Mahō no Mako-chan
|Mahō no Mako-chan|
(Mahou no Mako-chan)
|Genre||Magical girl, Romance|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Yugo Serikawa|
|Music by||Takeo Watanabe|
|Original network||TV Asahi|
|Original run||November 2, 1970 – September 9, 1971|
Mahō no Mako-chan (魔法のマコちゃん Mahou no Mako chan?, lit. Magical Mako) is a Japanese anime series by Toei Animation. The story is loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale The Little Mermaid. The series has been dubbed into various languages including French, Spanish, Polish and Italian. It is also often known as Mako the Mermaid, Mako-chan’s Magic, Syrenka Mako and Magical Mako-chan.
Mahō no Mako-chan aired in 1970 via Nippon Educational TV (NET), which is now TV Asahi.
Mako (her name is sometimes romanized as "Maco" or "Makko", and is changed to "Ginny" in the Italian version) is a mermaid and the youngest daughter of the Dragon King. She longs for the human world despite it being forbidden by her father. One stormy night, she saves a human boy from a wrecked ship and falls in love with him. Mako makes a deal with the Witch of the Sea and is transformed into a human high school girl with the condition that she can never be return to being a mermaid. With the magical pendant called the "Tear of the Mermaid", Mako meets many people and experiences many things as she learns what it means to be human, all while waiting for the day she can once more meet the boy she rescued.
Unlike in the original story of The Little Mermaid, in this adaptation (created by Toei's planning team and featuring Masaki Tsuji as head writer), the mermaid is still able to speak while in human form, and this adaptation also does not end in tragedy as the original story did. Toei made a more faithful adaptation of the story as a feature film in 1975, which used some of the same staff as this TV series, including animator Shingo Araki.
- Mako (Urashima) ((浦島)マコ?) Voiced by: Kazuko Sugiyama
- The heroine. She is the youngest daughter of the Dragon King but yearned to become a human so she can be with the boy she loves, Akira. Found by old fisherman Urashima and adopted as his granddaughter, she starts attending Karatachi School.
- Haruko Voiced by: Sachiko Chijimatsu
- Mako's classmate at school, she becomes her closest friend there. She wears glasses yet is more vociferous in opposing wrongs, or Tomiko for that matter.
- Jiro (次郎?) Voiced by: Keiko Tomochika
- Jiro, along with his identical twin brother Taro, are old Urashima's real grandsons and helped him take Mako to the hospital. They also urged their grandfather to save her from traffickers who were about to sell her off. They love their adopted cousin and support her ideas of righteousness.
- Taro (太郎?) Voiced by: Yuuko Maruyama
- Jiro's identical twin brother, Taro is the more realist of the two.
- Banchou (番町 Bancho?) Voiced by: Hiroshi Ohtake
- Rough classmate of Mako's at Karatachi School. His real surname is Matsubashi.
- Senkichi Voiced by: Akira Kamiya
- Bancho's friend and lieutenant.
- Tomiko Voiced by: Kazuko Makino
- Mako's classmate and rival. Her mother is president of the school's PTA, hence her arrogance. She also knows Akira and wants him.
- Mr. Dabagon (ダバゴン先生?) Voiced by: Ritsuo Sawa
- Mako's class' homeroom teacher. Kind and funny yet stern.
- Papa (パパ?) Voiced by: Isao Yatsu
- The Dragon King himself. He is able to assume human form and appear on Earth so he can help, and scold, Mako. He often overrules his wife's overprotectiveness and lets his daughter do her own things, but is stern, particularly with Mako's use of her magical pendant and the etiquette she should follow.
- Mama (ママ?) Voiced by: Michiko Hirai
- The Dragon King's wife and mother of Mako. She rarely speaks and is only seen in flashbacks, but seems to be overprotective of Mako, unlike her husband and her mother who are willing to let her go her own way.
- Obaba (おばば?) Voiced by: Kazue Takahashi
- A sea hag who is the Dragon King's mother-in-law. She is able to communicate with him in his human form, and often derides his lack of control over Mako to spite him (even though it was thanks to her magic that Mako was able to become a terrestrial being).
- Old Urashima (浦島老人?) Voiced by: Tetsuya Kaji
- The old fisherman who found a nude and unconscious Mako on the beach after her transformation into a human being. He takes her in as his adoptive granddaughter. He's very stern, but deep down cares for Mako. (His surname, which Mako adopts, may be based on the legend of Urashima Tarō.)
- Akira Shigeno (茂野アキラ?) Voiced by: Osamu Ichikawa/Isao Sakuma
- The young human Mako once saved from drowning, he had been on a cruise ship that capsized when the event occurred and thus lost a lot of his memory from the experience. Mako falls in love with him, but once she becomes a terrestrial being, he's not found so easily. Akira in truth is a drifter who does odd jobs and arrives and leaves town at will. He does like Mako's personality but is totally clueless about her feelings for him. (In some Latin American versions his given name is Shin'ichi instead of Akira.)
The scores and lyrics for Mahō no Mako-chan were created by Takeo Watanabe and performed by Horie Mitsuko. Some of the score was reused in later Toei series, including Majokko Megu-chan and Genshi Shonen Ryu.
"Mahō no Mako-chan" by Horie Mitsuko
"BOKU wa MAKO ni tsuite yuku" by Horie Mitsuko
- "魔法のマコちゃん". Toei Animation Official Site. Retrieved 20 August 2011.