|Believe in Your Dreams|
Ojamajo Doremi 16
"Believe In Your Dreams" is chapter 5 of the very first light novel of Ojamajo Doremi 16.
Onpu bonds with Doremi's Family during a trip while Doremi begins to think about her relationship problems.
Doremi, her father, and Onpu are heading towards a place known as Fukiyama River. The group had been dressed in waist-high waders for creek fishing and Doremi complains of the heat before she asks where they are, then asks for a break since she's worn out. They had been walking for a half hour now and she thinks Onpu may need a break, though Onpu claims she is fine. Suddenly, Onpu hears something and they realize how close to the stream they are, which is enough to motivate Doremi to keep going until they reach the stream, since they can freshen up there.
As they resume heading there, Doremi decides she will explain what brought them up to there. They had been eating some fish around the fireplace back at her grandfathers place when Onpu commented on how good the fish was. Since she came to Hida, Onpu had been very quiet up until then, having been rather occupied giving more thoughts towards her future. She was hoping to reach a decision by the time this vacation trip ended and as Doremi knew of her dilemma, she had found it difficult to relax so far. Everyone was frustrated that they couldn't do anything but stand by her and keep watch over her.
As they ate, Doremi's father explained some information about the fish before he asked the girls if they wanted to come with him to do some trout fishing tomorrow. Onpu doesn't seem very enthusiatic by the idea until he mentions that he hoped to show her something there, the strange insects known as Nymphs. Basically young aquatic insects like mayflies that gather near a stagnant pool of water. It's a wonderous sight to behold and the fish are very happy to catch their food there, so its super-easy for fishermen to get trout and char there.
This excites Doremi so she asks Onpu to come with them. She agrees, but Hazuki, Pop, and Aiko choose to stay back. Hazuki promised to help Pop with homework and she dislikes insects, while Aiko wanted to try running at the elementary school grounds behind the house for training.
At the sun had began to slant towards the west, the waters were reflecting the rays of light, shining a pretty golden color. Everyone washed their faces and cleaned off any sweat they may have gathered before Onpu and Doremi stopped to have a drink and her dad fixed the reel and line on one of the fishing rods to start fishing. A trout about 20 cm long flew out of the water and he was quick to grab the line and pulled it in with ease. The girls approached to get a closer look to see the beautiful colored fish.
Keisuke explains the trout to them and unhooks it from the line, taking a dropper from his vest. He sticks it into the water and then takes it to the trouts mouth. He is able to suck out some of the water and puts it onto a small dish he brought along, showing the girls small bits of insect remnants before placing the fish back into the water.
After he takes the artificial bait off of the fishing rod and begins to put everything away, Keisuke explains that they need to do a bit more travel again. But first, he helps Doremi and Onpu hook their own fishing lines.
As they came to the pool upstream, Doremi comments on how quiet everything is. The water flowed but made no sound, the sky had shifted from a beautiful golden color to a reddened one, reflecting in the waters. Everyone sat down and soon the nymphs began to appear, causing trout and char to begin flying through the air. Onpu questions the surprising, but pretty sight and Keisuke begins to take pictures. He explains that he wanted Onpu to see this, since he felt the wonderful nature could relate to her current situation. She seems to understand and thanks him for bringing her there, but knowing they need to get ready to catch dinner they all sit down to fish.
In the end, they released any fish below 20 cm, but they kept nine of them which had been about 25 cm long. The Super Catch came to an end and sank back into silence, as if the whole event never happened. This leads Doremi to believe that nature truly is magical and amazing.
From the next day on, Onpu had began to grow active again. She was much happier now and didn't seem to have any burdens at the time. She and Pop had done some workouts that morning by the elementary school, then Onpu went with Doremi's mother and grandma to harvest the dew vegetables, then Onpu attended track training with Aiko.
Doremi then points out she heard this from Hazuki, since she was sleeping until noon. Though she claims it was only because she was too excited to sleep that evening.
She goes to wash using the water well in the yard before spotting Onpu head to her grandfathers workroom, some distance away. Onpu explains to Doremi that she was hoping to watch him do so work, so Doremi tags along. As they enter the room Doremi comments on the thick scent of varnish while explaining that besides working as a farmer, her grandpa is also a famous Shunkei Lacquerware maker all over this region. She explains that Shunkei styling is very different from normal lacquerware, in that it brings out the natural beauty of items and wooden material, making the red and yellow tones stand out even more. It could be done on trays, bento boxes, and teacup saucers.
Onpu asks to watch as he works on a Noh mask and he agrees. While she finds it an amazing sight to watch, Doremi finds herself bored and she is asked to make some tea and is given an empty teapot. Onpu offers to go instead, but Doremi's grandfather knows she wishes to talk to him so he asks Doremi to just do it. Without question she takes off and Onpu waits before offering to massage the older Harukaze's shoulders while she speaks to him.
