「夢乱れて」 (Yume Midarete)
Yumekui has had its ups and downs more often than your local roller coaster, though the ups were never really past the height of kiddie rides. No thrills you see. Actually, this is a great metaphor, since the enjoyment of kiddie rides is just that, kids. Kids would probably enjoy this show more than I would, because kids wouldn’t give a crap about character development, plot, or music. There are even those older than kids that still enjoy such rides because they’re still able to connect with their inner youth. I can do that if I’m playing lava tag on the playground, but when it comes to telling a story, I want my rides to have barf warnings.
By contrast, this episode was a modified track with a momentary 100 feet drop. Case in point, the emotional stinger of Isana, implied to have contracted a dream demon. Sure, it was predictable, convenient, and easy. Sure, she’s the only supporting character I care about, even though she’s barely developed further from her childhood friend tsundere archetype other than, “I want to make drawings for children’s books.” For this show, I don’t care, because it worked, and I, no matter how artificial or superficial these feelings sprouted from, don’t want Isana to be brutally ripped apart from her dreams.
But why does the show imply that all people have dreams, and that said dreams are the sole driving force of their very being? Suspension of disbelief is not difficult, but this screams as a, “hey guys, there’s gonna be this new character who is a pretty cool guy, doesn’t have any dreams and doesn’t afraid of anything.” The idea might work if we were all eight years old, but as we age and learn of sensibilities, our dreams are knocked down, and a lot of us end up with no dreams, or lose the ability to even know what dreams to have (which, Merry ironically shows us). At the high school age, people just don’t think about dreams, or shove them away for supposed more important things, so funnily enough, a real teenager would be invincible in the world of Yumekui Merry. A better term to apply should be “purpose,” as dreams and purpose aren’t always one and the same, but even then, not all of us live our lives with purpose. Some of us just don’t really care.
Ignoring all that, the conflict of wanting to kill the demons yet not able to because of dream hostage is an intriguing “twist” if you will, and effectively shakes up the blind stubborn drive Engi and Merry both perceive as “truth.” This creates dire situations that are seemingly unfixable, and with Isana next in line, the care turns to worry, leaving the viewer helpless with suspense. Couple that with Mystletainn’s twisted enjoyment of learning dreams before trampling on them, as well as the constant reminder in the possibility of death, and you’re finally drawing in my attention. With an unknown direction, it’s almost exciting, almost mature, because we finally break away from the use of surface reasoning. There’s also this “support” friendship theme the story’s got moving around, similar to the nakama one found in One Piece. Sadly, everything’s probably only a fleeting moment, as we slowly head into whatever ending J.C. Staff cooked up in their meetings. Perhaps this was the pivotal point people were telling me, the point where the manga suddenly became very good. If it is, J.C. Staff is a cruel, cruel studio.
With drama that “finally” fits the depressing mood it perpetuates, I’m looking forward to next week, but I mean that in the, “because I’m blogging this show, so I have to watch it anyways, but I’ll be slightly more inclined” sense. Out of five predictions I made last week, four were confirmed, with the last still leaning on the fence, signifying that they made plot points way too easy to foresee. However, that gun Kawanami has was rather unexpected and her exact role in the story is now relevant, so if they play the rest of this out well, the finale might not be so bad.