Sally the sorceress

Sally the sorceress

It is no exaggeration to say that “Mahotsukai Sally” forever changed the landscape of the world of Japanese animation and, in particular, gave birth to an entire genre: mahō shōjo or “magical girl”. But what makes this series so revolutionary, and how has it managed to influence generations of viewers and anime creators? Let's go find out.

Origins and Inspirations

Created by Mitsuteru Yokoyama and serialized in Ribon, a shōjo magazine, from 1966 to 1967, “Mahotsukai Sally” draws from the cultural roots of the West. Yokohama was inspired by “Bewitched,” a popular American sitcom known in Japan as “Oku-sama wa Majo.” If the witch archetype is common in the media today, it is largely thanks to this pioneering series.

Innovations and Firsts

“Mahotsukai Sally” is not only recognized as the first anime in the mahō shōjo genre, but also as the first shōjo anime in general. What makes the production even more iconic is the collaboration with a young Hayao Miyazaki, future founder of Studio Ghibli, as key animator in some episodes.

The Animated Series and the Memorable Themes

Produced by Toei Animation and Hikari Productions, the series debuted on the Asahi TV network almost simultaneously with the publication of the manga, from 1966 to 1968. In Italy, it arrived only in 1982 with the title "Sally the sorceress", immediately conquering a large audience.

The soundtrack gave some of the most unforgettable theme songs of the genre, such as "Mahōtsukai Sarī no uta" and "Mahō no manbo", while in Italy, the theme song "Sally Sì, Sally ma" has become almost legendary among fans of the series.

Sequel and Rebirth

In 1989, Toei Animation decided to produce a sequel titled “Sally's Magical Kingdom,” demonstrating the longevity and continuing influence of the franchise.

The Italian Contribution

Interesting to note that not all the original episodes were broadcast in Italy. The first 17 episodes, made in black and white, remained unedited, while the broadcast order was changed.


Sally is anything but an ordinary girl. In reality, she is the princess of the enchanted kingdom of Astoria, a parallel world ruled by magic and wonder. But like any young person, Sally has a simple but powerful desire: she wants friends her own age with whom she can share experiences and adventures.

A Dream Comes True

Her chance comes when a spell unexpectedly teleports her to our world, Earth. Here, Sally immediately discovers the opportunity to use her powers for good, intervening to save two young students from some bad guys. The princess's generous heart and her heroic act mean that the two girls immediately become her first true friends.

A “Mortal” Life

Determined to stay and live as an earthly girl, Sally does everything she can to hide her true identity and her magical powers. She takes on the appearance of a normal child and becomes a skilled juggler between her life as a magical princess and her life as a student. Despite her new life, she continues to use magic to help her friends in secret, always with the utmost caution to avoid revealing her secret.

The Moment of Truth

But every adventure must have an end. News from Sally's grandmother changes everything: the time has come to return to Astoria. Sally is torn but she knows it is her duty to accept her fate. She then decides to reveal the truth to her friends, but no one believes her. At least, not until a fire breaks out in the school and Sally is forced to use her magic to save everyone.

A Bittersweet Goodbye

With her secret revealed, Sally must deal with the inevitable. After an emotional farewell, she returns to her magical kingdom. But before leaving, she erases her friends' memories of themselves, making their friendship a sweet dream that vanishes when she wakes up.

And so, Sally returns home, with a wealth of experiences and a heart full of love and nostalgia for the friends she left in the world of "mortals". Though they are separated by worlds and dimensions, Sally's legacy of love and friendship lives on in the hearts of those she touched, a spell that will last forever.

This is the story of Sally, the little wizard between two worlds. A story that still enchants today, uniting generations and showing that the greatest magic is that of friendship and love.


Sally Yumeno (夢野サリー Yumeno Sarī?)

Role: Hero
Voice actors: Michiko Hirai (original), Laura Boccanera (Italian)
Features: Sally is the princess of the Magic Kingdom of Astoria. Her Japanese name, Yumeno, evokes the “field of dreams” and reflects her dreamy and idealistic nature.

Kabu (カブ?)

Role: Sally's assistant
Voice actors: Sachiko Chijimatsu (original), Massimo Corizza (Italian)
Features: Kabu takes the form of a 5-year-old boy and serves as Sally's "little brother" during her earthly sojourn.

Grand Magician (大魔王 Dai maō?)

Role: Sally's grandfather
Voice actors: Koichi Tomita (original), Giancarlo Padoan (Italian)
Features: Created specifically for the anime, the Grand Wizard is a figure of authority in the Magic Kingdom and spiritual guide for Sally.

Sally's Dad (サリーのパパ Sarī no Papa?)

Role: King of the Magic Kingdom
Voice actors: Kenji Utsumi (original), Marcello Prando (Italian)
Features: A pompous and braggart ruler, skeptical of the mortal world but with a heart of gold when it comes to his daughter.

Sally's Mama (サリーのママ Sarī no Mama?)

Role: Queen of the Magic Kingdom
Voice actors: Mariko Mukai and Nana Yamaguchi (original), Piera Vidale (Italian)
Features: Kind and devoted, the Queen is the moral rock of the royal family.

Yoshiko Hanamura (花村よし子 Hanamura Yoshiko?)

Role: Sally's friend
Voiced: Midori Kato (original)
Features: Tomboy girl, usually called “Yotchan” by Sally, is one of her first and closest earthly friends.

Sumire Kasugano (春日野すみれ Kasugano Sumire?)

Role: Sally's friend
Voice actors: Mariko Mukai and Nana Yamaguchi (original)
Features: Another of Sally's earthly friends, Sumire is an integral part of Sally's friendship circle.

The Hanamura triplets

Role: Friends/Annoyers
Voiced: Masako Nozawa (original)
Features: They are always ready to get into trouble, and often involve Sally in their adventures too.

Polon (ポロン Poron?)

Role: Witch
Voiced: Fuyumi Shiraishi (original)
Features: Arrives on Earth in the second part of the series. He has a tendency to cast spells that he doesn't know how to undo, often creating problematic situations.


“Mahotsukai Sally” represents a milestone for the animation industry and continues to hold a place of honor in the hearts of fans and enthusiasts of the mahō shōjo genre. Her legacy lives on in the titles she inspired and in the nostalgia of those who grew up following the adventures of this fascinating witch.

“Sally the Magician” Technical Sheet


  • Magical Girl
  • Comedy


  • Author: Mitsuteru Yokoyama
  • Editor: Shueisha
  • Magazine: Ribon
  • Demography: Shōjo
  • Original publication: July 1966 – October 1967
  • Volumes: 1 mm

Anime TV Series (First Series)

  • Regia: Toshio Katsuta, Hiroshi Ikeda
  • Studio:Toei Animation
  • Network: NET (later TV Asahi)
  • Original publication: 5 December 1966 – 30 December 1968
  • Episodes: 109 mm

Anime TV Series (Sally the Witch 2)

  • Regia: Osamu Kasai
  • Studio: Toei Animation, Light Beam Productions, RAI
  • Network: TV Asahi (Japan), Syndication (USA), Rai 2 (Italy)
  • Original publication: 9 October 1989 – 23 September 1991
  • Episodes: 88 mm

Anime Movies

  • Regia: Osamu Kasai
  • Studio: Toei Animation, Light Beam Productions, RAI
  • Exit date: 10 March 1990 (Japan), 6 November 1990 (USA and Italy)
  • Duration: 27 minutes

The “Sally Magic” series is a mainstay in the magical girl genre and has had a significant impact on pop culture both in Japan and abroad. With an engaging plot and unforgettable characters, she continues to be loved by generations of fans.