Mahou Shoujo Tai Arusu

Title:Mahou Shoujo Tai Arusu
Magic-Girl Squad - Alice
Mahou Shoujotai Alice
The Adventures of Tweeny Witches
Tweeny Witches
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: HIROHASHI Ryou
KOJIMA Sachiko
R1 License - Media Blasters

Even before Middle School, Alice believed with all her heart in magic and when a strange book of spells came into her possession, she began to study and practice. And then one day something strange happens! She find herself transported into a very different world and held captive by witches similar in age to her. These witches don’t share Alice’s belief that magic should be used for good and fun, but rather they are using their skills to capture and enslave sprites, the native and magical beings of their world. This is something that Alice can not accept, and she sets out to change things.

[40 TV episodes (each 9 minutes long). Produced by Studio 4°C. The initial TV run done as "pan-and-scan" with the Japanese DVD-release being in wide-screen. See also the OVA "sequel" (featuring one-off stories that take place during the TV series) Mahou Shoujo Tai Alice the Adventure. ]

1:31min Series Opening - YouTube Video
1:33min Series Ending/Closing - YouTube Video

Note: The end theme is "DuDiDuWa*lalala" by KOTOKO, which takes Johann Strauss's "The Beautiful Blue Danube" as a tune, changing it from 3/4 time to 4/4 time.
Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 7 7 7 7 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:1196#1552]
Tweeny Witches (or Mahou Shoujo-tai Arisu for Japano-philes) involves female lead Arisu being whisked away to a magical world where witches make use of sprites to maintain the magic of their realm. In spite of her human origins, Arisu finds that she too can make use of magic in the realm and becomes acquainted with witch apprentices, Eva and Sheila, as she learns more of the world's workings.

At a glance, Tweeny Witches sports nothing groundbreaking in regards to its premise and characters. The focus on a magical world with witches is inspired from Western lore and the series is rather predictable in its plot developments with Arisu's trio tasked with retrieving the sprites they lost, gradually learning to bond with one another, and eventually coming across an enemy threat to the witch's realm. All the characters have their specific character types they fall under with Arisu the genki gal, Sheila the tsundere, and Eva having confidence issues. However, the series does do a competent job at fleshing out their characters and exploring more about the witch's realm and its workings with how they regard magic and any mingling they have with humans and male magic-users called warlocks. The chemistry between the three also makes for the more enjoyable, and sometimes funny, elements of the series. In spite of each episode to the series being only at eight minutes a piece, Tweeny Witches makes effective use of its time with character exploration and world-building.

If there's a major issue I do have with Tweeny Witches though, it comes from the show's forced efforts to push its moral. It seemed like Tweeny Witches may have been made in mind for a younger audience as it idealistically pushes the idea that one's wishes can come true if you wish hard enough for them. This is regularly forced down the viewer's throats by Arisu who has an idealistic bent in regards to her belief in magic being for the good of everyone and not harming others, this clashing with the more jaded outlook that the witches have in regards to its use. Still, this doesn't stop the series from seeming to conveniently work things in Arisu's favor at a number of points in the series to push its moral, even at the price of engaging storytelling for those not among the show's apparently young demographic.

Visuals for the series are a bit of a mixed bag. While sporting some creative settings and some Western-inspired character designs that stick out from the typical anime style, the series is rife in a good number of animation shortcuts to get around more elaborate animated sequences such as broom-flying scenes or any magical shenanigans occurring. Also, character designs can usually degrade in quality at points, this becoming noticeable during some later episodes in the series.

Still in spite of not offering anything groundbreaking, Tweeny Witches still made for solid entertainment in exploring the developments of Arisu and her friends within the world of witches, even if it gets a bit too heavy-handed at times with pushing its idealistic message.

Last updated Saturday, February 24 2018. Created Saturday, February 24 2018.
Rent 9 8 6 10 7 8 AstroNerdBoy [series:1196#436]

The first thing that struck me about Mahou Shoujo-tai Alice was the musical start (DVD-release in Japan). The music was beautiful and combined with medieval European-styled artwork that was also beautiful to look at. Certainly a neat way to catch ones attention in this otherwise young shoujo-fare title.

The character designs and art designs are an odd combination. We have the beauty of a Miyazaki-sensei movie combined with Dr. Seuss and something Tim Burton ("Nightmare Before Christmas") might come up with. The result works, but won't make this feel like a traditional anime. Further, having most of the characters have western names, keeping the use of Japanese honorifics down, having non-traditional anime art and character designs, and the more "dumbed down" story makes me really wonder if the Japanese were trying to entice an R1 company (4Kids for example) to pick this up.

Because this is a title that has been geared for younger audiences (possibly American TV audiences), things are forced throughout the series, but not horribly so -- no square pegs into the round hole. For example, Alice just drops into this new world of magic and witches and events are a bit forced so that she ends up with Sheila-chan and Eva-chan. Events are a bit forced to get Alice learning magic. Events are a bit forced to allow Alice's dream ideals to work. The ending has some forcing to get things completed properly. This happens throughout the title, but again I have to remind myself that this was geared to a young audience.

The story is interesting, but ultra predictable. No surprises anywhere to be found. Again, I have to remind myself that the story was geared to a younger female audience. Because this shoujo crowd is the target, the writers make feeling trump everything else. Thus Alice can spout idealistic stuff until the cows come home and the writers will do things to try to make those ideals work, even if they smack as unrealistic.

Speaking of Alice, despite her annoying spoutings at times, I couldn't help but like her. Still, when the logical Sheila smacks her in episode 29, I was pretty happy about that. Frankly Alice could have used a few more slaps but oh well. In addition to Alice and Shelia, there's Eva-chan who makes up the group's weakest member but the one who wants to do right and has a good heart. The seiyuu playing these three characters do a fantastic job in bringing them to life.

Bottom line: a bit too preachy and too kiddy for my tastes. Still, the beauty of the art and music and mostly fun story and characters are enough to make this worth a "Rent."

Last updated Friday, December 05 2008. Created Saturday, April 08 2006.

Unevaluated Jan-Chan [series:1196#967]
This is a very Kawaii series that is currently being fansubbed under the title of <Mahou_Shoujotai> or <Tweeny_Witches>.

Last updated Saturday, October 08 2005. Created Saturday, October 08 2005.

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