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.
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.
Ascended Extra: Madame Taki and, to a lesser extent, the Black Beauty Sisters.
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.
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.
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.
Cut Song: From some of the dubs and the licensed games.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
No Export for You: Averted: we've got the manga in North America, and other countries have it, the anime and sometimes the licensed games. The reason the English-speaking world hasn't got the anime is because TV wouldn't take it, not because of lack of trying on either side of the anime industry.
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.
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.)
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).
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.
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.
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.
What Could Have Been: It was to be set in the pirate days, with Kaito as a pirate. The only heroic mermaids were Lucia (then named Lyre), Hanon and Rina. The villains were also merpeople and were only Izuuru, Gaito and Sara.
Word Salad Title: "Mermaid Melody" is obvious, "Pichi Pichi" is the onomatopoeia for a fish splashing and also describes Lucia's happy personality, "Pitch" is another musical reference.
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 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.