Dream Eater Merry is a 13 episode anime about a small group of people who vanquish dream demons and prevent them from taking over human bodies. The main protagonists include Yumeji, a boy who can detect dream demons using his special powers; Engi, a dream demon who has made it her mission to destroy other dream demons; Yui, Engi’s human host; and Merry, a dream demon that exists in the real world.
For the most part, the enemies that the protagonsits fight are all dream demons who are trying to completely take over their human hosts in order to live in the real world. As for why a dream demon would want to live in the real world as opposed to the dream world, it was simply because they were tricked by a very powerful dream demon into thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. With an enemy like that, you would think that the heroes would make defeating him their priority. Unfortunately, Dream Eater Merry doesn’t go down that path, instead focusing on another dream demon that is destroying dreams.
Switching enemies within a story is often seen within anime, but usually after the previous one has been subdued. Dream Eater Merry starts off with Yumeji facing off against his own dream demon with Merry’s help, and he later becomes an ally (albeit one that never does anything). That took up about a quarter of the series, with the following episodes introducing new characters and discovering that an elite dream demon is causing a large influx of lesser dream demons. At this point the enemy has already been established, and to suddenly switch gears by introducing another enemy was uncalled for and not something to be done with a short series like this. The new enemy had nothing to do with bringing dream demons into the human world, she just destroys people’s dreams. Having these two enemies really confuses the viewer as you don’t really know who the protagonists are supposed to be fighting. With only 13 episodes, Dream Eater Merry had to settle on only finishing off one of them, and the other doesn’t even make more than one appearance.
Besides the confusion as to why only one of the two enemies ever fought the protagonists, there are numerous scenes that look like they have some importance, but in the end lead to nothing. One of the side characters, Takateru, often has a smug look on his face, as if he knows what’s going on and has something up his sleeve. It turns out he had no role to play in the plot. The mysterious powers that Merry displayed during the battle with Engi also looked as if they had something to do with the plot. After the battle, however, there was no more mention of Merry’s special powers and it’s all but forgotten. I know that Dream Eater Merry is based off of an ongoing manga series, but perhaps it would have been better to leave some things out or make the anime longer. Purely looking at Dream Eater Merry as an anime, there were too many unanswered questions.
On the bright side, Dream Eater Merry had some gorgeous animation. The dream worlds where the battles took place were amazingly detailed and felt fluid, just like a dream should. I was also fond of the character designs and the cool eyes that the dream demons had. Each dream demon has their own specialty and their looks reflect that. Every dream demon also has an oddly shaped pupil, making it much easier to identify characters which are dream demons and characters that are human.
The battle scenes are also decent, with plenty of action and some cool moves. You don’t have to worry too much about characters just running away from attacks like some other anime. One slightly annoying thing though, is that enemies tend to go into conversations with each other during battles.
If you’re interested in some good animation and cool battle scenes, then Dream Eater Merry would be a good anime to watch. Sadly, unless there is a sequel to supplement the plot and explain all of the unanswered questions, the story just doesn’t stand by itself.