Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review: Mermaid Forest (2003)

Mermaid Forest (2003) is a historical Japanese anime centered around Japanese mythology on mermaids. It is originally based on Rumiko Takahaski's "Mermaid" manga series. It spans 13 episodes (11 aired + 2 DVD only).

According to an ancient legend, eating mermaid flesh can grant one immortality. However, it only happens to a small percentage of people; the rest either die or become deformed monsters (Lost Souls). Yuta, the protagonist, is one of the lucky ones who has lived for over 500 years as he travels across Japan. During his journeys, he has also met others who lives have been ruined by mermaid flesh.

It is the year, 1936. When he finds a mermaid, he finds a human girl, Mana, in her home. Mermaids must eat young human girls to maintain their youthful appearances. Although he had to kill the mermaids to rescue Mana, they become close travel companions. He also discovers that Mana also consumed mermaid flesh and became immortal. Together, they embark on several investigative journeys hoping to become normal human beings again.

I originally saw the OAVs, Mermaid Forest (1991) and Mermaid Scar (1993). When I heard they were going to remake the series, I was ecstatic. The Mermaid saga is one of my favorite dark fantasy anime series. People worry so much about youth and longevity; this series illustrate the consequences of vanity and immortality. It also exposes our darkest secrets. In the end, be happy for who you are; otherwise, your life may end up as lonely as Yuta, who watches the people in his life come and go because he cannot age nor die.

The show also has excellent music. I have the opening and ending songs below:

OP: "Like an Angel" by Chiaki Ishikawa

ED: "Mizu tamari (Water Puddle)" by kayoko

1 comment:

Jessica Penot said...

Sounds interesting. Poor mermaids.