According to an ancient legend, mermaid's flesh can grant immortality if eaten. 500 years ago, Yuta unknowingly ate a piece of mermaid's flesh. For centuries, he travels across Japan, hoping to find a mermaid, thinking she may be able to make him a normal human again. When he finally finds one, he discovers that she and her companions have been raising a girl to be their food so they can eat her and take on her youthful looks. That is how mermaids stay young. Yuta kills the mermaids and rescues her, but she has already eaten some of the mermaid's flesh. Although he had to kill the mermaids, Yuta isn't too disappointed. Yuta's once lonely existence is now over, as he has found a companion in Mana. And Mana, who had been trapped in a small hut her whole life, finds delight in even the simplest of things. Together, Yuta and Mana attempt to seek out more mermaids, trying to become normal humans again.
If you are currently watching a long series that occassionally takes 2 week breaks (think Bleach and GrayMan), and you want to fill that spare time with some short, enjoyable anime, then you are obliged to see Mermaid Forest.
Mermaid Forest to me is a story of endurance, love and ultimately a moral theme follows through it. The writer of this anime is famous for many love animes, so it is no surprise this anime would eventually end up being one too. The whole story is like reading a book, with different chapters. Usually each episode represents a chapter. The theme of the show is consistent through each episode, and I believe that is a good strength of the anime.
I also enjoyed the fact that this anime employed the use of filler episodes to flesh out the main character. I did not think that could be done with 13 episodes, but it was well done - :)
What then could be wrong with mermaid forest's story to earn a seven? Here is where the story fails: It does not connect with the audience in the way most animes do, but being that it is a fantasy story, we may overlook this fault.
Another problem with the plot is that the series of events occur in such cliche formats that they tend to become annoyingly predictable. ALthough this does not detract the enjoyability, it does not strengthen the overall anime either.
Finally, my last problem was that the story, in my opinion, was not, in the large view conclusive. I found this to be really disappointing as the final episode was so good!!!
The art of this anime is unique because it deceives you. It gives you the feeling you are watching an old school anime, while it has all the feel of a modern art-anime. This series was made in 2003, but the drawing is reminiscent of such anime as in 1987-1993. I do not think this detracts from the story, but actually makes you feel like you are watching a show from the past. As for this, I believe the art of the anime is consistent with the theme of immortality, which recognizes the timelessness of the art form used. I liked it, and give it a 9 for art.
The sound track for this anime was actually good, once you get used to it. I liked it. Overall, the sound for the anime is commonplace, and has nothing special going for it.
Character development is actually biased here. Whereas there are two main characters in this anime, the focus for the entire story is the man. As unfair as this sounds, it is not so bad. Eventually, you get to realize that one of the two main characters is simply playing a supporting role - and that is all you will ever get in terms of depth from this character. Now, this is not really a problem as this anime is, at best, a filler. I guess with more episodes, there would have been much more work put in.
The main character is well developed, and this is done by using fillers to build the individual. And you can get to see his overall frustration with his long life, and his search for humanity. It is painful to see his search go on for so long, but it is helpful to understand what he has been through.
CONCLUSION (with a little spoiler)
I did enjoy the anime. i did not come to it expecting much, therefore i did not leave disappointed. I believe many people would like the anime once they begin to watch it, but I know some people will utterly dislike this piece of work = and i think that is ok. You either like or hate, but i don't think you can love it.
The one thing i can say for those who watch this anime is that the last episodes are really good. I actually cringed at one scene. I hate to name drop, but the last episode would draw to mind the great anime "MONSTER." For that reason, it is worth watching.
My biggest problem was the scene that made me cringe was the scene that also disappointed me! I just thought that the anime should end on a note of the man finally finding rest from his journey. This did not happen, and that alone killed this series for me. I like conclusions whether happy or sad, just end the thing!
Sorry for my long review, but if you wish to kill time between episodes of a long series that just took a short break (think bleach, or grayman), then this might just do it.read more
Mermaid Forest tells the story about a fisher man named Yuta that, because he has eaten Mermaid flesh, now is immortal and is in search of a Mermaid to make him normal again. During his travels he encounters other people experiences with Mermaids and find a female companion named Mana to share his adventures with. The story is linear but with flashbacks from Yuta\'s life.
