ADV Films // 2004 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Mac McEntire // February 9th, 2006
Wake up and smell the insanity!
You wouldn't know it to look at him, but 15-year-old Tomokazu is the key to saving the world. At night, when he's sleeping, he meets up with several warriors in a dream world to fight off nightmare creatures who are intent on escaping into the world of waking. These warriors are actually the various cute girls in his life. There's Mizuki, a shy, studious girl who's his best friend; Neneko, an amateur detective; Kuyou, a family friend who just returned from studying abroad; and Mone, a girl with an unknown past who, when she speaks, only says her own name. When not fighting monsters in their dreams, this group hangs out and has fun during the day. Tomokazu tends to be nervous and awkward around girls, and these ladies let him know whenever they think he's being a pervert.
Now, as Yumeria heads towards its explosive finale in this final volume, various characters reveal their secrets as to what they know about Tomokazu and his destiny. See, although the girls are the ones who do most of the fighting in the dream world, they get all their energy from Tomokazu, making him the key to saving the Earth from living nightmares. There's one more twist -- in order to permanently drive back their enemies, one of the girls must be sacrificed.
This being the grand conclusion, most of the slapstick comedy from previous episodes takes a back seat, with emphasis on the fantasy adventure story arc. That's probably a good thing, because the one humor episode on this disc is an embarrassment, in which a plan to find Mone's long lost family ends up with some of the girls dressed up in sexy "bunny" costumes. Naturally, Tomokazu's obnoxiously horny school principal shows up during these scenes for a few additional sleazy jokes.
Once that's over, though, everything builds right along to the ending. It's quite the relief to see Yumeria doesn't end like some other high-profile anime series. Many famous anime series take a left turn into strange surrealism for their endings, leaving fans confused and frustrated. Although it does appear for a moment that Yumeria follows that route, I'm pleased to report that everything ties together neatly at the end. It's perhaps a predictable conclusion, but satisfying nonetheless.
The final four episodes are on this disc, all with a nice transfer, filled with bright, rich colors. The audio continues to be excellent for "only" a stereo track, making the most of the big explosions and the squealing teen girls. As with the previous two releases in this series, the only extras are the text-free opening and closing, reversible cover art with some cheesecake shots of the girls on the other side, and trailers for six other ADV releases.
Yumeria isn't a bad series. There's nothing necessarily wrong with it. It's just even casual anime fans won't see much here they haven't seen elsewhere. There's the likable loser stuck in a house with a "harem" of cute girls, and there's the otherworldly heroes fighting giant robotic beasties. It's light-hearted and fast-paced, but of little substance or originality. If you really want to see it in order to satisfy that anime craving, we suggest a rental.
Pleasant dreams, Tomokazu.
Review content copyright © 2006 Mac McEntire; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: ADV Films
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Japanese)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Clean Opening and Closing
* Reversible Cover
* Yumeria Online
* Volume One Review
* Volume Two Review