[The following is the script of episode 7 of the Mahou Profile series, viewable on YouTube here. This post to be updated with an accurate video transcript and citations in the future.]
Hey there everyone and welcome to Mahou Profile!
Okay, so: stop me if you’ve heard this one before.
Once upon a time, there was a little witch girl with fluffy brown hair and a cute red dress. The little witch girl lived in the Kingdom of Magic, but she was ever so bored. She longed for something new! One day, against the wishes of her pointy-haired father and round-haired mother, the little witch girl ran away to the World of Humans with her mischievous younger brother in tow. Upon arrival in this new world, the little witch girl conjured a house for herself using her signature magical phrase “something something Mahariku Maharita”. [clips: Sally’s magic phrase, Chappy’s magic phrase] Then the little witch girl befriended a tomboy-ish girl in green and a more feminine girl in blue, while her mischievous younger brother started a rivalry with the tomboy’s younger brothers. The little witch girl soon began attending school with her friends and enjoying her new life in the World of Humans. The girl’s family disapproved but nonetheless tried to support her the best that they could. Unsurprisingly, hijinks ensued.
Huh. What a delightful and original story, wouldn’t you agree?
Yeah, last episode I said our next series would be a retread of sorts, and I wasn’t kidding. Today we’re discussing a series called Mahoutsukai Chappy, or Chappy the Witch. And it is almost impossible to talk about Chappy without mentioning a certain… other series.
I mean. To be fair? When looking at a genre, you’re going to find similar works. That’s part of what genres are for – to categorize works with certain common elements. However, some works are so successful within their genre that they inevitably inspire direct copycats. You know the type. They’re called many things: knockoffs, ripoffs, clones, bootlegs, off-brands, trend chasers, lazy pieces of creatively bankrupt shite.
This phenomenon rears up throughout the history of popular media. For every Sherlock Holmes, there is a Solar Pons. For every Star Wars, there is a Starchaser. For every Twilight, there is a Fallen. For every “Under Pressure”, there is an “Ice Ice Baby”. [clip of Vanilla Ice’s embarrassing “I totally didn’t steal this bassline” interview]
The magical girl genre is no stranger to imitators and cash grabs. Fans have pointed fingers at many so-called “Sailor Moon ripoffs” from the late 90s and early 2000s — the most commonly accused being 1995’s Wedding Peach. Heck, some fans still label the entire Pretty Cure franchise as one big Sailor Moon ripoff, though personally I disagree with that (I mean, come on, it’s clearly a Super Sentai ripoff). And of course, fans nowadays seem to love nothing better than arguing over what is or isn’t a ripoff of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. (*ahem* And that’s not an invitation to start any nastiness about that in the comments, all right? I will shut that sh*t down if I have to.)
Now, shameless lifting goes back to the very beginning of this genre. Mitsuteru Yokoyama lifted major elements from Bewitched when creating Sally the Witch, and the anime pulled in tons of lifted imagery from Disney and other western cartoons; Himitsu no Akko-chan borrowed pacing and visual elements from Sally for its anime adaptation; and then Mako-chan and Ecchan both conformed in many ways to the formula set by Sally and Akko-chan. Since all magical girl anime except Marvelous Melmo have been from the same studio so far, it’s not surprising that we see so many reused elements—elements Toei no doubt felt were helpful to their bottom line.
But Chappy… Chappy… This is a whole new level of lifting. Chappy goes beyond “uses the same elements as Popular Thing X” and jumps straight to “is a blatant reskin of Popular Thing X.” You can’t even argue it’s just “inspired by Thing X” or “following the same tropes as Thing X” like you can for Wedding Peach or the children of Madoka. This is… This is just the same show! It’s the same goddamn show. It’s Sally the Witch again but with different names and character designs plus a few minor tweaks to the setup. They even brought back some of the same voice actors to play the same roles they did in Sally. Tell me that Sachiko Chijimatsu is not just literally playing Cub again here. [relevant clips from Sally and Chappy] You can’t. You just can’t. He’s just Cub. She’s just Sally. This is all. Just. Sally.
[sigh] So, with all that said… would you be surprised if I told you Chappy the Witch is better than Sally the Witch?
Not in terms of importance, of course. Clearly Sally had the bigger impact there. However, I would argue that Chappy is overall better written, better paced, and, at least from a modern perspective, an overall better watch than Sally is. The only thing that isn’t necessarily better is the animation, which is still as basic and corner-cutting as ever, with a few surprisingly decent cuts here and there. Even that I don’t mind though, because the art style, with its chubby cheeks and soft, rounded features, is just so dang cute. (It’s cute! What else do you want me to say?)