The overall feel in the anime is that it is drawn in very traditional ways and the techniques feel like that of older animes, but the series is actually produced in 2002. I think that this anime is one that devides people into two camps,, either they like it or they don\'t. It doesn\'t stand out much and there isn\'t a clear red thread that goes through the series but the stories are interesting at some points. So overall a good experience, but not the best I have had. In the end a totally watchable series and it\'s somewhat thanks to that it\'s not more than 13 episodes.read more
Mermaid Forest is one of those great underrated anime series based on one of Rumiko Takahashi’s creations. She is the creator of some well known anime/manga series like Inuyasha, Ranma, Maison Ikkoku etc. However, Mermaid Forest is a bit darker and contains a well-balanced mix of mystery, suspense, horror, supernatural, drama, tragedy, and love/romance, along with a few light moments. I can’t put it into words, but for some reason this anime has the same feel and reminds me of the type of anime from the 80’s and 90’s (as the other reviewer described). It was very nostalgic watching this and even the parts that would make the story weak or ridiculous made it stronger to me.
Story- If you are looking for something fun and lighthearted with the usual beautiful mermaids, this is NOT the anime to watch. The story is about the travels of Yuuta and Mana, who both attainted immortality by eating some mermaid sashimi (if you don’t know what sashimi is then you are missing out on life!). They are searching for mermaids to try to find a way to become normal humans again. Some of their travels tie into Yuuta’s past (Yuuta is 500 years old), and the episodes do a great job of combining past and present, somewhat similar to the “Highlander” series or movie if anyone is still familiar with that. During their travels, they come across other people who fell victim to or were affected by mermaid flesh. The story arcs are usually 2 episodes each—short enough to avoid filler material that longer anime falls victim to yet long enough to build an actual well-developed story without cliffhangers. The stories are tragic and very touching, and I really can’t understand why it’s rated as it is. It should be a 9 in my opinion.
Art- The art and animation is a bit dated but if you are familiar with Rumiko Takahashi, then you will feel at home. The animation itself doesn’t contain anything spectacular, but this anime is more story-driven and makes up for it that way.
Sound- The opening theme fits perfectly—mysterious, sad, the sound of a lonely journey and memories. The ending theme didn’t really catch my attention.
Characters- Yuuta makes me laugh because one minute he’s skillfully killing mermaids faster than Blade killing vampires and another he’s getting stabbed and killed by a lone lady with a knife. Sometimes I wonder where his 500 years of skills went. We also get to see what someone might feel after living for such a long time. As for Mana, she’s an enjoyable character because everything is new to her yet she’s always getting into trouble. She’s probably responsible for Yuuta getting hurt 99% of the time. As for the other characters, I thought they were pretty well developed for the amount of time given.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable anime for me and would be great for those who want to watch something with an older feel to it like the days of Akira or Gundam, or to the older crowd who wants to reminisce about how anime used to be. read more
Of all the works of Rumiko Takahashi, this certainly is the best, the script is well written and does not fall into the pretentiousness, which happens in many animes looking to be dark, something that can do well this series. Yuta has a poor desarroollo but his personality is well done and the way we learn from the past what makes a good character. Mana on the other hand is the most development has in the plot as it begins as the silly girl to be caring and as they pass the chapters we see it being more useful for Yuta.
The voice acting and soundtrack are good because they go well with the dark and mysterious atmosphere that has the series.
The animation is simple but in the last chapters we see that all animators work possible are taken as to give a farewell to the series.
The only points that you play against are: dependence on a formula repeated in chapters but their plots two chapters are taken so that we can familiarize ourselves with the characters in turn and the place where our protagonists; The other point is final as this series could have given more and had the potential to go but could not because Rumiko started working at InuYasha.
Mermaid Forest is a recommended picture with good characters, simple animation but is improving and a nice soundtrack, plus it is a very underrated work, eventhough this is different in essence to all works of Rumiko since we know their stories for being funny and daring but this is quite the opposite.read more