Someday's Dreamers: Summer Skies – Anime Review

The Essentials

summerskiesName: Someday’s Dreamers: Summer Skies
Genre: Romance, Drama
Episodes: 12
Aired: July 2, 2008 – September 24, 2008
Based On: Someday’s Dreamers: Summer Skies manga by Norie Yamada
Director: Osamu Kobayashi
Produced By: Hal Film Maker
US Distribution By: Not Licensed

Cast

Character Japanese Cast English Cast (N/A)
Sora Suzuki: Kana Hanazawa
Gouta Midorikawa: Tomoaki Maeno
Seiichirou Hara: Rikiya Koyama
Hiyori Yamabuki: Mikako Takahashi
Honomi Asagi: Marina Inoue
Kouji Kuroda: Daisuke Namikawa
Mage Kawada: Yoko Soumi

Review

Someday’s Dreamers: Summer Skies is about a girl, Sora Suzuki, who travels to Tokyo from Hokkaido to train as a mage.  She soon runs into a boy, Midorikawa, who is also attending mage training because his father was a mage (unbeknownst to him until recently), despite the fact that he can’t seem to do any magic himself at all.

The series progresses – slowly – as Sora learns more about the world, helping Midorikawa come to grips with his magical power along the way and creating a romance between the two along the way.  However, unknown to Midorikawa, Sora has a special reason why she wants to train as a mage.

This series, if viewed from very high, may not be all that bad a work, but once you start watching the episodes, several problems immediately start to show themselves.  First, the pacing, as a alluded to above, is slow.  Very slow.  Painfully slow.  I usually have a problem when doing episode reviews of having my reviews be too long and having too many screenshots.  This series presented me with the opposite problem: so little happened that I struggled to even write about what was going on.

While the development that did happen in the first 3/4 of the series of so is pretty good (however much of it there was), the last quarter of the series took a turn which turned the entire series on it’s head, and not necessarily in a good way.  Some people may like the twist at the end, but I found it needless and counterproductive.

This is all on top of the fact that the animation isn’t all that good.  The character animations look somewhat cheap, and the background animation doesn’t really impress either once one realizes that they’re essentially photoshopped real life photos.  If one likes really slow Dramas with romance thrown in, then you might like this, but this show might be a bit too slow for most people.

Scores

Story: 2/5
Animation: 2/5
Music: 4/5
English Dubs: N/A

Overall: 2/5

First Watched: July – September 2008
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: No

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2 thoughts on “Someday's Dreamers: Summer Skies – Anime Review

  1. I thought this may have been the best show of 2008. Development is not all plot points. I felt as if every minute of the show got me closer to the characters and their feelings. The ending may not have been necessary, but it was deep in human feeling, anyway, and gave the show a huge context.

    I thought the backgrounds were particularly excellent, despite the ranting against them in the blogosphere. They gave me a similar kind of almost religious feeling of reality as the very different backgrounds in 5 Centimeters a Second.

    Anyway, just another point of view.

  2. RAAAAAAAAGE!!!!

    Actually, I quite understand your viewpoint on the pacing and animation. Someday’s Dreamers: Summer Skies is completely atypical of what one would expect from anime, and that’s offputting for a lot of people.

    What makes me love the show so much is that it’s so believable. People like to praise realism in anime, well here’s the most real story of kids going to school I’ve ever seen, sans the usual exaggerations and tropes popular in the medium. And it all starts with the depth of the characterization. Everyone in that summer class eerily resembles someone I’ve actually gone to school with. Their personalities, motivations, faults, and backgrounds are subtly revealed over the course of time, like meeting and interacting with people in real life. The adults too aren’t outrageous archetypes but believable individuals with lives and interests of their own.

    The background art might come off as a little cheap (and the character animations are definitely sketchy) but I found that they added to the grounded sense of believability the show strives for, like these people were actually walking around the streets of real life Tokyo.

    The twist at the end was well done in that it gave everything that happened before it enormously different meaning. The first episode about Sora saying goodbye to her mom and friends, her optimism and regrets at her first jobs, your perspective of these events is profoundly changed when you watch them again with the knowledge of her condition. I love that kind of rewatch value that emerges from masterful writing. There’s real craftsmanship at work.

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