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Official English title: Fairy Musketeers.
In the past, the world was powered by magic and science. However, a wise and benevolent god grew concerned of mankind's power and split the worlds into two; from then on, one world relied on the power of science and the other on the power of magic. This is the story Souta's mother had told him when he was but a small child. Now, several years later, he lives alone, and all he remembers about his mother is a dream where she is abducted by a monster, he himself being saved by a girl with red clothes.
But the dream soon turns out to be reality, as history repeats himself when Souta is attacked by a monster on his way home from school. He is saved first by a strange talking wolf called Val and soon after by a girl wearing the same red clothes as the girl from his dreams. She introduces her as Akazukin (Little Red Riding Hood), one of the three legendary musketeers from the world of magic. Her mission is to find and protect the "key" which connects the two worlds - Souta himself.
Souta quickly acquires a Quirky Household of strange magical characters, as Val and Akazukin are soon joined by ice mage Shirayuki-hime (Snow White) and the narcoleptic Ibara-hime (Sleeping Beauty). Of course, Souta's female childhood friend Ringo is not amused by this turn of events...
Otogi Juushi Akazukin was, at first, a single-episode OVA which came with an Akazukin figurine, aimed more at figure collectors than at anime fans. However, the OVA had some popularity with the Periphery Demographic, and so the concept was soon retooled as a standard children's TV show in the vein of Cardcaptor Sakura.
You can also watch it for free now at Crunchyroll.
This show provides examples of:
- All Myths Are True: All Fairy Tales are true.
- Angels Pose - Juushii~!
- Accidental Pun - Juushi is somewhat pronounce as JUICY.
- Big Badass Wolf: Val
- Big Damn Heroes: All the time in the early episodes. After reaching Fandavale, Hamelin takes over this role.
- BFS - Gretel's got one so big no character can lift it (without help from magic), which actually makes sense since its TALLER THAN THE ENTIRE CAST.
- Black Magician Girl - Shirayuki-hime
- Brainwashed and Crazy - Hansel is pretty obvious. Also Trude who is actually Souta's mother
- Cain and Abel - Jed don't like his half-human brother Kain, and to kill him, he destroyed the whole village where he lived with his human mother. Even Akazukin thought he didn't survive, even though he is with her all the time
- Calling Your Attacks: Shining Edge!
- Characterization Marches On: In an odd, non-character related example, we have Gretel's massive sword. Late in the series it's revealed that she needs her mittens to lift it. Sounds reasonable, except she was clearly seen wielding it bare handed twenty or so episodes earlier.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Ringo
- Dark Magical Girl: Gretel
- Defeat Means Friendship - All but a few major bad guys perform a Heel Face Turn later.
- Defrosting Ice Queen - Again, Shirayuki-hime, though it happens pretty quickly. Note that Shirayuki is a literal Ice Queen (or rather, ice magic-casting princess)
- Doomed Hometown - Akazukin's hometown was destroyed by Jed's werewolves
- Everything's Better with Princesses - Fairy tales need 'em.
- Fantastic Racism - Jed, who hates humans in general
- Frilly Upgrade: Princess Mode.
- Genki Girl: Akazukin
- Genre Blindness - Apparently, Grimm's Tales don't seem to exist in Souta's world (even though he's a fairy tale nut), since he doesn't even raise an eyebrow to the fact that the girls are obviously well-known fairy tale characters.
- It ought to be noted that when they meet Rapunzel, it's Souta who comes up with the cure for the Prince's curse, by asking them to go ahead with the marriage anyway. He's the only character unsurprised when Rapunzel's kiss changes the Prince back from a frog into a human, explaining that 'the power of love cancels evil magic' is a standard of fairy tales. This makes him somewhat more along the lines of 'Selective Genre Savvy', as the show itself portrays him to be Genre Savvy concerning Fairy Tales to an almost scholarly point. Oh, and apparently the Fairy Musketeers are authorised to perform marital ceremonies.
- Gratuitous English - We have such winners as "Grimm Taler", "House of Gravity", "Missing Gravity", "Shining Edge", "Leaf of Mirage" and "Stairway to Heaven".
