Dream Hunter REM
Can the mind-numbingly cute fight to destroy the mind-numbingly evil? It appears so, and cute has a name...Rem. Rem is essentially a parapsychologist with the unusual power to get into the dreams of her patients--which, more often than not, have been invaded by horrific demons and boogeymen. Although it sounds like an idea directly out of one of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series, it in many ways predates the films that had similar concepts, and the heroine's predominance as hunter rather than hunted turns the entire horror genre around. Indeed, the roots of Rem are found in shojo-women's comics--where strong heroines are not uncommon.
The first episode is split into two segments: the first an establishing battle with a pretty unconvincing demon who gets taken out with some high-tech weaponry and Rem's know-how. The second segment, however, follows a Freddy-like figure who haunts and beheads women in the streets and dreams of Japan. This is where it gets interesting, as the characters break out of stereotypes and the show becomes truly spooky. One of the surprising things is that the graphic violence becomes more disturbing mixed with the hypercute imagery of Rem and her two helping pets Alpha and Beta. It's an odd mixture that could not be imagined in the States...and, yet, it works, and I will be interested to see more. Check out the synopsis if you want to know more.
Dream Hunter REM -- graphic violence, brief nudity -- A-