Ojamajo Doremi/Magical Doremi | Episode 6: A Liar’s First Friendship Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: The girls’ classmate, Nobuko, is a notorious liar. Doremi and Hazuki know this, but since Aiko is new, she’s unaware and falls for her lies. One lie goes over the line and enrages Aiko. Can Nobuko find it within herself to be honest for a change and make amends?

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Both the pre-theme song cold open with a kid detective, later known as Nobuo, facing off against who will be revealed as the Bone Bone Army and the pre-title-card open with Doremi flying to get to school on time are removed.

Doremi says if she uses magic she’ll never be late to school anymore. Since they cut out her flying to get to school faster, they changed this to her saying she’s thinking of using magic to cheat on her math test tomorrow.

Hazuki responds by saying “What if someone sees you?” which makes Doremi freak out because she hadn’t thought of that. In the dub, Reanne responds by saying the test is actually today, which makes Dorie freak out because she hasn’t studied. I don’t get the dub because, if she was intending on using magic to cheat anyway, why does it matter when the test is or whether she studied or not?

Name Change: Nobuko Yokokawa is changed to Belinda Higgins.

Dorie: “You’ll believe anything, Ray.” Uhm….her name’s Reanne…..Is Ray a common shortening of Reanne?

Nobuko said the boys thought her hair was pretty. In the dub, she says they said she was totally cute and that one of them was thinking of asking her to the dance.

Text removal (The same text is also removed from Doremi’s book):

Subbed:

Dubbed:

More text removed from the note. They also added “Patina” to the corner, so I don’t know why they didn’t just translate the entire text and write it in.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The idol Doremi was taking about was Norihiro. In the dub, he’s Randall. Also, she was talking about the look on his face not a backflip he did.

Likewise, the group Norihiro is from is called The Wonderfuls. In the dub, they’re the Three of Hearts. Dub has a better name, honestly.

Aiko likes Yutaka. In the dub, she likes Jefferson.

Hazuki likes Yukio. In the dub, she likes Chazz.

Nobuko says the girls are naive about The Wonderfuls and then goes on to explain bad “facts” about them to prove it.

– Norihiro is a cheapskate

– Yutaka has a mother complex

– Yukio sews in his spare time (and that’s a bad thing….because?)

In the dub, Belinda acts like she know more about the group than they do.

– Randall is a vegetarian

– Jefferson speaks French

– Chazz is a crybaby

Nobuko just says she’s a relative of Yutaka. In the dub, she claims Jefferson is her first cousin.

What is up with this shot of Aiko? She’s missing a pupil….

Hmm, I feel like this episode is meant to be a double moral. Nobuko needs to learn not to lie and Aiko needs to learn it’s not nice to use people and claim they’re your friends when you’re just using them to get stuff you want….

Hazuki tells Mirabelle that Nobuko lied when she said she knew Mizuki, who is a famous manga artist. Doremi also says she lied about knowing the president of the United States. In the dub, Reanne says Belinda lied and said her dog knew how to read the newspaper. The second lie is kinda kept because Dorie claims Belinda said the president of the United States used to be her babysitter.

Doremi says her mom loves Nobuko’s adventure stories. Hazuki says she loves Nobuko’s story of the wounded man. In the dub, Dorie says she loves Belinda’s story about the grizzly bear and Reanne says she loved the story of the carrot soup.

Doremi corrects Hazuki and says it was the story of the drunk man. In the dub, I guess as a really weird way of avoiding this mention of drunkenness, they claim the story of the carrot soup was one she told at lunch and they flash back to it. They remove a shot of a confused Aiko as a result, but it will be replaced after the flashback is over. I’m also pretty certain they loop the shot to make it last longer there.

The “flashback” to the carrot soup story is actually just the next scene playing out only it has that white flashback filter.

They remove a shot of Aiko reacting to the story Nobuko is telling some kid in their class.

In the story, Nobuko is talking about her grandfather. Belinda is talking about her great-grandfather.

I have no idea how this ever happened, but the rest of the story is left entirely alone. The only reason I say that is because, even though it’s obviously a lie, it implies that Nobuko’s/Belinda’s granddad married and had sex with a living carrot.

No.

No, I won’t give you context.

It won’t help, and it’s funnier this way.

The rest of the scene is cut off.

The text on the board was original Japanese writing. In the dub, it was changed to math equations.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

4Kids – ruiner of jokes that are perfectly translatable. Nobuko collapses to the floor claiming she’s dizzy. Her classmate, Reika, irritatingly glares at her saying to not claim that when she’s clenching her stomach. In the dub, Belinda claims she has cramps and her classmate, who doesn’t get a dub name, tells her to not be a drama queen.

