"Someday's Dreamers, Vol. 3: Precious Feelings" offers the final four episodes of this achingly beautiful, heartfelt dramatic series and brings the story to a powerful, uplifting close. The 12-episode Japanese animated TV series posits a near-future where a government "Bureau of Mage Labor" recruits and trains "mages" to use their Special Powers (usually of a psychic nature) for the civic good. The focus here is on a group of young people in training in Tokyo, with special emphasis on one girl, a young teenager from rural Japan named Yume. The story arc contained in these episodes follows Yume's crisis of confidence after an elderly client regrets her request for a "mage action" and suffers a disaster thereafter. Yume plays back the events and incidents leading up to this point, seeks advice from her teacher, friends and fellow trainees, and goes off on her own for an all-night journey of self-discovery, before coming to a plateau of understanding.
This series, particularly in its final stage, has several messages for adolescent and teenaged viewers about using your skills wisely, accepting the inevitability of loss and defeat, and not always second-guessing yourself. Fans with the patience to stay with it past the slow parts and overlook some of the New Age-type magical touches (e.g. Yume's all-purpose dolphin spirit entity) will be amply rewarded by the great care taken in the dialogue and characterizations to pass on basic truths about love, destiny, purpose, inner power, sacrifice and growth.
Despite the supernatural flourishes, the animation is executed in a straightforward, realistic style, both in character design and background detail. The action is rooted firmly in the streets and neighborhoods of contemporary Tokyo. (One valuable extra on the DVD offers a slide show of color photos of Tokyo taken to provide models for much of the background art in the series.) The home base for most of the characters is a "salsa club," owned and operated by Yume's teacher, Masami Oyamada, who employs most of the other main characters. The multicultural flavor introduced by this club and its Latin music sounds is enhanced by the multinational range of characters, which include the attractive Latina bartender, Milinda, and the dour English mage, Angela, with her large cross pendant, long skirts, and short blond hair.