Follow TV Tropes


Anime / Umi Monogatari

Go To
Kanon, Urin & Marin

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 lives. 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 Reveal of what the Big Bad really is allows for a conclusion that's more true to life than most shows of this nature.

Not to be confused with the Monogatari series.


Tropes in Umi Monogatari include:

  • All-Loving Hero: Marin sincerely proclaims that she loves everyone she meets. Her hug will save the world.
  • Alpha Bitch: Oshima, who acts haughty around Kanon and is obsessed with winning Kojima. However, she has Hidden Depths.
  • An Aesop: Everyone has darkness in their hearts. That's normal, and we must learn to accept it, not cast it out.
  • Animal Espionage: Sedna's butterflies can spy for her and Urin.
  • 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 the possessed Urin.
  • Arc Words: "I love you!" crops up very frequently throughout the story as Marin and her relationships with others 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 they accept the darkness, and it merges with the light.
  • Bare Your Midriff: It's standard for Mermaids, but Oshima and Miyako are prone to this as well.
  • Big Bad: Sedna, the being of Darkness that Urin accidentally frees. She then starts corrupting the sea creatures and everyone around her. However, it's subverted at the end—she is revealed to be the sorrow that the islanders cast away, rather than a truly evil being. The characters accept it rather than defeat it.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kanon and Marin accept 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 Kanon keeps longing to meet Marin again, and almost encounters her.
  • 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.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Marin repeats "I love you!" frequently to everyone she meets, especially early on. In the finale, Kanon says it back to her as she has to leave.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Sedna does this to sea creatures and eventually Marin and Kanon's friends.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Urin is this, mainly towards people on land.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: Eerie blue butterflies show up the night of the eclipse, and Urin grows butterfly wings after hatching from a cocoon.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Kanon doesn't confess that she likes Kojima because she's afraid he'll reject her.
  • Can't Catch Up:
    • Kanon struggles with fighting and feels inadequate at times.
    • Urin does likewise to a much greater extent, as she can't fight at all, but wants to very badly.
  • Catchphrase: "I love you!", said by Marin to almost everybody.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Sets in around episode 6, coinciding with the eclipse and Urin being corrupted by Sedna.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Urin is this towards Marin, becoming jealous and scared about Kanon's intrusion and worried it will shatter their sisterly bond. Justified since she's a little girl.
  • Cooldown Hug: Instead of destroying monsters with a Finishing Move, Marin uses one of these to purify them.
  • The Corrupter: Sedna corrupts the islanders, sea creatures, and Urin to suit her needs. However she isn’t corrupting them so much as returning their lost sorrow.
  • The Corruptible: Various sea creatures, but this trope is most present in Urin.
  • The Corruption: Sedna's influence, signified by too-bright or red eyes.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Everyone was afraid of Kanon as a child due to her evil aura, which made her grow up aloof and unwilling to trust herself and others.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Kanon's evil aura doesn't make her evil; it grants her immunity to Sedna's evil.
    • This is the point of the shrine maiden's song, as darkness and light must coexist.
    • In the end, Sedna fits this, as she was created out of accumulated sadness in people's hearts.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Following her Face–Heel Turn, Urin becomes the Priestess of Darkness, gaining destructive powers and following Sedna's will.
  • 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.
  • Disability Immunity: Kanon's evil aura protects her from Sedna's darkness.
  • 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. Not even Sedna, as she is accepted back into peoples' hearts.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Urin turns evil halfway through the series.
  • Fantastic Racism: Urin's not exactly pleased with the people on land, and often wishes to return to the sea. Her Face–Heel Turn is in part because of this.
  • Flanderization: Everyone's traits were exaggerated in the OVA.
  • Foil: Marin is outgoing and positive, while Kanon is quieter and gloomy.
  • Gainaxing: Oshima invokes this to get Kojima to notice her, only to be quickly outdone by Marin. It's a more subdued, realistic example than most, however.
  • Genki Girl: Kanon's mom, Miyako, is perky and lively.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Oshima tells Kanon to stop her half-hearted attempts and face her without hesitation, galvanizing Kanon to do better.
  • Greek Chorus: The shrine maiden comments on the plot at times, and her song delivers clues to its resolution.
  • The Heartless: Sedna fits this, being born out of the people's sorrow.
  • Heroic BSoD: Marin goes through one in the latter half of the series, causing her to be unable to transform.
  • Hope Spot: In episode 11, Marin and Kanon try to combine their powers to save Urin from Sedna. She just absorbs it, draining them completely and shattering their transformation stones.
  • Humanity Ensues: Any sea creature Sedna corrupts takes on a human form.
  • 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: The story 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.
  • Leitmotif: The shrine maiden's song, as well as Sedna's theme.
  • Lonely Piano Piece: This constitutes a lot of the music in the series.
  • Lost in Translation: Marin's declarations of love are translated as "I love you." The specific way she says it in Japanese, "aishiteru," indicates the utmost level of affection reserved only for very special occasions. This is why everyone else is shocked when she uses it casually; not only is it a declaration of love, but utmost love.
  • Love Hurts: This is Kanon and Oshima'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.
