What They Say:
Sometimes 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!
The audio presentation for this release is spot-on as both language tracks get an updated stereo mix. The English 5.1 mix was very solid and we noticed no distortions or issues. Overall, this is a solid audio release for the standard definition collection.
Originally airing from 2011, Dream Eater Merry is presented in a 16:9 aspect ratio. The colors look very vibrant in brighter scenes while the darker scenes are clean clear as well. The dreamworld designs are very distinct and interesting as it is based upon each demon’s personality, which make for an interesting visual setup. The animation looks great and there are no noticeable flaws or errors.
The packaging for this collection follows the employs the normal DVD case with an insert to hold all three discs. The front features Merry in her fiesty likeness while the background uses shades of purples, pinks, and white. This makes for an eye catching design. The text for the title is also adequately placed and provides the basic title and collection information. The back of the case features catch lines about the series along with a basic synopsis of the series. Also included are some screen captures from the episodes. You will also find Yumeji and Merry prominently displayed on the left side while the technical details are at the very bottom. Overall, the design is simple, but it is attractive and definitely eye catching.
The menu design for this release is attractive, yet very simple. Using the same color palette as depicted on the case, you will find that colors chosen complement the entire collection. The episode titles appear immediately from the title menu while the episode numbers and the selection arrows appear in pink. The right side of the screen contains some character artwork from the show. Submenus load quickly and the navigation is very intuitive.
The extras included in the collection are found in the collection include the textless songs for the series and a handful of the latest Sentai Filmworks trailers.
Dream Eater Merry is one the more unique series that I have had the pleasure of watching. It based on the manga series called Yumekui Merī by Ushiki Yoshitaka. This anime is currently comprised of thirteen episodes produced by JC Staff.
The collection of thirteen episodes spins up a complete story that is just a portion of the larger ongoing manga series. Without knowing much about the history of the manga, I felt that the story did a pretty good job of introducing the viewer to the series. At the end, I felt as if there was more to this story and upon doing a few searches on the net, I found out that there is a whole lot more than the thirteen episodes. In fact, the anime barely scratches the surface of the manga.
The series is focused on two characters, Yumeji and Merry. Yumeji is a high school student who has the unique ability to see the aura of people based upon their dreams. Merry is a dream demon who has been trapped in the real world for around ten years. She somehow crossed from the dream world into the real world. She attempts to cross back to the dream world by entering the dreams of others. This is how she and Yumeji cross paths. Yumeji is not one to sit idle when he knows that there is someone in need. So, befriending Merry only comes natural as his tendency to over extend himself to help others. Merry is a bit of a free spirit, but the ten years of wandering the real world has left her downtrodden and somewhat hopeless. This makes for an unlikely alliance at first as Merry learns that there is more to Yumeji and that she can trust him.
A short series like this would lead one to think that the plot would focus entirely upon the two main characters. Surprisingly, you will find that the supporting cast has quite a bit of depth and play a vital role at the conclusion of the series. This is especially so as a significant portion of Yumeji’s classmates are tied into the overall plot and the threat posed by the evil demons of the dream world.
Attempting to summarize the plot would not serve this series justice as you have to really experience this show to appreciate its uniqueness. There is an intricate web that is spun with the plot that works so well with Yumeji’s classmates and the dream demons from the dream world. You will find that the dream world sequences are rather unique and are designed to support the dream demon who rules that realm. The visuals are very convincing and they truly draw you in as there masterfully designed and unique. This is evident in how each dream demon’s personality, clothing, fighting style, etc.. is depicted as whole package along with the background or dream realm design.
I did mention that there are other dream demons such John Doe the Chaser, Heracles, and Mystletainn who are formidable foes. Each villain has very little screen time. In turn, each one will make very distinct impressions as their nature is sinister and convincing. The dream demons who resist them through their human vessels (Yumeji’s friends) are a troupe that never gives up. A common theme of believing and sacrificing oneself for the common good proves to be a powerful force at the conclusion of the series as we see three heroic dream demons (Merry, Engi Threepiece, and Lestion) vanquish Heracle’s servant, Mystletainn.
Dream Eater Merry is a series that could easily follow the common path of a harem anime, which is what one might think if they judge this series by the screen caps or images of Merry alone. This series is anything, but a harem anime as it follows a very unique path that is often less taken in anime. The thirteen episodes go by rather quick and by the time number thirteen rolls around you’ll be asking for more. The only downfall to this series is that there is not enough.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean opening, Clean Closing
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: C+
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: March 27th, 2012
Running Time: 325 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Samsung UN46B6000VF 120Hz LED HDTV, Samsung HT-WS1R/XAA 2.1 Channel Soundbar Speaker System with Wireless Subwoofer, and Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p