Of course you could (and should) argue that a lot of what’s good about Chappy would not exist without Sally. I’m not saying “Chappy is awesome, Sally is awful” or anything like that. But still, I think it’s fair to argue that Toei, now with more experience and hindsight under their belt, was able to create a more polished version of their previous work. That’s not unreasonable, is it?
Also, some of the small things that are different about Chappy have a bigger impact than one might think. For example, most online resources will tell you that Chappy the Witch is the first magical girl series where the heroine uses a magic wand. I mean, they call it a baton, but come on, it’s a wand. You might think this is just an aesthetic change, and that the biggest impact it might have is on merchandising potential. This is true—though, weirdly, my research turned up just about every type of Chappy merchandise but a toy wand. However, I would argue the wand also has a palpable effect on the story and characters.
Think about it. Why would a character need to use a wand? Well, traditionally, they’re used as focus instruments that help wielders channel their magic more effectively. In other words, they help cast stronger, more consistent spells.
Remember, though: Sally and family never needed a way to enhance their powers. They were all strong enough magic users that the idea of enhancement or focus via outside means never came up. Any lack of power or control on Sally’s part was more due to lack of experience than lack of ability. This is the reason her use of a wand in Sally the Witch 2 feels so out of place – because for her, it is.
So how do you give your new magical girl a reason to use a wand? Easy: you make her magic weaker.
In the first episode of Chappy the Witch, we see that Chappy, her parents, and her little brother Jun are all capable of using magic without wands. However, the effects of these spells are relatively minor. When it comes to more complex magic, such as when Chappy’s Dad casts a Cinderella spell on a mouse and pumpkin, the effects aren’t quite what they ought to be. The subjects don’t get as big as they should, they don’t fully change into what they’re supposed to, and when the whole caboodle falls out of the sky, none of the family members can stop the descent. They’re only saved from crashing by Chappy’s grandfather, who—you guessed it!—wields the magic baton.
Side note: Chappy first gets the baton by stealing it for her escape to the human world. When she tries to give it back later, Grandpa conveniently “forgets” to take it with him, effectively giving Chappy his blessing to use it.
Anyway, establishing not only that the baton is powerful but that Chappy and family aren’t very strong without it puts them in a much different position than their predecessors. Sally’s family, and especially her father, are unquestionably powerful and command a lot of respect. Sally’s Dad can be ridiculous at times, but he at least never seems unsure of himself. By contrast, Chappy’s Dad is a bundle of nerves. He screws up a lot, and he knows it. More than once in the first episode, he gets yelled at by another family member and literally shrinks in response. He also isn’t exactly at the top of any social hierarchies. His family is well off, but unlike Sally’s family, they are not royalty. So again, Chappy’s Dad has good reason to be wary of making mistakes and ticking off the wrong people.
With this change in personality for the Dad character, the Mom seems to gain a bit more agency to balance him out. Sally’s Mom helped out on occasion, but mostly sat by on the sidelines with her knitting and offered advice or concern as needed. Chappy’s Mom does that too, but she is also much quicker to berate her husband, argue her own positions, and take part in dealing with family problems. Compare that to Sally’s Mom, who took a stand against her husband maybe, like, once ever. Chappy’s Mom also gets a couple of episodes with some minor focus on her, which again is way more than Sally’s Mom ever got. So, yeah: both parents end up being slightly less one-note characters, creating a more interesting family dynamic overall.
And that’s not even getting into the other main change for this series: Chappy’s parents come with her to the human world rather than remaining in the Magic Kingdom. Sally’s parents were still involved in her life, so again, you’d think this wouldn’t have a huge impact, but it absolutely does. Practically speaking, having both parents around means they can help with problems more easily—or cause their own problems depending on the episode. More importantly, having all the family members interact all the time makes them feel very tight-knit as a group, which in turn makes their collective story that much more engaging to an audience.
To put this all another way: Sally the Witch was the story of a young girl going out into the world on her own and coming of age through her experiences there. Chappy has a similar story, but this time it’s not only about her. It’s also the story of a family moving to a new place together, facing challenges together, and growing together as a result. How many fantasy stories can you say are like that? Not many in my experience.
