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Tokyo International Film Festival 2020 - Looking For Magical Doremi - 魔女見習いをさがして

Haruka Kamatani, Kanako Momota, Aoi Morikawa, Rena Matsui, Junichi Sato

Looking For Magical Doremi is an anime film which was initially planned for release on May 15th, 2020. After production delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will finally be released on November 13th. The movie brings us three heroines, all in their 20s, but at different stages in life. They are brought together in search for one common goal, a magical gem. The magical gem stems from their fandom of the popular anime television series “Ojamamo Doremi” created by Toei Animation. The series was aired between February 1999 and January 2003 covering 4 seasons and 201 episodes. It focuses on a group of elementary school girls, led by Doremi Harukaze, who become with apprentices.

The film had a special screening at the 2020 Tokyo International Film Festival and featured a stage appearance from the directors and voice stars of the film.

The three main characters Mire Yoshizaki, Sora Nagase and Reika Kawatani, again all in their 20’s and the three actresses providing the voices appropriately are also in the same age bracket.

Mire Yoshizuki (voiced by Rena Matsui) is a 27-year-old returnee working for a leading trading company. Matsui, famous from her AKB48 days, hopes the film will bring nostalgia for fans of the original series. She also delved into the theme of magic and how she thought about what kind of real world magic she could bring to people around her.

Sora Nagase (Aoi Morikawa) is a 22-year-old college student hoping to become a teacher in the future. Morikawa stated the characters are quite different and that there were many ways at looking at the film with different perspectives. Admittedly, she was wondering if the film would ever be released but she was happy to see and interact with a live audience after the screening.

Reika Kawatani (Kanako Momota) is 20-year-old freeter (freelancer) working at a Hiroshima okonomiyaki shop and dealing with a deadbeat boyfriend. Momota thought back to seeing the original series with her mother and how it helped with communication between them. She also discussed the travel aspect of the film with scenes in Kyoto, Nara in Shirakawa-Go in Gifu. She hopes people from overseas can enjoy these beautiful places depicted in the film.

Co-directors Junichi Sato and Haruka Kamatani both expressed gratitude that they were able to present the film in its completed form at the festival, especially with the uncertainty earlier in the year with the pandemic. Sato added that he made the film keeping in mind the people who watched the original show 20 years ago.

The film opens in Japan on November 13th.

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Glenn Maxwell
Jun 15, 2021

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