Manga: My Bride Is a Mermaid aka: Seto No Hanayome
Do not let the above image fool you. It's far from serious.
Please laugh along. This is the beginning of young love.
While on a visit to his grandmother's, a schoolboy named Nagasumi nearly drowns in the sea. Before passing out, he catches a glimpse of a young mermaid. Nagasumi is found on the rocks, but no one believes his mermaid story... until that young girl, Sun Seto, appears at his home, asking Nagasumi to take responsibility for what happened by marrying her. Turns out that saving him broke the mermaid code of secrecy and one of them must be executed to preserve it, so Sun chose a third option by proposing marriage.Unfortunately, Sun is also the daughter of a mermaid Yakuza clan, and her fiercely-overprotective father and several other clan members are not happy with the engagement and would rather just have him killed and be done with it. And there is also the matter of keeping it a secret that Sun is a mermaid as she starts attending his school. Then of course there's the matter of Sun's pint sized body guard who would like nothing better than to murder Nagasumi. Oh, and Sun's family decide it's a great idea to off some of the staff at Nagasumi's school and take their place so they can better watch Nagasumi. Do we really have to say it?The manga started in 2002, ending in 2010 with 16 Volumes. A 26-episode TV series aired in early 2007, and a set of two OVAs followed.The anime has been licensed by Funimation under the title My Bride is a Mermaid. All 26 episodes of the anime, both subbed and dubbed, can be seen at Funimation's site here and here. The full series is available on DVD.A character sheet for this series is under construction.
Accidental Marriage: At the beginning of the show, Nagasumi is proposed to by Sun, because as we find out, Sun (or Nagasumi) would have been executed for breaking the mermaid code, after she saves Nagasumi from drowning.
Accidental Pervert: In episode 3, both Sun and Nagasumi walk in on each other in the bath within the space of 24 hours. Nagasumi winds up with broken ear drums (and an unwarranted reputation of being a deliberate pervert) both times.
Adaptational Villainy: Minamoto no Yoshiuo, who is a one-shot character in the manga, was turned into the anime's Big Bad. As of Chapter 70, this seems to be the case in the manga as well, as it is revealed he is the one behind the "break Nagasumi and Sun up at all costs" mission.
Adult Fear: Some creep fakes a party to kidnap your precious only child and and knocks you out to prevent you from stopping it; as you go under you hear their sick desires for your child. Human or not, it's easy to feel the Seto clan's terror and anger when the mermaid noble fakes a get-together to nab Sun.
Adults Are Useless: All the adult authority figures, barring Masa-san and Ren Seto (Sun's mother).
Parodied with the (remaining) school teachers during the club gang war. While the school becomes a war zone they make small talk as if truly unaware of it.
Annoying Younger Sibling: The OVAs introduce Satori, Saru's kid sister. Sun bonds with her over a love of action movies, and after Nagasumi rescues her from a collapsing theater, even she begins to think he's extremely manly.
Art Evolution: In the Manga, Kimura Tahiko's art style notably changed over the series' run. Compare the art in Volume 1 to that of Volume 9, and again to even more recent artwork. It's almost hard to believe these were drawn by the same person.
Big Bad: Though the series doesn't really need one for most of its run, it's eventually revealed that Yoshio's the one who sent Akeno to evaluate the Seto gang in an attempt to break up Sun and Nagasumi, so that he can have her for himself, and even then he doesn't make an appearance until the last two episodes. Yoshio is introduced as a minor antagonist fairly early in the manga, and it also takes much longer for this revelation to occur.
Big Damn Heroes: Two examples in the last episode. The first by the sub driven by Mikawa, which crashes into Yoshio's underwater palace and allows Sun's family (and Lunar's papa) to escape to do theirs to help Nagasumi a few moments later.
Sun does one in episode 13 to stop Lunar's marriage to Nagasumi.
Birds of a Feather: Saturn and Maruko. Both had Sun as their only friend when they were children. Both absolutely hate Nagasumi with a passion for daring to marry her (and as such take her away from them). It's no wonder they quickly became allies.
