Toei Animation's Cute WitchCash Cow Franchise from 1999 to 2003, spanning four year-long television series and one OVA.Ojamajo Doremi (Ojamajo being a portmanteau of "ojama", meaning a hindrance and "majo", meaning witch) tells the story of Doremi Harukaze, the self-proclaimed "unluckiest pretty girl in the whole world", who dreams of becoming a witch just like in the stories she reads. One day she stumbles across a mysterious shop run by an old woman who fits the profile of a witch to a tee. Doremi calls her out on it, and suddenly the woman transforms into an ugly little frog thing: turns out she really was a witch, and this is what happens when a human correctly identifies one.The ex-witch, Majo Rika, takes her on as an apprentice witch so that Doremi can eventually gain enough magical power to change her back. The thing is, Doremi is horrible when it comes to learning the trade, which leads to Majo Rika branding her an ojamajo. Not soon afterwards, Doremi's two friends Hazuki Fujiwara and Aiko Senoo get in on the act, and in the latter half of the series, Onpu Segawa- another apprentice witch who uses magic for selfish reasons- turns up as an antagonist of sorts.In the second series (Ojamajo Doremi # (Sharp)), Onpu has reformed and Doremi gains a magical "daughter" called Hana that she has to raise for one year. The third series (Mo~tto! Ojamajo Doremi) introduces American witch apprentice Momoko Asuka to help the group pass a test to become formal witches. This test involves turning their shop into a bakery for the season. The fourth and final television series (Ojamajo Doremi Dokka~n!) has Hana force-grow herself to the same age as Doremi so she can attend school with her "mommy". An OVA followed (Ojamajo Doremi Na-i-sho) that was set during Mo~tto and focused on various secrets held by the main characters.The franchise was your standard Magical Girl affair, though there was very little evil-fighting. The series was instead driven by the characters and their development not only as Cute Witches but as people. Admittedly, it suffers from a lot of Filler, and depending on how cynical you are, you could consider every series after the first to be Post Script Seasons. But it was a massively popular series in Japan and has its fair share of high points. Notably, it's the second longest Magical Girl series to date (behind Pretty Cure), but unlike Pretty Cure, the series takes place in only one continuity.The series has been dubbed into several languages and released in multiple countries under the name Magical DoReMi. In America it was licensed by 4Kids, becoming the first version not to call the main character "Doremi" (instead they called her Dorie, turning Hazuki and Aiko into Reanne and Mirabelle respectively to retain the pun in the title). While the first twenty-six episodes were aired on television, the last twenty-five were only available online.Now set to get a light novel sequel set in high school penned by staff writer Midori Kuriyama and illustrated by original character designer Yoshihiko Umakoshi.This series has a character sheet. And now it has a recap in the works.
Losing a child happens several times in the series, and since witches live very long, it's generally expected that they'd outlive their kids if they marry a human man and bear his kids.
Aerith and Bob: Pretty much everyone else's names are common Japanese names except for Doremi, Pop, and maybe Onpu.
All Deaths Final: If someone were to die in this show, they're all but assured to remain dead. Sure, there is magic to bring people Back from the Dead, but doing so will cost the caster her life upon success. For that reason, that magic is forbidden and thus hasn't been used successfully onscreen. Ever.
All for Nothing: in Series 1 and Sharp, the girls go through hardship after hardship to pass the tests and become full fledged Witches...and then have to give them up to save someone: Onpu in the former and Hana in the latter.
Alpha Bitch: Reika Tamaki, also the resident Ojou. Momoko is actually able to relate and make friends with her due to being similar (too similar) to a friend in America, Mary. She also gives an excellent lampshading...
Momoko: I really don't like people like Tamaki-san, but you see her type no matter which country's school you are in.
She gains even more sympathetic development during Motto, where her self-centered and bratty behavior is revealed to be caused by her loneliness and insecurity. Momoko sees through this and becomes close friends with her, and also helps others to see Reika's true self.
Erika, Reika's cousin is one as well. Like her sister, she becomes a Lovable Alpha Bitch later in Dokkan.
Becoming the Mask: Akatsuki in Sharp started off by getting close to Doremi for the sole purpose of using her to get to Hana. Eventually, he developed genuine feelings towards her and ultimately made his Heel-Face Turn.
