I’m going to go about this in my usual biased way, ignoring anything that didn’t interest me and selecting the shows that were great, the shows that were good, and the shows that might have been good were it not for some serious flaw. Ongoing series that have not completed a single season will have judgement deferred until next year. (Too often a promising show is ruined by a bad or missing ending.) Continue reading →
Yumekui Merry isn’t a terrible anime series. It’s nicely drawn; the main characters are reasonably likable; and there is a suitably exciting conclusion. Still this isn’t what I would call first rate.
I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what it is that I find unsatisfactory about this series, and I can’t help comparing it to Shakugan no Shana. Both series come from the same studio and have a similar look and similar music. Both begin with a young male protagonist meeting a magical girl. Both have a rather dark premise and over-the-top supernatural characters.
The big difference is that the first season of SnS devotes at least half its episodes to developing the character of Shana and filling in her background story. I’m thinking mainly of the three story arcs in the middle which don’t do much to advance the plot, but which allow us to see why Shana acts the way she does, and show her starting to question who she is and how she relates to other humans. Continue reading →
Merry Nightmare (Ayane Sakura) is a muma (dream demon) who somehow finds herself trapped in the Real World with no memory of how she got here. All she wants to do is find a way to get back home. Her only clue is that there are other dream demons who are trying to enter the Real World by taking over the bodies of humans. She confronts them, hoping one will show her the way back into the Dream World, but none will cooperate.
Then she meets a human boy named Yumeji Fujiwara (Nobuhiko Okamoto) who has the unusual ability to see the auras of people’s dreams. (His name may be a clue: yumeji = “dreaming.”) Can Yumeji help Merry find her way home? Can Merry help Yumeji keep the bad dream demons from possessing his friends?
Yumekui Merry (Dream-Eater Merry) is a 12-episode anime based on an ongoing manga. That means it is anybody’s guess whether we will get a satisfactory story out of this, but so far it is pretty entertaining. The “good” characters, particularly the irrepressible Merry, are well-written and lifelike. The biggest weakness so far is that the bad guys are just stock villains. We don’t even have an explanation of why they want to take over human bodies and enter the Real World. Maybe future episodes will fill in their motivation and bring them to life.
The animation is by J.C. Staff, a studio with a reputation for making even dark material look cute, but at least their animation is high-quality.