First Impressions: Dream Eater Merry

Sweet dreams are even tastier

when seasoned with fear.

Cats know this well.

I had high hopes for Dream Eater Merry after catching a glimpse of the cute characters and reading the description of episode one. Sadly, those hopes were dashed after I actually watched it.

Emo Merry is emo. Mall Goth status: intact.

Yumeji Fujiwara keeps having a recurring nightmare in which he’s chased by cats. One feline even warns him that he’s about to meet someone big and bad. Meanwhile, a cute little gal named Merry Nightmare wakes up. We can tell by her quirky sense of fashion that she’s not of this realm, and sure enough, she seems confused at waking up in an alleyway and begins to wander about, looking for something. Cut back to Yumeji impressing his school friends by predicting their dreams. He seems fairly popular and well-liked, especially with the ladies (all the gals love a psychic!). On his way home from school he has a brief encounter with Merry, who is still wandering about like a Hot Topic hobo. She takes off looking for her hat, and Yumeji keeps walking until he rounds a corner and comes face to face with a cat. Suddenly he begins to have that same nightmare with the cats chasing him, only he never fell asleep. Once he realizes that this is his dream come to life, he sets off at a run.

Damn those Smurfs! Er, cats! Er, humans! S**t.

This time, as promised, the cats are joined by a dude in a hooded robe who calls himself John Doe. He claims to need a body in order to enter the waking world, and lucky for Yumeji, his body will do nicely. Just as it looks like Yumeji’s goose is cooked, Merry bursts in on the scene and saves the day. She fights off the cats and confronts John Doe, demanding that he show her the way back into the dream realm. John Doe just laughs and drifts away. After that, Yumeji and Merry are back in the real world. Here’s a kid with a connection to the dream world, and a girl who longs to get back to the dream world. What wacky adventures will they get into next? The end.

I'll save the day! Because... I've got nothing better to do.

There was nothing inherently wrong with episode one of Dream Eater Merry. It was just, meh. The art was cute, though nothing special, and the music was uninteresting. Merry is still a virtual stranger in this little drama, and Yumeji obviously has more to his story but had to spend all of his screen time being chased by kitties. Everything about this anime seemed kind of cheesy and cartoony, which I wasn’t expecting or looking for. John Doe could have been Gargamel for all of his “scary” blustering, and the cats were channeling some serious Heathcliff. Kaze no Stigma, I apologize: you aren’t a Saturday morning cartoon. By the looks of it, Dream Eater Merry is. And while I adored Saturday morning cartoons when I was still in the single-digits age group, in this day and age I prefer my anime with more darkness, sexiness, and/or romance than the usual kiddie fare can provide. I’ll give it a couple more episodes, but if it doesn’t improve I’ll have no problems wishing Dream Eater Merry a final good night on my DVR.

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