Aug 23, 2022
To start off, this short manga surprised me. Reading the other reviews made me feel like I was going to get a boring, well-drawn manga based on romance with mermaids and magic thrown in. In short, this is not what I received from this manga nor do I think it will be what you receive.
As a short summary and review, the read was very enjoyable and the manga itself was really good. Some of the best things this manga brought forward were the characters and their interactions plus a few really big plot twists/reveals. Aside from that, the art for the manga was incredible and
is one of the better ones I've seen. It also has its fair share of romance and fan service from the mermaid parts, but it also isn't over-bearing. In other words, while it is a mermaid manga, the appeal to mermaids is not what drives this manga. As for the romance, if you are into romance manga or anime, I highly encourage reading this. It gives a complete romance story, with its complications, without most of the cringe or typical comedy that comes with a typical romance anime/manga. All in all, it was a very good and enjoyable read that was very worth my time reading.
Now I will go a bit more in depth on each of the sections below: Story, Characters, Art, What I Enjoyed the Most.
The story starts off with a typical shounen school romance feel to it. Gently and slowly, it introduces the bigger story pertaining to Seine, the mermaids, and the later introduced characters. While it starts off slow and seems to go a bit too far in depth into the side characters and Tatsuya's immediate past, it ends up showing that all of that was to set the right atmosphere for the reader heading into the main part of the story. After volume 4 (chapter 16), things really start to pick up and get interesting. The story takes a break from focusing on the love triangle and romance, as well as the seemingly random comedic character interactions, and begins to take a more serious and dark tone to it. After revealing a lot of the mystery to the story, it comes to a meager temporary conclusion. While it gets slow and boring for a couple of chapters, it begins to pick up again with the reintroduction of the romance that drives the plot. Eventually, it intertwines the mystery and the romance together into one complete story and plotline that is super interesting and very well written. Everything stays consistent and all things pertaining to Seine and Tatsuya's story are answered and complete.
Even if you end up not loving the story or disliking a certain character, all the main cast of characters are very well written and shown multiple sides of. After reading the first 3 volumes, you get a good sense of Tatsuya's friends and relatives. Going forward with the story, you see their personalities and nuances continue throughout and the author gave attention to small details for even these less important characters. For Shiela, Seine, and Tatsuya, their stories, past, and multiple-sided characters are described and depicted with great detail. Every little reveal makes them more interesting and can instantly get you to hate or love their character. For the rest of the mermaids and the witches, their stories and personalities are left in a shroud of mystery. This is likely because they're part of a bigger story outside of Seine and Tatsuya. Regardless, the few chapters we do see them depicted in detail, they remain consistent and are immediately shown to have quirks and attitudes that you will immediately hate or love. Overall, all the characters are created very well and the attention to detail from the author is impressive regarding the consistency and multiple-sidedness of the characters.
Each panel and page of the manga is drawn incredibly. The background, character designs, and depiction of motion or action is all done very very well. The little details on the important panels had me stopping and staring a couple times just because they were done so well. Aside from the general butter-up statements, I have to admit that one of the best things this manga did was the depiction of the sea and water. While it was no perfect masterpiece, the water and sea were drawn and shaded so well that you could instantly tell what was water and what wasn't. With two distinct settings, it was nice to be able to instantly tell where things were happening. Not to mention, the shading overall was done super well. It added to the emotion and feeling behind each panel and each interaction. Overall, this manga is very consistent with bringing great art with every panel, page, and chapter.
What I Enjoyed Most: Overall Rating 10/10
Three things really made me enjoy this manga the most. The first of those three was the small details with the characters and in the background that the author made sure to keep consistent and throw in. It was fun taking a moment to spot little things in the panels and pages as well as to notice the reference between the chapters to keep the consistency of the characters. The second was the overall mystery behind the bigger story. Even though this manga doesn't go into the detail behind the bigger overall story, it gives a few hints at it. If this had a bigger fanbase, there would likely be some interesting fan-stories or speculations behind what happened before or after this story took place regarding the witches and the mermaids. The last of those three was the bittersweet ending that this story brought. I personally did not expect a romance manga to bring such an unexpected quality ending to me. I won't go into detail, but it left me with a manga I will most likely forever keep among my favorites.
What did you think of this review?