My Bride is a Mermaid, Part 1 – DVD Review

Review by: Kiki Van De Kamp

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 300 minutes
Genre: Comedy/Romance
Rating: TVMA
Release Date: Available Now

Could anything be more funnier than Yakuza mermaids?

You know you’re in for an outrageously off-the-wall anime series when a giant squid is trying to pass as a teacher at a Junior High school and your beautiful bride-to-be is actually a mermaid whose father is a Yakuza crime boss that lives under the sea. Oh, and it doesn’t stop there because there because this series is just packed with trouble for the young hero. My Bride is a Mermaid is one of those quirky comedies that are actually funny and thus making Part 1 a good start to a off-beat comedy worth checking out.

The story revolves around a Junior High student named Nagasumi Michishio who has come to the Seto area with his parents to visit his grandmother and have some fun in the sun in the gorgeous beaches of the locale. Unfortunately, Nagasumi doesn’t swim very well and after the current takes him out farther into the ocean he begins to drown. As if in a dream, Nagasumi can see a beautiful young girl with a fish tail swim towards him and extends her hand to save him. When he wakes up on the shore, he knows that the mermaid had saved his life.

With nobody believing his story, the same young girl appears at the door of his grandmother’s house and even though she walks on two legs this is clearly the mermaid that saved the boy‘s life. She tells him that her name is Sun Seto and she asks to be Nagasumi’s bride. As it turns out, Sun is indeed a mermaid and by mermaid law she is either put to death for allowing a human to see her true mermaid form. There’s only one way out of her being killed and that is if Nagasumi marries her. This doesn’t sit well with his merman father, Gozaburou, who just so happens to be the head of the Seto Fish Commission and a Yazuka crime boss.

Not wanting to see her darling girl married to such a flighty kid, Sun’s father will stop at nothing to put an end to their relationship. Nagasumi is clearly afraid of Sun’s criminal cohorts that don’t seem to like the idea of Sun marrying a lowly human. Just about Nagasumi’s only ally in the Seto gang is Sun’s mother and a Yakuza enforcer named Masa who – in a hilarious moment – gives Nagasumi mouth-to-mouth after a near death experience and thus being Nagasumi’s first kiss. The running gag in this series is Nagasumi and his mother getting all girly whenever Masa shows up or whenever they hear his voice.

“Ah, Masa!” Nagasumi says dreamily. “My first kiss!”

As Sun and Nagasumi get to know each another better and even go on a date together, it’s clear that they like each another. Nagasumi learns a lot more about mermaids such as the fact that if one happens to get wet their fish tail returns. Meanwhile, Boss Seto sends a pint-sized assassin to take Nagasumi out but Maki the Conch ends up failing thanks to the fact that Sun protects her young husband-to-be and Maki loves Sun enough to keep her urge from killing Nagasumi to a minimum.

Things get more interesting and wacky when Sun decides to go Saitama with Nagasumi and his parents to live with them and attend the same school as Nagasumi. We meet Nagasumi’s friends that include Chimp (who looks like a monkey) and the tomboy Miwari Zenigata who is Nagasumi’s childhood friend who might actually have a crush on him. Oh, and Sun’s family shows up in the same school too as they take various teaching roles.

Another interesting twist comes when Nagasumi’s biggest crush and famed pop star Lunar comes looking for Sun only to show Nagasumi her true fishy form. With another mermaid in his life, Lunar comes to live with Nagasumi but only in hopes of outshining Sun who has always stole Lunar’s spotlight even when it comes to singing. It doesn’t take long for classmates to become jealous of Nagasumi who has two pretty girls living under his roof and even more people gunning for him such as the Terminator-like mystery man who wants to know his intentions are with Lunar.

Nagasumi also gets a rival in the form of a wealthy son of a military family by the name of Kai Mikawa who met Sun a long time ago and is in love with her … the only problem is that Kai hates sunlight and open spaces. There are plenty of crazy moments in the series and with so many fun characters joining the cast it keeps things lively. In the final episodes, Lunar changes things by declaring her love for Nagasumi.

There’s some solid voice acting in this series no matter what audio setup you prefer but, for my money, Todd Haberkorn does right by Nagasumi’s personality. On top of that, the animation adds to the hilarity as Nagasumi’s appearance changes often throughout the series in the most comical fashion. The series has a mature rating but not for nudity (thankfully the series isn’t big on fan service) but for the language.

Part 1 of My Bride is a Mermaid makes for romance-comedy anime that isn’t short on laughs and is actually even charming enough to please fans of quirky comedies. If anything, this series is just over-the-top hilarity that just keeps getting crazier with each episode but we won’t have it any other way. Filled with great comedic moments, you might just forgive the fact that the series isn’t anything new but it’s hard to complain when this series does a good job of making you laugh. We cannot wait for Part 2 of this one.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: B
While vacationing with his family in the sunny beach town of Seto, a young boy named Nagasumi nearly drowns and is saved by a beautiful young mermaid named Sun who happens to be the daughter of a mermaid yakuza clan. With no real choice but to take Sun as his future bride, Nagasumi takes his mermaid bride back home to him where a series of mishaps, misunderstandings and assassination attempts take center stage.

VIDEO QUALITY: A
Aside from the funny dialogue, the visual gags are another highlight of the series … especially when it comes to Nagasumi’s many facial expressions or when Lunar shows her more insane side of herself. Even many of the characters stand out nicely throughout the series.

AUDIO QUALITY: A-
The original score is just as catchy and fun as the opening and closing theme songs with “Asu e no Hikari” (performed by Asuka Hinoi being a great closing song. As far as the voice acting is concerned, the original Japanese voices are great but somehow Todd Abercorn – as Nagasaki – is even more deliciously over-the-top than Takahiro Mizushima.

EXTRAS: D
Sadly, no audio commentary track is offered and it would have been appreciated but at least there’s the opening and closing songs sans credits. Oh, and there are also trailers but there’s very little here in terms of extras.

OVERALL: B
A surprisingly fun romance-comedy, My Bride is a Mermaid doesn’t push the genre to interestingly new heights but it does have enough great moments that are pure comedy gold. If zany comedies with a cute romantic twist is right up your alley then you really should check this one out because you will certainly not regret it.

Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment

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