Ultra Maniac TV

Title:Ultra Maniac TV
Ultra Maniac
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: CHIBA Saeko
CHIBA Susumu
KAMIYA Hiroshi
Original Concept - YOSHIZUMI Wataru
R1 License - Geneon (Defunct)
Nina Sakura is a girl from a realm known as the Magic Kingdom. Here, magic is the norm, but sadly, Nina isn't very good with magic. So her grandfather arranges for her to come to Earth (and specifically Japan) to study and to try to improve her magic skills. Here she befriends the very popular Ayu Tatesishi whom she soon reveals her secret identity to, that of a magic girl. Together with fellow (male) friends and classmates Kaji-kun and Tsujia-kun, this foursome embarks on a year of adventure, fun, study, and even romance at their middle school. All the while, Nina must contend with fellow magic girl Maya on a quest to collect the five magical 'Holy Stones'.
The Ultra Maniac OAV is a precursor to Ultra Maniac TV but the OAV is not required to watch the TV series as the TV series does several things different (like the initial meeting of Nina and Ayu).
[TV series, 2003, 26 TV episodes, based on the manga of the same title (which was completed only a few months after the TV series)]
Episode Details 
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 8
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 7 6 6 6 5 5 Ggultra2764 [series:606#1552]
This cookie-cutter mahou shoujo title mixes comedy coming from the antics of Ayu and other magical folk affecting the human world, romance from the major female characters having love interests and a "collect them all" style storyline where Ayu and close friend Maya are collecting several magic-enhancing gems called the Holy Gems. While the "collect them all" story element doesn't get too much focus until later in the show, the romance and comedy elements are still prominent for the most part here and they are rather shallow and bland with typical lessons about believing in yourself and being considerate towards others being played up, which isn't of much surprise considering this seems to have been made in mind for a younger female audience in Japan. Visuals are standard quality for an early 2000s anime and animated sequences such as transformation scenes and use of magic from Ayu and Maya are reused rather frequently in this series. In short, this would only be worthwhile if you're a diehard mahou shoujo fan or have young girls to show this off to, as this series is pretty clean with its content for the most part and Geneon's release having an English dub.

Last updated Monday, September 02 2013. Created Monday, September 02 2013.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:606#628]
(Eight episodes watched):

Ultra Maniac seems a silly but shallow comedy series that will probably wind up with a "Watch" rating from me. Though I don't want to give a unnecessarily negative impression of this show, the fact that I bought it something like five or six years ago and am just now watching it might tell you something. Back then, the first episode (actually, the OVA) didn't particularly thrill me and I shelved Ultra Maniac. Only now am I finally trying to watch it in it's entirety. The cute silliness seems to wear thin before long, which doesn't leave much to carry the show onwards. Indeed, I was distinctly displeased to learn that I had gotten myself into a 26 episode series whereas I had come to hope that it would be only 13. I feel kind of sorry for Ultra Maniac, which is a show which doesn't blatantly offend me in any way, it is just unexceptional and easily forgettable.

As interesting as the series itself is how I got ahold of it and the package it came in. Back in the days when "fansubs" seemed like an urban legend to me, I bought this series on DVD via e-Bay. I got really slick DVDs, printed with a professional quality color illustration of Nina and Ayu (see Episode 0). It was this fancy packaging, attributed to an organization called "Anime Central", which made the show stand out and be chosen nowadays to be viewed when I found a litle spare time on my hands. But the episodes themselves were clearly fansubs, and buying these is the ultimate heresy. But back then I didn't give a damn; I had no idea where fansubs came from, or how to put my name on the list to have them sent to me (probably on VHS tapes). Sometimes pirates would offer them for sale on e-Bay, and I would jump at the chance. Generally, however, the "packaging" of these would be little more than handwritten magic marker labels on originally blank DVDs, which made the Ultra Maniac ones stand out. On the internet I find that Anime Central applies to a Chicago area convention, a UK TV channel, and a website that hasn't been updated since 05-26-04. I wonder, did a fansub group at one time actually manufacture DVDs? The disc says in small print "Copyright 2004 AnimeCentral. Unauthorized copying and reproduction are prohibited".

Devil Doll suspects that these DVDs were made by the convention organizers, I would presume so that they could be sold or given away at the convention itself. Anyway, ultimately I just couldn't maintain enough interest in Ultra Maniac and quit watching yet again.

Man, look how many "hits" this show has gotten.

Last updated Saturday, February 05 2011. Created Sunday, August 31 2008.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:606#1573]
Drama : Low
Comedy : Med
Action : None
SciFi : High
Ecchi : Low

4 Episodes Watched
While looking for another G-Rated type of anime I pulled this off the shelf.

The whole time I was watching this I was going 'Why does this feel like Marmalade boy?' (Might be the tennis theme with 2 girls as the main characters. And one of the VA's from it.) The animation looks like Sugar:A Little Snow Fairy (Aya looks like Saga from Sugar). The main guy's English VA is Rick Hunter from Robotech. The magical scene is right out of Card Captor Sakura. (With a funny little back flip scene)

I'm so confused.

It's good but I'll reserve judgement on it until I see the 2nd disk (Which just released as of this writting).

Edit : Gah it's my developing Otaku spidey sense going off. This happens to the be by the Mangaka of Marmalade boy. Now I'm not so confused.

