You know what, let’s watch some more Ojamajo Doremi. I’ve been feeling kinda low lately, and Doremi is about as pure of a pick-me-up as you could hope for – goofy and upbeat yet brimming with thoughtful messages, it exemplifies many of the things that can make children’s anime so uniquely rewarding. I wish this one had a dub if only so more kids could enjoy it, but either way, I hope you’re enjoying this journey through one of anime’s lesser-known classics. If this site can at least celebrate some shows that would otherwise be disregarded in the seasonal rush and pursuit of some prestige canon, I’d count that as a win. Let’s get right to episode eleven of Ojamajo Doremi!
We open with some oddly dramatic shots of a faucet being turned and a watering can being filled up
The water’s reflection introduces us to a new girl, who’ll presumably be this episode’s focus character
Alright, new girl, likes tending to flowers. Gotcha
The hill leading up to the school, one of this show’s most consistent and beautiful settings. The backgrounds can be pretty fanciful, but Doremi still manages to establish a firm sense of place in this world
Hadzuki arrives early and runs into our focus character, Marina, who’s tidying up the classroom and enjoying the morning
It’s pretty great that these characters don’t just have narrative problems, they have individual routines, personalities, and diverse hobbies. Even shows for adults often feature characters who exist only insofar as they relate to the the narrative and the central characters – they appear when their problem becomes relevant, and they become relegated to “part of the gang” or simply disappear afterwards. Doremi’s characters intersect with each other’s full lives without anyone coming off as less of a person for it
Marina and Hadzuki also seem like they’d make the easiest friends out of anyone in the main trio. People don’t have to have similar temperaments to become friends, but quiet people do tend to get along
Repeating this sequence of setup shots helps establish a sense of routine and normalcy while also saving on budget. Convenient!
“If I hadn’t come earlier, I wouldn’t know about you, either.” A key message embedded in Doremi’s democratic approach – we all have personal worlds, we only see the edges of what composes other people
Hadzuki makes herself an audience of vegetable people to hear her practice violin. This is adorable, gives us a new perspective on Hadzuki, and also demonstrates they’re becoming much more confident with their magic – or at least Hadzuki is. Magic is no longer an automatic source of stress and conflict, it can be natural and fun. And it’s really nice to see Hadzuki acts a bit more carefree and goofy when she’s not in public, or even with her friends
Hadzuki… is not very good at violin
A nice transition from Hadzuki’s passion to Marina’s, as her violin play overlays a shift to the flowers
Seki-sensei being supportive of Marina as well. The difference between shows for children and teenagers – children’s shows emphasize teachers as an important source of support, while teen-aimed shows make their teachers into comic relief to appeal to resentful teenagers
Kimura knocks a soccer ball into the flowers. He actually seems kind of conflicted about it, but his goofy friends are there and egg him on, so he doubles down on not apologizing. “Why should I apologize to a teacher’s pet”
Doremi and friends also aren’t necessarily helping here, either. Ai and Doremi escalate the situation, because that’s how they handle conflict
It’s continuously refreshing to see a show where all perspectives are different and viable
Kimura immediately regrets what he said, but he can’t back down here. Social situations are tough
And Marina is very insecure about his complaint, even though she shouldn’t be. Idle words can hurt a lot – his statement wasn’t intended to be a heavy one, it was just an evasion, but it really digs at her
Marina doesn’t want to stand out, so she stops coming in early
Kimura’s regret also remains in focus. He’s not a villain here, he just made a poor decision and hurt someone
A very goofy semi-wipe transition with this soccer ball
“I’m not better than anyone else at anything.” “You can arrange the flowers and make the classroom a brighter place.” Aw jeez, this is so lovely. Doremi’s use of parents continues to be wonderful, and this is about as universal as a message and sentiment can get
Another nice sub-theme that you basically never get in other shows – “you can come to enjoy activities you begin out of necessity.” Give things a try, even if you’re hesitant. The things you love won’t necessarily be the first things you’d think of, the things that define your personality in a positive way won’t always be the ones you expect, or even the ones you’d choose for yourself
Dodo contributes to this conversation the best she can
Kimura stops by the shop! I like how the show is kinda subtly making it clear that Doremi herself isn’t actually giving Kimura an opportunity to apologize. Her anger and blame makes him feel more defensive, even though he naturally does feel guilty
Dodo gets a sale
Nice evening colors here. This episode continues to be about Kimura’s development at least as much as Marina’s
Another ambitious shot here – the camera pans around the corner to reveal Hadzuki playing the violin. This one’s interesting in a dramatic sense, since it’s such a mood-focused setup, and it also demands some cute tricks with regards to spatial relationships. They put Hadzuki’s bed, the wall of her room, and the second room on three separate planes and move them at different speeds to create the sensation of curving around a corner
Last episode was tense and high-energy throughout. This one’s much more somber
“Can’t magic do anything about people’s spirit?”
It’s also nice that Hadzuki takes the clear lead in this episode among our trio
A storm threatens the flowers, bringing our conflict to a head
Kimura is already out there trying to protect the flowers. He didn’t need Doremi’s prodding, he wanted to make right
And Marina arrives. “This garden has nothing to do with me anymore.” THESE ADORABLE MELODRAMATIC KIDS
Kimura has a fever!
And here’s another of those perspective-shifting shots, pulling us outward through the window. This episode’s director is really a fan
Hadzuki finally discovers a use for magic – protecting the flowers. You can’t solve your friends’ emotional problems for them, but you can help protect the things they love
Great comedic timing of Hadzuki’s attempted spell. Gotta aim lower than changing the weather, Hadzuki
And her friends arrive!
It’s always fun to see what weird solutions magic comes up with for their problems. Magic is very loosely defined in this world, which helps keep it, well, magical
Marina again portrayed through reflections on water. This is a very visually engaging episode
And they make up at the end. A tidy conclusion, nice music, light physical comedy. EVERYTHING YOU COULD NEED
That was another great one! I really loved how this episode gave equal focus to both Marina and Kimura, presenting both their positive and negative feelings as important and valid. It’s important to see your heroes make mistakes, but a show like Doremi, with its ensemble approach, can actually make the “antagonists” of any given episode as human as the protagonists. This was a charming and visually inspired episode!
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