- "Mahari kumaha rita yanbara yan yan yan"—intro to the opening theme.
The manga was written and illustrated by Mitsuteru Yokoyama (of Gigantor and Giant Robo fame), and is said to have been influenced by the American sitcom Bewitched. It was published by Shueisha in Ribon magazine, running from 1966 to 1967 and culminating in a single volume.
The work was adapted to an anime, which was directed by Toshio Katsuta and animated by Toei Animation for air on NET (later TV Asahi). Originally running from 1966 to 1968, the series included 109 episodes. A sequel to the original anime, titled Sally the Witch 2, was produced later by Toei under director Osamu Kasai. It ran on TV Asahi between 1989 and 1991, with 88 episodes. An animated film for the series was also created by Toei in 1990 during the run of Sally the Witch 2.
The series follows Sally, princess of the 'witch world' Astoria (no, not that one). One day she teleports to mid-world (Earth) to make friends. She quickly makes two new friends as she uses her magic to scare off a criminal menacing two schoolgirls, Yoshiko Hanamura and Sumire Kasugano. The series consists mostly of the episodic misadventures of Sally and friends as she faces the world and a plethora of problems it has in store for her, with the help of magic.
The first 17 episodes of the original anime were created in black and white. After this, the series transitioned to colour, making Sally the Witch one of the first full-colour animes.
Tropes seen in this series include:
- Adaptational Name Change: Originally the series' name was Sunny the Witch (which would later be referenced in the Giant Robo OVA's), but when the series was animated the series and thus the protagonist's name was changed to Sally and the name stuck resulting in all reprints of the manga bearing the "Sally" name
- Adult Fear: In one episode, Sally's magic is taken away from her in a test to see if she is capable of being queen one day. Unfortunately, during a field trip, there's a thunderstorm, and Sally, Sumire, and Yoshiko are separated from their class. While trying to get back to them, they step on a loose rock and almost fall to their deaths, saved only by Sally's father intervening and giving her back her magic at the last moment. Of course, since Sally is magical it turned out fine, but three very young children were stranded away from their teacher, parents, and any adults who could help them, and about to fall off a cliff. Yikes.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Applies for the Italian dubs of both the '60s and '80s/'90s series. Also, the Spanish dub of the 1960s series had its own theme song, while the French-Canadian dub of same aired in Quebec used a French adaptation of the Japanese theme.
- An Ice Person: Sally's best friend from the magical worlds, Selene the Ice Princess.
- Bittersweet Ending: The original series finishes with Sally exposing her secret identity to save her school when it catches fire, then having to return to Astoria. The second series re-takes it from there, with Sally having to re-make her human life from scratch and start training on her own to become The High Queen when it's time.
- Brought Down to Normal: In the first series, Sally goes though this as a test from her father. Too bad it comes right when, during a field trip, she and her friends get in serious trouble. Her dad has to restore her magic before she and the other girls die.
- Canon Immigrant: Poron and Sally's grandfather never appeared in the manga and the 80's series added even more characters in addition to them.
- Christmas Episode: The third episode to the original anime takes place on Christmas.
- Comic-Book Time: The second series is supposed to take place directly after the first, meaning no time has passed in between and neither Sally nor her friends have aged, and yet it pretty clearly takes place in the 1980s, while the first series is very clearly set in the 1960s.
- Cute Witch: Sally. She sometimes has to use her powers in a more Magical Girl Warrior way in the second series, though, specially when dealing with Karen.
- Dark Magical Girl: In the 1989 version, Sally gains a rival in one of these: the embittered, emotionally broken Karen, daughter of her dad's old enemy. Obviously, she has a Heel–Face Turn when defeated.
- Dub Name Change: Averted in most of the foreign dubs of both the 1966 and 1989 TV series, with Sally retaining her name. The one exception is the French-Canadian Quebec dub of the '60s series which calls Sally Minifée, which is also the title of the series in that dub.
- Earworm: The opening theme music has been one for generations.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: Sally and Selene.
- Genre Shift: The first series was pretty much just a kids' comedy-drama, relying highly on slapstick and 1960's cartoon humor, while the second series was a far more run-of-the-mill magical girl anime (which may be why the 1989 series isn't considered a classic like the original.)
- Healing Magic Is the Hardest: Sally's magical powers do not include healing, so if she needs to heal people, she must either follow quests (first series - one of the Hanamura triplets is seriously injured, and she has to go searching for the cure) or learn special and complicated spells (second series - she has to combine Elemental Powers to even think of helping a young dancer with a bad leg before a special performance).
