“Someday’s Dreamers” was one of my favorite series of the last decade, and now a sequel, “Someday’s Dreamers II: Sora,” has made its way to these shores thanks to Sentai Filmworks and Section23 Films.
It doesn’t have the same charm of the original, which Sentai Filmworks kindly re-released earlier this year, but it’s pleasant enough in its own right even if the ending disappoints a bit.
If they hadn’t put “Someday’s Dreamers” in the title, though, you’d hardly know it was a sequel. Not only are none of the original characters in it, but the way magic works has changed, as well, especially in the visuals. Even the animation style is different, with photo backgrounds that sometimes look ever so slightly touched with a Photoshop filter.
What remain are the modern-day Tokyo settings, a laid-back attitude and the characters’ need to be licensed to use magic.
In this 12-episode story, another rural girl, Sora, must brave the big city to train to be a mage. She lives and works with a mentor while taking classes from the Bureau of Magic. No earth-shattering battles or vast magical conspiracies here — just a sweet coming-of-age tale of a girl and her new group of friends.
They work with clients, try to save a pod of beached dolphins, consider quitting, even fall in love as they go about their summer. It’s a sweet pace and, like the original, a nice break from more frenetic series.
But the original had far more engaging characters and more interesting conflicts among them. Everyone from Sora on down here is pretty bland and predictable with little real friction. This time around, it’s a little too sweet. And then the ending comes along and makes you think, “Aw, nuts.”
But it does have a couple things going for it. While the visuals of the magic aren’t much to write home about, they do do some neat things with the theory behind it. And like the original, it’s got a great soundtrack, though this one features a street-singer name Yasuko who does several enjoyable numbers over the course of the series. It has some good instrumentals, too, but it’s Yasuko’s songs that really pull it together.
Of the two series, I’d definitely recommend the first over this one. But if you’ve already seen and enjoyed the original, you’ll still find something to like with its sequel.