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Originally a pachinko game series, Umi Monogatari (Sea Story) was given an anime adaptation by ZEXCS in the summer of 2009 with the subtitle Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto (That You Were There for Me). It was directed by Junichi Sato.Under the sea, two mermaid sisters by the name of Marin and Urin are enjoying their life devoting full time to floating. One day, a ring falls from the surface and into Marin's hands. She wants to find the ring's owner and return it, and takes Urin along for the ride. It's then that they run into Kanon Miyamori, a young priestess who's about to get involved in a series of events neither she nor the sisters could've planned for when Urin ends up unleashing Sedna, an evil force intent on shrouding the world in darkness. This is what prompts Marin and Kanon to become the Priestess of the Sea and Sky.Umi Monogatari is unusual among Magical Girl Warrior shows in that the focus is more on emotional development of the characters, the fights are fairly long, the girls' mentor is completely wrong about some things, most of the music is gentle piano music, and the revelation of what the Big Badreally is allows for a conclusion that's more true to life than most shows of this nature.
Tropes in Umi Monogatari include:
All-Loving Hero: Marin sincerely proclaims that she loves everyone she meets. Her hug will save the world.
An Aesop: Everyone has darkness in their hearts. That's normal, and we must learn to accept it, not cast it out.
Anticlimax: There is no final battle, as Sedna's nature and the accompanying sorrow is accepted by the islanders rather than sealed away. There is, however, an emotional battle to save Urin.
Arc Words: "I love you!" crops up very frequently throughout the story as Marin and her relationships change.
Aura Vision: Kanon has an "evil aura" that everyone can see and comment on.
Balance Between Good and Evil: This turns out to be a crucial part of the series, as the islanders' unwillingness to accept and deal with the sorrow in their hearts created Sedna. In the end the darkness is accepted by them and becomes one with the light.
Bare Your Midriff: It's standard for Mermaids, but Oshima and Miyako are prone to this as well.
Bittersweet Ending: Kanon and Marin defeat Sedna, but have to separate since land and sea people are not supposed to be together. It is hinted that Kanon will keep looking for Marin.
In the DVD special it becomes clear that Kanon keeps longing to meet Marin again. She even seems to get her wish for a while, which makes things even more bitter.
Blade on a Stick: The girls are told that to seal Sedna away they must pierce her with the Spear of Light. It's never seen, as they defeat Sedna and save Urin another way.
Bonus Episode: The bonus 13th episode in which Marin and Kanon have a near-encounter after the series.
Darkest Hour: The end of episode 11. Marin and Urin try to fight Sedna, but have their powers drained from them. The episode closes with them sprawled on the ocean floor, near death, as Sedna's darkness flows into their bodies.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Kanon starts out aloof, awkward, and unwilling to form connections with people. However, she gradually warms up to Marin.
Does Not Like Shoes: Most underwater citizens, including the two main characters, will go barefoot, unless trying to remain inconspicuous and wearing more conventional clothes of the "sky people."
Drowning My Sorrows: Not in alcohol, but in a soothing song the island priestess sings; it even calms Marin out of her Heroic BSOD. And the ocean. The islanders' tears and a ritual involving tossing stones that represented their sorrow into the sea formed Sedna out of their collective grief.
Earn Your Happy Ending: Marin, Kanon, and Urin have to go through a lot while fighting Sedna, including facing their own fears and being corrupted by the darkness. In the end they don't destroy Sedna, but accept her and their sorrow back into their hearts, melting the darkness with light.
Everybody Lives: Despite numerous warnings of death should specific actions be taken, no one dies at the end of the series.
Image Song: Marin, Kanon, and Urin get them in a drama CD and an OP single, "Treasure."
Incorruptible Pure Pureness: The Elder Turtle thinks Marin is this, and strives to protect her from the darkness. Instead she falls into it.
Iyashikei: This anime is about accepting your inner darkness.
