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Pretty Sammy is a spin-off series of the Tenchi Muyo! universe, taking the existing characters and repurposing them for a Magical Girl show. It spans three OAVs (Magical Girl Pretty Sammy) and a 26-episode TV series (Magical Girl Pretty Sammy TV, or Magical Project S in the United States). Both are separate continuities with some similarities.
There is another series (Sasami Magical Girls Club) that shares some of the characters and a few minor similarities (mainly the presence of magical girls), but is otherwise completely different in every way.
Magical Girl Pretty Sammy
The OVA series starts by introducing the magical kingdom of Juraihelm, where Tsunami and Ramia are the contenders to be the new queen. The former is rather lackadaisical and oblivious while the latter is fiercely motivated. Should be easy to guess who gets the position. However, before it can be made official, Tsunami has to select a Magical Girl champion on Earth to restore the balance between good and evil.
Her choice is Sasami Kawai, a rather ordinary girl without any big ambitions. Tsunami randomly appears and recruits her to be Earth's champion, giving her a magical rod that can transform her into Pretty Sammy and assigning a Mentor Mascot to help her along. She mostly rejects the idea because of the costume being rather lame, but ultimately has to fill the role anyway. Meanwhile, Ramia recruits a magical girl all her own with Sasami's best friend Misao, giving her the alter ego of Pixy Misa while keeping her oblivious to it through hypnosis. The intent is to disrupt Pretty Sammy enough to invalidate Tsunami's claim to the crown and thus default Ramia into the position.
While it seems rather straightforward, the OVA series has a bit of a Romantic Plot Tumor with the love triangle between Sasami's brother Tenchi (the ever-reliable Chick Magnet), Ryoko (a sort of Bottle Fairy minus the bottle), and Ayeka (a fairly cold and calculating ring leader of a Girl Posse). More focus is given to this love triangle than to the magical girl plot in the first and third episodes while the second still features Tenchi prominantly throughout.
The first episode is the origin outlined above, with Ayeka and Ryoko turned into Love-Love Monsters (big fluffy things that smother Tenchi) by Pixy Misa. The second episode has Biff Standard (a thinly veiled Bill Gates parody) try to force a standard operating system on the entire world, being used as a pawn in an attempt to destroy it as well. The third episode features aliens ending up on Earth after a meteorite collision, which have the capability to become semi-clones of the people they come in contact with. One ends up drawing from Ramia, also gaining the motive to destroy Pretty Sammy in the process.
Magical Project S
The TV series retains most of the origin story, but diverges heavily from the OVA series. The biggest change is the removal of Tenchi, making Sasami an only child to a completely different set of parents. While the OVA series is an Indecisive Parody of Magical Girl shows (probably just a really odd one played straight), the TV series is explicitly parodying the genre. The TV series focuses mostly on Pixy Misa trying to derail Pretty Sammy through the use of summoned monsters of the week. From there, it parodies shows such as Sailor Moon while also having its own serious Myth Arc.
A three-volume Pretty Sammy manga series was released in Japan, but no English version was ever produced. The series is a little odd in that the first half of the first volume is based on Magical Girl Pretty Sammy while the remaining two and a half volumes are based on Magical Project S.
Another 2-part manga story appeared in an issue of the Tenchi Muyo manga. This story was based on the OVA.
These shows provide examples of:
- Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male: Ramia often abuses her young brother Rumiya when she is angry. Always Played for Laughs without repercussion.
- The Ace - Sasami's Father.
- Anime Theme Song
- Anthropomorphic Personification - See episode 20 of Magical Project S.
- Anti-Villain - Just about all of her main enemies.
- Balance Between Good and Evil - There is an actual Good/Evil scale that most of the series spends on balancing.
- Beneath the Mask Misao Amano , as a mater of fact she inspired the trope
- Berserk Button: Never tell Bif Standard that his software is slow.
- Bland-Name Product / Parody Names : In episode 2 of the OAV, StandardSoft is a parody of Microsoft, the SynchroniCity OS is a parody of Microsoft Windows, and the Pineapple Mach 8 OS is a parody of the Apple Macintosh.
- Bowdlerization: In Magical Project S, almost all instances of the word "Sexy" were replaced with "Lovely" (e.g., "Sexy Calling Mystics!" became "Lovely Calling Mystics!", and the Team Sexy Mrs. became Team Lovely Madams), presumably because the series was released as rated "3 and Up" on Pioneer's rating system.