Then, Lunar makes her entrance, and we don't have to wait long to know that her cute persona on stage is merely a facade.
Both of them mellow out somewhat as the series goes along.
Maki as "Chibi Lunar-Chan", subtlypoints out Lunar's flaws in episode 22 while she's putting on her ventriloquist act. They both get into an argument, then end up fighting each other hilariously. Amazingly, the class still thinks Lunar is just putting on a good ventriloquism act.
Black Blood: Not exactly black, but in the anime, all visible blood is colored a sparkly rainbow texture.
Expies of who are suppose to be Vegeta and Trunks appear in the background together in one class room scene.
Carnivore Confusion: Sun and Lunar are disturbed when they take something with fish in it (with Sun asking if that makes them cannibals). But fish do eat other fish...
Hilariously invoked with the three fish brothers during the Kyoto excursion.
There's also the bit early in the show where Octopus Nakajima is teaching the home-ec class how to cook octopus, with what's heavily implied to be his own severed tentacles. Nagasumi wisely decides not to have a taste.
Class Trip: The Kyoto arc (Episodes 18 and 19 in the anime, and Chapters 26-29 in the manga).
Clingy Jealous Girl: Mawari, Lunar, even Sun has shown this (episode 2, although played for laughs).
Mawari even goes so far as to interrogate Nagasumi's relationship with Sun in episode 6 when she sees them leaving his house together.
Mawari (again), the class president, Lunar, and Akeno all exhibit this trope after drinking that special potion that makes you act out your innermost desires in episode 19. Hilarity Ensues as they chase him down.
At the end of episode 26, after watching Sun and Nagasumi make up, Lunar doesn't seem too happy, and hilariously knocks out her dad to vent her frustration.
Conflict Ball: Nagasumi randomly acting uncharacteristically douchy toward Sun sets up the climax for the series.
Cool Car: Ren Seto is shown driving a Lamborghini at one point.
Couch Gag: The opening poem changes changes slightly every few episodes.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: While it takes 25 episodes for his the full extent of his Badass come out of hiding, in the second episode, Nagasumi suplexes Shark Fujishiro by grabbing him by the teeth.
He also manages to erect a "Nagasumi Barrier" when Mawari attempts to throw water at Sun in episode 6 by basically jumping in front of the water before it hits Sun.
Cry Cute: Most of the girls, particularly Sun and Lunar.
Cute Monster Girl: Mermaid appearance here resembles that of western mermaids. The mermen in their true forms tend to resemble traditional Japanese mermaids, which are horrors straight from the Black Lagoon. And no, not that Black Lagoon.
Maki plays this even further, being knee-high to a pencil and all.
Dating Sim: "After School Love Heart", played by Sun and Lunar 's fathers and their associates in an attempt to understand how a girl's heart works. What happens next...(see Moe Moe entry below)
Dancing Theme: The opening. The first OVA's opening is also a dancing theme, but not the show's own. Rather, it's a pastiche of Lucky Star's opening.
Demoted to Extra: In-universe example, Nagasumi's dad hilariously gets pushed further and further away from relevance.
Disproportionate Retribution: A lot of the male characters are often on the receiving end of this, but Nagasumi has it the worst out of all of them.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Shiranui and, later, Sun attempting to resist their spontaneous change to mermaids when their legs are doused with water. Full package of moaning, blushing and easily misunderstood dialogue. The first scene even has severe weakness of the legs (Justified in that her legs are changing, but still can't help but look like something else).
In the first episode: "I need you to take responsibility for what happened earlier today!". If a young girl said that, with the same intensity, what is a parent going to think?
In the final episode, Sun is wearing a wedding dress, while Nagasumi is wearing a black coat over his school uniform. The resulting visual when they hug makes Nagasumi look like he's wearing a wedding kimono as well.
Does Not Like Men: Most of the female members of the school. To be fair, the guys at the school aren't exactly likable.
Early-Bird Cameo: Mawari, Mikawa, Lunar, the Class President, and Shiranui all appear in the opening's dance sequence, in some cases long before they appear in the show itself.
