Himitsu no Akko-chan


Himitsu no Akko-chan (ひみつのアッコちゃん, Himitsu no Akko-chan?, The Secrets of Akko-chan or Akko-chan's Secret) is a magical girl manga and anime that ran in Japan during the 1960s.

The manga was drawn and written by Fujio Akatsuka, and was published in Ribon from 1962 to 1965. It predates the Mahōtsukai Sunny (whose name became Sally in the Mahōtsukai Sally anime) manga, printed in 1966. However, that title is the first magical girl anime as Himitsu no Akko-chan was not broadcast until 1969.

The original anime ran for 97 episodes from 1969 to 1970. It was animated by Toei Animation and broadcast by TV Asahi (then known as NET). It has been remade twice, in 1988 (61 episodes, featuring Mitsuko Horie in the role of Akko-chan and singing the opening and ending themes) and in 1998 (44 episodes). Two Akko-chan movies were made in 1989 and five were created between 1969 and 1973.

Some sources state that, like Sally, Akko-chan was also inspired by Bewitched.

While each remake has small differences, the basic premise is always the same.

Atsuko "Akko-chan" Kagami (known variously as "Stilly," "Caroline," or "Julie" in Western versions of the anime) is an energetic elementary school girl who has an affinity for mirrors. One day, her favorite mirror which was given to Akko by her mother (or in some versions, by her father, as a present from India) is broken, and she prefers to bury it in her yard rather than throw it to the trash can. In her dreams, she is contacted by a spirit (or in some cases the Queen of the Mirror Kingdom) who is moved that the little girl would treat the mirror so respectfully and not simply throw it away. Akko-chan is then given the gift of a magical mirror and taught an enchantment that will allow her to transform into anything she wishes.

Largely unknown in the English-speaking world, Himitsu no Akko-chan enjoyed a good deal of success when it was exported to the European market in the 1980s. In fact, all three Akko-chan series have been screened on TV in Italy.

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