The blue-haired magical girl is back, and this time she has to fight the greatest threat of all... standardization! The Pretty Sammy story is one of the earliest of the many Tenchi Muyo! alternate universe storylines spawning from the original Tenchi OAV series. The character herself was first introduced in the Tenchi Muyo! CD dramas and was animated for the first time in the Mihoshi Special OAV. Originally created as a parody of popular magical girl shows such as Sailor Moon and Minky Momo, Pretty Sammy's popularity has taken off, with 3 OAVs made and a fairly recent Pretty Sammy TV show enjoying success in Japan. We showed the first OAV episode last year.
Here's a recap if you didn't see the first episode. Sasami Kawai was a normal and cheerful elementary school student. Unfortunately for her, Tsunami (the future queen of the magical world of Juraihelm) chooses Sasami to be her special representative on Earth -- the Magical Girl Pretty Sammy! For Tsunami to become queen, Sasami must fight for the side of good on Earth. Things aren't so simple, however. Ramia, who wants to be queen of Juraihelm in Tsunami's place, hypnotizes Sasami's bashful but compassionate best friend, Misao, causing her to become Pretty Sammy's main enemy, Pixy Misa! Other characters include Sasami's brother Tenchi and their mother Chihiro, who is obsessed with karaoke since she is a failed music star. Look for other familiar Tenchi Muyo! characters to have roles in this universe as well.
The story opens with Sasami's mother getting a new computer so that she can do karaoke at home. Unfortunately, she doesn't have the right software, so she instructs Tenchi and Sasami to get it so that she can sing without further delay. Unbeknownst to our heroes, Ramia has teamed up with a guy who reminds me of some famous computer dude, and she has a plan to make sure that Pretty Sammy doesn't get in the way of her becoming queen.
Anyone who knows anything about computers, has ever suffered frustration at the latest-hyped operating system, or has ever experienced the pain of a Word macro virus will get a kick out of today's episode. It's absolutely silly, so get ready for some not-quite-standard fun at CJAS.
[12/2/04 Update: For further articles by Lawrence Eng, see his anime page.]