Greetings everyone, and welcome to another review! This week we decided to take a break from reviewing the more popular anime that we have been looking at a lot recently. Instead, the anime we are doing today is the lesser known My Bride is a Mermaid, or Seto no Hanayome in Japanese. As always, this review may contain minor SPOILERS, so beware.
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: Michishio Nagasumi’s life couldn’t be any more normal. In an odd twist of events, during his summer vacation he ends up almost drowning in the sea. Luckily, the cute mermaid Seto Sun appears to save him. However, Sun is from a yakuza mermaid family and according to their law, if a human is to catch sight of a mermaid, either he or the mermaid must die. The only other way is for Nagasumi to be taken in as a family member, marrying Sun. In attempts to save both of their lives, Nagasumi asks for Sun’s hand in marriage. Nagasumi’s summer vacation reaped more than what he would expect, as he must now protect Sun from others finding her secret out. -MyAnimeList
My Bride is a Mermaid is primarily a parody and romantic comedy anime, though the romantic comedy part is the only part that really applies to the plot. Now this anime is primarily episodic in storytelling, with each episode being connected only by the overall premise. The actual plot is pretty weak in all honesty, being a very typical romantic comedy anime. The thing that does make it appealing is that the episodic plots are generally very over the top, and quite funny. It also mocks a lot of the common tropes of harem and ecchi anime, but does not fall into a lot of the traps that those genre tend to end up in. There are some parts of the show that try to be a bit too serious, especially when compared to the lighthearted attitude of the rest of the anime, which can take away from it a bit.
Characters are the main driving force of the anime, and as a parody, they often are based on a common trope or archetype. For example, Sun is the stereotypical clumsy girl while Lunar is the idol/tsundere character. The interesting thing is that characters make fun of their archetype, and frequently deviate from their assignment. Sun is shown to be quite skilled with a sword and rather intelligent, despite being the clumsy airhead. One issue is that the character still end up being limited by their trope assignment, and this causes some of them to be rather bland or shallow characters. The large cast can also feel a bit cluttered at times.
My Bride is a Mermaid’s standard anime is not the best, but is a fairly acceptable. There are several moments of characters changing animation style for comedic reasons, which can either come off as an annoyance (like it did for me initially) or as an expert use of animation. The animation style changes parody a lot of anime, such as Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.
The first thing to note about the soundtrack that it is extremely cheesy, especially the opening. This definitely fits with the tone of the series, and really sets the mood from the start. However, this is not really an anime one should be watching for the soundtrack, and it can get a little annoying after a while.
As would be expected, there is not a lot of dealing with themes in this comedy. Most of its themes, if one would call it that, focus on mocking common anime tropes and throwing out numerous reference to both Eastern and Western art, including but not limited to Star Wars and The Terminator. While the references are a lot of fun, a little deeper depth can be seen in the developing relationship between Nagasumi and Sun. It explores the nature of marriage a little bit, and how one matures to adjust to the newly married life. It also offers a lot of contrast to the more old fashion verses progressive/modern forms of marriage and the woman role through the contrast of Sun and Lunar. These are subtle though, and require some work to really find and flesh out.
Final Score: 8.0/10
Final Grade: B
My Bride is a Mermaid was not an anime that I was really into. It is a parody rom-com anime. It has a very light hearted mood throughout the whole run time and it does not take itself very seriously. It knows what it is and holds to it. Its characters are not very strong and feel ripped right out of other shows and are just mashed into one anime. They all have something that is supposed to make them stick out, but it mostly just ends up bothering me. Everything about the anime fits well with what it is, but it is not for me. Out of 10 I would give it a 7. I recommend this anime to people who like rom-coms or parodies, but if that is not your thing than this anime is probably not for you. – B-Ro
Seto no Hanayome… I went into this show thinking I would probably like it and be pretty entertained for most of it. Boy was I wrong… Saying that I ‘liked it’ and was ‘pretty entertained’ would be a gross understatement! I absolutely loved this show!!! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard at an anime. There were so many moments where I had to pause the show just to laugh off what just happened! The humor is very fast paced, but to me the quality of the humor matched and even surpassed the quantity. I mean, it’s extremely ridiculous and not for everyone, but I had a great time. It serves as yet another reminder of why I love anime. You can go right from shows like Lain and Erased with very serious themes, and then go right into this show. They’re very different, but I can’t help but enjoy them both. The premise hooked me in right away, mostly because of the Yakuza spin on the old ‘man saved by mermaid’ tale (and the Yakuza elements are largely what makes this so funny). The show has a very large cast of characters that gets bigger each episode. The characters aren’t too deep, but I would argue that it suits the show (which isn’t trying to be serious) better. It’s very much a character driven anime rather than plot, and the characters fit so well together. What perhaps surprised me the most was how much the characters grew on me, as well as the character development in the show (which for a comedy is a surprising amount). The relationship between Nagasumi and Sun was especially great to watch develop. It was always funny, but I also really started rooting for them, even to the point where I may need to rethink that favorite canon ship selection… Even characters I didn’t like at first like Saru and Shiranui ended up growing on me as they interacted with the other characters. The large cast was very likeable, funny, and to me memorable despite them not having as much depth. The show is also filled to the brim with references and homages. From the spin on anime character tropes to western movie references like Star Wars and the Terminator. I really appreciated all of them. There are a few ‘serious’ moments, and I was afraid I’d dislike the tonal shift, but they did a surprisingly good job with them. I think it was because the characters grew on me so much, and they never forgot that the show is a comedy at heart. The opening is a bit cheesey, but a lot of fun and summery. The two closings are also very nice to watch/listen to. I appreciated hearing the opening rearranged in a few different ways as part of the background music, and I loved the guitar based songs and trumpet and big band based songs. Overall, a good OST. If I had one problem with the show, it would be that they weren’t at the beach for too long. They kind of leave that setting early. Also, some of the humor was a bit too immature for my tastes. It’s never bad (I still laughed), it just sometimes felt like they were going for some of the humor cheap shots. Seto no Hanayome may go down in history as the most fun I’ve had watching an anime. It’s a hilarious, fun, and well-made anime that reaches huge heights in its genre and manages to consistently say there for the entire show. Definitely one of my all-time favorites.
Final Comments: Filled with plenty of references and knocks at common anime archetypes, My Bride is a Mermaid is an excellent example of a truly funny parody anime, but should be watched for entertainment only, as it has a weak plot and limited characters.
Thank you everyone for reading our review! Have you seen this anime? What did you think of it? We would love to hear your thoughts! Be sure to check us out of Facebook and Twitter too! Our review for next week will be the anime Death Parade.