- Brainwashed - In one episode of Magical Project S Konoha gets Sammy's wand and uses it to become a magical girl. She then proceeds to make Hiroto fall in love with her and even dresses him up to as a prince. However it has hilarious repercussions.
- Butt Monkey- Rumiya and Sasami in the TV series.
- Calling Your Attacks - Played straight for the most part.
- Card-Carrying Villain - Pixy Misa.
- Clark Kenting - Sasami and Sammy look pretty much identical except for their clothing, yet nobody except Washu seems to put two and two together immediately.
- Class Representative - Eimi Date in the TV series.
- Clingy Jealous Girl - Konoha Haida is this way around Hiroto. Ditto for Ryoko and Tenchi in the OAVs.
- Dark Magical Girl - Pixy Misa and Romio
- A Day in the Limelight - Funky Connie
- Empathic Weapon - Sammy's Baton
- Enemy Within - Pixy Misa is a part of Misao that she's not aware of, and gradually is growing stronger. After The Reveal and Journey to the Center of the Mind, they start to integrate.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: How Misa reacted when she saw her parents in episode 19.
- Evil Costume Switch - Inverted as when Hiroto is brainwashed by Konoha into falling in love with her she dresses him up in princely attire but it doesn't make him evil.
- Expy: In Magical Project S, some of the characters-of-the-day are based on characters in the Tenchi Muyo! series, like Shinobi Hagakure being an expy of Achika, Genjuro Hagakure an expy of Katsuhito, and Nobuyuki Onijigoku an expy of Nobuyuki. Of course, there's Ayeka and Ryoko as Romio and Oryo, respectively.
- Eyes Always Shut: Kenji.
- Facial Markings
- Failure Is the Only Option:Ramia will never become the Queen.
- Fallen Hero: Romio!
- Frilly Upgrade: In the OAV, Pretty Sammy transforms into Hyper Sammy before casting her Pretty Coquettish Bomber.
- Gender Flip - Ryo-Oh-Ki is a boy in this continuity.
- Genki Girl - Misa is very... yeah. So is Washu.
- Genre Busting: Magical Project S started as a parody of magical girls, but then becomes an indecisive parody that sometimes took its elements seriously. Then it explored psychological and deep themes, then explored the concept of friendship. Afterward it went to romance.
- Gratuitous English - Misa spouts a lot of this. It's really quite distracting.
- Heel Face Turn
- Hollywood Tone Deaf: Eimi Date
- Humans Are Bastards - The reason Romio wants to destroy Earth
- I Just Want to Be Normal - Sasami doesn't exactly want to be Pretty Sammy. It's not that she terribly minds the magic stuff, it's just the outfit is really embarassing...
- I Just Want to Have Friends - this is Misao wish despite being very shy
- I Just Want to Be Special - Misao Amano
- Ill Girl - Misao in the OVA series is suggested to be this.
- Image Song - for Pretty Sammy, Pixy Misa and later.... Love Me Eimi
- Innocent Innuendo - Inverted? Sasami and her father are playing in the bathtub and her father goes under the water making her blush...Squick.
- In the Name of the Moon - Inconsistent, but Sammy sometimes gives a speech.
- Interspecies Romance: Hinted at — see the Intimate Healing entry below.
- Intimate Healing: In the OVA, Ryo-Ohki takes a human form and kisses Sasami to revive her.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind - How Sasami finally "cures" Misao/Pixy Misa. Turns out Pixy Misa is powered by Misao's feelings of worthlessness, made worse by Sasami doing everything for her.
- Karaoke Box - In the OVA series, Chihiro Kawai (Sasami and Tenchi's mother) is a karaoke addict.
- Keep It Foreign - In the English dubbed OAVs, Pixy Misa's Gratuitous English became French.
- Knight Templar - Parodied Love Me Eimy's song: I'll protect the world....By destroying it! Love Me Eimi Protector of the Universe!
- The Lancer - Misa to Sammy near the end of the series.
- Laughably Evil: Pixy Misa is this tropes with a T.
- Lighter and Softer - Versus Tenchi Muyo!. Sasami Magical Girls Club is a Lighter and Softer version of this series.
- Living with the Villain - Sasami and Misao are best friends in real life, but bitter enemies transformed. The latter is unaware of what she's doing, however. The two discover each other's identities later on.
- Luke, I Am Your Father - Subverted on the last episode.
- Mad Scientist - Washu.
