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Because Honor Among Thieves Is Honor Under The Sea

I find the most definitive episode of the My Bride Is a Mermaid (2007) anime to be episode 11.  When Nagasumi Michishio (the everyboy protagonist that all the girls end up crushing on) drinks an energy drink, his mermaid bride Sun Seto is shocked and explains mermaid drinks are not meant for human consumption.  Nagasumi proceeds to grow fifty stories tall and rampages throughout the suburb nude and in a primordial rage.

Nagasumi is lured onto a space shuttle via a fake giant box claiming to be full of forbidden pleasure and sent to the moon, where he rages despondently.  Sun's Yakuza gang leader dad is overjoyed to see his daughter's suitor disposed of.  However, as Sun Seto pities Nagasumi, her mother provides her with a magical spear and explains that, if it is filled with her feelings, it will surely cure him.  After a long declaration about how it does not matter how far she has to throw the spear, even from the Earth to the moon, her feelings will get through to him... she trips and breaks the spear in half by accident.

Fortunately, the spear was on a two for one sale, so she tries again, throws the spear into the stratosphere, and it expertly pierces Nagasumi's gigantic forehead right between the eyes.  He deflates all the way back to Sun on Earth where he lies nude and embarrassed even in his horribly abused stupor.

"Please humor them with a smile," says the intro, "for young love is never easy."

When plot resolutions are as ludicrous as throwing a spear to the moon, it is rather hard to take things very seriously; this romantic comedy is clearly less romance and more comedy.  It primarily takes place at the junior high that Nagasumi and Sun attend.   (Sun's Yakuza family have infiltrated the school and pose as faculty).  There are quite a few fun characters introduced throughout, but I would hate to spoil them for you.  By and large, the emphasis is on the comedic situations, you had better be ready to laugh.

Many of the episodes are basically "abuse the Hell out of Nagasumi."  Even his parents do not treat him particularly well.  I do not know why, because he rarely ever does anything to deserve it, so my only explanation is that it must be karmatic backlash for getting engaged to a magical and incredibly honorable bride-to-be simply for being too stupid to avoid drowning.  (To say nothing for the other girls that throw themselves at him.)  Aside from that, I think Nagasumi's portrayal as an everyboy is probably one of the better I have seen because he has pretty identifiable goals and reacts to situations about how you would expect someone would (aside from having a supernatural resistance to constant abuse).

It is just as well this anime is more comedy than romance, because when the primary focus is on 14-year-olds, you really should not expect much beyond the occasional hand-holding and love confession.  (How do you say "jailbait" in mermaid?)  Nagasumi is in a stage of maturity where he is merely curious about girls, and both he and Sun are young enough to still be fairly beholden to their parents (which is a bit of a dicey situation considering Sun's family members are Yakuza mermaids).  To the anime's merit, it has a few touching romantic scenes, and does a better job of building the relationship between Sun and Nagasumi than UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie did (but the problem there was that the leading lady spent most of her time in the body and mind of an 8-year-old).

Overall, the anime was a really fun watch, a laugh a minute, and very clever throughout.  It gets a "very good" (9/11) from me on the Anime News Network scale, but its sense of significance is capped by its ludicrousness, so I can not rate it higher than that.   A well-done English dub is available both on Hulu and in a Funimation S.A.V.E. DVD set at a good price.

I looked into the manga on which it was based and it ended on volume 16 in 2011.  It progresses a lot of the storylines further than the anime did, but unfortunately I could not find an English translation past near the end of volume 15.  For the most part, the stories just added more and more crazy sea girls to zany-up the situation even further.  Skimming the raw of the last volume, I would say things end with everybody being friends and Nagasumi and Sun's love re-affirmed, but still open-ended enough that the manga could continue if they wanted to.  As far as I can tell, that mangaka has not published another manga since.


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