He agrees and she asks how long he has been doing this work, to which he tells her about sixty years. She is amazed to know this, but he doesn't think it's a big deal. She claims that he is respected for being able to create such wonderful things and that he must have a talent for it, but he claims that he doesn't. He only copied what his father used to do, but Onpu refuses to believe that is enough for him to make such nice work. After she comments on how it reminds her of art, he teases her a little and they share a laugh as Doremi returns with the tea.
He comments that if there is something he's talented at, it has to be the strength he has to continue doing what he enjoys and likes. This resonates with Onpu and brightens her mood even more.
One night as everyone played with sparklers in the yard, Onpu decides she is going to continue her famous lifestyle. Doremi comments on how happy she feels knowing Onpu can stop worrying now, as Hazuki hands her a sparkler and claims that being a famous girl fits Onpu much better than being a normal girl. Aiko compliments how pretty Onpu is that evening before Doremi questions what Onpu said, about claiming she would only work on her career for her own sake.
Onpu explains that ever since she joined the entertainment industry, she worked super hard in her entire time of being a child idol. She only did it for the sake of fulfilling her mothers dream, though she did honestly enjoy it too. In exchange, her mom did every other little thing for her outside of work. The group try to object by saying that it was supposed to be that way since Onpu was still little back then, but she wants to do everything herself now, no matter how slow the progress may be at first. She knows she can handle it and she will continue her idoling career with enjoyment.
With that everyone decides to cheer for Onpu's future.
Onpu, being Onpu managed to get things moving very quickly. Shortly after they returned home from vacation she was quick to appear at the Maho-do one day as the girls were working; except for Aiko who had a competition to attend. They are shocked to see her there as Doremi momentarily thinks she may be some ghostly figure, until Onpu has them look at her legs. Which proves she is real and not some ghost.
Doremi asks Onpu why she is there, since she didn't say anything about showing up. Onpu explains to them that she had signed up with a new artist production company, so she was letting them all know. Hazuki and Doremi are shocked, causing Onpu to laugh at their surprise. She is seated along-side them and explains how this went about.
After returning to Hokkaido she announced her decision to her parents, commenting that she wished to debut in Tokyo. They were happy with the decision, especially knowing that she had made up her mind, so they went to work using celebrity acquaintances to contact every single artist production company she knew of. However, most companies didn't want her because she was labled as a child idol still, so the image of her as a child hadn't left their minds and they could only see her in child roles.
Onpu wasn't going to give up though, and she contacted her friend, Karen Kirino, who introduced Onpu to the company she was signed with. Onpu then wrote a letter to the company and she was asked for a face-to-face interview. Today she was heading over to Tokyo for it and comments that she decided to sign up with them. Doremi and Hazuki congratulate Onpu as they are joined by Lala and Majorika.
As Majorika and Lala haven't seen Onpu in so long, they take a moment to catch up and embrace for a moment. They share the news while Onpu explains that she will be staying at the office dorms while working with the company. She also tells them that the rumor about them selling their family home is untrue and they will come back to it once her mother fully heals. Lala then asks Onpu if she plans to become a witch apprentice again, but she refuses this again, still out of concern that she'll only use it for bad things like she used to, especially trying to cure her mother. They drop the subject and Hazuki asks her about school instead.
Onpu has managed to find a school with celebrity-related courses, so she is sure she will be fine. She's already gone ahead to transfer to it as well. She then tells them that tomorrow she has some dance and vocal lessons to be starting, so she's getting the final details situated for today. So she brings up how she ran into Kotake on the way over, and comments on how cool he is now. But when she brought up Doremi, he quickly left. This upsets Doremi and she quickly asks to discuss something else, but both Onpu and Hazuki believe that Kotake may still feel deeply towards Doremi, despite his behavior now.
This makes Doremi start to think. She didn't want to believe that maybe Kotake truly did like her, especially since he never actually responded to her feelings when she confessed them a while back. But he has always been there for her, even if he would be kind of a jerk about it. It is possible that he may not have done those sorts of things for anyone else, then wonders if maybe he really does return her feelings. With that thought, Hazuki suggests to Doremi that she speaks to him in person about it. Onpu also thinks that it will help Doremi ease her mind regarding this situation, causing Doremi to remark that Onpu can be agressive sometimes. However, agressive behavior has come to their aid plenty of times, like getting their jobs at the Maho-do, solving various problems using magic, making new friends, and so on.
High school had been a gathering place with lots of students coming from faraway places and Doremi has made plenty of friends who taught her about all sorts of things she would have never known. But she starts worrying about her friendships, should she ever get a boyfriend. After she voiced this concern, Hazuki eases the situation while pointing out that despite her relationship with Yada-kun, she still loves everyone deeply, just the same as she used to. Lala then teases the girls, stating that with such busy lives its hard for them to just focus on love.
