atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#273: Someday's Dreamers

It's a keeper, all right.

The last four episodes didn't have any unpleasant surprises and the ending was a decent resolution to the story. I liked it.

There were a lot of elements that the writers didn't use, which I was expecting them to use, and which I didn't miss at all when they didn't use them, because they were old hat and really annoying the first time they'd been used.

The biggest surprise in the series was Angela. Angela is from England, and after characters like Asuka from Evangelion and Sakura from Blue Seed and countless millions of others, it was refreshing to see a foreign character who:

  • wasn't a know-it-all
  • didn't act like she owned the planet
  • didn't preen and talk about how beautiful and sexy and mature she was
  • wasn't rude
  • didn't insist that she was the best ever (at whatever the characters do)
  • didn't have large breasts

She was a refreshing departure from the Japanese stereotype of Westerners, I must say. Angela did have a personality but it wasn't stereotypical, and the character actually changed over the cource of the series. She did not change much, but for a supporting character in a 12-episode series, the fact that she did at all impressed me.

I had a few issues with the translation. I could clearly hear the characters using the word "mahou", which means "magic", yet the translators consistently used "Special Power" rather than "magic", and "mage action" rather than "spell". There are people who have problems, of course, with stories that talk about "magic" and "spells"--idiots with no perspective who equate "magic" with "Satanism" and don't understand the concept of "make believe" or "fiction"--but those kinds of people wouldn't notice a series like Someday's Dreamers, anyway.

It may be that the intention was to "bureaucratize" the language a bit--since magic and its use are rather heavily regulated in the world of Someday's Dreamers it even makes a limited kind of sense. Still, I thought it was kind of cumbersome.

The nice thing about the series is that there were no bad guys, no one who was evil; some people had motivations which were not immediately obvious, and it was nice to see characters who were stern without being evil or perpetually angry. The main character's big conflict was all internal; it wasn't overdone, and it was sensible and understandable.

I stress that because, in the past, I have seen series which tried to use this kind of plot and only ended up annoying the hell out of me. It makes me want to reach into the screen, slap the crap out of the character, and say, "Stop being an annoying, whiny bitch!" If the internal conflict is not done correctly, it just looks like the person is having a pity party.

Yume's conflict was really well-done. As part of her training she performed several mage actions which--while successfully executed--did not end up helping the people who requested them the way she had hoped. She saw people being unhappy in the wake of her efforts, and that made her question what she was doing.

Ultimately the plot is resolved in a satisfying fashion; and, even better, the series left me wanting to spend much more time with the characters. That is the mark of a good series.

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