OUTBURST DREAMER BOYS was never the most serious of shows. Comedies aren’t usually known for their strong thematic core, but if Dreamer Boys shows anything, it’s that you can make a strong thesis work in any genre.

We should start by backing up a bit. Outburst Dreamer Boys‘ final arc consists of the Hero Club being disbanded by the Student Council and forced underground. There, they continue to covertly help people until they’re confronted by the ultimate menace. A monstrous creature that’s been stealing fish from the Home Ec. Club, an octopus from the Science Lab, and so on.

This being the show that it is, that menace ultimately turns out to be a penguin.

A being to be feared, for sure.

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But as with everything else in Outburst Dreamer Boys, the important thing is not the events, it’s how they happen and why.

The Six Rangers

The final arc of the series reminds me, more than most other anime, of young adult “school adventure” books. In some ways this comparison holds true throughout the entire series, but the final arc, with our heroes reforming The Hero Club as an underground “secret society” of sorts, really hews close to the plot devices that sort of novel often went with. 

The themes all of this are in service too are the most important part, however. What Outburst Dreamer Boys ends up engaging with is the question of what makes a hero. A query more often asked by straight action anime and occasionally by gritty seinen. It’s odd territory for a screwball comedy to wade into, but Dreamer Boys proves it has the chops to engage with it.

The last episode in particular climaxes in an almost note-for-note perfect pantomime of a shonen fight. The typical heroes replaced by the members of The Hero Club and the villainous monsters replaced by a crafty penguin. The scene is a good deal cooler–and hits harder–than many actual action anime that have aired in the past year (certainly it’s more compelling than say, Fairygone).

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Eternal Force Blizzard

So ends one of the year’s most purely fun shows. It’s hard to argue that Outburst Dreamer Boys is life-changing, but it’s incredibly good-natured, a ton of fun, and a blast simply to watch. 

The ending raises some fun final questions too. The “fight” between the Hero Club and the penguin seems to see Hijiri summoning a water spout, though an alternative explanation offered at the very end of the episode keeps it on just the right side of ambiguous. 

As far as shows that capture the magic of being a highschooler–somewhere between a child and an adult, hoping you can impact the world in a big way, very few depict the positive side of that feeling as well as Outburst Dreamer Boys. The kids are alright.

 

 

 

Jane Y. Auman
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