Yumekui Merry

February 25, 2012

Everybody has dreams. Everybody wants to live out their dreams. But when you usually say that, it is in a metamorphic way. What if that really happens literally? Will you be overjoyed? Will you be disappointed? Will you feel that you have got more than you have bargained for? There is somewhat a fine line between dreams and reality. At least that is what I thought when I watched Yumekui Merry. And no, I wasn’t dreaming watching this anime. I know I was up conscious for real seeing this series. Phew. Need to make that clear to myself.

Well, it’s hard for me to summarize what this entire anime is about. I was a little confused in watching the series because it deals with dreams and reality. I’m not saying that there are deep psychological stuffs that only people like Freud can analyze and comprehend, but people like me who don’t even harbour big dreams find it a little baffling and mystifying. All I can say the show is something like this: There are inhabitants of the dream world called Muma. Mumas want to come to our real world. Mumas need real body or vessel to do so. More and more people become victims to these Mumas. It’s up to a kid with special powers and a lost Muma to decipher what is going on, save the day, have the latter get back to her own world. Something more sinister beneath surfaces and it’s more than meets the eye. Get it?

Episode 1
We see a Muma, the protagonist of the story, Merry Nightmare (with a name like that, what do you think of her?) bumming around and awakened from her comfortable sleep. On the other hand, human protagonist, Yumeji Fujiwara is yet in another messy dream. The one whereby cute cats are after his skin. This is no laughing matter. No matter how hard he runs, he gets caught. But he is saved in the sense that time is up. The cat warns him that the next time, their boss will be seeing him. Beware. How could you not take this dream/nightmare seriously if you have been dreaming the same dream every night? Hope he doesn’t get out from the wrong side of the bed. So like any other normal kid in reality, he goes to school, has friends of his own. The ‘wife’ and childhood friend whom he is living with, Isana Tachibana, haiku lover Takateru Akiyanagi, tomboyish Saki Kirishima, writing club president, Mei Hoshino and the onigiri loving guidance counsellor, Ryouta Ijima. Yumeji also has this mysterious ability. By making a hole with his fingers and peeping through it, he can see the different bubble-like colours on people. This is what he perceives as are auras of people’s dreams. Bright happy colours mean you’ll have a good dream and dark black ones mean you’re screwed. And as usual he peeps on himself and knows he’s going to face those darn cats again. Yumeji walks home alone after his writing club meeting (also consist of members like Saki, Akiyanagi and Ijima), a girl drops on him from the sky. No, this is nothing like Sora No Otoshimono. She is Merry and she starts panicking upon knowing her hat is missing, leaving in a huff. Later Yumeji thinks he spots Merry’s hat and when he approaches it, he finds himself in his dream world. How can this happen when he is still awake? The cats’ boss, Chaser John Doe needs a vessel to cross over to Yumeji’s world just like how he can cross over to theirs. Unless you want to become his vessel, better start running. And he isn’t called Chaser for nothing. You can run but you can’t hide. Before Yumeji is done for, Merry appears (she got her hat back by the way). John Doe though she had obtained a vessel but it seems she has no idea how it happened. Before she realized, she was thrown into this world and is trying to find a way to get back. Since John Doe is going the other way, Merry is going to force him to take her home. They fight but Merry is faster and her tiny hand really packs a punch. In the end, Merry wins after managing to crack his mask. He thinks that she may be the one and leaves. Merry is left confused and oddly, he didn’t bring her back with her. So she’s stuck again. Yumeji returns to his real world and it’s like as though time has never passed while he went through that nightmare. Merry is also there and she is rather upset and emotional till she collapses in his arms.

Episode 2
Merry is taken back to Isana’s home and Isana quickly warms up to her. Merry tries to get herself use to living with them since Isana’s dad (who also runs a cafe in the house) approves of her. Late that night, Merry tells Yumeji about Mumas and how some of them want to cross over to this side via a human vessel. And there are many types of Mumas. Like for instance a short distance away, Yumi and her Muma, Serio are somewhat best friends. Merry continues that her body, clothes and hat are authentically hers and she didn’t know how it happened when she got stuck in this world. With some memories missing, all she yearned for was to return home. Then one day she bumped into a Muma when the landscape turned into a dream world (this is what they call Daydream). She fought the Muma who was in the midst of possessing a vessel but each time she was asked the same question of who she was and left without any answer. So she tried searching for more Mumas and John Doe was the fourth. She got desperate enough to want Yumeji to summon him but he doesn’t know how. But it’s snack time as Isana returns with a box of doughnuts. Merry instantly takes a liking and this becomes her favourite food like how Shana is to her melon bread and C.C. is to pizza. Dead in the night, Merry thinks of leaving. Isana’s dad didn’t stop her and asks her if this is something she can or must do by herself. She replies both. Next day, Yumeji’s class gets a new transfer student, Chizuru Kawanami. To summarize her, she’s unfriendly. Elsewhere, Yumi and Serio find themselves in an unknown Daydream and a violent turn of events has got Serio killed, causing Yumi to lose all hope and sink into depression. While Yumeji is confused of Merry’s sudden departure, Merry feels she can handle everything by herself and doesn’t need help. Really?

