Lucia is the new girl at school. She and her sister run a public bath that's all the rage. When Lucia meets a terrific-looking surfer boy, there's just one little problem: Lucia is a mermaid-not just any mermaid, but a princess on an important mission to save the seven seas from an evil force bent on taking control of the marine world. Such a responsibility doesn't leave much time for romance. But Lucia vows to protect her world and win the heart of handsome Kaito.
In personal response, this is just about the worst manga I have read. It wasn't awfully terrible per se, but I did find it troubling to finish as the storyline continuously chased itself by repeating and repeating the same idea. As for the main couple, I wouldn't bet on their "love" as it seemed too artificial to surpass realities. :/ I believe they were only 12 or 14? Much too young (for..uh.. _____).
I suppose you could even call it a Sailor Moon knock-off? Same endings to the same battles with mildly different
All-in-all, my opinion of the story resulted in boredom, dissatisfaction and a tad torturing to be dragged through.
As Mermaid Melody was my very first anime I watched about 8 years ago, I felt like I had to read the manga sometime. I was curious for the "original" story of the anime, wondering if it was any different. And here we are.
Now where to start...
This was something that kind of really surprised me. Mostly, when having watched an anime and being curious for the manga, you expect a broader approach to the story with much more content. This is actually opposite here. The anime is much more developed with its 50 episodes per season. This manga only has 35 chapters.
Personally I felt
like the first part of the manga series (The Gackto arc) was so rushed compared to the anime. It felt like many parts were missing and the story jumped to different plots, but that could also be because pretty much all manga reader sites have listed the chapters in a weird way which concluded in me reading the wrong follow-up chapters sometimes (please fix this oh my god it was so confusing).
It's also safe to say that the manga is quite more mature than the anime. I was 12 years old when I started watching the anime and looking back at it now, it's kind of childish and happy/romantic feeling. Let's say I'd compare it to Winx Club which I used to watch around that time as well. Of course, it has its typical Japanese favorite romantic moments thrown in, but the fact that the anime had such a big succes in Italy with children says enough.
In which aspect is the manga more mature then?
There is much more nude shown. For example: in the anime, when the mermaids were bathing, they would never show you how they turned back into humans after getting out. In the manga, they often show how the girls actually wipe off the water with towels and turn parts of their body humanly that way. So needless to say, there are many drawings of the girls naked (with parts covered of course) using a towel.
It's not like this is a bad thing, but it certainly helped making the anime more child-friendly by leaving out parts like this.
Another thing which clearly showed the older targetted audience in the manga was the dialogue. Now I know some things get lost in translation, but the dialogue was kind of long and annoying sometimes. I'm not talking about the parts where the girls are just humans and have fun, it's more about the actual fighting parts. Especially the Michel arc made my brain hurt. so. much.
I am still very confused about that Michel arc. Everything was so unclear to me, and I'm definitely not too young to understand complex stories, but this... It felt like they tried to fit too much information in a few chapters. I must admit it has also been a long time since I saw the anime, so I can't compare if it was explained better in there. Overall, this arc felt much more developed than the Gackto one in the manga, but it hurt my brain so much trying to understand what was going on.
One last complaint I have is the actual concept of Mermaid Melody. It's in the name, these mermaids save the day by singing their enemies to defeat (I don't even know if you can put it this way). In the anime, you would be entertained with the catchy, pop-ish sounding songs every episode, making them stuck in your head. I know this is very difficult to portray in manga of course, since you can only work with visuals. But honestly... I even sometimes forgot that they actually SING to defeat their enemies.
This concept of defeating with songs was so much more developed in the anime. In the manga, it often felt like it was the last thing they'd do to save the day. They also would only show one panel with some catchphrases and then directly a panel with the enemy being defeated. Only in the bigger fights, a few panels with actual lyrics would be shown. In the Michel arc, they had at least 2 or 3 chapters without singing! Needless to say, this concept worked way better in the anime.
It actually is very pleasant to look at while reading. It's similar to the anime style, but much more detailed of course. It perfectly portrays that early 00's anime style with the hideous big eyes. One thing that turned me off was the ridiculous small waists as if the girls were supposed to be looking like barbie dolls. I'm glad realistic body proportions and curves have made a major introduction since a few years.
Since I've seen the anime, I was familiar with the characters. And many people would agree if I'd say the main character is your typical shoujo main heroine. Then you have her two best friends always supporting her and the other heroines who show up from time to time.
Now this is the typical Sailor Moon concept. Mermaid Melody has often been blamed for being a cheap copy of the popular Sailor Moon series, but honestly, which shoujo series isn't?
I have to be honest and tell that I never saw Sailor Moon before Mermaid Melody because Sailor Moon just never was popular where I lived and I just didn't think about watching it as my first anime. So I wasn't too familiar with the similarities. But I think that anyone who knows about the magical girl concept could sort of know that it's very similar.
So to the point.. The characters are fine. I can't say much about it honestly since it's kind of stereotypical. But I like them how they are, it's pretty much standard and they could've done more with it, but it's acceptable anyways.
I must say, I enjoyed the anime much more. I kind of had to force myself to finish the manga and that is to me never a good sign. Just so many things were off about the actual story that it didn't make it completely enjoyable. It's just extremely predictable as well, something I probably notice a lot faster currently compared to back when I watched the anime series (since that was so predictable as well). But still, the story felt much more developed in the anime series which makes that I'd rather rewatch that now rather than reading the manga again.
