Monday, May 6, 2013

Someday's Dreamers Anime Review

Someday's Dreamers
Mahotsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto trans. Things That Are Precious to a Mage
Sentai Filmworks
Complete Collection - 2 discs
300 mins. - 12 episodes
$49.98 (2012)
$29.98 (2003-2004) Vol. 1-3/ea.
$34.98 (2003) Vol. 1 w/Artbox
ISBN 814131019714
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Masami Shimoda
Studio - J.C. Staff

Synopsis: Yume Kikuchi travels to Tokyo from her home in the countryside to be an apprentice mage.  She possesses "special power" which allows her to perform magical feats.  In order to regulate the use of "special power" the Bureau of Magic was set up by the government and using magic without a license bears a penalty.  She apprentices under Masami Oyamada, a well-known mage with a mysterious "special power".  Masami runs a salsa club and lives in the apartments above the club.  Yume stays at an available room during her studies.  She gets very embarrassed because Mr. Oyamada is a good-looking man.
Yume comes from the countryside to study in Tokyo
Yume's mother is a powerful mage and Yume possesses above average skills.  She has a lot of potential, but controlling her power and knowing how to use it are very difficult.  Mr. Oyamada is a patient teacher and Yume meets other mage trainees like Angela Brooks, a young mage from England.  Mages work hard to help people, but are limited by the strength and type of special power they possess.  Some mages are weak and wash out of the trainee program.
Yume's first meeting with Mr. Oyamada and Smiley is a bit awkward
since they're not wearing any shirts (it was a hot day)
Each mage's power is different and they select a symbolic avatar when manifesting their special power.  Yume chooses a dolphin and her teach Mr. Oyamada manifests snowflakes.  Yume meets the famous mage, Master Chief Ginpun who admires her mother.  He takes an interest in her as she progresses in her training.  Yume befriends a local girl named Runa who plays hooky at the salsa club because she is unhappy at home.
Yume is paired up with trainee Angela Brooks from England
Two other people work at the salsa club - Smiley is Mr. Oyamada's friend and Melinda is his unofficial girlfriend (and a salsa DJ).  Yume is afraid she won't make it as a mage trainee and must find confidence in herself.  She gets to know Mr. Oyamada and all of the people around the club.  She uses her special power, but doesn't really understand it.  Can Yume succeed when she has so much self doubt and unanswered questions?  Will the shy country girl make it in the big bustling city?
The mysterious and wise Master Chief Ginpun (he's blind too)
Pros: Animation is solid with good character designs, opening theme song grows on you (nice and jazzy), story uses different accents for characters - like Yume hides a country accent which comes out when she gets nervous or talking to her family (this makes the original Japanese voice acting particularly good), nice ending
Yume watches as Angela summons her "special power" with
her tell-tale dog avatar
Cons: Yume has three hairs sticking up at the top of her head (called ahoge and defining her as a moe character), dub accents are pretty lame, they call using magic 'special power' which sounds dorky - "You're much better at using special power than me.", they say "special power" over and over again (and over and over...), simplistic and silly at times, very slow-paced and mellow
Yume befriends a young man who lost part of his leg and used to play soccer
Mike Tells It Straight: Someday's Dreamers is based on a manga by Norie Yamada and Kumichi Yoshizuki.  It occurs in a world where magic is called "special power" and accepted into the modern world through bureaucratic regulation.  Mages are gifted people, but not all are created equally and some have only a hint of power.  Our protagonist is a classic moe character (big eyes, hair strands coming off her head) who is shy and awkward in the big city.
Smiley, little Runa, and Melinda from the salsa club Pachanga
The story is about personal growth and emotional interaction with others.  Not a bad theme, but a bit simple and unrealistic at certain points.  It's a slice of life show after all and the pace is pretty slow.  I liked the music and the animation was good, but I got bored with the characters and story.  I recommend watching it in original Japanese with subtitles to see if you can discern the different dialects.  The dub attempted to mirror this change in accents, but I didn't really like the dub actors' performances as much.
Mr. Oyamada and Yume have breakfast together
It seems like this anime is the first in a franchise.  A follow up series with a different cast of characters was released domestically in 2012 called Someday's Dreamers II Sora.  The original creators Yamada and Yoshizuki continue to collaborate on stories in this universe they have created.  The first series is perfect if you're looking for something mellow and slightly interesting, but it was a bit bland for my taste.  I give it a fair recommendation, but with no imperative to track down a copy and watch it.
Yume uses her "special power"
TO BUY and Recommendations: