Magical Girl Pretty Sammy (魔法少女プリティサミー, Mahō Shōjo Puriti Samī) is an anime based on the magically transformed version of the Sasami character from the various Tenchi Muyo! series. The Pretty Sammy OVAs have been dubbed into English by Pioneer USA (before it became Geneon), while the television series (which is also known as Magical Project S) is only available subtitled. The OAVs and the television series take place in different continuities, although they are similar in many respects.
Pretty Sammy debut
Magical Girl Pretty Sammy originated not in animation but in voice drama, beginning in 1993 with the release of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki CD Special 1 (Creation of the Universe Journey Across Space-Time). Here, Washu's newest invention, the Dimensional Controller, is glitched by the girls, creating several parallel Tenchi! worlds. Stories from the drama would later be adapted for Tenchi Universe' "Time and Space Adventures" arc (episodes 11-13). A second CD release, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki's Christmas, incorporated ideas revisited again in the series, drawing on Tsunami as the source of Pretty Sammy's magical powers.
The music video for "Pretty Sammy, the Magical Girl", originally part of the Tenchi Muyo! Soundfile, marked Pretty Sammy's anime debut. After having a kiss between her and Tenchi interrupted by the villainous Kiyone, Sasami must transform into her magical alter-ego to save her love and teach his kidnappers a lesson. Though the Soundfile was never released officially in the U.S., this short can be seen during the end credits of the Mihoshi Special.
The Mihoshi Special was the first time Sammy was ever featured as a full-fledged character in the animated medium, and after her appearance in Episode 12 of Tenchi Universe (Tenchi Muyo! TV: Time and Space Adventures Part 2) in a costume that more resembles Sailor Moon's than her original outfit, the magical girl would go on to star in OVA specials and television series of her own.
In the series, Sasami Kawai (河合 砂沙美 Kawai Sasami) is a cute young Japanese girl who is asked by magical queen-to-be Tsunami of Juraihelm to become "Magical Girl Pretty Sammy" (プリティーサミー), a champion of justice. She is constantly harassed by Pixy Misa (ピクシィミサ), an evil magical girl created by a rival candidate for queen of the magical world, Ramia. Sasami is unaware that Pixy Misa is actually her best friend, Misao Amano (天野美紗緒 Amano Misao), who herself is unaware of the transformation forced on her via hypnosis by Ramia's brother, Rumiya.
Collectively, the various Pretty Sammy vehicles spoof the magical girl (mahō shōjo) genre of anime (particularly Sailor Moon, with the "bishōjo senshi"/"champion of justice" theme), using the characters from AIC's popular Tenchi Muyo! series (where Sasami is known as Sasami Masaki Jurai). Ryo-Ohki (who is a male in both of the Pretty Sammy series) is Pretty Sammy's assistant and plays the same role that Luna (of the Sailor Moon series) had done, including keeping the fact he could talk a secret.
Both the OVAs and the TV series are notable for the quality of the musical tracks. Many of the tracks are parodies of popular karaoke tunes.
The other major characters of Tenchi Muyo; Tenchi, Washu, Tsunami, Ryoko, Ayeka, Mihoshi, and Kiyone, also appear in different roles in the Pretty Sammy OVAs and (Magical Project S) series.
- Sasami Kawai/Pretty Sammy
- Misao Amano/Pixy Misa
- Tenchi Kawai
- Washu Kobayashi
- Mihoshi Mizutani
- Yuri Kiyone
- Ayeka Takada
- Ryoko Orikasa
- Chihiro Kawai (河合 ちひろ, Kawai Chihiro)
Chihiro is Sasami's and Tenchi's mother and the owner of the CD-Vision music store. Once a successful pop singer, she is a huge fan of karaoke, and regularly leaves her daughter no choice but to sing with her, much to Sasami's annoyance. Her biggest hit song was Ai no Makeikusa (Losing the Fight of Love; Your Hiroshi in the dubbed version), which is featured in the beginning of the first episode, and as the ending theme for the second episode of Pretty Sammy OVA.
Her addiction to karaoke is ceaseless, and she even goes as far as to raid the cash register in order to buy a new high-end personal computer, mistaking it for a high-tech karaoke machine. When Pixy Misa causes the software to malfunction, she goes into extreme withdrawals. Kiyone and Mihoshi are left dealing with her while Tenchi and Sasami go to Akihabara to look for software, a search that is complicated by Bif Standard's takeover.
She appears again as one of the members of the Team Sexy Mrs. (Team Lovely Madams) in Magical Project S, but she has no relationship with Sasami or Tenchi.
- Voiced by: Rica Matsumoto (Japanese), Ellen Gerstell (English, ep. 1), Rebecca Forstadt (English, ep. 2-3), Diane Michelle (English, singing voice)
- Yuri Kouzuki (上月 由里, Kōzuki Yuri), Yuka Shinjo (新城 由佳, Shinjō Yuka), and Yuma Shiratori (白鳥 結真, Shiratori Yuma)
Yuri, Yuka, and Yuma are Ayeka's servants. Other than providing basic services for Ayeka, such as dragging her carriage around and handling her stuff, they are usually sent out to spy on Ryoko's activities, as Ryoko also has a huge crush on Tenchi as well.
- Shigeki Amano (天野 茂樹, Amano Shigeki)
Shigeki is Misao's father. He is a world-famous composer. One of his notable music compositions would serve as Misao's theme song.
Shigeki left his wife, Kotoe, and his family, after a bitter argument with her, leaving Misao heartbroken. He was seen in Misao's flashbacks.
- Voiced by: Takehiro Murozono (Japanese)
- Kotoe Amano (天野 琴恵, Amano Kotoe)
Kotoe is Misao's mother and Shigeki's estranged wife (though she is unnamed in the OAV).
After Shigeki abandoned his family, Kotoe was left in charge of taking care of Misao. Although she seems to be a very busy business woman that is hardly around, she does deeply care about her daughter and works hard to support her. Her only appearances in the OVA series are during Misao's flashbacks, when she was arguing with Shigeki when he was leaving them, and when Misao reminiscing about how her parents would take her out for a walk.
- Opening: Chanto Yume o Mimasho! ("Dream Away"; Japanese version performed by Chisa Yokoyama, English version performed by Sharyn Scott)
- Ending 1 (episode 1): Baka ("Idiot") [Money No More] (Japanese version performed by Chisa Yokoyama, English version performed by Sharyn Scott)
- Ending 2 (episode 2) and Insert Song (episode 1): Ai no Makeikusa ("Losing the Fight of Love"; performed by Rika Matsumoto); substituted in English version with Your Hiroshi (performed by Diane Michelle)
- Ending 3 (episode 3): Mahô no Tobira ("Magical Door"; Japanese version performed by Chisa Yokoyama, English version performed by Sharyn Scott)