humans.
  • Twin Switch: Himeko and Erika pull this off after Himeko gets stuck as Hikaru Hibino for a brief period of time.
  • Twin Telepathy: Erika and Himeko share a bit of this.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Played straight with Gori-sensei's beautiful wife in the manga. The anime, however, averts this.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Daichi doesn't want to hit Himeko after she apologizes for the first big fight they both had.

Lulerapa, lulerapa, moto no sugata ni naare!

Alternative Title(s): Himechan No Ribon, Himechan No Ribbon, Himechans Ribbon