Episode 3
As Yumeji helps Isana with her chores, he decides he wants to help Merry. Sure, you’ve got to find her first, right? Merry wanders into a park and meets a little girl, Minato Kisaragi who is finding hard to make friends. What caused Merry to be friends with her? Her doughnut. I guess when two lonely people in the world get together, they aren’t lonely anymore, right? Just like fate, Yumeji chances upon Minato playing Kick The Can at the park and this leads to Merry. Oh, she fell on him again. He makes friends with Minato and they play Kick The Can. Yumeji thought he is the master but to his dismay (and Yumeji’s), he lost 10 times in a row! He sucks. Yumeji proceeds to do a little fortune telling on Minato but to his horror, sees her dark aura. Suddenly then enter a Daydream. Minato has her own Muma, Ichima. However Ichima isn’t happy that she made friends with other people because they had a promise that Minato wouldn’t play with anyone but her. Ichima’s true colour is revealed when she wants to use Minato’s body as a vessel. She attacks and won’t forgive the traitor. Of course she is no match for quick Merry. Ichima tries to persuade Minato that her only friend is trouble but she finally realized she already had friends and felt sorry for Ichima who is the one without friends. Merry slaps her to send her back but I guess it was too late for Merry to come along. Missed the bus again, eh? Back in reality, Yumeji gives Merry the title of Yumekui (Dream Devourer) because she eats dreams. Does she? Then she realizes Yumeji’s uncanny ability to tell a Daydream is coming. He offers to help her achieve her goal with this power of his but she refuses. And he was so confident she would say yes. Uh huh. Two things are now occupying Merry’s mind: Going home and doughnuts.

Episode 4
Yumeji still wants to help but Merry feels the more he gets involved, he might really be turned into a vessel and at that point, Mumas don’t need a door that connects dream and reality. Eventually, she reluctantly accepts his help. After the writing club’s meeting, they decide to go for some karaoke but see Merry at the school gates almost courting trouble with a teacher. They invite her to the karaoke too (note: Yumeji isn’t idol material. Keep your hands over your ears at all times). Meanwhile Isana tries to make friends with Kawanami and even brings her back to her place for coffee. Does she really want to open her up that bad? It’s going to take some time and patience. Feels like something is bugging Kawanami. Her body language is odd. Saki notices Mei texting all the while so she teases if she’s texting to her boyfriend. More like an acquaintance who shares the same passion for books. Though she has never met him before, he text her to met tomorrow. Back home while Yumeji and Merry are in some baseball video game challenge, Mei makes an unexpected visit. She is heartbroken that the person she waited, Chris Evergreen for never showed up. Then he notices her strange behaviour. Mei suddenly gets up, starts sending text to her own handphone via another mobile. He fears the worst. Mei returns to her normal self and sees the message from Chris and rushes out to meet him. Yumeji chases after her and realizes that Chris as taken over Mei’s body. Chris notes that no matter how many times they do this, they won’t be able to meet. Yumeji forces Chris to open a Daydream and in a dilapidated cathedral, he sees Mei lying motionless in a coffin. He wants this monster to leave her body but Chris gets an idea that if he can use Yumeji’s body as a vessel, he can meet Mei. Not so fast playboy. Merry makes her grand entrance and after hearing Yumeji’s words, she is resolved to help him and has decided all Mumas like him are her enemy. Merry evades all attacks from Chris and lets him know that she is a Baku that sends all of the bad dreams back to the other side. She lands a punch on his face as he slowly disintegrates. Chris wonders if she could really send him back. Mei wakes up and briefly catches a glimpse of Chris and notes the wonderful person he is like she imagined before he completely disappears. With Merry agreeing to work with Yumeji, looks like she has to live with him and she can start by working part time as a maid in Isana’s dad cafe.

