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Ultra Maniac is an Urban Fantasy Shoujo manga/anime series created by Wataru Yoshizumi of Marmalade Boy fame.

The main characters are Ayu Tateishi, a realistic, no-nonsense Muggle desperate to maintain her "cool" image because her crush told her it was admirable, and Nina Sakura, a Cute Witch who is Book Dumb, magic-wise, and has come to the human world in order to get better at her craft... which is about where the similarities between the anime and manga end. The anime gives Nina a new magical rival, a quest to obtain a Plot Coupon, and a Magical Girl Transformation Sequence whenever Nina uses her magic.

The manga's storyline isn't amazingly deep; it's a story of relationships and innocent fun. It briefly takes a dark turn near the end, but things turn out all right. It's a cute series, and Yoshizumi's first attempt at a fantasy.

Ain't got nothing to do with Ultraman, heh.


This series has examples of:

  • Adult Child: Shinnosuke, despite looking like an adult in his human form, acts like a child. It is sort of justified since he's at first a domestic animal and seems to be a very spoiled one at that.
  • All Witches Have Cats: Rio, who has both an human(but cat-like) human form. Interestingly, Maya fits more the traditional image of a witch(using black magic, cauldron and being more mean than Nina), but averts it by having a pet chameleon instead.
  • Animorphism: One of Nina's spells lets Ayu and Nina turn into kittens and spy on Hiroki and Tetsushi. They also do the reverse: Ayu, Hiroki, and Nina's pets turn into humans.
  • Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: Maya's shrinking potion does the inverse she intended. Cue giant cheese, cactus,chameleon, cat...
  • Author Appeal: In a nonsexual sense; Yoshizumi is well-known for including tennis in her manga.
  • Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other: Ayu and Tetsushi, and later on, Nina and Hiroki (especially in the anime where their mutual admittance of it literally saved lives, including theirs). Also applies to Yuta and Sayaka in the manga, although theirs was more of a struggle.
  • Berserk Button: "Leo never hurt you, Sayaka... but I will." Cue a magic bolt that blows a hole in the roof and would've killed Sayaka had Nina not been restrained as she fired the bolt.
  • Big Eater: Maya's chameleon Lulu eats a lot for his size, even considering we see him eating when he's gigantic.
  • Big No: Tateishi lets out one of these when she accidentally electrocutes her school crush.
  • Bishonen: Shinnosuke's human form has no right to be that good looking.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Tetsushi, who basically turned himself into the The Ace for personal benefit rather than any inherent goodness.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall/Medium Awareness:
    • Manga. After Sayaka attacks, Nina says that this is way too violent for Ultra Maniac. Hiroki tells her that being in a shoujo manga does not exempt them from pain.
    • Done so funnily in the first episode of the anime series. It's a tradition to Magical Girls to have a dedicated Transformation Sequence; Nina is no exception. After Nina does her transformation she gives her standard wink to the camera followed by Ayu snapping her back to business.

  Ayu: Hey! This is no time to wink.

