Yumekui Merry – 4

I’m interested in the changing personalities this series has offered so far. What struck me after watching the 4th episode was the stylized animation – quite different from the first three in its use of theatrical gestures and comic effects.

It’s a testament to just how good Hourou Musuko is that, despite its large cast, each one is indelibly imprinted on me as an individual. Yumekui Merry is a pretty good show, but beyond the two leads and the osananajimi’s dad, I’m having a hard time putting names to faces. We seem to be trending towards an episodic format where Yuemji and Merry interact with someone in trouble with the dream world, and this week its Mei, the president of Yumeji’s literature club. I really had no impression of her going into this week, so her storyline wasn’t especially gripping – but she seemed to be hooked up with a muma that was neither good or evil, but somewhere in between – a being named Chris who contacted Mei via texting and ended up using her body to enter our world.

Yumeji and Merry are apparently an official crimefighting duo now, using the moniker of the series title (Dream Eater Merry). They manage to rescue Mei and banish Chris back to the dream world, or at least to the limbo region where Yumeji found Merry. Isana also enters into the picture, forcing some interaction with the unfriendliest girl in school, Kawanami. To be honest if we’ve met her before I’ve forgotten about it, and I’m not exactly sure what her role is yet. But she seems to be the brooding, silent type, so that means she has a secret we’re sure to learn more about in the weeks to come.

Most of the episode was more reminiscent of the relaxed pace of the third episode than the breakneck of the second. There was lots of slice-of-life here – a trip to the karaoke room, video games, maid outfits for Merry. Honestly, none of it really amounted to much and it didn’t really seem to advance things, but it was pleasant enough to watch. There’s a decent sense of style and flair here and enough humor to lift the otherwise rather pedestrian plot above the tolerable level to generally interesting. I’d like to see more of the deeper emotional exploration and fast-paced plot development of the second episode, though – right now this is a show that seems to be struggling to find its identity. That variety can be interesting but I’m ready for a little more pointed and purposeful development.

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