Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mermaid Forest - Unquenchable Thirst |
Actors: Toshiko Fujita, Rachel Hirschfeld, Megan Hollingshead, Tara Hudson (II), Haruna Ikezawa
Director: Masahara Okuwaki
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Geneon Entertainment Release Date: 11/15/2005
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One Huge Stack of "Rumiko" -- Hold the "Syrup"!
Ace-of-Stars | Honolulu, Hawaii | 01/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
Takahashi Rumiko is best known for her silly & wacky antics type of storytelling ("Urusei Yatsura"; "Ranma Nibun-no-Ichi"; "Inu Yasha"). But 'Rumi-chan' has also touched the "Dark Side," and with surprising effectiveness. This presented itself when her publisher agreed to run a series of manga stories by her which came to be popularly known as the "mermaid saga."
In 1991, the first "OAV" ("Original Animation Video") of one of those stories-- "Ningyo no Mori" ("Mermaid Forest") --was released; this was followed two years later with the release of another OAV of a second Rumiko "mermaid" story -- "Ningyo no Kizu" ("Mermaid's Scar"). Ten years would pass before anything new from Takahashi-san's "mermaid saga" would be presented in animated form.
In July of 2003, Japanese television aired an anthology series called "Takahashi Rumiko Gekijyou" ("Takahashi Rumiko Theater") -- a showcase for a collection of her individual story ideas, which were all independent of one another. Three months later, the first episode of "Takahashi Rumiko Gekijyou: Ningyo no Mori" ("Takahashi Rumiko Theater: Mermaid Forest") was aired -- the program title being modified slightly with the added 'tack-on' at the end to distinguish it specifically as the animated adaptation of her "mermaid saga" and that, unlike the earlier "Gekijyou," this sort of 'second season,' if you will, would be an extended run of a series of interrelated stories. Labeling the entire series "Mermaid Forest," however, is a bit of a misnomer, as the title refers to one specific story of that name, but it's really nothing to nit-pick over.
Because the artwork & animation techniques used here are not nearly as refined, and everything feels too rushed (or to put it another way, because everything feels too "televisiony"), this series does not engage the viewer with quite the same degree of dark depression & gloominess that is experienced in the OAVs. Even so, the stories as presented here are just dreadful enough to make you realize that this ain't no "kiddie-fare!"
As with the previous "Takahashi Gekijyou," this series consists of 13 total episodes, although there are in actuality 8 separate storylines adapted for this series -- including brand new animated adaptations of the OAV stories (ironically, it was one of these-- "Ningyo no Kizu" --that was never aired during the series' televised run).
The 'English dubbed' audio track, though not great, is passable, but the original Japanese audio dialogue track seems to better capture the spirit of the main characters, Yuta and Mana.
[[My only real gripe is that Pioneer/Geneon could not have taken the extra time to simply release this entire series (only 4 discs) as a complete box set.]]"