There are a few other differences between Sally and Chappy worth mentioning. For one, the talking animal sidekick trope from Sarutobi Ecchan has carried over into this series. Chappy’s family has a… pet? Friend? Um, “associate” named Don-chan. He calls himself a panda, though honestly, he looks more like a raccoon or a tanuki. Weirdly, despite Chappy and family having to hide their magic all the time, Don-chan is just… allowed to be a walking, talking, car-driving panda and no one ever questions it. Huh. Maybe in this universe, animal sentience is just… a thing? I mean there’s not much other evidence to support that, but it’s possible, I guess… Whatever, the show doesn’t question it and I’ve got lots of other stuff to cover, so sure, let’s just go with it. …It is weird, though, right? I’m not wrong to say that? It’s a weird inconsistency, it raises a lot of questions about how this world works and why talking animals would be accepted but magic would be feared, and I just want to ask a few things about panda drivers’ licenses okay—[TV static]
In Sally the Witch, you could argue that Cub was the magical sidekick, so adding a second sidekick to the mix creates a new dynamic. Instead of Jun being like Cub and constantly making trouble for Chappy and the others, Jun and Don-chan usually end up making trouble for each other. They have a kind of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck relationship: one is a laid-back sort who’s hard to get the better of, and one is an easily frustrated antagonizer who keeps trying and failing to one-up his opponent. To be honest, with so much of Jun’s energy directed at Don-chan, who has very little trouble dealing with him, it makes Jun far less annoying than Cub ever was, thank goodness.
Another difference between the two shows is in their style of hijinks and magical setpieces. Both shows utilize a lot of the same mundane locations we’ve seen throughout the early majokko series, but in my estimation, Chappy offers slightly more variety in what can happen and where. We see alternate dimensions, giant monsters, spooky scary demons, a Wacky Races-style road rally, a deserted island, the mountains, the Arctic, the Savannah, high speed chases where small children jump from car to car Mad Max-style, old time-y trains, hijacked planes, an illusory fairy tale world, and adventures under the deep blue sea. Speaking of which, though, I feel the need to say: one of the undersea episodes has this weirdly traumatizing part involving the words “dolphin torpedo”? [clip: dolphin with a torpedo on its tail gets near a submarine and blows it up kamikaze style] Jeebus cripes, that’s brutal! Never mind whoever was aboard the sub — that poor dolphin didn’t deserve that! [sigh] At least this episode resolves with the evil military scientists responsible getting just curbstomped by Chappy and a gang of angry dolphins. [clip: dolphin gang chases the scientists’ yacht, they jump ship, and then the dolphins bounce them around on their noses] Like I said, some creative stuff happens in this show.
Lastly, it feels like there is ever so slightly more of a narrative throughline in Chappy than in Sally. To be clear, both shows are very episodic, but with Chappy, at least in the early episodes, there is just a bit more logic and connective tissue behind various happenings.
For instance, after the family’s arrival in the human world, the show tackles an issue Sally the Witch never dwelled on much: people noticing the swanky new house that popped up literally overnight. One of the first big setpieces of the series involves a biker gang invading Chappy’s house, and the reason they do this is, well, they notice the weird new house in their territory. The police notice, the neighbours notice, passers-by notice – everyone notices and starts spreading gossip about it, and it’s only episode 1.
In the second episode, Chappy meets and befriends her gal pals, Michiko and Shizuko, as well as Michiko’s little brothers Ippei and Nihei. Chappy’s parents then struggle with whether Chappy should go to school with her new friends or be home schooled in magic. Despite having settled in, they’re still uncertain about interacting with the humans around them.
By the third episode, the neighbourhood’s curiosity shifts to outright hostility as people grow suspicious of the strange parents who literally never go outside or talk to anyone ever. This leads to Chappy helping her Dad convince people he works as an artist, which helps ingratiate the family more with the community. In subsequent episodes, you then see both Mom and Dad coming and going from the house more often, as well as picking up human pastimes such as reading the newspaper, gardening, and watching TV. And of course the kids and Don-chan are having a grand old time exploring and causing all sorts of episodic mischief exactly as you would expect. By episode 17, when Chappy’s aunt and uncle come to visit from the Magic Kingdom, their stodgy old wizarding ways stand in contrast to Chappy’s family, who have almost fully adapted to the human world by this point.
