Posted on 11 March 2011 with categories: Yumekui Merry



This episode only affirmed the strengths and weaknesses of this series. It was a build-up for the finale (this series will have 13 episodes, by the way. It’s officially announced now), but it still showcased its rock-solid characters, excellent acting, and unfortunately not very ambitious backstory.

This episode revealed the backstory of some of the side-characters and while it definitely was interesting, it also felt like they were having a contest of who could have the saddest past. one girl’s parents died in an accident, another guy grew up with his younger sister in the hospital. Twists like these are powerful, but they shouldn’t be used gratuitous.

In the end, by far the biggest mistake that this series made however, was not making John Doe the villain. He’s a much more interesting antagonist than Elcres or Mistletain, who currently are trying a bit too hard to be mysterious and therefore not giving any of us the chance to connect with them. John Doe and his army of talking cats: you could have built an excellent story around that, while still using the unique setting of this series.

I’m a bit harsh on this series compared to others, but I am comparing it to much higher standards than usual. After all, Yumekui Merry is good, but still nowhere as good as Casshern Sins. It also doesn’t help that it airs right after Madoka Magica, which has some similar elements here. I’ve said before that series with a simple plot can be just as awesome when executed well, but here we have a series whose plot just has too little interesting twists and turns that really prevent it from being a masterpiece. Sana about to be kidnapped… I’m sorry, but I’ve just seen that a few too many times by now and this episode just spent too much time on trying to build this up, and it still hasn’t happened yet!

Anyway, enough with the negatives. I mean, Chizuru did get some much needed backgrounds, and she is really promising to be a key part in making plot of the finale less dull, standing somewhere in the middle of Yumeji and Merry and Mistletain and Elcres. And I also remain convinced that Yumeji is a great main character for a guy his age. Instead of doing nothing but angst, whine or look helplessly, he looked for ways to save Sana, and yet this episode also showed him preparing for the worst-case scenario of Merry having to send her dream demon back. Seriously, dream demons holding the dreams of their vessels hostage is something that this series overall used really well.
Rating: * (Good)

12 Responses

  1. tomo says:

    About John Doe… well, you should read the manga x)

  2. Coyotl says:

    Pretty much what tomo said, John Doe serves other purposes in the manga; many time better than being just a villain. Hopefully we’ll have a second season.

  3. Solaris says:

    Damn Psgels you’re forcing spoilers out of me. T_T I have my lips sealed, but believe me: John Doe is an awesome char, beyond being good or evil. He’s the John Doe the chaser of truth anyway ;)
    And, by the way you’re actually too harsh with this serie. It has a very good backstory, good premise, good char development and good execution.
    And, by the way, it’s kinda superior to Casshern Sins in any aspect, let alone that Casshern wandered aimlessly angsting for damn half a serie before deciding doing something and ended it with some cheap morals at the end. Disgusting.
    On the other hand Yumekui’s weekly dream demon always added a piece to the puzzle in a very ‘dreamy’ fashon. That is to say everything was introduced as fragments taken from a dream, then composed together till you have a clear picture about around the beach episode, that being a beach episode, was particulairly useful too.
    The problem is how they’re ending this so early. There isn’t any time left and there are still too many enemies to deal with. Just be prepared that some will be left for another serie yet to come, and I really hope they’ll continue cause this serie is actually amazing. For the time being, let’s just hope for a satisfactory finale.

  4. jzar says:

    I’d have to say just based on the show so far, its not working for me.

    I really love the idea and the art is fantastic but I have to confessed I’m just plain bored with the content. Great elements are there but not in this presentation. It’s a big story that just isn’t fitting in.

    I will most stop watching the show I don’t want to wait for it to get better….

    Yes, I should be patient and just wait you’ll see….etc, ——but I just don’t find it interesting enough to care about the main characters and the bad guys? Crazed loons without anything else to them? why so one dimensional? I would have loved to see them have a reason to invade the dreams, maybe thinking they were doing a bad thing but in a good cause.

    You are dead on about John Doe, that episode was awesome it left me wanting more of him.

    The show really started out great and not just a little bit. If you look at where they started from and where they are now it looks like a completely different show.

    I am ranting a bit but it is only because I really wanted this show to be good. I am only finding it getting more and more confusing.

    I think I will just go read the manga.

