Released Year : January 7, 1994 to June 30, 1995
No of Episodes : 74
Genre : Adventure,Comedy,Fantasy,Magic,Romance,Shoujo
Plot : Akazukin Chacha is the story of a young magical girl (Mahō Shōjo) named Chacha. Living with her guardian in a cottage on Mochi-mochi mountain is Seravi, who is her teacher and also the fictional world's greatest magician. Chacha is clumsy in casting her spells because, throughout the anime, when she summons something, it often turns out to be something that she didn't mean to cast, for example, spiders (kumo) instead of a cloud (also kumo). At times in the anime when she and her friends are in trouble, however, her spells do work. Living on the same mountain is a boy gifted with enormous strength named Riiya. It is described that Riiya came from a family of werewolves who can instantly change into a wolf whenever they want. Quite far from Mochi-mochi mountain lies Urizuri mountain. Dorothy, also a well known magician in her land, lives in a castle on Urizuri mountain. Living with her is Shiine, her student. Shiine is adept when it comes to casting spells. He is a young wizard and most of his knowledge about magic was taught to him by Dorothy. The first 2 seasons were originally created by the anime team. Most of the stories in season 3 are based on the manga. (Source: Wikipedia)
Our Review : A parody of fairy tales for those who want some quick laughs. Animated by Studio Gallop, famous mostly for the anime adaptations of Rurouni Kenshin, Initial D and Yu Gi Oh. Directed by Tsuji Hatsuki, who also did the prequel OVAs of Rurouni Kenshin and the second Yu Gi Oh GX. I can’t say I am thrilled by any of that, as I am not with the show itself.
STORY SECTION: 4/10 [A case of starting a story without having thought of one, making up one along the way, and eventually, giving up on it entirely.]
Analysis: Premise 1/2, Pacing 1/2, Complexity 2/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 0/2
- Although there is a story, it is very undermined in favor of comedy. The series can be divided into 3 story arks.
* Episodes 1 to 24 have no story whatsoever. It’s just silly kids doing silly things, while a villain wants to kill Chacha for no given reason. It’s slapstick comedy with some lame Mahou Shojo overtones.
* Episodes 25 to 56 are a typical fairy tale, with princesses, knights, evil demons, some personal drama, some weapon power ups and your run-of-the mill final showdown. Meaning, it’s like the first ark, but with a scenario in between.
* Episodes 57 to 74 have no story again! It feels a lot like the first story ark, only without villains and magical transformations. Pure slapstick comedy. Still, this part fleshes out its characters, based on previous events and flashbacks and it’s generally coloring without going anywhere.
This is not a title you watch for its story. But all this presentation is still quite original.
- The series suffers from a lot of repetitiveness. The plot is almost always about a bad guy chasing Chacha, the kids doing something stupid, falling into a trap and being saved at the nick of time by a lame Deus ex Machina solution. Still, the comedy aspect of the story is not predictable half the time and there are revelations, plot twists and character coloring along the way, making the story not so boring.
- A very good aspect of the story is how it manages to colorize all its main characters; especially in the third ark. Although the series has no general point, it focuses on its characters and saves face, allowing you to at least bond with them.
- Since when did slapstick comedy have realism? How can a witch convince us that it is reasonable to summon a dinosaur simply by waving your hands? What is the trick behind Holy Up’s transformation? WHY ARE THE VILLAINS SO TERRIBLY STUPID AND LOSE IN SUCH IDIOTIC WAYS ALL THE TIME? Nothing makes sense in the series. And that is usually the reason of why it is funny.
- If the series had ended with the second story ark, you could say it had a simple ending. But because of the storyless third ark, it has no conclusion. It TRIED to give us one but as usual, it trashed it just for more humor.
ART SECTION: 5/10 [Road runner stares at the coyote running away from the dynamite, before blowing up like a firework.]
Analysis: General Artwork 1/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 1/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 1/2
- The series is mixing up ideas from fairy tales, JRPGs, and concepts from other genres. It has a very good variety in shapes with bright and vivid colors. But it doesn’t really make any other use of them, other than making fun of their premise. Meaning it just uses them as random plot elements without any uniform with the setting, which is a bad thing. And the amount of detail the background or the special effects receive is very small.
- The characters suffer from the usual cookie-cutter syndrome (they look alike) but their different demeanor and cute looks make them nice to look at.
- Although quite choppy in animation, the really extreme grimaces and ridiculously funny way the characters run, makes their motions rather good (but still choppy).
SOUND SECTION: 5/10 [Tha-tha-tha-tha- that’s all folks!]
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 2/4, Sound Effects 1/3
- Vivid and lively voices color the characters with different tones and way of talking. Still, it feels like many times the voice actors have too little time to express what the characters are doing or feeling. And it doesn’t take much to realize that it’s middle-aged people voicing 10 year olds…
- Both the opening song and the in-between music themes are likable but definitely not memorable.
- Sound Effects are nothing special to write about.
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10 [Characters who refuse to mentally grow up]
Analysis: Presence 1/2, Personality 1/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 1/2, Catharsis 1/2
- Although quite generic in appearance, the character’s grimaces make them quite funny. And they all generally look very cute, so they easily become likable.
- All the characters have quirks and a different demeanor, which is good. But all of them react in the exactly same way when they are frustrated (going berserk and SD), which makes them repetitive after a while.
- All the main characters get their share of personal drama, facing their biggest problems, and dealing with family and romantic situations. But did they really matured or changed because of them? No! They behave in the same way no matter what they face, so they feel stale all the time. I know, it’s a comedy and such a thing is not necessary. But if you want to bitch at something, there is always a detail you can spot to yell at…
VALUE SECTION: 4/10 [Those royal treasures fetch a good buck.]
Historical Value 0/3: Forgotten by all.
Rewatchability 2/3: Several episodes are plain boring because of the lack of story and repeating jokes. But many are still rewatchable.
Memorability 2/4: Clearly a step above the usual comedies and rather memorable.
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 7/10 [Very funny if you have a bad memory.]
Well, it is definitely funny. But not as funny as the slapstick comedies in my Suggestion List. I mean, for how long can you find funny little kids doing pointless things, without ever learning, changing, or doing something really erotically nasty? And the story was not really interesting. And those Mahou Shojo repetitive transformations were really lame; removing them from the series later on was a plus. So, it is a good watch, without being a masterpiece.
There is a small follow-up set of OVAs to the main series. Since it is in OVA format, the level of Animation, Music themes and Voice Acting are slightly better. But in all, there aren’t any major differences. There weren’t much story or in-depth characters in the main series and there aren’t any of those here as well.
-Didn’t we perform a similar act last week? -Yeah. And it was funny, wasn’t it? - Yes, but… - Lets go then!
Mahoujin Guruguru and Dragon Half are better slapstick comedies, based on medieval setting.
Dai Mahou Touge, Dokuro-chan, Puni Puni Poemi and Moetan are better parodies, using the Mahou Shojo genre as an excuse.
Ranma ½ and Urusei Yatsura are very old but still great storyless comedies.