In which I struggle a bit to get her on her broom, but I’m still awfully happy to have Onpu join the Ojamajo!
I’ve been a fan of Ojamajo Doremi almost since the debut of the original series twenty years ago. I’m an absolute sucker for the majokko (usually called “cute witch” in English, I think) genre of anime, and none has my heart more than Doremi. I’ve just always been enchanted by the story of Doremi Harukaze and her friends Hadzuki Fujiwara and Aiko Senoo (and various others as series go by) working as apprentice witches for Majo Rika after Doremi accidentally outs her as a witch.
A problem with liking magical girl/majokko shows in general is that they tend to hit so many of the same notes it’s hard to guess which will be good. Everything I said above, save a few details maybe, is the plot of lots of majokko series. But there’s something about the characters in Doremi I just find extra relatable and sweet and fun. And I’ve always been fond of the whole ojamajo thing — majo means magic, but an ojama is something that gets in your way. So these are bothersome magical girls, ojamajo indeed!
The character I’m unboxing today, Onpu Segawa, isn’t actually one of the original three girls who start training in the beginning; she comes along partway through the original series as one of the girls’ classmates and a well-known idol. She has her own secrets, which I’ll let you find out by watching, but long story short, by the end of the first season she joins up with the girls and they learn magic together.
I found Onpu a bit hard to like at first in the original series. She’s mysterious and a bit aloof and good at basically everything she tries. But the older I get the more I think I understand people like her; talented, quiet people can be mistaken for snobbish. So I’ve come around significantly on Onpu, and I was extra quick to pre-order her so she could join her Ojamajo friends.
This is the fourth of these Doremi Nendoroid figures I’ve set up and displayed (I’ve actually just gotten Momoko in the mail and will put her up….eventually…). I’m sad to say it, but while they’ve all been well made and designed, they’ve also been some of the hardest Nendoroid to work with of all those I own. It’s a particular nightmare to try to get them positioned on their brooms; the plastic on those brooms makes me worry about them breaking, and I’ve cursed more at more arms and shoulders and freaking torsos that have popped off while I got everything figured out than I care to admit.
The different face plates and such are quite nice too, and there’s a fair selection of accessories, like her wand (though I prefer the Puwa-Puwa Poron or Peperuto Poron to the included Sweet Poron) and microphone and specialized parts for sitting on her broom. That’s the whole reason, or a large part at least, why I decided to get this Nendoroid collection — I really liked the idea of having them all lined up on their brooms — but geez, I feel like it’s been more stressful with each successive figure. It’s a bit of a relief to have four down and only one to go!
Then again, I’m way less of a figure collector than I am of toys and miniatures, and in fact I bought my first Nendoroid (was it Sayaka from Puella Magi Madoka Magika? I think it might have been) because they go really well with things like Re-Ment. So I find them hard to work with, but I’m not the top person you should listen to on it, and I’m pretty much always really pleased with how things turn out in the end.
If you haven’t ever checked out any of the Doremi series and you feel anything other than complete and irreversible loathing toward the idea of cute witch magical girl shows, I’d really recommend giving them a try! Especially the original series, wrapping up around the turn of the century — there actually was an episode about the early internet where they said this tech woukd surely bring the world together. It was such a pure and hopeful sentiment and way of looking at things, it made me feel a bit nostalgic and even a little sniffly.
I know the world is more complicated than that, but if a bunch of ojamajo can learn magic, I figure a bunch of people can use whatever we have to emphasize similarities instead of differences too.
(You’d think I was getting paid to promote them, but I really am not — I just use them for almost everything! — I got Onpu at amiami, perfectly safe and fast and friendly, just like always.)