Disclaimer: Everything I mention here about authors, writers, etc… Are result of my view from my experience. It may or may not represent the reality. I didn’t make much research on this on purpose so that I wouldn’t get influenced by other points of view. Please don’t make a fuss about it even though I thank you if you kindly mention it in the comments below. Enjoy the post .
Freeleech is on! Have fun!
For a while now I was interested in making my very own staff pick and now I was given a chance and I… Hey? Why not!?!?
For such event as this, I wanted to make something that is of value for me and could be of value to you. I wanted to make something… different… Most of the picks are related to variable reasons but none is really about nostalgia. So I came up with these 3 simple rules:
- It must be something from, or partly from, my youth (before 2004, or so) that I can recall.
- It must be a series I liked when I first saw it
- It must be a series I’d still like even if it’s just for the nostalgia value.
After filtering the 1st and 2nd elements I came up with my list of anime I liked (and knew that existed) in my young youth:
- Versailles no Bara (dub: fr, sub: pt)
- Mahou no Princess Minky Momo: Yume o Dakishimete (dub: pt)
- Doraemon (dub: es (later became pt), sub: pt)
- Ojamajo Doremi (dub: pt (S1 + S2))
- Mahou no Stage Fancy Lala (dub: pt, songs: jp)
- Cardcaptor Sakura (dub: pt)
- Kaitou Saint Tail (dub: pt)
- Ashita no Nadja (dub: pt, songs: jp)
- Captain Tsubasa (dub: pt)
- Clamp Gakuen Tanteidan (dub: pt songs:jp)
- Mach Go Go Go (Speed racer) (dub: en sub:pt)
Note: My native language is portuguese Portugal (pt-pt).
Hey! why not…
“Did you forget about pokemon, digimon, [insert name here]mon or even dragonball… or sailor moon?”
Nope, I didn’t forget those but they were not anime I ever got to like.
I quickly came to dislike the “monster of the week”-based anime that all those rely on and I also wasn’t keen about displays of dominance or fighting without understanding the actual “why”.
“How about the 80′s Tetsuwan Atom (en: astro boy)? He has some time.”
I only knew him from name at that time. I learned about the anime about him when I came to BakaBT later, so not a candidate.
“Hey! That’s (checks calculator) 10 anime! How do you select one?”
True. Thankfully some are easy to remove:
These are easy out:
- Captain Tsubasa -> Too much “anything can be awsome”. There’s no real value here
- Kaitou Saint Tail -> Interesting story (check it out) but not something that brings me nostalgia.
- Doraemon -> Loads of episodes… Not really re-watchable even though it is quite interesting series (IMO). Besides, the series is not fully subbed.
- Cardcaptor Sakura -> Monster of the week well made story (CLAMP is good!) but no real re-watch value… I never felt like watching it again even with it on BakaBT. Good watch… But only for the 1st time.
- Clamp Gakuen Tanteidan -> The main value lies on not knowing information and trying to guess. Also the content is better suited to whom is starting to think for an investigation (Oh man! that School is huge!). It is somewhat like Detective Conan for kids. Great watch, only for the 1st time.
- Versailles no Bara -> Most of my interest on it was the France feel. The French dub really bumped up with not knowing what was coming next, with a mix of loads of history facts taken into account. No real re-watch value even though it is a good anime and I recommend giving a try.
- Mach Go Go Go (Speed racer) -> Recently “freeleeched” and I failed to stay interested when I tried to re-watch it.
And I’m left with a very interesting fact (YMMV)! They are all shoujo anime (what ya know…), also, except for Ashita no Nadja, all others are majokko anime! I’m a guy! I really am!! Trust me!!!
K’ay, now that I made my point,
There are some interesting facts in common in all these anime:
There’s no such thing as good and evil. Just so you know, making anything good relying on that premise is hard and risky but when you get it… Man!
There’s no conquer the world, control everything, monster of the week or any formula like that. These went new. They didn’t start from ground 0, they used the tools that were available that were made before to come up with a completely different way of developing a long lasting story even with the risk of it being a huge flop. That risk has given us a show that is pretty much unique in its own way.
Now that I made my point… Here’s the next disqualified anime:
Ashita no Nadja: Even though it has a great start good plot elements (man that 24/25/26!) and ends also really well, the anime is 50 episodes long… For the story they wanted to develop, it had boring episodes or episodes that were too focused on the girl (Nadja) after the guy (sorry, I can’t remember the character’s name). Good for 1st watch (I mean it WATCH IT!) but it’s not something that brings me nostalgia (except for the songs).
To end this mention, this anime was the 2nd anime whose OP and ED I liked to listen and always tried singing along (and failing hard >_>).
