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Tenchi Muyo Universe

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Pretty Sammy
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Added 11/1/2011
Misao Amano from Pretty Sammy.

Thanks to the introduction of Sailor Moon in the US, I became a fan of anime. But in the 1990s, even in a multicultural area, there was not a lot around, especially in a subbed or dubbed format. I remember I used to head to Chinatown in San Francisco regularly just for bootlegged Hong Kong dubbed VHS tapes just for 'new' stuff.

Pioneer was one of the first companies that really picked up on the anime fanbase in the US, and this, along with Tenchi Muyo was one of their first anime releases. At the time, I really enjoyed the 'Magical Girl' genre, so I'd save my money up for one of those $30 VHS tapes.

Misao was one of my favorite characters in this anime. I felt sorry for the girl who, despite being a nice, if not overly quiet girl, was neglected and abused by her family. Like many characters in her genre, Misao's father walked out on her mother. Her mother was too involved with her work to pay any attention to Misao, unless that happened to involve her playing piano in some snooty competition. Despite her kind demeanor, she harbors deep resentment that is seized upon by a feuding canidate-to-be-queen, Ramia, for her own benefit. Ramia uses her little brother, in the form of a bird, enables Misao to transform into her alter ego, Pixie Misa, through hypnosis. This cel shows Misao, seconds away from transforming into Misa.

I picked this particular cel in the Mandarake store in Nakano in 2008. This store is always a mixed bag - sometimes you see some really nice items in the dollar bins, and other times, you find nothing of interest. On my first trip to Japan, I found several nice items in the dollar bins, and this was one of them.

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