Story/Art: Ryoma Kitada
What They Say
Even in university, Chono is stuck in the past regrets of his high school years. His dull days come to an abrupt end when he comes across a mysterious book… A book that allows him to return and re-do his high school life in his dreams. Follow Chono and the girls of his dreams as they reshape their wasted youths!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
One of a couple of new projects that got underway recently in Shonen Jump+, Yumeochi comes from creator Ryoma Kitada. Kitada has a couple of titles under their name but is mostly known for the Super Hxeroes property which saw an anime adaptation. I hadn’t seen any of their original work before or the anime adaptation but the reputation with lewd or fanservice-oriented material certainly is out there. With this series, it has a pretty good look overall though nothing that feels like it’s going to be really radical or anything. But the book has some solid pacing to it overall as it tries to accomplish a lot in this first chapter and set the basics and foundation for it. The approach is one that’s certainly familiar to many, myself included, but having avoided a lot of these for several years it doesn’t feel as played out to me and it has a decent enough minor twist to make it a bit more interesting.
The book introduces us to twenty-one-year-old Chono, a university student who has always felt like he’s missed out on things because he sleeps more than others. He’s in that place where he’s getting by in class but has no friends, no girlfriend, and no real sense of where he wants to go in the future with his life. As he says, he dreams but he doesn’t have dreams, and that’s certainly relatable. While his school work continues on, he has a sliver of something at his job in the bookstore where the cute girl that works there is close to being a work flirt. When the two get done with their shift and it’s late, she talks about missing the train home and has that kind of casual “invite me back” thing going. But Chono, not thinking anyone would be like that with him, offers her taxi fare. She takes it as a clear sign that he has no interest and her moving on is quick – a cab ride right then and a change of shift so she doesn’t work with him in the store anymore. Suffice it to say, it does take Chono a bit to sort of figure out what happened.
Where things go off the rails for him in a way that he doesn’t understand yet, he finds a strange manga in the back of the store that he takes home. What happens is that when he falls asleep with it under his pillow, the book “Dreaming of Falling for You” transports him back five years to his first day of high school that he gets to live over with changes. A familiar story, though most of them place our lead older than this one. What we’re introduced to happens right from the start as he holds the bus for another classmate, Asakura, who was from his middle school. She’s trying to change her life as well from what it was like growing up and we learn at the end that she’s also having this shared dream. Obviously, something else is going on but the book shows us how for Chono, he views this as a chance to live vicariously through his past in the way that he wishes he could and how different it would be when he would do things like… be considerate. Obviously, he’s also going to get involved in more things and with Asakura while having amusing fantasies within all of this, but it has a solid enough setup and introduces us to Asakura in a clean enough way as well to get the basics of what she’s dealing with while leaving much more open.
I can totally understand why a lot of people that consume manga like I consume other things would find this to be familiar or just a copy of something else. For me, having avoided a lot of this type of material for so long, it’s easy to find it enjoyable if it’s done well. I like that we’re getting characters that are a bit older and can recognize their regrets without it being someone going back a decade or more to try and relive high school as that just gets creepy. Kitada’s artwork is pretty good and it’s easy to like the main characters. And across the seventy pages that it runs, we get some good locations, supporting characters briefly, and a sense of pacing and how they’re going to approach things. I can see some twists coming and it’ll be interesting to see if we get to know Asakura more outside of the dream world, but it’s an easy one to try and keep up with for a while.
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Manga Plus
Release Date: February 4th, 2023