And it goes on like that – not huge continuity points, but just enough narrative logic to show how one thing leads to another over time. Some episodes even start exactly where the last episode left off. Though, to be fair, this isn’t always continuity so much as it is the show recycling certain setups and gags. So, say, if one episode ends with Jun and Don-chan fighting over the car, and the next episode begins the exact same way? That’s just because Jun and Don-chan fight over the car all the time.
Yeah, just because I think Chappy is better than Sally, that doesn’t mean it’s free of problems. Like I said earlier, the animation is very basic and often has blatant errors, such as the baton changing sizes between shots, or this ferris wheel car changing colours within the same shot. And this isn’t an error, but… [clip: episode 1, Chappy faces the camera way too close and it looks super weird] GAH! Jeebus cripes, what in the— don’t scare me like that! Jiminy willikers, god…
Plus, many of the more episodic stories are just boilerplate problem-of-the-week plots. These can be kind of boring to sit through, especially if you’ve already seen a lot of other majokko series. These episodes are only more bearable in Chappy than they are in Sally because Sally is 109 episodes and Chappy is only 39.
Most annoying of all: despite the show’s more interesting setup and flow, often it feels like the creative team is trying waaaaay too hard to grab kids’ attention. This means a lot of forced jokes, “wackiness” for its own sake, and catchphrases. Ohh the catchphrases. [supercut of various characters saying “Kimariiii~!”]
I can’t be too put out, though, because the overall show is still enjoyable despite its missteps. Sometimes it’s even a bit cool! Episode 9 is a standout example: demons arrive in the night and possess Shizuko, making her lure Chappy and her dad into an extradimensional trap where they fight for control of the magic baton. The way the possessed Shizuko is portrayed in this episode is genuinely creepy for a kids’ cartoon; there’s some neat imagery and animation used for the demons; and the duel between the demon lady, Chappy, and her Dad is imaginative and cool. And it made me realize we haven’t seen many straight up fights between magic users in this genre up until now. Not counting the petty sibling fights in Sally the Witch, the only other one I can think of is a short one-off fight between Sally and a witch named Barbara—which, incidentally, may count as the first ever instance of two magical girls fighting each other.
In Chappy, we again see magical squabbles between brother and sister; we have this fight with the demons; and there’s another one where Chappy fights to protect Mitsuko and family from her vindictive uncle’s magic. We also have at least one instance of not necessarily magical combat but slightly violent magical imagery, when Chappy does magic so hard she bleeds from her wand hand and passes out.
It’s interesting that magical combat and violence started as such insignificant parts of this genre. Yet over time, they grew bit by bit, show by show—with a few spikes here and there, such as the magical warrior show Cutie Honey—until the late 90’s and early 2000’s, when magical warriors came to dominate the entire genre. One could read this as a growing acceptance of women’s power in Japanese society, or maybe as a byproduct of the overall increase of violence in mass media worldwide. Either way, this type of magical combat will be something to keep an eye on going forward.
Sort of along the same lines, this show has a few “very special episodes” where things get surprisingly dark and real. Episode 15, for instance, has Chappy and friends helping a boy named Osamu search for his mom at a theme park. When they don’t find her, Osamu admits his mom isn’t even at the park and that he hates her anyway. Chappy smacks him in the face and he runs away… only for the kids to be told that Osamu’s mother recently died after a long battle with cancer. And that he “hates” her because she left him behind. Oh… Oh I see… Chappy later finds the boy inside an abandoned theme park train, murmuring for his mom in his sleep. With her magic, Chappy conjures a vision for him of the train soaring through fantastical worlds, powered by an engine full of stardust and dreams… until he at last finds his mother on a cloud and embraces her one last time. Oh god, my heart, I think something’s happening there, it’s… [sniffs, blows nose]
Also, quick note: “Osamu”? Those eyes? That nose? That dark-yet-whimsical story? Coincidence? I think not. Nice homage, Toei.
Now, the episode some people may have at least heard about (i.e.: the one mentioned in the show’s Wikipedia article) is episode 33. It’s notable for being an overtly environmentalist story about pollution and the responsible use of natural resources. I’m not sure why the article only mentions this episode, because it is one of four episodes written by mangaka Shukei Nagasaka that touch on similar progressive issues. His other episodes are episode 28 (about overdevelopment and the disappearance of public spaces), episode 30 (about protecting an endangered species), and episode 34 (about the importance of elections and local politics). All four of these episode feature some kind of greedy corporate type as the antagonist, giving them all a strong anti-corporate flair. Remember kids! If you see a rich person or corporation hurting your community, then get together with all your friends and seize the means of production for the good of the people! Chappy the Witch says!
