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Manga / Merman In My Tub

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One day, high school boy Tatsumi is walking by a river when he notices a man lying motionless on the shore. Worried for him, he drags him back to the apartment where he lives by himself. But when he gets home, he realises with a shock that the man is actually a merman.

Said merman, a friendly if somewhat ditzy young Bishōnen named Wakasa, immediately takes up residence in Tatsumi's bath, declaring with delight that the water here is much cleaner and nicer than that in the river. Cool Tatsumi doesn't know how to think about any of this, but is willing to help out, even if his water bill ends up suffering considerably for it.

Merman in My Tub (Orenchi no Furo Jijou, literally, "The Circumstances in My Home's Bathtub" ) started out as a Yonkoma manga by Itokichi, which was serialized in Monthly Comic Gene from 2011 to 2020. It received a 13-Episode Anime adaptation by Asahi Production in October 2014. Each episode is a mere four minutes long, keeping it to the same comedic, Slice of Life story the 4koma had. Seven Seas Entertainment licensed the manga in English in 2015.

Orenchi no Furo Jijou shows examples of the following tropes:

  • All Just a Dream: The opening's final scene implies that the black-and-white, hardcore segment was all Wakasa's dream.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Kasumi but not too much towards Tatsumi since he doesn't seem to mind her clinging.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening credits are lit in grungy black and white, filled with dramatic shots of people running or screaming, and plays to J-Rock. The actual anime is actually a simple comedic slice of life without even an actual plot beyond the premise, let alone drama.
  • Bathing Beauty: Wakasa and Mikuni are the ones that need water the most. One is a Bishōnen and the other is a Moeblob.
  • Bathtub Mermaid: This is the entire premise — a homeless merman named Wakasa takes up residence in Tatsumi's bathtub
  • Berserk Button: Maki doesn't respond well on being reminded about his height.
  • Big Brother Attraction: Kasumi's attachment to Tatsumi is... unwholesome to say the least.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Maki, the hermit crab. The first time he met Tatsumi without glasses, Maki mistook him for a girl.
  • Blob Monster: Mikuni resembles a humanoid one, down to shrinking if he doesn't get enough water.
  • Blush Sticker/Luminescent Blush: Wakasa and Mikuni have perpetually rosy cheeks, but get some obvious blush when embarassed or touched. Takasu, Maki and even Tatsumi blush when embarassed or touched.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Tatsumi is out at the mere smell of alcohol.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys
  • Childhood Friends: Takasu and Wakasa.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Kasumi. She has some resentment towards Wakasa for always hanging around Tatsumi.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mikuni. He can't even remember what he was doing the day before, which makes sense considering jellyfish don't have brains! Takasu and Wakasa themselves aren't much better.
  • Comically Serious: Tatsumi.
  • Cute Monster Boy: Everyone bar Tatsumi, but Wakasa (merman), Takasu (human torso, octopus lower half), and Mikuni (humanoid jellyfish) especially apply.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Once Mikuni starts acting Moe, Tatsumi can't stop himself from helping him out, leading Wakasa and Takasu to become worried Tatsumi likes him more.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Takasu grabbing Tatsumi with his tentacles to give him a body massage, all while the latter is blushing and shouting at him to stop.
    • Tatsumi cleaning Maki's shell with a toothbrush. Made only better by Maki's ecstatic reaction.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady:
    • Wakasa at least has his Walking Shirtless Scene status and somewhat more masculine face to counteract his lovely long hair. Kasumi even mistook him for a woman!
    • Mikuni is a whole other story; his being transparent doesn't help one bit either.
  • Electric Jellyfish: Mikuni can electrify people at the touch of his hands. But it's ok if other people touch him.
  • Enter Stage Window: The usual way Wakasa's aquatic friends get into the bathroom.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Mikuni.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In the manga, Wakasa is lying among reeds when Tatsumi finds him, explaining why he didn't instantly see that he was a mermaid. In the anime, no such reeds are around, making Tatsumi's later surprise a bit hard to understand.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Wakasa is such a sweetie, and he's got very long, bright blonde hair to show it.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Mikuni's electric touch seems to do no more harm beyond making people numb.
  • The Hermit: Maki. Fitting, given he's a snail.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Wakasa is worrying that aliens might have gotten Tatsumi, a subtitle points out that mermen are a similar fictitious phenomenon.
  • Innocent Innuendo: In the third episode, Takasu constrains Tatsumi in his tentacles and declares ominously that he will make him pay for trying to kick him out. As Tatsumi starts blushing bright red and Takasu says with a smirk 'It's starting to feel good, right?', Takasu...starts massaging Tatsumi's back with his suction cups.
    • "Do you eat the sliminess off Wakasa's skin, too?"
