It’s time for more Ojamajo Doremi! It’s been about a month in my time since my last Doremi episode, but certainly not due to lack of interest. The last episode of Ojamajo Doremi was possibly the best episode the show has put together yet, and undoubtedly featured the best single sequence of any episode so far. The flashback to Ai and her father coping with her mother leaving was a devastating and phenomenally executed sequence, building on Doremi’s strong familial relationships to arrive at a moment of transcendent catharsis. It was pretty much the definition of beauty through tragedy, demonstrating the strength of Ai and her father’s relationship in the harshest of times. I’m guessing it’ll be some time before we reach another sequence as strong as that, but Doremi has actually gotten consistently more powerful all throughout, so I’m excited for whatever comes. Let’s take it to that friggin’ Majo Ruka!
Basically opening with a combo of recap and the promise of magical stage, reminding us the girls have leveled up. These new wands will CRUSH RUKA’S BONES
Oh right, Pop is still tormenting Majo Rika. Well, serves her right – I have expended all my sympathy for that gremlin
Pop figures out Majo Rika’s Toy Story bullshit in about five seconds. Pop is too powerful for this show
“Majo Ruka VS Level 6 Ojamajos!” FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT
Ah good, another episode of Majo Rika getting tormented by kindergartners
These children are vicious
Majo Ruka does evil ojou laughs even while taking a bath. She was born for this role
I like this cute detail of Ruka’s fairy checking out fancy shoes in a magazine. The fairy seems like a fun character, so she’s kinda wasted acting purely as an extension of Ruka’s desires
It seems like her fairy actually does find Ruka pretty aggravating! Nice to see a different side of her when she’s not performing malevolence towards Rika’s gang
There’s a mob outside. “How dare you sell us fake magic goods!” Were you expecting… real magic goods? Are magic goods a commodity you’ve come to expect consistent results from?
Oh wow, the townsfolk have actually figured it out on their own – these goods grant wishes, but at the cost of your own health. Looks like Ruka might be her own downfall
And they… actually wreck her store. These townsfolk don’t play
Watching a fairy manage a washing machine is pretty adorable
Looks like the fairy’s name is Hehe, which is an excellent name
Oh shit, I think they just threw away Ruka’s crystal. Is Ruka’s team seriously going to defeat itself?
Lala doing some scouting, because Lala is obviously the most competent member of the good guys
Majo Ruka also has a tiny mouth-Ruka
Oh my god, the two servants have their actual selves inside their mouths, a bat and a rat. Great iteration on the gag
Shoujo sparkles Majo Rika is not something I am ready for
This show’s fluid character art makes Lala’s cat form just as expressive as any other character
And once again, Rika gets that bizarre Rika-pattern background to accompany her dramatic faces
Lala actually seems even more expressive in her cat form. She’s generally very composed as a fairy, but we’re getting snarky Lala, gangster Lala, nonplussed Lala, a whole variety of cat expressions
This fast-forwarded segment of the second half of school is very cute. A creative little interlude
Sort of using a variant on Flight of the Bumblebees to convey the rapid speed here
“Majo Ruka’s crystal, come out!” “That’s too hard. Here are some balls I think are good. Do you like this”
Doremi, top negotiator, handles the battle with Majo Ruka
Oh god, now we’re getting Ruka shoujo sparkles. This episode is too much
Doremi actually makes the smart call for once, and demands Ruka disable the goods before giving back her crystal. Doremi’s definitely grown up a bit, or at least she knows another scoundrel when she sees one
The girls hit her where it hurts, her insecurities about being better than Majo Rika
More very inventive face technology, as what I generally assume to be a stress vein overwhelms Ruka’s entire face
I’m kinda expecting the queen of the witch world to step in here at some point. Sure, that’d be a form of deus ex machina, but Doremi’s various powers are so vague in their limitations that its physical magic duels never feel very impactful anyway – this show rides on emotional conflicts, not physical conflicts. I’d rather have this segment confirm that the witch world leadership really does have a least a tiny bit of concern for its ruler’s merits, and that Ruka’s consistent villainy eventually puts her beyond the pale. She has done nothing but poison non-witches and literally steal from children since she’s entered the plot
Orrrr we get an outright magic battle for the rights to the shop, which is also fine!
It’s kind funny how much more inventive magic is in this show, which is basically just a vehicle for emotional drama and life lessons, than something like Harry Potter, which is largely predicated on the spectacle and wonder of magic. No magic laser beams here, everyone has to think up unique ways to apply powers in order to overcome diverse obstacles. Starting off with Ruka’s giant fan!
I like the little addition of the spin to their Pyoron powerup. Little rituals like that create a nice sense of mastery
“Majo Ruka’s most hated thing, come out!” “Old Man Jokes that Are Just Not Funny.” Amazing. At last I sympathize with Ruka
They somehow manage to fit a giant robot into Ojamajo Doremi by making it a refrigerator-based trash monster. There is literally no show that isn’t appropriate for a giant robot, apparently
Ahaha, Majo Rika nodding when Pop asks if she wants a beer is wonderful. Majo Rika sucks, but this has been a very long day
Oh my god, they just give up on the charade and talk right in front of Pop. Pop’s reactions are friggin’ perfect. I’m always a fan of that pastel eye tone shows tend to use to portray otherworldly shock, and this is indeed one of the most shocking moments in the show so far. I’m sorry, Pop
But of course, she takes it like a champ and gives chase immediately
The girls keep trying to use magic on the robot itself, which is stupid. Don’t they know it’s harder to affect someone else’s magic? Just make a hole in front of it or something, you guys are amateurs
“This is a fight between me and the Ojamajos!” Murdering children with a giant robot is fine, but interrupting someone else’s magic duel is just unacceptable
I’m glad this fight abides by magical girl rules, where they’re given time to do their magic activation poses even while being chased by a giant monster
Ooh, that’s a nice trick. One of them casts a spell, and then the other two modify it with simultaneous spell casts. They’re actually getting better at using magic!
And with that, Majo Ruka is defeated at last
Pop is now sneaking into the Maho-Dou. Are they setting Pop up to actually learn about the witch world?
Doremi shows off some sweet new bank footage for its new Magical Stage
Some really excellent effects animation here, actually. Fluid rings and musical notes intertwining, a bright and color-rich but still complementary color palette
Welp, Pop saw them. Out of the frying pan and into the frogger
At last, Majo Ruka is sunk! That episode certainly wasn’t a highlight like the previous one, but the battle with Ruka was a lot of fun, and I’m frankly just happy to be done with Ruka’s arc. Ruka never really became more than a straightforward antagonistic presence, and even as an antagonist she was outshone by her own fairy, so it’s nice to see the story move on to the next trial. It’s also apparent we’ll be getting a Pop-heavy episode next time, which are always fun. It absolutely figures that Pop of all people would be the one to figure out the truth. Pop is way too powerful for this world.
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