Episode 5
Popular singer YOKATO suddenly quits music and this sends obsessed fans alike (including Isana) into utter shock and depression. Yeah, feeling so empty, eh? Too disheartened to do anything? More like an excuse to send Yumeji and Merry to go shopping for errands. Yumeji learns that Merry has been stuck in this world for 10 years! That seems pretty long. She is grateful for meeting him because he gave her something to do and turned her into someone else. They accidentally bump into a girl, Yui Kounagi (I thought she look like a cross between K-ON!’s Mio and Ritsu). Yumeji tries to save her doll from falling and though he is successful, he got the lowdown view beneath her skirt. And a slap across his face. Seems Yui has her own Muma, Engi Threepiece and the duo are teaming up to find Mumas who are possessing humans. Yui agreed to help her because she wants to fulfil Engi’s dream. Suddenly Yumeji and Merry find themselves in a Daydream, a wheat field. Sword wielding Engi thought Merry is possessing Yumeji and attacks her. She also wants Merry to reveal the whereabouts of her boss, Pharos Heracles. Who? Maybe we’ll have another time for that since Engi is engrossed in cutting Merry down. However Engi notices her sabre isn’t affecting Merry and the latter could even disintegrate it. Engi remembers how her sister, Patti was attracted to some light and left for the other world. Then she tried to go after her and that’s when she met Yui and begged for her to become her vessel in which she wholeheartedly agreed. So when Merry says about sending her back, Engi doesn’t believe there is a way because it is impossible to return. Otherwise, Patti wouldn’t have died in their hands. All those Mumas who were defeated, they perished. This shocks Merry and Yumeji. Have they been doing it all wrong this time? Engi won’t rest until she exterminates every Muma like her and uses the moonlight’s power to regenerate her sword and power up. Merry is cornered so Yumeji needs to do something fast. He becomes a shield to protect Merry from Engi’s slash.

Episode 6
Merry becomes distraught though Yumeji is barely alive. Engi is stunned because it is her principle that she will never get humans involved. Merry is so upset that her awakening powers start tearing the land! Before she realizes it, they’re out of the Daydream. Because dreams and reality are separated matter, Yumeji seems pretty normal back in reality. Phew. What a scare. But when they go home, Yumeji collapses for real. Second round trauma for Merry. She stays by his side while being riddled with guilt. And Isana didn’t suspect anything wrong. Isana meets Saki and Akiyanagi as they talk about Dream Loss, people suddenly losing their interest in their hopes and dreams. The number of cases are rising recently. Like YOKATO. After living together for so many years, you thought at least she’d know something is wrong. Yumeji finds himself in his own dream world and John Doe before him. However he is not here to hunt him. As he has his nekomimi maids heal his wounds, Yumeji learns that Heracles is a Muma but like a lighthouse, his dazzling light is a beacon to other Muma, thus capturing them and expanding his territory. He is some sort of a leader as each Muma is an independent entity and do not act in a group unless they have the same objectives. The light Heracles projected to the world of reality was too alluring and John Doe himself admits that he was drawn to it (hunting Yumeji as his vessel). Heracles has descended upon the reality world and is acting as a guide for Mumas. The number of vessels for them are increasing in this world so if they don’t do anything about it, more Mumas will be coming. John Doe also found out something interesting. Around the time Heracles and his followers descended upon reality, a Muma got involved against his will and was dragged to reality (guess who). For instance the strange things like coming to reality without using a vessel. In short, if Yumeji finds Heracles, he may find something about Merry. John Doe advises him that his strength in the dream is the strength of his feelings. He says he is the ally of truth and the situation for both worlds is now abnormal. Yumeji realizes that John Doe is protecting him from other Mumas while he is being healed. But he signs off with another warning. There is another brutal Muma as Heracles. Perhaps much more dangerous than him. Dubbed Mistleteen, The Sea of Trees, the pleasure it seeks is not the lighthouse but the torment of others. Kawanami pays Isana a surprise visit. She asks her if she has any dreams. Nothing great. She likes to draw (nothing related to manga, mind you). Akiyanagi also comes by to leave a special DVD for him when Yumeji instantly wakes up. Merry in her relief hugs him like a lost kid reunited with her mom. I guess this means more doughnuts for her, eh?