To be fair, there were similar environmentalist and progressive stories in both Mahou no Mako-chan and Marvelous Melmo before this, so this kind of thing isn’t new to the genre. The early 70s were rife with this kind of thing, both in Japan and in other parts of the world. Nagasaka wasn’t even the only staff writer doing stories like this in Chappy: episode 16, written by Kouji Natsume, is about overhunting and the protection of mountain wildlife.
These episodes are notable, though, when taken together with the rest of the show. The best writing I found on Chappy the Witch is, weirdly enough, from the show’s Amazon page. User “Aoba Tokio” writes about how, after rewatching the show with adult eyes, they found themes which were “surprising and serious” but ultimately hopeful.
Aoba explains: “[Chappy] embraced the aspirations of a declining human world, a world with a sky dirty with pollution, plagued by tragedies and evil plots, and it didn’t stop there. The show aired in 1972, during Japan’s economic miracle. Despite pollution, road accidents, the Asama-Sanso incident [a major hostage crisis with several fatalities], and other terrible crimes, the world somehow prospered. […] Okinawa returned to Japan, and Prime Minister Tanaka’s Archipelago Remodeling Plan planted the seeds of a rose-coloured future.
“The protagonists were caught up in these societal changes whether they liked it or not. In the beginning, the show is about the human world seen through the eyes of a witch, but it is gradually coloured more and more deeply with the tone of the adult world as seen through the eyes of a child. Children and nature alike become the victims of selfish adults. Chappy’s father shows the irresponsibility of adults when he is indifferent to the local election [especially bad in that episode considering the clear awfulness of one of the main candidates].
“Nevertheless, in the show, struck by the children’s sincerity, the adults finally change for the better. Chappy uses her magic for the children’s happiness, the adults’ reformation, and to work toward the two groups reconciling.”
These themes of hope in the face of a harsh adult world come to a head in the final episode. Since the beginning, Chappy and family have been hiding their magic under threat of punishment from the Magic Kingdom. The Kingdom has strict laws against revealing magic to humans, mainly due to fears about starting a new wave of witch burnings. Time and again, a friend of the family (known simply as “Obaba”, or “Old Hag”) warns Chappy and Jun about witch burnings in semi-graphic detail. And in episode 39, the cat finally gets out of the bag… sort of. In the middle of a thunderstorm, Chappy wards off a lightning bolt with magic to save Ippei’s life, and Ippei witnesses her doing this.
Despite no one believing Ippei the next day, Chappy knows that even one human child knowing their secret will be enough to bring down the wrath of the Magic Kingdom. Wracked with guilt over the imminent punishment coming for her family, Chappy writes an apology letter and leaves home. She eventually finds herself on a beach at sunset. She calls out for her parents, unsure of what to do, but there is no answer. She is alone. Chappy stares out at the ocean. And starts walking toward it. She walks. And walks. Staring straight ahead. Then, as she hesitates at the water’s edge, the tide washing around her feet, she hears her parents call out for her. Her Mom and Dad stop her from walking forward and they embrace, saving Chappy from… well… [clip from Unraveled’s Castlevania episode: Brian announces he’s going to throw himself into the ocean, then does so] Geez, is that the darkest implication we’ve seen in one of these shows so far? I think it might be.
Chappy’s entire family ends up going back to the Magic Kingdom and pleading with the King to forgive them. This works, but only to a point. The King doesn’t charge anyone with a crime and allows the family to stay in the human world. However, he remains firm in his decision that precautions must be taken. He orders the family to find a new place to live, and then sends a shooting star to wipe the civilians’ memories of the family having ever existed.
Chappy and Jun are, of course, crushed at seeing all their friends forget who they are. However, there is still a spark of hope amidst the sadness. That night, Chappy gives her friends one last beautiful dream in which all of them play together in a magical field of flowers in the sky. [clips from the scene] The children enjoy their playtime, and then after, when their parents call them to leave, Chappy’s Mom assures her there will be more friends waiting for her in their new home. The family leaves along a glowing path through the stars, and Chappy turns to the viewer, telling them maybe it will be their town she goes to next.
This is a bittersweet ending for sure, and admittedly it’s not quite as poetic as I’m making it sound. The pacing and composition of all this is honestly pretty muddled and rushed, indicating the team was likely scrambling to end the series in one episode. Chappy the Witch fared better with audiences than Sarutobi Ecchan (I mean, at least it had an ending). However, Toei wasn’t exactly back to the glory days of Sally the Witch or Himitsu no Akko-chan either.
