Quick & Dirty
Genre(s): Action, comedy
Initial Interest: Medium
Favorite Character: Yumeji
Likely to Finish: Probably not
Yumeji Fujiwara was a young male student like any other. Then, 10 years ago, an accident left him with the ability to see auras and predict peoples’ dreams. Now he is having strange dreams in which he is followed around by cats whose boss claims his body is needed to access the real world. One day he meets a girl calling herself Merry Nightmare and claiming to be a dream demon who is trapped in this world; and Merry needs his help to get home. (Edited from: Wikipedia)
This kind of has an interesting concept based on the synopsis, but I had to go to Wikipedia to get that synopsis… which makes me a little skeptical. I’m not one to knock Wikipedia, but I have to wonder what it says about a series when two large-scale anime sites have pathetic, one line summaries and IMDB is seemingly unaware of its existence but Wikipedia expounds at length. And it is quite a synopsis, I might add. Here I thought I had a knack for run-ons… I had to read that a couple times before I was quite sure what was being said. I edited it for the rest of you but if you want to read the long confusing version the link will take you there.
I’m kind of looking forward to it, hoping that it will be new and interesting, but I don’t really trust anime labeled action and comedy so it’s anyone’s guess how this’ll turn out.
Yumeji wins this for two reasons. First, because I actually think he’s a good character. He’s a nice guy, he’s stubborn (which I can relate to), and he’s sociable in general which makes him pretty easy to like. The second reason he wins favorite character is because this is yet another series where there just aren’t many to choose from. If I’m looking at main characters then my choices are Yumeji or Merry and if I expand that to peripheral characters we add about three more people who have very little screen time.
What they did well: The series has an interesting concept which I honestly don’t think I’ve ever encountered before. You might be able to draw some parallels to Pandora Hearts but having watched only some of that quite some time ago now I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate. Certainly an interesting aspect of Dream Eater Merry is that not all Dream Demons are inherently evil. In episode two we were introduced to a girl who had a friendly Dream Demon cohabiting her body in order to experience human dreams. Then in episode five we get a pretty solid introduction to another Dream Demon who also seems to be a good guy even if she is a bit of a fanatic. I also think that this new character is a point of interest. She obviously has a deeper back-story but we’re only getting small fragments of it and I’d be interested to see where it goes.
What they didn’t do well: Honestly I’m struggling with this one. I can’t quite say what exactly was wrong with this series. At best I can say that I personally don’t find Merry’s situation all that interesting. She desperately wants to get home but in the meantime is experiencing different facets of reality that she really enjoys (like doughnuts). So given that she is helping people by being there and she doesn’t really seem too desperately miserable with Yumeji and Isana, I don’t really care if her goal of returning is ever achieved. Maybe part of it is that she hasn’t given a compelling reason for why she wants to go back other than “it’s home”. Additionally, since they’ve put Yumeji’s problems on hold for a while (without any real reason) his story is also not compelling.
On a more ‘I’m pretty sure this is a me thing’ basis – I absolutely despise Merry’s costume design. Those obnoxious gravity defying coat tails and the top that looks like it would totally showcase her boobs to everyone around during most of her jumping-kicking action scenes just annoys the hell out of me. The first episode was also pissing me off because her legs seemed to keep doing odd things that didn’t seem physically possible. Also, considering his overall goal of helping Merry find Dream Demons by looking at people’s auras, Yumeji really doesn’t seem to be looking at anybody’s auras. I realize there are some problems with walking around with your fingers around your eye like a spyglass but on various occasions he has talking to/passed/otherwise interacted with people that the audience knows have Dream Demons in them and he never once looks. As of episode…two? Three? He’s attending class with a person hosting a Dream Demon, and I suspect not the nice kind. It just bugs me.
I’m not going to say I recommend this one nor will I suggest avoiding it. It has a lot of potential to be great, I just wasn’t particularly interested.