Last updated Monday, June 27 2005. Created Monday, June 27 2005.
Buy bordem [series:606#1311]
this show should suck... alot, the plot is horrible but the story is well written and the characters are very well drawn. this story tho doesnt follow the manga, and its a shame i prefered the mangas plot and the prince thing made it seem like the people who too kthe story to anime were afraid that magic without any other mystical standbys,

Last updated Wednesday, May 26 2004. Created Wednesday, May 26 2004.
Buy 10 9 10 9 8 8 Jo-Ryan Salazar [series:606#1150]
This is a very nice adaptation of the manga classic by Wataru Yoshizumi. The characters are lovable, especially the four leads (Ayu, Nina, Kaji, Tsujiai). Comedy and drama are balanced really nice, and the music is quite catchy.
What lowered the score a bit was the fact that the plot deviated from the actual manga plotline. The anime series would have had a much a higher sense of recogniztion overall if it had followed the original manga story. Had this happened, Ultra Maniac would have been more of a drama, which would have pleased a wider audience (12-17, somewhere in that range). I assume this was altered to please a younger audience...ah well.
Voices are barely above average at best. Sometimes, it seemed that Ayu and Nina, and some of the male students at Shuei sounded like they were much older than 12-14, which made the voices have a bit of a downside.
Another downside was the fact that this was only a 26-episode series. The anime, for what it's worth, would have beeneven more sensational if it was extended another 26 episodes. -_-"
However, the anime version of Ultra Maniac is very good, and if it was licensed and dubbed by ADV Films (my first choice to have the series dubbed), I would recommend to every to go out and buy it.

Last updated Friday, January 16 2004. Created Friday, January 16 2004.
Buy 2147483647 2147483647 2147483647 2147483647 2147483647 2147483647 AnimeLuvr4L [series:606#846]
Ah, IDC if UM just started two months ago! I LOVE IT ALREADY! haha. i didnt know that the OVA came first. so i already watched the 7 epis that are out and i have the OVA sitting on my desktop.. ill wait till my bro wakes up tomorrow to watch it w. him.. well neways.. i dont really have a bishonen in UM.. :/.. oh well! its a great Anime! u should watch it! okay.. by now, after you read my reviews on Full Moon wo Sagashite, Kodocha, and Naruto, can you tell that im not a really good reviewer? Oh but i am! im only reviewing the Anime that ive watched! but thats what ur supposed to do! oh.. hontou?? jk i knew that.. Watch it! ^_~

Last updated Friday, July 11 2003. Created Friday, July 11 2003.
Unevaluated 10 8 Lutzie [series:606#786]
i've only watched 7 episodes of this anime, but i really like it. it's light-hearted and funny, good for a little relaxation.

Last updated Wednesday, July 09 2003. Created Wednesday, July 09 2003.
Buy 8 8 8 9 7 8 AstroNerdBoy [series:606#436]

Another anime genre Im not into is the mahou shoujo genre. But because the fansub group The Triad was doing this title, I gave it a look. Im glad I did because it is a very sweet, charming, and fun series that while geared to girls, wont make adults (nor boys) leave the room screaming

The writing for the series is pretty good. The stories are very entertaining and the cast of characters are all enjoyable. While the Magic Stones overall arc seems to be something thrown in when first introduced (several episodes into the series), it serves its purpose to add some conflict between Nina and Maya-chan, the other magic girl in the series. However, Ninas quest for the stones isnt what I found interesting. It was her growth as a character. In the beginning, shes little more than a bumbling magic girl with little control over her powers. By the time the series ends, shes grown quite a bit, not only in power, but in maturity as well. Shes even begun to experience her first love. In fact, I think it is safe to say that all of the characters (with the exception of the sensei and the school nurse) either grow or were not exactly what they appeared to be at the beginning. This is the strength of Ultra Maniac.

Another positive is the humor. It would have been easy for the writers to just have an episode where all sorts of bad things happen, misunderstandings, lies and cover-ups go running amuck. While these things happen, they dont make up the basis for an episode. For example, theres an episode where Ayu-chan consumes a magic item to allow her to speak her heart to Kaji-kun. Unfortunately, she runs into her sensei and while she would have just apologized and left, she ends up saying the ugly things on her mind to him when he begins getting onto her. It was a funny scene, but fortunately that was it. She runs away and the next scene is after the magic spell has worn off. It was a relief they didnt make an entire episode of her speaking her mind to everyone.

The art is good as is the animation. The music is more medieval European in style with frequent use of the harpsichord. However, it fits the series perfectly, especially since Nina comes from a world based on a fanciful old Europe. >/p>

Bottom line: a really enjoyable series that can be enjoyed by a wide range of people. If this comes to R1, I really hope it will be given the royal treatment it deserves.

Last updated Saturday, September 18 2004. Created Monday, June 30 2003.

Other Sites
Ultra Maniac Page http://www.swb.de/~zahara/yo/ultra_maniac.html
A fan site that mainly deals with the manga but has a little bit of information on the anime.
Ultra Maniac Screenshot Gallery http://www.csulb.edu/~jsalaza5/ultramaniac/index.html
One of five Ultra Maniac screenshot galleries on the site. The rest are listed below.
Ultra Maniac Screenshot Gallery 2 http://www.csulb.edu/~jsalaza5/ultramaniac2/index.html
Ultra Maniac Screenshot Gallery 3 http://www.csulb.edu/~jsalaza5/ultramaniac3/index.html
Ultra Maniac Screenshot Gallery 4 http://www.csulb.edu/~jsalaza5/ultramaniac4/index.html
Ultra Maniac Screenshot Gallery 5 http://www.csulb.edu/~jsalaza5/ultramaniac5/index.html
Official Website (japanese) http://www33.ocn.ne.jp/~sakurahi/marmalade/ulmani/

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