  • Made of Evil: Sedna is created from the sadness and darkness of people's hearts, and when not taking a host has no real form except a cloud of red sparkles.
  • Making a Splash: Marin's power is to control water.
  • Male Gaze: Not to Ecchi levels, but it is a rare episode that doesn't feature at least one bust or butt being suddenly thrust into the frame.
  • Meaningful Name: Sedna takes her name from an Inuit sea goddess, fitting the oceanic theme.
  • Miko Magical Girl Warriors: Marin and Kanon are the Priestesses of the Sea and Sky, and fight Sedna's evil.
  • 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. Until an army of them shows up near the climax...
  • Mood Whiplash: Setting in from the solar eclipse episode onward, the show abandons the monster of the week format as Sedna possesses Urin, leading to much drama and sorrow for the cast.
  • 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, looks young enough to be one of her daughter's friends and has the youthful 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.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: A turtle with eyebrows and a mustache?
  • 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.
  • On The Next Episode Of Catchphrase: Marin's "Everyone, I love you!"
  • Open-Minded Parent: Two mermaids and a talking turtle staying at Kanon's house? No problem!
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Aside from Pointed Ears and the natural ability to breathe underwater, the sea people are almost exactly like humans.
  • Playing with Fire: Kanon's power is to control fire.
  • 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.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: Kanon's hair becomes lighter and has a different shape when transformed.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Urin appears with a pair of butterfly wings after she awakens from a literal cocoon. In the final episodes the wings grow huge and colorful.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Marin and Urin get longer hair when transformed.
  • 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 (one made from an octopus, the other presumably a jellyfish) have this, using their hair to tie up and strangle Kojima. They nearly kill him before being defeated.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: Kanon and Marin become very close friends over the course of the series to the point of Kanon repeating Marin's "I love you" catchphrase in the finale, but Kanon is in a relationship with Kojima and has been for some time.
  • 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.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Averted with Kanon and the shrine maiden, but played straight with a corrupted Urin, whose eyes glow red when exerting power and change from their normal color when possessed.
  • Red Herring: The Elder Turtle is often wary of Kanon and her evil aura, and is convinced she will fall into darkness if not watched. He's wrong. Marin does.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Urin believes this in the finale, but she's convinced otherwise and saved.
  • Refusal of the Call: Kanon is awkward about her powers and would rather not have to use them.
  • 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.
  • The Sacred Darkness: The islanders' unwillingness to accept and deal with the sorrow in their hearts created Sedna, and both light and dark combine to create the heart of a person. When the darkness is accepted back into the people, Sedna disappears peacefully.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Kojima, who never gets much more background other than that Kanon likes him.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Sedna was sealed away in the sea and on land, and must be released in both locales to fully revive.
  • Sealed Evil in a Six Pack: Sedna has half of her in land and half in 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.
  • Shout-Out: To "The Little Mermaid", as Marin is warned that Urin will turn into sea foam once Sedna is defeated. She doesn't.
    • The ending animation has Marin and Urin seeing the story of the Little Mermaid, with Urin crying over it and Marin comforting her.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Seen in the latter half of the series, as the formerly tranquil island and ocean begin to be corrupted.
  • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: The shrine maiden's song is sung in the Amami language, which is on the verge of becoming an extinct language and is officially considered a Japanese dialect.
  • Symbiotic Possession: In the second half of the series, Urin and Sedna's relationship works like this. Urin gets Sedna's powers, while Sedna gets her body.
  • Taking You with Me: In the finale, Sedna tries this on her host body, Urin.
  • Tentacle Rope: Kanon is bound by an octopus woman's hair-tentacles in episode 2.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: The solar eclipse triggers Urin's Face–Heel Turn and Marin's Heroic BSoD.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer spoils Urin turning evil, though in a different fashion than what happens in the show.
  • Transformation Sequence: Marin and Kanon each get a short one.
  • Transformation Trinket: The Bermuda Stones, which turn Marin and Kanon into priestesses. Which makes it a bad thing when Sedna destroys them.
  • Treasure Map: Marin and Kanon go in search of treasure, but end up finding angry undead pirates.
  • Ultimate Evil: Sedna has no real form, and is only seen as shadows and a cloud of red sparkles.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Marin and Urin's Pointed Ears are never commented on. Neither is a talking, bipedal turtle with a mustache.
  • Unreliable Expositor: The Elder Turtle is completely wrong about a lot of things, which is only revealed as the series nears its end.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Kojima sounds very girlish despite being a studious young man.
  • Volcanic Veins: Those corrupted by Sedna have glowing veins covering their legs, arms, and face.
  • Water Is Air: A huge offender. Everyone can speak underwater, there's always at least some light no matter how deep they go, there's barely a bubble in sight, defeated characters fall down instead of floating up, people cry underwater with tears floating away in bubbles, people drink tea underwater, and everyone's hair hangs down instead of flowing upwards.
  • World of Buxom: Downplayed, but pretty much every adult female character except Kanon is at least a C cup.