Posted by psgels on 8 April 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Yumekui Merry




If you’re looking for eye candy, then this is an excellent recommendation. Yumekui Merry is a piece of art, with some of the most artistic direction. Jut about every camera angle is interesting and dedicated to make its cast stand out. Every single background drawing is utterly gorgeous. With a rock-solid that brings a ton of life into the cast, this is a great show to watch, though it has its problems.

Shigeyasu Yamauchi‘s influence is all over this series. The camera-angles, the timing, the intonation, all is very carefully planned out really put some emotions behind them, and the animators and artists only back this up. If anything, this show is immersive and a terrific example of what can be done with the animation medium.

The bugs in this show are in the story. Most notably in how it’s way too short for 13 episodes and it failed to really understand what that means. In the first half we get a very interesting series that questions the nature of dreams, what would happen if they were taken hostage and the main characters are put on a wonderfully gray moral scale.

In the second half, though, the creators realized that the manga that this series is based on is in no way going to fit in 13 episodes and that there wasn’t going to come a sequel. They then try to wrap this show up with their own story arc that fails to wrap up anything, has a bad one-sided villain that doesn’t allow the story to go anywhere and specifically seeks out cliches, even when it has to resort to Deus ex Machina to get there. The delivery is still as good as ever, but the story that the second half of this series is trying to tell is just… unimpressive. It reduces a complex moral question back to cliches.

do bother to check out the first half if you have the time, though. It’s a wonderful little series with excellent characterization. It’s always nice to see Shigeyasu Yamauchi’s unique style of directing, but I do wish that he had been put on a story that… actually had the potential to show itself off. The big victim of this syndrome for the next season will be Deadman Wonderland. Seriously, don’t screw up yet again on a flaw that has struck so many series by now! It’s really getting annoying seeing so many shows end without ever getting to their potential.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Excellent timing and atmosphere, but loses points for the lazy way in which it tries to wrap itself up in its second half, especially with one heck of a deus ex machina ending that could have easily been avoided.
Characters: 8/10 – Excellent characterization, and really well animated. A few cliches here and there holding them back, though.
Production-Values: 9/10 – A visual feast. Period.
Setting: 8/10 – A very interesting premise, however the second half doesn’t use it as well as it should have been used.

Suggestions:
Digimon Movie 3 – The Golden Digimentals
Casshern Sins

13 Responses

  1. Houlgrave says:

    I know I’m stating the obvious here, but the manga is a lot better than this particular adaptation.

    To be honest though, I’ve never understood the trend of adapting ongoing series into 13 or even 26 episode series that don’t do justice to the original material. Is it done for financial reasons? Promotional ones?

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Well, one fo the big reasons to do so is indeed for promotional purposes: the production of an anime also leads to much more people buying the manga.

  3. Cytl says:

    I’m much more negative about this adaptation, I loved the manga yet I understood they hadn’t too much source material too begin with but still I found the original content rushed and uninspired. They formally introduced the antagonist and “rivals” 3 episodes before the ending; It was almost impossible to feel any sympathy for them. Yumeji’s character was much more agonizing than in the manga (that is one of the series strongest points in my opinion). Another big flaw was the music: I kinda understand they tried to give a dreamlike feeling to the score but the result was anticlimactic and rather dull. I feel that if they ended the series with the fight against Noir and Landsbrough maybe it would have been just as ambiguous but it sure wouldn’t have been such a train-wreck.

  4. maskedguy says:

    Talking about Deadman’s Wonderland, that series is almost finished manga wise, unless what seems like a final arc isn’t actually one…

  5. Mae says:

    for deadman wonderland, i think they’ll have enough material to wrap it up nicely even if, like maskedguy mentioned, what seems like the final arc in the manga isn’t actually the final one.

