「夢もキボーも」 (Yume mo Kibou mo)
“Dreams and Hopes”
While I know people are going to be disappointed with the lack of navel this week, you’ll get development instead, explaining a little bit more about the situation, and introducing a slew of new characters. Out of all the fresh ones brought to the table, mellowdere Isana’s dad wins, and earns the best dad award. Voiced by Fujiwara Keiji, the man only has a couple of lines throughout, but how epic the lines they were. He took Yumeji’s side while teasing his daughter, and still has time on the side to make a pun with Merry’s name in the same conversation. When a man has that big of a scar on his eye, you know he’s been through some serious stuff to know what he’s talking about. His slightly uncaring attitude towards Merry leaving while taking a smoke inside his own house would have any girl want to throw themselves at him. Luckily, Isana’s dad has been teaching our hero Yumeji the ropes to be an alpha. His response to two naked girls in a bath? Play it off with a casual line. Talking to that new tsundere without the dere in the hallway like it’s nothing? Done. Intelligently spending the entire episode sitting back and observing before deciding to help Merry no matter what she may think? I think I smell the man you could smell like.
The headstrong girl who fought against John Doe seemed to have it all together, but breaks down while longing to go home with an innocence akin to a child, giving a new layer to her character that catches Yumeji’s eye. The donut scene seems to emphasize that childlike behavior, similar to how you might give a toy to a newborn to calm her down. Since Yumeji can’t help her, she decides to leave on her own and continue on her search. It’s quite a sad predicament, yet also not too far off from being typical, but I admittedly still feel some empathy (the girl can’t even open a can of soda ;_;). The other half deals with a girl who has somehow shared her body with a dream demon, and is eventually approached by an “object” which activates the dream world. Other demons who want to invade the world require a vessel, but the method in doing such seems broad at this point. I’m assuming due to Serio and Yumi possibly sharing the same body, if Serio were killed, then it would enable the invading demon to take over Yumi’s body. Her walking out blank faced with the repeated symbolic petal finally disintegrating behind her says to me that at the very least, Serio’s definitely gone. There’s a strong indication that Yumi is the first human successfully taken over, so she will probably be a recurring character. Perhaps a really bad ass exorcism is in order? Incidentally, if John Doe wanted to use Yumeji’s body, his intentions were probably more closer to knocking him out rather than killing him.
Merry’s unique feel in the execution continues to deliver, with varied shots and backgrounds, making the scenes feel a little more alive and that much more beautiful, at least in the sense of cinematography. Like the dialogue with Merry, you’d see a shot of a donut here, a shot of the drink there, and then some closeups of her face, making it much more interesting to watch than long monologues in say, Index. The dream sequences are still the best parts of the episodes, with atmosphere suddenly turned to overdrive, and being the only source of action, it possesses some of the more unique displays of animation. I’m still loving the designs of the characters, and they look consistently great throughout, if not just because most of the scenes are closeups galore. I’m actually surprised they can draw so many intimate shots of Merry’s face without feeling too repetitive. Seeing her face just doesn’t get old.
Yumekui Merry’s still at the exposition stage with characters still being set up (mostly ominous), so there’s generally a lack of exhilaration so far. I hope Yumeji doesn’t take too long to team up with Merry, as the next episode seems like it may have a lot more with a new dream demon.