Legend has it that when you eat the flesh of a mermaid, you would live forever. Yuta and Mana are living proof of this... Together, they journey to various places trying to find meaning for their existence, or perhaps even a "cure" for their situation. One day, Yuta and Mana meet Masato, a little boy who seems terrified of his mother Misa. It seems to Yuta and Mana that mother and son have a very unusual relationship. What happens when Yuta and Mana decide to discover the dark secret Masato and Misa are hiding? And what about those monster-like creatures that have been appearing?
Undoubtedly Mermaid's Scar is one of the most underrated anime around. Start with a creepy and well-crafted plot that snugly fits into the 45 minute runtime, throw in some moody music and top it off with fluid animation and atmospheric art and you get this: a lost gem from the waning but still golden years of classic horror/sci-fi ultra-violent anime. See this.
The Mermaid Saga has a complicated history. The manga was written by Takahashi Rumiko from 1984-1994. In that time there were fourteen episodes that ended up being collected in three volumes. Two volumes of the manga got released as OVAs and, in 2003, those same volumes were released as a full length anime. I haven't read the Manga so I couldn't speculate as to why the final volume always gets left out.
Mermaid's Scar has a fairly simple plot. Mermaids exist and eating their flesh either makes humans immortal or, far more likely, turns them into amphibious monsters. The story begins with two seemingly young
people named Yuta and Mana heading to a new town on the same bus as a small child. At this town they hear rumours about the child's mother coming back from the dead and begin to suspect that she's eaten mermaid's flesh. But there are things going on that they can't predict. Things that could have dire consequences for both of them. The story is pretty well constructed and it feels complete, even though it's the middle of the series. The only real issues are that some of the twists don't make a lot of sense and the action isn't set up very well.
The characters are pretty flat. The majority of them have only a few personality traits, leaving them very flat. The only character who actually gets pretty fleshed out is the antagonist.
The art is dated and, unlike 3x3 eyes, it hasn't aged too well. The backgrounds are bland and the characters have very forgettable looks. It's not terrible, but it certainly doesn't have a distinctive or interesting look.
The voice work is okay. Yamadera Kouichi and Takaya Minami both do good jobs overall. The only problem is that they get overly melodramatic at times.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. This is another series where the female characters barely even interact with each other.
My final rating for Mermaid's Scar is a 5/10. The writing is good, but the flat characters, bland art and mediocre voice work all make for an average series. Honestly, if the concept sounds intriguing to you, I would check out the Manga instead. Is the full length anime any better? I haven't seen it so I can't judge. What I can say is that the Mermaid's Scar OVA is just average.