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Pichi Pichi Pitch 1: Mermaid Melody Paperback – April 25, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Lucia is a cute high school student—but she is also a mermaid princess. She and her fellow mermaids, Hanon and Rina, draw their power from magical pearls, which give them "pichi pichi" (lighthearted) voices and transform them into rock stars in kick-ass schoolgirl outfits with stars, glitter and matching microphones. Just a few lyrics ("Love Shower Pitch!" Lucia shouts) can defeat any enemy. That's a good thing, too, since the evil Gackto is bent on kidnapping the princesses so he can rule the seven seas. Meanwhile, Lucia pines over the surfer Kaito, who is helplessly in love with a mysterious mermaid who once saved his life, unaware, of course, that Lucia is that mermaid. Pichi Pichi Pitch is a mermaid version of Sailor Moon with a little Hans Christian Anderson thrown in for good measure. A few cardboard villains, a recycled love story, eyes so large they take up half the page, several glitzy transformation sequences and abundant fan service (cheesecake) make for an industrial-strength shojo. It's been adapted into a very popular anime in Japan, and fans of this kind of hyper-cute tale should find this manga to their liking. (Apr.)
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You might be mistaken into believing this manga would be action packed and involve Lucia pursuing her mission, but why should she bother to look when everything comes to her? The other mermaid princesses show up, apparently taking their responsibilities more seriously than Lucia, and sexy step-mother villains pursue the mermaid princess' pearls only to be blasted back to their overlord by pichi pichi singing.
The other half of this manga involves Kaito's conflicted pursuit of Lucia. Upon first seeing Lucia in her human form he is attracted to her, but with evil villains out to capture powerful pearls, Lucia is forced to combat them in mermaid form and the reappearance of Kaito's first love sets him into a tailspin; because Lucia is told she will turn into sea foam if she, "willingly reveals her true self [to a human]..." Kaito's attention is double-edged. In her human form Lucia receives Kaito's attention and invitations to festivals. She has her hand held and finger sucked-- and these aren't things Kaito does for any girl. Still, the only form Kaito freely gives his heart to is mermaid Lucia. This frustrates human-form Lucia to no end.
If you're looking for a different spin on the fuzzy mermaid theory I would recommend Rumiko Takahashi's "Mermaid Forest." Otherwise, do not waste your time if you are looking for something original with more depth of character. Storylines for Disney's "The Little Mermaid" are more varied and brain-enhancing.