Someday's Dreamers Vol. #2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: A-
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.95
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Someday's Dreamers

Someday's Dreamers Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     January 07, 2004
Release Date: January 13, 2004


Someday's Dreamers Vol. #2
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
Until she started her apprenticeship, Yume never doubted that one day she would become a full-fledged licensed mage. But through her training, mistakes, and interactions with new friends, she realizes that she has lots of growing up to do. Angela, an apprentice from England, is amazingly talented but she has emotional hang-ups that prevent her from using her powers properly. Inoue, a kind hearted and good intentioned apprentice, just can't seem to do anything right. Then there is Smiley (Kera), who desperately wants to become a mage to save someone very important to him... What will Yume learn from her new friends? Will she ever overcome her self-doubt?

The Review!
With four more episodes bringing us through the middle part of the series, Someday’s Dreamers brings us more of what the first volume did so well.

Audio:
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The series so far in the first four episodes has a quiet feel to it, where the sounds are important when they do appear, resulting in many scenes being very subdued. Dialogue stands out greatly in this, as does the incidental music when it rises above a certain level.

Video:
Originally broadcast in Japan at the beginning of 2003, Someday’s Dreamers sports a gorgeous looking transfer. The transfer here is in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio. With the series taking place in the real world of today, the look and feel of it is mixed, some areas with gorgeous vibrancy such as the setting sun while others are drab and ordinary looking. One interesting aspect is that there are a lot of pictures taken of areas that are creatively animated and colored over, mixing in with the character animation and other areas. The show looks great overall, though a few areas look soft but done intentionally.

Packaging:
Using the Japanese cover artwork once more in this clear keepcase, the imageso f Yume and Angela look great here with the heavy lime/yellow feel and the look in Yume’s eyes in particular. The back cover has a strip along the center with numerous shots from the show while the top half lists the episode numbers and titles as well as a summary. The bottom half of the cover lists the production information and the discs features and extras. In a nice change, the front cover, spine and back cover all list the volume number and name. The top panel of the insert lists the chapter stops for each episode while providing three shots from the show for each. The insert opens up to a nice two-panel image of Milinda and Yume together. The back panel is the standard advert section for websites and customer service, though with the nice dolphin image. With this being a clear keepcase, the reverse cover is the same image as found in the insert, which just looks really great here with the rich greens and once again with Yume’s look.

Menu:
The main menu here is very well done and very creative if you take the time to actually watch it. The static image is that of a picture frame with a bowl of bright flowers next to it and a small card at the front. The card provides the selections (with a dolphin icon no less) and some nice instrumental music plays alongside it. The creative part is that within the picture frame it builds sections of the front of the DVD cover image of Yume until it’s complete, then it fades out and starts with the reverse side cover artwork. It’s addictive to watch the images build over and over.

Extras:
For the extras, we get some more of the Japanese material here. There’s three versions of the commercial used to promote the show prior to its airing, each slightly different. Also included is a four and a half minute interview with the voice actress for Yume, who talks about how this was her first gig apparently and what she experienced and learned from the other actors she met and worked with. It’s short, but for fans of the Japanese voice actors, they’ll eat this up nicely.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Someday’s Dreamers moves in much the way it did with the first four episodes, where while the overall ‘arc’ is setup of Yume coming to study under Oyamada to become a mage, the rest of the story will center on the lives she comes to touch in her time there. These are simple tales told at an almost dainty pace where it doesn’t reach too deeply into things, but just enough to elicit a reaction and connection with what’s being told.

With these four episodes, there’s almost a sub-arc that plays along after the first two standalone tales end. One tale is one that brings the focus a bit more on Kera, where we get to know some of his background as growing up in an orphanage. The knowledge comes from an incident where three children ended up getting caught in the river and ended up in the hospital in varying states, but one of them was from the same orphanage as Kera. As he’s become quite fond of the kids there and the good things the orphanage has done for him, he becomes very involved in trying to get through to the one child that remains in a coma.

Kera’s desire to not only protect the child but also to be there for him and to help him explore the world at large causes him to go to an extreme where he takes a ring of Oyamada’s, believing that the ring is where the mage power really comes from. His long desire to become a mage himself, but too afraid to be properly tested to see if he has the ability, comes loose in an outpouring with Yume. Kera comes across really well in these episodes and balances out the bit of edge and bravado from past episodes by giving him some real emotion. The scenes with him trying to get through to the child are very well done – but I think there may be more of a connection to it if you’re either generally empathic to such things or you have kids of your own.

Later in the volume, Oyamada brings Angela and Yume with him to their latest official request which has them helping to clean up a local shopping district that had gotten vandalized. The district representative who had sent the request has to be very humble about the whole thing as he had gone outside the rules by letting a mage who had come by do it for free instead of officially sanctioned. As it turns out, the mage who did it is in training much like Yume and Angela but doesn’t like the idea that he has to go through channels as he’d rather be a “mage of the streets”. The flip side is that he’s not all that good of a mage so he tends to cause problems when he uses his powers.

Inoue, as we meet him during a dressing down at the Mage Labor Office, ends up apologizing to both girls as well since they had to clean up after him and eventually comes across them again later during other items that require them to be at the Office. Yume befriends him rather well and you can almost see a twinge of interest in her about him. Inoue is the really nice but shy kid who wants to do the right thing but has a hard time doing it. As he spends more time with the two girls, he gets a bit more confidence about himself and abilities. But what he really ends up doing is something that he doesn’t even realize, and that’s stir some serious emotions inside of Angela that causes her to reveal just how powerful her mage abilities really are.

With this series, there are just so many little moments throughout it that help build up the layers of the world and how the mages operate within it, particularly in these episodes where we see more of the real power behind the office with one of the primaries who created the treaties about mages with Yume’s mother. Oyamada starts to get a bit more fleshed out as well, but most of his time is given over to the rest of the cast to get some screen time. Just learning more about things like their rings, how the treaties came about and seeing their powers in action are really fun to watch. There is simply something that, while probably mediocre and formulaic to people, is enchanting to us here.

In Summary:
Someday’s Dreamers manages to build really nice upon what came in the first volume and lets the focus shift away from Yume for a bit and lets the others get some of the spotlight. Visually, this show continues to be just as impressive and pleasing on the eye with its mix of rich vivid colors and great looking backgrounds. Add in some really fun music and the tantalizing Milinda and this volume succeeds just as much as the first one did.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Commercial Spots,Voice Actress Interview

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Panasonic RP-82 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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