Innocent Fanservice Girl: Marin's skimpy clothing is commented on when she first comes ashore, though Kanon eventually gets her and Urin to wear something a little less revealing.
Kiss of Death: Sedna's soldiers try to kiss Kanon to suck out her evil soul.
Know-Nothing Know-It-All: The Elder Turtle has shades of this; not only is he wrong about which priestess will fall into darkness, he doesn't comprehend what Sedna truly is and gives wrong information as a result.
Last Episode Theme Reprise: Inverted, as the theme plays at the beginning of the last episode in a more somber tone as Marin and Kanon are near death.
Legacy Character: Marin and Kanon take up the mantle of the previous priestesses.
Love Hurts: This is Oshima and Kanon's situation in a nutshell.
Kanon realizes that it was her own insecurity that made her feel like Kojima was going to dump her, when in fact he had liked her all along and never intended to dump her. At the same time, Kojima confesses to Marin that he had liked Kanon from the start, but felt she was purposely separating herself from him, and so they grew distant. Kanon realizes that she never told anyone she liked them out loud even once.
Oshima initially seems to be your classic Alpha Bitch, but she has heartbreaking hidden depths. She tells Kanon that even when she was going out with Kojima, all he ever talked about was Kanon. She feels she'll never measure up to Kanon in his eyes, and that it hurts to like someone that much knowing they'll never feel the same way about you.
Monster of the Week: The first few episodes have Marin and Kanon battling creatures that Sedna summons. This pattern gets abandoned halfway through the series as it focuses on more personal battles.
Mood Whiplash: Setting in from the solar eclipse episode onward. What was once a happy, gentle show takes a turn for the scary.
More Than Mind Control: By the end of the series, the heroines realize that Sedna's darkness was really just magnifying the weakness that was already present in people's hearts.
Mum Looks Like A Sister: Miyako, Kanon's mother. She looks young enough to be one of her daughter's friends, and has the personality to match.
Near Villain Victory: Sedna comes extremely close to winning. By the end of episode 11 she has absorbed Marin and Kanon's combined power and shattered their transformation stones, rendering them completely incapable of stopping her. She then floods them with darkness and nearly kills them before they realize what the darkness is.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Urin lets Sedna's sky half out while looking for the ring, and Kanon threw the ring away in the first place.
Not Now, Kiddo: Urin suffers this as Marin talks more to Kanon, which causes a rift between them.
Older Alter Ego: A villainous version. In the final episode, Sedna possessing Urin causes her to age into a young woman.
On the Next: Next episode previews generally have Marin talking about sea creatures.
Poor Communication Kills: Kanon never told Kojima she liked him out of fear and naturally assumed he was going to dump her, which made him grow distant from her because he felt she didn't reciprocate his feelings.
The Power of Love: This is how Marin and Kanon save Urin from Sedna. Instead of defeating Sedna with a spear of light and killing Urin, her host, Marin and Kanon reach out to her. They hug her, and the power of Marin's love and Kanon's acceptance of darkness moves Sedna's heart and causes her to disappear peacefully.
Prehensile Hair: Two Monsters of the Week have this, using their hair to tie up and strangle Kojima. They nearly kill him before being defeated.
Real Place Background: The island Kanon lives on is modeled after one of the Japanese islands of Amami-Oshima, which gets mentioned in the DVD special.
The Reveal: Kanon and Marin find out about Sedna's true nature while being almost defeated by her. Specifically, Sedna is formed from the combined sorrow that the inhabitants of the island committed to the sea.
Scenery Porn: Plenty of lovely shots of the seaside town in which the story takes place.
Sheathe Your Sword: Sedna is "defeated" by everyone accepting the darkness within them, not casting it away or fighting it.
Shoot the Dog: The Elder Turtle lives by this, even telling the girls to take him down without hesitation should he be corrupted. More disturbingly, he also tells them to not hesitate in killing Sedna, which would also kill her host, Urin.