Ahh… Ojamajo Doremi. Of all the anime in the world, this is for me the most elusive anime that I may never, ever completely enjoy. With no less than 200 episodes, most of it already lost in time, someone like me living in the remotest of areas would consider getting an episode of this a monumental effort. Since this kind of anime is rarely a fansubbing favorite, only a few subs of Ojamajo Doremi exist (thanks to those fansubbers btw). And since this series is quite old already, I cannot find anything else, not even raws. But no, nothing is gonna stop me from continually searching for my most elusive anime ever. Unknown to many, Ojamajo Doremi is one of (if not) the longest mahou shoujo (magical girl) anime series ever. And despite its seemingly unpopular status outside of Japan, I can consider this one of the best anime ever made… even with the limited number of episodes I watched.
An excellent example of this would be the latest season, called Ojamajo Doremi Naisho. For a little background info, there are five seasons of Ojamajo Doremi. The first four seasons ran for almost a year each (50+ episodes), and the latest season ran for 13 episodes. While it is the latest season, Naisho’s timeline actually runs between the third and fourth seasons. Not that it matters though, because what Ojamajo Doremi offers is not a big plot… but a “big heart”.
Oh my, where do I start? For first-time watchers, they may be skeptical on picking this up because it runs in the middle of a series, but Ojamajo Doremi as a whole excels in full-fledged characterization. Watch one episode of Ojamajo Doremi Naisho, and you more or less get to know about each main character already. Watch another, and you see one of the characters being fleshed out further. Watch yet another, and you enjoy so much of Ojamajo Doremi overall because of its appealing characters. Character development is an immense factor in the success of this anime. And not only those main characters (the pretty witches) get their development, but various supporting characters as well.
The strongest part of Naisho (and any other Ojamajo Doremi season for that matter) is how endearingly heartwarming each episode is. Even if each episode you watch has a different story and features different characters, they make it oh so memorable. Each story, no matter how frantic or comedic or depressing, is very very good. Ojamajo Doremi Naisho has a specific theme, in which they delve on some characters’ “secrets” (hence Naisho). Well I wouldn’t say some should really be considered big secrets, but these stories feature many events from the past, and how they learn from those events.
Remember that this is a mahou shoujo series, and yet it veers away often from magic being central to a story. It extends its moral values to more than just using magic to do something special. Sometimes I imagine that this anime can veer away from magic completely, because it is all about our life. All the happiness, sadness, complications, and simplicity of life, being channeled through various heartwarming stories.
This series particularly has a interestingly dramatic theme to it despite the relative fun. Some stories even end up with some of the characters crying. Moreover, seemingly mature themes like the life’s complexities, and even death, is being dealt with. It is something you really won’t expect from a mahou shoujo series, plus considering this is an anime aimed for kids. It is rare that an anime of this kind can be this moving. It’s easy to make viewers laugh and awe, but it is hard to make them cry. And yet Ojamajo Doremi can do that, and more. Because it mirrors our lives, viewers can relate, reflect, and learn. Entertainment that transcends beyond entertainment.
I won’t talk about the cute characters and animation, the memorable music and songs, or how the voice acting fared. It is enough for me to say that Ojamajo Doremi Naisho entertained me to the brim, sky is beyond the limit. It is enough for you to know that I highly recommend this anime, whether dubbed, subbed, or otherwise. It will be remembered forever in my heart. I’d love to watch it all over again (I don’t usually repeat anime I already watched, so this is a rare exception). Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be going treasure hunting for more Ojamajo Doremi.