Dream Saga is story- rather than character-driven, and while its themes as such may be complex, they are presented in a way that is easy to understand. The story, too, isn’t what you’d call complex, and there isn’t much to spoil — except for what’s listed below. This page is reserved for the biggest revelations during the last part of the journey; they’re immensely important to Dream Saga as a whole and I remember being very impressed how it all came together when I first read the series. Needless to say, do not advance if you’re considering giving Dream Saga a read.
Chapter List ☉ The Project ☉ The Prophecy ☉ Horacty
☉ The Beginning of the Legend
☉ The Boy in the Counterlight
☉ The Reawakened Legend
☉ The Chosen Ones
☉ In Order to Live
☉ The Gathering of Memories
☉ Takaomi x2
☉ The Capital
☉ The Shadow Called Moon
☉ The Past Engraved in the Wound
☉ Princesses in the Moonlight
☉ Carried by the Wind
☉ Together, Always
☉ The Barefoot Dancer
☉ The Legend Takes Its Course
☉ Japonesque Romance
☉ The Girl in the Storm
☉ The Alchemist
☉ The Guardian of the Crystal
☉ Starry Sky
☉ The Day of Goodbye
☉ The Pulse of Darkness
☉ The Decision
☉ To the Tenju Palace
☉ Sad Reunion
☉ When I Am with You
Dream Saga’s main characters are elementary school students who aren’t familiar with Japanese mythology yet. When Yuuki first finds herself in Takamagahara due to the Magatama, it is Nakime and Binga who tell her about Amaterasu, the weakened goddess who is the sun that shines on both worlds. When Yuuki attends class the next day, her teacher introduces the children to the story of the heavenly rock cave.
According to myth, the gods Izanagi and Izanami, creators of Japan, had three children. The eldest was the only girl, and so radiant was her beauty that she was named Amaterasu. One day, her father told her that she was to rule over Takamagahara, but one of her younger brothers came to the peaceful realm and, out of envy, caused a lot of destruction. Saddened by that, Amaterasu retreated into the heavenly rock cave and sealed it from the inside. At the disappearance of the sun goddess, the world darkened and evil gods roamed the lands.
Everyone wanted the goddess to leave the cave, but it couldn’t be opened from the outside. The gods then deliberated, and ultimately decided to hold a party in front of the cave. When Amaterasu heard the music from within her cave, she grew curious, opened the cave and reemerged. That way, things were able to conclude peacefully, and peace and light returned to the world.
Yuuki is visibly shocked to hear that what she has only just experienced in the dream exists as an actual story in Nakatsukuni, as she realizes that the myth has become reality: The reason Nakatsukuni’s sun hasn’t come forward in so long is due to the disappearance of the sun goddess Yuuki has been tasked to help, and the “evil gods that roam the lands” have manifested as creatures from Takagamahara that have found their way to Nakatsukuni due to the disturbed balance between the worlds.
While Yuuki and her eventual group travel to Takamagahara each night to advance their quest, they are faced with homework in Nakatsukuni every day: As an ongoing project, Miss Nagato has asked the children to research Japanese mythology in the groups that have formed according to the new seating arrangements. It is through this project that Yuuki starts interacting regularly with her new-found and would-be comrades as the persons they are in Nakatsukuni.
Once all four chosen ones have gathered around Yuuki, Nakime — again as a hologram — appears in front of them and tells them she’s at the Tenju Palace with Amaterasu. The Tenju Palace is impossible to locate as it is surrounded by a great energy field and has become completely detached from the ground, with Amaterasu standing at the center of nature’s anger and withholding its force. Yuuki’s next task is to unite the two sacred mirrors, which would then point the way to the Tenju Palace.
In both worlds, Souta is determined to research the original myth as it was written down in order to find a solution to their quest. It is not until the fourth volume that he finally understands just how closely all of them are connected to the myth. With the help of the words and powers engraved in the Magatama, he deduces that they, the chosen ones, are the successors of the gods: the gods who, in ancient times, enabled the opening of the heavenly rock cave. (The reason this comes as a surprise is because Nakime has told Yuuki only once in the beginning — when Yuuki was already drifting off to sleep at that — that she was to look for the four gods. Afterwards, they were referred to as the chosen ones.)
It is their will, their powers and their responsibility that have been entrusted to them: Keima as the Ishikoridome, who invented the tools to open the cave, Souta as Futotama, the priest who prayed in front of it, Nachi as Ame-no-Uzume, the dancer whose performance was meant to delight the goddess, and Taizou as Ame-no-Tajikarao, the one who forced the rest of the cave to open. And since ancient times, this plan was devised and executed under the guidance of the goddess Omoikane — in other words, Nakime.
At this, Nakime appears and reveals that all of them are part of the Heavenly Rock Cave Project, a project meant to save both worlds from destruction. The myth the children have learned of in Nakatsukuni and the prophecy that has been passed down in Takamagahara are also part of it. She explains that the final and biggest task of the one who holds the Omoikane title is the release of the Magatama seals so that they may find their way to the chosen ones. These chosen ones are then to protect Horacty — Yuuki — as she makes her way to the Tenju Palace.
