Ultra Maniac: The teenage magical girl anime that makes us feel that love is truly a spell
Written by: Nicole Castro
Published on: February 10, 2022 at 15:12 PHT (GMT+8)
The 2000s was an era of magical girl anime and coming-of-age stories (think Ojamajo Doremi, for example). It was also an age of romantic comedy (think...oh wait, there are too many examples...). So, why not have both in one show?
Today, it's time for a throwback of the 2003 romcom anime about teenage witches: Ultra Maniac!
About and Plot
Ultra Maniac (Japanese: ウルトラマニアック) is a romantic comedy manga series written by Wataru Yoshizumi. It features seventh grader Ayu Tateishi, a tennis club member, and her transfer student friend, Nina Sakura, who is actually a witch trainee witch from the magical kingdom.
The manga was serialized in Shueisha's Ribon manga magazine from February 2001 to January 2004, after which it was also published in five collected volumes. Viz Media licensed and released an English translation of the series in North America.
The series was first adapted into a 20-minute anime OVA, released Aug. 6, 2002. Later, it was also adapted into a 26-episode anime television series. Both were produced by Ashi Productions and Animax.
The anime adaptation has a very different plot starting after Ayu and Nina first met. Instead of coming as a witch failure who is trying to prove herself to be more than she is said to be, Nina has come to Earth to find the five "Holy Stones". She tells Ayu that whoever collects all five will qualify to marry the prince of the Magic Kingdom. Nina's childhood friend Maya Orihara is also on Earth, competing with Nina to find the stones. Though Nina does collect them all first, she learns that the prince and Maya are truly in love with each other, so Nina gives up the stones and her dream, allowing Maya and the prince to be with one another, while Nina stays on Earth with her friends.
1.「鏡の中」 (Kagami no Naka) by can/goo is around 20 years old, but it still sounds incredibly awesome
In the early 2000s when anime primarily aired on TV, having a catchy opening theme song was key to getting the viewers' attention. We think this song captured the slice of life shojo feelings of the characters perfectly coupled with the magical themes of the show.
The ending theme, Hitotsu=Unmei Kyoudoutai, also by can/goo, lends a more serious, angsty vibe that's perfect for when the characters (especially Ayu) get contemplative.
2. If you thought Tetsushi Kaji was hot, well, of course he was. He was voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya!