Manga: Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
With a pichi pichi voice, live start!
Pichi Pichi Pitch combined two subcategories of Magical Girl
— the Magic Idol Singer
(sans Older Alter Ego
for once in the genre) and the Magical Girl Warrior
— in a sugary show and maturing manga that took style and substance from the original The Little Mermaid
story and plunked it into a magical world of princesses battling demons.
Nanami Lucia is the new girl in town, and with her foreign name, clumsy nature and odd talking penguin friend Hippo (more of a nagging guardian than anything), she's got enough problems. Of course, she's also the regent monarch of the North Pacific Ocean, with the title of Pink Pearl Princess — except she lost her pink pearl. And by "lost", she means "gave away", to save a drowning boy back when she was six. The boy turns out to be school idol and international competitive surfer Doumoto Kaito, and he's being targeted by the same league of sea demons that destroyed the kingdoms of the Atlantic princesses Hanon and Rina and kidnapped the Arctic and South Pacific princesses. Lucia (now with her pearl back), Hanon and Rina have to save those two, find the other two princesses that disappeared after the attacks, and navigate Lucia's love life, except, oh yeah, mermaid legend goes that confessing your identity to a human will turn you into seafoam
Although the anime is sugary and child-friendly, and the manga was serialized in the cute Nakayoshi, the latter is a lot more dark and mature. Lucia and Kaito have a lot more subtext going on, embarrassing situations are more so (for example, in the manga, Lucia accidentally wins a beachside beauty contest when her bikini top comes undone, flashing the audience; in the anime, another girl wins and Lucia's much more modest suit is saved) and there's a bit of gore and more threatening villains.
Another thing that sets the Pichi Pichi mermaids apart from their contemporaries is the combination of the Magic Idol Singer
and Magical Girl Warrior
. Lucia and friends need their pearls to sing, and sing well; their singing voices can defeat the enemies, and upgrades come via new songs for their repertoires. Each girl, except for Noel and Coco, who spend most of their time in the background, also gets her own Image Song
that can be used either in battle or in dramatic situations. In the second season and the second half of the first, some villains also get their own songs, and due to So Last Season
, the old songs are only
good for dramatic moments, making it even more like a musical.
Once licensed by ADV Films
, only to be dropped a year later when they couldn't find a TV deal for the 52-episode first season. The manga is licensed and has been released in its entirety by Del Rey.
This series has a Character Sheet.
This program provides examples of:
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Rina's hair colors are more muted in the anime, while Seira and good!Sara have orange hair all the time instead of changing to brown as humans. Even Lucia's blonder in the anime; in the manga, her human form's hair looks more brown.
- Aerith and Bob: The national origins of the names are varied and don't match up with the national origins of the people who have them. Mermaids have it worst, but the Amagi family [uh, Licht and Michal?] and Kaito's family do it too.
- All Just a Dream: The New Year's episode.
- Androcles' Lion: Momo-chan, animals in a few fillers.
- Animorphism: Inversion with Gaito's minions, who were transformed from animals into humans.
- Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Mermaids can't harm other mermaids with their songs. Note that Sara is not in violation of this rule: it is made pretty clear that only songs bestowed by the Goddess will not harm other mermaids. "Return to the Sea" is a song born from Sara's hatred, NOT a gift from Aqua Regina. Therefore it would not be bound by that rule. Still, given that the other mermaids can sing songs that aren't from Aqua Regina — Mizuiro no Senritsu being the most blatant example because it was written by a human — there's still a bit of a question there.
- Artistic Age: Gackt looks a bit too much like his namesake to possibly be thirteen years old. This is also true of pretty much every character in the series; Maria doesn't really look like Christmas Cake despite the many jokes at her expense, and aside from Hanon and the characters who are supposed to be small children, most of the girls are unbelievably stacked.
