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Dream Eater Merry (夢喰いメリーYumekui Merī?) is a Japanese action fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Ushiki Yoshitaka. The series is serialized in Houbunsha's seinen manga magazine Manga Time Kirara Forward. The manga was adapted into an anime television series by J.C. Staff and began airing on January 7, 2011.
Yumeji Fujiwara, a young male student like any other, gained the power to see the aura of other people's dreams, and is able to predict what kind of dream they will have the following night, after an event that occurred 10 years ago. Since then, he started to have weird dreams with cats following him for an unknown reason, where he learns thanks to the boss of the cat army, John Doe, that his body is needed to access the real world. One day, as he was about to come back home after his errands, a mysterious girl falls on top of him. This girl, called Merry Nightmare, is actually a dream demon (夢魔muma?), who's searching for a way to come back in her world. As Yumeji decides to help her, the gate to the world of dreams opens again, this time in full daylight. She appears in the daydream world and wards off the Dream Demon "Chaser John Doe" looking for an answer to how to get back to her world. It seems as if John Doe knows something about Merry...
- Yumeji Fujiwara (藤原 夢路Fujiwara Yumeji?)
- Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto
- The main protagonist. 10 years ago he received the ability to perceive the aura of people's dreams, which allows him to predict what kind of dreams they are going to have. Though his normal predictions are hazy at best, he can clearly identify when someone is destined to have a nightmare. He is a lazy, yet strong-willed and determined person with a heart of gold, who is always ready to help others. He is also a member of a writing club at his high school, and is a big fan of the superhero called Guricho. He meets Merry when she falls on top of him as he comes back from his errands, and together, they enter a daydream – basically, a dream that occurs in full daylight. He has firmly decided to help Merry to come back in the Dreamworld, and eventually becomes her partner, using his ability to scout out nightmares so Merry can hunt them. He had a scar on his right hand just like Merry but now it is totally gone without a trace. With the assistance of the dream demon John Doe, Yumeji learns how, like in a lucid dream, he can manifest weapons during daydreams.
- Merry Nightmare (メリー・ナイトメアMerī Naitomea?)
- Voiced by: Ayane Sakura
- A dream demon from the dreamworld, who allegedly came into the real world 10 years ago without any memory. Unlike the other dream demons, she doesn't need to possess a human to enter the real world, as she has her own body. Searching for a door to come back to the Dreamworld, she falls on Yumeji one day, who wants to help her to find her way back home. At first reluctant, when a daydream occurs and when she saves Yumeji's life, she accepts his help. She is able to break the daydreams in order to get back in the real world. She can't eat spicy food or drink carbonated soda, but she loves doughnuts above everything and likes video games a lot. She currently works at the Tachibana restaurant. Merry's distinct features include horizontal slit-shaped pupils similar to that of sheep and a scar on her right hand. In the anime, the scar is removed.
- Yui Konagi (光凪 由衣Kōnagi Yui?)
- Voiced by: Tomoko Akiya
- Yui is a young girl whom Yumeji meets in a supermarket. She has a strong interest in puppets, and can't help collecting them. She's the voluntary vessel of another dream demon, Engi Threepiece, after she decided to help her.
- "Garden" Engi Threepiece (エンギ・スリーピースEngi Surīpīsu?)
- Voiced by: Aya Endo
- Engi is a dream demon like Merry, who however needs a vessel to access the real world. She wants to avenge her older sister, Patti, who was tricked into going to the real world and ended up being killed there. Engi thus asked Yui's help to search from a nightmare named Pharaos Heracles, who she believes is responsible for Patti's death. Although she can only physically appear during daydreams, she can possess Yui's body in order to speak with others.
- Pharos Heracles (ファロス エルクレスFarosu Erukuresu?)
- The main antagonist, a dream demon who leads a group of others to the real world so they can possess humans.
- "Chain" Noir (チェイン ノワールChein Nowāru?)
- A dream demon serving under Heracles, who uses chains to trap her enemies. She uses a small girl as her vessel.
- Maze Landsbourough (ランズボローRanzuborō?)
- A clown like dream demon in service of Heracles who possesses a man as his vessel. His daydream world is a huge circus-like maze, and he constantly uses his wily words to psyche out his opponents.
- "Chaser" John Doe (チェイサー ジョン・ドゥCheisā Jon Du?)