Bittersweet Ending: The first two seasons. Especially the first. (Right after they've become full-fledged witches, Onpu falls into a Convenient Coma as Laser-Guided Karma hits her for repeatedly using her powers for mind control (even when, that particular time, she had actually used them to save herself and the others), so Doremi and the other girls have to practically give up everything to save her).
And in the penultimate episode; the girls must chose between becoming witches outlive anyone they care about, or stay human but leaving Hana and the Witch World until she become the great Queen.
Blush Sticker: Hana-chan typically has these (particularly during Sharp and Motto). Other characters get them too from time to time.
Book Ends: Twice. Once during the beginning and end of the first season, and again at the end of the series.
Brutal Honesty: Aiko and Momoko both had this flaw when they transferred. To a degree, also Onpu.
Bumbling Dad: Practically all the fathers, to some degree. Special mention goes to Reika's father and Kenji (Aiko's dad).
But Now I Must Go: At the end of the final series, the girls must choose between becoming full-fledged, long-lived Witches living in the Witch World or remain as humans and stay in their own world. Only Hana leaves for the Witch World while the rest of the girls decide that they will stay in the human world.
Call Back: Dokkan contains numerous references to events and characters that haven't been mentioned since the first two seasons. Done to even greater extent in the light novel, which is pure Continuity Porn.
Calling Your Attacks: Lampshaded: One of the reasons for the Royal Patraine upgrade was that Oyajide could counter their spells before they could finish.
Camera Fiend: Kaori Shimakura. Subverted when we learn that she does so because of self-esteem problems: Kaori views herself as ugly, thus she captures the world in her camera to hide her feelings of inadequacy.
Can't Catch Up: Doremi's little sister Pop, who (being five years old) progresses at a much slower rate than the rest of the girls: it takes her four seasons to achieve what the other six manage in one season, and even then doesn't get her crystal until the final Magical Stage. Mind you, this is not because she's not as good as Doremi; she's far more adept. It's just that you can only go to the Witch World at night—and she can't stay awake that long, no matter how hard she tries.
Subverted by Dokkan, when Pop finally reached the Level 1 test. Doremi even lampshaded this. However, Pop came to start thinking about why she wanted to be a witch and realizing that it was because she wanted to be like Doremi. Mota and Motamota seemed to know this and gave Pop some time for her to decide.
Career Versus Man: This was basically the main plot of the Ojamajo Doremi 17Light Novel. After hearing Marina and Kimura break up to pursue their future goals, Doremi becomes worried about what will happen when she and Kotake have to make the same choice.
Catch Phrase: Doremi's "I'm the unluckiest pretty girl in the whole world!"
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Majo Ruka's fairy Hehe is only seen in the original Ojamajo Doremi series and does not make an appearance in subsequent sequels, nor does Majo Ruka make a comment as to where she is. This is because Hehe's voice actress, Hiroko Konishi, decided to step away from voice acting in 2000.
Completely Different Title: Ojamajo Doremi is known as Magical DoReMi in numerous other dubs as the word "ojamajo" is an untranslatable pun on the words "Ojama" (something/someone who gets in the way and is useless) and "Majo" (a witch). However, 4Kids changed Doremi's name to Dorie, thus changing the meaning of the title from a description of the main character into a combined pun of the first two letters of the new names the gave the main characters: Dorie, Reanne and Mirabelle.
The Sharp finale had the girls facing Previous Witch Queen's predecessor. None of them retained their powers after trying to get the Macguffin, and she could easily have prevented them from getting it, but they (barely) succeeded either way.
On that note, ANYONE vs. Majo Tourbillon. It was established that she had the most powerful magic of any Witch in the last 1000 years, and she can definitely prove it.
Daddy's Girl: Played with rather interestingly in the first season: the reason behind Reika Tamaki's Rich Bitch behavior is that her dad spoils her rotten... and dad's reason to do it is that he feels guilty for letting Reika get seriously injured due to his carelessness.
First, we have Ojijide tasking Oyajide with kidnapping Hana. The audience knows what's going on, but the Ojamajos don't and are legitimately shocked and horrified when Oyajide reveals his intentions and succeeds.
