Review by: Kiki Van De Kamp
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 300 minutes
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Honor among thieves, samurai mermaids and tough guys in school girl outfits.
Being a fan of the genre, there have been many a romantic-comedy anime series that starts off original and ends up just going through the motions to become a series that doesn’t separate itself from others like it. Then there’s My Bride is a Mermaid, a series that seems to head for familiar territory but quickly reminds you that it’s not the destination that is important but, rather, how much fun you have getting there. Part 2 of My Bride is a Mermaid continues to have a good time as it heads for its wild finale.
In Part 1 we meet Nagasumi Michishio who is saved by a beautiful girl his age that just happens to be a mermaid … the mermaid daughter of a mermaid yakuza crime boss, to be exact. Not only does Sun Seto live under the same roof as Nagasumi but so does pop idol (who is also a mermaid) Lunar and Sun’s tiny bodyguard named Maki. It’s not easy being a 14-year old boy who is already engaged to marry Sun due to a mermaid law and even more stressful trying to hide the fact that his bride-to-be is a mermaid who reveals her true form if she happens to get water on her.
In this second half, Nagasumi makes another discovery about the merfolk and that is that they are horrified of cats as we can see when Nagasumi takes in a cute kitten. He suddenly realizes that he has a weapon against Sun’s father (who still wants Nagasumi out of the picture) as well as Maki and it actually works. We are introduced to a trio of brothers that call themselves the Bronchial Respiration Three who stick out like sore thumbs who also fall victim to the kitten.
Meanwhile, the Class Rep just can’t get Nagasumi out of her mind and thinks she might be in love with him. She has always been known by her duties as the representative of her glass who wears thick eyeglasses and never says much but now she wishes to change that and she even gives herself something of a makeover in order to tell Nagasumi how she feels. She gets the chance when rich boy Kai gets a pair of tickets and talks Sun and Nagasumi into a double date with him and Miwari. When Nagasumi accidentally runs into Class Rep and breaks her glasses. He doesn’t recognize her and she can’t see who she’s talking to so they spend the day together as they walk and talk their way to an eyeglasses store.
Then there’s the arrival of a new transfer student by the name of Akeno Shiranui who turns out to be a beautiful samurai sword-wielding mermaid who also happens to be an evaluator of merfolk behavior on the surface world. She has come to test Sun and the rest of the Seto gang to see if they’re fit to live among men and finds that Sun is far too nervous about being evaluated. Having already flagged Kai and the Bronchial Respiration Three, Sun has a reason to worry because if she does something that reveals her true identity then she is sent back to Seto for good.
Thankfully, Nagasumi smoothes things out and actually befriends Akeno to the point that she actually comes to like the guy. As they go on a three-day field trip, the class gets to experience Lunar’s celebrity life. Her popularity seems to be skyrocketing to the point that she’s even starring in a movie (produced with her father’s money) but Lunar feels lonely and even her Schwarzenegger-like father can see it. In one episode, Lunar’s father and Sun’s dad attempt to get closer to their daughters by copying the characters of a computer game. They even dress the part in cute schoolgirl outfits. Naturally, this approach doesn’t quite work.
There are even more zany moments in the series as Nagasumi tries another mermaid drink that has some funny properties and, in another episode, Nagasumi is happy to get his first love letter that may or may not come from the Class Rep who has a crush on him. Speaking of the Class Rep, it’s too bad that her confession of love goes nowhere and actually gets a little strange even for this show. The series does make up for it with Sun taking her “boyfriend” role too seriously when she decides to help Lunar prepare for a television drama. There’s even a genuinely hysterical moment when all of Kai’s classmates mistakenly believe he is dying from a disease.
The series gets interesting when we discover Akeno’s true mission that involves a nobleman who wants to see Nagasumi and Sun break off their engagement. It is thanks to Akeno that we also discover an interesting fact about the cool and sexy Masa but, sadly, it isn’t able to keep Akeno from fulfilling her master’s plan to trick Sun and her family into going to the nobleman’s party. As it turns out, the party was just a ruse and now it is up to Nagasumi and his friends to rescue Sun.
Part 2 of My Bride is a Mermaid continues the fun slapstick antics and decent humor that made the first part such a real blast to watch. There’s more off-beat comedic moments in this second part and while some elements feel more like missed opportunities (the Class Rep’s story, for instance) there is much to like in the final episodes of this remarkably amusing anime series.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Still living with Sun, Lunar and Maki under the same roof, Nagasumi’s life is about to get even more complicated as Sun and her family are being evaluated by an attractive young mermaid that will decide if Sun and her yakuza clan can stay on the surface. There’s also a mystery person who is determined to split the young couple up and a classmate has her sights set on Nagasumi.
VIDEO QUALITY: A
Sure the dialogue makes for plenty of funny lines but its also the visual gags that don’t fail to make you laugh out loud a couple of times throughout this second half of the series. The series certainly does look good on DVD.
AUDIO QUALITY: A-
The Japanese voice actors do a great job in this series but they just can’t match the brilliance of the English dub performances that make the jokes work ten times better. You just can’t beat Todd Haberkorn and Cherami Leigh’s hysterical delivery. The music is still fun to listen to and the closing and ending theme songs are upbeat and cute.
Sadly, you won’t find an audio commentary track for this one and just about the only extras are the ability to watch the opening and closing animation without credits. You’ll also find a few trailers included as well.
My Bride is a Mermaid continues to be that genuinely funny and zany comedy and Part 2 just amps up the craziness just a tad to make this a fun series as a whole. There’s even more emphasis on romance in this part and it’s actually endearing enough to make the finale a sweet and crazy ride. If you’re a fan of the genre, you will not be disappointed.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment