Welcome, anime fans, to our next review! Today we will be covering the anime Dream Eater Merry, or Yumekui Merry in Japanese. This anime is somewhat nostalgic to me, but I will try to remain unbiased. As always, there may be minor SPOILERS!
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: Ten years ago Fujiwara noticed he had a power to see multicolored auras surrounding the person’s body. Ever since then he’s been having a weird dream about a war with cats. Then one day a mysterious girl falls on top of him… -Anime News Network
Dream Eater Merry presents a very interesting premise, dealing with reality and a dream world, possession, and many mysteries. To further the premise, the presentation of the story is almost surreal, or dream like. Yet, the show is riddled with issues. The beginning sets out to explain everything as best as possible right off the bat. This takes away from the mysterious atmosphere of the show. The plot does feel a little repetitive at times, but the biggest issue is that it never wraps anything up. Very little of the overarching conflict actually gets resolved, and many of the problems are never given solutions. This weakens the plots overall impact on the viewer.
A lot of what is said about the plot applies to the characters. There are plenty of interesting characters presented, but the cast is a little crowded. Thus they are inhibited from being fleshed out properly. This includes much of the characters’ pasts never being explained or revealed, despite them being hinted at. Also, towards the end of the anime, the focus seems to shift off of the main protagonists, Merry and Yumeji, despite the focus being on them for the rest of the show. The character do not feel as if they were utilized to their full potential.
The animation for Dream Eater Merry is fairly decent, though it does deviate from the normal animation style common at the time it came out. One particularly interesting note is the dream demons’ eyes, which hint at their personalities or significance. For example, Merry’s eyes are modeled with sideways slits like sheep eyes. The backgrounds can be a bit strange and character movements can be a little difficult to follow. While this does add to the dream-like atmosphere the show aims to create, some viewers may find it unappetizing.
The soundtrack is not the best and may sound weird at times, such as synth based parts in some cases. However, it does serve its purposes rather well for the anime. The closing is the most notable part, being really enjoyable to listen to.
While some of themes are a bit cliche, Dream Eater Merry does a surprising bit with themes. A lot of the themes deal primarily with identity, and the many elements of that. Merry represents the part of identity dealing with past and occupation, since she does not know who she is truly or her place. Yumeji represents some of this too, though he more ties in with the identity you take on because of your goals and ambitions (dreams). The general ideas of goals and ambitions is also a huge part of the themes in Dream Eater Merry. Playing into this is often the relationships between vessel and dream demon. There always seems to be some kind of correlation between the two. However, the themes are not drawn out to their full extent, and can be undermined a bit by weaknesses in other aspects of the show.
Final Score: 7.4/10
Final Grade: B
Dream Eater Merry had a cool premise. I was really excited about it. But it get the premise in all one episode they dropped a lot of information on you all at once. It is a lot to try to understand instantly and it made it feel rushed in that aspect. The characters were ok, but they did not really feel like were used as well as they could have been. The ending was not great either, it did not really have a satisfying ending. The show also felt like it could have a lot more too it. Out of 10 I would give it a 7. I recommend you check this show out, it is a cool idea and should be given a chance.
Yumekui Merry, or Dream-Eater Merry (which kind of sounds like a really bad Creepy Pasta), is a pretty good show overall, but it took me a little bit to really get into it. It’s a little hard to explain, but despite the first few episodes having definite moments of intrigue, there was just a lot that seemed off putting to me. Among some strange aspects of the show like the cat army and seemingly bland characters, I just didn’t really get a sense of build up or any reason to really be interested in the show other than the brief glimmers of interesting ideas or visuals. I would say that episode 4 was when I finally started getting on board. I liked what they did with that episode, and I started getting a better idea of what they were doing with this concept. From there, I found my intrigue to be pretty high for the rest of the series. The characters grew on me as I found out about their interesting quirks (though they still had their strange or off putting moments). I did end up finding myself rooting for all of them. The conflict was pretty tense at parts, especially the plethora of interesting morally complex situations the characters found themselves in. The main villain, however, gave me mixed feelings at first. I feel that it’s really hard to have a good villain that’s seemingly evil just to be sadistic. This villain is probably one of the more interesting examples of this though, at least once you understand more of the villain’s origins (it’s hard to explain without spoiling it). The animation was pretty good. Some of the backgrounds are done in a really interesting style that I enjoyed looking at. As for the soundtrack, I would call it very diverse, with a lot of highs and some pretty low lows. The show is full of relaxed piano pieces, orchestral tracks, and a lot of synths. There were numerous tracks that I really enjoyed, mostly the more relaxed pieces. The synth centric pieces however can be kind of strange, with some growing on me and some not. The opening definitely did grow on me as the show progressed, and I really enjoyed the closing for its excellent mix of catchy vocals and really awesome instrumental work. I’m a little surprised that I’m bringing something this random up, but I really liked the beautiful still images used for the episode title cards and the character monologues for the next episode previews (even if a lot of them were just quotes from the next episode). It sort of helped push the more serious and artistic aspects of the show. The ending was a little rough and had that classic ‘read the manga’ vibe, but I actually liked what they went for. All in all, Yumekui Merry was a show that took a little for me to like, but ended up having a good time with. It has a lot of really cool and interesting things going for it. Not a masterpiece, but it does make me want to check out the manga.
Final Comments: While it deviates from the norm in many ways, Dream Eater Merry offers lot of potential with intriguing premise and themes to explore. The show is weakened, though, by not fully exploring the plot or characters.
Thank you very much for reading our review! Have you seen this anime, and if so, did you like it? Be sure to comment and follow us; we always appreciate it! Our next review will be, as promised back in our Noragami review, the second season Noragami Aragoto!