Episode 7
Merry is having difficulties remembering the confusing names on the menu. Because she’s nervous, she trips but luckily Yumeji catches her. So this calls for a trip to the beach to relax? Yeah, I was wondering if this show is going to have any fanservice or not. So the jin-jang gang and surprise package Kawanami even tagging along. So while the others play, Merry confides what is bugging her to Yumeji. She thought she has been sending back Mumas with her own hands but with the recent events, she isn’t sure anymore. Later they go see a nearby filming of a tokusatsu series, Gretcho. They also see Ijima under orders from the teaching committee patrolling the area. Yumeji discusses with Yumeji about Gretcho’s justice concept and wonder if he could still go on fighting if he loses hope. Is it me or are Isana and Kawanami spending awfully lots of time together? And who would have thought Akiyanagi would pull off a seaweed prank to scare the girls. A boy, Masaru happily receives an autograph from the Gretcho actor. As he returns, he enters a Daydream. His Muma, Delga protects him from being attacked and gets wounded. Delga recognizes the attacker as The Sea of Trees. Masaru was in awe when Delga counter attacks to finish off Mistleteen. But that is only short-lived and kills the Muma. When Masaru returns to reality, he loses all hope and dream and doesn’t want the autographed mask anymore. A couple of guys try to hit on Saki but they back off when Akiyanagi comes into the picture. From Saki’s body language, it indicates she likes him. She doesn’t want him to mention this incident to the rest. At the end of the day as the gang prepare to leave, Yumeji realizes Merry isn’t with them. Realizing she’s trying to run away again, he sees her standing in the sea. He insists he will continue support her but needs her to believe in herself. They will prove that Engi is wrong because hopes and dreams are right here, in their hearts. Hey, you don’t have to get all emotional each time he says something like that.

Episode 8
Well, Yumeji somehow sprained his ankle so Merry accompanies him to see a doctor while Isana has been called by Ijima to talk about her future career. Along the way, Merry got distracted to doughnuts so I guess Yumeji is on his own. Engi wakes up from a dream that her sister is running away from Heracles but was killed. She laments if she have stopped her then but Yui is around to provide a pillar of support. Yumeji sees the odd old doctor who is also telling him about the recent event of Dream Loss. To Yumeji’s surprise, he learns that this doctor’s granddaughter is Yui! Grandpa thinks she has brought back a son-in-law!!! While grandpa and Yui’s dad argue among each other, Yui sneaks him out to talk. The medicine she gives him to drink… I thought it looked like some nasty witch potion… Yumeji gets defensive when he realizes Engi is her Muma. But Yui allows Engi to switch places so they can talk. Engi goes down on her knees to beg for forgiveness for the other day. They talk about Heracles and the possibility of sending Mumas home, which Engi still believes it isn’t possible. Yumeji brings Engi/Yui to see Merry at the doughnut shop. Suddenly a circus-like Daydream. Muma Maze Landsborough has finally succeeded in taking a vessel to come to this world and wants to thank his master Heracles for enabling him to do so. Engi reiterates what John Doe has told us. Heracles’ ability to expand his territory by taking in other Mumas. He lights the path and continues to guide ignorant Mumas to this world. Drawn by the pretty light, they will continue to gather. Maze wants the Muma ladies to join him with his master but they are not interested so he unleashes his clown dummies to dispose of them.

Episode 9
As Isana leaves school after Ijima’s counselling, she experiences a temporary Daydream but is snapped out of it when Ijima catches her. As for our heroes, you think a bunch of goons are going to hold them down? Nope. Looks like he underestimated them. Merry couldn’t finish him off when he cries Muma murderer. Her naivety has him to continue mocking her but Engi slashes him. Maze lets them know Mumas live inside a human’s dream. Why are they shock to hear this? I thought they knew they were dream inhabitants? Whose dream? Can’t be alien’s dream so what else, human’s dream lah. Maze further warns them that if he dies, this human he possessed will also die. Engi couldn’t care less and slashes him. She could have finished him if Yumeji and Merry didn’t come between her. They return to the real world. Maze leaving happily and satisfied in his vessel. Furious Engi wants to know why Yumeji stopped her. He says that his dreams were taken hostage and if she was going to kill the Muma, she’d be a hypocrite for not getting humans involved. Engi cools down while Yui pleads not to bully her anymore. Needing a plan for the future, they enter Yui’s Daydream as Engi talks to Merry alone. She wants Merry to punch her since she won’t forgive her for what she has done to Yumeji. Merry purposely misses so Engi insists there is no way of returning. Engi feels her purpose now is for nothing since Mumas taking their vessel’s dream as a hostage means she cannot touch them. She wonders why Merry can still look so confident. She mentions she has someone who pulls her hand. Then they ask about Mistleteen and learn about her unique power to force Mumas that come to this world into a human vessel, regardless of the will of the Muma and human. Letting her be means there’ll be more victims and Engi knows she’ll eventually cross her path. Their conversation is cut short when Isana comes looking for Yumeji. She isn’t amused that he is having a friendly conversation with another girl. As they part ways, Yumeji asserts that he believes there is still a way to return no matter how disadvantaged they become. I mean, making it into reality is what a dream is called, right? A girl, Yoshida collapses and enters a Daydream. A Muma thanks Mistleteen for the help but needs to go see Heracles. However she kills him while Kawanami watches from afar. In reality, Yoshida becomes unconscious and going up to her is Ijima. He starts kicking her like dirt! Looks like he is the vessel for Mistleteen. Mistleteen notices Kawanami spying and lets her know about the foolish dreams humans have. Since Kawanami doesn’t say or react, she hints that her next target is Isana. Back home, Isana tells Yumeji and Merry about her short and weird dream-like experience. To Yumeji’s fear, he sees a dark aura around her. Oh no. Has she become a vessel?

