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Anime / Miimu Iro Iro Yume No Tabi

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Miimu Iroiro Yume no Tabi (Meme: The Dream Journeys) is a 1983 educational cartoon by Nippon Animation, similar in many ways to the contemporary Once Upon a Time... Man. Every week a strange creature called Meme is summoned out of a personal computer to narrate the history of an invention or scientific discovery. In the first series, set in the "present day" (for 1983), she is called on by a a pair of constantly quarreling siblings, from the second series and onward, set about a generation in the future (again, from 1983), she appears to the members of a Little League baseball team.

The second series introduces, as a regular part of the setting, something it calls "the INS" (short for "Information Network System") — in other words, the Internet — the depiction of which, despite a few Jetsons-esque flourishes, hits far more often than it misses; indeed, it's quite jarringly uncanny to watch it now.

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Tropes:

  • All Just a Dream: Right there in the title.
  • Corrupt Church: Figures prominently in the episodes on Galileo and Darwin, naturally.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Happens quite a lot, to the point of absurdity in the case of Thomas Edison, who comes across as a meek and put-upon inventor rather than as a cutthroat industrialist.
  • It's a Small Net After All: Averted in the second series premiere—the very first thing Meme does, on appearing to the Little Leaguers, is explain to them that their plan to use the INS to improve their strategy is very unlikely to work, as Little League players generally don't have published stats.
  • "Just So" Story: The series' take on prehistory has a man invent pottery and a woman invent metalworking.
  • Life Imitates Art: The "INS", in second series. Computer monitors in the second series all have built-in "webcams", but are CRTs and not flatscreens.
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  • Lost in Translation: None of the foreign dubbed versions released in the '80s and '90s kept the name of the title character — not French ("Ordy"), German ("Lexi"), Arabic ("Labiba"), or Spanish ("Mim" — close but no cigar, the Spanish word for meme is actually "mem"). Apparently no-one could quite get their head around this business about people discovering a "meme" on the "Information Network System".
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Not-Dick Cheney (who is actually not Not-Dick Cheney) teams up with a Corrupt Corporate Executive to put a gigantic Kill Sat in orbit, but it was All Just a Dream.
  • Retool: The second series starts over with an entirely new cast save for Meme herself.
  • Zeerust: Car fenders made of memory metal, skycranes swarming above future Tokyo. The multifarious speculations about the future "INS" in several first series episodes qualify too, though the second series' "INS" is far more like the Internet as we know it.

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