Good Magical Girl Parody
Agent Excel | Hillsboro, OR USA | 11/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD set consists of the first half of the Magical Project S TV series about an elementary school girl Sasami chosen by Juraihelm Queen candidate Tsunami to restore the balance of good and evil in the universe - a precondition for Tsunami's ascension. Sasami transforms into Pretty Sammy to fight the evil Pixy Misa. The universe of the series is one typical of animes targeting young girls. It is a world that is basically sweet and innocent with evil nothing more than a word. The goals of the villians are nothing more serious than to embarrass Pretty Sammy and make her bawl. Nothing other than monsters are seriously hurt in this show. The show reminds me of Cardcaptor Sakura except that it is done in a tongue in cheek manner. If you enjoy other Magic Girl shows like Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura and you don't mind parodies of this genre, you will probably like this show.The extra section of this DVD set contains a hilarious parody of Cinderella that you have to see to believe.It should be noted that the only audio track is in Japanese. English subtitles are available of course."
Agent Excel | 11/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Pretty Sammy TV series(aka Magical Project S)is on DVD at last! The first disc has episodes 1-7. The second disc has episodes 8-13 and the extras(by the way, the extras are cool!). The extras are an art gallery(in color), the non-credit opening(Yume Mireba Yume Mo Yume Janai), the first non-ending(PERSONA), and three bonus theaters which are Cinderella Misa(a funny verison of Cinderella starring Misao/Pixy Misa), the 26 secrets of Sammy(a little presentation showing Sammy's magical attacks), and the Secrets of the Kawai Family(a tour of Sasami's house and family). This 2-disc DVD set also comes with a pencil board(while supplies last)! Get this if you like Pretty Sammy and/or Sasami(this also is a great addition with the Mihoshi Special and the Pretty Sammy OVA)."
Blows most comedy anime out of the water!
AlucardsQuest | 05/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"~I don't exactly know what a "send-up" is, (nor do I care to use the term regardless) but I know a parody (an actual genre) when I see one. This series has everything you love and hate about "magical girl" anime, but never takes itself too seriously in that respect. There are many references to how lead character Sasami's magical baton looks "crummy", her Pretty Sammy costume being "lame", and innappropriate outfit not making much sense... ("her mini-skirt is one of her charming points"). They creators even go so far as to knock such sacred ground as transformations and magical girl poses. Almost nothing is held back within parodying that genre, but you'll be laughing so hard and so much that you'll hardly care.
~True that this tv series has nothing to do with the 3 part Pretty Sammy OVA, but that series itself was literally disjointed and nonsensical. Here the nonsense is given the spotlight, almost as the writers were saying that there was no way to tell this story with a straight face. If you are of the crowd who think that some shojo (girly) animes take themselves too seriously... Magical Project S is for you.
~The typical Tenchi Muyo women fighting over one guy scenerio was getting in the way of Sasami's life, so old favorite like Ayeka and Ryoko are pushed far into the background (and given name changes) by necessity. So gone is the confusing school for all ages, in favor of a full on elementary school where our heroine has more friends than just Misao, and an interesting school faculty with special cameos from Tenchi. I belive this was done to hone in on Sasami's younger fan-base from Tenchi Muyo. Her best friend is still Misao, but her being sick all the time in the Pretty Sammy OVAs seemed a pathetic attempt to make the viewer feel sorry for her. Instead, she is given a more believable setting of her parents being too busy with work to spend a lot of time at home. Japan is in a major recession after all. Plus it creates a great contrast to Sasami's parents, who are surrounded in mystery as to how they met but are near perfect seperations of Sasami's new personality.
~Yes it's true! Sasami is given a real personality instead of the stereotypical "Japanese demure pre-teen housewife in training" guise. She is given "faults" to make her more human, can one really complain about that? She gets angry and silly and even lazy, with tomboyish hints (see how excited she gets when reading Shonen "boys" comics).
~For the uninitiated the premise is familiar, but never predictable. A young girl named Sasami is given magical powers by a young lady named Tsunami from a planet called Jurai in order to become queen of her planet and restore balance to both worlds. Her rival in queen candidacy, (Ramia) tries to smite the attempt by forcing magical powers on to another girl, (and coinicidentally Sasami's best friend Misao) into stopping Tsunami from becoming queen by causing all kinds of trouble for Sasami. And although the story-telling point of view may originate from the perspective of young girls, like most good anime it never glues itself to that generic formula enough to make the male viewers gag. For instance we aren't forced into seeing Bishonen (long-haired pretty boys) showing off how sensitive yet handsome they are. This is not typical shojo, (girls comics) but isn't shonen (boys comics) as much as Tenchi, (some may argue isn't shonen at all, but I beg to differ). There are some more serious scenes involving girl friendships, but they aren't totally beyond the reach of any guy with a heart lurking somewhere in his chest. And the drama certainly isn't forced, but feels very real.
~I tell you this anime is a complete surprise, and had American cartoons hit that close to home when I was Sasami's age I'd probably be less like her shy best friend Misao and more like Sasami.
~I must give both of these DVDs a perfect score, but there are some issues that needed addressing. Although well drawn the level of detail found in this TV series in contrast to the OVA is not nearly as eye pleasing, (costuming for Jurians in particular is more "generic"). The animators seemed to be content with a more cute look, but that is acceptable. And while I longed for this series to be dubbed in English with the Tenchi USA seiyu (voice actor) regulars that I fell in love with years ago, it isn't truly missed. Besides which the group has since "disbanded", (as you might have noticed watching the OVAs in English how voice actors changed) where as Japanese voice actors never change.
~Real anime fans shouldn't watch butchered English dubbed versions anyway, but the subtitling here isn't without it's own flaws. For instance, my main gripe is the actual title of this US production. Why wasn't this called Magical Girl Pretty Sammy like it's OVA counterpart? I wonder if anyone at Pioneer even remembers what Magical Project S is supposed to mean?
~Anyway if you need a laugh or a hundred from your anime, I dare call this one of the most consistantly funny animes I've seen since Rumiko Takahashi's (Ranma ½, Inu Yasha, Maison Ikkoku) original Urusei Yatsura. I also recommend the new Tenchi Muyo GXP, Dual and El Hazard and The Wanderers: El Hazard (another unfortunate name change) series."
Magical project s
Michael P. Garcia | 07/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"great anime! nothing but the best from the cutest girl from the tenchi muyo series."