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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A New Number 2:

Ojamajo Doremi is the new second best anime of all time, surpassing even Clannad.  Sharp, of course, was Sharp.  But the remaining seasons have also contributed their part to this stunning level of quality.  Motto Ojamajo Doremi was a pretty sleepy and mainly pointless, but never bad, season.  Then came Naisho, where practically every episode was a jackpot hit spilling over with laughter or tears.  And after that came Dokaan, which somehow managed to be even better than Naisho.

I haven't seen all of Dokaan yet, but it's already clear how good the franchise is now.  Ojamajo Doremi is peerless and flawless.  It is the best comedy of all time.  Multiple episodes in the franchise are funnier than anything you'll find in Galaxy Angel or Working.  It is the absolute number one best story about friendship and love.  The seven main characters, as sisters, friends, mothers and daughters, make up an unparallelled strength of bonds.  Clannad may have the best romantic love story, but Sharp's representation of a mother's love for a daughter, and the daughter's for the mother, is simply absolute.  Furthermore, the friendship between all these different girls doesn't feel forced at all.  It is the most natural, and thus most beautiful, group of friends I've ever seen.  It took a long time for these girls to grow to care about each other, but now that they do they'd unreservedly do anything for each other with a smile on their face.

Doremi doesn't stop there, though.  When it wants to get serious, it can do so quite suddenly.  The story doesn't stray from death.  Doremi's Mother tells Doremi that she was about to commit suicide until she learned she was pregnant with Doremi, who then became her new purpose for being.  Doremi, Onpu, Hadzuki and Aiko all decide to sacrifice their lives for Hana-chan when she becomes fatally ill.  Doremi befriends a sick girl who, despite all of Doremi's efforts, dies.  All she can do is offer to have a snowball fight with the dead girl's Mother as a proxy to fulfill the dead girl's last promise she had made on Earth.  Aiko's parents are divorced, and she feels torn in two by the fact that she loves them both.  Onpu works harder than anyone, endures more than anyone, and still dauntlessly faces the world with an eternal smile and soft, considerate words for all.  For the funniest story ever made, Doremi can be shockingly tragic whenever it wishes to be.  The realism of this world is razor sharp and mind-blowingly blunt.

Sometimes the characters in this story simply transcend mortal limits and feel more like Bodhisattvas than grade schoolers, but other times they act so childish it's hilarious and dazzlingly cute.  They are the best in both fields.  They are people to be respected and coddled all at once.

These children are shown to be adults when they need to be.  They raise an infant from birth onwards.  They work for a living.  They win a war.  They're praised by their teacher, classmates, parents, and even the Queen of the witch world as heroes and stars.  They're loved by good boys and good girls.  They get along with everyone.  They break the rules when they disagree with them, and stand up for themselves when they're sure they're in the right.  Their strength of will could match any marine's.  The respect the authors show for these children is a lesson the whole world should learn to never discriminate against people based on age.  Moreso even than Ender's Game, Ojamajo Doremi argues against age bigotry better than anyone ever has before.  When a two year old joins the sixth grade classroom, and starts teaching all of her classmates how to be better people through her uniquely innocent perspective, you know that for Ojamajo's authors, anything is possible, they won't abide by any 'common sense' at all.

And even though it isn't obvious at first, the art style really is beautiful, and the music truly is splendid.  The production value put into Doremi is top notch.  The show is flawless.  Many of the episodes within the show are bad, many are just plain stupid, but when you have 214 episodes to work with, this really doesn't mean much.  Just go on to the next episode and enjoy, the show will get good again soon enough.

It isn't surprising Ojamajo is this good.  This is the show made previous to Pretty Cure, by the same people who went on to make Pretty Cure.  The people who can make the best anime of all time, can obviously make the 2nd best anime of all time too.  The only surprising thing is that this anime wasn't even available to the English speaking world until late 2013.  That a show this good could manage to go unnoticed for so long is a crying shame, and it shows just how barbaric the outside world is when we can't even recognize quality anime when it slaps us in the face.  But thanks to Doremi Fansubs, this jewel was rescued from obscurity and made available to everyone.  They did their part, now we, as human beings, have to do our part by watching this show and learning just how far we have to go before we can be like these wonderful girls -- Doremi, Onpu, Pop, Hana, Aiko, Momoko and Hadzuki, may their names live on forever.

P.S.:  I may as well move One Piece up to #3 while I'm at it.  One Piece just keeps getting longer, and in the process better, so it has to be moved up sooner or later.  Whether it's now or 100 eps from now is irrelevant, since we know it's going to have 100 more episodes eventually anyway.  While Clannad sits still for eternity at the same 48 episodes, One Piece is already at 630.  When it hits 1,000, will anyone seriously be able to argue Clannad's 48 can keep up?  Better to surrender now and get it over with.  Key will have to be content with Clannad at #4 and Little Busters at #5.

P.P.S.:  I also changed many other rankings around, so enjoy trying to spot the differences if you can.

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