While looking for the library in Tsukuyomi’s palace in Takamagahara, Souta stumbles upon a sealed door that reacts to his Magatama. Inside, he finds walls full of text, seemingly reciting the legend that is well-known throughout Takamagahara:
When Ragnarök rises over Takamagahara, Horacty with the five sacred Magatama stands between day and night.
To his astonishment, there is a continuation to that — something he wasn’t aware of despite having researched the legend himself:
When day and night divide, Ragnarök will arise to mark the darkness. The land ruled by the day will be conquered by the reawakened darkness. With the sixth Magatama, the day will be swallowed by the night.
While Souta is unable to comprehend those words, Tsukuyomi — unbeknownst to anyone — has studied them for a long time due to his access to the following part of the myth:
The four Magatama seek the Tenju Palace, while the engraved mark seeks the crystal ground. The engraved mark is the name of the monster that will devour the light of day.
Based on this knowledge, Tsukuyomi has been rounding up young boys with a mark on their forehead for many years, carefully observing them as they grow older while waiting for the one who would still have the mark by the time they turn fourteen. In his childhood years, Takaomi was among those boys; after he overheard Tsukuyomi’s plans of enslaving or killing any of the children whose marks disappeared, Takaomi managed to run away from the palace. Constantly on the run with no place to call home, Takaomi decided to become a bandit so as not to remain in any place for too long, and so as not to expose anyone willing to shelter him to danger.
When Yuuki’s group arrives in Lysha and is invited to the palace, Takaomi is forced to face Tsukuyomi once again. Tsukuyomi sees through Takaomi’s feelings for Yuuki and his desperate wish to belong to the group and to remain at Yuuki’s side, seeing how he is the only one without a Magatama and thus without memories of both worlds. Taking advantage of that, Tsukuyomi promises him the sixth Magatama if he brings back Kaya, who was abducted by vengeful Crystalback Worms. While Tsukuyomi isn’t in possession of that sixth Magatama, he knows Takaomi’s destiny from the inscriptions, and plans to lock him up as a weapon to conquer the world with.
When Takaomi returns to Tsukuyomi’s palace with Kaya and a Crystal Sword obtained on the quest, he is revealed to be the god of destruction — a monster of the darkness that will devour the sun. The Crystal Sword transforms into the sixth Magatama: Takaomi sprouts black wings and takes off to the Tenju Palace. In his greed, Tsukuyomi destroys himself.
In the meantime, Souta has figured out that the solar eclipse that’s occuring in Nakatsukuni is the dreaded Ragnarök of Takamagahara, as they both mean the reawakening of the monster Takaomi has turned into. Souta calls out Nakime and demands that she explain the Heavenly Rock Cave Project. At long last, they learn the truth: Every few thousand years, when the world has grown very sick, it is the duty of the Omoikane to release the seal of the Magatama and call upon the six chosen gods from Nakatsukuni — meaning that Takaomi was part of the plan from the start. The sixth is chosen to destroy the contaminated world as Susanoo, the god of destruction, so that it can be rebuilt again.
Upon reawakening, the destroyer Susanoo isn’t in his final form yet — not until the monster within awakens as well. According to old myths that Souta has researched, the sun during the solar eclipse represents the sins of humankind, and sacrifices itself to be consumed by the dragon. The Heavenly Rock Cave Project is thus a plan to give birth to a new world, reenacted whenever humans have contaminated the world beyond saving.
Something that has been pointed out a few times throughout the manga is that Yuuki’s Magatama is special: It alone is red in colour, it alone allows Yuuki to understand the feelings and voices of all organisms, it alone has a vastly different spell. What’s more, Binga was wondering whether Yuuki had amnesia due to her not having memories of both worlds despite being in possession of a Magatama. Yuuki has also always envied those travelling with her, and, in a sense, felt somewhat inferior and insecure when comparing herself to them — especially with regard to her feelings for Takamagahara’s Takaomi.
Here in Takamagahara, everyone is older, taller, prettier… Only I remain as the short girl from fifth grade…
Souta has also noticed as early as in the second volume that there was something concerning about her, even though he has kept it to himself: During the Fata Morgana Coral Festival, when everyone was too distracted, he noticed that there was no mirage of Yuuki’s "other self". Ever since, he has suspected that Yuuki alone travels with her entire body to Takamagahara, whereas everyone else has two different physical bodies — which explains why age, sex and looks may not match up. And true enough, on the day of the eclipse, her parents discover that Yuuki is not in her bed at night, even though the bed is still warm.
After Takaomi’s awakening as Susanoo and Nakime’s explanation regarding the true meaning behind the Heavenly Rock Cave Project, Yuuki confronts her: What was the purpose of her quest? What did she accomplish everything for if Amaterasu was destined to be devoured from the start? With that, Nakime reveals her last lie: The four gods are supposed to accompany and protect Yuuki on her way to the Tenju Palace, where she, after the world has been destroyed and reborn, will serve as the sun of the new world. Horacty, the horizon girl, is literally "the new light that will rise on the horizon" — Yuuki’s true role.
And that’s as far as I’ll go with spoilers of revelations that fascinate me. ❤ The final part of the journey is something I adore, but you’ll have to read the rest yourself.