Anime: Mermaid Forest: Quest for Death (Volume 1)
When a person consumes the flesh of a mermaid, they receive ever-lasting life. But rather then a blessing, immortality is a curse. Hundreds of years ago, a young fisherman named Yuta ate the flesh of a mermaid and ever since he’s had to watch his friends and family die away with time. Mermaid Forest is a blend of Yuta’s past and present as he joins forces with a woman who shares his curse named Mana. Together they quest for a way to break the curse so they can live and die like normal people.
In episode one, Mermaid Does Not Smile, we meet Yuta and Mana, two unfortunate souls who have been cursed by the mermaid’s flesh. These two characters meet under unusual circumstances when Yuta discovers Mana in a hidden village where she’s been held captive all her life.
In episode two, Village of the Fighting Fish (part 1) Yuta and Mana join forces in the quest to escape the mermaid’s curse, and in their travels, Yuta daydreams. He remembers a time when he was hired by pirates to hunt mermaids and was washed up in a small fishing village along the coast. Yuta quickly becomes part of the village, but of course ends up getting mixed up in the conflict between the pirates and the village. Will the village chief’s daughter, Reed, and Yuta find mermaid’s flesh in time to save the Chiefs life?
Episode three is a continuation of two, Village of the Fighting Fish (part 2). As Yuta and Reed search desperately for a mermaid, they discover it has all been a clever ploy set up by the pirates in order to lead them to the mermaid. Yuta and Reed are captured and taken to the pirate cam, but the pirates get more then they bargained for.
The art and animation, while not as spectacular as most new anime, is still good. The movement of the characters is believable. I was a bit disappointed that the designs of the cast weren’t more unique and stylized. Most things, save for the mermaids, were rather generic. Which of course brings me to the mermaids; this is where the animators didn’t hold back. These creatures ranged from stunning to horrifying in appearance. Their movements under water were a fluid combination of curves and twists. Even though most of the art was mediocre, the mermaids made up for it.
To be honest, I don’t remember much about the sound. This tells me that it wasn’t particularly bad or particularly good either. The voice actors fit their roles and the background music wasn’t over whelming. As with the art, I feel the creators could have done more to grab the viewer’s attention.
While I wasn’t amazed or bedazzled by the more technical aspects, what kept me interested was the story. It was a combination of twisted tales of intrigue, death and legend. I have a secret passion for darker plots and Mermaids Forrest filled that need. Those with a weak heart and stomach should stay away from this anime.
With particularly no extras and nothing spectacular about the sound or animation there wasn’t much to enjoy technical wise.
The characters were unique and interesting and the plot just sucked you right in. Mermaids Forrest did an excellent job done of story telling.
DVD Features: English Dolby Digital 2.0, Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0, English Subitles, 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Episodes: 1: Mermaid Does Not Smile 2: Village of the Fighting Fish (part 1) #: Village of the FIghting FIsh (Part 2)
Extras: Production Art Gallery, Geneon Previews