Episode 10
Kawanami is confused. Entering her Daydream, she meets her Muma, Lestion. He tells her they just need 1 more and the preparations will be complete. It doesn’t matter who the next sacrifice is. Kawanami says she doesn’t have any emotions as she has tossed them away a long time ago. Really? If not, it would be hard for Lestion to get his revenge he longed for. Yumeji is also in a dilemma. He never realized the one closest to him was being targeted. He always hoped she could draw without having to worry about dreams or reality. Maybe he was just turning a blind eye? Yumeji goes to see Isana drawing one of those things she sees in her dream. Merry is impressed by it. Kawanami remembers her past where she was loved by her parents. Their sudden demise left her alone, though she was spared by the debt problems her parents left behind. But no matter where she went to seek solace, her heart still easily broke. She felt the more she opened her heart, the more she lost things. Thus dreams are like an empty shell to her and that’s when she agreed to become Lestion’s vessel due to her lack of emotions. Yumeji talks his problems to Yui and Engi. He wants to save Isana but doesn’t know how. Engi suggests opening the gate to the boundary and drag her Muma out and discover its identity. He agrees but will only bring her tomorrow since he doesn’t want to ruin her drawing. Meanwhile Saki and Akiyanagi are studying at the library. Saki learns his haiku stems from a TV programme wanting to make his ill sister who was always in hospital laugh. Though she is fine now, he continued his haiku to share these little sparks of happiness with others. Maze is searching for Heracles when he suddenly finds himself and another Muma and its vessel in a Daydream. He burns down the area (probably killing the other Muma) while Maze runs for cover. In the aftermath, Maze is happy to see him and reports of the annoying bunch of Merry and Engi. However he tells them to leave them alone since there is nothing they can do. Plus, they’ll come in contact with Mistleteen soon. Yumeji returns home and is surprised to see Kawanami. She is acting strange by apologizing for being careless. Yumeji senses something wrong and through his peeping fingers, yeah, another vessel, eh? Surprise? Kawanami is here to warn him that Mistleteen is closing in on Isana. She leaves without saying hi to her ‘friend’ (I guess she was engrossed in her drawing). He chases after her for more details and on whose side she is on but she didn’t answer. As Isana finishes her drawing, Yumeji couldn’t care less who he is up against because he won’t let them touch Isana.

