Synonyms: Dream Eater Merry
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 7, 2011 to Apr 8, 2011
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.171 (scored by 27502 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisSometimes daydreaming can get you into trouble, but what do you do when it's other people's dreams that you have to watch out for? Yumeji Fujiwara has the unique ability to predict what kind of dreams other people will have, but lately, his own dreams have taken a bizarre turn in which he's being pursued by armies of cats. Stranger yet, Yumeji learns that the leader of the dream cats needs his body to access the Real World.
Finally, the strange becomes downright weird when a beautiful girl suddenly drops on top of him and announces that she's a Dream Demon looking for a way back to the Dream World! The fabric that separates reality and fantasy is torn to shreds, and Yumeji has a lot of sleepless nights ahead of him as he has to deal with both the dream stalking and a dream walking!
(Source: Sentai Filmworks)
Related AnimeAdaptation: Yumekui Merry, Yumekui Merry 4-Koma Anthology
Characters & Voice Actors
Hmmm… this is one very…how should i say…interesting anime. Why is it “interesting” you ask? Well it all starts with the characters.
Characters: The characters in Yumekui Merry are a mixed bag. Some are vibrant, while many others are less so. Some have unique, emotionally complex personalities. Yet, at the same time, most others have bare bone and single-note personalities. Let’s first start with the good ones (or one I should say). Yumekui Merry succeeds greatly with its main protagonist, Merry Nightmare, who boasts a unique costume design, as well as a fun, vibrant personality that is not only a joy to watch, but emotionally complex at the same time. Her fear of actually killing the “dream demons” instead of sending them back to the dream world brings some depth to the character as well as her interesting relationship with Yumeji. These things (and others) make Merry a very well done character in my opinion. I could go on and on about how great her character is but I sadly must move on to the bad characters. Mistleteinn is a good example. Her role on the show is as one of the main “bad-guys” in Yumekui Merry (more like the secondary antagonist if you will). She is no slouch when it comes to recycling all of those good ol’ cliché bad guy lines every second she appears on the screen. Things like “It will be fun hurting you” and “Do you have a death wish” are just a few of the lines that will induce a cringe when watching. All-in-all, her character is poorly done and kind of seems a little like Harley Quinn’s long lost sister (in a bad way). In fact, all of the other characters are like this in some way! Each one with his/her own set of lazily written lines that can be thrown out at any second and can all but ruin a scene. They’re definitely not the worst I’ve seen, but they are pretty bad characters.
Story: The story, as you probably guessed, is about dreams. However, you won’t find any totems or folding cities in this show. Rather, what you’ll find is an intriguing story about dreams that says that they are this whole other world inhabited by dream beings. This world is rife with good-guys (like Merry) and bad-guys (like Mistleteinn). These beings fight with each other so that people like Merry can save human beings from losing their dreams and being taken over by a dream demon. It’s an interesting premise by all means, but it’s its execution that’s less than perfect. It could just be the bad characters that weigh heavy on the show’s overall enjoyment, but more likely, it’s the cheesiness and predictability. The story has potential, don’t get me wrong, but when the shows predictability is this stupidly prevalent, and when losing your dreams doesn’t seem so bad as the writers want the story to have a happy ending, you know something’s very wrong. It also felt somewhat unfinished at the end, with a wide open space for a second season that doesn’t exist. Yumekui Merry’s story is not all bad though, as it does have its surprise moments that are definitely welcome. But these (which I won’t spoil for you) are few and far between. This and the cheesiness do indeed plague the show, but that doesn’t make the story horrible. In fact, the story is not bad! The problem is that along with the aforementioned problems, the show doesn’t take any risks. It feels as if it never got out of the box and showed me something new. Even with such an interesting and unique premise, Yumekui Merry’s story never seemed to get off its feet and start flying.
Soundtrack: Yumekui Merry’s soundtrack can be put into to two simple letters: O and K. The soundtrack reminds me a lot of The World God Only Knows. Upbeat symphonic music plays in the background as Merry fight’s dream demons. Then, it turns soft when a more sad moment arrives. All with a hint of a soft electronic style that’s just barely noticeable. Sounds great, right! Yet it’s not the sound of the music that makes it OK, it’s the lack of variety. The show’s soundtrack seemed to be repeating itself time and time again! It seemed as though Yumekui Merry’s OST only had three tracks: one for the sadder moments, one for the funny/normal moments, and one for when Marry beats a dream demon. This lack of variety made the songs get somewhat annoying as time went on. Not that the songs are bad, but the lack of them and repeated use of the same songs cripples Yumekui Merry's soundtrack greatly.
Art: The art in Yumekui Merry reflects my opinion of the show: a mixed bag. Sometimes the art was crisp and beautiful. Yet at other times it felt unfinished and lazy. Sometimes characters and backgrounds have a lot of detail in their design, and sometimes there is a need for more detail. The art is by no means bad; in fact, some of the art was absolutely beautiful. It’s the inconsistencies in the art that get on my nerves, if only because most other art in Yumekui Merry is so well done.
Conclusion: Yumekui Merry is an enjoyable show that is plagued with some problems here and there as with any show. However, Yumekui Merry’s problems are ones that, sadly, cannot be overlooked. Look one minute, and you’ll see a unique and beautiful anime with nice characters and a cool premise. However, look again and you’ll see a poorly done, cheesy, and predictable show with a looping soundtrack and some mediocre art. When it’s all said and done, and we weigh the good and bad things about Yumekui Merry, we’ll see the scale read at about a 6 out of 10. read more
Watching Yumekui Merry was like riding a jeep down a long, bumpy road spanning several steep hills. When it was good, it was pretty compelling. When it was bad, it was almost impossible to slog through. Though the good outweighed the bad enough to not make me dread the next episode.
