First Impressions: Someday’s Dreamers

Country girl, big city: it’s an old tale.

But this time she’s got magic.

When I first saw the cover of today’s First Impressions, I assumed that it would be a heavy drama along the lines of Ef: A Tale of Memories. And to be fair, I’ve only seen one episode, so the drama might be just around the corner. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how light and charming the first episode of Someday’s Dreamers turned out to be.

Yume meets random nice dude in the big city. At this point I assumed she was about to get robbed, probably because I watch a lot of Batman cartoons.

Yume Kikuchi is a young mage who has just arrived in the big city (that’s Tokyo, for the record) in order to register with the Bureau of Mages and complete a sort of apprenticeship with an assigned mentor. However, being fresh off the farm, she has trouble crossing a busy street in order to reach the subway. A nice young man sees her plight and helps her with her bag. As they cross, Yume trips and is almost hit by a speeding car. Luckily, being a mage, she causes all of the cars near her to levitate for a moment, then lands them gently back on the pavement. The young man asks if she’s a mage, and she says yes. He thinks that’s cool, and helps her the rest of the way to the subway. Yume wants to thank him, but he insists on nothing. As her train is pulling out, she looks back at the young man and uses magic to fill his shirt with so much money that he looks pregnant as a way to repay him.

“So my first assignment is to magic you guys up a couple of shirts, right? ‘Cause seriously, this is ridiculous.”

Finally she arrives at the building she was told to find in a letter. (She was also told to make her way there without using magic, but she blew that twice.) Another young man, this one barely wearing a shirt, introduces himself as Smiley and helps her with her luggage up the stairs to his boss’s apartment. In a moment more Smiley’s boss arrives, Masami Oyamada, the person Yume was told to find. Masami is also shirtless, having just come down the stairs from a shower. In a sweet and funny scene Yume blushes and requests that both men put on shirts. After everyone is clothed Masami looks at Yume’s records and wonders why the daughter of a famous mage would be assigned to him, then he goes on to fill her in on her upcoming duties. Yume confesses that she believed that Masami would be a woman based on his name, and as such had planned on boarding with him. Masami says that even though he’s male, there’s an extra room upstairs, so her boarding with him will be no problem.

The sad pizza of loneliness: the pepperoni even tastes like discs of salty, meaty tears.

After Yume gets settled she wanders downstairs to the salsa bar that Masami runs. Smiley also works there, and he tells Yume that if she wants to stay she’ll have to dance. She hurries back up to her room, feeling homesick and thinking of her family back in the country. Soon a pizza arrives at her door, ordered and paid for by Masami. Yume eats then falls asleep. The next day she and Masami have a lovely breakfast together and then walk over to the Bureau of Mages. Masami jovially chats with the receptionist while a man clearly hiding from Masami motions Yume over to him. He asks what Masami is doing there, then he tells Yume that he hopes she’ll become a good mage. Suddenly, the young man who helped Yume onto the subway comes bursting into the Bureau with a huge sack filled with the money that she created in his shirt. He demands that the money be taken back by Yume, saying that he doesn’t want her to pity him. Everyone stops and stares as the massive bag o’ bills topples over and spills onto the floor. Fin!

Let’s toast! To the beginning of a beautiful new…friendship? Love interest? Mentor-and-student connection? I just don’t know yet, but I can’t wait to find out!

It’s kind of funny how this anime seems like a typical slice of life story except for the part about Yume and Masami being mages. I was shocked when I heard that Yume was a mage, because I was expecting a run-of-the-mill melodrama. It was a nice surprise to find something different in a traditional genre. Apparently this anime came out in 2003, but the animation still holds up very well. I don’t always enjoy the lighter lines and broad details in this type of art, but for some reason it really worked for me in this story. I especially loved that instead of the usual wing of hair sticking up, Yume has almost a heart-shape created by her stray hairs! The music was nondescript and not very memorable, to the point where I can’t even hum the opening or closing themes, try as I might to recall them. The characters were pretty great, in my opinion. Masami was gentle, thoughtful, and charming, which definitely puts him in danger of becoming my newest anime crush. Yume was innocent, shy, and inquisitive, but not annoyingly so. As someone who has traveled far and wide and lived in other states as well as other countries, I very much identified with Yume’s homesickness, especially since she and her family had Southern American accents in the English dub. I really loved how Yume’s accent was understated until she talked on the phone to her family, and then it became amplified. (It’s so true! I never sound more country than when I’m on the phone with my grandmother.) It’s these kinds of details that really struck a chord with me. Overall, I was quite impressed with episode one of Someday’s Dreamers, and I’ll definitely be tuning in to see what happens next.

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