Manga artist Mitsuteru Yokoyama (GIGANTOR, JOHNNY SOKKO) was not just known for his boy’s comics. One of his most famous manga stories, was for young girls. MAHOUTSUKAI SALLY 魔法使いサリー (MAGICAL WITCH SALLY/SALLY THE WITCH) appeared in Ribbon Shoujo Comics in 1966, and spawned an anime series that same year produced by Toei Doga. Running a total of 109 episodes, only the first 17 were in black and white, then the rest were in color. Mitsuteru Yokoyama stated the program was inspired by the US comedy series BEWITCHED.
Sally the Witch
The story begins with a very bored young girl Sally, who is the princess of a magical witch kingdom. Sally is frustrated with her mother always scolding her for not studying and her father is always away. Sally longs to make friends in the human world and decides to runaway to Earth. When Sally arrives on Earth, she quickly befriends two girls named Yoshiko and Sumire. The girls are thrown off by Sally’s strange behavior, and they suspect she uses magic but are not quite sure. The three girls have several adventures and situations where Sally’s magic must bail them out. Sally uses a magic book and a wand at times to cast spells. Sally cast spells with the magic phrase “Mahariku Maharita Yanbara Yan”.
The Hanamura Triplets
When Sally’s parents discover she is missing, they send her younger brother, a shape-shifter, Kabu to bring her back, but he decides to stay as well. Sally’s father sends several minions to bring her back but she outwits them all. Along with the comedic antics throughout the series, Sally also uses her magic to stop criminals. She eventually lives life like a human girl and attends school in the 5th grade. Sally is innocent and full of charm, which makes her character very likeable.
This series is fun and has some nice character designs. SALLY THE WITCH inspired a whole string of young witch or magic girl anime in years to come, think SAILOR MOON. There were a couple feature films, sequels, as well as a live show to follow. Originally SALLY THE WITCH was going to be “Sunny” but the name was trademarked by Sony, who then licensed it to Nissan for a car, so Mitsuteru Yokoyama avoided a lawsuit by calling her “Sally” instead. Sally’s catchy theme song Mahotsukai Sally no uta (Song of Sally the Witch) was performed by the Three Graces, and the ending theme Mambo Magic was sang by Yoko Maekawa the Honey Knights.
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