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Magical Doremi is the official English dub of Ojamajo Doremi. It was licensed by 4Kids and aired during their morning girls block alongside Mew Mew Power and Winx Club.

The series was met with mixed reviews and thus only one season was translated.

History

According to a report from C21 Media, 4Kids Entertainment had been working on a deal with Toei Animation to acquire a licence to the Ojamajo Doremi franchise since late 2003 with the desire of expanding their line-up of shows aimed at a female audience.[1] By late 2004, 4Kids had successfully acquired the rights to the franchise and planned to begin broadcast the following year.[2]

On August 10th, 2005, 4Kids announced that they had made a licensing agreement with Bandai America to serve as the master toy licensee for distributing Magical DoReMi merchandise in the United States. The toy line included a wide range of dolls, playsets and role-play items that were expected to be available for retail in Spring 2006. Both companies were excited on the deal. The CEO of 4Kids Entertainment; Alfred Kahn showed faith in Bandai America's marketing, while Bandai America's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing; Bill Beebe stated that they were expecting high demand on the toy line.[3]

Nearing the show's premiere, 4Kids announced on their website that Episode 4 will be broadcasted on 4Kids TV as a preview episode on August 13th, 2005. Around this time, 4Kids were said to have held a poll to determine which of their new shows would premiere first and Magical DoReMi supposedly ranked among the top contenders. The official premiere for Magical DoReMi begun on September 10th, 2005 and was branded as part of a "Girls' Hour".

Around the time the series was reaching its midway point, the dub stopped airing on television after holding a final marathon. The remaining half of the series was dubbed and release on the 4Kids website, along with the first half, until they eventually lost their rights to the show and had to remove its content.

Merchandise

Trying to popularize the series, 4kids had made plenty of merchandise in hopes to attract little girls to the bright and colorful toys.

Dorie, Reanne and Mirabelle dolls that could speak phrases they said from the show. They come with a wand, witch uniforms, and their normal clothing.

Smaller versions of the talking dolls, minus the talk feature. Small figurine sets of the main cast, consisting of Dorie, Reanne, and Mirabelle in both normal and witch forms, Caitlyn, Patina, Laralie, and the Fairies.

Costume objects like the witch outfit, gloves, hats, wigs, brooms, wands, boots, and the tap on a necklace that usually played music and lit up.

Various unreleased merchandise for the series was shown at a Toy Fair in 2006.[4] However none of it ever hit store shelves, most likely due to the show being canceled.

Dolls
Dolls for Caitlyn and Ellie, both with a wand, normal clothing and witch uniforms. It's anticipated that these dolls were able to speak phrases from the show just like the other dolls.

Figurines
A couple more figurine sets. The first one features; Caitlyn (In both normal & witch forms), Dorie (Dog form) and Feredagio. And the second one features; Ellie (In both normal & witch forms), Patunia and Felina.

Toys
An unreleased Wandawhirl toy.

Editing

In order to give the show a more "western" orientation to fit the viewing audiences and lower the rating on certain events in the cartoon, 4kids had modified many lines and painted over various things. While the original series had been intended for any age, Magical Doremi was strictly aimed at Elementary School students.

Some of the common edits include:

Due to being unrecognizable writing for most of the English viewing audience, it was either erased or painted over into an English word, symbol, or blanked.

Rather than having the show take place in Japan the dub heavily implies that it takes place in the United States of America. Most of the references to Japanese culture was edited or removed altogether, such as takoyaki (octopus dumpling balls) becoming various chocolate items like cookies.

Aiko's Osaka accent and references were changed to some generic countryside.

The driving scenes were flipped.

Characters and locations also gained name changes. While the characters mainly retained their personalities, some had been completely exaggerated or somewhat out of character.

While minor injuries were mostly kept in, things with blood or implied blood were erased, lessened, or covered up. Scenes deemed too graphic were cut out.

4Kids completely changed the plot of episode 19 due to Hazuki being threatened by gun and kidnapped. They changed it so that she was actually hanging out with her uncle and his friend.

In each episode, the opening scene prior to the title card is cut, along with the Eyecatches. Most likely due to time constraints.

Episode 30 was never aired for unknown reasons, but it's been theorized to be partially due to Yamauchi being a Buddhist. As well as the fact the episode might have been "too scary" for their intended audience, in comparison to a vaguely similar situation with Shaman King, which was aimed at older audiences.

While the dub removed a lot of things, minor things had been added to "compensate". For example, their own title cards and a special new feature at the end of an episode titled "Witchling Sing-Along".

The original background music was not kept and was replaced with a new soundtrack created by 4Kids. Occasionally sound effects from the original show are used, coupled with new sound effects added in by 4Kids.

Reception

The series was met with poor reception and generally kept a low rating, being unable to gain a solid fanbase or audience. It was theorized to be because of the time they chose to air the program, doing it so early that it was missed by most viewers, along with how they tried to make it a low-rating show for younger children.

Trivia

  • Before the series was removed from the 4Kids website there was a group shot from Motto, featuring Momoko with the girls.
  • Back when the series aired it was heavily rumored that Hana's name would be Flora, while Momoko would be named Anna or Mindy.
  • While airing (not counting marathons), Magical Doremi was never on past 9:00 am.
  • Magical Doremi is the only 4kids dub that wasn't entirely aired on television.
    • After holding the license for so long, 4Kids has also lost their rights to One Piece and Pokémon, making them the second and third dubs not to be completed.
  • In April 24th of 2010, the first episode of the dub was shown on the CW4Kids at 7.00 a.m.
    • This was suspected as them attempting to show it a final time before their license expired.
  • Originally it was rumored that the reason 4Kids lost their rights was because the original producers were unhappy about the numerous changes made to the show and personally stripped them of their license.
    • However the real reason 4Kids lost the rights was because their license to the series had expired and they didn't bother renewing it due to low interest.

Gallery

References

  1. https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2003-10-15/4kids-eyes-do-re-mi
  2. https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2004-11-11/4kids-plans-to-release-magical-doremi-in-2005
  3. https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2005-08-10/4kids-entertainment-awards-bandai-america-master-toy-license-for-magical-doremi
  4. http://toyfair06.asmzine.com/bandai/bandai-magical-do-re-mi/
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