Yumekui Merry – 10

Fittingly, a dark and depressing episode of Yumekui Merry this week – hardly a drop of humor and barely a glimpse of Merry’s navel. The overriding tone was one of impending tragedy that no one had any power to stop.

I miss John Doe, the rakish and inscrutable muma we first met in episode one. He’s by far the funniest and most compelling of all the dream demons we’ve met so far, and it was my hope that perhaps Kawanami was his vessel. Alas, no – that turned out to be a rather pedestrian fellow named Lestion (or Leon, I’m not sure). Dream demons often seem to have two names – like Mistoteen/Treesea, the unpleasant muma who has her sights set on Isana now. Everyone knows it’s coming, but no one seems to be able to do anything except mope about it – including Yumeji and Merry and Kawanami herself. At least they don’t leave her alone and unprotected – Merry seems to draw the assignment most of the time – but there’s little sense that they think they’ll be able to anything to stop Treesea.

She’s a tough one, apparently – Elcres’ little henchman is certainly afraid of her, but Elcres himself seems content enough to let her thin out the herd while he waits patiently for… whatever it is he plans to do and I bet it’s bad. And then there’s Pharos, the one who’s learning all the other muma to the real world. I confess I’ve gotten a bit confused with all the names and political permutations in the last few episodes, and that’s not even counting the girl who was studying with the poetry guy – who knew they were senryuu instead of haiku? I learned something! And I still think there’s something distinctly more than normal about him, too – whether he’s a vessel or not, something’s off there.

I honestly don’t know whether this is really too confusing, or I’m just not able to muster enough interest in the plot to keep up when it gets complicated. Honestly, this is not great anime and the pleasures it provides are simple ones – watching the genuinely likable core characters interact and be funny. The premise is interesting but I think it needed to be a little more direct and streamlined – at this point the show feels like it’s trying to do too much, and that’s reflected in the inconsistency of the pacing. We’re closing in on the end now so I suspect the last couple eps will inevitably be frenetic and action-packed.

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