Synonyms: Mermaid Forest, Mermaid's Gaze, Mermaid's Scar, Ningyo no Mori
Published: Aug 1984 to Feb 1994
Authors: Takahashi, Rumiko (Story & Art)
Serialization: Shounen Sunday Super
Score: 7.621 (scored by 1054 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
Aug 9, 2014
Well, that's enough of my life-story. Now onto the review!
The story takes unoriginal concepts (immortality, man-eating mermaids, crazy shotas, etc...) and puts them all together to create something very interesting and, strangely enough, original in its own way. Now, why I can't give this manga any rating higher than a 7.5 is not because it was mediocre, but as a big fan of this manga, I wanted more. The story was interesting enough to elaborate more on, yet the author chose to end the series prematurely and without resolve. The ending wasn't bad, but when I had reached it, I thought there was going to be more and I looked until I discovered that it really was finished. I really wanted to learn more about each character's past and especially their future. You never discover if they ever revert back to being normal human beings. For that, I can't say I am completely satisfied with this manga story-wise, yet what it does have to offer is very interesting short stories, which introduce new characters and overall do make the manga very enjoyable. I like that it's not just the flesh of a mermaid which can cause immortality, but other things too, such as; ashes and blood. So, overall the story was great, but I think if the mangaka continued, it could have been something amazing.
Rumiko Takahashi's style is somewhat old school and I love it for that. Yes, it may seem quite simple-looking at times, yet there is something just so beautiful about it. Mermaid Saga's art does surpass many of Takahashi's other series, yet it remains consistent to her style. I love the atmosphere her art gives off in this series. It's so elegant, but it manages to be eerie as well, which is perfect for this manga.
This is another area of the manga that could use some sprucing up. The characters in this manga are for the most part one dimensional and nothing particularly stands out about them. I did expect better in this area, looking at some of Takahashi's other works, like Ranma 1/2 and InuYasha which have characters that make both series come to life. Generally, I did not feel anything towards the cast of characters in this book. Infact, this manga may have some of the flattest characters that this author has ever created. Even though it is a very short series and character development is inevitably lacking because of that, it isn't impossible to make characters that are interesting or atleast have personalities. Still, they all weren't that bad, just not interesting.
As a kid, I loved this manga and as a young adult I still love it. I will probably reread it too very soon. Like I said before, what it does have to offer is a very interesting concept, which is definitely worth the read. It's short yet sweet. Although the ending is pretty bitter-sweet in my opinion, I still would highly recommend this manga. Even if horror isn't your cup of tea, Mana and Yuta have a pretty nice relationship going on (although, as I said before, if the story and characters were furthermore developed, then the romance part of the manga may become alittle more evident than it is).
Overall, I give this manga a score of 7.5/10 (curse MAL's inability to allow .5 scores). In my eyes it's obviously a 10/10, but looking at this manga from a more critical point, it does have many flaws, but it also has a great amount of charm and personality (although the characters lack that lol). The atmosphere is bang on and I think this could have been one of Takahashi's best works if she had decided to continue it.
Dec 14, 2007