Evil Plan: Averted for the most part in the anime. The bulk of the series is about Sun and Nagasumi's growing relationship, but once the mermaid exam starts then a continuous plan by a villain shapes the remainder of the series. A merfolk nobleman wants to add Sun to his harem and needs her to break with (or otherwise seperate from) Nagasumi to make that happen. It takes much longer for this to be revealed in the manga.
Evolving Credits: The first ending. The picture briefly comes back in the final episode with the additions of Akeno and the kitten.
The opening also changes who's dancing from time to time as well, although Sun is always in the front. The ending adds new characters as they're introduced as well.
Lunar herself seems very similar in both personality and appearance to Etna. In episode 9, she even sprouts an Etna-esque demon tail for a few seconds.
One of the OVAs also has her sporting miniature bat wings for a while.
Eye Catch: The water color painting of Sun that pops in the middle of the episodes. She looks pretty Bad Ass in it as well.
Eyes Always Shut: The bartender in the Masa Today segments, which only open once in the entire series.
Face Death with Dignity: In the first episode, Sun is perfectly willing to accept death as a result of saving Nagasumi and exposing the merpeople's existence to humans. Fortunately, Ren decides to Take a Third Option.
Fan Disservice: Unless you find big, muscle-bound men in tight, school/girl uniforms sexy.
Fanservice: Although, admittedly, not a whole lot compared to most Animes out there.
First Girl Wins: Although it's something of a Foregone Conclusion, despite the fact that multiple girls from the school express interest in Nagasumi (though not necessarily to his face), and although he does occasionally waver, it's pretty clear from the beginning that Nagasumi has a strong mutual dedication to Sun.
Lunar's bodyguards (the black pair, not the classmate horde).
Saturn's English lesson video. Probably NSFW due to the profanity she teaches, but very hilarious. "Good morning maggots!"
Heel-Face Turn: Akeno does a spectacular one in episode 26, and a corresponding one in Chapter 69 of the manga.
Heroic BSOD: Sun suffers a particularly brutal one in episode 13, after Nagasumi is forced to marry Lunar. Lunar gloats about it to her, but since she knows what Nagasumi really did, and how he really feels, even she feels a bit disgusted at herself at what's going on.
Homage: Lunar's father, who is more or less The Terminator is introduced as an important character in episode 10. Yes, ''really''.◊ There are many other parodies and homages in the series, including UC Gundam, Fist of the North Star, and Neil Armstrong.
Hopeless Suitor: Pretty much any girl not named Sun, although Lunar does almost succeed in roping him into a Shotgun Wedding of her own. The class president in particular is a tragic case, as she's incredibly shy around Nagasumi, and in episode 21 of the anime, she finally manages to write a love letter to Nagasumi. But her efforts are both sabotaged by her classmates, and later Sun's dad/Maki. While Played for Laughs, you can't help but feel a little sorry for her making such a fool of herself given how much courage it must've taken her to do this.
I Can Explain: "THIS IS JUST A MISUNDERSTANDING!!!" Spoken by Nagasumi, many, many times.
He unfortunately always rolls a natural zero in his diplomacy checks.
Implacable Man: Lunar's dad for the most part (except if Lunar hits him). Nagasumi in the last episode.
Incurable Cough of Death: Maru seems to suffer this from time to time. She's arguably much better now though, than during the time she stayed with the Seto clan.
Instant Fan Club: The males at the school are divided into two large, militant, warring fan clubs over Sun and Lunar. Lunar personally leads her club in efforts to take over the school. Mawari is left leading an equally-violent third club comprised of the girls, united under 'restoring order' with the motto "All men are beasts."
Involuntary Shapeshifting: Young mermaids' legs automatically revert back to tails when they get wet, and revert back when they're dried off. According to Akeno, it's like trying to hold in a sneeze.
Interspecies Romance: Nagasumi and Sun mainly, but the series' Love Dodecahedron also contains another mermaid and an orca, and the mermaid noble that captures Sun and tries to marry her against her will at the end of the anime is actually a catfish.
Iron Butt Monkey: Nagasumi for the most part. Saru fits this trope as well, being able to take various punishments from many characters (usually Nagasumi).
Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: If a mermaid breaks the mermaid code of secrecy, either she or the human she exposed herself to has to be executed... except if said human is a family member.
Lampshade Hanging: Done a lot through the series; notably when Nagasumi points out the falling cherry blossom petals that surround Sun when she is getting chivalrous. In one instance he asks where the petals keep coming from (they were on a boat in the middle of the ocean at the time), and in another he waves them away while trying to calm Sun down.
Large Ham: Yakuza grunts, their boss Gozaburo, and his daughter Sun. She's not as bad as the rest of the outfit but get her in a "Honor among thieves" mode and watch the cherry blossoms materialize.
Nagasumi even lampshades this when he asks Sun where the petals are falling from in episode 3.
Sun's dad gets particularly hammy during the Kyoto excursion episodes.
Virtually anyone arguing with Nagasumi ends up doing a ham-duet with him, especially Mikawa early on.
Lemony Narrator: "Cops vs Thugs" has the narrator snarking at events and character's lines.
Lethal Chef: Lunar's onigiri (rice balls) in episode 9 doesn't look particularly tasty, despite Nagasumi's mom helping her to make them.
Let Her Grow Up, Dear: Compared to her borderline psychotic husband Gozaburo Seto, who has a tendency to send assassins after his son in law Nagasumi, Ren Seto was absolutely delighted when she mistook his drying of her daughter Sun's fins as public sex ("My oh my, kids will do it anywhere these days."). She provides (not so) helpful love potions to speed up their blossoming marriage along with advice and encouragement, when she's not occasionally trying to seduce the boy herself, that is.
Love Bubbles: They tend to show up during lovey-dovey scenes.
Love Dodecahedron: Mawari and the Class Rep have crushes on Nagasumi, who is dating/engaged to Sun (but sometimes has to admit that Masa's lookin' kinda cool) while Lunar tries to secure him for herself due to a rivalry with Sun, who — the entire male population of the school in general aside — is also being pursued by Kai Mikawa, one of her childhood acquaintances, who in turn has most of the female student body swooning over him.
Love-Obstructing Parents: Because it's traditionally funny that Sun's family either tries to kill Nagasumi or seduce him (or teach him how to seduce); and Sun doesn't notice most of the time.
Love Epiphany: Mawari has one towards Nagasumi in episode 6 when she gets confused as to why she gets a little distraught at seeing him and Sun together.
Both Lunar and Sun have one in episode 13 when they both do a Love Confession to him.
Akeno realizes she's falling in love with Nagasumi in Chapter 56, though her sense of honour regarding her mission conflicts with it until Chapter 68.
Love Letter Lunacy: Episode 21. Practically all of the major characters seem a bit too interested in who wrote said letter to Nagasumi.
Love Potion: With the side effect of every guy that sees him hating him, in episode 21.
Madeof Iron: Lunar's dad. Played straight for the most part, since he's able shake off things such as being hit with a rocket launcher and a Kill Sat (courtesy of NASA), and even withstands Sun's dad's attacks. It's averted whenever Lunar hits him.
Mafia Princess: Sun. Lunar is technically one too, but doesn't seem to be involved much in her father's business. Maru, another of Sun's childhood friends, is also one of these, except for a family based up in Hokkaido.
Magical Girlfriend: Sun is beautiful and sweet and devoted to the protagonist, Nagasumi. She's also a mermaid with a super sonic screech attack.
Magic Music: Presumably all mermaids can do this but we only see Sun, her mom, and Lunar.
Make Me Wanna Shout: Possessed by all female mermaids, apparently (Lunar does it often, and both Akeno and Ren do it in the finale).
Meaningful Name: Nagasumi's pal/Kai's lackey Hideyoshi Sarutobi, whose family name literally means "Jumping monkey", and whose given name is a reference to a Real Lifefeudal lord who had "Monkey" as his nickname. Guess what he looks like.
Mistaken for Dying: In Episode 24, some of the students catch Mikawa leaving a clinic. Later Saru overhears an out-of-context conversation between the doctor and a nurse, and assumes that Mikawa must have a terminal illness. Eventually even Mikawa comes to believe he's dying, and seems at peace towards the end. Then they find out what he really had, and everything reverts back to normal, more or less.
