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Mermaid Forest: V.2 Bitter Flesh (ep.4-6)


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Product Details

  • Format: Dolby, Color, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Anamorphic
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Paradox
  • Release Date: Sept. 20 2005
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B0009PVZZ0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #104,689 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 24 2007
One of Rumiko Takahashi's most successful "side projects" is the Mermaid series, about a pair of immortals struggling to find a way to become mortal again. Don't expect the wacky action of "Ranma 1/2" or the mythic fantasy of "Inuyasha." Instead, this is a gritty, melancholy fantasy story.

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 "Mermaid's Forest," Mana and Yuta are still wandering the earth. But one day, while Yuta is having a nap, Mana follows a kitten out into a road -- and is temporarily killed by a truck. When she wakes, a doctor is about to cut off her arm, while white-haired girl Towa and old woman Sawa are watching. Mana doesn't suspect their gruesome intentions -- or the fact that they have Yuta chained in the basement.

In the second part, Towa drags the unconscious Mana to the mermaid's tomb -- if she can't have the flesh, then she'll switch bodies with Mana. They find a half-dead mermaid in the tomb -- and an enormous Deformed One. And then, Towa explains the horrific reason that she hasn't aged in sixty years... and the terrible revenge she wants on Sawa.

This volume ends on a poignant note with "The End of the Dream." Mana and Yuta are (again) killed, this time by a fall. But a hulking creature with bandaged face appears, and takes care of Mana. "Big-Eyes" seems to be a Deformed One, but he isn't a savage beast. Instead, he's timid and gentle, with a tragic past. Yuta, unaware of this fact, goes to gather help and hunt Big-Eyes down...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The bitter curse Sept. 26 2005
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
One of Rumiko Takahashi's most successful "side projects" is the Mermaid series, about a pair of immortals struggling to find a way to become mortal again. Don't expect the wacky action of "Ranma 1/2" or the mythic fantasy of "Inuyasha." Instead, this is a gritty, melancholy fantasy story.

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 "Mermaid's Forest," Mana and Yuta are still wandering the earth. But one day, while Yuta is having a nap, Mana follows a kitten out into a road -- and is temporarily killed by a truck. When she wakes, a doctor is about to cut off her arm, while white-haired girl Towa and old woman Sawa are watching. Mana doesn't suspect their gruesome intentions -- or the fact that they have Yuta chained in the basement.

In the second part, Towa drags the unconscious Mana to the mermaid's tomb -- if she can't have the flesh, then she'll switch bodies with Mana. They find a half-dead mermaid in the tomb -- and an enormous Deformed One. And then, Towa explains the horrific reason that she hasn't aged in sixty years... and the terrible revenge she wants on Sawa.

This volume ends on a poignant note with "The End of the Dream." Mana and Yuta are (again) killed, this time by a fall. But a hulking creature with bandaged face appears, and takes care of Mana. "Big-Eyes" seems to be a Deformed One, but he isn't a savage beast. Instead, he's timid and gentle, with a tragic past. Yuta, unaware of this fact, goes to gather help and hunt Big-Eyes down...

The second volume of the Mermaid series is almost entirely in the present, and focuses both on the worst and best in human beings. One is a revenge story, about a pair of sisters linked by selfishness and hatred. And the other is about a tormented, good man trapped in a monster's body.

In a sense, the first story is the superior of the two. First we think that Towa is a simple sociopath who wants to be immortal. But at the end, we discover what has made her hate her sister, and the horrible life she has led. Suddenly she's understandable, though not admirable.

But the last story is the more moving, with the friendship growing between Mana and the tragic monster Big-Eyes. Most touching is the sight of Big-Eyes telling Mana about how he slaughtered his village in a fit of madness. And later, weeping over a pile of human skeletons, telling Mana that sometimes he doesn't remember what he's done.

Mana and Yuta are also changing in this story. Yuta has a nightmare near the beginning that Mana is leaving him, showing how much he now cares for her. And Mana, who is so naive that she's never seen a cat before, learns new strength when she has to defend the wounded Yuta from a Deformed One.

Takahashi's dark fantasy series continues in "Mermaid Forest - Bitter Flesh," a pair of haunting stories that will linger in your mind, long after the credits roll.
One Huge Stack of "Rumiko" -- Hold the "Syrup"! Jan. 10 2006
By Ace-of-Stars - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
*

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.

Because the artwork & animation techniques used here are not nearly as refined, and everything feels too rushed (or to put it another way, because everything feels too "televisiony"), this series does not engage the viewer with quite the same degree of dark depression & gloominess that is experienced in the OAVs. Even so, the stories as presented here are just dreadful enough to make you realize that this ain't no "kiddie-fare!"

As with the previous "Takahashi Gekijyou," this series consists of 13 total episodes, although there are in actuality 8 separate storylines adapted for this series -- including brand new animated adaptations of the OAV stories (ironically, it was one of these-- "Ningyo no Kizu" --that was never aired during the series' televised run).

The 'English dubbed' audio track, though not great, is passable, but the original Japanese audio dialogue track seems to better capture the spirit of the main characters, Yuta and Mana.

[[My only real gripe is that Pioneer/Geneon could not have taken the extra time to simply release this entire series (only 4 discs) as a complete box set.]]
An oldie returns Oct. 24 2005
By Kaitlin Bevis- YA Author - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I thought about renting this tape for years! before it vanished from blockbuster, then it vanished for years. Now that I have seen this, I regret not having seen it all those years ago. It is a very unique, and wonderful story
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Lacklustre computer animation Nov. 13 2005
By Levi Kassian - Published on Amazon.com
Whether you like this series or not will depend on how much you favor story over animation. The Mermaid-series harbor a fascinating universe with intense stories and a fairy tale-like quality. Problem is the animation is very lacklustre. It's all done by computer and features none of the gorgeous hand drawn anime we're so used to seeing. Instead everything on screen is kept very simple and the environments have no depts what so ever. Back in 1991 another version of the 'Mermaid's Forest'-tale included on this disc was made, where both the story and the animation were so much better. Unfortunately this is only available on video. The previous version was also much more violent and featured nudity, which gave the story a sharper, more sinister edge. This new take on the saga is more like kiddie matinée-stuff in comparison. So, check out this series if you like the work of Rumiko Takahashi, but don't expect too much magic. I'm sure everyone who happens to see the 1991-version will agree.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Mermaid Forest- Bitter Flesh vol. 2. Feb. 11 2006
By J.Bennett - Published on Amazon.com
If you like a good plot, you will love Mermaid Forest- Bitter Flesh vol. 2. It focuses on an unusual story line rather than the typical battle between good and evil. The history between the two sisters in episodes 4 and 5 unfolds into an unexpected chain of events that any true anime lover would enjoy.

Episode 6 of this DVD spotlights Mana's enconter with... Well you will just have to watch to find out.


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