「夢乱れて」 (Yume Midarete)
“Disturbed Dreams”

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.

 

Preview

29 Comments

  1. Yeah there’s a pretty significant difference between the animu&mango this time. Most notably Yumeji’s other power imo. I hope they’ll put it back in in some later episode or something =\

    TeddyChanSan
  2. I think you’re being too hard on the show, you critizise it a lot more than I am used to from you. Maybe you should just read the manga after the series finished. People may say that the manga “suddenly became good” here, but the manga is actually better than the anime even before this point. The way you said it was implying that others say the manga is bad before this and as a reader I don’t think that’s true.

    For the episode, well done J.C.Staff. They cut about 80% of the fight with Landsborough, left out key moments and stuff. The whole Mistilteinn/teacher, Isana gets a Dream Demon deal etc etc is J.C.Staff original ending, and it’s kinda ruining the possibility for a second season, even though they put a lot scenes into the anime which won’t be explained in this season.
    But unless they pull an “Isana doesn’t remember anything” after the last episode, the continuation of the story is messed up.

    virox
    1. It sounds more like you think I’m being too hard on the series, not the show itself. The show should stand on its own, not with the boost of a supposedly better manga, irrelevant if it was better or not before this episode or after. Your sarcastic “well done J.C. Staff,” seems to agree with my criticizing of the show itself, regardless of our criteria. I actually gave the show credit for many things this time around too. I might read the manga up to this point before the final episode, as a sort of final comparison.

      1. No your not too hard on the series. This series started off great and as it continued it seems to be losing steam and just plodding along. Its worth watching but could be a whole lot better.

        Karmafan
      2. If you’re going to read the manga up until this episode, I think it’s around Chapter 15.

        On the story, I think it’s not necessary for JC to make any original ending. The content from manga is fine. They can just end the season with Merry’s revelation from Chapter 23-25 content and don’t even need Mistleteinn in the show…. and with the plot progress like this in the anime. I have to borrow Keima’s word and say ‘I can already see the ending’

        Serapita
    2. The anime may not have live up to expectations -_- But I think this episodes is what you actually call a “better episode.” Just look at the somewhat mind-rapping graphics!

      Alec
  3. Meh, Merry did send those Demons she beat… If anyone didn’t notice the club president didn’t “lose” her “dream” or anything, so her kicking arse is A-OKAY. My guess is that her Key Bracelet from that one episode has that passive ability.

    Seriously… Merry and Yumeji haven’t noticed that achievement? I’m starting to think they’re just dumb…

    And another thing, Yumeji’s ability is pretty much useless since he doesn’t really use it. I mean come on… If I was him I’d use it often, especially on those people who are close to me. Oh well I’m not him… Only thing his useful for is getting hurt.

    So… Now that I have complained… I’m eager to see how Isana’s Dream Demon looks like~ Would it look like the fish she painted? would it look more like a little kid? A smexy demon maybe?
    Oh and I quote some one who commented on “Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?”: “It’s those closed eyed happy ones you have to look out for” Who knew that a guy who idolizes riceballs could be so bad…

    Ryusen
  4. I think it is because Madoka set the bar so high that Merry seems underwhelming… Still, I like the show. Would have made more sense if Engi would kill the annoying clown Muma regardless of hostage dream. Seems Mystletainn=Rice-sensei is confirmed, I am interested who exactly is the mysterious transfer student? And where does Elcres lurk, then? We seem to get only his underlings so far…

    ewok40k
    1. Madoka did set the bar high this season, followed by Gosick and Zombie. This series, Fractale and Freezing are a step under them (worth watching but could be better).

      Karmafan
  5. Your 1st paragraph aptly sums up why this show is my guilty pleasure this season. A Cute concept, but no meaty depth. Nothing to bite into, just a cute show, a cute premise and a shallow adventure I can turn my brain off to watch. Unlike everything else this season which forces my brain to analyze and counter analyze just about everything going on @_@.

    KumaKaori
  6. Yep, this is the place. Mm, after reading the manga I wanna pick up the show again to see how the original’s gonna turn out… a few differences here that could turn out to be verryy interesting. 🙂
    COME ON J.C. STAFF DON’T KILL IT OFF DON’T KILL IT OFF DON’T KILL IT OFF

    Poiira
  7. Ok so who else replayed the part were yui does her *vanishing technique* into the grass. It can be described in one word: Ridiculouslycute
    (replayed it like 5 times XD)

    If anyone makes a gif from that scene I would definitely like a link to it.

    Fallenrock
  8. “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.”

    Absolutely disagree.

    While no series is perfect, I see a strong social commentary being made with the physical attack (emotional in the daydream) of a student by a school staff member in this last instalment. This was a powerful episode.

    I think there was good development in this episode – Merry demonstrates her strength to ‘Play’ to the point of threatening to injure Yui and her control to use or not use force to protect Yumeji. We learn much about Play and Yui’s relationship. Does it also implies that Merry commands the same strength in “Reality” as she does in the dream world? To protect Isana against a brutal physical beating?

    Merry’s abilities to defeat those who threaten people she cares about is no longer limited to the cliché of simply beating up a boss in each episode – I hope the series continues in this manner and leads to a second season.

    mac65
  9. Strangely, I’m not sure how to react to Kiiragi’s post. For a longest time I felt pretty similar to Kiiragi in terms of not feeling hyped up, but I never seemed to figured out why. After reading Kiiragi writing about how adults don’t really have “dreams” but a “purpose” or maybe not even one. It suddenly became pretty depressing.

    Dunno about you, but I would hope the world still runs on dreams and accomplishing your dreams. People I know still all have dreams but are just set back by reality to make some money with side jobs first until they have enough funds to continue pursuing their dreams. I myself am still pursuing my dream as well, and finding Kiiragi’s statement about losing your dream to reality by highschool hard to agree with.

    Dunno, maybe that is the general consensus and how most people end up as.

    thenewhorde
    1. When we were young, we dreamed of stuff like wanting to be a police officer, astronaut, or some kind of absurd occupation. Upon leaving childhood, most realized that practicality must be placed in front of dreams and a lot of people laugh at their own stupidity when they were younger.

      Suppa Tenko
  10. This show is very underrated though, it’s just as underrated as Baka to Test and the OVA just came out actually and it needs to be blogged! Totally want to see that =)

    Jason Isenberg
  11. Just watched the episode and I guess nothing has changed much from my opinion of previous episodes. This show is not so bad that I need to drop it but it’s just that it really fails to impress.

    And is this really classified as seinen? Because I’ve been reading the manga ’til the latest scanlated chapter and it’s too shounen really.

    MartianMage
    1. Given that this is only 13 episodes and they’ve created an anime original ending (plus new characters) we’re not going to get to see that. It’s too bad–cutting one fight that’s sort of irrelevant given where they would be able to get in 13 eps would probably have allowed them to end with that if not for the original material. :/

      terrukallan
  12. anticipating your post. Somehow i started te episode but i just couldn’t find the motivation to watch it longer than a minute.
    I don’t care about the plot anymore i guess.

    outcast

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