Alright, let’s get right back in to Ojamajo Doremi. Last episode saw Doremi using magic to “save” her first classmate, if we are going by an incredibly loose and criminally generous definition of save. She also almost got herself, her classmate, and an innocent (if questionably designed) puppy killed in the process, but hey, magic is more art than science. The main trio also discovered the wonders of capitalism, and Majo Rika was bullied into investing in a new cash register. I am not sure I understand children’s entertainment anymore.
Anyway. All of that was plenty of fun, so let’s jump right in and see what episode six has in store. Ojamajo ho!
Some nice new backgrounds for this episode’s cold open. I really like the loose design sense of this show’s backgrounds – they’re confidently composed, but objects like these sagging warehouses feel like they could come out of a children’s drawing. It definitely strikes the fable-ist tone they’re going for
Oh no, Boy Detective Tatekawa is in trouble!
I assume this is some in-universe show, but if not, I’m not sure Doremi’s qualified to handle submachine guns quite yet
Opening with Doremi howling about being late and flying her broom poorly. Doremi is always Doremi
The backgrounds here are very loose – just impressionistic watercolors, the vague outlines of buildings and windows beneath her. This very well could be a children’s drawing
Shouting hello to Hadzuki while she’s flying on a broom on the way to school. Doremi takes the need to be discreet very seriously
“A Liar’s First Friendship.” Oh man, super excited for a Kaiki episode
And Doremi legit hadn’t considered someone seeing her. Damnit Doremi
And so we meet Nobuko, who seems to be our titular liar
Nobuko sadly has a terminal case of catface
Doremi sees through Nobuko’s first lie, but vanity prevails
Doremi and Ai dunking on Majo Rika in class
Jeez, this sequence of Doremi expressions is so good. This show has a very minimalist, stylized character design aesthetic, but they really pull extremely specific expressions out of that style. You can really see the smugness in Doremi’s look here, and it’s charming
And the strength of that isn’t just “more faces are good” – the expressiveness of these designs actually increases our understanding of the characters’ emotional ranges. A default reaction face can only mean one thing, all of these expressions carry wonderful undertones
The girls debating their favorite idols. IDOLS WILL NOT BE ESCAPED
This episode’s conflict is a lot more grounded and meaningful than “Kotake is going to be buried in cement.” Nobuko wants to make friends, but can’t get out of her bragging, lying persona, and so can’t actually connect honestly with people. It’s a classic child character type, but it also speaks to general anxieties about not thinking we’re good/cool enough to make friends honestly
“Her stories are so interesting you can’t help but listen.” We all have our talents
Nobuko’s stories allow for the show to branch out even more with its visual styles, into these loose characters representing her “grandparents.” The wobbly nature of their designs echoes the silly nature of this story
And yeah, her stories are great! A riff on the crane wife that ends with a man marrying a carrot
Nobuko is certainly very good at thinking on her feet
Halfway through, magic basically hasn’t factored into this episode at all. The platform has been established, and now we can move into more fully realized character vignettes. I guess that kind of explains last episode’s character story being so simplistic – half of that episode had to be dedicated to setting up the store
Nobuko’s reaction to Ai looking over her shoulder is wonderful
Finally, something Nobuko honestly cares about. So of course she’s nervous – honesty and passion imply vulnerability
Uh oh, her lies are spinning out of control
She only really feels confident telling her stories
Man, these stories really do allow for some great new backgrounds
“I thought she knew the difference between a good lie and a bad lie!” A sharp distinction for Ai to make. Silly stories that make people happy are one thing, lying about your parents to garner sympathy with someone who’s actually experienced loss is something else
At last, Nobuko does the responsible thing: running the heck away
“Why did she tell such a lie?” Once again, learning to lean on adults who’re looking out for you. And of course, trying to understand what might lead someone to act in a way you disagree with
Aiko was definitely the right choice for this narrative – it was her straightforward nature that created conflict with Doremi and Hadzuki in the first place
And this time, Nobuko finds herself wandering into the Maho-dou district
Nobuko is adorable. I’m kinda sad she’s gonna drop back into the rest of the class once this episode is over
Yep, turns out Nobuo Tatekawa was her invention. She’s been writing her own stories
“Professor Hadzuki.” The voice used for this character is amazing. So I assume we’ll learn Nobuko’s true feelings when Ai turns out to be a hero in this story?
And Doremi’s a friggin’ dog ahaha
“Looks like she was very happy that you’d be her best friend, Ai-chan.” PLEASE STAY HER BEST FRIEND NOBUKO IS GREAT
“I’ll go too.” “Why?” “Because she made me into a dog!” This show is very good
Welp, time to lean on those transformation cuts
Seems like green peppers are the disgusting food of choice for kids over in Japan. I guess they do have a pretty sharp undertone
They are getting a lot of mileage out of that dog gag, lol
I’d assume being lectured by your own fictional characters would be a traumatizing experience, but this seems to be turning out pretty okay
“Doremi the loyal dog is the best.” Oh my god Aiko, you are merciless
That episode was great! A series of solid lessons at its core, and Nobuko was just a great character all around. Her feelings were well articulated, general personality charming, and her fantasies allowed the show to dabble in a variety of other settings. Hopefully the fact that she and Ai are “best friends” means she’ll actually get to stick around to some extent, but it’s looking like we’re getting back to witch focus next episode. Until next time!
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