Akazukin Chacha (赤ずきんチャチャ?, or "Red Riding Hood Chacha") is a shōjo manga series by Min Ayahana. It was serialized by Shueisha in the manga magazine Ribon from 1991 and 2000 and collected in 13 bound volumes. The series follows the adventures of a fumbling student magician named Chacha, who habitually wears a red hooded cloak, as she seeks the truth about her family and defend the kingdom against its enemies.
Akazukin Chacha was adapted into an anime television series by Nihon Ad Systems and Studio Gallop, first broadcast on TV Tokyo in 74 episodes from 7 January 1994 to 30 June 1995. This was followed by a sequel OVA series of three episodes released between 6 December 1995 and 6 March 1996. In 1998, Cartoon Network aired an English dub of the Akazukin Chacha anime in Southeast Asia and Mandarin-speaking countries. This version has been criticized for mispronunciations.
Akazukin Chacha is the story of a young magical girl named Chacha. She lives in a cottage on Mochi-mochi Mountain with Seravy, her guardian and teacher, who is the fictional world's greatest magician. Chacha is clumsy in casting her spells, frequently mistaking homonyms, she summons spiders (kumo (蜘蛛?) in Japanese) instead of a cloud (also kumo (雲?)). When she and her friends are in trouble, however, her spells do work. Living on the same mountain is a boy named Riiya, gifted with enormous strength, who comes from a family of werewolves. Far away from Mochi-mochi Mountain is Urizuri Mountain where Dorothy, a well known magician, lives in a castle with her student Shiine. Shiine is a young wizard, who is adept at casting spells and barriers, as well as transformations.
The storylines of the manga and the anime adaptation are marked different: while the anime uses most of the same characters, the story of the first two seasons were invented for the television show. Most of the stories in the third season are based on the manga.
Story of the manga
Story of the anime
At the beginning of the anime, when Chacha is about to begin school, Seravy gave her a pendant called the Princess Medallion, and a magical bracelet and ring to Riiya and Shiine respectively. The Princess Medallion enables Chacha to transform into the Magical Princess, who can defeat Daimaō's minions, when she shouts the phrase "Let Love, Courage and Hope -- Magical Princess Holy Up!". However, the transformation works only if the three of them get together.
In season one, Chacha, Shiine, and Riiya attend Urara School, named after their principal Urara. The three are in Banana Class with their teacher named Rascal-sensei who wields a whip and looks strict, but is actually very kind. On the same class is Kurozukin ("black-hooded") Yakko and Orin. Yakko admires Seravy deeply and even calls him Seravy-sama. Orin is a ninja of the Momonga Clan, and good at concealing herself. Orin is probably the most truthful character in the story, she develops a crush on Shiine when they first met. Later a selfish mermaid called Marine tags along because she is interested in Riiya.
In the second season, after Chacha's weapon, the Beauty Serene Arrow, is unable to beat one of Daimaō's minions, Access, the trio began to search for another, more powerful weapon called the Phoenix Sword or Wing Kris. As they do so, Chacha discovers that her parents are the King and Queen of their land. After encountering many obstacles, they find Phoenix Sword. They then begin their quest for the Bird Shield, the third weapon that the Magical Princess must acquire to defeat Daimaō's minions. At the end of this story arc, Chacha, Shiine, Riiya, Orin, Yakko, Marine, Dorothy, and Seravy together, as the eight Holy Warriors of Love, Courage, and Hope, get inside Daimaō's castle. They defeat Daimaō, after which the castle and the kingdom changes back to its original shape and color.
In season three, the King's Crest, which is a magical artifact called the Holy Bird, is stolen by one of Daimaō's minions, Soprano. Whoever possesses the King's Crest can make the world good or evil. When Chacha as the Magical Princess fights Soprano, by accident they break the seal, allowing demons to enter their world and start devastating their land. Seravy tells them that to close the seal again, they must use things that are from gods or goddess. Because the Pendant, Bracelet, and Ring were given to them by Queen Joan, now a goddess, they sacrifice the three items to save the world. As a result, Chacha can no longer change into the Magical Princess, but her family gives her three more magical items, a magical brooch, compact, and Crescent Aurora Bracelet, which she can use to call up a boomerang which in turn brings her the items that can solve her problems. At the end of the series, Seravy settles down, engaged to be married to his former classmate, Dorothy.
