18 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Dream Eater Merry episode 1

JC Staff, you are so predictable.

You have seen this anime before. A typical high school male lead has something about him that makes him different. He is then met by a flat chested girl of similar age who he interacts with while she fights off baddies. They eventually fall for each other, but not before a big plot monster comes into their world and messes it up a bit. Throw in a bit of light comedy, a humorous male best friend, a female friend who teases the two of them and you have the formula for JC Staff anime number 26369.

Dream Eater Merry does some things better, some things worse and some things different. For example, I like the giant CGI bone fish floating in the sky in the nightmare cat world. On the ‘actually having a personality’ scale, the male lead thankfully swings more towards the Ryuji of Toradora end rather than that guy with no personality whatsoever from Shakugan no Shana. For the things it does worse, the comedy is all a miserable failure and probably the worst I’ve ever seen JC Staff attempt. It also does that annoying thing of focusing on showing the action girl in pretty poses to later make figurines in similar positions instead of animating something resembling a decent fight. You could tell how desperate the animators were to show this female lead they had created when, instead of carefully not revealing what the character looked like until it had more impact, they instantly showed a pan up shot of her in the very first scene.

But these minor details hardly matter. You’ve seen this anime before, JC Staff make at least 2 per year and other studios like AIC, Deen and Xebec frequently try to copy them, often managing to be even worse than your average JC Staff production. Why do they keep making them though? I’ve been trying to trace back in time to see when this phenomenon occurred. Was it Mai Hime? Rozen Maiden? The great uptake in these sort of anime really only happened after Shakugan no Shana, so was it that anime that opened the floodgates? Either way, nothing new to see here.

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  1. Posted January 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    To be fair to Shana though, Shana herself is actually LIKEABLE because her Tsundere nature is well-explained, and Yuuji DOES stop being a wet blanket eventually. That said, JC Staff does like to play to its strengths, so here we have a flat-chested lead yet again. At least Ookami-san was tall instead of being a loli.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 7, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      Yuuji has no personality. Wet blanket or not isn’t actually an issue here. He simply has no personality of his own and everything he does in the series is a reaction to something in a totally standard manner.

    Posted January 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    The last pic looked cool D:

  3. Posted January 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I liked this episode -3-

  4. Posted January 7, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps you can explain this better than anyone else I’ve come across and save me the trouble of completing my half-written post on why I don’t care about studios. Why, exactly, does it matter that JC Staff is behind this? This isn’t a JC Staff original story, and other studios do shows just like it.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 7, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      It doesn’t

      Neither does it matter what band sings a song

      It’s just fact gathering behind the production to predict what later productions might look like and to search for previous productions that you enjoy from the same creator.

      And if even in your half-blind state, you seriously can’t see the difference between studios, then you’re really not paying attention in the slightest

  5. Posted January 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    J.C. Staff is awesome!!!!!!!!!!

    Is this sarcasm, or do I really believe this? It’s a mystery!

  6. mcm38
    Posted January 7, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Wait a minute, there was comedy in it? Why didn’t I notice it? No, it can’t be. There was totaly no comedy, you must be mistaken. It doesn’t even have a comedy genre.

    Btw, that childhood char was the cutest childhood char I’ve ever seen and the first one with twin tails and silver hair.

    @ohemgee: You noticed it to, huh? It’s been a while since I saw a bad*ss bad guy.

  7. luffyluffy
    Posted January 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    Dat Navel: The animation.

  8. Posted January 8, 2011 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    Scamp, you are so predictable ;)

  9. Posted January 8, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    The main character is cute, and I shall admire her afar from the fanart, muahahaha.

  10. fathomlessblue
    Posted January 9, 2011 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Christ, if you think this show has rehashed elements then I’d really stay away from Infinite Stratos if I were you! Bleh!

  11. The Big Guy
    Posted January 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I am probably hyping this show a little too much, but this will be the best show this season, I have a good feeling about it. Quite frankly, this is a cinematographic wonder, which is not completely surprising considering the director is the same guy who did Casshern Sins. It comes through not through the actual story but in its presentation of its settings. Instead of just going through contrived dialogue to explain the setting, the director shows us them through Merry’s walk through the city, complete with garbage and graffiti, and the average school day for the main male protagonist. Finally there’s the dream world, which almost seems normal, if it wasn’t for the giant gravity defying giant bone fish. The director took this show, and this first episode, and made it really good, despite the story. And hey, the story has plenty of time to develop, so give it time. In the end, this is an average JC Staff anime with some amazing directing.

  12. Posted January 10, 2011 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    The male lead is still pretty dry to me right now, he at least has some fleshing out, but I wish there was more. I’m getting a little spoiled with decent male leads.

    I have to confess Scamp, you’re the only person I know who take could an anime with a scene as nightmarish as that, and call it redundant. XD

    I think J.C. Staff will kill any potential it has those.

  13. ahelo
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I thought every aspect of it was lackluster. Not funny, not as much action as other shows, not as interesting plot lines as other series, lackluster personalities of the characters. I usually never get dissapointed by JC Staff but I’m definitely dropping this.

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