Dream Hunter Rem – From Porn to Popular

Dream Hunter Rem

Dream Hunter Rem is a unique show. The origin story is beyond belief, but the setting and plot will also blow you away. Its long history of popularity is starting to go down, though, and it’s a story worth reviving and learning about. You’ll have a ball going deep into this incredible series, so read on for everything you need to know about Dream Hunter Rem!

Dream Hunter Rem Was Originally Hentai

The story behind how Dream Hunter Rem came to exist in the public, popular anime realm is nuts. Where most shows add sexy elements to increase viewership, Dream Hunter Rem had to decrease them in order to achieve its high popularity. That’s because it started off as a hentai OVA.

The original hentai version of Dream Hunter Rem was released in June 1985. But to their surprise, the production team quickly noticed that it was selling particularly well, despite stiff competition, because viewers genuinely enjoyed the story.

The producers realized they had an opportunity to re-make the show for a wider market. So they released a new cut of what would be the first “episode” without any of the actual porn in it, called it the “Special Version,” made another two episodes as well, and its popularity exploded.

Eventually, a whole slew of other media would come down the pipe in the Dream Hunter Rem universe, including a sequel anime series, drama CDs, DVD sets, novels, and comics, and Rem even appears in a PlayStation video game!

Dream Hunter Rem Synopsis

Rem Ayanokoji is a “dream hunter,” which means that, although in the regular world she’s an ordinary girl, psychically she’s capable of entering the dreams of sleeping people and fighting the demons that sap their life force and cause them to have nightmares.

She runs the Ayanokoji Detective Agency in Aoyama, Tokyo off of a side street, even though she appears very young. She works as a private investigator, looking into supernatural and bizarre phenomena. Rem is good enough at this that she doesn’t have to advertise. Knowledge of her is spread through word of mouth from her clients.

But when the demons from the dream world move into the waking world, Rem has to battle them to keep people safe. She does so alongside her pet dog and cat, which turn into a wolf and a lion respectively, a Buddhist monk and a psychology student who are both in love with her, and a police inspector.

The episodes land pretty squarely in the supernatural, horror, and mystery genres. They’re also episodic with no serious overarching plot to the series, so they can also all stand alone. Each episode runs about an hour.

Dream Hunter Rem Characters

  • Rem Ayanokoji – The titular main character. She appears to be a middle school-age girl, but her actual age and family situation are never mentioned. She comes from a long line of “Dream Guardians” and is also the owner of the Ayanokoji Detective Agency in Tokyo which looks into supernatural matters.
  • Alpha – Typically appears as Rem’s pet kitten, but can also transform into a large wild cat in order to assist Rem in battle.
  • Beta – Typically appears as Rem’s pet puppy, but can turn into a wild dog to attack Rem’s opponents. Beta also has the ability to track ghosts and spirits.
  • Umimaro Kido – A student of psychology and associate professor at Genjosai University. He is also a computer expert. Additionally, he has strong feelings for Rem, often fighting Enko for her attention
  • Nazomo Enko – A mysterious monk who helps Rem when she does battle in the real world, even though he does not have the ability to go into people’s dreams. He can use powerful martial arts techniques to fight demons in their true form. He also has strong feelings for Rem.
  • Inspector Junichiro Sakaki – A police detective who met Rem during a demon nightmare incident that involved his daughter, Yukari. Since then, he has begun to think of himself as incompetant, despite having previously been highly decorated. He has been involved in multiple strange events.

Dream Hunter Rem Rem Ayanokoji

Was Dream Hunter Rem Adapted From Or Into Anything?

Dream Hunter Rem wasn’t adapted from a serialized manga or anything similar, which makes sense considering the purpose of the original cut of the first episode. However, Dream Hunter Rem has been adapted into many other mediums and stories!

There is a sequel anime OVA series titled New Dream Hunter Rem which ran from 1990-1992. It contains two episodes called New Dream Hunter Rem: The Knights Around Her Bed which runs 37 minutes and New Dream Hunter Rem: Massacre in the Phantasmic Labyrinth which lasts 50 minutes.

There are seven drama CDs that are about or come from either Dream Hunter Rem or New Dream Hunter Rem that were released alongside both series.

Six books total were written in the Dream Hunter Rem universe, which was published between 1987 and 1992.

Two anthology comics came out in 1991 and 1992, and new comics were released in 2009 and 2011 about Dream Hunter Rem.

And finally, Rem is a playable character in the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 3 RPG, Super Heroine Chronicle.

Where To Watch Dream Hunter Rem

Dream Hunter Rem is not currently on any of the mainstream streaming platforms, although there are some less reputable websites on which the determined fan can find the original version of the first OVA, or even illegal streams of the rest of the series.

DVD box sets of the series were released in November 2006 and May 2007, which can still be found on eBay and similar sites, along with other Dream Hunter Rem paraphernalia.

But beyond that, we can all just hope that it comes to a regular streaming service soon. Considering the relatively recent release of the newest comics and DVDs, it’s not impossible that someone will pick it up!

Between the story itself and the story behind it, Dream Hunter Rem is unique as far as popular anime goes. Any story that manages to stand out around its lascivious elements this strongly must be incredible, and Dream Hunter Rem certainly is that. And it’s a ton of fun, too!

SEIJI OKUDA
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