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Dream Eater Merry: Complete Collection Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60 (29.970Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese & English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-PG (V)
  • Run Time: 325 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 27, 2012
  • List Price: $69.98

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Purchase Dream Eater Merry: Complete Collection on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:2.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:3.5/5]

Dream Eater Merry (夢喰いメリー Yumekui Merī), the action and fantasy manga from Ushiki Yoshitaka arrives in an anime adaptation from J.C. Staff. There are definitely lots of positives to point to when speaking of Dream Eater Merry, not the least of which is its strong character design and use of color and shadings, but in the overall scheme of things, the series is a lost opportunity with a lot of unused potential.

Yumeji Fujiwara is an average teenage high school boy except for one thing – he has the ability to sense people’s dream auras. After years of suffering a terrible nightmare with hordes of cats chasing him, Yumeji has an encounter with a strange girl, Merry Nightmare. Merry falls from above landing on Yumeji, then shows up in one of Yumeji’s daydreams and saves him from a strange masked man trying to abduct him. Merry, it turns out, is a Dream Demon who has crossed over into the real world. The unusual thing being that Dream Demons usually need a human vessel to enter in order to crossover, but Merry is in the real world without one and she doesn’t know how or why. Yumeji determines to help Merry get back to the dream world, but first they must find the Dream Demons that are crossing over and taking humans as their vessel against their wills.

While the story is easily digestible and Merry, the obvious draw in this series, is a charismatic, tsundere, who has, by the end of the series, truly grown, the rest of the characters feel stagnant. Yumeji doesn’t have much character movement although his motivations, mainly to protect his friends, that being Merry and childhood friend Isana, are clearly defined and quite believable. The two characters outside of Yumeji and Merry who garner the most interest are Yui and her companion Dream Demon Engi Threepiece. Yui, a freshman girl with a sweet disposition has allowed Engi to use her as a vessel to cross over to the real world in order to get revenge for the death of her big sister. The two switch personalities back and forth readily, making for an interesting character study. Engi, another character with mild tsundere characteristics, is brilliantly drawn in her Demon state, looking almost like a sexy warrior angel.

But that is where the strengths really end. The show’s creators have missed the opportunity here to really get into some deep psychological exploration of the lines between realities and dreams. Instead, they opt for more straight action and fantasy with little exposition and a disappointing finale that leaves things far too open ended.

Video Quality

[Rating:2.5/5]

This 1080i/60 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement is one of the more disappointing releases I’ve seen from Sentai Filmworks. The image is soft with definite motion artifacts, visible scan lines and noise in the color fills. Colors don’t pop they way the should, but at least the line art is clearly delineated.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The saving grace here are the original Japanese language track and English dub, both in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo. While the mixes keep dialogue in the phantom center, the musical soundtrack and sound effects have strong left/right panning with rather deep lows and a punchy, natural sounding midrange.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

There’s no true “extra” here, only the requisite clean opening and closing animations, disc credits and additional Sentai Filmworks trailers.

The supplements:

  • Clean Opening Animation
  • Clean Closing Animation
  • Disc Credits
  • Also Available from Sentai Filmworks

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Perhaps a second season that expands the premise of Dream Eater Merry could improve this series somewhat, but as it stands, it is full of potential that it doesn’t live up to. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t enjoyable overall, however.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B006LLY8KU[/amazon-product]

Purchase Dream Eater Merry: Complete Collection on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:2.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

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