Episode 11
Flashback reveals how Mistleteen and Ijima met. They both share the same passion of tormenting others. Next morning, Merry drags Isana to Yui’s place on a pretence to go to a doughnut shop. Isana finds herself in Engi’s Daydream as the latter swoops down and knocks her out. Drawing out Isana’s Muma, they find a shy and petite Palete (I thought she reminded me of He-Man’s Orko). Palete didn’t really want to make a human her vessel though she was interested and peeked. The next thing she knew, she is stuck and can’t go home. Engi knows this is the work of Mistleteen as she can force Mumas into humans without their will and then bury them both. Though they are still unsure why Isana is being targeted. Merry isn’t sure if her punch could send Palete back and since Yumeji admits he’s a coward, I guess that’s it for today. So Isana wakes up and thinks all that she has seen was just some weird dream. Ijima passes by Kawanami at the stairs. His taunting about her having no future didn’t work on this emotionless girl. However he is looking forward to their revenge. Kawanami feels like warning Yumeji but Lestion warns her that they are solely here for revenge. As Isana completes her drawing in the arts room, she is startled when Ijima comes to take a peek. She thanks him for making her realize her drawing dream so that’s when Ijima feels ready to ‘harvest’ her. Suddenly inside a Daydream, Mistleteen knocks out Isana by nearly drowning her while Palete hides in fear. She notes that Isana is just a mere appetizer and the main dish are Lestion and Kawanami, both whom are just observing from a distance. Yumeji and Merry drop in to Isana’s rescue. Merry is confident of her abilities but was quickly overwhelmed by Mistleteen. She is then going to kill Palete. Yumeji hurries to stop her but was pinned down by Ijima. He reveals his true colours and relishes the betrayed expression on their faces. Then he also reveals Lestion and Kawanami and notes even though they are Mistleteen’s enemies, that doesn’t make them Yumeji’s ally. Furthermore, they have always been watching from the sidelines while letting other Mumas get killed. He is confident they will do nothing here too. Mistleteen gets an idea to kill both Palete and Isana together. That is when Kawanami decides she’ll protect her. However she was told off that she can watch strangers die but can’t leave her friends in the lurch. Kawanami is left reflecting her actions and in a dilemma as Merry gets up and ready for another round. But Mistleteen decides to withdraw today since she has witnessed something interesting. She vows to kill them all the next time. Back in reality, that time will be as Ijima says, after the tests. He’ll be looking forward to the end of the closing ceremony.

Episode 12
Yumeji and Merry bring back Isana to Yui’s place. Engi wants to come up with a plan to beat them next time but Kawanami feels it is impossible without Lestion’s gun. Inside Lestion’s Daydream, he explains he and his comrades once chased after Mistleteen. However they were all killed and he was somehow the only survivor. Mistleteen isn’t an ordinary Muma. She is born from the crevice of nightmare. Humans discard their negative emotions during the day into their dreams and wake up living a happy day again. Those discarded emotions pile up in a place called nightmare rift and thus Mistleteen came into existence. The gun is a keepsake from his comrades and has modified it. He didn’t use it against Mistleteen because there were no bullets. The bullets are made from the deaths of Muma and the despair of humans who have lost their dreams. That’s why he only watched them die. However with a collection of them, only 1 shot can be fired. One more pair and the bullet will be completed. Yui is in a dilemma of not wanting more Mumas and humans to be sacrificed but needs to stop Mistleteen. Engi mentions Merry as another different Muma because she is able to walk in reality without a vessel. She too believes in human dreams but Lestion doesn’t have time for reasoning and will do it his way. Later back in reality, Kawanami tells Yumeji she treasures the moments with Isana. When Lestion fires that single shot of despair, he will die because the gunpowder is his life. That is why he chose her as his vessel since she has no emotions but now she seems to have developed some via her friendship with Isana. Next day, Isana is back to normal thinking that weird dream was just, well, a weird dream. Yumeji and his friends meet after the test. But Ijima is there to say he’ll drop by Isana’s cafe tonight. So the usual suspects wait for Ijima to show up, eager to protect Isana and he did. Just when Isana serves coffee, Engi draws them all into her Daydream. Mistleteen continues to fool around with Merry and Engi. She even shows them a tree that has unconscious Isana tied to. Merry and Engi’s combined effort and sneak attack still did not slow Mistleteen down. Instead, Mistleteen stabs her branch through Engi’s stomach. Merry is pissed off but is still no match for her strength. Yumeji picks up Engi’s sword and charges at her. Well if no one can do it, I guess it’s up to him, eh? Whether it’ll work or not is a different story. Better to die trying than to regret doing nothing, right?