- One of the strangest is "Garden of Eden", which is a mass of thorny vines wrapping around and crushing a target. So much for Paradise.
- Half-Human Hybrid - Val, who is actually half lycan(werewolf) half human but lost his ability to turn human due to an injury
- Harem Cast: Akazukin, Ringo, Ibara-hime and Shirayuki-hime tend to behave like this sometimes, though most of the time they are just Nakama to Souta, mainly because of age demographics.
- How Do You Like Them Apples? - Ringo.
- I Am Not Weasel - Val gets rather annoyed when people calls him a dog, though in the process revealing himself being a Talking Animal and gives him even more unwanted attention.
- I Have the High Ground - Parodied. Hameln descends from virtually nothing. Lampshaded by Ringo who calls him up on it. Hameln, being who he is, answers with "It's a secret".
- Ill Girl - Ibara-hime, though she's more sleepy than ill.
- Kick the Dog - Replace "dog" with "flowers", add to the fact that the hero can *talk* with flowers (who are shown to be sentinent beings) and you have yourself some Nightmare Fuel.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia - Randagio's 3 friends who sacrificed themselves to become a nightmarian was freed by from the curse, at the price of their memories.
- Lighter and Softer - From OVA to TV series.
- Little Red Fighting Hood: With Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, they form a Magical Girl Power Trio.
- Meganekko - Shirayuki-hime
- Mind Control Eyes - Very visible on Hansel since early on. Later, it is lampshaded when Gretel commented that she knows someone is being mind controlled by looking at their eyes.
- Musical Assassin - Hamelin
- Musical Episode - Episode18 has to be the most THINLY disguised attempt at trying to sell Image Songs to the show's audience. I mean, the girls are conjuring 'song' attack cards out of nowhere and while they're singing we're shown snippets from past episodes.
- They didn't just break into song, they broke into music video.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Ibara-hime
- Older Than They Look: The core characters -- Souta, Ringo, Akazukin, Shirayuki-hime and Ibara-hime -- are all fourteen years old. In that regard, juushi may be pun, since it can mean "fourteen" when written in different kanji.
- Powers as Programs: TV series only.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The girl Souta meets when he enters the various chapters of the two worlds story often gets translated as "Marlene" Due to the sound of her name (Mah-ren) and the trouble with L and R in Japanese. However, in addition to being Cendrillon's younger form her story is actually based on the Fairy Tale, Maid Maleen.
- Squishy Wizard - Shirayuki has trouble even to lift a bucket of water without magic.
- Standard Female Grab Area - Gender Flip Inversion: The Dark Action Girl restrains the male lead Souta like this.
- The Merch: Inverted with the original OVA which came as a bonus for buying the figurine, played straight with the TV series which is aimed more at children.
- The Glasses Come Off: This is Subverted and subversion lampshaded. Meganekko Shirayuki-hime takes off her glasses when she turns dark. However, it's all part of a ploy to fool the enemy, as she can't see a thing without her glasses.
- Took a Level In Badass - This trope may apply, by extension, to the original, real-world Fairytale versions of the characters. The majority of the characters are based on fairytale characters, often ones who were quite soft and/or generally defenceless in their original stories. Little Red Riding Hood is suddenly a knife-wielding demi-fire mage, Snow White has become the most dangerous ice mage in Fandavale, and Sleeping Beauty has to remain in a permanent state of half-sleep lest she accidentally wreak havoc on her surroundings. Hansel and Gretal have become a dark mage and Dark Magical Girl / Heavy Swordsman respectively. And Cinderella.. we get to see her go badass as Marlene, twisting a city's symbol of hope into a power source-slash-mind-control device for the horde of zombie dark mages she'd created in the process.
- Transformation Sequence: When Akazukin powers up to Princess Mode.
- Verbal Tic: Akazukin's 'Zukyun'
- Ibara-hime also has her yawn.
- The Cameo: Goemon of the Ganbare Goemon series made a cameo via a cosplay contest.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?? Pumpkins to Hamelin's case, well thanks to Akazukin who always scares him when they're little.
- You Have Failed Me