Someday’s Dreamers

Someday's DreamersType: TV Series
Episode Count: 12
Genre: Slice Of Life / Fantasy
Vintage: 2002

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 23 May 2006

Grade: B

The Japanese title for this show is Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto, which translates literally to Things That Are Precious To a Mage.

A very slow-paced show that was frustrating the first time, but better the second time around. The best way to describe it is a window into one girl’s life, so it won’t be for everyone.

Plot Summary
In an alternate present day, becoming a registered Mage is just another career path that people with the gift of Special Powers may take. A Mage may be called upon by citizens to help in any number of tasks, once an official Mage Action Request is filed with the Department of Mage Labor. Yume Kikuchi has come to Tokyo to begin her training to become a full-fledged Mage.

The Review
This is a tricky one, so I’ll start from the beginning.

What drew me to this series was the watercolor artwork of Kumichi Yoshizuki, who also drew the original manga as well as the DVD cover art. Those character designs are softer and more delicate than the anime designs. Yoshizuki’s original artwork is simply a joy to look at, and that was what made me interested in seeing the anime.

Now, about the show itself. It could be argued that nothing ever happens in this show over its entire duration. I had seen slice-of-life type shows before, but they had another element in them that stayed in the background and helped to move the story along. Someday’s Dreamers doesn’t really have that. There are hints, but no real overall plot driving the series along in its 12 episode run. The result is that at the beginning of the series, we are dropped in as a witness to Yume’s life, stuff happens, and when Yume’s training ends, that’s it… the series is over. There is no overall story arc apart from Yume’s training, and no real conflict apart from Yume dealing with her life as she works toward becoming a certified Mage.

As far as lead characters go, Yume Kikuchi is a welcome change of pace from the 14 and 15 year olds you see leading many series. Yume is a self-conscious and awkward 17 year old who acts like the confused teenager she is, and is therefore believable. Supporting cast is good for the most part, with my only disappointment being the character of Angela, who, with the same voice actress as Robin from Witch Hunter Robin, seems to come across as Robin-lite. Both have blonde hair, both use magic, and they share a nearly identical voice, but the character of Angela seems to lack the kind of charisma that Robin commanded. Angela is a good character, but perhaps if her voice was performed differently from Robin’s, she would have had more of an identity to me.

Giving Someday’s Dreamers a B was a tough call, but in the end I decided to go with it. The first time I watched the series, I was disappointed, and probably would have given it a C. The ending was good, and I liked the character designs and soundtrack, but I wasn’t able to connect with it very much, and it seemed very slow. More than a year later, and with a second viewing, I was able to see it on its own merits. If you take it for what it is – being dropped in to watch one girl’s life over one summer – it does a very good job at it. As I mentioned before, this won’t be a show for everyone. If you need an overall plot or clear conflict in your stories, you should probably skip it. Someday’s Dreamers is an enjoyable show, but if you’re not used to this kind of series, give it some time and see if it grows on you.

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