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The Workshop Girl

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The Workshop Girl is chapter 2 in Naive, the second novel in the Ojamajo Doremi 16.

Summary

Over time everything has begun to get colder, cherry blossom leaves litter the ground, and the students have changed into their winter uniforms. Doremi has been keeping busy since the end of summer vacation, with events at school and at work. Time simply flew on by and it was already Autumn.

Doremi then begins to make herself hungry by thinking about how much she craves meat, even after eating a bunch of sugary treats at the Maho-do after work. She mentally scolds herself in the process...

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Doremi then decides to use her time to discuss a classmate she has, a girl named Yuuna Shidou that she met after the class decided to switch seats after the second term began. A girl with long, brown curly hair who was very cute and gentle, but on the short side. Even her items were cute, like herself.

Doremi asks Yuuna to address her by her first time and asks to do the same with Yuuna's first name. At first Yuuna seems to be nervous and hesitant and Doremi couldn't help but wonder if it may have had to do with separating from her friends, or maybe she just wasn't the talkative sort. Doremi hopes to befriend her though, and mentions that she feels the desire to protect Yuuna.


A month passed by since then and Doremi was unable to get any closer to Yuuna, what with having to work so much and had many other friends in class as it was. She hardly ever got enough time to focus on much else and had to do a lot of running around.

She discusses this with Aiko and the others, and Aiko mentions that Yuuna was impossible for her to talk to, even with her over-the-top energy. Hazuki can't help but question this and reminds Doremi that since she will just switch seats again during the next term and she should use the time she has to try to get to know Yuuna, but Doremi has only been able to at best, exchange a few words with her during class discussion, or the occasional greeting but that's it.

The girls tell Doremi that they believe she will be able to get to Yuuna sooner or later, then Momoko suggests she tells her about the things they make at the Maho-do. While this seems to convince Doremi she's pretty concerned over what she could possibly discuss with Yuuna, since they're so different.

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Eventually, Doremi was able to strike up something though, by noticing that most of Yuuna's belongings were handmade items. She had complimented them and even checked out her cute phone strap, which gave her a distinct image of something from Alice in Wonderland. Another classmate, Sora Miyamae then reveals to Doremi that Yuuna made the parts of it herself, and Doremi is surprised to hear this and can't help but get a closer look.

After Sora criticizes Doremi for being loud, he also reveals to her that Yuuna's family owns a workshop that specializes in metal work. But, the reason Sora was making Doremi be quiet was because Yuuna didn't want anyone to learn that she lived inside a workshop. But this only confuses Doremi since she was with Sora outside at one of the corridors after school, and she even wonders if Sora is being overly cautious. She would have befriended Yuuna no matter what, back in elementary school.

She heads to the Maho-do afterwards and updates everyone with the news. Onpu had been there too, so with everyone at work they were able to chat and work on making sweets.

Everyone is confused as to why Yuuna would hide such a talent and her families career and Onpu wonders if she just doesn't know how to discuss it with others, since she would have no real reason to hide it with how talented she is, and the fun she probably gets with it. Nobody can see why Yuuna would be so worried over the workshop since even if she told them, they wouldn't have realized that was what she was telling them anyway. 

Onpu then points out that there has to be more to the situation then just the workshop and metal work, but she reminds everyone that they have all began to stop working. So the group resume decorating cakes as Momoko begins to stare at the madeleine cakes she brought out of the oven while Hazuki asks if Sora is still doing his work with airplanes.

Doremi explains that back in the 6th grade they learned that he had been making airplanes with the other boys in class in a secret base he had. His planes were big enough to fit people and fly, even though they never lasted very long in the air. Now however, he had been in the science club working on model robots in hopes of participating in the Robocon at some point in the future, since the school doesn't partake in that.

It's then the girls wonder if Sora wishes to scout Yuuna for the club, because of her families workshop. Hazuki can't help but wonder how he even knew that Yuuna's family owns the workshop to begin with, so Onpu guesses that he often makes trips to the place as a source for robot parts and he just happened to notice that the shop has Yuuna's family name. It's pretty rare to hear being used, so it would make sense. Doremi can't help but compliment Onpu's logic, considering she had only just heard the story that day and was told that Yuuna and Sora have never been seen speaking to each other, either.