Episode 13
So yeah. The sword breaks upon contact. Same thing. He gets beaten up. However Lestion mentions there is another way. They could fight and win. Now it’s his turn to fight Mistleteen without his gun. As expected, Mistleteen is too strong. But this is part of Lestion’s plan. Previously he talked to Kawanami that he plans to use his life to complete the bullet since he realized Kawanami doesn’t want Isana sacrificed. However she must fire it in his place and not only her dreams will be broken but her heart as well. Lestion dies in Mistleteen’s hands to complete the bullet. Kawanami shoots and soon turns into a vegetable. Did it work? Sadly, it didn’t. Mistleteen continues to mock everyone while Ijima beats up Yumeji for ‘scaring’ him a little. He is going to destroy everyone’s dreams. Merry is back up and fights her but is being swallowed in her Bud of Despair. Inside, Merry experiences despair not of Mistleteen’s illusions, but from within herself. She is sad that Yumeji doesn’t trust her. Yumeji realizes his dream is never to give up and vows to protect everyone. He won’t hesitate or doubt anymore. Quoting a line from John Doe, strength of dreams comes from the strength of hearts, Yumeji materializes John Doe’s saw as his weapon because this is a place where thoughts become power. Because he believes in the weapon (and his heart), it is indestructible and packs a massive punch as he fights Mistleteen. No matter how much blow he takes from Mistleteen, he gets back up, causing her to worry the kind of human he is. Yui tries to break open the bud but I guess it is her voice that reached Merry. For that moment there, you thought she was swallowed by thoughts of despair. And suddenly out of the bud, she had full confidence in Yumeji. Because of that, she manages to destroy part of Mistleteen’s forest and the moonlight heals Engi’s injury. As the revived Mumas fight, Mistleteen absorbs Palete. If they kill her, they will destroy Isana’s dream too. Can they do that? Merry believes in herself and grabs Palete out from Mistleteen’s body (the gaping cross hole that Kawanami fired from Lestion’s gun). She sends Palete back and then lands a blow in Mistleteen’s face before Engi delivers the final slash to destroy her. In that instant, everyone returns to the cafe and Isana is stumped that Ijima is suddenly gone. They give an excuse he went home in a hurry. In the aftermath, Ijima is said to have suddenly quit his job. Akiyanagi wonders what Saki’s dream is but she is too shy to say (she’s blushing. I can guess what it is). Yumeji and Merry talk and the former still have a contract to send the latter back. They also talk about Kawanami, who doesn’t remember them due to her shattered dreams and heart. Though she is living her normal life. Unfriendly and distant. But that didn’t stop Isana from continuing to be friends with her because they are sure she can start afresh. Since humans can dream as many times as they want.

Still dreaming?
That’s what I thought when the anime ended. What is this mediocre unsatisfied ending? Feels like nothing is pretty much solved except for the fact that Mistleteen has been destroyed for good. This in turn leads to lots of questions like how Merry got here in the first place. Does her punch really send Mumas back or annihilate them? What happened to John Doe? Where was he? I thought I would at least see him in the final episode and though it was true, I didn’t mean seeing him in a short flashback in Yumeji’s memory! The intriguing ‘side story’ was the relationship between Saki and Akiyanagi. My bet is that girl likes this haiku guy and we’ve seen enough hints to know that she does so. However what is the point when nothing of it is confirmed or anything of this relationship goes anywhere? Believe me, if this was left out from the series I am sure it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. And what about that Heracles guy? So he’s just in waiting so that if the producers make another sequel, I guess they can use him as the next antagonist. In the meantime, he’s just bidding his time, guiding other Mumas who want to cross over to reality like a lighthouse. That’s it? Well, I’m glad that this ‘nightmare’ series is over.

Then I found out that this anime wasn’t really following the manga. I’m not saying that the overall plot or characters deviate from the original but the TV anime has included some original anime-only characters such as Mistleteen, Kawanami, Lestion, Ijima and Palete. So you can guess that with them around, you bet that the anime will have a slight focus on them since they do not appear in the original manga. In that sense, that’s why I (and perhaps most fans) would consider the TV series to be deviating from the original works. No wonder the ending is so half-assed. No wonder it felt unsatisfactory. No wonder it felt lacking. No wonder many people didn’t like the way things ended and thus some bad reviews that I read here and there. Having a concept about dreams and reality and the thin fine line that becomes the boundary between both worlds is a really fine idea. I just felt that its introduction started out great but gradually the execution starts to falter and doesn’t quite live up to expectations. Instead of trying to find a way to get Merry back or at least understand how she came to be, our attention is diverted to save-Isana-and-get-rid-of-Mistleteen arc.

So yeah, what else can I say about the characters. Yumeji your typical protagonist who never gives up to help those in trouble. Especially when the ones closest to him are hit. His strong beliefs are what fuel him to carry on. Unfortunately the interaction between Yumeji and Merry didn’t have much impact as I would expect in animes that usually focus on a pair of male and female lead characters. It didn’t feel that they were close together as a team. Even though it is the trust and believe that they mention that they had, it still feels ’empty’. Know what I mean? I had hoped that they would provide amusing interactions but Merry was just at times a little grouchy, though her energetic tomboyish behaviour isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Her feelings at times fluctuate between guilt-ridden and low self-confidence so does this show that she possesses more human-like emotions than some other humans? At least I find her obsession for doughnuts funny. Don’t they serve doughnuts on the other side of the dream world? If not, can she just dream about it? And I thought that there would be some chemistry going on between Yumeji and Merry or at least Isana but nil. I know it wasn’t possible but still somehow I was dreaming to see it. Must be imagination. So the only chemistry potential was Saki and Akiyanagi but as I have said, there is nothing much on them and that’s all you’re going to get.