Next, we have the introduction of Akatsuki and then his allegiance is revealed later. During episode 46, Doremi is heartbroken by the revelation.
Dying Race: The Wizards during Sharp. Arguably the reason Ojijide wanted to kidnap Hana and regain their lost land. Averted during the later seasons when the High Queen restores their remaining land to fertility and allowing the Wizards to repopulate.
Edutainment: Has shades of this, particularly Motto. Also, in a press release, 4Kids Entertainment pitched the show as such.
Exact Words: Typically during the Level 1 exam. The proctors say that one has to use magic to help someone in the human world and receive a "thank you" in return...all without getting caught. They never say how the thanks is received, or from whom you need to get the thanks from.
In Series 1, The girls helped a fox cub out and got a thank you from it in its own language. It was accepted.
In Dokkan for both Pop's and Hana's exams, the former used magic to conjure a wind to protect a class project from the rain; the class thanked the wind...which was an indirect thanks to Pop, so she passed. But Hana didn't use magic and got thanks...and Mota and Motamota said she failed as a result, but are taking it up with with the Senate.
Eye Catch: Varied wildly from season to season and even had separate parts to them.
S1: The first one had the fairies bouncing on the register until Dodo accidentally slammed Majo Rika followed by them producing cards of their respective owners. The second one showed the girls scanning various items with Pop scanning Majo Rika.
Sharp: The first one showed the Ojamajos using their calls for various activities only for Pop to steal one of them; she is then seen talking with her boyfriends while Doremi, the owner of the stolen call, looks for it. The second one showed Doremi allowing the fairies into her patraine call followed by the fairies going into their teenage forms within the Patraine laptop.
Five-Man Band: The Ojamajo are usually banded in five, since Hana is special and doesn't need to participate in Magical Stage. Pop was more or less considered part of the five in the first series and Sharp since she kind of was in-and-out, but by Motto! was replaced by Momoko. The team also solidifies with the addition of Onpu and Momoko as the former didn't appear until the second half of the first series while the latter was introduced in Motto!.
The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Plenty between Doremi and Pop. Pop generally finds Doremi immature and irresponsible, and Doremi can't stand her Deadpan Snarker moments. However, Pop secretly admires Doremi and will watch out for her when things get tough.
Aiko: "Me, me, me, me!" Would you quit it with your half-hearted English?!
Gray and Grey Morality: All of the characters are portrayed in a realistic manner and the villains all have credible excuses to be doing what they're doing.
To drive the point home, Doremi can be relatively selfish, greedy, and self-centered. On the other hand, she has shown a great many number of moments when she was compassionate and pure hearted and generally wanting to do the right thing no matter what.
A second example is Majo Tourbillon. Her goal is to prevent contact between the worlds by any means necessary and is even willing to hurt children to ensure it. However, she wants to do this so as to prevent other witches from feeling the same unbearable pain she felt when she lost her husband to an accident and her son to old age and her grand children to their own paths.
Momoko suffers one when she was called out by the other Ojamajos for letting Hana get sick during Motto.
Doremi in the Dokkan! series finale.
Heroic Sacrifice: All the girls but Pop willingly risk being put into a millenia-long slumber to get the Love Supreme flower needed to save Hana's life in the finale of Sharp. Doremi barely succeeds, but is also put under. Thankfully, Hana's first word ("MAMA!") was strong enough to wake them.
Momoko nearly does this in her Back Story when she tries to bring back Majo Monroe. Her crystal shattered from the strain of having to use such a powerful spell, causing her to fail and costing poor girl her powers.
I Never Got Any Letters: Aiko discovers that her mom has made several attempts to contact her in the past after her parents' divorce, but never received any of the letters she sent. Turns out that all of her letters were collected and hidden by her father, making Aiko very upset.
Late Arrival Spoiler: Hana becoming a witch apprentice is technically a surprise spoiler to newcomers who haven't seen the show, yet Dokka~n! makes this unavoidable due to its First Episode Spoiler. Toei doesn't help this either in since they throw her image around Dokka~n! promotions and merchandise like free candy.
Laugh Themselves Sick: Hazuki always laughs uncontrollably whenever the SOS Trio make a joke. Momoko gets this way about Toyoken too.
