Rumiko Takahashi amaze's with her "little" side project
B. Ackley | Douglasville, GA | 03/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mermaid's Forest is an anime adaptation of Rumiko Takahashi's Manga "Ningyo no Morii" released stateside as "Mermaid Saga" through Viz Comics LLC. Mermaid's forest was first adapted into anime in the early 90s as two 45 minute OVAs. This latest anime adaptation, released domestically by Geneon, is an 11 episode series which aired in Japan in 2003 on NHK.
Mermaid's Forest TV series is a fairly faithful adaptation of Rumiko's self-proclaimed "side project" Mermaid Saga. The manga (and Anime) are a departure from Rumiko's usual lighthearted romantic comedies and are in fact very dark and at time violently graphic. She has not abandoned her ability to create great believable characters which is truly where this anime shines.
Based around the mythical belief that anyone could be granted eternal life if they eat the flesh of a mermaid, Mermaid's Saga follows main characters Yuta and Mana. Yuta is a 500 year old man who partook of the mermaid's flesh and was granted immortality. He has wondered Japan searching for others like himself and a way to become mortal. Along his way he encounters Mana, a young girl who he soon realises has also ate the flesh of a mermaid. The first episode on this disc shows us the circumstances of the couples first meeting and quickly delves into the mysteries and the darker/terrifying consequences of eating mermaid flesh.
Each episode cross references each other but if viewed alone could easily be enjoyed as a stand alone story. Fans of Rumiko's work will no doubt want to pick up this essential series for their DVD collection. For those otaku out there who really look for great characters in addition to strong storytelling will really want to join Mana and Yuta on their journey through the Japanese countryside. The stories are at times strange and terrifying but always entertaining. HIGHLY Recommended!
Could Have been better,
B. Ackley | 09/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to say that I am very big fan of the Mermaid's series novels as well as the OVA's but this adaption of the mermaid series for me is a dissapointment.
I mean, the stories are so good, they should have gotten better treatment. For one thing the Mermaid manga is very violent and Takahashi draws it in such a way so that it compells it's viewer with lasting effects, the TV show however is unable to achive that effect. Another problem with the series is concerning the artwork, the humans are drawn well while the monsters portrayed come up short. The way Takahashi san drew the monsters in the books was very well done, they came across as being grotesqe and frietening. The TV series however drew them in such a fasion so they came across as looking silly and almost comical. The music in the series also fails to impress, there are times when a very serious situation is happening on screen but the music sounds almost comical.
Overall, although it's not bad show it could have been one of the best horror animes of all time, but unfortuantely it fails to impress. I am giving the DVD four stars based soley on the fact that the storys are still excellent."