Someday’s Dreamers: Tokyo Tower Cannot Withstand the Power of Love

I can only imagine the terror of random passerby as Angela here bent Tokyo Tower just to prove she’s in love with someone.

I’ve watched over half of Mahou Tsukai na Taisetsu na Koto/Someday’s Dreamers now, and it’s a quite solid series. Episodes 6 and 8, Kera’s “I want to be a mage!” and Angela’s Tokyo Tower calisthenics performance, respectively, were both incredibly impressive on a writing and direction level, in a way I wouldn’t have expected.

The main episode I want to focus on is 8, since it’s much fresher in my mind than 6 at this point, and at any rate the episode itself illustrates an interesting point about Japanese storytelling style, I think. The main focus of 8 was the mysterious goings-on involving Angela, who, unbeknownst to herself, but knownst to the astute viewer, is slowly falling in love with a character introduced in 7, Inoue. She’s a bit of a tsundere about it, though, being Angela, and she doesn’t quite understand her own feelings on the matter, so she initially rejects Inoue. Through Yume’s persistence in explaining Inoue’s kindness to an Angela who superficially seems to dislike him, but in reality cares for him deeply, Angela realizes the truth behind her still-mysterious feelings and awkwardly confesses to Inoue, which leads to confusion and the mighty sight of Tokyo Tower twisting impossibly.

What this series does well, especially in this episode, is evoke a certain kind of emotion from the characters. Slice-of-life series frequently deal with emotions that are either extremely complex, or physically or mentally hard to bear. Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto has accomplished both fairly well over the course of its run, and, while it may not be the Best Thing Since Sliced Jesus, it’s certainly not a series easily dismissed (unless one is not quite paying attention).

The thing about tackling the complex issues of these emotions, sometimes the Japanese way of storytelling takes an interesting approach. Here, instead of having a complex character, the character instead acts as a vehicle for complex emotions. This is probably what leads many people to criticize various kinds of anime for failing to adequately develop a character’s personality, and, as a result, sometimes have them behave in almost arbitrary fashion according to the whim of the author. I saw this phenomenon in this episode, and I’ve seen it before, the first example that pops in my head being Socrates in Love.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing, per se; it’s rather a different approach to the function of a story. It could be likened to a myth: the story does not exist as a story, but rather to illustrate some form of human truth through the actions and reactions of the characters. From the Western standpoint, the presence of “poorly” developed characters is a flaw; depending on how the story is supposed to function. However, what I think is more important to the viewers of series such as Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto isn’t the astounding character development, but rather the emotional content within. Developing a character’s emotions can be seen as a function of character development, and, while the optimal character will both act realistic and have depth of emotion (this being the reason I remain so enamored with true tears, because that’s exactly what it did), the lack of one or the other isn’t, by itself, a damning flaw of the work as a whole. If handled poorly, it contributes, but if the series is cognizant of its own flaws and elects not to correct them, but instead focus on what they are doing well, it could be counted against the series, but I, at least, would not hold it against it. I’m a firm believer in liking a series for what it does well, and not disliking it for what it doesn’t do well.

As for Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto, well, I stand by my comment in the first post on the subject that it’s a worthwhile use of $30 to pick up the whole series. For one, it’s three less Geneon DVDs sitting around TRSI’s warehouse collecting dust. They may collect dust in your possession, depending on your assessment of the series, but for those who liked other slice-of-life series, it’s not much, and you get another dose of the genre you love! Plus really cool DVD covers! How can you go wrong?

2 Responses to “Someday’s Dreamers: Tokyo Tower Cannot Withstand the Power of Love”

  1. 1 testman 12 April 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Actually I finished this series several years ago
    It is really a good show, especially the first 2 episodes. But “insufficient fund” crashed this anime’s last few episodes… Just like …
    Generally speaking, successfully created a warm and realistic world parallelly running with ours. And Yume Kikuchi is really cute :)

  2. 2 testman 12 April 2008 at 10:45 pm

    seems all words included in sharp brackets are missing… o___O

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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April 2008

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