Ah, of course. The thing with Merry is that its plot is very unambitious. It’s just Merry fighting a bunch of dream demons, with next episode the dreams of one of the side-characters finally put on the line. The teacher indeed turned out to be one of the bad guys, and Tachibana is his next victim. The way this series progressed its plot is really where this thing lost points: it really should have needed more variety and creativity in those scenarios.
On the other hand though, we have the characterization. Nine episodes in, and I love what the characters have turned into. The unique direction plus the way in which the major characters discovered that they have been thrust into a ridiculously unfair setting in which the enemies are forced to take hostages that can not be saved. It created a bunch of excellent characters. This is what I mean by fleshing characters out: we’ve now got a good view of who the characters are, and how they behave, and causing even the simplest of conversations to be likable. Well, to me, at least.
What impressed me about this episode was how it immediately turned that clown Dream Demon ten times more interesting than what he was at the end of the previous episode. In this episode things weren’t as one sided; he started playing with the weaknesses of the lead characters.
Also, every time I take screenshots of this series, I’m just reminded of how awesome the graphics here are. It’s not just a matter of things that look good. Beyond that, the creators manage to stuff a ton of eye candy in each episode that just continues to change. There are so many awesome shots to take in this series, and they’re all so different from each other. Even though this episode hinted at a slight loss of budget with animation that was not as detailed as in some of the previous episodes, the creators still managed to put in many different poses, backgrounds and compositions here.
Rating: ** (Excellent)