‘Ojamajo Doremi’ (‘Magical DoReMi’) creator Junichi Sato talks about his experience creating anime for girls.
When we are young, animation passes through us, that is, as consumers we enjoy the work and we identify or dream about its world, without knowing who is behind these stories.
In Latin America especially this is more difficult to discern, since we not only consume content made by adults, but also, several of these series come from Japan, a fact that not even our parents knew.
‘Ojamajo Doremi’, better known in the region as ‘Magical Doremi’, is one of those cases and it is that after the fun adventures of the three witch apprentices, there is its director Junichi Sato.
Sato took advantage of the celebration of the 20th anniversary of ‘Ojamajo Doremi’, to talk about the process of its creation and how a man dedicated himself to making one of the most popular animated series aimed at girls.
A review into the world of witches by Junichi Sato
According to Sato, the production of the series, as well as other of his projects aimed at a female child / youth audience, part of an accumulation of experiences on paper, which come from his childhood, the women of production and an extensive investigation of the daily life of the target.
This means that the director conceives a general idea of what he wants, depending on his audience, to later share his experiences, such as the open use of imagination, the desire to grow and his relationship with adults at that time.
To th is is added the experiences of the members of the production team, managing to obtain not only lively protagonists who adhere to the idea of childhood, but also provide family context, including a great diversity of origins.
From absent parents to the traditional family, the team is in charge of contributing their experience, while keeping in mind the notion of childhood from the moment when history is conceived.
One step away from great success
A good example is ‘Nakitai Watashi wa Neko wo Kaburu’ (‘A Whisker Away’), Sato’s most recent film starring a high school girl by the name of Miyo.
In the story, Miyo comes from a family of divorced parents and lives with her father and stepmother, a reality that, while not terrible, is difficult for her to process, as well as her first unrequited romance.
Being an unconventional girl, thanks to her outgoing personality and disheveled appearance, Miyo is teased by her peers, but none of that matters as long as she can be with her boy, transformed into a cat.
According to Sato, the character of Miyo obtained many of its traits thanks to the experience of screenwriter Mari Okada in her adolescence, something essential in each of her works.
The interview took place at the Expanded Animation Exhibition, presented by Japan Media Arts Festival Overseas Promotion in association with Annecy Festival 2021 / Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Market, alongside critic Ryota Fujitsu.
Currently it is available through YouTube with English subtitles, so if you want to know more about everything the director spoke, you can see it below.