Yumekui Merry–Anime First Impressions

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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.