- Bait-and-Switch Credits: Pure season's opening pairs up Lucia/Rihito, Michal/Kaito, Hanon/Nagisa and Rina/Masahiro. The first two aren't canon. In fact, the first is barely implied unrequited love from Rihito's side.
- BareYourMidriff: All of the Mermaids out of Civilian and Idol form who always wear Seashell Bras in their Mermaid form.
- Big Fancy House: Michal's and Rihito's is big and fancy. Kaito's is big, but not really fancy.
- Bishōnen: Several, most notably Kaito.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Mermaids get drunk off of cola in the manga.
- Boobs of Steel: In season 1, Sara is not only the most well-endowed mermaid, but is also the most powerful princess.
- Lucia herself. Look how stacked she is, particularly in the manga. If that's not enough, after her life-saving upgrade at the end of the manga, it looks like she grew another cup!
- Bratty Half-Pint: Yuuri, the loli of the Dark Lovers, who is seen by the others as a pest; also, Seira begins as this before she gets the pieces of her heart back.
- Brown Note: Their songs are their weapons.
- By the Power of Grayskull!: Anime only, see Invocation.
- Calling Your Attacks: After a song ends, the mermaids shout "Love Shower Pitch!". In the manga [and the video games, if you get a perfect score], Love Shower Pitch is Lucia's personal attack, and the others each call out something different.
- Can Not Spit It Out: There's a lot of concern over the fact that Kaito doesn't know that Lucia's human and mermaid forms are the same person, which could be simply fixed by Lucia telling him; butjustified because she'll turn into foam if she does so.
- Canon Immigrant: Kura-chan, a mascot from the anime, appeared briefly in the manga. The manga also likes to use the songs from the anime.
- Can't Catch Up: Caren, Noel and Coco, Anviliciously so in the anime.
- Casanova Wannabe: Lucia seems to be the victim of many of these, especially in fillers and early on establishing her relationship with Kaito.
- Censor Steam: Manga-only, though; the anime just avoided the scenes altogether.
- Chromatic Arrangement: It follows this so well that Hanon appears to forget the word "aqua" in the manga when she and Lucia meet up with Rina.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: Crosses are the symbol of the Panthalassa people, appearing on their foreheads when they use their powers.
- Curtains Match the Window: This trope applies for every mermaid in mermaid form save Lucia, in where it applies only while she's in human form.
- Darker and Edgier: The manga, at least compared to the anime. Part of this is because the manga was aimed at teenagers while the anime was aimed at younger audiences. One example is Maria trying to molest Kaito at one point of the manga (the scene was cut off from the animé).
- Deadpan Snarker: Hippo; early on, Caren.
- Dramatic Wind: Used several times in the anime. …even underwater. Justified with underwater currents, but the sound is still inexcusable.
- Dreadful Musician: Mermaids without their pearls. Also, Lucia intended to sing to Kaito to show him that she was the mermaid, but she got too nervous and her singing resulted in this.
- Drunk on Milk: Carbonated beverages get mermaids drunk in the manga. This happens to Lucia while trying to take care of a sick Kaito. In the anime, it's replaced with a magic MacGuffin mood changer that goes haywire.
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Dude, he's, like, sick and half-asleep… and you're drunk.
- Dude, Where's My Reward?: In one episode, Lucia saves the beachside beauty contest, which she doesn't win.
- Eyecatch: Usually marked with whichever character is most important to the episode.
- Fanservice: Mostly Kaito.
- Finger-Suck Healing: Kaito does this to Lucia in an early episode.
- First Kiss: For each of the main heroines.
- Five Races: Humans (Mundane), mermaids (Fairy), Ancients (High Men), Panthalassa and Suiyou (both High Men + Fairy).
- Flash Back: Think of one instance where said flashback doesn't either contain a song, the implications of an attack song, or background music of the character singing in the present.
- Four Is Death: Four Dark Lovers and four Winged Ones.
- Funbag Airbag: Inverted: When Lucia trips and falls, Kaito's face serves as the airbag for her funbags.
