Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 18

Let’s mosey on back to Ojamajo Doremi! Last episode saw Doremi in its most reliable and frankly rewarding mode, using the focus on a new member of Doremi’s class to articulate great points about growing up and finding people you can rely on. It also featured one of the show’s most aesthetically powerful sequences yet, with Masaru’s flashback to his father demonstrating this show still has a fair number of execution tricks up its sleeve. Doremi’s little visual flourishes are as reliable as its moral punchlines, and I’m happy to be back on board. Let’s see what our witches get up to today!

Episode 18

Either a much younger girl is the focus character this time, or we’re getting a flashback relevant to one of Doremi’s classmates

Either way, the simplified flowers ornamenting this opening sequence are a lovely touch. Doremi just has so many fundamentally strong and consistently unique style choices

The backgrounds here are distinctive as well, with the simplified flower designs shifting to ornament the tree she runs around. A new style of shading as well, echoing her profile with a shadow several steps behind

The musical bars that form the outline of these segments here are repurposed, making this segment feel that much more like a picture book

These unique styles of shadows reflect Doremi’s usual confidence in relying on bold, simplified geometric shapes

Lulu, a dog who looks as much like a dog as any of Doremi’s other animals

This cold open is altogether too happy for my comfort, though I don’t really expect Ojamajo Doremi to kill a dog

We approach the magic shop from a new angle this time, with an interesting perspective shot that presents the shop as a much more rounded edifice

Holy crap, we’re already on Level 7 exams!

This show runs for a whole bunch of seasons, so I guess either the exams are eventually going to be spread out more, or getting through the witch exams is just the beginning

“Level 7 apprentices have the ability to talk to plants.” HOLD THE PHONE

Well, Hadzuki’s excited, at least

“Don’t Use That! The Forbidden Magic.” HOLY CRAP THEY’RE GONNA KILL THE DOG

Considering the title doesn’t relate to the exam, I get the feeling this will be a quick and failed attempt

Holy crap, this Majo Rika image. Their reaction shot science just keeps getting more precise

Dela’s here for the rent again. Another important Doremi lesson: we all live on the brink of utter financial collapse, hounded by the authors of our demise

Dela really abusing her control over Majo Rika here

Some shots messing with the relative reality of the world. The exam proctors win a trip, and the fanciful shot illustrating their win shoots off a bunch of streamers that actually land on Doremi’s face

The tiny Doremi in Doremi’s mouth helps out by blowing a horn

Doremi’s gotten a lot more confident dealing with actual witches, from Majo Rika and Dela to these two lunkheads

Oh my god, they just auto-pass them. What the hell witch world

Welp, they got new powers without having them actually explained. This will absolutely end well

Hadzuki is the cautious one, of course

“Don’t worry! Now that we’re level 7 witches, we can solve anything with magic!” Goddamnit Doremi

This does mean we get some nice magic world background art

Another neat, effective cost-cutting trick – when they have to run away from this flower, the background is replaced by a series of repeating textures. Because the textures keep shifting, they can still maintain the illusion of movement, but they’re far easier to draw than a continuously looping background, and also evoke the heightened mood of this chase better than the somber forest colors

Jeez, they’re really cartooning it up with this anthropomorphized flower. They’ve even got the “stalls in mid-air, then suddenly falls” trick

This sequence is also pretty darn smoothly animated

Oh my god, the queen of all people catches on

At last we meet the girl from the intro, Nanako. She claims to hate animals and runs away in a huff, meaning that yeah, that dog is almost certainly dead

“The fact that she brought flowers means she’s a good kid.” Dunno how far I’d trust that value system, Ai

But here’s the actual key point – “I’ve know Nanako since 1st grade. Something bad must have happened to her.” There’s always more behind anyone’s story

Magical Stage just straight-up gives them a map to the answer. Well that’s pretty convenient

I kinda miss how Magical Stage used to solve their problems in very circuitous ways, but that said, watching Magical Stage be wacky isn’t really the point of this episode. If a problem needs to be solved quickly to get the story moving, it makes sense that Magical Stage would be more straightforward in its execution

“Are we supposed to ask her family?” Another fair point – if you’re wondering what’s got a person feeling down, you can always just ask them

They’re really making solid use of their plant whisperer powers!

Terrific wipe cut using the sakura tree to move into Nanako’s memory

Jeez, they really did kill a puppy. Ojamajo Doremi does not pull its punches

The nurse’s plan for helping Nanako is… pretty extreme. Being scarred by the death of a pet isn’t really something a child should be forced to get over, particularly not by forcing them to take care of a new animal

Oh god, are they gonna kill this bunny AS WELL? What the hell is this episode’s problem


It’s a good thing Seki-sensei is the biggest badass in the world. Flying in on her motorcycle to save this wounded bunny

“I thought I wouldn’t have to see any more pets die!” Nanako is entirely in the right here, and I really appreciate that the show gives her this moment. Even if your intentions are good, meddling in and trying to “fix” other people’s grief is a presumptuous thing to do, particularly when you don’t even give them a choice like this

And so Hadzuki takes the desperate step of trying to fix things with magic, bringing a bunny in critical condition back to life

Jeez, this scene of them trying to stop her is so strong. Hadzuki’s feelings are wonderful – she’s feeling responsible in a way that’s very kind, but she can’t fix this

Hadzuki is banned from using magic until halfway through the month. Altogether the best punishment she could hope for for such a risky choice

And Done

Woof, that was one hell of an episode. I really didn’t expect Hadzuki’s own life to end up in the balance here, and that sequence of scenes after the bunny was injured were all powerful things. I kinda wish Hadzuki had also apologized for her presumption at the end, but this was an altogether terrific episode, one that moved quickly through a remarkable amount of dramatic territory. Ojamajo Doremi expands its dramatic reach again and again.

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