Long Lived: The witches are capable of dying even though their lifespans are longer than humans, notable examples being Majo Monroe and Majo Clara.
Love Confession: Doremi wants to give one to Igarashi-sempai, but at the end of the series someone confesses to her!
Kotake: Well, yeah it's true you're a total klutz, but I...I...well to say it, everyone here loves you!
Kimitaka also confesses to Pop before he moves away.
The Love Slap of Epiphany: In one episode, Reika wants to be slapped because it's a proof of love, and doesn't stop escalating her misbehaving until she gets her wish.
Love Triangle: Somehow happened with both Doremi and Hazuki. In the latter case, it's clearly one-sided from Fujio to Hazuki but played with in the former as both Kotake and Akatsuki's focus episode(s) with Doremi are in different seasons. In the end Doremi chooses Kotake.
Magical Incantation: Each girl has their own specific magic spell for common magic as well as a variant for casting Magical Stage. The 4Kids dub ended up creating unnecessary work for themselves by ditching the standard "Incantation+What I Want+Appear" formula by having the girls create rhymes on the spot.
Magic Wand: An odd variant: all the Pollons used in the series are actually musical instruments from the Witch World, but not used via Magic Music.
Some Witches use the more generic variety.
Mama Bear: All the girls in Sharp, especially Doremi in the last few episodes.
Played straight with a vengeance in Motto! Ojamajo Doremi episode 32. Momoko works her hardest to become a "Mama" for Hana-chan (she wanted Hana to treat her the same as she did the more experienced Ojamajos), but not only does she repeatedly have trouble, she accidentally puts Hana's life in danger by letting her eat too much pudding and giving her a stomachache. Aiko, on behalf of all the Ojamajos, threatens to never let Momoko near Hana again, sending Momoko into a Heroic BSOD. It took a pep talk from Onpu to get Momoko's motivation back.
May I Borrow a Cup of Sugar?: Aiko was under the impression that her mother had remarried after seeing her with a baby. This gives her the push to convince her father to do the same when he gets set up on a date with his boss' daughter. Later, when Aiko spies on her mother again, she sees a neighbor of her mother visiting her to borrow MSG (sugar in the dub version) and finds out that the baby was actually the neighbor's.
Meaningful Name: Hana in Japanese means flower (justified because it was Doremi who named her), and Tourbillon in French means spiral.
Mid-Season Upgrade: Twice. The first time was during S1 with an upgrade to their porons. The second, which occurred during Sharp, gave the Royal Patraine, which was only used when Oyajide kidnapped Hana-chan and when Majo Tourbillon threatened Hana-chan's life at the end of Sharp.
Mind Screw: Onpu has a Mind ScrewCharacter Development episode in Na-i-sho when she recounts what it really means to be herself in spite of her Idol Singer career, where she has to take on roles and display a public image that is not exactly who she really is.
More than Mind Control: Some of the cursed brambles worked this way: The curses they cast to make their victims cross the Despair Event Horizon invoked things that were genuine issues or insecurities for said victims (Majo Ume and Majo Rika feeling depressed regarding being Witch Frogs and the possibility of never returning to normal and Tamaki via her insecurity about being a normal school girl upon graduating elementary).
Mukokuseki: Usually played straight, but there are a few exceptions. In the episode where Momoko receives a video letter from her Black Best Friend Beth in New York, Beth's new friend Sachiko is drawn with narrower eyes to highlight the racial differences between the two girls.
Mundane Utility: Use your awesome magical powers to... bake. Subverted when they decide to take care of Hana without magic.
New Powers as the Plot Demands: Played with. The High Queen usually gives the girls new powers in order to help them with the current task at hand, such as aiding them in using Royal Patraine when they're not together, extracting Bad Cards, etc.
No Export for You: Only the first series made it to the US, and it doesn't seem like the other series, films, and other parts of the franchise will make it (and on the off-chance they do, it's an almost certain fact that 4Kids won't be handling them since Toei cut off all ties with them due to One Piece).
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Doremi especially, but the main things that come to mind are the first two season finales when they have to save Onpu and then save Hana, respectively.
Off Model: Ojamajo Doremi suffers notoriously from this, especially during Motto! and Dokkan! If the episode doesn't consist of a magical power-up, or isn't extremely emotional, you can count on some very awful animation.