  5. anon says:

    it’s anime original territory right now, there’s just no way they can end the series with only 3 more episodes unless they go down the anime original path.

    they are in the middle of a story arc…

    and seriously John as the villain? wth is the tv show doing? must be doing something drastically wrong.

    and what’s this kidnapping I am hearing? and these retarded sad stories? no wonder people are saying this tv show sucks. I think it’s sucks too and in no way compares to manga.

  6. Ncrdrg says:

    Yumekui Merry is pretty good. However, it does have a serious flaw when it comes to fleshing out villains. It’s sad because it’s would put the anime from “pretty good” to “awesome” if they bothered to do that properly.

    All we’ve seen is John Doe early in the series, a few random and uninspiring villains and two/three main baddies whom we know practically nothing about. For some, we just know their name and that’s it!

    I’m increasingly worried about how it’ll manage to go from no development to a satisfying finale. Being harsh with Yumekui Merry is understandable. It’s a good series that could easily be the 2nd best anime of the season along Madoka: Great male & female lead, good supporting cast, interesting themes (dreams, holding humans hostage with their dreams, sending back/death).

    As they say, you’re always the biggest critic of the one you are expecting the most from.

  7. Solaris says:

    All of these criticism are not spot on. There is only the lack of a real good end boss, and not much else. That’s why they added an anime only antagonist. Let’s give it 3 more episodebefore starting complaining. And, as a matter of kidnapping, there’s any.

  8. Jérémy says:

    Ugh…I’m sorry, I’m so losing interest in this series. I don’t really like any characters after 10 episodes. I mean they’re not terrible, they’re good characters but just good doesn’t really cut it. Overall this series is just meh. The art is still gorgeous though.

  9. Nayrael says:

    The series certainly won’t end ion 3 episodes. We are just getting a season break.

  10. DmonHiro says:

    Spoiler!

    John Doe joins the good guys as a mentor figure in the manga, and helps out during battles.

    End spoiler.

  11. DangerMouse says:

    Yeah Solaris, honestly they really just need to not end this at the end of these 13 eps and make more, it’s too good to just end with clearly so much left to tell.

    “John Doe is an awesome char, beyond being good or evil. He’s the John Doe the chaser of truth anyway ;)”

    Something I’ve loved about this is that John Doe has been more than just some villain, he was way too cool for that so I can understand just wanting him to be more central in these 13 eps but I’m personally glad he’s not the villain, even if it’ll just leave me hoping that somehow this has been successful enough as the BD/DVDs come out to earn a second season for more John Doe.

  12. DangerMouse says:

    Oh I forgot to add, not that bad guys aren’t better too when they’re cool and/or interesting, but I’ll admit that I was a bit worried that John Doe would just be a minor/mid-boss baddie when this first started, so I’m quite happy he’s turned out to be quite a bit more :)

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  • Anon
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 10:26 AM)
    “It has become obsolete a long time ago.” No shit it has, you’re older and see things differently. Anime isn’t produced or marketed to the old timers. It’s for the kids and potential anime fans, because they LIKE moe, they LIKE “generic” shonen (which by the way, they don’t know what the fuck that term means because it’s probably their first shonen). Get over it.
  • Anon
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 10:23 AM)
    @Bam Says the man who has been watching anime since a long time ago. Your argument holds as much water as the people who want a mature Pokemon game. Most of it is for younger people. Y’know, the kids that are the same age as when YOU started watching anime?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 10:21 AM)
    The whole risk/reward thing with the national/international audience’s likes and dislikes is in need of a long overdue hard reexamination. The Anime industry is collapsing upon the conformity to the tropes, that in my opinion, have become obsolete and redundant a long time ago.
  • Anon
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 10:20 AM)
    Meh, who cares? There’s more problems with the world other than how studios alter the fetishes of people and shit.
  • Enka
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 10:16 AM)
    @Bam Maybe. They’re all sheep, the casual anime fans, I mean.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 10:15 AM)
    But this community fetishes are direct result of them pandering and creating these niches in the 1st place. So perhaps if they move away from it so will the community
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 10:13 AM)
    @Bam The anime community at large. That’s why there’s the kuudere, loli, glasses, etc. They pander to everyone.
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 10:11 AM)
    Oops, that was for Bam.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 10:11 AM)
    I mean the main characters in Log Horizon are university students, then what the hell is the dress-up and the harem for? who are they even pandering to?!
  • K-Off
    (Thursday, Aug 21. 2014 10:11 AM)
    @Enka Yeah, but most of the time they don’t know how to filter through that shit and end up ignorant fucks.

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