a.k.a. Things Precious to A Mage
a.k.a. Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu Na Koto
Seventeen-year-old Kikuchi Yume has traveled from her small town to modern day Tokyo to begin her training as a magic user. She will spend her one month summer vacation learning what it is to be a mage so that she can begin her profession upon high school graduation. Her teacher, Oyamada-sensei, gives her a place to stay and guides her along the way. Yume gets off to a rocky start, breaking rules and upsetting the people she is trying to help. Will she complete her training and become a full-fledged mage?
summary by Madoka
Highs: Serene and moving story; realism and fantasy blend perfectly
Lows: Recycled character; some episodes border on filler
Someday’s Dreamers is a smooth blend of fantasy and reality. This series realistically and thoughtfully ponders “if magic existed in the world as we know it, what would it be like?”. The story takes the viewer on an emotional journey through the lives of people that magic interacts with to answer that question.
The tranquil background music, including a great ending song, adds even more calm to an already serene setting. Even though it takes place in the usually fast-paced Tokyo, there is a deliberately slow pace to telling the story. There are some episodes that border on filler, but these experiences of her learning to become a mage add to the overall plot and the conflict within Yume herself about her chosen profession. The plot is rather simple, but it is the character development that is the real heart of the story. Yume and Oyamada share real turmoil and emotions with the audience, and by the end of the series are well fleshed-out, genuine characters.
There is one character, however, which is almost blatantly recycled from another anime even down to the voice actress, Watanabe Akino. They might as well rename Angela to Robin of Witch Hunter Robin fame. With similar character design and the same emotionless delivery of the seiyuu‘s lines, it’s as if Robin had a cameo in this anime. I found this more than a little distracting, but Angela Brooks as a character at least has a chance to show her own personality in the latter episodes of the series.
Someday’s Dreamers is a serene yet touching story, and a must-see for any drama fans that appreciate a touch of fantasy with reality.
Highs: Peaceful and warming coming-of-age story; music boogies well with the series
Lows: Some thin characters; CGI feels out of place
I hate to say it, but I sometimes begin to think that newer anime are all style and very little substance. After watching Someday’s Dreamers, I discovered that most of my fears are completely unfounded; series such as this pack some of what it takes to compete with older, dramatic anime.
If there was ever a series that subconsciously told you to slow down and feel like a ray of sunshine, it would have to be Someday’s Dreamers. Yume may be the lead character, but there is no linear plot, so there is nothing to stop her from exploring everyone and everything around her. Her adventures lead her to mistakes and triumphs as she matures; such an innocent story mixes with fantasy to create a good coming-of-age story. Rounding out the series to give it a bit more of an elegant touch is the music; while the bright and colorful artwork does help enhance the atmosphere, the tunes ultimately give the series a fluffier edge. Simple piano pieces combined with one or two woodwind instruments work very well to put anyone into the proper mood.
A good story should always be bolstered by solid characters… just do not expect to find much of that here. I was not expecting a deep and introspective look into the human psyche, but I always want a fair amount of background on characters. We learn an acceptable amount about Yume and her sensei, but only bits and pieces of information regarding everyone else; consequently, these characters are left thin and brittle despite the amount of on-screen time and importance they are given. Despite this flaw, everyone still possesses a certain charm that makes it difficult to not like them. Something else that bugged me a bit was the way that CGI was used; I am not opposed to it, but when it doesn’t flow with conventional animation is when it becomes bothersome. This happened mostly during magic-using sequences and some others. But nevertheless, it is annoying to find your attention being dragged away from everything by CGI that does not blend with all of the animation that is occurring on the screen.
Someday’s Dreamers is nothing ground breaking, but it will make you smile… and just might make you cry. If you are in the mood for something light and uplifting, give this series a shot.