Ojamajo Doremi 05: Grand Opening! Maho-dou

By bluemist on February 7th, 1999

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It’s Maho-dou’s grand opening, and Doremi, Hazuki and Aiko are all up and ready! Majo Rika doesn’t seem too happy though with the image change of her shop. She still prefers the dark gloomy witch style as opposed to the cuteness of the decors and magic goods of the apprentices. So they wait and wait, but no customers seem to arrive despite them sticking out flyers all over. Suddenly a new guest ‘pops up’ in their closet… it’s Deradera! Deradera is a witch who specializes in trading goods. She offered the apprentices a nice cute magic cashier, for a price of course. Let’s just say that Majo Rika was forced to buy it. After that, they decided to go outside and attract some customers, in which they succeeded. Their first day of selling magic goods was quite fruitful, except for Doremi, she never sold a single item she made!

Meanwhile, Kotake, a friend/enemy of Doremi, is worried about something. Thinking about it, she stumbled on the Maho-dou, and was surprised to see Doremi and friends there. Kids aren’t allowed to do part-time jobs, so the apprentices were quick in denying that this was one. In any case, Kotake and Doremi are in quite a (love)hate-hate relationship, shouting at each other like crazy. Despite that though, Kotake actually bought one of her magic goods! Kotake leaves, and Majo Rika reappears from hiding and says that the boy is troubled by something. Usually the magic goods witches sell have some sort of lucky-charm effect on humans, not so sure about Doremi’s item though. Doremi was quite worried about Kotake, so she decides to follow him.

Kotake and Doremi continue to argue at the street though. They never seem to get along, and so Kotake ran away. Doremi is still worried though, and so she used her magic and followed him in secret. Kotake went to an abandoned warehouse, where a puppy appeared. Actually, Kotake is taking care of this puppy in secret. His main worry was that he could not tell his parents about it, that they may think that he is not responsible enough to raise a pet. Suddenly, a fat cat arrives and steals the food Kotake was giving. The puppy chased it inside the warehouse, but then the puppy fell in a hole. Kotake also fell trying to reach the puppy. They are in trouble now, with wet cement falling down the hole. Doremi tries to act fast, using her magic to save Kotake, but the the cement turned to ice! Magic fail… so then she tries again. She tried to cast a spell on a rope, but it entangled her instead! She’s getting desperate, but somehow her final spell tumbled down some drums, and Kotake climbed those to safety.

Kotake decided to talk to his parents about the puppy, because he can’t leave it in such a dangerous place like that. The next day, Doremi and friends saw that Kotake had been keeping the pet in the house already. Guess that Doremi’s magic item has some kind of effect after all.

This episode focuses on Kotake. Doremi and Kotake have a very cute love-hate relationship with each other, and the theme carries on ALL throughout the entire series. Deradera was introduced as an always-singing witch. She pops up every now and then to sell items which Doremi and friends like, much to the dismay of greedy Majo Rika. The Maho-dou and the magical goods they sell play a very central theme . Sometimes the magic goods serve as symbolisms to the stories and character issues the series will raise.

Ojamajo Doremi 04: It’s Not Scary If We’re All Witches

By bluemist on February 7th, 1999

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Summary:
Doremi got found out! She’s scared to be a magic frog, so she drags Hazuki and Aiko to Majo Rika’s shop. Eventually Hazuki and Aiko learn about the witch Majo Rika, fairy Lala, and how Doremi is actually a witch apprentice! Doremi also discovers that she’s not gonna be a magic frog because she’s not a witch yet, but just to make sure, Majo Rika wants the two to be witch apprentices too!

And so she gave Magical Taps to Hazuki and Aiko, and Doremi taught some magic basics. She apparently likes the ‘senpai’ notion, although she’s still the worst when it comes to magic. She tries to move something, which turns out to be a knight statue! After the chaos, Majo Rika and Lala talk about the limitations of magic. First, reviving magic is prohibited, so you can’t bring a dead person to life, or you will die yourself. The same way with healing magic, because bad things may happen to you.

Majo Rika wants them to take the Level 9 exam already, but they lack Magic Beads. Lala’s supply is already empty, so Majo Rika goes to the magic world to buy some. Majo Rika also told them that they should work at the magic shop to earn money for some Magic Beads. Regular money won’t do, because they should sell magic goods.

While Majo Rika is away, Doremi, Hazuki and Aiko thought of redesigning the dark, gloomy magic shop to be bright and hip! They got Lala’s permission and proceeded. Coming back, Majo Rika was surprised, and was quite angry with the makeover, but she conceded anyway. And so Makihatayama Rika Maho-dou became Maho-dou!

Notes:
- Introductory episode for the two new witch apprentices. So let’s recap.
- Doremi has the magical affinity of the piano.
- Hazuki has the magical affinity of the violin.
- Aiko has the magical affinity of the harmonica.
- Doremi’s chant: Pirika Pirilala Popolina Peperuto!
- Hazuki’s chant: Paipai Ponpoi Puwapuwa Puu!
- Aiko’s chant: Pameruku Raruku Laliloli Poppun!
- Doremi’s motivation for magic is because she wants the courage to confess to a boy she likes.
- Hazuki’s motivation for magic is because she wants something for herself without being told by others.
- Aiko’s motivation for magic is because she wants to help her father out in daily chores. They are only two in their family.
- Any kind of healing magic is prohibited, as is raising someone from the dead. The repercussions are equally deadly.
- Witch apprentices need to take 9 levels of exams before they become full-fledged witches.
- When they pass Level 9, it seems that they will each have a fairy of their own!
- Magic Beads are not free, they can be bought in the magic world. Unfortunately human currency isn’t actually the same as theirs, but it can be used as long as the thing they (the apprentice witches) sell are magical goods.

Ojamajo Doremi 03: The Transfer Student From Naniwa! Aiko Debuts

By bluemist on February 7th, 1999

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Summary:
Aiko arrives in town. Doremi was walking to school with Hazuki when Aiko suddenly appears and plays a practical joke on her. So Doremi walked off with a bad mood. Seki-sensei told the class that there’s a new transfer student. Incidentally, it’s Aiko! She gets to sit behind Doremi, so she chats with her and Hazuki. Aiko says some rather rude things (but she never intends to be rude) to them, and they get quite agitated even more.

Walking home, Doremi happens to see Aiko shopping, so she follows her around. She was surprised that Aiko rode a taxi, so she used her magic to fly around, until she arrives at the Senoo residence. Aiko saw her and invited her in. Doremi met Aiko’s father, and saw that their family is actually cheerful and nice. Outside while eating, Aiko says that her father is always busy driving the taxi, that’s why she does many house chores. Doremi was impressed with Aiko and her father, but then asked about her mother. Aiko said that her parents are separated.

It’s almost Parents’ Day, where parents visit their children’s school and see them study at class. Aiko told Doremi that her father can’t come because of his job, and so Doremi tries to think of using magic to bring Aiko’s father to school. At first Doremi just told the father, but he was really busy. And so she decided to use magic to clone the father! Aiko’s clone father… cannot speak Kansai-ben! Failure for Doremi, but anyway she ordered to clone to go to the school later.

At school, Doremi was waiting for the clone to arrive, but he was kinda lost. Meanwhile, Aiko’s real father decided to go to the school anyway. He arrived, and Aiko was surprised. At first she was quite angry at Doremi for telling her father about Parents’ Day, but she realized that Doremi did this for her. Aiko started to cry with happiness, because this is the first time that her father had gone to school. They embraced each other, and the rest of the people there greeted them with a warm applause.

After that Aiko’s father drove off to go and work again. Afterwards, the “clone” father appeared before Doremi, Hazuki, and Aiko’s eyes! And it even vanished before their eyes! Hazuki and Aiko stared eerily at Doremi… oh no! Doremi’s secret is gonna be revealed!

Notes:
- Great episode. This actually is an example of how this anime can make the “magic” theme a mere secondary plot device, meaning it isn’t even important. Try to forget that Doremi used magic to follow Aiko, or to clone her father, and then you still will have a coherent plot to work on.
- I keep mentioning secondary characters like Tamaki and the SOS Trio. They will have their own episodes, don’t worry.
- Aiko came from Naniwa, which I think is a part of Kansai, which has a regional dialect called Kansai-ben, which is more popularly known as Osaka-ben.
- Aiko’s father drives a taxi for a living. The Senoo family is of the lower class, plus they are composed of father and daughter only.
- Aiko has no mother, meaning their parents are separated. We will be able to see her mother in future episodes.
- The very first touch of drama is in this episode. Pretty simple but effective, where Aiko was touched that her father visited her school.
- Doremi thinks that she’ll turn into a frog when her witch status gets discovered, but that’s not actually the case for her. Find out why next episode.

Ojamajo Doremi 02: I’m Gonna be Hazuki-chan!

By bluemist on February 7th, 1999

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Summary:
Doremi is enjoying herself. She has just become a witch apprentice! Majo Rika and Lala however tells her that the magical life isn’t too free. Magic Beads come at a price, so Doremi should work for the Maho-dou from now on. Doremi shrugged that for a while though and went straight to school.

