Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 10

It’s time for more Ojamajo Doremi! Last episode saw Doremi learning a fair amount about responsibility through the perils of fairy ownership, which once demonstrated both her goofy general personality and her admirable willingness to admit fault. Doremi’s ability to acknowledge when she’s wrong is likely her greatest quality, a terrific “power” in the context of dealing with this show’s true challenges – growing up and coming to understand the lives and feelings of others. Let’s see how she screws up and how she eventually fixes it this time!

Episode 10

Oh hey, it’s a flash-forward cold open promising a terrible future situation. The show hasn’t used that trick before – these are generally about context and setup, not suspense

Apparently there’s some threat that could endanger their witchdom

And now we have someone taking pictures of the Maho-dou. Oh god, is it the building inspector? Are they gonna get called out for all this child labor?

“Pinch! The teacher found out!!” Wow, that’s… actually pretty much what’s happening

Once again, Ojamajo Doremi doremonstrates that it’s not really interested in making secret-keeping a fundamental part of its conflict. Doremi’s friends found out about her powers almost immediately, and now their teacher is finding out about the store. That’s nice on two levels – for one thing, “I gotta keep my secret” is just a cheap dramatic device in general. For another, having Doremi’s conflicts regularly hinge on deceit wouldn’t really make for a particularly inspiring children’s show – kids are insecure enough, and it’s important to learn that being honest about difficult truths will ultimately make life much more rewarding

Doremi’s victory song is good

Setting up a basic expectation of conflict by hammering on how everything’s going well now

I like how even the ordinary settings get these curving, fisheye environmental shots. Magic is everywhere

The camera pans over our favorite catface friend before getting to this episode’s focus character. Everyone who had some time in the spotlight is still here, still a part of this world

Ah yes, the third grade journalist, of course

Reika, the class ojou, also notices Doremi breaking child labor laws

A pan across the room really brings home how everyone has their own unique design

And everyone has their own role in this drama, too. The journalist isn’t necessarily an antagonist, but she gives Reika ammunition, while the other two girls are just curious about what’s going on with Doremi. Nobody here is partitioned into a “category” of person unless they want to be, because that’s not how people actually work

Oh man they’re getting called out! Jeez, school sucks

Granted, getting the “come to my office” from your boss is even worse, so I guess school is fine

Man, why Reika gotta be

We pan across the class reactions, ending on the boy who’s clearly got a crush on Doremi

Yeah, there’s really no way they can spin this that makes it sound better

In today’s Doremi, the gang will have to lie out their asses to not turn into frogs

Wow, their teacher Seki with the save. Once again emphasizing that there will always be adults ready to support you, you just have to find them

They also put the nurse out here in the hall, for no reason other than to emphasize that she’s also on Doremi’s side

Reika gets nailed with a basketball. I’m really looking forward to whenever she gets a focus episode, since she’s been the closest thing to a dedicated antagonist so far

Our boy Kotake points out that Reika’s a tattle-tale

“Don’t tell me you like one of those girls?” Reika is ruthless

We get a reaction shot from Kotake after they say they’re in the clear. Like with the nurse, these aren’t shots you’d normally get in an episodic show like this unless a particular character was specifically relevant to a particular narrative. But Ojamajo Doremi is overtly trying to emphasize how all of its characters are unique, living people who are always there and have a variety of feelings on whatever else is going on. The show’s ensemble emphasis means it makes some visual choices that aren’t the most dramatically precise ones, but support its other goals

In that vein, Reika and the journalist aren’t really on the same side, but each have their own reasons for sticking in this narrative. This is a pretty busy episode!

The vice principal kinda demonstrates that you can’t expect all adults to be on your side. Find the role models who speak to you on your level, who treat you with respect, who want you to succeed

“How are we gonna get through this without Majo Rika?” A good wrinkle in the drama

Now the girls need to find a gran

The vice principal’s design is a solid example of how character designs in this show are built with a strong, unique profile in mind. That’s one of the best ways to visually define characters, particularly in a show with as many characters you need to remember as Doremi

I appreciate that they have the teacher jump from an expression of surprise and apparent alarm to smiling at the girls. She’s performing for them as well

Seki is once again an adult single woman teacher, but she’s actually chill about it, which is nice

And Dela makes her escape. Time for Doremi to take up the cause

This has felt like a long episode partially because it’s so narratively dense, and partially because we haven’t seen any bank footage up until now. GET TO WORK, HADZUKI

Dang, they have a lot of magic orbs now

Ai-chan doing her best to stall through all these transformation sequences

I really do wonder how they’re gonna get out of this one. We’re in the “lies spinning out of control” stage of a general sitcom caper, but they can’t actually afford to screw this one up. I suppose we could get a Majo Rika ex Machina, but I’m not sure what kind of message that would send – “just keep lying, sometimes it’ll work out”

Doremi can’t get the spell right, so we’re off to Ai-chan. Gotta get that bank footage working

Ah, we’re getting the vice principal out of the picture, and returning to just the adult who knows something’s up, but is sympathetic to the girls

There we go. Tidy conclusion resting on the mutual trust between students and teacher. They “get away with it,” but not really – they just realize there are adults in their life they can count on, and that they should let in on their lives. Tied in a bow with the appearance of their parents. Doremi nails it

And of course, the solution wasn’t magic, it was support from the people you love

And Done

That was a great episode! It was packed with drama, consistently funny, and once again embodied the strength of Doremi’s broader approach to childhood drama and character writing. Doremi celebrates both the whole class of students and the importance of adults in the worlds of children, making it feel more fully realized and sensitive while also greatly enhancing its thematic grasp. I was kinda sad the episode dropped the Reika/reporter subplot, but I suppose that’s probably leading into their own dedicated narratives, so I certainly can’t complain. Doremi continues to be pretty terrific.

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One thought on “Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 10

  1. Man, I am like SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy you are doing these writeups about Doremi. This anime is arguably one of my favorite anime ever and HANDS DOWN my favorite mahou shoujo anime. Not that I”m like some mahou shojou expert (right now I’m wondering if I’m writing “shoujo” right) but I’ve seen an episode of two in my childhood and, recently, after rediscovering Doremi, I’ve tried other mahou shoujo anime I didn’t knew about. Now, I’ve got to admit that I’ve found some more M.S. anime I like (like “Shugo Chara” or “Pricess Tutu”) and come to revalutate some other anime I dismissed during my childhood (such as “Sugar Sugar Rune”) But none of them, if you ask me, cover the amount of real life and sometimes taboo issues that this show cover Without feeling Heavy or Dark. Ojamajo Doremi is a journey thought dreams, growth, self discovery and friendship that has no match, at least for what I’ve seen. I hope you will cover also the other four seasons, because, if season one is good, SEASON TWO IS WONDERFUL (possibly my favorite season). I also find incredible how little people seems to know about this anime. So, once again, I’m super happy for this whriteups you are doing. Please keep this up!

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