  6. Solaris says:

    Once we debated how a good conversion should have been. It was in some old Letter Bee comment. Well here a good use of anime-only stuff that does not go in the way of the original storyline.
    Knowing it was impossible to shrink all in 13 episodes, they simply did the introduction as well as the reference manga and then added this anime only arc just for (temporary) closure.
    Of course you can’t expect to clear all the holes with that, so a second season would be needed. If they will do that, you’ll se how many ‘deus-ex-machina’ elements aren’t really there, but are simply elements took from the original storyline that are to be explained yet.

  7. Spike says:

    WAAAAY too high of a rating. After the first half this show sucked. Just sucked. Important plotlines were abandoned in favor of a over-the-top bullshit villain and just downright stupid writing. And then went back and read the manga and it was a double slap in the face because it is so superior to the adaptation.

    I am getting so sick of JC staff shitting all-over solid manga and light novels with nonsensical filler and side stories. See ZnT, Shana, Index for adaptations they’ve failed at by injecting un-needed BS.

    It’s just bad and stupid. Don’t watch this crap if you haven’t already seen it.

  8. RollingCamel says:

    Didn’t Merry go nuts and unleashed some strange power when she fought Play? I was at least expecting an explanation and the only logical way for Merry to beat Mistletein, we all know that Merry isn’t a normal dream daemon from the start. My lame guess is that she is part human and part daemon.

  9. RollingCamel says:

    Didn’t Merry go nuts and unleashed some strange power when she fought Play? I was at least expecting an explanation and the only logical way for Merry to beat Mistletein, we all know that Merry isn’t a normal dream daemon from the start. My lame guess is that she is part human and part daemon.

  10. jzar says:

    I’d also have to say you really over rated the show. No amount of eye candy can make up for a seriously poor story.

    I found this anime unwatchable. A real shame too since the first episode was very interesting. It did not follow up on what it started and the lack of a good story made the rest of the episodes end up going nowhere.

  11. Troyen says:

    @8, yeah I thought so too. It seemed like Merry wasn’t even trying in the battles after she fought Play. She just would jump around a lot and scream.

  12. Firechick says:

    I think the director himself understood the flaws you pointed out, Psgels.

    http://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=298952

  1. [...] “Do bother to check out the first half if you have the time, though. It’s a wonderful little series with excellent characterization. It’s always nice to see Shigeyasu Yamauchi’s unique style of directing, but I do wish that he had been put on a story that… actually had the potential to show itself off. Grade: 80/100.” – Star Crossed Anime Blog [...]

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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:21 AM)
    All thats left now is macross 7.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:20 AM)
    However this one begged to go on for more than just five episodes, come on now and it had the franchises penchant for weak villains. It doesn’t get me as emotional as do you remember love does, the characters of Macross plus were more likeable. Still its a step above Macross II and I at least had fun with it on an action level.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:17 AM)
    Thats Macross zero completed then, it was great to see the background arc/plot for this franchise, the pace is tight and the action is arguably the most immersive, well done of the Macross universe along with Frontier.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:33 AM)
    While Tatami Galaxy and Ping Pong were definitely sharp I felt that Kemonozume and Kaiba were more inventive.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:30 AM)
    Aye,it was the visual style of the film being so different from the norm that drew me in. Still out of Yuaasa’s stuff I found myself more taken with tatami galaxy.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:22 AM)
    I think creatively the anime industry has plateaued a bit by now, where we see more derivative stuff and there has a formed an almost universal “anime style” which hinders non-traditional voyeurism.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:18 AM)
    I love the tonal whiplash that the story goes thru and the then-impressive-and-new visuals. Both 4°C and Hifana take queues from the Kansai art and the underground graffiti styles that prospered in Japan after the 70’s. Parallel to the postmodern movement in the Western world, the new wave was more expressive than fine and you see its heavy influence on the manga and anime industry.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:14 AM)
    @Bam: It is at the last stretch on the film where it is at its strongest visually in my opinion.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:10 AM)
    @Bam: For only 100 minutes it did a decent enough job on its protaganist in any case.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:02 AM)
    Mindgame is amazing. It is as unorthodox as they come but not really pretentious. It’s pretty humble and does have an actual message and proper story arc, so it’s definitely not just random for random’s sake. The industry needs more Yuasa.

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