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[The Dreaming Boy is a Realist]
AKA: 夢見る男子は現実主義者
Genre: Romance
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 24 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Sentai Filmworks, available streaming on HiDive.
Content Rating: TV-14 (Mature themes.)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, The Dangers in My Heart
Notes: Based on light novels by Okemaru, illustrated by Saba Mizore, published in manga form by Kadowkawa Shoten

The Dreaming Boy is a Realist


Wataru Sajo has had a crush on Aika Natsukawa ever since she performed a single act of kindness toward him- and he's been constantly hitting on her in class ever since, which has become a kind of joke among his classmates (even the teacher comments on it!), and you would think SHE must be embarrassed as hell about it. But after an encounter between a soccer ball and his head, he suddenly stops overtly pursuing her (though his attitude toward her really doesn't change- he says he'll just "cheer her on".)

"As the Morals and Discipline Committee Chair, I retire the post in the fall. But we haven't been able to recruit even one single male student from the 1st and 2nd-years" - Rin Shinomiya


Well, I don't KNOW of course, but I SUSPECT the reason she has so much trouble recruiting boys to her Committee is that most teenage boys wouldn't think the Morals and Discipline Committee girls would be much fun to hang out with. Just SAYING, mind.

If Wataru is an average male high school student (as he says), then the average male high school student is a jerk who's oblivious to the fact that he IS a jerk. Perhaps the manga creator is oblivious to Wataru's jerk-ness too, since he IS the hero here. I have no idea WHY.

Some major stuff happens to Wataru after his resolve to "social distance" himself from Aika. The first is that he becomes a "chick magnet." OK, I know what you're thinking- these must have been girls just waiting in the wings to scoop him up when he detached himself a little from Aika, right? WRONG!!! Several of the girls he encounters don't know him from Adam. In fact, he lies to one of them about his name, and it actually takes her a while to discover his true identity. But somehow these girls find HIM, and the slightest consideration he gives them seems to inspire their absolute loyalty. At one point he suggests that Rin, Ms. Morals and Discipline, tell her kouhai (who's a little too tightly wound up) to "not let it get to her", and the kouhai finds this advice so priceless that she ends up acting coquettish in Wataru's presence ever after. This is the sort of absolute female loyalty achieved with minimal male effort that one often finds in, say, Isekai shows. (Male wish-fulfillment fantasy, anyone?)

Later in the show our hero works part-time in a bookstore, and the owner hires a timid girl named Mina Ichinose as another staff member. Mina's a major Bro-Con who's taken this job mainly because of her own jealous feelings. Wataru acts as an intermediary between her and and her brother, emphasizing that sometimes sibs have to do things apart from each other. And that would seem commendable; EXCEPT:

(1) He's defending her employment NOW, but previously he was trying to pressure her into QUITTING the bookstore job, declaring that she "just wasn't working out." Of course he was just her senpai- only the owner could actually fire her- but it took her pleading and tears to get Wataru to (reluctantly) agree to help her with her "people skills." I take not giving someone a proper chance personally, since this is something I've dealt with in my own life. Walking in already possessing the technical skills to do something is often less important than having the resolve to learn, and to do the job right.

(2) Wataru has a rather poor example of a sibling relationship himself, so I'm wondering how qualified he is to advise others. His older sis Kaede, the Vice President of the Student Council, treats him like a slave. But at the one point when she expresses sincere concern for him, he brutally rebuffs her kindness, saying "That's not the Big Sister I know." Possibly he's a masochist who sincerely enjoys her domineering attitude. Another thought that crossed my mind was that, given his logic about Aika, maybe he's afraid that if he ever acknowledged Big Sis' kindness, he'd have to fall in love with her TOO, and that would be a definite no-no. (Honestly, I don't know why he rejects her compassion outright, and it would seem to me that while sibs often do routinely harass each other, I've heard that it's not a bad thing to have one in your corner in a real pinch, though, as I've said before, I'm an "only", and wouldn't personally know.)

But then, there's the other side to this, and it's HORRIFYING. FOR AIKA BEGINS MISSING WATARU'S ATTENTIONS! Yes, this girl apparently secretly LIKED being stalked. Personally, I don't find that much of interest in Aika, whatever Wataru's feelings were; I found Aika's friend Kei Ashida much more interesting. Despite being Aika's friend, Kei has always been advocating for Wataru with her. Kei sits behind Wataru in class, is apparently much more social (Aika seems fairly reserved), routinely talks to Wataru despite Aika's supposed annoyance with him, and in general seems a much more FUN person than Aika, and if I were Wataru I'd be asking KEI out instead. So once again, as in Miharu vs. Chitose in The Angel Next Door Spoils Me Rotten, and Kukuru vs. Fuka in The Aquatope on White Sand, I felt the female lead was considerably less interesting than her friend. (Film critic Roger Ebert used to recommend against comparing the show you're watching with the one YOU might have written, but I'm going to ignore that advice here.) In any event, Aika in HER turn begins chasing WATARU, in a very oblique, tsundere-ish way of course, and I thought, is there ANYONE in this cast who's not an idiot?

The show has pacing problems too- there are long stretches where nothing really significant happens, and there are characters that are pretty much wastes of time. (The "college girl" that Wataru becomes involved with- who turns out to actually be a middle school girl- I thought qualified there.)

I thought, just from the setup (ball to the noggin) that this would all be some kind of "dream" show (kind of like one entire season of Dallas), and that Wataru would "wake up" and things would be different, but no, this is the show's REALITY, dreary as it is.

I back-burnered preparing the review of this show for a long time. I hope, from my description here, you appreciate WHY.Allen Moody

Recommended Audience: HiDive goes TV-14, as it does for most of its shows. There's no violence, and the only fanservice is swimsuits at the beach. We'll say Mature Situations, maybe? (Though some of this doesn't seem very mature at all.)

Version(s) Viewed: HiDive video stream
Review Status: Full (12/12)
The Dreaming Boy is a Realist © 2023 Okemaru, Saba Mizore/Kadokawa/"The Dreaming Boy is a Realist" Production Committee
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