Someday's Dreamers Lesson 1: Magical Dreamer
Yume's a witch, but she's no Kiki
Cynthia Ward · April 4, 2004 | When I saw a preview of Someday's Dreamers, I thought, "What a shameless rip-off of Kiki's Delivery Service." Both anime titles feature a country girl who travels alone to the big city to learn the proper use of magic. However, when I watched the four episodes on Magical Dreamer, the first DVD of the Someday's Dreamers series, I discovered only superficial resembles to Kiki.

Seventeen-year-old Yume Kikuchi is an ordinary small-town girl—or would be, if she didn't possess a tremendous "Special Power." She travels to Tokyo to apprentice with the mage Masami Oyamada, who will teach her to control her talent and obey the strict requirements of the Bureau of Mage Labor. But for all her good intentions, Yume keeps breaking the law, to help people in need (or people she thinks are in need, not always the same thing). Her immense power means her unauthorized and untrained "miracles" are a danger to others.

Someday's Dreamers Lesson 1: Magical Dreamer
Geneon Entertainment, 2003
Directed by Masami Shimoda
100 minutes

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In addition to a concept, Someday's Dreamers and Kiki's Delivery Service share great art, gentle pacing, and generally low-key threats. Kiki's thoughts and emotions create her worst problems; Yume's thoughts and emotions create obstacles that appear at least as dangerous as Kiki's—but never are. Yume breaks the merely human laws that stand in the way of a higher law, namely, that of eliminating pain and unhappiness; any viewer with a heart will sympathize with her behavior, while wincing in anticipation of the dangers she'll surely unleash with her wild talent and the punishment she'll surely receive from the bureaucracy and the rigid, magically-talentless bureaucrat who hates her. But these threats never deliver. The viewer loses interest because, unlike Kiki, Yume is never in any real danger.

What's Good: Excellent art; good characterization; fine soundtrack; gorgeous binanshi.

What's Bad: Characters get out of trouble too easily.

DVD Features: Bilingual audio (English and Japanese 2.0 Dolby Digital); English subtitles; creditless and Japanese openings and endings; music video by The Indigo; reversible cover.
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