Hazuki then asks if it may be a romantic angle, causing Doremi to realize that Sora and Yuuna sit right next to each other in class. He happens to look at her every now and then, and Doremi even thinks he was a little envious as he revealed her families work. Maybe he's just being shy and isn't sure how to go about speaking to Yuuna.

While Doremi can't imagine Yuuna being in a place like the Science club or at a Robocon, but she still thinks the idea is cute. Sora could send her a formal invite to join the club activities, and she's sure of it since he knows at least those people skills, being a high school student now. She also brings up the strange, tough book that Yuuna often goes over that is filled with a lot of complex symbols in it. It had such a cute cover that she had no idea at first.

Because of everyone being at the Maho-do that day, they all took turns manning the store, baking, and decorating. Mostly all of the items had been sold too, by the end of the work day. They would discuss Yuuna whenever possible, but they couldn't help but notice how quiet Momoko was being. They wonder if maybe she was trying to think up a brand new idea for the madeleine cakes she had yet to deal with, or maybe the cakes got messed up somehow.

When Doremi suggests to Momoko that she shares with them any ideas she may have, she suddenly mentions hearts. She is happy with her idea to have madeleine shaped like hearts, but the girls wonder if she is still thinking about Yuuna and her workshop. However it goes unanswered and the girls discuss how popular a lot of their heart-shaped items end up being. They also praise Momoko for her wonderful idea and they all agree to help her out with baking the new cakes, especially Doremi, who is teased because she would end up eating most of them if given the chance.


The following day, Doremi goes to tell sorry about Momoko's idea. He offers to ask the clubs chairman, who Doremi introduces as Akira Narita, since he's so sure he knows more. But curious as to who he was, Doremi and Aiko decide to ask Kaori Shimakura about him. She mentions that he is a hard-worker but he's seen as a disappointment and points out that Yuuna and Narita were hanging out nearby. Doremi and Aiko can't understand why Kaori would say this, and she explains that he must be because everyone ignores Narita's relationship with Yuuna. They had been very close since elementary school, live close to each other, and since her family owns a workshop he has a reason to make plenty of visits to it.

The girls still don't understand, so an annoyed Kaori goes into further detailing. Narita isn't the type of guy to just invite rumors onto himself or do anything bad, but he is often spotted talking to cute girls. At first Aiko and Doremi wonder if he may be a "herbivore"-type. But Kaori classifies him as an "otaku" instead. He spends any free days he has in Akihabara, at school he's always talking about robots, computers, and other sci-fi elements. She's pretty sure he has no interest in girls at all.

During this, Doremi can't help but wonder if Narita may be Kaori's type of guy since she suddenly got really excited. But she didn't bring it up or anything.

After school, Doremi, Aiko, and Momoko accompany Sora to the Science Club. Doremi can't help but feel shocked by how messy the club is, and they are warned not to trip the wiring on the floor as Narita gets the girls some chairs. Doremi mentions that he is quite good-looking, but in a kind big brother way, not truly handsome or hunky.

Momoko was quick to bring up her ideas for the madeleine cake mold, and both the teacher, and Narita believe that Yuuna is the best person to ask for the job of making it. Narita asks the girls if they would like to speak to Yuuna now, because she just happens to be there. But instead of confirming or refusing, they instead ask if it was true that she was ashamed of the families workshop. But the two of them confirm that it isn't true. After thinking about it, Doremi realizes that it didn't make sense to begin with. A couple classmates live near Yuuna and would pass by her place every day, so there's no way she could have hidden it from them.

The teacher then mentions that he had wished for Yuuna to join the club, because with her on their team they could enter robocon at some point. As this is discussed, Narita even goes to bring up Momoko's idea with Yuuna, causing Doremi to think about how reliable and kind he is. While they may have been childhood friends, she cant help but feel a little envious. But she is also concerned for Sora, since she was so sure he has a crush on Yuuna also, but in terms of otaku level, she thinks Yuuna and Narita to be more compatible. 

Momoko meanwhile, happens to be quite ecstatic by the turn of events. She plans on making some drawings of what this special mold should look like, and plans on giving them to Yuuna the following day. She also decides to bring up the molds they have from work to use as a reference that evening.

