Based on the manga by Tahiko Kimura, My Bride is a Mermaid garnered acclaim for its attempt to freshen up the “harem” genre by mixing together as many classic anime stables as possible while still providing the same level of entertainment one would expect from a series of its nature. With 14 volumes under its belt, the series was adapted into an anime by studio Gonzo and now finds itself hitting American shores thanks to Funimation. Considering the recent influx of the varying quality of titles Gonzo has been delivering, My Bride is a Mermaid is akin to a breath of fresh air as it is much more reserved in its approach, knowing when to hit all the right notes rather than pounding the viewer with overdone gags and half hearted story telling that has haunted many of the studio’s recent releases.
The story revolves around junior high student Nagasumi Michishio, who couldn’t be happier, enjoying his summer at the beach with the hopes of spending his days relaxing in the sun and catching some waves. Unfortunately things don’t turn out that way, as a sudden leg cramp sends him into a panic, causing him to nearly drown. As luck would have it, he is saved by a mermaid of all things, named Sun Seto, who also happens to be a member of the yakuza. As a result of revealing her identity to him, Sun’s life is put in jeopardy, leading to her fellow yakuza deciding to off Nagasumi instead.
As a way to save both their lives, the two are set to be marries, something that doesn’t sit well with Sun’s father, who would much sooner kill Nagasumi than see him married to his little girl. As Nagasumi soon learns, Sun’s father is extremely protective of her, exhibiting a propensity for violence that leaves the hapless teen between a rock and a hard place.
As one would guess, the series features a mix of romance and comedy, as the pair is forced to adapt to their situation, particularly Nagasumi who is in constant fear of Sun’s family and friends. The eclectic cast helps to maintain the humor, as each one features a distinct personality that allows them to shine through. As one would expect, the humor is hit and miss, with the real laughs coming from the interactions between Nagasumi and the various personalities surrounding him. The harem portions of the series feature Nagasumi being pursued by several of his classmates, adding to his growing woes as he is determined to keep his relationship with Sun a secret.
As previously noted, the production of the series is handled by Studio Gonzo, and in truth the animation can be best summed up as average. Considering the high quality the studio has delivered in shows like Basilisk and Witchblade, one can’t help but be disappointed by the lack of effort made by the team.
This set contains the first thirteen episodes of the totaled twenty six, spread across two discs. The dub is solid, only natural considering the talent from which Funimation has to choose from. Each actor lends their voice to the characters, bringing the same exuberance as their Japanese counterparts. Either way, both are pleasant to listen to.
Over all, while My Bride is a Mermaid won’t be regarded as a classic in any sense of the word, it delivers on exactly what it promises; silly nonsensical humor that pokes fun at the various stereotypes from which it borrows. Though some of the jokes are hit and miss, the series is light, funny, and at times even charming, giving viewers more than a few laugh-out-loud moments to think back on while they wait for the second half.
Those in the Miami Area looking to score a date with a Mermaid can pickup My Bride is a Mermaid at their local Best Buy and FYE stores.