-What is this cartoon about?
So the story opens up with a young witch riding on her broomstick looking for someone with the same face as her, Himeko Nonohara. The young witch is Princess Erika of Magical Kingdom, and she explains to Himeko that for her to succeed the throne she must invent a useful device, and she wants Himeko to test it out for a year; however, if she gets caught she and everyone around her loses their memories. The device is a magical red ribbon and watch that allows the user to change into any person on Earth. This device does have conditions (like in Pastel Yumi): she has to be looking at her reflection in order to change, she has to recite “parallel, parallel, become (name of person)”, and it only lasts an hour. With this she gets herself in interesting predicaments, and eventually finds love, rivalry, friendship, and what it means to be herself.
-Who are the central characters?
Himeko Nonohara is the 14 year old, titular character. Her name is somewhat ironic, because it translates as “little princess,” but in reality she is a clumsy tomboy. She is always enthusiastic, great at sports, kind of bad at school, a complete klutz, and funny; however, people tend to forget that she is a girl. Because of this she has an insecurity that she is not feminine enough (yet her optimism propels her to face her weaknesses). She as a crush on Kouichi Hasekura, a boy in her older sister’s class, who is the kind, prince type. She hates a boy named Daichi Kobayashi, because he thought she was a boy and embarrassed her in front of Kouichi.
Daichi Kobayashi is a 14 year old boy in the same school as Himeko. He is a trouble maker, good-looking, and smart, but he can also be rude at times. I can’t say much about him and his relationship with Himeko without ruining the story, but I can say that although Himeko hates him he is probably the love interest.
Pokota is Himeko’s stuffed lion and best friend. Himeko has had Pokota her whole life, talks to him all the time, and takes him everywhere she goes. When she meets Princess Erika and is given the ribbon, Erika explains that Himeko needs a magical creature to watch over her, so Pokota comes to life (but only when she wears the ribbon). He is very friendly and always helps her out of the tough situations she gets herself into.
(There are other important characters, but talking about them might ruin some aspects of the plot.)
-How is the Artwork?
The art is damn cute, and for a 90’s teen she has a realistic figure (no long legs and tiny waist like Wedding Peach or Sailor Moon). Even the hair styles are surprisingly realistic.
-What makes the cartoon awesome?
Although there are some cliches (like how she’s a klutz), the show is hilarious and really realistic. When Himeko first meets Erika she tries to scream (because she was floating outside the window), when she hears Erika’s tale she calls her mom (because she doesn’t believe her), and when she finally sees the magical broomstick she just sits down slowly in disbelief. Also, when Daichi reveals he thought she was a boy, her first reaction is to kick him in the face. As the story progresses Hineko screws things up (while trying to do good things), which makes her character more relatable. Not to mention that she is 14 year old girl (not a kid in grade school), that does not fall in love with a high school kid. This is like Creamy Mami, Pastel Yumi, Minky Momo, and such with a young girl transforming into an older-type person, but because she has a more flexible transformation (not just one person with many occupations) I feel that the anime is an evolved version of the 80’s Magical Girl.
All in all, I liked it.