Alright so we are left with the 3 majokko anime as we keep on the countdown for this freeleech selection!
With the end of the countdown, the 3 anime that are left are anime that is working around the exact same premise which I value a lot.
Show us the “hidden” real world in a different perspective. Being a majokko is not a plot point, it’s a tool that the writers came up with (and an excuse) to open horizons, allowing writers to explore from different perspectives what they wanted to show their viewers.
Minky Momo is about professions and showing what they are about.
Fancy Lala is about being an actress and getting into show business.
Ojamajo Doremi, without making an extensive list, is about people.
In all these stories, the main story is bad. Yes I mean it! It is bad bad!! … bad!!! The good content is all about the filler… And that’s where the real “juice” is!
In all these shows there can be only a winner so, without further ado, here’s the next disqualification.
Minky Momo. There are two reasons here:
- It has never been completely subbed or english dubbed so it is not on BakaBT (unfortunately).
- Sometimes (i.e. in some episodes) it fails to deliver that episode’s message by not representing well the profession that the protagonist is trying to display. It is not serious but it is enough such that the girly stuff overwhelms my will to re-watch it.
Ok, it all comes down to the last decision between Fancy Lala and ojamajo doremi.
And the winner is…. Eh… wait wait… Let me talk a bit about those two first. I believe you already know the answer if you know how I am but just stick for a bit while I convince you why these shows are good.
Starting with Fancy Lala:
This show is great in many levels (not in the girly level, may I say). It explores all sides of stardom, the good, the bad and the ugly. I shows how a talent is found, the casting, how anyone can be nervous, and so on and so forth, until the phase where you become the peak (ep24) and only a tragedy can take out of the stardom. It also has one of the best endings. A full episode fully dedicated to the ending itself and the “return to normal”.
In total, his series has 3 main identifiable songs (besides the BG music). “LaLaLa: Kuchibiru ni Onegai o Komete” (OP song), “Shiawase Kibun” (ED song) and “Transparence” (insert/audition song) and another well identifiable song “Haru Iro Photograph” (insert/audition song). This was the first anime I ever liked and craved for the songs!!!! I never lost an OP or ED on this anime and that’s good(!) considering I almost never watched TV live (I always recorded on VHS).
Ending with Ojamajo Doremi:
Man… Where do I start… Ojamajo Doremi is way different from anything I’ve watched so far. There’s no formula, besides its own unique one, leaving not much to point the finger to…
This fantasy anime explores the real world like no other anime has ever explored: The people.
It’s one of the super rare anime where in each episode, besides the main protagonists, there’s always a guest protagonist to develop the episode’s story. Even more! Each and every character is unique in their very own way! Many display the clichéd personalities, like the ojo or the class president/representative, the book worm, the “cool” guy, there are also rarer but still existing ones like the Hikikomori, the idol (when it’s Onpu’s turn), the foreigner (Momoko in Motto) and the list goes on to about 100 different personalities that are explored at some time in the series.
These are about children, adults and elders. As some examples, there’s an episode that tackles serious business related to growth like the one that 4kids (and the pt dub one) has fully cut (Boooooo!!!!) others go and talks about the adults problems (there’s one that shows the other side of a mother that has to work late and is forced leave his son at home). Heck, there’s even one that is all about adult’s nostalgia feeling!
One main thing one can take home from this is that everyone’s facade to the outside isn’t really what they are but a result of their life outside your knowledge
If this is not a mature anime… I don’t know what this is, no childish anime ever cares about taking serious matters serious and many adult anime don’t care about them at all! Note that I don’t say that this anime is “adult”, it is mature, not adult; for some reason it is a shoujo demographic and not josei.
This anime has a lot of care behind it. All the crew was really interested in making quality content!
The easiest thing to point my finger on is towards Momoko. She speaks english, no, not engrish, english with Japanese accent but it IS english (I can’t say the same about the non-main characters, though…). Seki (the teacher) also speaks in english. Yes, she has an accent, nevertheless, she is Japanese AND IT IS accented ENGLISH!. Besides, Momoko is Japanese so it’s perfectly normal that she retains some japanese accent (making it even more genuine looking). What? You don’t believe me? Check it yourself (along with one of my favorite jokes of the 1st episode of motto)!
…and the songs… oh man the songs….
I just checked my list and, in total, there are only 6 I don’t like in which one of them is one of the ED from the Dokkan season. They are REALLY that good, specially if you pay attention to the lyrics (except ones like “We can do” that I advice you not trying to read them). There’s disco(ish), rock, waltz, etc… Many styles each one for each situation. OP songs are happy high beat songs and the best ones are the ED ballades… Calm and really enjoyable… Did you ever try to hear the insert song “Kotori no kimochi”? No? Then give it a try!