All main characters appear in both the manga and anime versions.
- Chacha (チャチャ?) - A young blonde girl practicing magic with her teacher Seravy, but she is not very good at it. She is friends with Riiya and Shiine. In the manga she becomes a couple with riiya. Voiced by: Masami Suzuki
- Riiya (リーヤ?) - A young boy with great strength and an equally great appetite who has the ability to transform into a young white wolf at will. He is constantly fighting with Shiine over Chacha's affections and he dislikes Seravy. He ends up with chacha in the manga. Voiced by: Shingo Katori
- Shiine (しいね?) - Left to Dorothy as a baby by Access (his father), he was raised as a wizard and he also enjoys housework. With Chacha and Riiya's help, he is reunited with his parents. Voiced by: Noriko Hidaka
- Seravy (セラヴィー?) - Chacha's magic teacher, guardian, and the greatest wizard in the land. He was formerly captain of the royal guards and escaped with Chacha when Daimaō attacked the castle. Voiced by: Toru Senrui
- Dorothy (どろしー?) - Shiine's magic teacher who dreamed of becoming the greatest magician in the world. She defeated Pikapon, thus earning the title of greatest magician for only a few minutes because Seravy accidentally hit Dorothy over the head with a huge bouquet of flowers he conjured (to congratulate her), thus earning him the title of greatest magician of the world. Dorothy angrily turned her curly blond hair pink and straight as retaliation because Seravy wouldn't fight with his "beloved Dorothy". Voiced by: Junko Otsubo, later Miina Tominaga
- Daimaō (大魔王?) - In the manga, Daimaō is an agreeable magician with the appearance of a rock-and-roll singer and is a great manga fan. He is the father of Heihachi and is later revealed to be the birth father of Seravy. In the concluding chapters of the manga, he takes in a despondent Riiya and teaches Riiya seduction techniques he can use to win Chacha back. In the anime, Daimaō is the story's antagonist, a demon who wishes to conquer the land and devastate it. A long time ago, Daimaō turned the King and Queen to stone statues. The father of the King, Grand King Genius, sacrificed himself to trap Daimaō inside the castle using a barrier of crystals that formed a spirit shield. Daimaō has to send his minions to do his nasty works for him.
- Elizabeth (エリザベス?) - Seravy's favorite doll. She is the image of Dorothy when she was younger. Voiced by: Junko Otsubo, later Miina Tominaga
- Marin (マリン?) - A mermaid who can change into a human when her tail dries out. She is in love with Riiya, but she is totally oblivious to the fact that he's a werewolf. Voiced by: Tomo Sakurai
- Yakko (やっこ?) - A girl in Chacha's class who is in love with Seravy. She specializes in potions and wears a black hood. Voiced by: Mayumi Akado
- Orin (お鈴?) - Known in the English dub as Suzu. She is a small but nimble ninja who has a crush on Shiine. Voiced by: Noriko Namiki
- Principal Urara (ウララ?) - Principal of Urara School. She wears a pink dress and her eyes are very big. Voiced by: Sumi Shimamoto
- Mr. Rascal (ラスカル?) - Teacher of Banana class. He has long hair which he ties with a yellow bow. He loves to whip his students into shape but is an emotional guy too. Voiced by: Taiki Matsuno
- Ms. Oyuki (おゆき?) - A substitute teacher who can make snow appear due to being a yuki-onna. Voiced by: Miina Tominaga
- Mr. Barabaraman (バラバラマン?) - Teacher of Apple class. He can grow roses on his hair when he is excited and has thorns growing all over his body. Chacha and Mr. Barabaraman won a three legged race using a combination of Seravy's potion and Chacha's Assistance Boomarang. Voiced by: Tsutomu Kashiwakura
- Ms. Mayachon (まやちょん?) - Teacher of Orange class. She was classmates and rivals with Mr. Rascal when they were younger. She actually likes Mr. Rascal very much and hates it that he's nice to everyone but her. Voiced by: Chieko Honda
- Access (アクセス?) - Shiine's father and charged with finding the King's Crest.