I was more disappointed with the manga than satisfied. I expected much more of it after having had such a big love for the anime. I did expect to feel a little bored with the story since it was so predictable and I pretty much knew what would happen, but I felt even more bored than I thought I would thanks to the poor elaboration of the story.
If anyone would be interested in Mermaid Melody, I would recommend them to just watch the anime and leave out the manga. It really doesn't add anything to the story (it rather leaves out things) and isn't pleasant to read at all. With the anime, you'd enjoy a much more developed story and pleasant songs to sing along with, guaranteed for more fun.
WARNING: I DO NOT MEAN TO INSULT THE FANS THEMSELVES. *end capslock* This is wholly satirical, so go ahead. Read it. Maybe you'll agree or even laugh along at some of the points I make.
Have you ever received that one gift that you're utterly convinced you're going to love just because everyone else seems to have loved it? What about that one time where you receive the strangest thing possible and think that you're just going to abandon it after one day. Manga can be a lot like that; in a way, you're taking a lot of risks.
much hate as I may get for this review, I will put my beliefs about this manga about as bluntly and humorously as I can: Pichi Pichi Pitch, to me, falls in the latter category. A lot of times, Internet fandoms have gotten me to try crazy, yet utterly fun things I never would've done before, like watch My Little Pony or participate in online roleplaying. When I first looked at the art and concept for this story, I bought all the volumes I could. I was pumped. As a genuine magical girl fan who loves these kinds of stories, I'm going to have to pull out the sort of argument that this fandom hates. Yep, I'm going to go so far as to call it a Sailor Moon ripoff--no, a ripoff of basically the entire genre. Saying such things about a manga like Tokyo Mew Mew, which actually made an attempt at world-building and lovable characters before Executive Meddling, is (for the most part) unwarranted.
This plays in a league of its own. Hint: it's certainly not the majors.
Now here's the interesting part: Pichi Pichi Pitch actually has a pretty interesting story. The saddest part of this whole thing is that it didn't have to be this way; it could very well have jumped from one of my least favorite manga to one of my absolute obsessions. The thing that doomed it was bad execution. Mermaids are a territory magical girl doesn't go into as much, so it had potential. Unfortunately, it chose to go with things that pandered more to the demographic, such as idol singers and cute surfers. Neither being a bad thing (coming from someone who has Utau Hoshina of Shugo Chara! on her favorites list), but not something to form an entire manga around. The singing concept was interesting, but not something that converted well to manga. I would've vastly preferred to see more magic, spells, even physical fighting. Also, while past magical girl works have managed to juggle action and romance, PPP fails to do so. It got to the point where they cut the second arc to two volumes. Let me say that again: a magical girl villain gets defeated in TWO VOLUMES. Yes, SM did a similar thing in some arcs, but at least it wasn't entirely due to wanting to expand romantic arcs.
The art was rather beautiful and perhaps one of the real reasons I chose not to drop it (the other being the "it'll get better, it'll get better" mantra). But a few things began to aggravate me, one of them being Lucia's complete hair length, eye color and hair color change. These aren't uncommon in magical girl manga, but at least make the girl somewhat recognizable! *sigh* As much as I hate to pull out the ripoff argument, Lucia, your coincidentally blonde pigtails and blue eyes make it really hard. Your dress is really nice, though, so please transform using your far more original brunette bob and don't give Italian animators any more ideas about "mermaid hair changes colors underwater." Except, darn it, now it's too late and--oh, Hotaru's here too? I'm not even going to elaborate on that.
Also slight annoying factors: the fact that Coco's and Rina's outfits are essentially the same turtleneck dress with slightly different details, and that Caren's and Noel's dresses look like someone mistaking a long blouse for a dress and forgetting to wear leggings. The twin-similar-costuming idea was cute, but let's try to forget about those moments where weird celebrities made the same mistake.
Ah, the magical girl ditz stereotype, how it has been played. Cardcaptor Sakura decided to go more in a "childish innocence/naivete" direction, which put an endearing twist on it; Shugo Chara! pretty much avoided it with a heroine that was a breath of fresh air. Someday, maybe the team strategist can be the main. Until then, characters like Lucia will still come off as shallow compared to the "lesser" members. Rina just tends to be another cool type with ties to traditional Japanese culture that seems a bit too much like Rei Hino. Hanon is one of the more original (using that term lightly) of the three, so I liked her a bit more. I really liked Caren, Noel, and Coco when they had scenes and wish they had more, Coco being the most developed. Mitsuki-sensei and Sara were actually rather good. Too bad that much strength couldn't have been used for the other characters, though.
I tended to like the climatic scenes the most, but they faded away too quickly. The romantic scenes were nothing original, as much as I hate to say it. We barely even met some of the guys they end up with.
Basically put, this is the lowest you can get with magical girl manga. Winx Club, considered by some to be the worst, gets a lot of flack for not being Japanese and for pulling some of the same things that PPP did (especially with romances). However, it's an insult to say that it gets to PPP level. I'm not saying this for just Winx in general. I'm saying it for all magical girl manga.
I read the manga and found it very interesting though there are some difference from this anime.
The character designs are awesome though and we get to see what happens in the end unlike in the anime. Also some romance scenes were very nice as well as the kisses. The bonus chapters are pretty interesting as well.
But there have some flaws. The manga was too rushed up and some characters aren't introduced properly, mostly the villains from the second arc and it was totally different from the anime though the concept is same. I just wished that the author had more time to develop.
Overall, it was
a good manga to read and I finally found the place where Luchia and others live :)