Tateishi Ayu is a highly regarded idol student among the girls at her school, and is the leader of the tennis club. Sakura Nina, however, is the odd girl out.
The two meet when Nina asks Ayu to help her find her missing computer, which she always carries around with her. Ayu helps her get it back, and a happy Nina offers to do her a favor as well. However, there's a hitch: Nina is actually a witch from the Magic Kingdom (no relation to Disney), who came to our world to study about it. And her computer is really an electronic spell book, which she updates via the Internet (of course).
Nina soon becomes quite attracted to Ayu and offers to help her with all sorts of things, but her spells don't always seem to go as planned. Let the wacky hijinks begin...
I decided to watch this anime because I like the manga a lot. But I was a bit worried when hearing that it was a bit...doinky...compared to the manga. Fortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case, and aside from a few small things, I liked this anime just as much as the manga.
Ultra Maniac has a mix of the typical Yoshizumi Wataru love triangles (after all, this is based on one of her manga ^^) and magical girl-ness. The anime tends to focus more on the magical girl part of it, though, resulting in a nice, long transformation sequence for Nina which gets repeated ad nauseum throughout the show and gets quite annoying after a while.
Ayu is an interesting character, and she's certainly not a ... beach ... like Miki from the Marmalade Boy anime was. And just like Miki, Ayu plays tennis (another sign that this is a Yoshizumi Wataru work). Unfortunately I cannot say the same for Kaji, her crush, who is a bit bland and boring.
Nina's hijinks are entertaining though (especially in episode 3), and are generally fun to watch, although Nina herself tends to be the ditzy type (as with mostly every magical girl).
As for music, the OP and ED are OK, but are best listened to in their full version. The TV-size versions are rather doinky. The animation and art style are average for TV anime, and Tsujiai, the guy who I'm predicting is going to end up with Nina by the end, looks a bit like a Captain Tsubasa reject.
Ultra Maniac is an enjoyable show, with a couple small flaws, and it's a good anime to watch in between heavier fare. I recommend it.
A nice, soft, fluffy show. Subtract two stars if you're a die-hard fan of the original manga. — Jennifer Berman
Recommended Audience: There isn't much to find objectionable in this anime, unless you think all anime involving magic and witches is satanic. In episode 3, Ayu turns into a boy for a bit, but there isn't really anything ecchi going on, if you know what I mean. In other words, it's a good anime to show to little kids.
Version(s) Viewed: digital source
Review Status: Partial (11/26)
Ultra Maniac © 2003 Yoshizumi Wataru / Shueisha / Animax
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