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Anime Moment: Munto 1 and Munto 2: Beyond the Walls of Time

DVD cover art for Munto DVD cover art for Munto 2: Beyond the Walls of Time

Munto is an interesting, if short, OAV that introduces viewers to Yumemi, a seemingly normal schoolgirl, who can see aspects of another reality laid atop the “real” world of ordinary Japan. No one but her two best friends believes her of course, so she began to hide her talents. However, a young man named Munto from this other realm of floating islands begins to contact Yumemi, explaining to her that his world is connected to ours by magic, but that magic is failing. In the grand tradition of magical girl anime, only Our Heroine can save King Munto and his world. There’s an interesting secondary storyline involving one of Yumemi’s friends and her fiancé that has more to do with the big picture than you might think at first. What could be a big boring ball of clichés is instead an engaging picture with enough new to it to make it interesting, along with interesting art, appealing characters, and skilled voice acting. The features are ordinary, but decent (an art gallery, character sketches, trailers, and backgrounds art), and this release should appeal to the target audience of young teen girls. It will also entertain anyone who cheers for the underdog and likes to see good, clean fun that isn’t boring or stifling.

Munto 2 ups the stakes and has Yumemi regretting her fear at helping Munto. In the year since she last saw Munto, the need for Yumemi’s talents is even more acute, and Munto has become too desperate to take no for an answer. On Earth, strange things are also happening, as people discuss their own brief sight of the islands in the sky and the earthquakes hitting various points around the world. There’s a new enemy on the horizon (literally), and Yumemi again has the key to stopping the destruction of two worlds. She’s also keen to learn whether or not Munto and the other people she met before are safe. The focus of this OAV is less on Munto and Yumemi than it is on broadening the scope of the battles and what is at stake. The disc includes a recap of the first OAV, but you’ll get the most out of this film if you’ve seen the first installment.

Fans of fantasy and sci-fi with all appreciate these two films that form one large story arc. Also, if you’re anxious to see something a little new and fresh in anime, then these just might be the ticket. Wholesome enough for teens (and most pre-teens, despite the conservative 13+ rating) but interesting and fleshed-out enough for adult anime fans, Munto 1 and 2 are winners.