- Magical Girl Queenliness Test - Albeit it's Tsunami, not Pretty Sammy/Sasami who is the candidate for Queen but Pretty Sammy is her champion and her success is instrumental in Tsunami getting the throne
- Magitek - One of the later characters in the TV series employees a lot of this.
- The Man Behind the Man
- Market-Based Title - Magical Girl Pretty Sammy TV was renamed to Magical Project S for the United States release because supposedly, the OVA series did so poorly as to seem feasible to attempt distancing away from it.
- Mascot Mentor: Ryo-Ohki
- Mind Control Device - When Konoha gets ahold of Sammy's wand she uses it to make Hiroto fall in love with her with hilarious repercussions.
- Mini-Dress of Power
- Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher - Mihoshi
- Mono-Gender Monsters - In the TV series, every last one of the Love-Love Monsters is female.
- More Than Brainwashing Pixy Misa , Misao while certainly acting different she isn't really being brainwashed.
- Monster of the Aesop
- Monster of the Week
- Mood Dissonance - Later episodes still retain the very light-hearted opening and ending in spite of the episodes they sandwich.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Sasami is unknowingly responsible for Pixy Misa.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Turns out Ramia's idea of transforming Misao to Misa in the day where her father is coming for a visit just gives the result of Sasami and Misao discovering their magical girl identities.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: In the TV series, the episode, "East Vs. West", is to put it simply: ninjas vs. cowboys, with Pretty Sammy on the side of the ninjas, and Pixy Misa on the side of the cowboys.
- Not Brainwashed: Pixy Misa. Turns out Pixy Misa is a repressed persona
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: In the second OAV episode, Bif Standard, owner of Standardsoft, is a parody of Microsoft's Bill Gates.
- The Not-Secret - Turns out everybody was just "being polite".
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You - Misa is this way around Sammy, even assisting her a couple times.
- Open-Minded Parent - Sasami's parents don't seem the slightest bit fazed when they finally figure out who Sammy is.
- Ordinary High School Student - Both Sammy and Misa are just average fourth grade students given extraordinary abilities.
- Parental Abandonment - Misao rarely ever sees her mother and hasn't seen her father in years at the start of the series, having to stay home alone a lot.
- The Power of Friendship
- The Power of Love
- The Psycho Rangers - Team Sexy Mrs. (AKA Team Lovely Madams in the subtitled US version).
- Pretty in Mink - One of her outfits has furry puff balls on her boots... and her wand.
- Punch Clock Villain: Rumiya
- Quirky Household - Sasami's parents are practically certifiably insane, but seem to still operate well enough to survive.
- Real Trailer, Fake Movie: The fake trailer for the Pretty Samy TV (AKA Magical Project S) movie, Magical Girl Pretty Sammy The Motion Picture: The God Boys VS. Magical Girls.
- Right Behind Me: Sort of. Misa teleported to America without realizing that her classmates Hiroto, Kenji, Konoha, and Eimi have discovered her secret.
- Save Both Worlds
- Shout-Out: InMagical Project S, one of Sasami's classmates notes that her cousin is Jinnai from El Hazard the Magnificent World
- Showdown At High Noon
- Shrinking Violet - Misao.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Especially in Magical Project S.
- Sparkling Stream of Tears
- Spin-Off - The show itself is a spin off of Tenchi Muyo and the OAV series.
- Spoiler Opening - The episode titles, especially ones like "Farewell Team Lovely Madams!"
- Spoof Aesop - A couple of these come up.
- Stock Footage - Lots of it shows up in the TV series. It was even spoofed in one episode where Sammy had been physically altered, yet the footage remains the same and Sammy can't figure out why she changed right back.
- Stripperiffic - Misa's outfit is commented on by other people as being very gaudy.
- Talking Is a Free Action - Played straight considering this is a spoof, but later subverted by Pixy Misa.
- Tear Jerker - Sasami and Misao discovering their magical girl identities and fighting each other all this time.
- In the same episode, Pixy Misa gets a Villainous BSOD when she sees her father and mother together looking for her.
- The entire 20th episode.
- Third Person Person - Sasami in the Japanese version.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: The last episode of Magical Project S is this for Rumiya.
- Transformation Sequence - This gets spoofed early on in the TV series, with Misa gleefully kicking down Sammy after a transformation, with the latter saying "no fair attacking while I'm posing".
- Villainous Harlequin - Pixy Misa
- Villain Song: Pixy Misa's image song.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: Happens to Mihoshi after Chihiro kicks her in the stomach in OAV 2.
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World