Mermaid Forest

Rumiko Takahashi is best know for her romantic comedies, Ranma 1/2, Usurei Yatsura, and Maison Ikkuko. So when I saw her name attached to this horror title, I did a double take. When one eats mermaid flesh they have a chance to become immortal, but an even greater chance to perish or change into a hideous creature. Yuta and Mana are two such people who survived eating mermaid flesh and must deal with having to live an eternal life. This anime is definitely not for the squeamish. While I am pretty desensitized to most types of violence and horror, I still squirmed a couple times while watching this. The atmosphere is pretty creepy and is enhanced by the good visuals. The story is excellent and a testament to Takahashi's writing skill. There are a few plot twists here and there, a good dose of suspense, and an excellent and unpredictable ending. The characters are another strong point. They are fleshed out nicely and quite believable for the most part, typical for Takahashi's works. However, while most of the cast is interesting, I didn't care much for Mana. She is rather emotionless even though she endures some really bizarre events. While I guess it's just her nature, I ended up not really caring for her. If you like horror, or are just a Rumiko Takahashi fan, then definitely give Mermaid Forest a look. The Verdict: * * * * (good)

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