Suddenly, Doremi gets a message from Aiko. She reveals that the competition has just ended and she will be going into the finals and was ranked fifth. Doremi calls her to congratulate her but is quick to realize that Aiko is crying when she answers. She asks if she did really bad or really good, but Aiko refuses both answers before voicing regret. She only lost by 0.01 seconds and came in second place. Hazuki steals the phone from Doremi and cheer Aiko up, saying that she did really good and she should be happy. She's second place in the inter-high competition after competing with second and third-year seniors from high schools all over the country. Then Onpu steals the phone to speak to Aiko, which surprises her greatly.
After Doremi is able to get her phone back she quickly explains everything that happened so far and Aiko asks to talk to Onpu again. Doremi hands her the phone before taking a moment to say that despite the tears, Aiko has gone straight into chat-mode with Onpu. Seeing Onpu happy by the turn of the events has also managed to cheer up everyone else.
However, Doremi realizes she's still the only one who has yet to find her own path of life she wished to walk along. She questions if she's still a child while everyone else is growing into steady adults, though she's aware she really has to clear things up with Kotake first. She wont be able to move forward until she does, so she decides that even if they can't be a couple she wants to still be his friend. So she could continue to support him after, but for now she just needs to talk to him.
Being too shy she speak over the phone, Doremi found Kotake the following morning during his soccer training session at school. When Kotake spotted Doremi, he approached her when he got a momentary break and questioned why she was there. Doremi asks him to spare some time so that she can speak to him in private and he agrees to meet up with her. But since he needs to get back to training Doremi suggests they meet in front of the fountain at Misora Park around eleven.
Afterwards Doremi heads to the Maho-do, where Aiko is busy working since she returned from her Competition. She fills Aiko in on what is going on and why she wont be coming to work for that day, then takes off for Misora Park. She notices she's ten minutes early and is somewhat nervous. She feels somewhat pathetic though, when some elementary school children start to laugh at her. There was no trace of her usual perky-self and she comments that she used to think of highschool girls as old ladies, and never wanted to become one. Now she realizes that she looked worse than those girls, so what if Kotake saw her like this.
With time to spare, Doremi was quick to wash her face. But as she realized she forgot to bring her hankerchief, but Kotake happens to be nearby and offers his the towel he had been using for training to her. While she thinks its a little foul in stench, she doesn't complain. Kotake finally admits that he did wish to respond to Doremi's letter but he had no idea what to put. She tries to claim that she is bad at writing letters too, and tries to be a little bit cheeky like Aiko or Onpu would, but she instead makes it awkward.
Kotake asks Doremi to give him some time to come up with a good reply, though Doremi claims he really doesn't have to. But she sees how serious he is, so he still will do it anyway. Kotake then brings up the Soccer Preliminaries happen to be approaching and he will make sure he has time to write a good response. Doremi wishes him luck and they begin to discuss all sorts of things afterwards until they decide to split up for the time being. She feels much better now and realizes that while she may still be childish in comparison to her friends, she can't start giving up now. Besides, she should look for the bright side to these sort of situations.
The girls discuss Doremi and Kotake, saying that Doremi should find out more about him. She's known him since kindergarten but hasn't really been personal with Kotake in all of these years. Onpu suggests that because he loves soccer, Doremi should try to learn some more about it. She could rent videos, read a book about it, or even ask her dad for some tips.
Eventually, a letter had shown up from Kotake. It came early in September, after the summer vacation ended. But Doremi was slightly disappointed by the fact the letter was much more simple then she had hoped. She had wished he just replied that very day if he wasn't going to actually put any effort into it.
The girls gathered at the Maho-do to discuss this while stocking items and adding pricetags, as it was an off day for the shop. Onpu was even there as she had a break between her lessons. When Doremi tries to figure out what a place called "Kunitachi" is, Onpu takes over and explains that it's really called "Kokuritsu". Short for "Kokuritsu Gyoujijou", or a national stadium basically. The annual Soccer Meet is held there. The prelims are held at each prefecture, but the semifinals onwards are held at the National Stadium.
Onpu momentarily stops to see if Doremi is still paying her much attention before continuing. As she does, Doremi compares her to a teacher and queen, then comments on her beautiful appearance again, and how she compares to real bishoujo.
In this time it's revealed that Kotake invited Doremi to company him to Kokuritsu is like making a confession. Hazuki believes that the more Doremi knows about soccer, the more enjoyable it'll be. Onpu also thinks that Kotake can't work up the confession to admit how he feels to Doremi, but he also needs to focus on achieving his dreams and goals related to Soccer.
Doremi feels bad since she once again had assumed things. Had she not learned about this today, she fears she would have made Kotake choose between Soccer and herself. So she's glad she consulted with her friends first. It's then the girls convince Doremi that spending time with her dad will also be nice, since he probably feels lonely not having a son to bond with.
Doremi takes these words to heart and she decides she is going to dedicate her time to getting to know Kotake better, learning more about soccer, and also bettering herself in general.