Today is all about Chemical Magical Cooking! What are we cooking though? Well, just look at the picture above, donuts!!! But but but…. I want to be a painter though. You can do that too! Just dream and believe. What about that giant dream-eating monster? Well the donut-eating machine will beat him up. What if she doesn’t get there in time? Didn’t you hear about all those people suffering from dream loss? Just stop making excuses and let us make some donuts!
Some evil guy named Hercules brought dream demons from the dream world to the human world. He brought everyone who wanted to come along, but he also brought along dream demons who did not want to come. One of these dream demons is Merry Nightmare, whether she came over reluctantly, willingly, or not because of Hercules at all is unknown. Regardless, Merry only wants to go back to go back to the dream world, but the only hint lead she has is that Hercules plays a part in the problem. Consequently, Merry goes on a quest to fight Hercules, go home, and find donuts! Wait where did the donuts come from?!
As you might guess, Yumekui Merry is all about the exploration of dreams, how they are created, what they mean to people, how they can grow, and how they can destroyed. As a result, Yumekui Merry is not a shonen show, so expect a slower story and fewer battles than a shonen show. Sadly, Merry’s storyline is not just slow, but seems like it just drags on like waiting for yeast to rise to allow you to make donuts. Still, if you stay and follow the story you will be treated to an interesting discussion on how the characters make, break, or maybe save their dreams and some fun characters to watch (Donuts and cooking are far more important than dreams right?)
As a small note, the last arc in the anime is anime-only, so expect that arc to have a slightly different feel than the rest of the series, namely more shonen-like (but still slow). Also, if you are wondering about Yumeji’s power and stuff in the last episode, I recommend you read the manga for a more detailed explanation, but I do admit the last episode was very rushed.
The animation is what you would typically expect from today’s shows except Yumekui Merry contains a lot of stills and close ups. Not just close ups on faces, but close ups on rolling cans. Worse still, is that there are lots of stills and close ups during fight scenes, making them feel very slow and confusing. Still, we can care less about those stills and care about the moe Merry pics xD.
The music for this series is all over the place xD. First off, the opening and ending are both composed by IOSYS, you know the circle responsible for most of the strange yet popular Touhou remixes. Consequently, you get a guitar based opening and a synth piano ending, things that I usually don’t expect in anime songs, but not necessarily bad things. (in fact I love Daydream Syndrome, the op, but the ending is sort of just okay for me) The strangeness does not stop there. During some of the most epic parts of the anime some really weird tunes play ranging from bugle calls to children choruses. All I have to say is be prepared to be surprised at certain points xD.
For better or for worse, your enjoyment of Merry will mostly depend on your liking of the characters. Even though I seemed to only focus on Merry this entire review, the rest of the cast is at least semi-interesting. In case you weren’t following the review so far, moe + Merry + donuts = most of the appeal of this show xD.
In case you were wondering about how much you would enjoy the storyline, the storyline is really slow, and unless you want an exploration of dreams, you probably won’t enjoy it. Also, as I said before, this is not exactly a shonen storyline. This is not a coming of age story xD. I am sure a few people will like it after watching it for a while, but don’t think that length of time is worth the payoff if you only care for storyline. If you like the characters and want a decent storyline to go with it, then this show is great for you. In conclusion, if you want to test this show out, I advise you only skim the first 2 episodes and then try watching episode 5 and/or 8 because Yumekui Merry’s episodes get better better in the middle of the season. No matter what though, don’t bother with the ending few episodes since they are anime only and end on a terrible note.
As a final note, if you like the feel of the series, but wanted something a bit faster paced, I highly recommend reading the manga.
Technical Rating: 5/10
Personal Rating: 7/10 (Note:Because I liked Merry so much, I started increasing my donut consumption at the cafeteria)
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