I was immediately interested to watch this anime because it has such a fun premise. Nagasumi, on vacation with his family, is saved from drowning by Sun, a mermaid. Mermaid law says the secret of mermaid existence cannot be revealed. Those who find out must be killed. Well, be killed unless they are family. So Nagasumi has a choice: marry or die. And there is a further catch. Sun is the daughter of the head of the mermaid Yatzuka (mob). Of course, he agrees to marry. The father is apoplectic about this and wants to kill his future son-in-law. He gets all his henchmen to help out. This is made easier by the fact that when they dry off, they form legs and so are able to chase Nagasumi all over the place. Of course, Sun never has any idea of the extent of her father’s actions. When summer vacation is over, Nagasumi thinks he will have a break from being chased by Sun’s father, but instead Sun moves in with his family and goes to school with him.
Each episode focuses on Sun’s dad’s attempts to kill Nagasumi. He’s very creative about it. One time he gets all the staff at a fair replaced by his henchmen. Another time he brings in special fish assassins to literally kill Nagasumi during a soccer match. He frames Nagasumi with fake love letters to try to catch Nagasumi cheating on his daughter. Eventually, the father is teaching the Nagasumi’s class, Sun’s mom is the school nurse, one henchman is the gym teacher, Conch (a six inch high assassin) is living with him, and numerous of Sun’s friend’s have become classmates. Nagasumi is surrounded. Even his parents are not helpful. The father is an impotent fool and the mother is love-struck by Masa, the right-hand man. The running joke of Masa being irresistibly attractive to all humans is great. Both the mom and dad fall for him. And when he has to give mouth to mouth to Nagasumi, Nagasumi feels he has received his first kiss.
This show is the epitome of a shonen anime. The non-stop action, the endless jokes, all the archetypes (the Hero, the Enemy who is not a Villain, the Wise Sage), they’re all here. This is an action packed, overly emotional, filled with the anime equivalent of emoticons, series. When someone is sad, their face practically melts; when they are scared they turn tiny, jump up six feet in the air, and have many fear-lines radiating off them; when they are in love, their eyes become little hearts. The voices are very expressive. Sun has an erratic “tough girl” accent that’s kind of annoying. The come and go-ness of it, more than the accent itself.
It is just a lot of fun. My 13-year-old son immediately absconded with my review copy and I had to wrestle it out of his hands in order to get a chance to watch it myself. I want to rate it middle school aged because of the slapstick-ness of the humor and repetitiveness of the jokes, but because it is Japanese, there is quite a bit of flashing of underwear, fairly violent fight scenes, and shots where the cameras’ caress a girls curves. So maybe a little older for American sensibilities.
My Bride is a Mermaid
directed by Seiji Kishi
300 minutes, Number of Discs: 4, Box set
Company Age Rating: TV-MA, suitable for ages 14 and older