Very few people seem to have watched this anime. I had to watch it wthout subs because they did not seem available. Either way, this is not an outstanding show; it is pretty short and the story is fairly simple. On the positive side, we get to experience SHAFT before head-tilts and some pretty cheesy 1980s music.
I honestly think the anime is too short ot merit a review, but I found it interesting enough to guide people to watch it. It's refreshing to see the changes in anime since the 1980s. Imagine being asked to smell coffee beans in a perfume shop to recalibrate
your nostrils to keep discerning between the floral scents the perfumery keeps thrusting at your face. This anime is the coffee beans in the analogy.
The characters were your average high-school girl and boy. There are rumours of the girl taking part in AVs however, which is sure to put a strain on any burgeoning relationship between the MCs. We also have the MCs generic best-friend and childhood friend who are hindrances to the blossoming love. Don't get me wrong, the characters are not interesting enough that we are actively rooting for the MCs to get together. We simply know that is the way the anime is supposed to proceed. It is not subtle in its approach at all.
The music I liked. As I said, cheesy 1980s music that had me cringing and then laughing along.
This anime is at best a 6. Nothing unusual, but it is worth watching simply because of how long ago it was made to see how far the anime industry has changed since then. That's why I watched it and I was not disapppointed.
Yume Kara, Samenai is a single-episode OVA, and also a SHAFT work. To be more precise, this is SHAFT's first-ever original work. Despite being founded in 1975, SHAFT didn't get around to actually making their own original anime until Yume Kara, Samenai in 1987, but they did work on animation as a subcontractor in the years preceding Yume Kara's release. This OVA is one of the lesser known SHAFT works, so much so that you've probably never heard of it before you clicked on this page. Suffice it to say, there are no English subtitles for this work. If the synopsis has piqued your interest
in this OVA, allow me to apologise, as this OVA is only available in Japanese, unfortunately. It isn't very high-level Japanese, though. If you are still interested in giving Yume Kara a shot, just know that what you see is what you get. The synopsis is so short because there is almost nothing else you can say about this series. It's not lazy writing--it's a concise summary of everything there is to this OVA. If you still want to take up the challenge of watching Yume Kara in Japanese, I must advise that you lower your expectations appropriately. It's not that Yume Kara is particularly bad, because it isn't. It's merely mediocre. If you're interested in SHAFT's roots, you have a green light from me to go ahead and watch Yume Kara right now. At the very least, you'll come out of this venture into the past with a newfound respect for SHAFT's more modern works.
SHAFT is the studio behind several commercial hits such as the pretentiously surreal Monogatari series, the cute but callous Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and the cynically comedic Sayounara Zetsubou Sensei. If you've been around in the anime community for a decent amount of time, you've likely heard of at least one of these notable series, if you haven't already sat down to watch them. The one thing all of these series have in common, aside from their vast commercial success and how highly regarded they are, is a distinctive art and narrative style. If you've seen one SHAFT work, you can likely identify another just by taking a look at the front cover. If not by the art, you will be able to tell by the high-octane dialogue, the trademark head-tilts, the constant irritating jump-cuts, and the imaginative but simple symbolism. It is rare to confuse another studio's work for one of SHAFT's. However, on the flip-side, there are a number of SHAFT works that you wouldn't immediately be able to identify as such--Yume Kara takes it a step further and makes it impossible for you to identify it as a SHAFT work unless you were told outright. The artwork is very generic and does nothing but conform to the style of the time. There is nothing that pops in the art, and the animation doesn't fare any better. There is nothing endearing about either the art or the animation, and it's difficult to tell whether this was average or slightly below average for the time. If you are a fan of SHAFT's distinctive cinematography, you will not find it in Yume Kara. While it is hardly surprising, what with it being SHAFT's very first work, it is still disappointing to discover that Yume Kara's art style is completely unremarkable, with none of the visual flare of series such as Monogatari.
There isn't a whole lot to say about the sound work, either. The voice acting is mediocre and the voices themselves are immersion-breaking to hear. This was pretty characteristic of anime back then, and once again, Yume Kara completely conforms to the standard of the time. The soundtrack is mostly unmemorable, though serviceable. The actual sounds themselves, such as the crying cicadas, are somewhat grating to listen to almost three decades later. Whether this is a product of the era or simply another case of Yume Kara falling below standard, the sound work is slightly unpleasant to listen to at best. Don't expect anything in this department.