Now, I don't expect anyone was especially thrilled to see another show that used every shounen trope to its fullest extent, with a bland male lead, an unstoppable and infuriating lead villain, and a plucky tsundere sidekick.
The story, which isn't properly divulged in the synopsis, is as such: Yumeji is your standard shounen protagonist with the ability to read peoples' dreams by making a circle with his thumb and index finger. He meets a mysterious and flamboyantly dressed woman while experiencing a trippy dream sequence, and the two build a friendship that withstands any and all obstacles. That's about it.
In the beginning, there's nothing at all wrong with the story. The problem with it is, quite a few plot threads are introduced, toyed with for an episode or two, and never brought up again.
Just a warning, possible spoilers ahead. If you want this to remain as spoiler free as possible, skip down past the dotted line.
The first plot introduced is Yumeji's conflict with a dream demon who wants to use his body as a vessel. Okay, that's a good plot. And the demon can infiltrate his mind at anytime and plunge him into that dream state. Alright, that works. And the girl who he meets in there one day tries to help him out. Okay, excellent. Sounds like a good, semi-compelling series. But nope, a few episodes later it's dropped and only paid lip service less than halfway through, where it's resolved in an incredibly anticlimactic manner. And for the rest of the series, this entire plot is forgotten, which makes the synopsis utterly useless.
Not a problem though, because a second plot is brought up by Merry, the plucky sidekick. She's also a dream demon, but all she wants is to return home to her world, and for that she needs to vanquish a few demons and use the portals that send them back to send herself back. Not nearly as interesting as the first, but it's still serviceable, and would allow for more freedom with character development. And thankfully character does develop... right up until the last third.
Unlike the first, this isn't forgotten, but just completely shoved aside for the standard plot.
The main plot, of course, being the need to vanquish an unstoppable evil through the power of friendship. You all know how this is going to go, so nothing needs explaining.
The story is somewhat redeemed by a twist at about the halfway mark, and another at the two thirds mark, that's somewhat unexpected and casts what Merry does in an entirely new light.
It would've been decent if they had just stuck with the main plot, without introducing all those abandoned subplots.
The characters are, for the most part, bland and uninteresting. Merry's the only one not of a cookie cutter design, but her personality is as standard for tsundere characters as it gets. Really, there's nothing here you haven't seen before. Heroes are likable, if somewhat dimwitted, and the villains are despicable in a way that you like them to be. Again, standard fare.
Sound-wise, Yumekui Merry employs a somewhat catchy OP and a pretty good ED, but otherwise unremarkable music. The characters are usually appropriately voiced. Not much worth mentioning either for or against the music or VAs.
Aside from the boring character designs, I must admit that the art of the various dream worlds used is quite excellent. Each world is haunting and surreal, from a moonlit wheat field swaying gently in the twilight breeze, to a warped town bathed in a bluish-green glow, surrounded by levitating fish skeletons. Otherwise, it gets the job done, and nothing more. The animation is fluid, the fights are fun to watch, and I was never left bored during the action scenes.
Yumekui Merry breaks no ground, preferring to tread water under pseudo-philosophical debates and questionable handling of the story. I understand that 13 episodes limits the schedule somewhat, but if the subplots were going to be underutilized like that, they should've been left on the cutting room floor.
Otherwise, it's more than watchable. Just don't expect to be wowed or walk away having felt richer for the experience. It's stupid, short fun, and sometimes that's what you need in life. read more
Alice is similar to Merry. Both are rude, they like sweets, they look like cats, they have strong characters, but they can be weak. They both have an unknown past.
Abyss and Dreamworld are similar worlds.
While there are some parallels between the plot lines and characters, the most striking similarity between these two shows is in the atmosphere. There is good comradery between the the characters and a gentle kindness that eminates from the protagonist of both shows. However, despite that there is a nagging creepiness which hangs in the background and a sense that all is not quite as it may first appear. The definitions of good and evil, write and wrong, seem to become complicated an lost in the varied perspectives of the characters.
Similar in art styles and fantasy concepts as well as the 'normal boy, mysterious girl' concepts. Same charming animation and plot.
The setting and characters are similar
both anime have a similar feel
Merry and Alice are both unsure of their past and from another world.
The anime have a similar feel (though yumekui merry has less humour)
both have another world
In both Yumekui Merry and Pandora Hearts, the male lead who is fairly useless in combat makes a contract with a strong and amnesia-stricken tsundere female lead, and both shows have a surreal, dreamlike atmosphere.
They both are very fantasy related with an alternate world and creatures other than humans. They have very similar male main character, Oz is similar to Yumeji
PH: The Abyss and creatures called Chains
YM: The Dream World and Dream Demons
Both main female characters lost their memories. Both animes have another world that have powerful creatures. Ironically, both female characters are ridiculously strong in my opinion.
Both the main female character are similar in characteristics and the main male characters are also similar in a setting where is built with their imagination.
Opening Theme"Daydream Syndrome" by Marina Fujiwara (藤原鞠菜)
Ending Theme"Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Atashi (ユメとキボーとアシタのアタシ)" by Ayane Sakura (佐倉綾音)
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Related ClubsEnglish Dub Fanclub, Merry Nightmare Fanclub, Yumekui Merry FC, Jouji Nakata Fanclub, CLOSED, Twisted Sadism Bakery of Light!（￣ー￣）, Sayuri Yahagi Fanclub, Dark Legends fan club!, Ai Kayano Fanclub!, Donut Club, Tachibana Isana Goddess, Anime discussion club, Thigh Highs FC, Anime America Club, Okamoto Nobuhiko FC, Will Of Fire
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