- Voiced by: Jouji Nakata
- A cat-like dream demon called who leads the cat army that appears in Yumeji's dreams. He was originally interested in Yumeji as a vessel to enter the real world, but he was defeated by Merry. After Yumeji's confrontation with Engi Threepiece, Chaser returns and heals the wounds on Yumeji's soul. Chaser informs Yumeji about Pharaos Heracles and that Heracles may have been responsible for Merry manifesting in the real world without a vessel. When asked if whether he was an enemy or an ally, Chaser responded that he was only collection information, however, he is "an ally of truth". Chaser occasionally helps Yumeji realize his potential to manipulate daydreams, such as manifesting weapons and connecting dream gardens together.
- Albireo (Albireo?)
- A catgirl with blue hair that appears in the episode 6
- Spica (Spica?)
- A catgirl that appears in the episode 6
- Isana Tachibana (橘 勇魚Tachibana Isana?)
- Voiced by: Ai Kayano
- Isana is Yumeji's childhood friend. Daughter of the cook of a restaurant in the city, she's a kind and quite shy girl who works with her father. Yumeji saved her as she was about to fall from a playground when she was young. She also commented once that she has a feeling that she had met Merry before but shook the idea off as her imagination.
- Mei Hoshino (星野 鳴Hoshino Mei?)
- Voiced by: Natsumi Takamori
- Another friend of Yumeji, and leader of the writing club. A kind and soft-spoken girl with green hair and glasses, she ends up being the victim of a dream demon called Chris Evergreen.
- Takateru Akiyanagi (秋柳 貴照Akiyanagi Takateru?)
- Voiced by: Shinnosuke Tachibana
- Another friend of Yumeji, and member of the writing club. He loves writing haikus and is often seen with a pen and a piece of paper to write on it. He has a younger sister who inspired him to write haikus.
- Saki Kirishima (霧島 咲Kirishima Saki?)
- Voiced by: Mariya Ise
- Another friend of Yumeji, and member of the writing club. Quite tomboyish, she's fascinated by Yumeji's ability to see the aura of dreams. It is hinted she may have feelings for Takateru.
- Chizuru Kawanami (河浪 千鶴Kawanami Chizuru?)
- Voiced by: Kana Ueda
- An anime original character, Chizuru is a mysterious transfer student who Isana tries to make friends with. She appears to have an interest in other people's dreams.
- Mistleteinn (ミストルティンMisutorutin?)
- Voiced by: Sayuri Yahagi
- An evil dream demon who appears in the anime.
The manga series by Ushiki Yoshitaka began serialization in Manga Time Kirara Forward magazine from August 10, 2008 and is still ongoing. Fifteen tankōbon volumes have been released so far, the first of which was released on October 27, 2008.
It has a spin-off called Kagefumi Merry by Ushiki Yoshitaka and Tsurubushi Kenji.
An anime television series based on the manga Yumekui Merry was announced in the September issue of Houbunsha's Manga Time Kirara Forward magazine. Produced by J.C. Staff, the anime series is directed and written by Hideki Shirane, and music composition by Keiichi Oku. The anime series was first broadcast in Japan on theTokyo Broadcasting System starting January 7, 2011 and later rebroadcast on the Mainichi Broadcasting System, Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting, RKK, and the satellite channel BS-TBS. The opening theme for the anime is "Daydream Syndrome" by Marina Fujiwara while the ending is "Yume to Kibou to Ashita no Atashi" (ユメとキボーとアシタのアタシ?, "Dreams and Hopes and the Me of Tomorrow") by Ayane Sakura. Both artists belong to the Japanese musical ensemble and dōjin circle, IOSYS. The anime has been licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks under the title Dream Eater Merry.
There have been several soundtracks released.
In their Winter 2011 Anime Preview Guide, the majority of Anime News Network's staff of reviewers gave modest ratings for the first episode. Theron Martin states the series is straddling the line between the typical and the really weird, but figuring out what's going should be half the fun. Hope Chapman comments that the first episode was unusual in that it was nicely paced and "goes down easy." Gia Manry compares Yumekui Merry to a poor man's Soul Eater with its definite sense of style over substance. However, Zac Bertschy was not impressed, stating that a YouTube video of a kitten playing in a soda box was more entertaining.