- Gender-Blender Name: Nagisa, male, Makoto, male, and Noel, female.
- Ghibli Hills: The river, the beach.
- Girlish Pigtails: Lucia in mermaid and idol form.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Episode 39; the main trio and the Dark Lovers play games at the hotel. The mermaids are aware of their identities.
- Episode 79; Mimi (in disguise) and the mermaids (in human form) hang out with each other. They aren't aware of each others' identity.
- Gratuitous English: Pinku paaru voisu!
- Green Lantern Ring: While the main effect of the Mermaid Princess' songs is to make enemies cover their ears and run away, they also do things like make force fields, reverse mind control, restore memories, make people hallucinate, and light candles.
- Happy Holidays Dress: Lucia owns one.
- Hair Colors: Apparently an indicator of race in the mermaid world, except for pink mermaids, who can have any hair color; this loophole was likely invented simply for the sake of making Lucia a blonde.
- Heart Symbol: At the end of songs.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: Used while Lucia is sleeping naked.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Noel for Rina, Caren for the three protagonists, Seira for everyone. None of these involve death though.
- Image Song: Noel and Coco don't get one.
- Imagine Spot: Most are from Hanon and Luchia.
- Inconsistent Dub: The Italian dub songs. For example, Lucia's Japanese image song, Splash Dream, was not given an Italian counterpart. Therefore, when a scene would call for it, the Italian Lucia would sing either Torno all'Oceano (which is actually the Italian counterpart of Hanon's song Ever Blue) or a random song from their established repertoire. Which, of course, caused confusion in certain episodes, such as the episode where, for whatever reason, Hanon ended up singing Stella Preziosa (Rina's song).
- Invisible to Normals: A perk of the girls' powers is that the crowds often seem to think that they're idol singers.
- Invocation: The transformation phrases in the manga, if that's what they are and not their names. The anime turns them into necessary transformation phrases.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
- Tarou and Hanon both do this.
- Lucia thinks she should be happy for Kaito when she sees him with another woman on Christmas Eve. Turns out she's his aunt.
- The Lancer: The lance gets tossed around to most of the team, all in the hopes of making Lucia less of a ditz.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Caren, Noel, and Coco in the end of the manga. Hippo gets a few of these moments in both versions.
- Lovely Angels: Referenced in the climax of the manga, where Caren, Coco and Noel actually get to do something!
- Love Dodecahedron: More like a love chain: Nagisa->Hanon->Tarou->Sara<->Gackto<-Dark Lovers, and just to make things more complicated, Yuuri, one of the Dark Lovers, falls in love with Hippo.
- Love Makes You Evil: The Dark Lovers and Sara. Michal is a subversion; she pulled a Face-Heel Turn, but didn't turn evil.
- Meaningful Name: The title itself: "pichi pichi" is the sound of a fish's tail swishing and it's also the sound effect for someone who's especially excited and cute, like the heroines of the story.
- Meganekko: Noel and Mimi both wear glasses they don't really need at certain points in the anime.
- Merchandise-Driven: Why do you think the E-pitch (the microphones the mermaids use) looks like an E-kara?
- Mermaid Problem: Never addressed, but a particular scene in the manga really makes you wonder.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Hippo… That is, if he isn't in his human form.
- No Romantic Resolution: At the end, all the couples are set. There is one little problem though: Nagisa and Masahiro still don't know they're dating mermaids. Which means Hanon and Rina can't just come and go when duty calls and hope for a stable relationship. Lucia doesn't have this problem because Kaito knows.
- No Social Skills: Luchia at the beginning.
- Obstructive Code of Conduct: No confessing to humans lest the mermaid wishes to turn into bubbles. The human finding out on their own does not count as a confession.
- Oddly Named Sequel: "Pure"
- One-Gender Race: Mermaids.
