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Dream Eater Merry: Complete Collection (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

March 26, 2012 by  



Any anime fan looking for a kick ass, action-packed series will definitely want to check out “Dream Eater Merry: Complete Collection”.    This is one addictive series that left me craving for more!  Definitely recommended!

Image courtesy of © Yoshitaka/Houbunsha/”Dream Eater Merry” Production Committee. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Dream Eater Merry: Complete Collection

DURATION: Episode 13 (325 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen, English and Japanese 2.0, English subtitles

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATED: TV PG V

Release Date: March 27, 2012

Originally created by Yoshitaka Ushiki

Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi

Series Composition: Hideki Shirane

Music by Keiichi Oku

Character Design: Masahiro Fujii

Art  Director: Kenji Matsumoto, Yuki Yukie

Anime Production by J.C. Staff

Featuring the following voice talent:

Ayane Sakura/Hilary Haag as Merry Nightmare

Nobuhiko Okamot/Blake Shepard as Yumeji Fujiwara

Ai Kayano/Brittney Karbowski as Isana Tachibana

Aya Endo/Shannon Emerick as Engi Three-Piece

Jouji Nakata/Chris Ayres as John Doe

Kana Ueda/Melissa Davis as Chizuru Kawanami

Keiji Fujiwara/Andrew Love as Tachibana no Oyassan (Old Man Tachibana)

Kenichi Suzumura/Vic Mignona as Ryōta Iijima

Mariya Ise/Shelley Calene-Black as Saki Kirishima

Natsumi Takamori/Emily Neves as Mei Hoshino

Sayuri Yahagi/Monica Rial as Mistilteinn

Shinji Kawada/Rob Mungle as Guricho

Shinnosuke Tachibana/Chris Patton as Takateru Akiyanagi

Takaya Kuroda/Jay Hickman as Lestion (Leon)

Tomoko Akiya/Luci Christian as Yui Kōnagi

Sometimes daydreaming can get you into trouble, but what do you do when it’s other people’s dreams that you have to watch out for? Yumeji Fujiwara has the unique ability to predict what kind of dreams other people will have, but lately, his own dreams have taken a bizarre turn in which he’s being pursued by armies of cats. Stranger yet, Yumeji learns that the leader of the dream cats needs his body to access the Real World.

Finally, the strange becomes downright weird when a beautiful girl suddenly drops on top of him and announces that she’s a Dream Demon looking for a way back to the Dream World! The fabric that separates reality and fantasy is torn to shreds, and Yumeji has a lot of sleepless nights ahead of him as he has to deal with both the dream stalking and a dream walking!

Two people from different worlds join forces in taking down dream demons.  But what happens when a few of the most powerful are on Earth, looking to unleash their havoc on innocent students?

This is the premise of “Dream Eater Merry”,  a 13-episode action/fantasy TV series based on the popular manga by Ushiki Yoshitaka.

Published in the magazine “Manga Time Kirara Forward” since 2008, the manga series is still ongoing in Japan.  The anime series is directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi (“Crying Freeman”, “Dragon Ball Z” and “Saint Seiya” films, “Xenosaga: The Animation”), series composition by Hideki Sirane (Aria the Scarlet Ammo”, “Girl’s High”, “Phantom ~Requiem for Phantom~”), music by Keiichi Oku (“Ojamajo Doremi”, “Peacemaker”, “Marmalade Boy”), character design by Masahiro Fujii (“Familizer of Zero”, “Zero no Tsukaima”) and art background by Kenji Matsumoto (“Stellvia”, “Taro the Dragon Boy”, “Air”, “Dragon Ball Z”).

“Dream Eater Merry” revolves around two people.  The first is Merry Nightmare, a dream demon fro the dreamworld who somehow was able to come out of it and live in Earth’s reality ten years ago.  No memory of what happened, Merry has been searching and defeating Dream Demons and sending them back home to the Dreamworld, in hopes that she will return back with them.

The other person is Yumeji Fujiwara, a high school student who has a special ability, by making his fingers form a circle and looking through them, he can see the aura of people and easily predict the dreams they are about to have. But for some reason, Yumeji is having these unusual nightmares of cats trying to capture him.

Meanwhile, Yumeji tries to live a normal life.  He hangs out with his childhood friend Isana, a shy girl who wants to become an artist and she absolutely adores Yumeji for helping her home after injuring herself at the playground when the two were young kids.  He hangs out with his friends from the writing club, Mei Hoshino (the leader of the writing club), Takateru Akiyanagi (the haiku writer) amd Saki Kirishima (who likes Takateru).