- Doris (ドリス?) - Dorothy's younger brother, but he usually dressed as a woman and has a crush on Seravy.
- Dr. Mikeneko (ミケネコ博士?) - Mad scientist, creator of Nyandaber.
- Pikapon (ピカポン?) - A bald wizard constantly mocked and wants to beat Seravy in a magical duel ever since Seravy beat him. Chacha, Riiya, and Shiine-chan call him Tono because of the hairstyle Seravy gave him.
- Popy (ポピィ?) - A telepathic spy originally sent by Momiji School to find out why Urara School's students are constantly becoming famous. He later joins Chacha, Riiya, and Shiine in the core group of characters. Voiced by: Rika Matsumoto
- Principal Momiji (もみじ園長?) - Principal of Momiji School.
- Eli (エリ?) - the big kid
- Yajirobe (やじろべー?) - Yakko's grandfather.
- Katan (カータン?) - King of Karuta.
- Sanae (サナエ?) - Riiya's elder brother.
- Dolphinga (ドルフィンガー?)
- Yanta (やん太?) - Yakko's younger brother.
- Rinnosuke (りんのすけ?) - Orin's younger brother.
- Nami (ナミ?) - Marin's younger sister.
- Chuchu (チュチュ?) - Chacha's younger sister.
- Ichimatsu (市松?)
- Lizard (リザード?)
- Hohoemi Senshi Egaon (ほほえみ戦士エガオン?)
- Heihachi (平八?)
- Naruto (なると?) - Popy's younger brother.
- Amedeo (アメデオ?)
- Yuurin and Riiran (ユーリン+リーラン?) - Seravi and Dorothy's twins.
- Magical Princess (マジカルプリンセス?) - The magical girl alter-ego of Chacha. Voiced by: Masami Suzuki
- Sorges (ソーゲス?) - Daimaō's head henchman.
- Yordas (ヨーダス?) - One of Sorges' henchmen
- Haideyansu (ハイデヤンス?) - One of Sorges' henchmen
- Shironeko (シロネコ?) - Dr. Mikeneko's sister. She once tried to switch Chacha's Princess Medallion with a fake, but end up falling in love with Seravy on the process. Torn between her duty and her love, she eventually found peace when she and her brothers learn that they did not have to fight anymore.
- Piisuke (ピー助?) - The phoenix chick Chacha protected from Yordas. Piisuke becomes the Phoenix Sword, but reverts back to being a chick when the three magic items are sacrificed.
- Grand King Genius (ジーニアス?) - Chacha's grandfather and Seravy's teacher.
The original manga is light-hearted, comedic story. The anime adaptation is darker, and while it uses most of the same characters, it introduced a number of changes. The Magical Princess and her story of the first two seasons are only in the anime, and Daimaō was recast as the main villain. Access was also changed, from a bumbling antagonist to a more omninous villain. How Seravy came to be Chacha's guardian changed from, in the manga, a chance finding her wrapped in a cocoon on a tree to his actively saving her from the castle just before it falls.
See the list of Akazukin Chacha episodes for details on individual episodes.
Reception and influence
In the novel Death Note Another Note: The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases, Akazukin Chacha is mentioned several times. Ryuzaki mentions that he loves Akazukin Chacha (Shiine in particular) and notices that volumes four and nine are missing from a collection, which is a vital clue to the case.
The English dub of the anime aired on Cartoon Network Asia in 1998 has been criticized[who?] for its transliterations. For example, the Magical Princess's "Beauty Serene Arrow" was rendered as "Magical Sylene Arrow" and her "Bird Shield" as "Band Shield".
Akazukin Chacha was written and illustrated by Min Ayahana. It was serialized in 94 chapters by Shueisha in the manga magazine Ribon from 1991 and 2000 and collected in 13 bound volumes. The series was reissued in 2006 in a nine-volume "library edition" with new covers.