Mermaid Forest - Quest for Death (Vol. 1)
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Mermaid Forest is considerably darker than Takahashi's longer, more popular works. The story suffers from major inconsistencies: Eating mermaid flesh only makes some humans beautiful immortals. The less fortunate become deformed monsters, but the reason for the differing results isn't explained. Yuta can't end his wearisome existence, although he's repeatedly told that decapitation will do the trick. A minor work by a major artist, Mermaid Forest is not for the squeamish. (Rated 16 and older: violence, grotesque imagery, brief nudity, alcohol use) --Charles Solomon
Top Customer Reviews
It centers on mermaids, and what eating their flesh does to human beings. A tiny number become beautiful immortals who never age and can't die, unless their heads are cut off. But most people either cough up blood and die, or turn into bug-eyed purplish monsters.
In the first episode, Yuta has been wandering the earth for five hundred years, trying to find a mermaid so he can become a mortal again. One day he journeys to a tiny, secluded village, populated by eerie women who stab him to (temporary) death -- and are keeping a pampered teenage girl named Mana hostage. Yuta spirits the naive girl away, finds out that she's an immortal -- and learns the gruesome fate that the women have in store for her.
Later on, Yuta takes Mana on a cruise on the ocean, which brings back memories from a few centuries before. He was washed ashore on a small island, and soon fell in love with the chief's feisty daughter Rin. But a local pirate headman's wife, Isago, is after mermaid flesh, and is willing to kill to get it.
In the second part, Rin is captured by the pirates, and they now have a dead mermaid, which they think will give them immortality. But Isago has secrets of her own, and her own motives for wanting the mermaid's flesh. Now Yuta must save Rin from the pirates, who are turning into monsters -- even if he can't live happily ever after with her.
The first three episodes set up the series, which has Mana and Yuta wandering through modern-day Japan.Read more ›
Mermaid's Forest TV series is a fairly faithful adaptation of Rumiko's self-proclaimed "side project" Mermaid Saga. The manga (and Anime) are a departure from Rumiko's usual lighthearted romantic comedies and are in fact very dark and at time violently graphic. She has not abandoned her ability to create great believable characters which is truly where this anime shines.
Based around the mythical belief that anyone could be granted eternal life if they eat the flesh of a mermaid, Mermaid's Saga follows main characters Yuta and Mana. Yuta is a 500 year old man who partook of the mermaid's flesh and was granted immortality. He has wondered Japan searching for others like himself and a way to become mortal. Along his way he encounters Mana, a young girl who he soon realises has also ate the flesh of a mermaid. The first episode on this disc shows us the circumstances of the couples first meeting and quickly delves into the mysteries and the darker/terrifying consequences of eating mermaid flesh.
Each episode cross references each other but if viewed alone could easily be enjoyed as a stand alone story. Fans of Rumiko's work will no doubt want to pick up this essential series for their DVD collection. For those otaku out there who really look for great characters in addition to strong storytelling will really want to join Mana and Yuta on their journey through the Japanese countryside. The stories are at times strange and terrifying but always entertaining. HIGHLY Recommended!
Takahashi Rumiko is best known for her silly & wacky antics type of storytelling ("Urusei Yatsura"; "Ranma Nibun-no-Ichi"; "Inu Yasha"). But 'Rumi-chan' has also touched the "Dark Side," and with surprising effectiveness. This presented itself when her publisher agreed to run a series of manga stories by her which came to be popularly known as the "mermaid saga."
In 1991, the first "OAV" ("Original Animation Video") of one of those stories-- "Ningyo no Mori" ("Mermaid Forest") --was released; this was followed two years later with the release of another OAV of a second Rumiko "mermaid" story -- "Ningyo no Kizu" ("Mermaid's Scar"). Ten years would pass before anything new from Takahashi-san's "mermaid saga" would be presented in animated form.
In July of 2003, Japanese television aired an anthology series called "Takahashi Rumiko Gekijyou" ("Takahashi Rumiko Theater") -- a showcase for a collection of her individual story ideas, which were all independent of one another. Three months later, the first episode of "Takahashi Rumiko Gekijyou: Ningyo no Mori" ("Takahashi Rumiko Theater: Mermaid Forest") was aired -- the program title being modified slightly with the added 'tack-on' at the end to distinguish it specifically as the animated adaptation of her "mermaid saga" and that, unlike the earlier "Gekijyou," this sort of 'second season,' if you will, would be an extended run of a series of interrelated stories. Labeling the entire series "Mermaid Forest," however, is a bit of a misnomer, as the title refers to one specific story of that name, but it's really nothing to nit-pick over.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Whatever happened to this anime? It was great and could have gone on forever (no pun intended.) Really, they could have taken the characters into the future.Published 22 months ago by P. Ellis
This is a really good series. It's not comedic like her other series. This one is much darker. A man seeking to become mortal again takes a newly created immortal under his wing.Published on July 11, 2012 by Mike Lewis
Mermaid Forest is the story of a man named Yuta, who 500 years ago age mermaid flesh, as a result he is immortal and have been traveling around the world looking for a mermaid to... Read morePublished on June 28, 2011 by Anja Rebekka Schultze
The story line had potential, but I wasn't impressed with this anime. My boyfriend and I bought the first volume just to see if we'd like it, and we didn't even finish it, and... Read morePublished on September 25, 2010 by Shannon B. Andrews
after reading the manga i bought this dvd and if you liked the manga you'll like the dvd too.it has a great story looks good too.Published on May 15, 2009 by nicky
One of Takahashi's most famous/notorious side projects, the Mermaid Forest Saga explores the mermaid myth (much like Watase did in Ceres regarding celestial beings, but without the... Read morePublished on October 17, 2007 by K. Canales
Mermaid Forest- Quest for Death sets the stage for the saga. It introduces the two main characters and their backgrounds. Read morePublished on February 11, 2006 by J.Bennett
Yuta is a young man on a quest to find mermaids. The reason that he wants to find them is that over 500 hundred years ago him and some of his fisherman friends had a little feast... Read morePublished on December 21, 2005 by Sesho
According to the ancient legend, mermaids flesh can grant immortality if eaten. 500 years ago, Yuta unknowingly ate a piece of mermaids flesh. Read morePublished on September 17, 2005 by Ronnie Clay