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Friday, June 25, 2010

My Bride is a Mermaid, Season 1, Part 1 DVD Impression

My Bride is a Mermaid season 1, part 1 DVD
Question. How do you freshen up the tried and true harem anime formula? Simple, throw in some mermaids, sharks, squid, yakuza, submarine, crazy shell sized assassin and one Total Recall reference and it’s quite simple. FUNimation’s My Bride is a Mermaid, Season 1, Part 1 on DVD takes these pieces and mixes together for pure anime bliss. It’s funny and fun, makes you want to keep watching and will leave you sad that it’s only the first 13 episodes. Let’s take a look …

Nagasumi takes an ordinary summer vacation to the beach with his parents only to find himself drowning. Just as life is about to bubble away he’s saved by a beautiful mermaid, Sun. As he tries to explain this unbelievable story to his parents and grandmother a young girl shows up and ask for Nagasumi to be her husband. Sounds like a fairy tale, well it is as Nagasumi and his parents are introduced to Sun’s father, the head of the Seto crime family … yup yakuza mermaids. He wants Nagasumi dead as that’s the rule for a human seeing a mermaid but Sun steps up to protect the boy she saved. Nagasumi agrees and as vacation ends Sun moves back to the city with his family. Not only Sun but her father, mother, family assassin and pet shark all take up positions within their school making life anything but ordinary especially since getting wet turns Sun back to a mermaid. Throw in a pop idol from Sun’s childhood, also tied to a rival crime family and childhood friends and the chances of Nagasumi seeing his wedding night continue to dwindle. Would it have been so bad to just admit he could not swim? Hindsight is 20/20 as Nagasumi deals with the face his bride is a mermaid.

Funny, damn funny and not expected. From its surface art, very anime-ish, and title one would expect this to be a sappy, semi-Tenchi harem knock-off but oh how wrong that is. This is a harem anime with the very odd twist of two of the ladies, including Sun, being from mermaid crime families. Throw in some childhood friends and the formula is set but throw in two crazy fathers and now the funny begins to happen. See Sun’s father Gozaburo wants Nagasumi dead while Lunar’s father (the other mermaid) is a buff copy of Arnold from back in the day. The interactions, over the top emotions and integration of living styles makes this series shine. There is a bit of Excel Saga mixed in, it’s funny just plain funny.

The animation and design is solid, clean and a pleasure to watch. The characters themselves are very anime in their look, don’t set any new standards but really gets the job done. Lunar in particular reminds of a certain Disgaea star with her hair and evil looks. The shifts to serious, more grown up art styles at times of seriousness or silliness works so well. This is funny delivered in a structured manner and it looks good doing it.

Overall, while I feel a bit scattered in my description what I will say is My Bride is a Mermaid is an anime that fans to funny harem anime will enjoy as well as fans of crazy and zany anime. I thought I was getting into a soft and sweet series but I’ve been blindsided by a series as funny, offbeat and engaging as I could ever wish for. Plenty of fish in the sea but this one is a keeper.

Masa is so dreamy!

3 comments:

  1. I laughed at least once in every episode especially when he said masa-san!

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  2. I watched the whole season and it is like the manga, but I prefer the manga because the principal character looks more trusted worthy.

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