  • Intimate Healing: In episode two, Tatsumi joins Wakasa in the bath to keep him warm and so save money on hot water bills.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: Wakasa and Takasu call Mikuni "old" and "idiot" for his bad memory. Mikuni takes offense; he's not old!
  • Meaningful Name: Wakasa's name likely comes from "wakasagi", also known as hypomesus nipponensis, a fish that's native to northern Japan.
  • Medium Awareness:
    • The characters normally aren't aware of the narrator (who is actually Wakasa's rubber duck), but at the end of one episode Wakasa tackles him to prevent him from telling a scary story.
    • Another time, Wakasa comes to the sudden realization that he doesn't know how to write and is seemingly aware of how ridiculous this is.
    Wakasa: Tatsumi, I... I can read, but I apparently can't write!
  • Monster Roommate: Much of the anime/manga is centered around this, as it starts with Tatsumi (human) bringing home Wakasa (a merman), the latter, and a few friends opting to stay.
  • Mr. Fixit: Thanks to his eight tentacules, Takasu is a very handy man. He can repair any electronics (as long as he waits a little for the internal electricity to run out) and can even sew.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Tatsumi and Wakasa have similar amounts of muscle, and Tatsumi is strong enough to carry Wakasu, but Wakasa easily bests Tatsumi at arm-wrestling, to Tatsumi's surprise, and in spite of doing nothing but sitting in the bath all day long.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Takasu, as the octopus he is, likes small, dark places. Maki, the hermit crab, likes to eat the slimy filth left by Wakasa on the bathtub.
  • Older Than They Look: According to Takasu, he and Wakasa have known each other for fifty years, though they only look to be in their early twenties. One episode reveals Tatsumi as the only underaged guy in the group.
  • Opaque Nerd Glasses: Maki's glasses.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Wakasa is the typical 'beautiful guy with the lower body of a fish' type. He doesn't seem to be hugely different from a human, otherwise - at the end of the first episode, Tatsumi wonders to what extent he should consider Wakasa a human or a fish, and settles on 80% human and 20% fish. Of course, the other supporting cast counts too: Takasu has the upper-half of a human with the lower half of an octopus, Mikuni is a transparent androgynous male with no legs with a sometimes electric touch, and Maki is a tiny human torso coming out of a snail shell. All of them are as attractive as Wakasa.
  • Pretty Freeloaders: Don't expect any of the guys taking up residence in Tatsumi's bathtub to actually do anything other than hang out there.
  • Secret-Keeper: Kasumi agrees to keep Wakasa's existence secret.
  • Ship Tease: Quite a bit, given the show's intended demographic. Take episode two, where Tatsumi offers to work more so he can afford for Wakasa to have hot water, and Wakasa declares that that isn't necessary and leans in close, only to hug Tatsumi with a caption labeled 'beautiful friendship'.
    • Not to mention a lot of moments where Wakasa casually invites Tatsumi enter the bathtub with him.
  • Shown Their Work: There's sidenotes that contain actual facts on aquatic animals, in order to explain the boys' behaviour.
  • Shrinking Violet: Maki, although he comes out of his shell for a time when his shell is given a good clean.
  • Slice of Life
  • The Smurfette Principle: Kasumi is the only relevant girl, because she's competing for Tatsumi's attention.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Free!, to Western fans: both revolve around usually-shirtless hot guys in water who have very strong friendships with one another, and there are a lot of voice actor overlaps. Tatsumi in particular is a rather blatant Expy of Haruka: both sharing Nobunaga Shimazaki as their voice actor, being stoical black-haired main characters who are the Only Sane Man in their group and are surprisingly easygoing.
  • The Stoic: Tatsumi rarely shows any kind of emotion. Doesn't stop him from being a nice guy, though.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Mikuni appears like this in the dark.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Tatsumi may look as cold and distant at first sight, but he's capable of helping a random guy and keep him in his tub when the guy turns out to be a homeless merman.
  • Tailfin Walking: Takasu can walk on his tentacles while Mikuni can stand up despite having no obvious legs. Averted with Wakasa however, who on land drags himself along the floor with his hands.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Wakasa loves meat.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Takasu accidentally breaks the bath television Tatsumi bought for Wakasa. His face and tone don't change much, but the atmosphere is very, very different.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Tatsumi adapts very quickly at the idea of having half human, half aquatic creature friends, with one practically being his roommate.
  • Unscaled Merfolk:
    • Takasu, who is part octopus.
    • Mikuni, the jellyfish.
    • Maki, the hermit crab man.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Takasu and Wakasa, though it seems to involve more Takasu teasing Wakasa and the latter whining than the two actually arguing.
  • Vocal Dissonance: A voice that deep should not be coming from an organism as small as Maki.
  •, Flopping Shirtless Scene: Wakasa, most prominently, though also everyone else, bar Tatsumi.
  • Your Normal Is Our Taboo: Wakasa doesn't get why Tatsumi would feel weird about bathing with him.

Alternative Title(s): Orenchi No Furo Jijou