Finally, onto the meat of the show: its flimsy narrative and its boring characters. I hesitate to label Yume Kara a character-driven narrative because it doesn't have much character and there isn't much of a narrative either. There is a very basic plotline set up solely for the purpose of having the characters interact with each other. The synopsis effectively articulates everything there is to the narrative: the protagonist is interested in a girl who is rumoured to have starred in pornography. That's all there really is to the first 30 minutes of this OVA, and it only really starts to become somewhat interesting in the final 6 minutes. There is no real conflict in Yume Kara. The students are aware of the rumours surrounding Sao, but the most they do is snicker about it to themselves with her in the room. There isn't any bullying or lecturing. While that means Yume Kara ends up being quite boring, I feel that it is an accurate representation of the class's response if that situation were to occur in real life. Most people wouldn't actually confront Sao about it; they would only use it as a joke to fuel their conversations. Yume Kara is a romance at heart, and the plotline is only really a stage for the characters. Unfortunately, because the plotline is so bland, uninteresting with mediocre execution, it affects the characterisation and development of the characters. There are, fortunately, very few cringeworthy moments. However, there are no hooks in this narrative. It's something you have to slog through. There is nothing that will make you want to keep watching it, aside from reassurance that the OVA is only 36 minutes long. The final 6 minutes of the OVA is what it had been building up to the entire time, but the payoff is mediocre. It's an improvement from mediocre to not-completely-mediocre.
The main issue I had with Yume Kara was that it was really, really boring. It was extremely bland all the way through. There isn't actually that much dialogue in this OVA, but what little there is fails to add any character to the archetypes they are in their introduction. Yume Kara does have romance, but it's quite dry. On the upside, the romantic development is actually somewhat subtle, which is something I have to give the OVA props for. This brings me to one of Yume Kara's strong points: everything makes sense. While there are some questionable circumstances, if you look into the subtext, there is a sufficient explanation for the aforementioned circumstances. The characters are flat and mostly uninteresting, but everything they do makes sense. The main leads actually don't have that much chemistry, but I don't mind that. To me, this is a story about a lonely girl who uses love as an attempt to cope with said loneliness. There is nothing to say about our protagonist, except that I would have preferred if Sao was the protagonist. Sao was the only character I found somewhat interesting, but they never delved deep enough into her character for me to care about her. If they did end up working on her character, and her motivations surrounding her involvement with AV, she might have even made a compelling character. Hell, that alone would have made this OVA an interesting commentary that delves into the thoughts and feelings of Japanese high school girls that end up participating in AVs. But Yume Kara didn't do that. In reality, Sao is a character that is never really fleshed out despite having some mildly interesting traits. The narrative, along with the characters that propel it, feels very dry and very bland.
Yume Kara is a slog. It is a dry romance with generic, one-dimensional characters that are never properly characterised. However, there is some decent subtle character development for the female lead throughout. Yume Kara has a generic art style with subpar animation and grating sound work. Aside from the technical aspects, there is one word that perfectly encapsulates everything wrong with Yume Kara's narrative: inoffensive. Yume Kara is incredibly inoffensive. Despite having a somewhat interesting premise, it only superficially explores it in the most boring, predictable way possible. There is no depth to the narrative. Everything about Yume Kara feels stock or worse. The writing is consistently mediocre throughout. Yume Kara is not the genre-breaking, standard-deviating work that you might expect from SHAFT. It is an uninspired, conformist OVA. What annoys me most about Yume Kara is that it completely destroys any potential the initial premise has with its subpar narrative. And worst of all: it's boring.
I do not recommend Yume Kara if you are seeking enjoyment--there isn't anything in Yume Kara to enjoy. The narrative is boring and uninspired, the characters are bland and uninteresting and the art could not be more generic if it tried. In spite of all of its flaws, I do recommend Yume Kara if you are seeking something of a historical piece. Ignoring all of its missteps, Yume Kara is SHAFT's first ever original work. If you want to see just how far they've come since the late '80s, then Yume Kara is the way to go. Yume Kara is a work to appreciate, not enjoy.