All Yume Tsukai released episodes
The story begins with the mysterious disappearance of Kei Mizuno into a rainy classroom having become community discourse to such a degree that the Yume Tsukai are compelled to investigate; the Kayousei Yume Tsukai Rinko Mishima interceding against a nightmare that nearly seduces Yuuka Mori into cooperating with her own abduction becomes a brief practical tutorial about dreams that manifest themselves in ghastly physical form to wreak havoc along with the role of the Yume Tsukai in counteracting them. After a labyrinthine journey to the Warabe Yuusai Toy Store, the Nichiyousei Yume Tsukai Touko Mishima explains Yuuka the situation in more detail with a brief demonstration before Rinko returns with a dream fragment; even after several in-flight paper airplanes, it is still not exactly clear what the deviant diagnostic is. A visit from the girls' aunt Misako ultimately becomes the skeleton key for Touko to learn Yuuka's prologue with Kei along with the insight of what now needs to take place; a fierce battle laden with Shinto ritualistic mechanics later, Yuuka is left with a dangerous opportunity with how she handles her feelings for Kei.
There are very few young children that actually like being in the hospital with all its endemic mechanics such as the painful medical procedures and being away from their parents for protracted periods of time even if there is a good reason for it; still, that is exactly what Setsuko Yasumara is explaining the feverish Touko about her daughter Haru when the annoyed Rinko finally catches up to her. It is not long before the two Yume Tsukai encounter the proactive proximity precautions of Haru's nightmare which proves beyond the available combat capabilities; while Rinko divides her frustration between not getting to Haru and being forced to fight the nightmare alone, Touko has devised a counter-strategy to avail at the next engagement that utilizes an iconoclastic but crucial resource -- the Kinyousei Yume Tsukai Hajime Tachibana who proves himself the skeleton key for successfully approaching Haru for insight as to the situation. While poor Rinko is stuck as a diversion, Hajime quickly makes friends with Haru as he gets right to the heart . . . or in this case, graphite of the matter. Touko now recovered from her cold and galvanized with the data of Haru's collaborative prologue with her parents, it now becomes clear what ultimately has to be done; the nightmare now conquered, Haru realizes the true meaning behind her father's injunction against troubling Setsuko who realizes that it is not her choice whether Haru sees her father.
Being a Yume Tsukai is never a boring job as Rinko has demonstrated unto her when she has barely finished her home commute from school to find a client request as a »Welcome home!!!« present that forces her to mobilize her sleepyhead recluse elder sister Touko for action the next morning. While the chagrined Rinko rails and wails at Touko in frustration, Yuuko Aomori is prosecuting a typical workday when a nightmare spawned by her infatuation with her supervisor Kouji Nagasaki begins to visibly follow her around; galvanized by the circumstances thereof while eating lunch, Touko explains Yuuko her perspective on the deviant diagnostic prior to Rinko easily subduing the nightmare. What the two Yume Tsukai do not realize is that the situation is far more complex than initially meets the eye when the nightmare's fusion with Yuuko ultimately drives home the lesson of why »indecision« is spelled as it is when the nightmare begins wreaking havoc in the office; an emphatic and effulgent demonstration of the Dream Cyclone later, Yuuko goes from lusting after Kouji to herself being lusted after by Kageki Shimane who ironically finds himself the vassal of that same nightmare.
Setting aside her powers as the Kayousei Yume Tsukai, there are many examples bolstering the perspective of Rinko Mishima as no ordinary little girl -- one of which is demonstrated unto a classmate during her home commute from school right into an impromptu afternoon business flight to Kyushu. While Rinko desperately tries to stave off air sickness and wrap her mind around the circumstances, the Doyousei Yume Tsukai Satoka Sagawa is bootstrapping herself for a rendezvous with Touko at the Nagasaki Airport. Grimacing at being forced to show Satoka the ropes of being a Yume Tsukai while Touko takes a catnap, Rinko is frustrated at how clumsily and unprofessionally Satoka does her job when Masashi Nakaoka angrily repulses their incursion; later that evening after extinguishing the subsequent adversarial divergent concourse, Touko explains Rinko her perspective on how things are far more circuitous than meets the eye considering that Satoka is still mourning her fallen boyfriend Satoru Jissouji. Masashi's decision to pre-emptively lash out unto the town the next morning ultimately brings things to a head; in spite of Satoka being of much greater utility in the ensuing melee, neither Rinko nor Touko has a healthy perspective of what responsible dreaming is.