AH! One last thing. Get a bag of tissues. You’ll need some for the most emotional episodes.
I know there are many negative things you can point your finger on. But that’s for all the works, you have to judge yourself here.
Side note: Out of curiosity, I checked out some clips from the english dub (and the “new” portuguese dub).
Seriously, believe me! They made a good work a waste of potential. The old portuguese dub was
good ok but the new one went straight to where the english dub already was. The trash can of forgotten-ness.
They were superficial and failed to identify why it was good and they just saw the sign that “said”: “This is animation for young girls about girls that transform into witches and do whatever”. I do know that if I had encountered such dub when I was young I would have dropped this series right on ep2! In fact, I really believe that why it had so low popularity in the US!
If that’s also your stereotypical mindset about this anime you better clear it, otherwise you will fail to see beyond the superficial view that the dub makers had seen at the time. You have been warned
Now… The main downsides… In fact, these are quite easy and they probably are not considered downsides if you are a girly girl or someone that just isn’t affected by them . Which are:
- The transformation scenes (and cloths change in Motto)
- The scene re-use when going to witch world (different for each season but still… repeated loads of times)
- The ad breakers
- There’s a small number of episodes that can create a: “what did I just watch?” feel
Final decision (this time for real!)
And the winner is…. Ojamajo Doremi! YaY! *patchi* *patchi* *patchi*…
So, in the next X days (actual value will vary, I’ll warn here with, at least, 2 days in advance), starting April 2nd at around 8am GMT, the full Ojamajo Doremi series:
- Ojamajo Doremi
- Ojamajo Doremi #
- Motto! Ojamajo Doremi
- Ojamajo Doremi Dokkaan!
- Ojamajo Doremi Na-i-sho
Will be freeleech. If enough popularity shows up. I may also freeleech the OST and the movies. Show me your will!
Even though ojamajo doremi is a very good anime, like any other very good media, it is not for everyone.
Because of that, I tried to gather some episodes that could be used as crash test for ojamajo doremi.
Note that these episodes are not, by all means, the best episodes of the franchise. Instead, they are only episodes that I believe that show more about what ojamajo doremi is in less time while requiring knowing as little as possible on the series’ background.
motto ojamajo doremi ep 15 -> Do I Love My Pretty Mother? Hate? -> A story about the boy whose mother works late at a bar. This explores what many kids feel about their mothers when this happens.
ojamajo doremi sharp ep 4 -> Doremi is a Failure as a Mama!? -> This shows how much dedication Doremi has for others. The best parts is how she works in order to compensate the mistake she made in that same episode.
ojamajo doremi ep 44 -> I want to become a female pro wrestler! -> This one explores Fanaticism and the professionals’ dedication in their dream.
motto ojamajo doremi ep 34 -> Remember! The Legendary Sweet -> (I have doubts on this one, though. but still) This one explores the nostalgia feel of adults and elders when someone wants to re-remember something long before nearly forgotten. It also explores a bit on how one’s memory changes with time.
There are much better episodes inside the series but you need to watch the episodes that matter the most first so that you can learn and understand the protagonists’ personalities and why they act the way they do.
I think these also display what I mean as magic as a plot tool that enables many different things instead of magic “because”.
I accept if you don’t like ojamajo doremi. If it is for being “for baby girls”, then you are the one on the loss; shame on you.
Want more ojamajo doremi? You are not alone. An artist is working on a spinoff manga from Fami’s perspective (for required background info you need to view and know what the ojamajos did in the main series and the last episode of the na-i-sho season.). If you liked the series, check it out:
The makers on ojamajo doremi are making a spinoff with the girls as 16 y-o (and they are now working on one as 17 y-o). I only read a bit (only the synopses and a little more. I hate to wait for more stuff) but it still sounds like it gives the same look&feel as the original ones except with a new setting, because they are older now. As it is ojamajo doremi, we already know the main thing that is coming out, right?
Let’s see how influential this is
Just as some side-thingy. I’ll record here the number of downloads (and downloads per day) since they went freeleech and until the end of the freeleech era, I’ll update the numbers here.
|torrent||March 31st||April 2nd||April 5th||April 9th||April 12th||April Xth|
|Ojamajo Doremi #||1928(~1.2)||1931||1945||1946||1948|
|Motto! Ojamajo Doremi||2144(~2.2)||2149||2158||2161||2162|
|Ojamajo Doremi Dokkaan!||252(~2.1)||256||263||267||269|
|Ojamajo Doremi Na-i-sho||1551(~0.6)||1552||1562||1567||1569|
tl;dr: Look up