Reviews: My Bride Is A Mermaid

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The Only Context You Could Use.
Ah, the young love of a Yakuza mermaid girl and a drowning boy. This anime tells you the entire premise in it's title, yet there is nothing short of itself that can prepare you for it.

And it is awesome.

The show follows Nagasumi, who's life was saved by a mermaid, Sun Seto. The cost of revealing her true form to Nagasumi is the death of either her or Nagasumi: and Sun's father ain't gonna let it be her. However, there is a solution: Nagasumi can marry Sun. This decision is controversial among Sun's family, who happen to be a Yakuza outfit. By episode 4, Nagasumi and Sun have returned to Nagasumi's city home, and half of the Seto family have followed to keep close watch on Nagasumi. Hilarity Ensues.

Seriously, it's going to take more room than I've got to even begin to describe how zany this show acts. Despite it's rather lewd humour at times (what did you expect from a show where the Yakuza are protagonists?), this show strikes a cord with me, and whether it's seeing The Terminator in a sailor fuku or watching a pop star fighting with an pint-sized assassin disguised as the pop star's ventriloquism dummy, there's always something funny happening that'll grab your attention and leave you wanting more.

Now, don't come away just thinking this series is a zany comedy. There is still serious elements to it. One arc in particular reduced me to tears, something I can't say about too many works. In addition, as previously mentioned, the line between hilarity and seriousness often blurs: it's hard to tell what is to be taken as funny and what is to be taken seriously. Most of the time, it worked for me: this was a good approach.

My final verdict? You'll laugh, you'll cry, but mostly you'll laugh. You'll know if you like it, you'll know if you don't.
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The Most Bizzare Series of Events Ever Recorded.
SO, I'm thirteen episodes in, and I have to say this: This show is completely silly, way over the top, and sometimes incredibly contrived.

And I love it anyway.

First, I start with the characters. The entire cast is just the slightest bit insane, which is a must for a comedy Anime, so I'll let that slide. Besides that, they're remarkably human, each with their own endearing quirks and humanizing flaws. The main couple is actually well-developed. Sun is overbearingly honorable, but a huge ditz. Nagasumi's wise beyond his years, but his perverted nature still influences him. The minor characters are also great, like Lunar's split personality (she even refers to herself as "We."), Maki's cutesy act around Sun and "I'll friggin' kill you" around Nagasumi.

Second, the plot. It's actually a pretty serious subject to make a comedy out of. I mean, a middle school kid has to marry into the Mafia or his family gets whacked? That's kind of harsh. This could have easily be spun into a seinen type thing, and it seems a bit wasted with this. At the same time, that makes it all the more hilarious.

And finally, the humor. My God, this writer knows what he's doing. The first three episodes had real comedy value for various reasons. Nagasumi's dynamic with his parents was amusing and sincere, and his over-the-top reactions, especially in the English Dub, were very noteworthy. Then there's the randomness that I love so much. When People from the Seto gang show up at Nagasumi's school, I knew this would be fun. And my god it is. But the crowning moment so far is a Marriage ceremony turning into an awesome gang war, and then into a dance party. There's some pretty good art direction, too. Especially with the random Art Shifts (Nagasumi and Chimp turning into deep-voiced Seinen-drawn men and having a Battle Aura Battle? Do Want.)

So, all in all, you've got a package deal. Comedy value, nice rounded characters, and pretty to look at.
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One of my favorites (anime)
This is a...unique series. In the best possible way.

Description: A teenager gets saved from drowning by a mermaid Mafia Princess, and ends up having to marry her so they don't kill him. She comes to his school, and her whole family comes along.

Content: Some Fan Service stuff, innuendo, nothing really bad except the epic Innocent Innuendo Les Yay with San and Akeno in the bath.

The Good:
  • For such an insanely over-the-top show, the characters are surprisingly well-developed; they all have very distinct personalities that interact well with each other.
  • Saru is one of the few really insane Wacky Guy characters that I actually like. When he was introduced I thought "He's going to be annoying", and then...he wasn't.
  • This show doesn't pull the whole annoying "lets suddenly be have a completely serious and bittersweet finale!". The finale is certainly emotional and dramatic, but still fits right in with the rest of the show.
  • It does a good job of balancing the comedy and drama. That is, everything is joke fodder except for Nagasumi and San's relationship, which is sweet, but never reaches the Tastes Like Diabetes level. Thank goodness.

The Bad:
  • The first few episodes aren't quite as good as the later ones. At least in my mind, the series didn't hit it's stride until the action moved to Nagasumi's school.
  • As a whole, the series' over the top nature could be a deal breaker depending on your tolerance for that kind of humor. Same deal with the constant Art Shifts, which can be either hilarious or annoying depending on if you like it or not. I find that both generally lean towards the "hilarity" end of the scale, but be warned that the show usually isn't subtle.

Overall: I found this show to be great. It's a good balance of completely Beyond The Impossible style ridiculous humor (the Terminator is a recurring character. In later episode he wears a schoolgirl uniform. It's that kind of series) with a surprisingly well done (and not sappy) love story at the core. I recommend it.

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