Rumiko Takahashi's relatively short manga adventure Mermaid Forest
was originally animated in 1991 as an OVA; this broadcast series followed in 2003. An ancient legend says that anyone who eats a mermaid's flesh will remain young forever. Yuta, a handsome fisherman, unwittingly ate some mermaid sashimi 500 years ago, and has spent the last five centuries seeking the peace old age and death can bring. In a remote seaside village, he meets Mana, a young girl who's been raised as a prisoner in a lonely hut. A group of mermaids is planning to kill and eat her to preserve their fading beauty. Yuta rescues Mana, and they begin wandering, searching for a normal life.
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
An ancient Japanese legend says that if one were to partake of the flesh of the mermaid, one would be granted eternal life and youth. Yuta ate the mermaid?s flesh 500 years ago and became immortal. Since then he has had to deal with living a lonely never-ending life, watching his loved ones grow old and die. Wishing to have a normal life, to live and to die like others, he searches for a mermaid for centuries, thinking she may be able to tell him a way to become mortal again. When he arrives a village, he meets a girl named Mana, who also became immortal by eating a mermaid's flesh. Together, they start their journey in attempting to find a mermaid and regain their humanity.