Merry wasn’t the cutest thing on screen for a change this week. The reintroduction of John Doe brought with it some lovely nekomimi henchmen in even lovelier outfits, along with yet another fascinatingly different art style. You can say this for Yumekui Merry, it never stands pat from week to week.
Poor old Yumeji was hurt pretty badly by the attack from the muma “Three Act Play” at the end of the last episode, but being the budding hero with delusions of GAR-andeur that he is, he decides to tough it out and act like he’s fine. It’s only when he and Merry arrive at home that Yumeji lapses into unconsciousness, while Merry covers up the truth from Tachibana and her Dad.
That dream state is our vehicle to learn an awful lot more about what’s really happening here. John Doe is indeed back, and this time he’s calling himself “The Chaser”. I don’t know if it’s fair to call him an ally but he certainly helps Yumeji heal and spills a ton of good info. He, Merry and countless other dream demons are being lured towards the waking world by a kind of siren’s song, a light from a muma called Pharos (Lighthouse). Heracles was one of these muma – a fearsome evil demon who kills the other muma as they enter the waking world. But that’s not all – there’s yet another muma who may be even more dangerous, Mistorteen, that’s crossed into the waking world as well.
The upshot of all this is that things are getting nasty in the human world. As their muma are eaten, vessels are suddenly listless and dreamless, adrift in a kind of waking coma with no interest in the world around them. And we have no shortage of suspicious characters around who might be one of the evil muma – Yumeji’s bishie haiku friend from literature club who brings the “ill” Yumeji a DVD as a gift. The sullen girl Tachibana is trying to befriend. The creepy glasses-sensei. All of them are acting like they’ve something or other to hide, and there’s lots of reasons to suspect any of them might. Naturally it’s going to be up to Merry and Yumeji to save the day, one assumes – though next week looks like the comparative respite of a beach episode. And with it, no doubt, a completely different style of art and BGM. It’s tough to predict what might happen next but that adds to the series’ charm, at least for now. It remains a fun series with a really well-developed sense of style.