Pretty Sammy

Sasami was just an ordinary girl, with an ordinary life... well sort of ordinary. After all, there were those two weird girls Ryoko, and Aeka always fighting over her brother Tenchi, but even that wasn't too far out there. Then one day a princess in the magical kingdom in Juraidom named Tsunami was chosen to become queen. But in order for her to become queen, she must restore the balance of good. Tsunami is going to need some help though, so she chooses young Sasami to become her champion of love, Magical Girl Pretty Sammy. But things don't always work out so well. Especially when you have to wear a ridiculous costume which was a hand-me-down from Tsunami (don't think too hard about it). But when another magical girl shows up and starts to wreak havoc, it's up to Pretty Sammy to save the day.

If you've seen the Tenchi OAV, and/or the Tenchi TV series, just forget all that for the moment. Pretty Sammy is yet another alternate universe with all the fun of the original Tenchi series. So exactly what is Pretty Sammy? Is it magical girl anime? Well Sasami transforms herself, and wears weird clothing with a short skirt, she has a cute side-kick, she has a magical baton, and she runs around proclaiming the power of love... I think you can do the math.

If your already familiar with all the Tenchi characters, Pretty Sammy may be hard to get used to. All the roles of the Tenchi characters have been changed, but fortunately all their personalities have stayed the same. Pretty Sammy isn't meant to be a clone of Sailor Moon, nor is it even meant to be a serious magical girl anime, what it is more or less going for, is a parody of magical girl anime.

Those interested in watching the Tenchi series for the humor and fun, probably won't mind this series. Those who watch the Tenchi series for the story and the plot, will want to avoid this series. I personally found Pretty Sammy to be fairly funny, but even that can't overshadow the fact that it is extremely cheesy, and probably fits in the category of being all out ridiculous. Then again, it isn't meant to be serious either. Pretty Sammy is supposed to be corney. The series is meant to be a fun new Tenchi series, and a magical girl satire. But sometimes the cheese goes just a little TOO far...

Well, I think I've covered the general gist of the show already. I guess I'm really not going to go into the story too much more since I've only seen the first OAV myself, and since there are only 3 OAV's, I don't think that merits making a huge page on. I think you can guess at what the general story theme revolves around. This is a magical girl anime after all, and I have yet to see one that is totally revolutionary in concept. I'm planning on checking out the second and third OAV's. I think Pretty Sammy was fairly funny, and although I don't think the story in itself is much of a reason to check this out, I've seen worse anime, and I think any anime that can make you laugh (because it's funny, not because it's so bad) is at least worth watching.

As for Magical Project S...
Just read on...

Magical Project S

You've sorted out what Pretty Sammy is, so what is Magical Project S? Get ready, because it's another Tenchi universe. The Tenchi TV series started over what the OAV had already done, and changed a few elements around. Magical Project S (also a series for TV) did the same thing to Pretty Sammy. This time however, MPS parsed all associations with the rest of the series (even Tenchi isn't in it). The only two hold overs from the original Tenchi series (save Sasami herself), are Mihoshi who is Sasami's school teacher, and Kiyone, who is involved somehow, but I haven't seen enough of this series to know how.

Where as Pretty Sammy had all the Tenchi humor, MPS takes a different approach. The series to some extent maintains its satire approach, yet it seems to be more serious at the same time. Quite obviously this series is targeted at a much younger audience than Pretty Sammy (which still retained some semi-adult oriented humor). Unfortunately, in my opinion, that was pretty much all that Pretty Sammy had going for it. Take away that, and... well you have some series that I didn't like much. Keep in mind that while much of the humor is lost, the animation is an improvement, and the story is much better developed, but I wasn't so particular on the story to begin with, so I ended up rather turned off to this series.

Dubbing / Subbing

For the majority of the Tenchi series, Pioneer has maintained a pretty good standard of Dubbing. Unfortunately Pretty Sammy fell victim to bad dubbing (following the true legacy of magical girl anime perhaps? ) Anyhow, quite a bit of Pretty Sammy's voice acting was badly done. While the regular Tenchi cast voice actors have everything down pat, the extras obviously needed a lot of work. ESPECIALLY Sasami's friend Misao. Now Misao's voice actor may be pretty good for all I know, but she certainly does NOT fit the role she was cast for. Her voice sounds extremely forced. When you can tell that an adult is trying to sound like a little girl, there's something wrong. Misao not only has a bad voice actor for her normal self, once she transforms into Pixy Misa, its a whole other ball game. Is she French? Who knows, she uses French words, but for some reason her accent disappears and reappears at it's own whim. I'm not even sure that IS a French accent! Sounds like a mix of French, with a little British accent (and sometimes a tad bit Russian?) thrown in there (when the accent was present of course). I'll give Pixy Misa credit for one thing, she sounds foreign alright...

And as for Magical Project S... Well where to start. Pioneer decided not to dub this series, and only released it in subtitled format. That's a REAL good idea, since the target audience is obviously below 14 (maybe 12 for that matter). Now I like subtitles, but I don't think any kid at that age likes to read them, and may not be adept enough to read that fast anyway. Rather ironic considering that Pioneer is obsessive with dubbing, they seem compelled to dub everything from songs, to Ryo-oki (and why does something that just says "meow" need to be dubbed?). Not only that, but the subtitling was badly done! Sometimes the phrases appeared one or two seconds AFTER the character had said them. Aren't they supposed to check that sort of thing? It seems as though Magical Project S was never destined to be extremely successful, but with Pioneer's marketing, it's almost certainly doomed to failure.

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