Midori & Mayumi (Chiharu N”yama & Yasue Sato) are apparently journeying through a series of parallel universes with destruction of the world in their wake. They are either literally The Dimension Travelers (Nazo no tenkousei, 1998), or they're a bit mad, & their understanding of the world they live in keeps shifting.
Sometimes they're regular school girls doing regular things in an ordinary world. Sometimes Midori is in an asylum where they attempt to isolate her from the delusions of others like herself, & claim she's been a patient for years. Conceivably the dimension travelers create these worlds from their shared delusions, so in the asylum, every effort is made to keep them from communicating with one another.
Elsetimes Midori finds herself in a bunker with the world in continuous warfare. Rebels live in the bunkers striving not to become prisoners of the weird fortressed city.
The "real" world, if any one of them is more real than the others, is where Midori meets Mayumi, a new transfer student. Midori recognizes in Mayumi a fellow dimension traveler, who has changed worlds, bringing her mother with her, attempting to stay one dimension ahead of the destruction. If a traveler stays too long in one world, she becomes increasingly adapted to it & loses all memory of other dimensions, & Midori sets out to remind Mayumi of who she is.
Eventually they reuinite with a third dimension traveler (Satoshi Tsumabuki), who likewise needs to be reminded of his cross-dimensional experiences & abilities. This young man is a rebel leader in the wartorn world, but he died by suicide in the "normal" dimension.
Toward the last third of the film, the various dimensions begin bleeding into one another without clear distinction.
With its sense of created worlds, Dimension Travelers is reminiscent of The Matrix even though not as FX driven, with also has a bit of The Left Hand of Darkness in it. Although it's a "teen" film it's richly enough textured for mature viewing.
The premise could have been very confusing as it becomes increasingly convoluted as the story progresses. But care has been taken with the script & editing so that it all makes a surreal sort of sense throughout.
The performers are deeply into their roles & give the unlikeliest scenarios verisimilitude. The first half of the film where very little action or dimensionality is shown is actually the more interesting part of the story, because the actors are so good at conveying their own sense of loss & uncertainty.
By the time the story starts whirling from one dimension to another & back again, it is too much resembling an anime sci-fi tale, with the actors' very decided skill less & less consequential. Even so, it remains interesting to the end even so.
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