Mood Whiplash: The end of episode 12, which starts out comical, then suddenly shifts to being serious as Nagasumi is forcefully taken away from Sun.
More Dakka: Maki's conchshell gun seems to operate on this. In one episode, Sun's dad also has a machine gun in episode 8, which served no purpose other than to shoot up Nagasumi's house. Lunar's dad also uses a gun when shooting at Nagasumi in episode 12.
Mushroom Samba: Episode 19 has all the girls (and Saru) drinking Uoihatsu, forcing them to "act oninstinct". In other words, they got drunk.
New Transfer Student: Sun, Lunar, Kai, Akeno...and that's not counting Sun's family replacing half the school staff.
The cast starts lampshading this after the first few transfers.
Nice Guy: Nagasumi for the most part. Which is partly why so many of the female characters, such as Lunar and the class rep, are attracted to him, even if they think he's only average in looks and brains.
Later, an even worse case of this almost leads to a Shotgun Wedding with Lunar.
When Nagasumi and Mawari saw Sun and Akeno undergoing endurance training together in the bathhouse, the two mermaids looked rather... provocative. This becomes a running gag with Mawari catching them in compromising positions and thinking Akeno is a lesbian.
At one point, Nagasumi's dad sees Sun from behind and stares longingly at her, thinking she was his wife. His wife then comes and beats him up for being a pervert.
Nun Too Holy: Sun's other childhood friend (she seems to have a lot of these) Maruko Okhotsk, wears a customized nun's habit. Which is odd, considering the religion she follows isn't Christianity at all, but something akin to what the Ainu people of northern Japan believe in.
Once an Episode: Masa does something kinda cool, and Nagasumi and/or his mother swoon over him. Sun gives her Catch Phrase (or similar) in a dramatic voice in a spotlight amidst falling cherry blossom petals. Nagasumi narrowly escapes death. Not so much in the second half.
Overprotective Dad: Sun's father takes this to a borderlinetrulypsychotic level. Lunar's father is more stoic, but just as dangerous.
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: It's a wise choice on the part of the director to not show just how Yakuza really make their money; Sun's family would really be nowhere as fun and lovable to watch if they are drug smuggling, gun running, prostituting extortionists who commit murder on a daily basis. Of course, after the first episode, the entire clan essentially dedicates itself to trying to ruin Nagasumi's life, so they don't have time to do any of that stuff. The most villainous thing the Seto Syndicate seems to do is run a shopping channel that seems to be selling "Fin Weights", porn (fish porn at that, for mermaids, see?) and Lance of Longinus copies. There was a goldfish scoop booth at a carnival in Episode 2. Nagasumi reasons that since the guy who ran the booth was an aquatic creature himself, it could possibly count as trafficking.
They, at least, hint at the "killing on a daily basis"-business, with assassins such as Maki trying to off Nagasumi on a daily basis.
Really (and given the story, this probably shouldn't come as a surprise) the biggest asshole is a member of the Government.
Power Nullifier: Maruko's Silent Voice can nullify any of Sun's mermaid songs, including the Song of the Hero she usually uses to buff up Nagasumi.
Pretty Freeloaders: Sun, Maki and Lunar are all staying at Nagasumi's house, moving him up to the attic.
Partly subverted however, since both their families continually repair damage they cause to his house, and Lunar's father even renovates it while he was it. Nagasumi's mom in particular loves the new kitchen. Gozaburo still deliberately left them with their mortgage, though.
Rape as Drama: In the final two episodes of the anime Sun is abducted by a lecherous nobleman who drugs her into a stupor and intends to rape her.
Real Men Wear Pink: Dating sim episode. Maki, at least, thinks its very manly to do something like that for one's boss.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Ren and Masa are pretty much the only adults in the series who are actually more mature than than the kids are. Masa is basically the only character who actually performs well in his role as a teacher, and Ren is almost always the one to step in when she feels the situation is getting out of control.
