Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 7

Today we return to Ojamajo Doremi! From my side, this is actually the day our first fascist in chief is being sworn in, so goddamnit, I need something to bring a little joy into the world. And Doremi certainly fits the bill – a beautiful children’s show with a broad cast and thoughtful worldview, it’s a spot of light in the fast-encroaching darkness. Make art, do public work, be kind to the people around you – do whatever you can to bring a little warmth to the world, everybody. We could all use a little more of it.

Episode 7

Oh no this episode is opening with a sad Doremi, what the hell is this. I can’t be dealing with sad Doremis right now

At least the noodly body language is still great


Ah, it’s nice to be back to these lovely backgrounds

Majo Rika is making good use of her students’ training, snacking on all their creations. You gotta take the perks where you can find them

Doremi so freaked out about the exams she’s lost her bottom half in some shots here

“Ghosts don’t have any exams, so why do witches have them?” Is this just conjecture, or has Majo Rika told Doremi about the far more glamorous lifestyle of a professional ghost

Oh nice, finally visiting the Witch World. Our very brief glimpse of it indicated the background artists will really get to go wild now

Apparently it’s Doremi specifically who Majo Rika needs to see succeed in order to return to her original form. Not that that’s actually a meaningful dramatic goal in the context of a show like this, where “success” will just occur whenever the show runs out of seasons or episodes

“Remember to save some magic spheres for the exam.” Welp, they’re fucked

Talking about their fairies, which I assume are those blobs we haven’t yet been introduced to from the OP

“All you think about is doing things the easy way.” The failure of magic or shortcuts in general to replace hard work and emotional labor is certainly one of the key themes of this show, though Ojamajo Doremi still makes magic look like a whole lot of fun. That’s a conflict inherent to a lot of fiction, though – it’s hard to portray something the audience inherently likes, and that the show is still going to lean on as a source of hooks and entertainment, as something that’s ultimately ambiguous or negative. Like how Gundam shows are ultimately pretty bad at selling a message of “war is terrible,” because most of the time they’re more immediately concerned with demonstrating how awesome giant weapons of war can be

“Why does my own sister have to go that far?” Pop is ruthless

Oh my god, Pop starts vacuuming her sister’s useless ass away

“Doremi, you were like that too, always imitating what I do.” This show’s embrace of full family units continues to pay off in a variety of large and small ways. When shows just cut out parents entirely, we’re inherently lacking in context for their children’s personalities

Doremi’s chair is music note themed, of course

I like that they’re giving Doremi’s anxiety so much focus now that she’s alone, and doesn’t have to act excited and unconcerned around Majo Rika

Dang, oddly ambitious perspective shot as Doremi runs down the stairs. They keep the background as simple as possible, but it’s still a nice energetic trick

Pop wants to go to her grandma’s house alone, which involves riding the train. I can’t really imagine an American kid her age ever being given that much leeway

Aw, these crayon images of her trip are adorable

Doremi’s as talented at riding her broom as ever

I’m kinda charmed by how Doremi’s character art just instantly disappears behind the background art bush

In order to tail her sister, Doremi transforms into a person she’s never met and leaps at her from a bush

This episode’s getting pretty wacky in general visually, leaning hard on the limitations of its low-budget structure. Doremi running into the frame as the images of her friends are zoom-reduced in size as they pass, Pop running past this alley again and again, etc. The show doesn’t seem to care about the illusion of reality, so it’s using tricks that wouldn’t fly elsewhere

Apparently this episode was written by Reiko Yoshida, the most consistent collaborator for both Yamada and Mizushima. Yoshida rocks

If Doremi fails the test because she used up all her spheres trying to help her sister, that seems like an okay exchange

“Maybe if I change into a dog or cat, I can follow her more easily.” THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF DOGREMI

It is awesome that this episode’s fundamental conflict is “Doremi keeps trying to help her sister, but Pop is too competent to need it every time”

“Practicing for the magic exam” is a convenient way for this episode to lean extra heavily on the bank animation, lol

This may be the only show where an episode’s dramatic climax involves washing panties

Never mind, I take that back. There is definitely some other anime where that is the dramatic climax

In spite of screwing up her exam, this was by far Doremi’s most successful episode as a witch

The magic world is about as bizarre as I’d hoped, while generally maintaining the show’s overall musical theming

I kinda appreciate how hideously unprofessional the exam proctors are. Seems like Doremi will fit in here nicely

Doremi fails, as expected. We all fail, and it’s an important thing to learn from. This episode even emphasized how “success” can often be less important than other things in our life

And Done

Well, instead of being an episode dedicated to sweet witch exams, this turned out to be an episode dedicated to Pop and Doremi, with a fairly mundane exam tagged on at the end. Still, that reflects what this show is all about – it’s not about the glamour of magic, it’s about the importance of good works and general compassion. Better luck next time, Doremi!

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