Another joke gone, though this time I understand. Nobuko claims stomachaches are caused by the DNA in your stomach, and that DNA stands for “Doushitemo Nontonaku Atarui” which I guess translates to “always causing trouble somehow.” I don’t really see how 4Kids could have worked with this, so I’ll give them a pass here. Instead, they just say Belinda gets stomach cramps if she’s exposed to too much chalk dust.

Aiko tells Nobuko that she doesn’t need to hurry in getting the autograph. In the dub, she asks if Belinda will call or send an email to get it.

Nobuko claims her mom works at a TV station. In the dub, it’s a record label.

Okay, okay, okay……They’ve doing a decent-ish job at making Nobuko out to be a harmless liar. She makes up crazy stories and once you realize she’s a total liar you just accept her antics and enjoy her stories, even if they’re kinda mean sometimes….

BUT

Aiko tells Nobuko that her mom’s gone (her parents are divorced, but she just says “My mom’s gone.”) and Nobuko’s response is to lie and say her dad probably died while adventuring…..That’s….just….a dick move. Even if you’re a kid, you have to understand that feigning empathy for a loved one’s death by lying and claiming your loved one also died is just a terrible thing to do. You’re essentially joking about their situation and/or using it to gain sympathy for yourself.

They turn it around later because Aiko encourages her to not give up hope that her dad’s still alive, so Nobuko tells Aiko to cheer up too…Yeah, Aiko, cheer up. You implied that your mother is dead and this serial liar just compared your situation to a ridiculous lie about her dad being lost in the jungle, possibly dead. Chin up, ol’ chap. This is one time 4Kids actually has a hand over the original because they make it clear that her parents are divorced. They don’t imply that her mom is dead. It’s still shitty to try and bond with someone over having an absent/missing parent when your parents are both fine, but at least it’s a tiny bit better in the dub.

Nobuko claimed her dad was a famous adventurer researching the Angkor ruins. Belinda claimed her dad was a scientist researching something about deadly rabbits.

Her dad went to Cambodia in the original whereas he went to Brazil in the dub. That’s uh….quite the locale change, there, 4Kids. Changed the country, continent AND hemisphere. Being extra today, are we?

There’s no mention of Nobuko’s father’s real occupation in the original. They just say he was at Parent’s Day. In the dub, they claim he’s an insurance salesman that they met at Belinda’s birthday party last month.

Mirabelle: “ARGH I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS! She’d rather climb a tree and lie to you than stay on the ground and tell you the truth!” …..Wha…I mean, yeah, she obviously loves telling lies more than telling the truth but I don’t understand the tree part.

In the original, Aiko just yells that she thought Nobuko knew the difference between a good lie and a bad lie.

Aiko starts getting super angry when she hears the girls start praising Nobuko’s acting skills. In the dub, Reanne says “No offense, but whoever heard of a deadly rabbit?”

I dunno, this rabbit kills me all the time.

Dorie: “We told you that Belinda’s a Be-liar.” *sigh*

Also, in either version, they should be a bit annoyed in defense of their friend because, even if lies are to be expected of someone, lying about a parent being missing and possibly dead as a response to a friend telling you their mother is “gone” or their parents are divorced is still a dick move.

Name Change: Ms. Yuki is changed to Ms. Shannon.

Books:

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Oh my god, they actually replaced the text in Nubuko’s book instead of just erasing it all. AND they bothered to have the writing look like a child’s handwriting. Good work, 4Kids.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The kid detective in Nobuko’s book is called Nobuo Takekawa. In the dub, he’s Slim Higgins.

In the original, Nobuo says if there are lost kittens in the north, he’ll find them, and if there are gangsters in the south he’ll beat them up. In the dub, Slim says he knows the secrets of the underworld and he has pledged to fight evil.

The Bone Bone Army is changed to the Bone Brothers.

The words on the bombs and the sign are removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The professor was originally named after Hazuki. In the dub, he’s Professor Rayner. They still make the connection that the characters are meant to be the same based sole on the fact that Rayner….I dunno. Starts with an R? The only other connections the two characters have are being smart and having glasses. Like I said, her name is REanee, not Rayanne or some other iteration. It would’ve made a lot more sense to just name the guy Professor Griffith as that’s Reanne’s last name.

Nobuko doesn’t do anything with Aiko’s name when she uses it for her character. In the dub, her name is Mira Bell, which is a lot more clever than what they did with Reanne.

I do have to ask why Aiko’s the only one who looks exactly the same as her character. Nobuko was genderflipped and got a detective-y outfit. Hazuki looks like a balding old scientist man. But outside of getting a hat and jacket Aiko looks no different.

Oh and Doremi is the dog, which I thought was very funny. In the original, her name is kept, but in the dub they change it to ‘Roary’ or ‘Rory.’