- Fallen Princess: Karen, which makes her a Dark Magical Girl after she and her Jerk Ass father are kicked out of Astoria for the first's actions. Sally's adoptive brother Cab turns out to be a Fallen Prince too, as the son of the Royal Couple of the destroyed Gold and Silver Kingdom, entrusted to the custody of Sally's parents when he was a newborn.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Sumire, before she befriends Yoshiko and Sally. A whole episode of the 1989 series focuses on the possibility of her being sent off to a Boarding School and losing her friends.
- Magic Wand: One of the two trope codifiers in anime, the other being Chappy. Subverted in that Sally only uses a wand in the OP of the original series, but in the second series she gets a regular one.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Sorta. When Poron gets upset and starts screaming and crying out loud, she loses control of her magical powers and things start getting weird.
- Manchild: Sally's magic teacher, Sherry. She reaches Too Dumb to Live extremes when she reverses the age of Sally's neighbor and is slated for execution because, when she did it, she broke one of the cardinal laws of the Magical World: Not interfering directly to change a human's destiny.
- Missing Mom / Promotion to Parent:
- Yoshiko had to act as caretaker for her triplet younger brothers as her widowed father worked long and odd hours as a taxi driver.
- Sally also gets one when her adoptive siblings Cab and Poron go to live with her. In fact, a whole episode in the second series is dedicated to Sally trying to hide this when it's time for Yamada-sensei to talk to her parents. The Royal Couple shows up later in human disguises and convince the teacher that they're the "workaholic but caring" type (which they are, just... Not the way he expects). It works.
- Mundane Utility: Once in a while Sally used her powers for housework. One 1989 episode has her getting in trouble for it, and the punishment involves an Evil Twin.
- The Ojou: Sumire is the "kind and quiet," type. Azami is more of the "bossy and spoiled, but not evil" one.
- Over Protective Dad: Sally's father, sometimes.
- Parents as People: Mr. Hanamura loves his four kids and they love him back, but he can't be with them a lot due to work, and he often apologizes to Yoshiko for having to give her a Promotion to Parent. The Hasegawas are rather doting and caring to Sumire, but sometimes they don't seem to really understand her feelings.
- Plucky Rebellious Princess: Sally, and how. While she doesn't openly rebel against the Magical World itself, she is NOT likely to change her mind when her parents confront her on something.
- Precocious Crush: Poron gains one on Yamada-sensei, Sally's Cool Teacher. Who is Happily Married, and his wife is just about to give birth. Whoops.
- Shout-Out: Tom and Jerry make a cameo in the 60s OP.
- Spiritual Successor: Himitsu no Akko-chan to the first series (obviously, the actual sequel didn't exist yet.) Both were made by TOEI, had a lot of the same people working on them, and Akko-chan took over Sally's timeslot directly after the latter's series finished. The last episode even has Sally Breaking the Fourth Wall to thank her viewers for watching and introduce them to her friend Akko-chan, which segues into a preview for the first episode of Akko-chan where there would otherwise be a Next Episode Preview.
- Star-Crossed Lovers and Puppy Love: In an episode of the 1989 series, Yoshiko falls in love with a gentle and free-spirited boy named Koutarou, who happens to be a genie of the weather. Yoshiko also is gravely sick and almost dies, so Koutarou has to leave so the cold weather will go with him and she'll get better.
- Strong Family Resemblance: The five Hanamuras look a LOT alike. Six, if we include the Missing Mom (we get to see a photo of her).
- Tomboy and Girly Girl:
- Yoshiko and Sumire.
- Karen and Sally.
- Sally and Selene.
- Visual Pun: One of the openings has the cast in a South Seas setting so that Sally (or "Sarii") can be seen in a sari.
- Witch Species
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: In the 1989 series, Sally's mother is specifically mentioned to be the prettiest lady in the Magical Realms. So much that, when she was a young princess, a Vain Sorceress put her into an enchanted sleep, and Sally's father had to give her a True Love's Kiss to save her. Hm, where have we seen this, huh? Little did the Queen know, the Sorceress would later return and try her hand at getting revenge — now targeting Sally, Sumire, and other human girls... Sally only manages to defeat her when she takes another option by willingly eating one of her poisoned apples rather than abandoning the other victims, making the Sorceress have a change of heart.