Hazuki gets this pretty bad, as she is gradually Demoted to Extra. Even in the first season, however, there are two notable instances. One where she walks into a room and has no legs, and another where her and a side character switch eye colors.
And, especially later in the show, hands get increasingly more frequently drawn as just stumps or balls. Although one could argue that this is just stylization, the fact that gets more common, along with increasing off-model-ness, shows otherwise. Again, Hazuki gets the worst of it (along with her glasses almost permanentally falling into Opaque Lenses territory), especially since she is usually the farthest in the background.
To be fair, there are at times where they do it on purpose for comedy.
Official Couple: Sometime after Ojamajo Doremi Dokka~n!, Hazuki and Yada get together, as they're mentioned to have been dating for quite a while in the Light Novel. Also, Doremi and Kotake get together after having a significant amount of Unresolved Sexual Tension between them.
Picky Eater: Hana during Motto! Though later in the season, Hana isn't as responsible for this as she is earlier in the season: the former Witch Queen's predecessor casts a curse on Hana that makes her hate vegetables, resetting a problem that the Ojamajos had previously solved using carrot cake.
Pet the Dog: Reika is a selfish and shrill Ojou, but an episode in the first season showed her feeling genuinely insecure about her dad's love and taking the local Ill Girl Shiori under her wing.
Power Crystal: Used to fuel the girls' magic in the first season.
Precision F-Strike: The fansubs for Naisho have some swear words...most notably the childhood marriage episode.
Power Trio: Used to be this with Doremi, Hazuki, and Aiko in the first season, with Pop as the Tagalong Kid (even though she still kind of is...) and when Onpu was not officially part of the group. Lampshaded by Onpu occasionally in talk segments of CDs and in Ojamajo Doremi #, where she feels left out because they have been friends longer with each other than with her.
Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Plenty between the girls, but of note is all their relationships to Doremi, especially near the end of Dokkan, where they have to separate and go their own ways.
Running Gag: Doremi's bad luck, Seki-san throwing her chalk, Doremi's parents always fighting (he's a Bumbling Dad, she's a Tsundere), Hazuki's "Majo Rika Majo Rika"-ing when she's scared... to name a few.
Sacrificial Revival Spell: One of the Forbidden Spells is bringing someone back from the dead, for the exact reason of it basically being a trade of lives.
Scary Shiny Glasses: Hazuki Fujiwara's glasses did this at some point in the second episode of Ojamajo Doremi DOKKAAN!.
That actually seems to happen often in the last two seasons.
Separated at Birth: In book 3 of Ojamajo Doremi 16, Hana is revealed to have a twin sister who she must compete against to win the throne to the Witch World.
Shaggy Dog Story: Count how many times they decide to give up their powers after working so hard to attain them.
It is actually Zigzagged. The girls lose their powers (which they had worked so hard to fully attain...) as a consequence for using forbidden magic to save Onpu. And then at the beginning of Sharp, the girls get their powers back, but only as apprentices with their crystals held by The High Queen; they regain them successfully, but their crystals were shattered by the Big Bad, leaving them without their powers again. Subverted somewhat in Motto, where The High Queen proposes to make the girls full-fledged Witches only to have half of the senate oppose it due to their crystals having been destroyed; they agree to make them apprentices again and agree to let them be Witches so long as the pass a series of tests; the Ojamajos pass them, but the issue of reconstructing their crystals remained. And in Dokkan, the girls are faced with a dilemma: Either become full-fledged Witches and stay in the Witch World forever or return to being normal girls; they choose the latter...only to eventually become apprentices again in Ojamajo Doremi 16/17.
Ship Sinking: Aiko makes it ambiguous as to whether she likes Anrima or not, but they begin dating after Ojamajo Doremi Dokka~n! However, Aiko mentions in Ojamajo Doremi 16 that they've broken up.
Marina and Kimura break up in Ojamajo Doremi 17 offscreen. It's not explicitly mentioned, but when you read the context of how it's implied, you can reasonably guess that they drifted apart in pursuit of their dreams, which matter more to them than their relationship.