A seemingly innocuous family dinner at the Kisaragi household becomes the forum for little Mayumi's affirmation of a perfect test score to give way to a Sunday trip to the zoo that comes from out of nowhere as if Mayumi's mother had predicted what her husband is going to say obfuscates Hajime's exhibition of his culinary prowess in preparing dinner that night; just as Misako is repulsing Hajime's insult, Mayumi's father arrives at the Warabe Yuusai Toy Store to commission an investigation of what he feels is an ongoing deviant diagnostic. The scant background data of the incident quickly becomes irrelevant when Rinko finds Mayumi home alone in spite of being even younger than Rinko herself and again when Mayumi changes the subject when Rinko inquires about the Daruma doll; unnerved at the prospect of Rinko learning the truth and eventually neutralizing it, the nightmare inquires Rinko her motivations before sending her on her way. Things ultimately come to a head when Touko and Hajime confirm what Rinko is already seeing for herself -- the grandmother Yoriko and her granddaughter's nuclear family frustrated that they cannot understand each other; the nightmare being neutralized with a effulgent discharge of the Dream Cyclone becomes the preamble of both Rinko and Yoriko walking away with a novel and healthy perspective of their respective families
Satoka Sagawa has had demonstrated that she cannot allow her mourning for her boyfriend Satoru Jissouji to impair her performance as a Yume Tsukai against a nightmare but also knows that she has to put her boyfriend's demise into some kind of healthy perspective; to this effect, she writes a letter to Touko signaling her intention to visit Tokyo in search of assistance with something. While Touko takes the exhibitionist color scheme on Satoka's jet and Satoka's excitement in stride, a none-too-amused Rinko takes it upon herself to explain Satoka the historical origins of the Yume Tsukai along with their armaments whose dormant forms are as children's toys and asks that her seniority be acknowledged instead of being behaved toward as a child. Hajime arrives in time to introduce himself as Rinko is leading Satoka to the main house oblivious to Satoka's true reason for being in Tokyo -- a clue of which Touko picks up when Satoka races off after Hajime unwisely demonstrates the mechanics of the Dream Cyclone. Meanwhile, Satoka is about to collapse into despair when Rinko's arrival galvanized by Hajime's insight as to the depicted location becomes the preamble for an exciting adventure through the city demonstrating that Rinko can be just as mischievous as any normal-powered little kid her age when she leads Satoka through a construction site under the nose of its burly foreman that ironically becomes the deus ex machina for the girls to reach their destination. Rinko is quite incensed to ultimately find that Satoka's motive for the mad dash through town is to buy snacks from a store whose dusk consumption is to commemorate a promise made before Satoru's death but acknowledges that a strong bond was formed between the two.
Waking up to find Mizuho Takatsuki in his apartment preparing breakfast for him becomes the forum in which Mizuki Fuyumura proposes cohabitation before making a clumsy culinary mistake as hinted by a previous dream sequence depicting an old injury. Even during the school day, it becomes apparent that Mizuki realizes that he is sailing into very choppy ethical waters that become tempestuous when Mizuho is accosted by a plant monster as she is completing her home commute; in spite of Rinko successfully incinerating the monster, it is but a symptom of a much greater problem in the background as Touko collects Mizuki's band-aid and inquires Mizuho her prologue with Mizuki. Galvanized with the full background data, Touko declares zero hour for rescuing Mizuki only to find that he is punishing himself for his perspective of Mizuho as his paramour in spite of her being his biological sister. Mizuho's fervent pleas against being left behind ultimately become the ironic deus ex machina that causes the nightmare to become frightened for its survival; a fierce battle culminating to a last-minute collaborative fatal assault later, Mizuki arrives at a pragmatic homeostasis with Mizuho to restore the brother-sister relationship.
The traditional nuclear family has demonstrated itself throughout human history that it is the fundamental building block of society; while this dynamic has a record of being constructive, the consequences for the obverse have far-reaching devastation as a girl named Wakaba has demonstrated when her parents constantly lash out at each other with such ferocity that Wakaba wishes to no longer exist as she begins her school commute. Meanwhile Touko and Rinko are using their home commute to exchange perspectives of their previous job when they come across a boy named Kentaro using a rather dubious method to discern Wakaba's status; after a »Whoa, hold your horses!!!« intercession and some teasing from Rinko, what Kentaro and the two Yume Tsukai find is no laughing matter -- Wakaba enveloped inside an egg that is reversing the effects of Wakaba's actions during her lifetime. Desperate for Wakaba's survival, Kentaro races off to find Wakaba's parents with Rinko right on his heels in a bid to intercept the nightmare and prevent its rampage through time all the way to Wakaba's first day of grade school only to be one step behind the whole time. Rinko's observation that Kentaro himself has some memories of Wakaba along with Touko having figured out the mechanics of the whole situation which has come to a head becomes the ultimate skeleton key by which the nightmare is neutralized; as an ancillary bonus, Wakaba successfully attains her first kiss while her family government works things out in a rational and mature fashion.