Yumeji’s dreams are starting to become a bit more hostile and we are introduced to leader of the cats named John Doe, who has an interest in Yumeji, for some reason.  One day, Merry Nightmare accidentally falls on top of him and loses her hat.  As she goes on to look for it, the world of reality suddenly changes to dreamtime and John Doe and his army of cats continue to chase Yumeji and immediately, Merry has entered the dream (to find her hat) and ends up fighting John Doe and saving Yumeji.

Eventually, Yumeji learns from Merry that she is trying to get back home and feels that if she sends these dream demons back, it would give her the chance to go back home to the Dream World but the problem is, she has been on Earth for ten years and finding one is not easy.  Yumeji feels he owes Merry for saving his life, so he offers to use his skill of detecting unusual auras including dream demons and promising Merry that he will do all he can to help her get back home.

For now,  Yumeji helps Merry by getting her a place to stay and also a part-time job, and while on Earth, Merry gets to learn about humans, human interactions and lifestyle but also emotion.

Meanwhile, for certain individuals that are communicating with dream demons, someone out there is killing their demon partners and erasing the dreams of students and making them live like walking zombies.

So now  Yumeji and Merry take on various dream demons, but also come across others who have different agendas and may affect Merry’s goal of going back home to the Dream World.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Dream Eater Merry” is presented in 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen and English/Japanese 2.0.  It’s important to note that if you want the best PQ and AQ possible, you will definitely want to go for the Blu-ray version, which will be released simultaneously on the same day of this DVD.

“Dream Eater Merry” is one of those series that is just beautiful to look at.  Featuring artistic art backgrounds that are beautifully painted and variety of colors that showcase warmth and darkness, the characters are well-shaded, while the art backgrounds are well-detailed and just breathtaking to look at.

I was able to test both voice acting during my viewing of the entire series and both voice acting in Japanese and English are very well-done.  The Japanese version definitely captures the more emotional side of the series but for the most part, anime fans, whether they prefer Japanese or English, should be satisfied by the overall quality of the voice acting.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Dream Eater Merry: Complete Collection” features the Clean Opening and Closing Animation themes and Sentai Filmworks trailers.

During my viewing of “Dream Eater Merry”, one of the things that went on my head while watching the first episode was if this is going to be another “Kurokami” type series.  Two people from different worlds, it’s a banality you often see in anime series.

Fortunately, “Dream Eater Merry” features a captivating, action-packed storyline that has cool characters, cool artwork but most of all, it’s a fun series that unfortunately ends too quickly!

After watching “Dream Eater Merry”, I was hoping for more episodes.  This is an awesome anime series and one aspect that I love about it is the possibilities and potential because of the many “dream demons” that exist.  And of course, you have weak and strong dream demons, but then you have these few demons who are just on their own level as they are just too powerful and each have their own wicked, dark or crazy style.

And then you have the two protagonists, Merry and Yumeji.  The series features many characters but the series manages to weave character development through each episode and every characters ends up being likeable.  The problem is, some have big dreams and big dreams are what certain evil dream demons are after.  Dreams they can squash and leave people almost like mindless zombies.  So, when you see Merry and Yumeji, they don’t look like the powerhouse duo…but considering that Yumeji has had the special ability to see people’s dreams but also enter in a dream (day or night, whenever he wants) is quite intriguing.

Also, the character of Merry doesn’t look all too powerful.  She looks like a young teenage girl, but because she has amnesia and she has defied logic by being present in the real world (when dream demons can only be in dreams), needless to say, there is a lot that needs to be explored about her character and her abilities.

But overall, this first series for “Dream Eater Merry” was fantastic!  And as mentioned, too short.  Even in the final episode right after the big battle, you can tell that this series was one that could have probably needed another 11-13 episodes as there are quite a bit of questions of what will happen to various characters after this first major battle.  Needless to say, while the writers did all they can to wrap things up in the final minutes of the final episode, you are just left wanting more of “Dream Eater Merry”.

Considering that the manga series is ongoing, hopefully J.C. Staff is considering a second season.  But for now, any anime fan looking for a kick ass, action-packed series will definitely want to check out “Dream Eater Merry: Complete Collection”.  This is one addictive series that left me craving for more!  Definitely recommended!

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