The 39th and final episode of Chappy the Witch aired on December 2, 1972, and afterward, for the first time ever, there was a lull in the production of magical girl anime. Up to this point, the regular time slot for Toei’s majokko series was Mondays at 7 PM on NET (later known as TV Asahi). The next series to run in this time slot was not a new majokko title, but an adaptation of Mitsuteru Yokoyama’s shounen manga Babel II. It would be almost a year before another new magical girl anime aired, and even then, the shows Toei returned with were… well let’s just say they were a little different than their predecessors.
Because of this, I believe Chappy the Witch signifies something far more important to the genre than just introducing the concept of a magic wand: it also marks the beginning of the end for Toei’s original majokko formula.
As with all these old shows, though, Chappy was really only finished in Japan. Our good friends in Italy picked up the series in 1982, dubbing it as La maga Chappy, and then they reran it again in 1988. Mexico also picked up the series and dubbed it as Hada Chappy, which they then exported to other Spanish-speaking countries including Peru, Chile, and Guatemala. Most interestingly, in the 1990s, the entire series was dubbed in French as Chappy la Magicienne, but this dub never made it to air. Wikipedia theorizes this may be due to other shows such as Mahou no Mako-chan not doing well on French television, though there is no source on this information, so this story is difficult to verify. Either way, it’s an interesting piece of trivia.
Okay, just a couple more things before we wrap up! Cast-wise, Chappy’s voice actor, Eiko Masuyama, is a HUGE name worth mentioning. She is a veteran voice talent whose credits go all the way back to the original Astro Boy, and as of this recording, she is still alive and kicking! In addition to Chappy, she voiced Midori in Attack No. 1, Princess Snow Kaguya in Sailor Moon S: The Movie, and most notably, she was the original Fujiko Mine in Lupin III and the original Honey in Cutie Honey. Fujiko Mine alone kept this woman in business for decades, dang girl, you get that paycheque! And of course we will be seeing a lot more of Honey very soon here on Mahou Profile… A lot lot more, ho boy.
Here’s some fun trivia by the way: Eiko Masuyama couldn’t record episode 9 of Chappy for whatever reason, so in that episode, Chappy is played by Michiko Nomura, who voiced Ecchan! And that’s not the only Ecchan and Chappy connection either: before this, Masuyama actually sang that nice relaxing opener for Ecchan! [clip of Ecchan OP]
Other cast members include Kouji Yada as Chappy’s Dad (he was Dr. Gero in Dragonball Z); Noriko Watanabe as Chappy’s Mom (we’ll see her as Sister Jill in Cutie Honey); Kousei Tomita as both Chappy’s Grandpa and Don-chan (he’s a veteran character actor best known for playing Shunsaku Ban in various Osamu Tezuka adaptations); and Masako Nozawa as Nihei (do I really need to remind you who she is?). [clip: Mahou Profile episode 2 “Turn Down for What”]
Lastly, there are two more notable appearances Chappy made outside of anime. One was a manga adaptation written and drawn by Hideo Azuma. Azuma would go on to create another title we’ll be looking at someday: Nanako SOS. And we’ll talk about this when we get to Nanako, but Azuma’s reputation is a little… uh… [onscreen text: “Father of Lolicon”] Yeah can we please not get into that just yet, please? Thank you.
And the second appearance… well, I won’t give details on that just yet. What I will say is that there’s a certain video game out there that we may or may not do a special episode on someday… Wink~
And with that, we wrap up another chapter in the magical girl timeline. Chappy the Witch is a shameless ripoff in all the ways something can possibly be a ripoff and yet against all odds? It works. Chappy copied Sally’s homework and made a few changes to throw off the teacher, but somehow those changes ended up being the exact things she needed to carve out her own identity. Hers is a surprisingly enjoyable family story with a few darker themes here and there to enhance the experience, and I’m glad I watched it. It just goes to show that just because something is unoriginal doesn’t mean it isn’t good.
Now, remember what I said about the year-long hiatus after Chappy ended? Following this hiatus, Toei returned to the world of magical girls with a show they expected to take the world by storm: the story of an android with a techno-magical device that lets her transform into a variety of alternate identities. Yes, you guessed it! We’re finally going to talk about the legend, the legacy, and the majesty of… Miracle Girl Limit-chan! …What, you were expecting someone else? See you all then~