I guess Isana is the only one character who gets involved in the Daydream not to realize that everything she went through was real. Heck, she was out cold most of the time. But still, it’s good to see that she still hasn’t lost her sunny side. There are many other Muma and their vessel characters that got killed off in the series. My guess is just to show us how invincible Mistleteen is. Seriously they don’t make any impact as well but serve as a target victim for Mistleteen’s slaughter mania. Besides, she is really one tough nut to crack and her playful nature feels like a mockery to those trying hard to get her head so much so she can be called the untouchable. Had not Yumeji and co’s dreams were not strong enough, they would not have touched and subsequently defeated her. As for other earlier characters that didn’t die, they become redundant and you may have forgotten about them. Still remember Mei or Minato? So what happened to them? It’s not like they lost their dreams, right? Only their Mumas.

When I first watched the series, I noticed how odd the Mumas eyes are. Then I realized that each Muma had a different pattern in their eyes. So this dispels the thought of why Merry’s oblong shaped pupil was kinda weird at first. You can tell the Muma is possessing the human vessel when their eyes change into that particular unique shape. This had me to think that there must be something suspicious of Akiyanagi. Because from first glance you can tell that his eyes are looking weird. It’s totally black! And that ‘creepy’ smile really goes with it. At the end of the series, nothing indicates that he is a Muma’s vessel. I am making a very speculative assumption that he may be the vessel for Heracles. Hey, if Yumeji couldn’t see Isana being possessed, what are the chances are with his other friends? Sometimes it can be just right under your nose and you don’t know it. The action is fairly entertaining but I won’t go so far as to say that they are awesome or anything more. I mean take for instance Merry. She doesn’t really have any other special skills than to jump, punch and kick. Her brute actions are something that reminds me of those button mashing moves you play in video games. Yeah, all she needs to do is just hit, right? Who says you can’t solve problems with a punch? As far as I remember, Engi can only pull off 1 special move with her sword and that depends on the moonlight. Other than that, she’s just swinging the blade. The other Mumas’ abilities are limited based on their manifestation. I thought in dream worlds, their abilities will be limited by their own imagination. But I guess if everybody is able to think and pull off some fire breathing move, that will be boring, right?

In some of the art and drawing scenes, I noticed that they are drawn and painted in a way that conveys depression, misery, darkness and gloominess. It’s like as though were in the slums. Most of the Daydreams have this sort of feeling but I noticed that some parts in reality are also like that. Are they trying to say that reality is one big world of hopelessness? Another funny thing that I want to note is the background music. They are really odd. Especially the ones with the flute. Perhaps it’s to portray the bizarre and peculiarity of the dream world so that’s why when they are played, it sounded so out of place. The way the flute is played makes it sound mischievous yet enigmatic. Like in a dream world. Of course there are other types of background music ranging from slow strings to action techno music. The opening theme, Daydream Syndrome by Marina Fujiwara is a rock outfit while the ending theme, Yume To Kibou To Ashita No Atashi by Ayane Sakura (the voice of Merry) feels fitting for a techno dance beat (what is the deal with Merry being covered with red petals in this ending credits animation?). On a trivial note, the next episode preview narration sounds very depressing in nature. Feels like lot of negativity in the way they say things. Like as though there is no hope, no dreams, no future. Like as though they are done for in the next episode.

It is best not to get mixed up between reality and dreams. Because if you do, you may get confused and unable to tell the difference of what is real or fake. But sometimes it is really hard to tell them apart. Some dreams look and feel so real and some realities are so dream-like (like when you didn’t expect something good to happen or something really terrible just happened). Sure, there are lots of people living out their dreams, lots of people could only afford to dream and some only wanting to get out of their nightmare. My dream is to continue to watch animes happily ever after. What’s so bad about that? At least they give me motivation to carry on living this insignificant otaku life and something to look forward to every day. It’s a good thing I have never fallen off the wrong side of the bed either. Although I never believed about monsters under my bed, even if there are, all I need to do is to give a good punch and send them back, right?