  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Nina discovers her magic potential while under the influence during the bar scene. Ayu and Yuta are not amused, as they see it as careless violation of The Masquerade they're supposed to maintain (Ayu as Secret Keeper, and Nina and Yuta as magic users). Nina was lucky to not be fined or recalled for the incident.
  • Cassandra Truth: Nina tries to tell Ayu about how Tetsushi is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, but she simply shrugs it off.
  • Catch Phrase
    • In the Viz manga, "Spamola!"
    • In the Japanese version, "Practice!"
  • Chick Magnet : Yuta is quickly surrounded by three girls very interested at him just by arriving at Nina and Ayu's school.
  • Clingy Jealous Kitty: Hiroki's cat, Shinosuke.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The colour of magic thunder balls indicates the colour of the smoke they will produce.
  • Continuity Cameo: Inverted. Maya, Nina's rival from the anime, appears in a photograph of Nina's friends at her magic school.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Tateshi invokes this trope on Yuta after he irresponsibly uses his magic powers and hurts people (though more on a prank level by blowing up balloons). She says Nina is a better magic user because she's always trying to help other people instead of using them like Yuta who uses them for his own amusement.
  • Cool Big Sis: Mito, Nina's fellow "failure" as a witch.
  • Cross Dresser: One of Nina's magic school classmates (who turns out to be a boy) impersonates her to her friends in the epilogue, and his game is only up when Nina herself shows up as he shows off to them blatantly.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Nina, in the manga. During a battle with Sayaka in the school gym, Nina trips and leaves herself open to attack. Sayaka takes the opportunity to throw magic and ends up hitting Leo. Nina gets pissed and accidentally blows a ginormous hole in the ceiling.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death :Sebastian tries to impale the girls' teacher with a giant fork.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Nina, that isn't a very good magical girl but at least tries her best.
  • Cute Witch: Nina.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Sayaka arc winds up becoming the darkest part of the series ever, with Leo undergoing a Disney Death after Taking the Bullet meant for Nina and part of the school actually being destroyed at the end of the fight when Nina's Berserk Button is pressed as a direct result.
  • Dark Magical Girl:
    • Sayaka, Yuta's girlfriend.
    • Maya Orihara isn't far off, either, considering how she lives her life alone and uses dark magic.
  • Deus Ex Machina: The things that happens to Kawanakajima to prevent him from registering a proof that Nina is a witch are outright ludicrous. Of course, the series us mostly a comedy, so it's very acceptable, and specially hysterical when the most absurd things get on the way of his quest.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    •   Maya isn't the queen of this trope probably because she didn't have time to fulfil her revenge: in a question of seconds, she decides to hurt three little kids because they accidentally coloured her pet chameleon yellow. And isn't Played for Laughs.
    • Then her butler Sebastian goes even further in Episode 11 and tries to outright kill the main cast's teacher with a giant fork because he gave Maya a light pat on the head because she left the classroom without explaining why.
  • Distant Finale
  • Dudette, He's Like, In A Coma!: Ayu tries to take advantage of Tetsushi while he's bolt-jolted out cold, but Hiroki caught her in the middle of doing it. Don't worry, Ayu-chan. He won't tell.
  • Dungeonmaster's Girlfriend: Subverted. Tetsushi's very cool about Ayu and everyone keeping Nina's secret from him.
  • Everyone Can See It: Two random supporting characters suggest Ayu and Tetsushi to go as Romeo and Juliet(that if you lied under a rock until now, and Nina apparently was, they are two famous theatre characters that were lovers) for a school party. Almost immediately all the other students come like an avalanche to them agreeing with the idea.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Ayu can't help but lampshade how the hell nobody notices a giant chameleon walking around under daylight on her school. And then, by the time Nina is using giant clouds of smoke to hide Lulu, that then people begin to notice, her teacher fails to notice the smoke itself. And then there's the school nurse that despite not seeing the chameleon didn't even feel or heard its steps when it was a few centimetres away from her.
  • Fauxlosophic Narration: Parodied. At episode 18, Kawanakajima begins one of these until Reality Ensues and we discover he is doing that while making an exam.
  • First Kiss: During another Gender Bender spell, Ayu got hers stolen from an older girl. She freaked.
  • Freudian Slip: Kawanakajima says he's gonna take a photo of Nina in her bath....witch suit in the Beach Episode.
  • Gender Bender: The first spell Nina casts on Ayu after Ayu asks for a spell that will make her stronger so she can beat the boy's tennis club is to turn Ayu into a boy. All this achieves is Ayu's timing and balance being thrown off due the height and upper body strength increase. Later on Nina and Ayu become boys temporarily for mildly convoluted reasons surrounding a triple date.
  • Graceful Loser: Nina don't gets too sad at losing the second Stone to Maya, maybe because her opponent showed a lot of spirit instead of the usual outright meanness of before.
  • Hollywood Chameleon : Lulu, Maya's chameleon, can perfectly turn invisible whenever he wants.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Dark Zone.
  • Ignored Confession: The triplets at Episode 8 spill details about Nina's quest casually; her classmates dismiss it as them watching too much anime and not distinguishing reality from fantasy.
  • Inept Mage: Nina and, apparently, Mito. It turns out Nina has a lot of magical power behind her despite her reckless overclocking of her none computer-aided spells and her terrible tactical planning.
  • Invisible to Normals: The Holy Stones can only be seen by magic users, as Nina explains.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Yuta likes Nina but later tries to help her relationship with Tsujiai, feeling it's the best for her.
  • Jerkass Realization: After Tateishi lectures him about the way he uses his powers, Yuta promises to not act like that again.
  • Kiss Diss
  • Lightning Glare: Betweeen Nina's grandpa and Maya.
  • Long List: The list of ingredients for a spell that would help Nina locate the triplets in the eighth episode is so long and/or full of rare ingredients that she gives up on using it.
