Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: Seto no Hanayome (2007)

Seto no Hanayome ~My Bride Is a Mermaid~ (2007) is a Japanese comedy anime about mermaids. It contains 26 episodes. It also contains a two-episode sequel (2008-2009) in the form of an original animation video (OAV). It is based on the manga by Kimura Tahiko.

During his summer vacation at Seto Bay, a young teenage boy, named Nagasumi Michishio, enters the water for a swim. Fortunately, he is saved from drowning by a mermaid. Later, he tells the rest of the family about the mermaid. Soon, a young girl named Sun Seto, appears at his home and begs Nagumi to mary her.

Under mermaid law, either the mermaid whose identity was revealed or the human who saw the mermaid must be executed. She is followed by two large thugs and they take both Nagumi and his parents to Sun's home under the sea. It appears that Sun's parents are mob bosses. Nagasumi is left with the choice of either death or marrying Sun. In an attempt to save both of their lives, Sun's family reluctantly agree to the marriage.

Sun's father, Gōzaburō, is enraged about his daughter's sudden marriage. In fact, some members of the mob are determined to bring an end to their relationship. Between Sun's father constant attempts on Nagasumi's life and adversaries who want to torment him at school, Nagumi has a hard time transitioning into his eccentric married lifestyle.

This is a cute mermaid romance comedy. I congratulate the producers for taking on this project. Few mermaid shows currently exist, and Seto no Hanayome won't disappoint viewers. The plot is funny, wild and crazy. You wonder how does Nagumi survive and keep his sanity! The artists also took cues from popular classic films; some of the mob bosses resemble yakuza gangsters and cult figures such as the Terminator. The plot is surprisingly consistent for its length, and the violence and facial expressions are exaggerated for comic relief. While it is hardly epic (some scenes are flat-out idiotic and thoughtless), I highly recommend it for those occasions when you need mild humor to brighten up your day.

Opening: "Romantic summer" by SUN&LUNAR

Ending: "Ashita e no Hikari" by Asuka Hinoi

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