Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 9

It’s time for more Ojamajo Doremi! Last episode saw Doremi finally passing the level nine witch exam, in spite of making every terrible choice possible on the way there. There were no extenuating circumstances like when she had to help Pop this time – Doremi is just pretty bad at doing things, and so most of her time in the witch world was spent sampling cakes and getting lost. Still, she at least did demonstrate that she’s pretty good at riddles, which is certainly a talent of sorts. Let’s see what nonsense she gets up to this time!

Episode 9

Looks like we’re sticking with the main trio this time, judging by the cold open

“Magical Stage.” And it looks like they’re upping their magical abilities, and even coordinating to make larger spells. Level 9 witches are powerful!

This magical display is actually pretty beautiful. The evening light contrasts nicely against the bright sparkles of the magic, the backgrounds are as pretty as ever, and there’s some excellent use of shadow. Ojamajo Doremi’s fundamental art design is just fantastic

It makes me kinda sad that so many fans seem to desire, er, the opposite of personality in their art. Stiff, unchanging character models, ufotable-style digital wash, extremely clean lines. The objective of animation is not to imitate live-action Hollywood movies!

These fairies are pretty great, though I’m not sure how we get from these pokemon creatures to Majo Rika’s better half

Welp, even her own victory party involves a magic test. Majo Rika is a harsh mistress

“If you combine your hearts, you can make your magical power grow nearly 2 levels higher.” NEARLY TWO LEVELS?!?

Doremi’s magical aspirations don’t really extend beyond conjuring steaks. I’d have appreciated it if her fascination with witches from the first episode had actually carried over in some way to her personality after becoming a witch – she seems kind of indifferent to everything about magic except for its ability to solve her problems and make her food

I appreciate that their fairies all match their expressions

“Where Did You Go? Dodo the Fairy”

Yeah, these shots when the background is set in blue to simulate their power’s light are lovely

High level magic uses up more magic spheres. This show has a weird mix of “magic just does whatever, eh” and actually setting up rules and systems. Of course, it leans much more heavily towards “magic does whatever it needs to for this given narrative,” which is appropriate given the show’s character and moral-heavy priorities

Once again I am reminded there is a tiny Doremi trapped in Doremi’s mouth

Looks like this episode will be about getting in a fight with her fairy, judging by the title and these steak-stealing fairy shenanigans

The head fairy is teaching the new fairies how to hide in public oh my god this is adorable

DODO CAN’T HIDE HER HAIR BULBS THIS IS EVEN MORE ADORABLE

Today’s lesson is: don’t be mean to your fairy, even if they’re dumb and eat your steak

“Dodo! Why are you pouting?” Doremi is definitely not equipped to handle a pet, much less a creature who seems somewhere between pet and child

It’s interesting, though, how so many children’s shows introduce this conflict of their child heroes having to take care of their own children. It kind of encapsulates many of the things children have to learn and don’t naturally come to understand – the limitations of their own knowledge, the difficulty of their parents’ experiences, how much their behavior can actually impact the world around them, the satisfaction of doing good work for another person. Forcing children to see themselves in another can help them move beyond the natural self-centered worldview of childhood

Apparently they’re invisible in their little balls

Doremi can normally get away with her clumsiness and absent-mindedness, but now her mistakes are actually hurting someone else. Basically how pets are theoretically supposed to teach responsibility

Dodo is gettin’ swole

Yeah, Dodo’s basically a puppy. Causing trouble around the house, making a mess in Doremi’s room, presumably eating Pop’s snack in a minute or two

And there it is. Doremi loses her temper, Dodo flies away. You gotta be more responsible, Doremi!

“You can’t teach a baby by scolding.” Once again, Doremi impresses not through her ability to get things right the first time, but through her ability to quickly acknowledge her own mistakes. Frankly, that’s a far more important skill to master, and a good one for this show to champion as Doremi’s saving grace. Arriving at success without much effort doesn’t really teach us anything, and when we eventually do run into trouble, it’s how well we’ve learned to accept and grow from failure that carries us through

Majo Rika scolds Doremi about losing her fairy and then immediately loses the other two

Looks like passing level 9 has allowed Doremi to actually use her broom correctly. I’m gonna miss that flat image of her spinning across the sky

And Hadzuki still dedicated to her side-saddle aesthetic. I like that the nerd also gets to be the graceful one

Dodo is pretty great. This show’s incredibly expressive character animation lets her demonstrate a wide variety of thoughts and emotions without saying anything

Oh no, it’s the cat-creature!

Those clever bastards. Magical Stage allows the show to indulge in even more bank footage!

That also explains why this sequence looks so good – they’re intending to use it all the time

A baked potato will lead them to Dodo

“We have to believe in the Magical Stage.” Apparently the Magical Stage intended for them to make an item swap all the way to Dodo. Magic works in mysterious ways

Aw, this reunion is so adorable. Puppy-fairies are wonderful

Oh my god, Dodo did Doremi’s homework for her. WHAT KIND OF MORAL IS THIS

Welp, Dodo wet the bed. Magic ain’t so glamorous here

And Done!

That was an adorable episode! They really put those fairies to work this time, demonstrating what great character animation can do even with the simplest of designs. The fairies are barely more than stick figures, but Ojamajo Doremi’s strong stable of expressions makes them feel as lively as any of the other characters. Couple that with this episode’s strong set of admittedly wonky morals, and you’ve got an excellent dose of Doremi!

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