I get that this is a story written by a kid, but Aiko’s introduction was seemingly her first meeting with Nobuo. Why would she proclaim that they’re best friends at the end? I get that it’s a throwback to Aiko saying they were best friends in real life, but it’s still kinda weird. In the dub, they actually fix this by having Mira tell Slim to call her by her first name since they’re friends NOW. Stop making me praise 4Kids, please.

I love how they recognized their own characters immediately, even if they were drastically changed, but it took them until they were done reading the story to realize Nobuo was Nobuko/Belinda Higgins was Slim Higgins. It’s even weirder in the dub because most of their names were barely the same.

They omit a the first few clips of the flashbacks, showing Aiko proclaiming she and Nobuko are best friends now.

In the original, the last clip in the flashback is a closeup of the paper Nobuko was writing on with the line “Ain’t we best friends?” highlighted. In the dub, they completely omit this I guess because they didn’t keep the part about throwing back to the best friends line in Nobuko’s story.

Instead of showing them transforming one by one, the dub mashes all of their transformations together, using slightly different clips. Pointless change, but I have no problem with it. Considering all of their transformation sequences are exactly the same, unlike most magical girl shows, the original seems repetitive while the dub is quick and concise.

Dub Spell Change for Aiko:

Hair for hair,

Limb for limb

Turn me into detective Slim!

That’s actually not bad—Urgh….Praising 4Kids too much…..Urgghh….My soul can’t handle it.

Dub Spell Change for Doremi:

I wish that I could change this story

But for now I’ll be….

…The little dog, Rory.

That one’s really good. It’s clever and captures the same reluctance and unhappiness Doremi had – URGH! My soul! I’m going to have do an emergency SDC for an episode of One Piece if this praise doesn’t stop.

Dub Spell Change for Hazuki:

Give me a mustache and a giant brainer.

I can turn into Dr. Rainer!

Okay, phew. That one sucked. I feel a little better.

Give me a….giant brainer? I feel like that’s a euphemism, and I’m very uncomfortable.

No one was suggesting that Aiko lost her mind, like they do in the dub. They just say she’s very angry. Why would the dub change it to her being ‘crazy’?

You know who’s really crazy?…The girl who is strangely accepting of having a conversation with three real-life versions of characters she made up in a notebook that she doesn’t let anyone read.

Originally, Nobuko only bids goodbye to Nobuo. In the dub, she says goodbye to all of them, which is a little better and more respectful than the original.

So the lie wasn’t even for the sake of giving Aiko someone to empathize with so she’d feel better about her situation, even though they kinda make it seem like that was the intention – it was so she’d think they were more alike and they could develop a friendship over that. I’m trying really hard to not pick apart this plot because she’s just a kid and kids do this kind of stuff, they need to learn, but it’s just so messed up. Thank god Doremi and Hazuki cleared up this lie immediately. Imagine if she kept that up and then, suddenly, her dad appeared and Nobuko had to explain herself.

The cover of Nobuko’s book is changed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Nobuko rejects Doremi’s suggestion that Doremi the dog is actually a princess under a spell, but she adds that the dog character has powers like the ability to run super fast and understand human speech. In the dub, she accepts Dorie’s interpretation of Rory but adds that she can do all sorts of dog tricks.

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I may have gone a bit overboard with the nitpicking regarding the lie Nobuko told, but I did really enjoy this episode. It was cute and pretty funny. Chronic liar characters are really hard to make likable, and I think they did a pretty good job with Nobuko/Belinda. She’s a little annoying, particularly in the dub, but not that bad. And, from all I’ve read, she’s not a one-off character, so it won’t feel like it was a waste to have her character be one longing for friendship only to vanish into the ether after one episode.

I think the use of magic in this episode was creative, and I can give the realism regarding Nobuko/Belinda’s reaction a pass because, again, this is a young child. I think she should be old enough to be questioning this more, but eh.

The episode had a really good moral regarding lying and even properly establishing that some lies can be put to good use by simply making them fictional stories, but, sadly, they never brought up the fact that Aiko using Nobuko’s connections for her own benefit and making a ‘friendship’ out of that wasn’t right either. I truly believe they’re friends now, but their first interaction was her becoming best friends with Nobuko just because she promised to get Aiko an autograph.

My pride is swallowed for today – 4Kids did a decent job dubbing this episode. Still had to run myself ragged getting screencaps, but content-wise it wasn’t that bad. The changes they made were the norm for them, Japanese text and whatnot, and I am damn near baffled at how many changes they made that I actually liked or even preferred over the original.

The one change that gave me pause was the weird flashback thing. Why bother making that a flashback? I don’t get it.

Next episode, the girls have an important witch test coming up, but Doremi has to watch her little sister, Pop.


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