Shown Their Work: In episode 40 of Dokka~n, the back of a postcard from Italy is briefly seen. It is filled with hand-written text, perfectly readable and in correct Italian. Whoever they consulted for this scene must have given a hand on Ashita no Nadja (the next series by the same staff), since a couple of letters in perfect Italian are seen there too.
Stock Footage: All transformations, spells, and a few other scenes for good measure.
Surprisingly Good English: True, Momoko's inflection is a bit odd, as is some of the phrasing of the English (calling her earring a "pierce"), but it is undeniably much better than most anime characters'.
Theme Naming: Almost all the witches have "Majo" (witch) attached to the beginning of their names. In the beginning of the series, you'll notice that not a lot of witches (Dela, Mota, and Motamota) don't follow this naming convention, and it seems to have been restricted to Majo Rika and Majo Ruka only, as both of them were named after Majolica and Majorca respectively, illustrating their connections. Perhaps one of the writers thought the "majo" was supposed to be a title for a witch and subsequently added it on every single witch that was introduced from then on.
The dub changed takoyaki to "chocolate doodles," a type of cookie.
Transformation Is a Free Action: Deconstructed. It legitimately takes a lot of time to transform and use Magical Stage to get to Royal Patraine. Oyajide took advantage of this during Sharp when eluding the girls. Akatsuki wanted to be chivalrous and make the final fight fair during Sharp episode 46.
Transformation Sequence: With a twist: The girls must complete their transformation before the music coming from their Tap ends.
Transformation Trinket: Apprentice Tap (S1), Rhythm Tap (Sharp), Parara Tap (Mo~tto!), Cologne Tap (DOKKAAN!), Puarin Compact (DOKKAAN!)
Translator Microbes: Momoko's magic gives her a greater grasp of Japanese than normal; later, she uses the headset on her baker's outfit to translate her speech perfectly. Eventually, she learns enough that she doesn't need it any more.
Their fairies also transform into their respective owners when they need to go somewhere without arousing suspicion... but they retain their Pokémon Speak vocabulary.
Wham Episode: Episode 22 of Sharp. Up until then, it was just the girls trying to raise Hana. After this episode, they have to protect her from being captured and generally forces them to be on higher alert.
Episode 25: A nice young boy appears at the Mahou-Dou and takes an interest in Doremi. He's Oyajide's accomplice and is just using Doremi to get closer to Hana.
Episode 47: A previous Queen reveals her presence and a desire to keep the Curse of Majo Gaeru alive by killing Hana. She is doing this to make sure other Witches don't suffer as she did.
Episode 1 of Dokkan: Hana becomes bored with Majo Kai and ages herself to Doremi's age, destroying her pendant in the process.
Episode 30 of Dokkan: The vines around the Previous Queen's Predecessor expand and begin casting curses. One of them appears in the human world at the end of the episode.
Episode 43 of Dokkan: Vines have been revealed to be all over Misora and, quite likely, the world. And they were also capable of sprouting anywhere.
Where The Hell Is Springfield?: The town that the show is based on, Misora City/Misora Town (Depending on the Writer), is a fictional location in the Kantou region of Japan. Many people suspect that it's based off of the real-life Misora Town in Otsu, but that's all the way in the Kansai region.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: In Dokkan 40, Doremi befriends the witch Mirai Sakura living in the human world, who is forced to constantly move around and part from the people she loves due to her long lifespan. Made even worse by leaving it ambiguous whether she does it to not be found out as a witch, or because she can't bear the pain of having to see them grow old and die before her or both.
A major part of the former Witch Queen Majo Tourbillion's backstory.
Why Did It Have To Be Ghosts?: Hazuki is deathly afraid of ghosts to the point that in a drama CD, she practically goes insane at Yamauchi's ghost story.
Momoko later picks up this fear as well.
Both have a chant that they use to ward off the fear. "Majo Rika Majo Rika Majo Rika!" It seldom works.
Wizarding School: The girls have to learn how to use magic and pass a series of tests to be granted additional powers.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The previous Witch Queen, who is villain for the second half of the series, is a tamer version of this trope (as she only tries to prevent interaction between humans and witches).
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Despite the realism this series has, the Ojamajos, along with several other characters, have hair colors that are definitively outrageous. The Witches and Wizards have this too, but it's justified given their magical nature.