Hazuki Fujiwara has a bit of a problem with her family, she can’t say what she wants. She always obeys her mother when picking the clothes she wears, for example, and she thinks that her family is not that great. She’s also quite envious at Doremi’s seemingly free lifestyle. Doremi also was envious of Hazuki because she’s rich and is able to eat steak everyday! When the two talked about it, it caused a bit of a fight amongst them. Yuki-sensei told Doremi that it will be fine, because Hazuki may just have some problems on her mind.

So Doremi went to Hazuki and they both apologized, friends again! Doremi asked if there was one wish she could grant, and Hazuki said that she would have liked to be like Doremi for a while, but it’s impossible without magic isn’t it? Well Doremi ran off and wore her magical costume! She appeared to Hazuki, saying that she’s “Doremi’s friend witch” (lol plothole). So she ‘transformed’ Hazuki into herself! And vice versa!

Hazuki (as Doremi) spent her day in the Harukaze residence, while Doremi (as Hazuki) spent her day in the Fujiwara residence. Chaos ensues. Doremi became too kind and formal in one family, and Hazuki became too rowdy in the other! Doremi/Hazuki must be sick! Their parents rushed each of them to the bed! Hazuki’s family even called an ambulance! Doremi and Hazuki realize that their families are quite worried. So after that stint, Doremi and Hazuki changed back to themselves. Hazuki, seeing that Doremi’s family was happy despite all the rowdyness and fighting, was now quite happy with her own family, which is equally kind.

Notes:
- Hazuki kawaii!
- Majorika and Lala also tells Doremi that she should take about nine “Level Exams” before she could be a full-fledged witch.
- Hazuki is good at violin.
- Doremi LOVES steak.
- Hazuki’s problem is that she can’t go against anything that her mother wants, because her mother is quite sensitive, and gets teary-eyed easily.
- Hazuki’s father is a drama director, and her mother is a interior designer. The Fujiwara family is of the high class, they’re quite rich.
- Doremi’s mother and father have frequent fights about the father’s fishing obsession, but it isn’t serious… I think.
- The Harukaze family is of the middle class, and thus Doremi’s mother may have issues on the father’s overspending in his fishing hobby, maybe that’s it.
- This anime is a very family-oriented show. It deals with various issues of ‘family’ of all kinds.
- IMO the best stories of family here are of the “disfunctional”, the case of Aiko Senoo. You’ll see her next episode.

Ojamajo Doremi 01: I’m Doremi! I’m gonna be an Apprentice Witch!

By bluemist on February 7th, 1999

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The beginning of a long, long journey!!

Summary:
Doremi Harukaze is the world’s most unlucky bishoujo… or so she says. She has crushes on many boys, including this one Igarashi-sempai, a soccer player. Meanwhile, another girl, Maki, bought a supposedly wish-granting ornament from a certain weird magic shop. She likes Igarashi-sempai too.

Unfortunately for Doremi, she can’t approach and confess to him. So she had this passing interest of magic and witches. So Doremi stumbles on this weird magic shop, inside is some creepy old lady. Since she read some witch book, Doremi immediately accused the lady… of being a “majo!” (witch). The old lady instantly turned into a frog! It’s a curse whenever humans discover that they are witches. The only way to turn her (Majo Rika) back is to make Doremi an apprentice witch! Doremi apparently likes the idea!

So armed with all she needs, she tries on her magic and flies to the soccer match Igarashi-sempai was playing in. She uses all sorts of magic to disrupt the game all for the love of Igarashi-sempai. But then the boy got injured in the leg! Lala (Majo Rika’s fairy) warns that healing someone’s wound will transfer the wound back to her. Maki wishes for it to heal, the ornament she bought reacted to her ‘wish’… and Igarashi’s wound got healed. In exchange, Maki was the one injured.

At the clinic, Igarashi and Maki confessed to each other, much to the surprise and disappointment of Doremi. Hazuki (Doremi’s best friend) reacted that she seems to be giving up. Oh well, she’s the world’s most unlucky bishoujo after all.

Notes:
- I’m introducing IMO the best anime series ever made. Pay attention.
- Take note of ALL the characters, they are NOT one-shot characters, they will appear again, trust me.
- Doremi’s chant is “Pirika Pirilala Popolina Peperuto”.
- Doremi has the magical affinity of the piano.
- Doremi is very energetic. If ever she grows up, she can be like Yankumi (Gokusen)… weird comparison? See why, soon.
- Humans don’t know witches exist. When a witch gets discovered by a human, they turn into Majo-gaeru (witch frogs), and they can never turn back unless the human culprit becomes a witch themselves and use some magic on them.
- Doremi becomes a Witch Apprentice. Apprentices must pass some tests before being a full-fledged witch.
- Magic limitation, you must NEVER use healing magic. Using it can have catastrophic effects, like transferring the wound to the magic caster… or even… death.
- The Porons have limited MP (as in RPG MPs), they need Magic Beads.