Reset Button: Averted between episodes 11 and 12. At the end of episode 11, the house has been destroyed by Giant Nagasumi. At the start of episode 12, we see everyone in the house like usual...however, it's quickly established that Sun's and Lunar's dads used their connections to have the house rebuilt between episodes (Nagasumi's mom even gushes about how much she loves the new kitchen!) In fact, this indirectly leads into the Wham Episode.
Royal "We": Lunar refers to herself as "We" out of arrogance.
Rule of Cool: The various fights taking place throughout the series, most notably the intentionally exaggerated Grand Finale.
Serious Business: The Sun vs Lunar fan club war. It almost tore the school apart.
The dating sim episode 20. Both Lunar and Sun's dads end up cosplaying and getting a little too in-character with the visual novel they're playing, which freaks both of the girls out.
Mawari tends to think of this too when trying to enforce school rules. It's not very effective most of the time.
When Sun's dad pulls the fire alarm in episode 14 which causes several firetrucks to show up at the school. Mikawa also calls in some fighter jets. After Ren finds out they both did that simply because of a kitten, she beats them all up for going overboard, while Masa apologizes profusely for wasting the firemen's time.
Shotgun Wedding: Having seen Sun in her mermaid form, Nagasumi is given two choices: marry her, or one of them will have to be executed... and Gozaburo ain't gonna let it be his precious daughter.
When Lunar's dad walks in on her naked from the waist down and Nagasumi rubbing her behind with a towel,note ...having just been drying her off after she'd been splashed with water. Lunar takes advantage of the ensuing misunderstanding to try to steal Nagasumi away from Sun.
Solar and Lunar: Sun and Lunar tend to be associated with the sun and the moon for obvious reasons. Sun is an honorable woman and kind to everyone she meets while Lunar has a bit of a rotten side and is Sun's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis.
Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Sun crashes Nagasumi's forced wedding to Luna - wearing a white kimono, sarashi, and carrying a katana - in order to take her fiancé back, even if it means renouncing her ties to her family and declaring war on the Edomae syndicate.
Spell My Name with an S: Sun/San and Lunar/Luna/Runa are the main cases, though most official material (And the Funimation translations) give their names as Sun and Lunar.
Super Reflexes: Nagasumi has this from time to time. Such as whenever a character attempts to hit one of the mermaids with water, like Mawari on Sun, and later Maki on Akeno (although he fails to completely block her attacks). In episode 21, he also activates a super-evasive mode, allowing him to dodge all the hits from both Sun AND Lunar's fathers. At the same time.
Supporting Harem: Other than a close call with Lunar, none of the girls really have a shot at Nagasumi. It's pretty obvious that he only wants Sun.
Lunar's "Song of Battle" has a... less refined sort of similar effect.
Theme Naming: Times two yet. Mermaid characters will usually have an important body of water inserted into their family names (Seto Inland Sea, Tokyo Bay (Edomae), Shiranui Sea, Mikawa Bay, the Sea of Okhotsk), and a celestial object as their given one (Sun, Lunar, Akeno (Ake no Myoujo = Venus in the Eastern Sky), Kai (Kaiousei = Neptune)). Saturn in the manga is also added to the celestial list.
The Obi-Wan: Masa often gives useful advice to several characters, usually Nagasumi.
Transformation Sequence: Luna and Sun change from elaborate kimonos into showy stage costumes magical-girl style, as lampshaded by Nagasumi. There's also the Class President's transformation into the "Last Amazoness".
Yamato Nadeshiko: Sun is extremely devoted to Nagasumi, to the point that she decided to follow him to Saitama and live under the same roof as his fiancée. She was even willing to bet herself for her future husband's contest. What truly sells it is when she interrupts Lunar's Shotgun Wedding while wearing a wedding kimono and carrying a katana, which she then uses to great effect.
Nagasumi's grandmother is sweet and caring and strangely adaptable to the craziness that has invaded her family.
Note that Sun, despite her YN traits, subverts it in the speaking department, at least in English. Instead of the formal speech patterns of more traditional YNs like Belldandy or Aoi Sakuraba, Sun has a more "casual" register, with contracted words and dropped final "g"s.