Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mahoutsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto

This is another older series.  Mahoutsukai ni  taisetsu na koto is translated as “things important to a mage” or “what is important to a mage”, but the series is usually just called Someday’s Dreamers.

Mahoutsukai is a nice, short (12 episodes) little series about the coming of age of a young mage.  The background is modern day but with a twist – some people are born with the ability to use magic.  Magic-users, or mages, or mahoutsukai, spend time training when they reach a certain age or certain level of magic.  The training involves not only using their magic, but also learning the conditions under which they cannot use their magic, when and on what they may not use magic.  Mages are bound by rules which protect both them and non-magic users.  The way those rules are set up, non-magic users may request magic action from mages under very strict conditions and in very clearly defined requests.  The mages in turn fulfill those requests for a fee, and are not allowed to perform magic unless it’s to fulfill a request.

The series plot follows Kikuchi Yume, a teen age mage who is coming to Tokyo to spend her summer vacation learning the rules of being a mage and using her magic.  She is assigned to a trainer mage named Oyamada Masami, and moves into his spare room.  Masami runs a salsa club, so Yume makes friends among his employees as well as with other mage-trainees as the summer progresses.  Among Yume’s friends are two other mage trainees, the very powerful British mage-trainee, Angela, and the almost powerless Japanese mage-trainee, Inoue. 

Yume comes from a family of mages where magic is accepted and taken a little for granted.  She is a powerful mage in her own right and uses her magic from her heart, striving always to accomplish the magic that will make the recipient the most happy.  She interacts with a variety of people along the way and performs magic to help them.   Early on she is unaware that mages are not supposed to perform magic without a specific request going through the mage office, but later she occasionally breaks that rule to help people.  In the course of her training she comes up against other ways of thinking too, including people that desperately want to be mages but have little to no power, and people who have mage power but don’t want it.  She not only learns about magic and mages over the summer, but about personalities and friendships.  Essentially she grows up.

One of Yume’s biggest challenges is her trainer, Masami.  Masami is jaded and doesn’t believe in using magic from the heart.  Masami uses magic as little as necessary, for exactly what’s requested and no more.   As he repeatedly tells Yume, magic cannot solve everything, and sometimes magic can do nothing.  At firstit's hard to like Masami, but then you find out his wife died in a traffic accident and although he was there and performed magic, his magic was unable to save her, so he has a reason for closing himself off from the world. 

At the end of the summer, there is a “final exam”, in which the trainee must use magic to address an issue assigned to them by the head of the magicians, Ginpun.   Ginpun assigns Yume to perform magic on Masami.  Yume isn’t given any parameters other than that.  Her solution to Masami, and her magic from the heart, really make the series.

This is a good series, with a nice, fairly unique plot, pretty, enjoyable characters and good music.  This is another series that I wish had been a little longer, but that’s just because I enjoyed it.  They did a good job of tying up plot ends and not rushing the plot.  There was one character in the Opening theme song (or was it the Ending?) that didn’t appear in the series, but besides that tiny flaw, the series was fun and is well worth watching. 

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