  • Love Confession: Pretty much all the main characters give one or receive at least one.
  • Love Makes You Evil: The reason why Maya is so obsessed with finding the Holy Stones isn't because of power, but because she loves the prince of her dimension and wants to marry him.
  • Love Potion: Nina gives Ayu a pill to give to Tetsushi to make him fall in love with her. Naturally, things don't go according to plan... and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Magical Camera: It shows who the subject of the picture likes.
  • Magical Girl Queenliness Test: It's a Magical Girl Queenliness Contest, too.
  • Nice Hat: Nina gets one with her uniform in the anime.
  • Nice Guy: Tetsushi. Well, Bastard In Sheep's Clothing, actually.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: It's cool when Shinnosuke is in his natural cat form, but when Hiroki changes him into a human, he's thoroughly creeped out by this.
  • Official Couple: One too many.
    • Ayu and Tetsushi.
    • Nina and Hiroki.
    • Yuta and Sayaka.
  • Paint It Black: And more than just a costume. When Maya uses the powers of the Dark Zone, her costume and her hair turn darker.
  • Pair the Spares:Exaggerated. Yuta and Luna fall for each other in the last minutes of the TV series.
  • Parental Obliviousness: Yuta's adult sister Mita gives Ayu and Nina magic vitamin pills which turns them into scantily clad, busty adults so they can go to a bar! What do Nina's foster parents say about this? "Have a good time!" It should be noted, though, that Mito gave the trip as a "learning experience" for both girls.
  • Perverse Puppet: Maya creates one out of envy/revenge for Nina, because the latter managed to obtain a Holy Stone.
  • Racist Grandma: Nina's grandfather regards anyone but mages as inferior or not worthy of him and Nina's time. Yes, even his daughter-in-law.
  • Reality Ensues: Nina's father being such a good user of magic basically crippled his wife and his daughter development. We can only presume his own father raised him much more adequately.
  • Right-Hand-Cat: The way Maya treats Lulu, her pet chameleon, seems to be resemble the way a villain would treat his pet cat. Of course, she isn't quite evil enough to be considered a villain, but mean-spirited, oh yeah.
  • School Idol: Ayu and Tetsushi, both respected by the entire school for their performance, diligence... and looks.
  • Secret Keeper: Ayu and Hiroki. Later, Tetsushi, too, when he finds out Nina's little secret with Nina's permission... only Nina herself wasn't around to witness Ayu revealing it to him, but rather a male double who immediately takes the opportunity to flagrantly violate the masquerade before Nina shows up to rebuke him for being a Jerkass to her friends because of how he's alienating them.
  • Secret Secret Keeper: By episode 7 of the anime, it becomes pretty clear that The Principal knows exactly what's the weird stuff happening around his school, but the co-protagonists don't know he knows.
  • Shout-Out: The music that plays in the anime when Nina's young triplet cousins are around sounds a lot like the theme song to The Powerpuff Girls. In fact, Wataru Yoshizumi loves The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Nina's parents, at least to RIo.
  • Static Stun Ring of Power: Supposedly protects Ayu from potential harrassment. But Nina isn't adept at producing usable Phlebotina, so the ring stuns even the most innocent of boys, much to Ayu's chagrin.
  • The Straight Girl: Ayu, in all her no-nonsense glory, won't take any of Nina's wacky magical hijinks, because in her defense, it usually just adds to her problems.
  • Tall, Dark and Bishoujo: Ayu comes off this way, especially because Tetsushi thinks it fits her rather well.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Tetsushi, on the flip side, was also motivated by Ayu. Deconstructed, that is, considering how he accepted all the chocolates given to him by his Estrogen Brigade, only to secretly toss them aside after school.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Downplayed. Kawanakajima and Maya's crow manage to convince Maya to undo the spell that gave her powers over the Dark Zone, convincing her that her quest is pointless if she lets herself be consumed by dark magic. She doesn't die but is rendered unconscious.
  • The Ace: Yuta is considered a genius between his people; the thing is, he's kinda of a jerk.
  • The Eeyore: Luna always think first of the worst meaning for what people say to her and the worst outcome for her actions. Her debut episode is therefore titled “Negative Girl”.
  • The Mole: Sayaka.
  • The Rival: The Animated Adaptation's Maya Orihara. Like Nina, she's also out for the Plot Coupon which will win her the Magical Girl Queenliness Contest.
  • Third Person Person: Nina. It's inconsistent, but justified by the author in that she wanted Nina to sound a little weird; Nina justifies it by saying that the spell she used to learn Japanese wasn't perfect.
  • Totally Radical: The Viz "translation" has the characters saying things like "Holy sushi!" and "Galloping geishas!" in surprise. Just... no. It's worth noting that according to Anime News Network, Ultra Maniac is the only manga the person in charge of adaptation (John Lustig, who is more well known for working on Disney Comics) worked on.
  • Traitor Shot: Sayaka gets these after conversing with other characters, but especially after talking with Nina and Ayu.
  • Transformation Sequence: Nina gets a mildly lengthy one with Bishie Sparkles whenever the full costume is in need. Sometimes, it ends with a wink. For our sake, Ayu points out that last part.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Tetsushi dumps all the chocolate candy he received as gifts for the flimsy reason of "not knowing who made them". On the top of it, he threatens Nina to keep the act a secret.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Yuta.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Maya and Nina are flying in the middle of a city in plain view of many civilians but not only nobody seems to see it as the one guy Kawanakajima asks if he's noticing the weird phenomenon says it's probably just a movie being filmed.
  • Woman Child:
    • Nina's mother acts in a very childish way sometimes(calling your own husband "father" isn't a good signal of maturity, at minimum) and definitively isn't good at being a housewife. The reason behind it seems to be the fact her husband is such a good magic user that she never matured.
    • Downplayed with Nina itself (that is that way for probably the same reason)because she's just a teenager.
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