Majokko Tickle DVD vol.2 cover.
|Genre||Magical girl, comedy|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Takashi Hisaoka|
|Written by||Mitsuru Majima, Masaki Tsuji, Akiyoshi Sakai et al.|
|Studio||Toei (production), Nippon Sunrise, Neomedia, Kaze Pro|
|Original run||March 6, 1978 – January 29, 1979|
|Written by||Go Nagai*|
|Illustrated by||Yuki Narumi|
|Published by||Akita Shoten|
|Original run||April 1978 – February 1979|
|Written by||Go Nagai*|
|Illustrated by||Peko Natsumi|
|Original run||May 1978 – July 1978|
|Written by||Go Nagai*|
|Illustrated by||Miko Arasu|
|Original run||June 1978 – August 1978|
Majokko Tickle (魔女っ子チックル Majokko Chikkuru?), also known as Magical Girl Tickle or Magical Girl Chickle, is a 1970s magical girl manga and anime by Go Nagai. Unlike Nagai's earlier (and more popular) Cutie Honey, Majokko Tickle is closer to the more traditional mold of magical girl anime such as Mahoutsukai Sally, and unlike Nagai's other, more popular works, was created for an audience of pre-teen girls.
The anime television series was produced by Toei Company Ltd. (the main office, not the animation studio), with the actual animation produced by various other studios, including Nippon Sunrise. It consisted of 45 episodes and was aired across Japan on TV Asahi from March 6, 1978, to January 29, 1979. It brought the magical girl genre of anime back to Japanese TV screens for the first time since Toei Animation's Majokko Megu-chan aired its final episode in September 1975. Some episodes were scripted by Masaki Tsuji, a longtime friend of Nagai's and head writer on his earlier series Devilman, Dororon Enma-kun, and Cutey Honey. Go Nagai also wrote the lyrics to the opening theme song.
Majokko Tickle is notable for being the first magical girl series to feature a "double hero" (Tickle and her human "sister" Tiko, or a "lucky pair" as they are referred to during the series). Reportedly the series was inspired in part by the popularity of Pink Lady, a female pop duo who were known for performing their songs and dancing in perfect unison and who sold millions of records in Japan during the late 1970s (they also later had a minor hit in the United States called "Kiss in the Dark"). Pink Lady had an enormous audience of young girls, and Majokko Tickle was considered an opportunity to capitalize on the similarity. In fact, one of Pink Lady's hits ("Southpaw") was featured in one episode, in which Tickle and her "sisters" Tiko and Hina watch the duo perform the song on TV.
Tiko (actually "Chiiko"), a shy Japanese schoolgirl, receives a book as a gift from her father on her eleventh birthday. When Tiko opens the book, she releases Tickle ("Chikkuru"), a mischievous fairy who was imprisoned inside the book for playing pranks on people. At first Tiko doesn't believe Tickle is a witch, and tells her to prove it. So Tickle delivers Tiko's scarf to her friend Mico (who had just moved to Hokkaido, and promised to be around for Tiko's birthday). Once Tiko realizes the truth, she is happy to befriend Tickle. Tickle casts a spell, and Tiko is surprised when her mother tells her and her "sister" Tickle to come down for dinner. Tickle reveals that in order to avoid awkward questions about where she came from, she will pass herself off as Tiko's twin sister. Tickle uses her powers to solve everyday problems and, of course, to continue playing tricks on people (particularly Tiko's annoying kid sister, Hina).
Like other magical girls, Tickle has a special phrase she uses to cast a spell; hers is: "Maharu Tamara Furanpa."
Although the series is mostly light-hearted and whimsical, there are some serious parts, such as children being teased for being overweight or ugly. The series also features a reversal of expectations, as Tickle is from another world, and has her own way of doing things.
Tickle A mischievous fairy who was imprisoned in a book for playing tricks before being freed by Tiko (although she claims to be a magical princess on the run from a dragon). She decides to stay around for a while, and uses her magic to manipulate everyone's memories, making them believe she has always been Tiko's twin sister. Although she loves playing tricks, she doesn't hesitate to use her magic to solve problems. But being part of a family is a new experience for Tickle, and magic can't solve problems she doesn't understand. She is voiced by Rihoko Yoshida. Tickle was renamed Lilli in the Italian dub.
Tiko A very shy girl, she is the one who freed Tickle, and now lives with her, posing as twins. She had just lost her best friend when she received the book containing Tickle. She has a very annoying sister named Hina. She is very shy, but becomes more confident as the story progresses. She is usually against Tickle's use of magic. She is voiced by Youko Asagami except in the last episode when Keiko Han had to fill in for her. Tiko was renamed Mirtilla in the Italian dub.
