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New reviews from doinkies!, aka the Ribon Double Feature + Someday's Dreamers

Here are some new THEM reviews from doinkies!


NAME
Someday's Dreamers

GENRE:
Fantasy / Slice-of-life

LENGTH
Television series, 12 episodes

DISTRIBUTOR
R1 DVDs available from Geneon

INFO
©2002 Yamada Norie / Daiei / PNDTK / TV Asahi

STATUS
Full (12/12)

VERSION(S)
Prerelease fansub, R1 DVDs

AKA
Mahoutsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto

RELATED

NOTES
This anime is based on the manga by Yamada Norie and Yoshizuki Kumichi, which ran in the fantasy magazine Dragon (the same magazine that brought us Dragon Half and Scrapped Princess).

SYNOPSIS
Kikuchi Yume is a girl from the little town of Tono in Iwate Prefecture, who has come to Tokyo to train as an apprentice mage. With her teacher, Oyamada Masami, she learns to grant wishes to those who ask for them, along with important life lessons...

REVIEW
With its slow pace, I first thought that Someday's Dreamers would be the next Kokoro Library: boring, dull, and doinky. Fortunately, it was the opposite. I enjoyed this anime a lot.
I enjoyed the plot and most of the characters. Although Yume is a country girl, she doesn't act like a hick buffoon. She acts like somebody in real life, somebody who is awed by some of the things in the big city that she has never seen before. Oyamada Masami himself is also an interesting character. Although he has an angsty past, he is not the type who constantly doinks about it, which is also refreshing.
The world of this anime is one where magic is not feared and despised, but one where it is welcomed. It's similar to our ordinary world, and not everyone has magic powers. Only a small minority of people have powers, which are usually used to grant the wishes of those who ask, no matter if it be big or small. I found this world fascinating to watch.
The animation is great for a TV series, extremely detailed and colorful. No toilet colors or jerky movements here, everything is excellently done. The music is also good, with the opening song being a mournful ballad, and the ending song being more upbeat, but not in a hyper way, and with a sort of "down-home" feel to it. Both songs fit this anime well. As for Geneon's dub, it was a little doinky, because not only did they keep the Japanese honorifics in the dub (which sounds rather "fanboyish" to me), but they also kept on gabbering about SPECIAL POWERS™, so that your average dub script for each episode would be "blahblahblah...SPECIAL POWERS blah blah blah blah doink SPECIAL POWERS doink blah".
It's kind of sad that this anime is so short at only 12 episodes. When I watched the last episode, I wanted more immediately.
In short, I enjoyed Someday's Dreamers despite its short length, and I would recommend it.


RATING
****

RATING TEXT
An enjoyable, if short, anime. Subtract two stars if you don't like slow-paced anime.

AUDIENCE
There is not much violence and sex. Some parents might not like the episode where Oyamada goes to a bar and is served by a skimpy-dressed waitress, but aside from that, this anime is suitable for the whole family.

MOVIE RATING
G (pretty much nothing objectionable)

RECOMMEND
Kiki's Delivery Service

REVIEW BY
Jennifer B. (doink-chan)


NAME
Hime-chan's Ribbon

GENRE
Magical girl

LENGTH
Television series, 61 episodes

DISTRIBUTOR
Currently unlicensed in North America

INFO
©1993 Mizusawa Megumi/Shueisha/TV Tokyo/NAS

STATUS
Preliminary (4/61)

VERSION(S)
Prerelease fansub

AKA
Hime-chan no Ribon

RELATED

NOTES
Based on the manga by Mizusawa Megumi, which ran in (surprise) Ribon.

SYNOPSIS
Nonohara Himeko (often nicknamed "Hime-chan") is a tomboyish girl who loves playing sports, and has a crush on the class senpai, Daichi. One day, the princess of the Magic World, Erika, comes down to Earth to look for someone who resembles her. She finds Hime-chan and gives her a magic ribbon that can transform you into anyone you want. It also makes Hime-chan's stuffed animal, Pokota, talk and move! How will Hime-chan use this newfound power?

REVIEW
Hime-chan's Ribbon was one of the first fansubbed anime I saw (the first being, of course, Sailor Moon). This was back in the days when all digisubs were in .rm format, were copied from tapesubs, and had doinky quality. Despite this, I enjoyed watching Hime-chan's Ribbon.
Hime-chan's Ribbon is one of those old fashioned magical girl shows. Hime-chan does not use the ribbon to fight evil, she just uses it for fun. However, there are rules to using the ribbon. You can't remain in your transformed state for over 10 minutes or else you will stay in your transformed state forever, you can't overuse it and Hime-chan can only have it for a year, which is typical of these kinds of shows.
Hime-chan herself is a likeable character, who isn't a whiny annoying doink, although her family is more "stereotypical magical girl family". Unlike in most other magical girl shows, the family plays a role in this series and Hime-chan often transforms into her different family members to help them. Pokota is your typical "stern guardian" type, with an annoying voice, Erika and Daichi are a little bland and Erika's talking broom Chappy (a reference to the old magical girl show Mahoutsukai Chappy) has the doinkiest voice ever.
As for the animation, it's pretty good for 1993, about the same quality as early Sailor Moon but not as doinky as Miracle Girls' animation, although a lot of the characters look nothing like the original Mizusawa Megumi designs for the manga. The color is a bit faded, but I imagine it looked great back in 1993. The OP and ED songs are doinky, though, and prove that SMAP cannot sing!
I enjoyed Hime-chan's Ribbon despite some of its flaws. It's a fun, cute series that's worth watching if you like magical girl shows. I look back on it with fondness, and I hope I'll get to see more of it in the future if I can find more episodes of it.


