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Dreaming of Satan

January 8, 2011

I wasn’t expecting to like much coming out of this season. Nyarlko was a disappointment, the Noitamina series didn’t excite me, and little else really caught my eye. Then I watched Madoka Magica and it was kinda awesome, so I had a glimmer of hope for this season. Then I watched Yumekui Merry and Beelzebub and I realized that, yeah, this season ain’t bad at all. Not at all.

First off, let’s say this: Yumekui Merry ain’t all that. It very well may turn out to be yet another lame, generic, me-too anime series, but there’s enough in this first episode to catch my attention.

I’m liking the dream stuff. It isn’t as cleverly conceived as the dreamscapes from Madoka Magica, and it isn’t nearly as menacing, but it’s amusing. I’m digging the talking cats and the way their part of this dream world reflects their nature– all fish bones and open tuna cans and back alleys. It could be a play on the old myth where cats can suck the breath out of you while you sleep, thus making them the lords over the dream world. Or maybe the author just likes cats and wants them running around in some poor sap’s dreams menacing him like a Puss in Boots Gestapo. Either way, it’s a neat touch.

I also like the deal where the main dude can read auras and tell what kind of dreams you’ve been having or will have. Again, it’s another “potential” thing, but it’s something that could go in a bunch of different directions, good and bad. I’m not too keen on the way the main girl is so serious about her lost memories or how she wants to get to someplace in the dream world or whatever, mainly because it’s talking all of that way too seriously for my tastes and playing up the angst and drama, but I like the fact that she fights by beating the shit out of stuff. No magical beams or healing attacks or anything like that– she punches shit and punches it hard. Nice little quirk there.

So yeah, Yumekui has my attention at the moment. Plenty of potential. Now let’s see what else you have in mind.

As for Beelzebub, it may already be my favorite Shounen Jump series of all time.

I’m sure the antics will get tiresome after a while, since this is a Shounen Jump series and will likely go on until after the world ends in 2012 (Because, yeah, even the Apocalypse can’t stop them churning out episodes for these series), but for now I’m digging Beelzebub’s sense of humor. It’s all about a punkass high school delinquent being chosen to be the surrogate father of the Antichrist and making jokes about said situation. That’s fucking comedy gold there, dude. Some of the gags are already wearing out their welcome, since the beelzebrat zaps people more than Lum does in Urusei Yatsura (and she shocked people a fuckton), but for the most part the humor works. It’s nasty and cynical like the best comedies, reveling in mistreatment and chaos and violence and finding all of this shit to be fun. Hell, the baby deliberately starts a fight over food at the school cafeteria just to get his jollies off. I’ve always said that we need more mean-spirited anime, and this is just that.

So yeah, I’m waiting for this to revert into the same repetitive Shounen Jump cycle like every other series to be birthed out of that monstrosity, but for now I’ll likely enjoy it.

But please, delinquent dudes, someone slap a diaper on that baby. Like I said on Twitter, I’m sure even Satan can get a cold. Have a heart, even if it’s black as fuck.

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