Animation: Weak
Depth: Fair
Design: Fair
Characters: Fair
Story: Good

Type: OAV   (1 episode)

Vintage: 1991


» drama
» horror
Verdict: Reviews @ Archen's Anime Page
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Mermaid Forest - OVA

Summary: >

Legend says if you eat mermaid flesh, you'll gain life everlasting. Many people seem familiar with the legend, but few know the dark details behind it. Few actually gain immortality, most die gruesome deaths or turn into hideous monsters, cursed until the day they die. Yuta is one of the few to eat mermaid flesh and live, however he's found immortality itself to be a curse. When life becomes endless, few things seem worth living for. For 500 years Yuta has searched for an answer to end his immortality, and now travels with a fellow immortal named Mana.

Yuta encounters a girl partially under the mermaid's curse. Eating the flesh can turn a person into a monster, or give them eternal life, but what if you only drink the blood? Her body may be turning, but perhaps her body could be swapped if she found another immortal... like Mana.

Thoughts: >

Rumiko Takahashi's Mermaid Saga is a big part of what got me into anime. While horror anime isn't exactly scary, it's twisted and exotic which I always liked. The concept behind the Mermaid Saga is actually fairly complex (to detail in a review), but much of it has to do with the unusual consequences of immortality - explored in such a way that few if any do. This particularly comes into play between Yuta and Mana. Some expect their relationship to be romantic, but it's far more complex than that (and in its current state can't really be romantic either). Their relationship is special, because their bond is through their immortality.

Due to the short length, and not wanting to get into spoilers I won't talk about the story itself. The Mermaid Saga is known for solid, intriguing stories; mixing the dark side of human nature, with the twisted reality of a legend gone wrong. And there is always the plot twist! Mermaid Forest hits the mark, and is a great title in this vein.

The style is dated, but true to older OVAs, the higher production budget is still apparent. A fascinating dark story, and premise make this one of my favorite titles even today. Highly recommended.

Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 1999