Someday's Dreamers-Volume 2: Power of Love (2003)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||2003|
|Running Time||93:38 (Case: 100)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Masami Shimoda|
Dick Smallberies Jr
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, next episode teaser|
This is the second (and middle) volume of this short series. You should read my review of the first volume, Magical Dreamer, before reading this review.
The four episodes on this disc are:
|5||An Apron and Champagne||Runa's mother, although brusque and a bit bossy, still cares about her very much|
|6||I Want to be a Mage||Kera has reason to want to become a mage|
|7||The Mage Who Couldn't Become a Mage||Yume hears of others who didn't make it through mage certification — she'd never thought of that possibility|
|8||Enormous Power in the Name of Love||Yume and Angela meet a young man who wants to be a mage, but is having serious trouble|
Yume is very sweet — almost as unbelievably sweet as Tohru Honda in Fruits Basket — and more than a little naive. Although she and Anglea are chronologically the same age, it's clear that Yume's emotional development is behind Angela's (evidenced most noticeably in the final episode on this disc). Even so, Yume is strong in her own way, and a charming protagonist.
The storyline doesn't move especially fast, but sufficient happens to make each episode feel satisfying. I really don't want to say anything more about the plot, because I don't want to spoil it for you.
I like the different totems that the mages use to focus their power. Yume's is the dolphin (a lovely choice), Angela's is a winged cross, Oyamada's is a snowflake, and Inoue's is a dog of some kind (I think it is an Akita, but I'm not sure). It's really cool to see Yume and Angela working together in episode 7, with their totems working in concert.
This is a beautiful series, and I'm really looking forward to the ending in the next volume.
This DVD transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced. That is the original aspect ratio.
The image is sharp on close-ups and mid-range shots, but is softer on long-range shots. This may be attributable to the style of animation, which looks like water-colour backgrounds with inked foreground characters. It looks as though the animation was shot on a multi-plane camera, because the focus can move from one character to another, but I suspect that this effect has been achieved digitally, rather than physically — it's quite an effective way of moving the point of view. Film grain is never a problem, and low-level noise is completely absent.
Colour is used beautifully, with plenty of subtle shades. There are no colour-related artefacts, except that a few scenes (such as at 63:25, in the third episode) seem a bit over-bright.
There are no film artefacts.
There is almost no aliasing, because the animation style doesn't involve a lot of movement, and where there is movement, there's still minimal aliasing. There's no moiré (most of the colours are solid, rather than patterned). There are no MPEG artefacts.
There are two subtitle tracks. The first subtitles only signs. The second provides full subtitles of the dialogue, plus the signs. The subtitles seem well-timed, accurate, and easy to read, in the traditional yellow. I didn't spot any errors in the subtitles.
The disc is single-sided and single-layered. The 90-odd minutes of animation plus a few extras seems to fit into the one layer without any difficulty. I suspect that this kind of animation is easier to compress than regular film, which would help keep everything within the capacity of the layer.
The soundtrack is provided in both English and Japanese. Both soundtracks are Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround encoded, which is a reasonable presentation of a stereo television soundtrack, at 224kbps. I listened to both soundtracks in full.
The English dialogue is clear and easy to understand, and appears well-synced to the animation. The Japanese dialogue sounds equally clear, but it is rather less accurately synced to the animation.
Takefumi Haketa has given this series a delicate score that provides gentle emphasis to the action. I am growing rather fond of both the opening and closing themes.
The surrounds and subwoofer are not called upon by this soundtrack.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu is subtly animated with music. It's simple and functional, and rather pretty. One small quibble about the Language menu: it's not very easy to tell what has been chosen, because the selected choice is only marked with a slightly darker shade of blue from the unselected choices. On some players this is quite difficult to distinguish.
You can take out the cover slick and reverse it, and get a different cover, this time one featuring Yume and a woman (I think it is Milinda). Note that the reverse cover is still in English, not in Japanese.
Three short TV commercials for this show. All rather similar.
This interview, with the Japanese voice actress for Yume, is rather interesting. It appears that she has not voiced anime before, and she talks about the whole experience.
A two page profile for each of four main characters:
These are exactly the same as on the first disc.
The usual Madman style, but without the usual label of Madman Propaganda.
A single page assigning the credit to the various Madman people responsible for this disc.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 disc was released at the beginning of the year. The Region 1 and the Region 4 discs are quite similar. The art on both sides of the cover slick is almost identical. The extras are similar (they get different trailers — six of them — and they miss out on the character profiles).
The R1 has a more complex menu that's quite pretty.
The R1 includes a postcard, showing the cover image (Yume and Angela).
The R1 disc includes a folded insert that lists the chapter stops for each episode, and has an mini poster. It's a larger version of the image on the reverse side of the cover slick.
The Region 1 transfer is quite similar to the R4, except that it is NTSC. It is a teeny-weeny bit darker, and an eensy bit more saturated, but the difference is slight. The more noticeable difference is that the R1 doesn't have as much over-brightness — it looks like the R4 transfer may have been set too bright, unfortunately.
I think you can be equally happy with either version, but if pushed to it, I'd have to rate the R1 as slightly better due to that over-brightness.
An enjoyable story and lovely artwork: an excellent combination, especially when presented well on DVD.
The video quality is good, but still over-bright at times.
The audio quality is very good.
The extras are limited, but pleasant.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-S733A, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5|