Suki! Suki!! Majo Sensei (好き! すき!! 魔女先生 – also known as Love! Love!! Witch Teacher or We Love You! Witch Teacher) is a 1971 series by Shotaro Ishinomori, and finding any significant information about it online in English proves nearly impossible. From the little I’ve managed to parse it’s based on Ishinomori’s manga Sennome Sensei and notable for featuring the very first tokusatsu superheroine Andro Mask. Naturally this means it was a huge influence on the likes of Sailor Moon and Cutie Honey, as well as the magical girl genre in general. However, very little in this first episode gives the slightest hint of this.
Instead this episode is about Hikari Tsuki, the beautiful new homeroom teacher at Tozai Academy Elementary School. Her methods seem a little unorthodox, and she isn’t afraid to show off in front of her students or get stuck into a sumo-wrestling match or two. But in actual fact Hikari is a peacekeeper and Princess working with the Andromeda branch of the Space Alliance. With her assistant Baru and magical moonlight ring she’s on a special mission, but instead she uses the ring’s powers for “trivial” means as she lives among the Earthlings.
At this point it feels important to remember that tokusatsu is not a genre, it’s a medium. Yes the work has gone on become a catch-all term for all the henshin hero shows we all know and love, but “special filming” truly does take a variety of different forms. Andro Mask may supposedly be showing up sometime later in the show, but right now this is just a comedy drama starring a magical alien schoolteacher. Even the opening doesn’t suggest she has a superhero alter-ego since it shows her flying through the sky in just her casual clothes (not all heroes wear capes?). The closest thing this has to “tokusatsu” in the modern sense is Baru being a fully-suited alien creature.
That doesn’t necessarily make Majo Sensei a bad show, but it does make it a little different from what you might be expecting. Right now Hikari’s greater purpose is a complete mystery, so the episode is more concerned with her playing tricks on some unruly kids who think vandalising cars is simply a prank and teaching one of her students that the best way to deal with a bully is to face him head on. It isn’t very often you see a teacher encouraging someone to turn up at the time and place the bully has arranged for a fight.
While there might be some truths to Hikari’s life lessons, naturally that doesn’t make them the right way to go about it so she isn’t without opposition. The school’s principal and vice-prinicipal aren’t a fan of her methods as it is, but when they catch wind of her spectating fights they aren’t in the best of moods. Just as well she has a magic ring that can shroud their car in fog, make it fly into the air or shrink it down to the size of a toy.
Even without the superhero element though, you can definitely see where Sailor Moon took inspiration from this. If Hikari’s ring’s connection to the moon (it recharges by receiving energy waves from their mothership hidden there) wasn’t enough, the chanting of “Moonlight” when the ring conjures magic echoes Usagi’s transformation cry.
Suki! Suki!! Majo Sensei may not be the kind of show most people reading this will be inclined to check out and honestly I’d probably be the same had I not read more into it. But now I’m curious to see just what Hikari donning the persona of Andro Mask entails – is it a big part of the show or just a semi-recurring thing? It’s a shame that there isn’t more detailed information out there but that’s the beauty of all these shows being on YouTube I suppose – you can just watch on and find out for yourself.
You can now find Suki! Suki!! Majo Sensei, as well as many other tokusatsu shows, on the TOEI Tokusatsu World Official YouTube channel to watch for free with English subtitles.