「夢の中でアストレイ」 (Yume no naka de asutorei)
“Astray in a Dream”
You know, I remember how exciting shopping with my parents was when I was younger. Picking up random stuff to get, wanting to push the cart, or just riding in it. One of my favorites was carefully placing myself in between the bottom area of the cart, where you usually shove low heavier items, and get super psyched because of how low I was to the ground while still moving. Since my parents took pretty long to shop, I spent almost forty minutes in that position one time, and what a blissful forty minutes that was. Merry’s innocent excitement over what has become the most mundane task ever for most people drew some nostalgia for me, and I’ve once again realized how much fun being a kid was. Sometimes, experience just isn’t worth the outcome, and frankly, it’s why I am so far underwhelmed by Merry’s story.
There’s a real sense of “not much happening” that seems to plague Yumekui Merry, and I can’t shake the feeling that it won’t really change. But here’s the thing, and it’s that enough developments occur that I shouldn’t feel this way, yet I still do. Merry is seen getting more accustomed to human lifestyles, revealing she’s been here for ten years, and thanking Yumeji for giving her purpose. She then meets another dream demon that has a more stronger presence than previous ones, who proceeds to finally unveil the “fact” that Merry’s actions so far were meaningless and that there is no way to return to the dream world. Merry receives mental shock, Yumeji gets pissed, and of course, gets hurt in the process. Next episode: Merry goes through the typical stages of crying, angry at others, angry at self, then redemption, and finally transcendence. I don’t want to say “typical” is the issue here, but it’s also a problem. The emotions and development are just too simple for me, as well as the problems presented. For another perspective, I feel like I’m watching a dumbed down Mushi-shi. *shrug*
Relative to the show only in itself, this was one of the best episodes so far. The attempt to actually animate a lengthy battle this time was unexpected, but it was certainly welcome. The fight between the two had some odd floaty bits to it, but it fulfilled the needs. It’s not like I expect extremely edge of the seat inducing fight choreography, but this seemed like it was almost at that point, so it felt almost like wasted potential. Still, it’s a lot better than the usual, but I really hope they didn’t actually blow their budget on this, as that would be pretty disappointing. I think Gainax animators are the best at dynamic fight scenes, which makes me wish they would do more action shows, but I digress. The way the episode played out was better done than the last episode, and they really did reveal a lot about things, giving some nice needed tension that actually fits in the constant depressing atmosphere the show keeps heavily pushing. Yumeji also continues to prove to be the best male character to grace my screens this season, and I seriously wish other mains would be more like him.
John Doe returns next week, and it seems the story will retouch bases to complete the resolve the characters need to continue on with the bulkier plot. Well, at least I think there will be a bulkier plot. Maybe Yumeji doesn’t wake up for a while, and she has to go inside his dreams to defeat John Doe since he’s now available to be possessed or something.