Have you wondered how magnificent it would be to have magical powers?
If so, then Someday's Dreamers is the anime for you. It is a mellowed slice-of-life exploration of what the modern world might be like if mages lived side-by-side normal humans. The viewer follows the adventures of Kikuchi Yume, a seventeen-year-old mage who spends her summer holiday training to become a licensed magic-user while learning that magic has it limitations too.
The plot and premise are totally uncomplicated, but this is one story that reaches its potential. The anime sets out to tell a simple story with no tricks or surprises – doing so with remarkable aplomb, I might add – and then concludes without further ado or fanfare. Proof positive that storytelling at its finest has no need of fancy techniques to be effective or captivating.
As an aside, I should add that the Japanese title for this anime, which translates to Things That Are Precious to a Mage, is actually much more apt for the story. I cannot fathom why people felt compelled to shorten the title to Someday's Dreamers, which is good, but not as fitting.
Just like the story, the animation is simple, but extremely beautiful. Detail levels are not extraordinarily high, and there are no breakthrough techniques or notable technologies used to make the anime flashy or visually interesting. It is therefore all the more surprising that the overall visual appeal of Someday's Dreamers is among the highest I have seen. The beauty of this anime lies in its basic approach to animation: jaw-dropping use of colour, breathtaking scenery and stunning background art. It is hard to picture it without seeing it: nothing showy, just plain and understated style.
My praise for the sound in Someday's Dreamers cannot be more superlative. The soundtrack itself is not memorable, but the anime is beautifully orchestrated with nostalgic and curiously bright music. For a mere 12 episode anime, there are almost 30 unique pieces, not including the different variations to keep things interesting. I distinctly remember remarking to myself during my first viewing of Someday's Dreamers that I could not recall a single instance in which music was recycled from episode to episode, save for the opening and closing sequences, which are incidentally of similarly high quality. Quite simply, the audio portion of this anime is musical paradise.
Despite the mix of cheerful and dramatic scenes, the seiyuu go out of their way to keep their emotions genuine, such that there is no melodrama or overacting. The selection of Miyazaki Aoi to play the part of Yume is most appropriate, as her voice really brings out the purity and the cheerfulness of the plot.
Perhaps the weakest part of an extremely well-rounded anime, the characters of Someday's Dreamers are not as singular or striking as one might expect them to be. Admittedly, there exists a strong possibility that the characters are purposely understated to accentuate the other facets of the anime. Nonetheless, I believe that Someday's Dreamers could have showcased a slightly more distinguished and fully-characterised cast without losing any of its existing brilliance. Despite this small criticism, I very much enjoyed watching this short story of Yume and the friends she meets over her summer holiday.
Someday's Dreamers is without a doubt an example of superb storytelling and an audiovisual masterpiece to boot. However, people should not look to this 12-episode short for action, suspense, or an astounding conclusion. As I mentioned before, this anime is simplicity at its best. Just like a good dessert, it is sure to leave you smiling and with a faintly sweet aftertaste. A must-see for any lovers of great anime!
In a modern world, magic has become a service industry. From transforming a house, to arranging an article in the newspaper, no job is too big or too small for a mage, who are thought of highly in the public eye. Kikuchi Yume, daughter of a famous mage, has finally reached the age of apprenticeship, and must move to Tokyo to find a mentor. Under the tutelage of the esteemed mage (and nightclub owner) Oyamada Masami, she will learn what it means to be able to bring magic to others' lives.
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