RATING
***

RATING TEXT
An average series, but still enjoyable. Subtract two stars if you hate cutesy magical girl shows.

AUDIENCE
Well, it was made for 6-12 year old girls who read Ribon, so there isn't much to be offended by in here, unless you're one of those doinks who thinks anything involving magic is evil. It's pretty much wholesome family entertainment.

MOVIE RATING
G (nothing objectionable)

RECOMMEND
Fancy Lala, Full Moon o Sagashite, Ultra Maniac

REVIEW BY
Jennifer B. (doink-chan)


NAME
Kero Kero Chime

GENRE
Fantasy comedy

LENGTH
Television series, 30 episodes

DISTRIBUTOR
Currently unlicensed in North America

INFO
©1997 Fujita Maguro/Shueisha/Studio Comet/TV Tokyo/NAS

STATUS
Preliminary (6/30)

VERSION(S)
Prerelease fansub

AKA
Ribbit Ribbit Chime

RELATED

NOTES
This anime is based on the manga of the same name by Fujita Maguro, which ran in Ribon magazine.

SYNOPSIS
Aoi was an ordinary boy...until a wizard from the Land of Frogs, Makaeru, splashed magical water over him, turning Aoi into a frog. (Yes, folks, a frog.) Makaeru then throws Aoi into a tree trunk, transporting him to the Land of Frogs. He is found by Princess Mimori, Makaeru's sister, and together they go on a quest to find the missing pages of the Magic Book that can remove Aoi's curse. For you see, when Aoi gets wet, he turns into a frog, and when he is dry, he turns back into a human...

REVIEW
Kero Kero Chime tries to be a cute, fun, entertaining fantasy romp in the vein of Akazukin Chacha, or possibly Mahoujin Guru Guru. Unfortunately, it fails at this mission, and thus is nothing more than doinky.
Yes, I know this review will be shocking. Jennifer "Full Moon wo Sagashite is my absolute favorite shoujo anime ever" B. giving a bad review to a shoujo anime? Nonsense, you say. But not every anime is the Best Ever™...especially Kero Kero Chime.
Now, just why is Kero Kero Chime so bad? Well, let's see.
1. It has a derivative plot. Really folks, how many times have you seen shows with boys who can transform into girls/frogs/fluffy doinks by contact with water? Many times, I should imagine. And Kero Kero Chime doesn't add anything new to that. It simply has those requisite Komedic Moments™, such as Aoi trying to get water from a stream, falling in and, whoops, turning into a frog! Let's not even mention that when Aoi turns back into a human, he is *gasp* naked! My, how original! </sarcasm> The main plot itself simply tries to follow in the footsteps of its Ribon sister Akazukin Chacha by setting it in a fantasy world. Unfortunately, it does not have the fun characters and humor that made Akazukin Chacha so great, and so it flounders. Speaking of doinky characters...
2. It has awful characters. Aoi is your typical Blustering Doink™, just like Ranma. He constantly calls people "bakayarou" (bastard or stupid dork) and has an awful temper. Indeed, it seems each episode goes like this: Mimori gets into some trouble and doinks about it, Aoi gets doinked off and calls everyone a "bakayarou", something happens involving magic, and everything is OK. And that happens *every* episode. For that matter, the Female Lead™, Mimori, is an annoying doink with the whiniest voice I have ever heard. She is constantly naive, and not in the cute way like, say, Usagi from Sailor Moon...she's just an annoying whiny brat who I want to punch in the face. The supporting characters are just as one-dimensionally doinky as Aoi and Mimori.
3. The animation is doinky. Geez, if you looked at the animation for this series, you might think it was made in 1987 rather than 1997. It's just that bad. The animators try hard to capture Fujita Maguro's art style (especially the big, buggy eyes that are larger than the eyes of any other anime character), and they fail miserably. Along with the characters looking ugly, the color is dull and doinky looking. The frame rate is mostly good, about the same as Mizuiro Jidai's, but there are some episodes where it is terrible.
4. The music is painful. The OP and ED are your typical fare for a series like this, in other words, they're bouncy and annoying and high-pitched and screechy. They were just pitiful to listen to.
When you look at all these reasons, it's easy to imagine how Kero Kero Chime got overshadowed by Kodomo no Omocha back when it was first released, and is mostly forgotten today. I simply can't recommend this to anybody, unless you really like shoujo anime or you want to see every anime ever adapted from a Ribon manga.


RATING
*

RATING TEXT
The ending song tells you to "Check it out!", but I would suggest otherwise.

AUDIENCE
There are some scenes of nudity when Aoi transforms back into a human, but it isn't explicit and only played for laughs. I suppose it's OK for kids, but I don't think even they would want to sit through this doinky anime.

MOVIE RATING
PG (comedic nudity)

RECOMMEND
(watch this instead) Akazukin Chacha

Enjoy!

(crossposted to doinkies)
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