Afterwards, things seemed to progress very fast. The next day after school ended, the girls brought Yuuna to the Maho-do and watched her lively discussion with Momoko. However she also happened to be pretty nervous for her first time coming in so Doremi offered her some sweet snacks in hopes of helping her calm down. Hazuki also apologizes for how they basically dragged her there, while putting some tea onto the table.  

But eventually they are able to show her the dimensions of the oven so that she can make appropriate measurements for a good size mold, as well as show her the current cake mold for the madeleine's. Momoko even tells her that she will be paid for her work, as Majorika confirms this and asks Yuuna to help them.

Yuuna is able to squeak out a yes at some point, causing the girls to get very excited. Momoko offers her more cake and Aiko even tells her that she can take some home too. Doremi puts the madeleine's into a bag while tells Yuuna to show them with her family and workers at the workshop, although Yuuna protests and tells the girls they don't need to do this. But Doremi changes the subject by mentioning how often she spots Yuuna reading computer books, which startles her and makes her worry. She was quick to get uncomfortable so the girls compliment her talents with creation and how well they think she would do in the science club. However this does nothing to help and Yuuna quickly leaves after she accepts the cakes and mold from the girls.


For a while after, Momoko and Yuuna would continue to meet up for discussions regarding the molds she was to be working on. They had many heart-shaped items but Momoko happened to be very insistent on this special, new mold that she was sure would be exactly what she had in mind.

Around mid-December as the Christmas season began, they had been informed that the molds would be completed. The ojamajo held a special tasting session for it and invited Yuuna to come along, and in the end happened to adore the fluffy, round, heart shaped cakes after they made them. Momoko also prepared a cute little treat by arranging a few weird-shaped cakes to form a heart with wings and mentions that Yuuna gave her the idea before embracing her. While it embarrassed Yuuna, she seemed to be very happy.


While the girls were busy preparing for Christmas, Doremi couldn't help but feel down regarding her college prospectus forms. She happened to find out that Yuuna was in the same predicament as herself, because she wished to become a metalworker and take over the shop from her parents some day. Onpu thinks she would be great for such a career but points out that one also needs to possess a lot of physical strength too. None of them could see someone cute and frail like Yuuna handling such hard work.

One of the girls also points out that she believes Yuuna could do well in a profession involving computers, and Doremi takes a moment to explain to the readers that she and the other girls are busy designing Christmas cards and wrapping paper by using the computer. Momoko was at home to think up new cake designs and creations though.

Doremi also reveals that she heard that Yuuna's father was hoping she would enroll at Karen Girls' Academy sometime in the future. Which makes the girls wonder if the reason Yuuna never shared her interest in metal works, it may have been because she is trying to respect her fathers wishes instead. But this makes them feel bad since she is so withdrawn.

However, after a while Yuuna was able to open up a little and began to realize her own potentials after spending time with Momoko, who was usually at the workshop to discuss mold and utensil ideas with her. Doremi also hopes that the heart-shaped cakes give Yuuna the courage to speak her true mind and feelings to her family, and if she does, she will surely be happy.

It's then the girls begin to discuss her status with Narita. They heard that they have gotten together and feel badly for Sora. This ends up annoying Doremi since she had began a discussion regarding Yuuna and her family, and since it has to do with romance. Onpu also goes on to tease by saying that Yuuna may never have time for romance, or she could end up having her pick of boys since there wouldn't be too many girls in a science and technology university.

Doremi then tells the readers that while Yuuna may have many worries and concerns of her future, she is sure that this experience has encouraged her and helped her, and although they would need to wait until Valentines Day, she is sure that Yuuna would be proud of the heart-shaped madeleine's.

Quotes

  • Aiko: She’s no good. She’s not silly at all, nor does she say anything funny.
  • Hazuki: So even Ai-chan’s over-the-top Kansai-style energy could not get a response?

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  • Momoko: Metalworks? That’s totally different from baking, but I’d like to see that strap too.

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  • Doremi: Momo-chan, I’ll do my best to help out with the baking.
  • Aiko: You mean with the eating?

Trivia

  • The term "herbivore"-type refers to males who have no interest in romance or marriage.

Gallery

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