Hina The very annoying sister of Tiko and (she believes) Tickle. She loves nothing more than butting into whatever her "sisters" are doing. She often gets her comeuppance via Tickle's magic. Naturally, nobody believes her when she claims to have seen Tickle using magic. She is voiced by Toyoko Komazawa.
Tiko's father The father of Tiko, Hina and (he believes) Tickle. The one who gave Tiko the book containing Tickle. He is voiced by Hiroshi Ohtake.
Tiko's mother The mother of Tiko, Hana and (she believes) Tickle. A loving and kind woman. She is voiced by Haruko Kitahama.
Donta The fat trouble maker at Tickle and Tiko's school (similar to Boss in Nagai's Mazinger Z). He has two friends (or "underlings") - Ago and Pochi. They all befriend Tickle and Tiko. He is voiced by Hiroshi Ohtake.
Fuuko The heavy-set girl in Tiko and Tickle's class. She is teased at school for her weight. Tickle encourages her to do her best. She is voiced by Keiko Yamamoto.
Satomi The resident "rich-girl". She is very snobby, and usually causes problems for Tiko. She is voiced by Haruko Kitahama.
Saburo A boy that Tickle and Tiko both have a crush on. He is voiced by Akira Kamiya.
Takakura-sensei Tickle and Tiko's teacher. He is very silly, and clumsy. Takakura-sensei has a crush on Hanamura-sensei. He is voiced by Hiroshi Masuoka.
Hanamura-sensei The beautiful teacher at Tiko and Tickle's school. She is voiced by Kazuko Sugiyama.
King Ojama The king of the Magic Kingdom. He appears in the last episode, demanding Tickle to return.
Perhaps because it is aimed at a substantially younger demographic than Go Nagai's other creations, Majokko Tickle is one of Nagai's most obscure works. Nevertheless, the series was dubbed into other languages and broadcast in several other countries, including Italy (Lilli, un guaio tira l'altro), France (Magique Tickle, drole de fee or "Tickle the Funny Fairy"), Turkey, and Poland (Magiczne Igraszki). In Italy, the opening theme song was an instrumental version of the original Japanese theme by Mitsuko Horie, and the Polish version (aired on Polonia 1) retains the original Japanese vocal themes, but an entirely different song was used in the French version. The Polish dub is peculiar in that it does not feature actual Polish voice actors, but simply a reading of Polish-language dialogue by a female voiceover artist over the original Japanese dialogue. Both the Italian and French dub have completely new music and SFX, possibly because Toei didn't have the original materials. A Spanish dub, titled Cosquillas Mágicas, was also shown in Spain on the Antena 3 network.
Since the copyright of the series belongs to Toei Co. Ltd. and not Toei Animation, a VHS and LD release was not possible. Also, because of this situation, Tickle's appearance in the 1999 Role-playing video game Majokko Daisakusen: Little Witching Mischiefs (which featured magical girls from Toei Animation TV series from 1966–1981, including Cutie Honey, Megu-chan, Sally, Akko-chan and Lunlun among others), was not possible. After several years, the series has finally been released for the home video market by Toei Video in Japan in 4 DVD sets of two discs between 2005 and 2006.
(Source: Anime News Network; Anime Memorial, The Anime Encyclopedia by Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy)
- Original creator: Go Nagai
- Series director: Takashi Kuoka
- Direction: Atsushi Takagi, Tôru Sakata, Takashi Hisaoka, Tôru Sakata, Yûji Uchida, Kenji Nakano, Fumio Tashiro
- Script: Mitsuru Majima, Tatsuo Tamura, Yoshimi Shinozaki, Sukehiro Tomita, Hirohisa Soda, Akiyoshi Sakai, Naoko Miyake, Masaki Tsuji, Kunihiko Yuyama, Kôzô Takagaki, Yû Yamamoto, Toyohiro Andô, Tomoko Konparu
- Storyboard: Hideo Yamada, Atsushi Takagi, Shûji Iuchi, Hiroshi Ashibe, Katsutoshi Sasaki, Kunihiko Yuyama, Watake Na
- Character designs: Hiroshi Takahisa, Osamu Motohara
- Animation directors: Takeshi Tamazawa, Yûji Uchida, Kanji Hara, Masuo Ani, Yoshiteru Kobayashi, Otojirô Katô
- Backgrounds: Shin Kato
- Music: Takeo Watanabe
- Theme song lyrics: Go Nagai (OP), Saburo Yatsude (a pseudonym for the collective Toei - not Toei Animation - staff) (ED)
- Theme song performance: Mitsuko Horie (OP- Majokko Tickle, ED- Tickle and Tiko's Cha-cha-cha)
- Production: Neomedia/Nippon Sunrise/Kaze Pro for Toei Company Ltd.