Posted by psgels on 11 October 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews



I’m not really sure what the creators really intended by airing both an OVA and a TV-series for Yume de Aetara at the same time. Furthermore, while Hiroshi Watanabe merely supervised the TV-series, he took it upon himself to direct the OVA. The series already was a string of ridiculously overblown deus ex machina, so with the king of cheese now behind the director’s seat, my expectations definitely weren’t high.

But what a surprise: the OVA turns out to be much better than the TV-series; it’s a really sweet romance story, and it’s actually really well written. It’s basically an alternative retelling of the series: the basic set-up is still there, but the storyline’s entirely different. It both fills in the holes of the series’ background, and it also advances its own storyline.

Nearly all of the deus ex machina of the series don’t return in the OVA. You can still spot a few here and there, but it all falls within the limits. In exchange, it really feels like the creators know their characters. They’re able to create subtle nuances in their behaviour, and also succeed in creating an effective atmosphere for the story to work with.

But the best part: Hamaoka plays a much smaller role here. She’s still there as a potential love-rival, but her number of appearances has been greatly reduced. In the OVA, she really feels like a side-character, in comparison to the TV-series where she actually got more screentime than the girl who was SUPPOSED TO BE the lead female for the story. For the OVA, you can really feel that it’s a story about Fuguno and Nagisa, as it explores both of their doubts about going into a relationship.

So overall, I’ve been pleasantly surprised here. Nearly the entire OVA basically had the same feel as the final episode of the TV-series (as, the only part of that series that was really good). The romance worked really well, and it’s one of the few times where a series has a loser protagonist, and the creators can admit that he’s a loser, and use that in their storytelling, rather than using a loser to appeal to the otaku-crowd. It’s one of these stories where you’ll really want the main couple to come together (or that was the case with me, anyway). It’s a very subtle series. Yes, subtle; a word I thought I’d never mention when talking about a Hiroshi Watanabe-anime.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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