Yumeria: Tossing and Turning (Volume 2) (DVD)

Mysteries revealed! And girls revealed, too!

Fifteen-year-old Tomokazu always gets nervous and shy around girls, so of course he ends up surrounded by them. There’s Mizuki, a shy, studious girl who’s his best friend; Neneko, an amateur detective; Kuyou, a family friend who just returned from studying abroad; and Mone, a girl with an unknown past who, when she speaks, only says her own name.

By day, this group goes to school, hangs out at the beach, and torments Tomokazu as he usually gets into some sort of compromising position with one of them. But at night, after everyone’s asleep, all five meet in their dreams, where they are warriors charged with driving back otherworldly enemies bent on escaping the dream world and destroying the waking world. Tomokazu learns that he has a great destiny, and that he’s the key to saving the world. Until that day comes, he’ll continue accidentally walking in on the girls while they’re trying on their new swimsuits.

In this second of three volumes, Yumeria continues to be a mixed bag. The tone unexpectedly jumps from screwball comedy to teen romance to sci-fi action at the drop of a hat. Although the big battle scenes were the highlight of the first volume, here they’ve become repetitive, with the same couple of attacks repeated over and over. Likewise, the humor tends to be a little repetitive as well. Just how many times can Tomokazu innocently stumble into an embarrassing situation and have the girls call him a pervert? Speaking of perverts, the insanely horny school principal from the first volume makes another unwelcome appearance here too, but thankfully he gets far less screen time.

Fortunately, there is some good here as well. The romantic tension between Mizuki and Tomokazu is very well-handled, with some nice character development for both of them. Also, Neneko reveals a new side to her personality, revealing her to be more than just comic relief, but an important part of the overall plot.

And, yes, there’s the whole “fan service” thing. This is where anime creators take their popular female characters and put them in sexy, revealing clothes. This is done, allegedly, to appeal to fans. Or perhaps it’s done for the animators’ own amusement. Either way, you better get used to several close-up looks at the girls in various stages of bathing and/or undress.

As before, the picture quality here is fine, with plenty of bright, vivid colors. The audio is pushed to the limits for a 2.0 track, providing strong, raw sound throughout. The only extras are textless opening and closing themes, reversible cover art, and trailers for six other ADV releases.

Yumeria is a “middle of the road” anime. For fans of the medium, it has all the usual perks: scantily-clad cute girls, over-the-top humor, and stylized sci-fi action.

The Verdict

For anime newcomers, we recommend a rental.

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