Someday's Dreamers-Volume 3: Precious Feelings (2003)

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Released 18-Aug-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio & Animation
Gallery-Masataka Nakano's Photo Session
Gallery-Kumichi Yoshizuki's Conceptual Art
Biographies-Character-4
Trailer-Madman Propaganda
Reversible Cover
DVD Credits
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 94:30 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Masami Shimoda
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Aoi Miyazaki
Kay Jensen
Junichi Suwabe
OttoTowne
Hiroshi Iida
Dick Smallberries Jr
Akeno Watanabe
Shereen Hickman
Shoko Hiramatsu
Stevie Bloch
Koji Tsujitani
Jake Martin
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Takefumi Haketa


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English
English Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, next episode teaser

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This is the final volume of this short series. You should read my review of the first two volumes: Magical Dreamer and Power of Love before reading this review.

    The four episodes on this disc are:

9 Yume and a Girl and a Summer Seed Yume executes a clever mage action, then helps rescue a man by following a mysterious kitten and a little girl spirit
10 The Destination of Special Power Yume fulfils an old lady's request, but starts to doubt herself when the old lady says she regrets making the request
11 A Broken Rainbow Yume learns the story behind Oyamada's melancholy, and her doubts and fears grow
12 What is Important to Mages Yume makes her decision about her career as a mage

    This volume, more than anything, is about Yume's doubts and fears. She is approaching the time of her final certification exam, and she has had cause to appreciate the responsibilities attendant on being a licensed mage, and she doesn't know if she can live up to them. To exacerbate matters, she feels that several of her actions have had bad outcomes. Indeed, she begins to doubt the value of Special Power altogether, especially as she revisits earlier mage actions to see how they turned out.

    This volume's title is a reference to the phrase Yume utters when invoking a mage action: "with all the precious feelings in my heart". More than one person makes reference to this when Yume talks to them about her doubts. I must admit that I started to wonder if the authorities in this world should allow anyone without those doubts to exercise Special Power — it seems appropriate that a mage should be conscious of his/her responsibility.

    The last two episodes of this affected me deeply, because (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) Oyamada's girlfriend or wife died in a car accident, and so did my wife. So I'm a poor judge of whether other viewers will be affected by this part of the storyline. It is a sad story, handled tastefully.

    The ending is both appropriate, and touching. They have done a lovely job of drawing it to a close.

    Until this volume, there is nothing in this series that I'd be worried about showing to an older child, or younger teen. This volume, however, has a couple of elements that might upset them, including (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) the deaths of Oyamada's girlfriend / wife (it's never clear which), and of a kitten.

    This series is beautiful. I think I'll be watching it again in the future, because I've become fond of several of the characters.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    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 beautifully sharp on close-ups and mid-range shots, but softer on long-range shots. On a couple of occasions the image shifts quite deliberately in and out of focus to emphasise the story — this is not an artefact. The characters are drawn sparingly, but with considerable finesse. Backgrounds are painted in detail. It is a lovely style, and well-executed. Film grain is never a problem, and low-level noise is completely absent.

    Colour is rendered over brightly. There's a broad palette of colours, but they look a touch washed out because of the brightness. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no film artefacts.

    There is minor aliasing, on panning shots, but it's never troubling. There's no moiré. 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, single-layer. Everything fits comfortably into that one layer, so there's no call for a second layer, nor for the consequent layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    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, and there's less evidence of imperfect sync than on the first two discs.

    Takefumi Haketa has written a beautiful score for this series, with an emphasis on acoustic instruments, including guitar and piano.

    The surrounds and subwoofer are not called upon by this soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu is subtly animated with music after an introduction. It's easy to use.

Reversible Cover

    You can take out the cover slick and reverse it, and get a different cover, this time one featuring the group picnic scene (that does not appear in the show). Note that the reverse cover is still in English, not in Japanese.

Masataka Nakano's Photo Session (2:51)

    A montage of real-world photographs, many of which appear familiar, because the scenes have been depicted in the anime. One warning — you might want to drop your volume by perhaps 10dB before viewing this; the music that accompanies it is loud!

Kumichi Yoshizuki's Conceptual Art

    Twenty four sketch sheets that predate the animation — most are quite close to the finished animation, but the sheets for Angela are quite different from what we see in the anime.

Character Profiles

    A two page profile for each of four main characters:

    These are exactly the same as on the first two discs.

Trailers

    The usual Madman style, but without the usual label of Madman Propaganda.

DVD Credits

    A single page assigning the credit to the various Madman people responsible for this disc. This is nicely drawn, even if it does have the minor cheekiness of dressing Vikki Ong as a mage trainee.

R4 vs R1

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 earlier this year. The Region 1 and the Region 4 discs are quite similar. The art on the outside of the cover slick is almost identical, but the inside is quite different — theirs has a gorgeous shot of Yume in a yellow blouse. The extras are similar (they get different trailers and they miss out on the character profiles — they had them on disc 1).

    The R1 has a more complex menu that's quite pretty.

    The R1 includes a postcard, showing the cover image (Yume and Oyamada).

    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, with one distinct difference. It isn't as bright, and looks more saturated — compared side-by-side, the R4 looks quite a bit too bright, with the colours looking less saturated as a consequence (the difference is more marked on this disc than on the previous two, but it can be seen on them, too). There are no other differences: the R1 has the same aliasing on panning shots.

    In this case, the R1 is better, and with more extras.

Summary

    Gorgeous looking, and a touching story, this is an excellent anime series presented adequately on DVD.

    The video quality is fairly good, but it's too bright, which washes out some of the colour.

    The audio quality is good.

    The extras are interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Friday, September 03, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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