Because of the reclusive lifestyle she usually leads back at the Warabe Yuusai Toy Store, very few people get acquainted with Touko to truly understand what kind of person she really is aside from when she is out and about in the field; as such, it is a significant event for Touko when Keigo Sakaki approaches her as she admires the view from atop a building while on duty with Rinko investigating a series of mysterious incidents involving Chinese dragons. The investigation gets a big shot in the arm with the insight of Keigo and his girlfriend Yumi; while Touko tries to innovate a deus ex machina to neutralize the nightmare, things continue to deteriorate as the prospect of a flawless citywide fatality ratio becomes evident. Touko is shocked at the ironic epilogue of Keigo ultimately proving himself a cold psychopath that decides upon being eaten by one of his energy dragons as a consolation prize; while the city's survival has been secured, Touko can no longer ignore the traumatic guilt of seeing her father's death at the hands of a nightmare.
Unfortunately for the Yume Tsukai, their leader Touko being out of action as she resolves the events of the previous job in her mind does not lighten their workload as Rinko is commissioned for a job far from home while Misako is left to hold down the fort -- usually a straightforward and uneventful job if not for two men that burst into the store and whisk her away to a warehouse before she has a chance to explain that she is not suited for combat. The section chief explains Misako the three week old situation of Kanno indulging in his fantasy of a buxom-breasted woman at his beck and call along with their being five missing female employees; in spite of comprehending the situation as a Yume Tsukai, it does not prepare Misako for Kanno to callously abandon the nightmare Pai-Pai or for beginning to sympathize with the nightmare that has now taken to pampering her. With Rinko's home commute to take several hours and Pai-Pai thinking of her as lunch, Misako ultimately has no choice but to transcend her contemptuous umbrage of Hajime Tachibana in order to survive.
I have now found my new most underrated anime ever; here's why... Story: When people dream, they express their utmost desires and emotions within the confines of their mind; but when their strong emotions cross the border into reality, the dream can turn into an uncontrollable nightmare. Touko and Rinko are sisters known as "yume tsukai" (dream users), and their job is to take care of these nightmares. Using toys as weapons, the girls must both destroy the nightmare and return the dream to its rightful owner before the nightmare does any sort of serious damage. Have no fear, Touko and Rinko are here! (Source: Anime-Planet) Pros: I really like the premise to this, it seemed like an interesting concept and they really ran with this one! The designs for said nightmares look pretty cool and original IMO and the reasons behind the nightmares are realistic and believable. The main characters are all likeable. Touko is the calm and mature one, always thinking ahead, however she gets tired and lazy real easily and sometimes lets her sister take care of the problem instead, but when danger really calls, she'll be there to help those in need. Rinko is the eccentric super elementary school girl with attitude and helps keep her onee-chan in check. However she doesn't think before doing and can be aggressive at times. They got real personalities that we have and there interactions are really nice to watch and follow. The others are Hajime, the aloof nutball who likes Rinko and has a big heart (but not a big brain), Sataoka, a shy and timid who joins the Yume Tsukai to avenge her boyfriend, and Misako, the serious but friendly aunt and the one who stays behind to perform back ups in case the others are in a dire situation. For a 2006 anime, the animation is very nice to follow, even though it can get a bit repetitious at times but they don't over do it. The music is really good and the songs are fitting for the show it represents. Imagery doesn't fit always or looks good but its fine nonetheless. I also really enjoy the development the characters go through later on in the show which I won't ruin it for you guys for obvious reasons (be prepared, cause when the dramatic stuff hits, it hits hard); the voice work also helps with this which is always a plus. Cons: The side characters, while not bad, are pretty forgettable compared to the main ones since they don't get as much screen time, but this is only 12 episodes and its better than having to forcefully shove the characters in there for no given reason and rush things (I'm looking at you ***Save Me Lollipop***), which is what I had trouble with in the climax: the set up is fantastic but there wasn't enough time to fill and the final battle had to be too quick. Sigh. Also the first few episodes can get formulaic and the dialogue can also be repetitious but it changes later on in the show...some episodes aren't that great either and have some pretty poor endings (final battle is also anti climatic in some way, IMO) :S Art also needs to get used to, I mean seriously what is up with Rinko's eyes? Overall: This is a wonderful anime and is now the most underrated show I have ever seen. If you like magic, comedy, drama, and fantasy done right in 12 episodes, then I can't recommend it enough. And as always, thank you for reading my 42nd review~