Ojamajo Doremi – Episode 21

Let’s get back to Ojamajo Doremi! Last episode saw Doremi and the gang experiencing a bit of a paradigm shift, as Majo Rika’s gambling ways resulted in her losing ownership of her own shop to her nemesis. At this point, Majo Rika is been reduced to living out of a van that also double as the gang’s new store. It’s actually a pretty cozy place, so I wouldn’t mind the show sort of idling here (no pun intended) as the new normal before actually resolving this whole Majo Rika plot. It’s been a little while since we’ve had a classmate-focused episode, so I’d be happy to see one of those as well. Either way, change is afoot in Ojamajo Doremi. Let’s get right to it!

Episode 21

“With my powerful magic goods, I’ll wring out every last cent of those foolish humans!” Nope, seems like we’re getting a direct continuation of last week’s conflict. Looks like this town ain’t big enough for two witches

“The battle has already been decided, Majo Rika.” Today Doremi and the gang will learn an important lesson about corporate espionage and professional sabotage!

Doremi and her friends were never really all that invested in the shop’s finances, but now that they’ve got another witch to dunk, they’re motivated

Yep, Ruka’s goons are heading over to talk trash about the merchandise. This is capitalism, girls. I hope this is a fight you’re prepared to win

Doremi is fierce

And everybody leaves without buying anything. Maybe setting up shop directly across the street from your mercenary rival wasn’t the best call

“Majo Ruka’s Goods Are Super Dangerous.” Well, that’s convenient. This should be a fun episode

“When you compare the goods a professional makes with those some apprentices make, which would be more effective?” Wait, hold up, the girls have actually been trying to make magically-empowered items all this time? I thought that only happened when the wind blows just so and a single customer finds their way into the shop and they discover exactly the item they’re looking for to cure their current problem. If witches are just selling their powers willy-nilly, then this is a much less fantastical arrangement than I’d figured

“To make magic goods, you need to use a hair from the head.” Right, right, obviously

Reika stops by to talk some shit

And now Reika’s getting the luxury treatment over at Mago Ruka’s store. Looks like she’ll be Exhibit A for how dangerous Ruka’s goods can be, after having firmly demonstrated that she’s a jerk who kinda had this coming

Majo Rika continues to be more of an active character in this arc than in previous ones, especially in terms of emotional narrative. She’s actually the “protagonist” of this story, even though she’s still acting like her usual bitter self

Ruka and her fairy seem to have a pretty nice relationship

Majo Rika tries to take her frustration out on the girls, but they’re not having any of it. Ojamajo Doremi would have to work pretty hard to make Rika into a sympathetic character

And now Rika claims the actual store they made for her isn’t nice enough for her to live in. Can we reopen the “go ask Majo Ruka if we can become her apprentices instead” line of inquiry?

Oh my god, this sequence of Doremi backing up and crumbling in shock is so good. How are these artists so far ahead of the curve when it comes to great reactions

Majo Ruka’s up to no good. The light of her cauldron bathes the normally cheerful Majo Dou in an eerie purple glow

This ritual will surely result in safe and affordable toys for children

Reika has bought an entire wardrobe from the Maho Dou, and she looks fabulous. Her ojou laugh is also in top form today. I really can’t wait until she gets a dedicated episode

It’s like an incredibly tacky bathrobe covered in purple sequins, oh my god

“My mother bought me every piece of clothing I wanted!” Today, Doremi and the gang learn about class war

Of course Reika is the kind of person who’d say “gorgeous” in English

Oh no, the flower girl is taken in by Reika’s garish appeal

“It looks like her intensity has grown.” Our Good Boys aren’t fooled, though

This little animation of Reika tossing her hair is really good. It’s a nice mix of realistic hair motion and cartoony movements of her face, exaggerating her expression in a way that’s really clear and endearing

“YOU are jealous of ME?” Oh my god Reika is killing it this episode

“If you’d like, I can give you advice on how to be so pretty and popular.” Reika is fuckin’ merciless

And now a brief segment where a boy eats every single classmate’s bread. Fair enough!

I guess we’re just getting a sequence of little vignettes with the various class members

Ah, that’s what we’re doing – demonstrating how Majo Ruka’s goods have made all the members of the class better or more successful at the things they care about, or just more intensely themselves

And yet, the SOS brigade’s newfound popularity means they’ve alienated their first actual fan, Hadzuki

Even Lala is getting tired of Rika’s crap

Dodo is actually working pretty effectively for Rika, but of course Rika doesn’t appreciate anything. They’re really not interested in making her seem sympathetic through any of this

And now they’ve poured milk on Doremi’s bed and Doremi has to cover for stealing Pop’s bun. Doremi has every right to evict Rika at this point

Pop’s too clever to fall for this crap. Her mafioso impression is excellent

And of course, Rika actually just starts yelling back at Doremi. Rika, you’re terrible

This episode doesn’t really have any sort of clear narrative. It’s basically just a series of chronologically linked scenes in this overall conflict, which makes it feel kinda slow

We also still haven’t gotten to the Majo Ruka’s goods being dangerous part, which was basically this episode’s big promise in the first place

I really do love Hadzuki not being impressed by the SOS crew’s new material

Reika has become so beautiful it makes her dizzy. Ah good, I thought I was the only one that happens to

So will this arc resolve with “Rika learns nothing, the gang fails, Ruka just happens to sabotage herself through dangerous goods?” I’m not really sure what the moral takeaway is there

And Rika just casually spills the fact that yeah, Ruka’s goods are probably poisoning these kids

The whole gang finally lets Majo Rika have it. Good

Our girls are walkin’ tall

Of course, Majo Rika does come through in the end. Meaning they just used some of their limited remaining magic to basically just clean up Ruka’s mess

Lala is acting like Majo Rika secretly has a heart of gold, but I really don’t see it

And Done

Well, that was a pretty lukewarm episode. The show only really introduced the conflict within the last quarter of the episode or so, and that conflict barely had any meat on it in the first place, so most of this episode was just the gang wandering around and feeling sad about not having the store anymore. On top of that, Majo Rika still hasn’t really sold herself as a fun person to follow – there are certainly entertainingly awful people (Reika fits the bill pretty well), but Rika is just a shrill jerk all the time. Still, the art design was as strong as ever, and hopefully the following episodes will find a more exciting way to capitalize on this witch rivalry. We’ll see!

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