- Only Child Syndrome: Either it's this or they're all sisters. Mermaid biology is weird.
- People Jars: What Gaito uses to keep the mermaids.
- Perky Female Minion: Yuuri and Eriru, and Alala to a much lesser extent (she's perkier, but less of a minion.)
- Power Trio: Both Hanon and Lucia have very Id tendencies, which leaves Rina the roles of both Ego and Superego to moderate them.
- Pretty in Mink: One of their costume sets.
- Puberty Superpower: At the age of 13. Lucia missed this date because she didn't have her pearl, so it was postponed to one year later.
- Rainbow Motif: The seven mermaid princesses happen to be themed after the seven colors of the rainbow… more or less. Lucia's pink replaces red, and Noel's deep blue replaces indigo. (Hanon's aqua can still qualify as blue.)
- Rapunzel Hair: All mermaids out of civilian form.
- Sara, Caren, Rina, and Seira still have it in civilian form, though to a lesser extent than their mermaid forms.
- Run the Gauntlet: One Pure episode had the Big Bad's minions do something like this, although the heroines went past 4 (of the 5) enemies without having to sing away at them. The first was merely bypassed, the second was struck down by a bowling ball (how it got there is beyond me), the third was repelled by the fact his breath smelled of curry, and the fourth let them pass after being threatened to be beat up (He was about a third their height).
- Rhythm Game: Two of the licensed GBA games.
- Sixth Ranger: Five of them, actually, not counting Kaito.
- So Last Season: In Pure, the older songs from before are replaced in favor of newer ones when it comes to fighting the enemy.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The early fansubs made a lot of spelling errors regarding the names, but some fans still like to say the wrong names and even start debates over it. The most popular ones are Lucia/Luchia/Ruchia, Rina/Lina, Gackto/Gakuto/Gaito (With the last one being anime Canon), Noel/Nuil/Noelle, Michel/Mikeru, Michal/Mikaru and Lanhua/Ranfa/Ran Fa/Lang Fa.
- Starcrossed Lovers:
- The mythical mermaid, who, apparently, eventually said Screw Destiny to the Obstructive Code of Conduct and went off with the human anyway; also, Sara and Tarou, who weren't quite so lucky.
- Yuuri and Hippo. Made even worse by the fact that Hippo was making a fuss over the mermaids falling in love with humans - and Yuuri is a sea witch!
- Theme Twin Naming: Gackto says his true name is Gakuto, with some of the same kanji from Kaito's name, when he reveals that they are twins. Even with the name Gackto, he matches Kaito, as they're both named after popular singers. In the anime, this was just changed to having Gackto's name be Gaito all along, getting rid of the Hollywood Spelling issue as well as downplaying his status as a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of Gackt.
- There Is Another: the Amagi family is half-Panthalassa.
- This and That: Hanon and Kaito both use the euphemism, to a very flustered Lucia.
- Umbrella of Togetherness: In one episode, Kaito and Lucia were to share an umbrella, but Gaito (disguised as Kaito) almost kidnaps her. Kaito sees this and assumes she just went off with another guy, which sparks an argument between him and Lucia.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Played straight with mermaids; averted with humans. While mermaids' hair can be of any color in the spectrum, humans' hair in the series is always a normal shade of black, brown, or blonde. And when the mermaids change to human form, their hair becomes a normal human shade, or at least a much more muted version of its true color.
- Nagisa and Masahiro (humans) also have blue and green hair, respectively, to match the mermaids they fall in love with.
- You Have Failed Me: Sheshe and Mimi are consumed by Michel because of this.
- You Know The One: In order to make this seem less awkward, "that person" was changed in the English manga to "the Great One". This is especially convenient, because it's referring to a man, and both Jossed theories put female characters in the position.
- Younger Than They Look: Seira is born in the very end, but she's depicted as six or so.
- Yuppie Couple: The schoolgirls are always the same.
Love Shower Pitch! Would you like an encore?