Akazukin Cha Cha

(Red Riding Hood Cha Cha)

Rating: 3 Rampages

Chacha as the Magical Princess Holy-Up Synopsis:
Chacha, her best friend Riiya, and Chacha's friend / admirer Shiine are new students at magic school. Studying together in class banana, the three go about their day having fun and learning the important things in life; magic. However, Chacha is not without her troubles; Shiine and Riiya fighting (each other) for her affections, classmate Yakko jealousy of Chacha's appenticeship under sensei Seravy (whom Yakko has a crush on), and schoolmate Marine the Mermaid, who is jealous of Chacha's friendship with Riiya (whom Marine has a crush on). Oh, and Chacha has one other problem: the Evil Magic Lord (there's always gotta be one, y'know?). Trying to destroy Chacha due to what seems like a grudge against Seravy, the Evil Magic Lord throws many obstacles, from monsters to enchanted teachers, in Chacha's way. But, this doesn't trouble Chacha too much for whenever a threat presents itself Chacha, Riiya and Shiine use their magical jewelry to call upon the power of Courage, Hope, and Love, turning Chacha into the more mature Magical Princess Holy Up! As Hime Holy Up, Chacha defeats the Evil Magic Lord's minions with her magical bow and arrow, then returns to her original form to continue her everyday adventures as . . . Red Riding Hood Chacha! SD Chacha!

Oh my, this was very silly. Just after watching the first four episodes I could tell where this series was going, but for once that kind of predictability didn't bother me. Simple, cute artwork (very much like Daichi Akitaro's other work), tolerable music and an obviously formulaic story (monster of the day) are the bad points of the show. What makes Akazukin Cha Cha worth watching is its sense of fun and a truly wacky cast of characters. Cha Cha's penchant for screwing up her incantations is always great for a laugh because while you may know that she's gonna goof up, you don't know what her goof up is going to manifest as. And I must say, Akitaro-san is a master at creatively butchering the Japanese language...between Sana and Cha Cha I think he's used just about every mispronunciation you can think of (and plenty you can't) to great effect. Sure the whole thing of Cha Cha transforming into Holy-Up and killing the evil-monster-of-the-day can get kinda tedious, but the rest of the show is just so much fun it's hard to really get grumpy over it. I'm also told that the episodic nature of the story changes after the first season, and it becomes more of a focused story (sort of). Although it is a Magical Girl show, it shares with Fancy Lala and Card Captor Sakura a broader appeal to those who wouldn't normally consider themselves MG fans (of course, fans of Shonen anime are probably still gonna be turned off, but that's your loss). While you're not gonna come away from watching a chunk of Cha Cha with some kind of huge revelation, you will enjoy yourself (provided you have a sense of humor) a great deal. Just plain goofy fun, you'd have to be a real grouch to avoid falling for Akazukin Cha Cha..I mean if even a big Mecha-Otaku like me can enjoy it, that should tell you something =)

Herself the Elf sez: Be warned, some of the eps in this series are even more warped than Fairy Princess Ren (yes, it's possible!). You'll either be howling with laughter or banging your head against a wall.....maybe both. Ya really gotta wonder exactly what they were smoking...

Currently only available fansubbed. Apparently Chacha is being shown on the Cartoon Network in Singapore (perhaps dubbed?) but I've been able to find very little information on this.