Having read the first five chapters about a year and a half ago, I did wish for this franchise’s adaption into an anime. What I wasn’t expecting, was it happening this soon! And thus begins J.C. Staff’s adaption of Yoshitaka Ushiki’s Yumekui Merry.

I don’t intend to compare this to the manga (mostly because I don’t remember the exact details) so you can be rest assured that I will NOT be ranting on something not being properly adapted… unless you want me to. But I honestly don’t remember much, for instance, I was under the impression that Isana was Yumeji’s sister but she is actually his childhood friend.

The story follows two main characters: Merry Nightmare and Yumeji Fujiwara. The former is the title character who stands out from the rest because of her outfit and eyes and is incredibly strong. She has been abandoned in the real world with no way back home. The latter is our male protagonist who aspires to one day write a novel but cannot get past how to convey his main character’s suprise (which shouldn’t be a problem after what he went through in this episode). Oh, and let’s not forget to mention the power he has to see the auras of people, including himself. Their encounter is thanks to a bunch of crows (an omen?) that pecked Merry out of a tree and on top of Yumeji. Shortly thereafter, Yumeji is drawn into a “daydream” where pain is actually felt and comes face-to-mask with Chaser John Doe. Merry comes to his rescue and defeats Chaser who completely underestimated her power. She tells Chaser to take her back to the World of Dreans but he leaves her behind with Yumeji. Merry begins to cry and ends up fainting in Yumeji’s arms. But wait, the episode doesn’t end there! There’s also a strange girl in a hypnotized state at the very end.

I found the color palette reminding me of Shakugan no Shana‘s palette except it didn’t have that extra shine that Shana did. The character designs are slightly different from the original but it is nothing too drastic. Animation is great too. I found the transition from reality to the daydream to be absolutely stunning. Although, the floating fish bones are obviously CG which I find grotesque. The backgrounds were really nice as well! Mostly orchestral, something I really favor. I heard flutes and violins and it fit just right for the mysterious and dream-like states. In terms of seiyuus, Ayane Sakura stands out as she takes her first major role as Merry. She has done small roles such as Futaba in Ookami-san and Mikoto in Oreimo. Ayane even sings the ending song!

As for other characters, Yumeji’s friends are a lively bunch. Akiyanagi, who writes short poems, is definitely a favorite. Same goes for the teacher and sponsor of Yumeji’s club, Mr. Neshijima who dreams of eating rice. Saki seems as someone I might be annoyed with but we’ll just have to wait to see what she does. And for Isana, I don’t particularly like her but I don’t hate her. But seeing as I hope for Yumeji X Merry, she will pose as a problem.

Overall, I am definitely excited for this series! I am pretty sure it’s slightly different from the manga so that makes it all the more interesting.

Score: A+/A+

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