On his 16th birthday, Tomokazu Mikuri had a realistic dream where he sees a girl battling a giant floating monstrosity. When he wakes up, he is surprised that the girl is actually sleeping next to him... Whenever he sleeps from now on, he ends up back at the dream world, and more and more people that he knows keep showing up there too. He finds out from a mysterious masked woman in the dream world named Silk that they are fighting against one named Faydoom, and he is the one who provides the powers to those girls so that they can fight these monsters. And so it goes...
Yumeria is your typical harem anime. Loser guy with no girlfriend finds mysterious girl and suddenly has girls falling all over him. While there is nothing particularly remarkable about this series it does everything well enough to be a solid series.
The story is weak but has just enough to keep you interested throughout. Since the series is short the lack of any real story depth doesn’t hurt it too much. Nothing earth shattering or original and the plot twists are predictable and simplistic. Tomokazu and his friends find themselves thrust into a dream world where they have to do
battle with monsters trying to break through to the real world. While this sounds like it might be exciting with lots of battles and action there isn’t. While a lot of episodes have battles in them they are usually very short and doesn’t really pick up until the end. Yumeria also tries to be a romance as well but doesn’t see it through to the end. Pretty much all of the romantic elements are left open at the end. As with most harem genre shows there is plenty of panty shots, boob jiggle, and echiiness but it is all pretty tame.
Characters are fun and enjoyable, though they are a bit underdeveloped. The story leaves a lot of questions about the backgrounds of the main characters and the back story that is given is simple and not very detailed. Still they all manage to develop their personalities well and by episode 4 all the main characters have been introduced. There are very few supporting characters but the one who really steals the show is Ishikari, Tomokazu's teacher. He has a number of hilarious lines.
Visually Yumeria is mixed, some of the animation looks really great but at other times it falls flat. Particularly in the opening animation the characters look odd compared to how they are drawn in the rest of the series. The OP and ED songs are ok, nothing really great just ordinary. The background music though is terrible. It sounds dated and just didn’t fit. Voice acting was pretty good, though Mone got pretty annoying by episode 5.
There are a lot of far worse shows than this out there. Still it does have a number of laughs. If you want a solid series to enjoy than this is a good pick, but just don’t expect anything new or groundbreaking.
This anime can stand on its own. The story is fairly straight forward, no fillers. It kept me interested throughout, heck I watched all 12 episodes in an evening.
The characters were enjoyable. There wasn't much beating around the bush as far as romance was concerned, which suited me quite well. Nobody "did" it (Like the first episode of REC!), you still have the blushing and accidental bath scenes. It was just refreshing to have people like each other without dragging it on for eons. The classmate and the elder sister type were especially enjoyable. The younger characters were quite fun as well.
I'd say the
balance between story, humor, and fighting were pretty well done. Perhaps a few of the "power up" sequences were a bit repetitive, but hey thats how they got some brief ecchi in. There honestly wasn't THAT much. I think it was just the right amount, for those who aren't a big fan of that.
The art suited my tastes . Beautiful, not too young, cute.
Some con's perhaps would be if you're into fighting, the repetitive "powers" probably wouldn't do it for you.
I had originally scored 7's across the board, but in writing the review, i'm going to bump up a few.
Yumeria should come with the subtitle "an adventure in mediocrity", when it comes to games NAMCO (usually) try and to do something different or at least attempt to put an original spin on a tried and tested formula (see the Tales series), but with regards to Yumeria, there's doing things by the book and then there's copying the book word for word. Whilst it manages to avoid some of the major harem clichés, it falls slap bang on to every one for the action/magical girl genre like a combine harvester in a minefield.
The story is too poor to analyse in any real detail, just
some lame protagonist and his magical girl friends save the world whilst ignoring a lacklustre love interest sub-plot that never develops. The harem parts of the series aren't littered with fanservice, so at least that's something. That's pretty much all there is to the plot, what little there is incredibly generic and if you can't see the plot twists coming, maybe it's time to stop wearing pants on your head. Despite this it's pretty well paced, episodes don't get ahead of themselves and the series ends when it should.
The animation is of the modern anime standard; it gets the job done but hardly leaves the viewer drooling. The dream world where much of the series takes place is pretty bland as well as having a hint of "The World" from .hack about it. The real world is nothing to rave about either. The special attacks are pleasing to the eye, well at least they are for the first ten times. Characters designs are solid for the most part if lacking in the imagination department. A special mention is needed for the Faydoom, the enemies of in the show. The are possibly the least threatening looking enemies in anything ever, they're literally oversized pieces of Lego that shoot lasers.
Soundtrack was surprisingly good, background music really suited the series and certainly added to the situation. The opening theme "24 Jikan Aishiteru" by Moyu Arishima & Tamaki Nakanishi is decent despite some ghastly animation during it, the ending theme "precious treasure" by Masumi Asano is real treat though. Voice acting is good enough although 'Mone' can getting a little irritating after the first one hundred times.
Considering the majority of the cast is female, it speaks volumes that the only likeable characters are the two male ones, one of which is the class teacher, a minor support character who brings some good laughs to the series. The female cast play their stereotypes well, whilst being as generic as possible. If the plot wasn't so predictable, the characters are still so dull its hard to sympathise with them all.
Yumeria isn't the most enjoyable of series, it's a struggle to get through some episodes, there are few good comedy scenes and few decent fight scenes, but the shows eagerness to show the same transformation scenes and special attacks can get really annoying. Overall it does just enough to keep the viewer interested, despite being generic, predictable and nothing already in many other shows, deserving of a 5.5 really.
I had a blast watching Yumeria. Being a person who is rather tired of the harem genre, I was surprised that I loved this show as I much as I did. While it doesn't boast many new ideas than what's already been done, it's comedy feels a bit refreshing, the art is very vibrant and beautiful, the girls in the show are all lovely, and there is enough gratuitous fan service to satisfy without offending.
What sets this immediately from other harem titles that came out around the same time here in the U.S. (Marburaho and Girls Bravo), is the personality of Tomakazu Mikuri. He's
still as much of a loser as any other character you've seen, but unlike Keitaro in Love Hina, Kazuki in Maburaho, or whatever the kid's name in Girls Bravo was, Mikuri has a solid sense of comedic timing that goes beyond just seeing a girl naked in a hot spring and doing a double take, or being on the receiving end of a super kick for seeing panties (that's all still intact, mind you). He's a pretty refreshing character whose more well-rounded than other guys, and I compare him to Tenchi, who is also a bit underrated in the same respect. All five girls are running cliches that you've seen elsewhere, but that doesn't mean they aren't fun. Here's a brief cap of them;
Mone: Speaks only one word, borders on kawaii overload at times
Nanase: Mikuri's sexy guardian, pretty ditzy, but is she hot!
Mizuki: The brainy girl next door, bashfulness makes her really cute
Kuyou: Mikuri's childhood friend with little sister appeal rather than love rival.
Neneko: Probably would've been cuter if Mone didn't exist, but they gel well.
Pick and choose them as individuals, but as a unit, they are all enjoyable. The abusive homeroom teacher is awesome as well.
The animation is pretty slick, even if footage is reused for the ladies' transformation scenes (I didn't complain, these girls are worth leering at in my book), and the character designs are full of life, especially Nanase, who bounces around more than a D.O.A girl. The final two episodes do some really nice visual tricks that are kinda cool, and the action plays out pretty well placed without getting too cluttered or confusing. The dream world put me in the mind of a backdrop ripped out of .hack//SIGN, but it's surreal nonetheless. Whether it's for the beautiful girls or....oh hell, it's the girls...Yumeria is great to look at. Take that, super-skinny girls in Burn Up W.
Most of the humor is partly due to the English dubbed track. Most of the voice actors do a pretty decent job. Chris Patton, a voice actor I hate (it's an understatement just how much I don't like him) is alright as Mikuri, and Britanny Karbowski does a great job at accentuating Mone's....well, "mones" to reflect what mood she's in. It's not super impressive, but it's the little things like that to make it less monotone.
IN CLOSING: Yumeria is one of the last harem-themed comedies I enjoyed before they began to overflow the anime market, deluding the formula with carbon copies (Samurai Harem spawns Onimari Himari) simply existing to show girls in compromising positions. It's light-hearted, fun, not too perverted to make you feel dirty but gives enough for great eye candy, the girls are sexy and cute and entertaining (except maybe Neneko), and tiny bits of suspense and intrigue happens early on to keep you interested in the plot, even if the story is a bit flawed. All in all, this is a pretty solid title.
OVERALL SCORE: 8 out of 10
PROS: Lovely girls (that Nanase is foxy), well balanced comedy, a lot of fun
CONS: Might not be ecchi enough for some, a weird poorly explained climax