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Mermaid Forest: V.3 Unquenchable Thirst (ep.7-9)

Nao Nagasawa , Yuri Amano    Unrated   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 72.62
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unquenchable, invincible Jan. 1 2006
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
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 "Bone Princess," Yuta and Mana are camping by a river when he has another flashback. When he was only 120 years old, Yuta encountered an old man and his immortal daughter. But he realizes that there is something odd about Natsume when she attacks him and bites his stomach. An old monk gives him the answer: Natsume is not even a true immortal, but an undead creature who preys on the livers of animals -- and people.

"The Last Face" takes us to the present, where Mana and Yuta encounter a young boy who narrowly escaped a kidnapping. When the kid swallows a "special medicine," his scrapes heal. As Yuta investigates the man who was seemingly abducting the boy, he uncovers a horrifying story from twenty-five years ago -- where a mother tried to force-feed her child mermaid flesh.

In the second part, Yuta ponders the question of what is happening, with the woman with two faces. The mother attacks Mana and switches faces, only to be interrupted by Yuta and her adult son. And they learn of her new plot to create an immortal child -- this time, using her "special medicine.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Huge Stack of "Rumiko" -- Hold the "Syrup"! Jan. 10 2006
By Ace-of-Stars - Published on Amazon.com
*

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.]]
4.0 out of 5 stars Unquenchable, invincible Nov. 22 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 "Bone Princess," Yuta and Mana are camping by a river when he has another flashback. When he was only 120 years old, Yuta encountered an old man and his immortal daughter. But he realizes that there is something odd about Natsume when she attacks him and bites his stomach. An old monk gives him the answer: Natsume is not even a true immortal, but an undead creature who preys on the livers of animals -- and people.

"The Last Face" takes us to the present, where Mana and Yuta encounter a young boy who narrowly escaped a kidnapping. When the kid swallows a "special medicine," his scrapes heal. As Yuta investigates the man who was seemingly abducting the boy, he uncovers a horrifying story from twenty-five years ago -- where a mother tried to force-feed her child mermaid flesh.

In the second part, Yuta ponders the question of what is happening, with the woman with two faces. The mother attacks Mana and switches faces, only to be interrupted by Yuta and her adult son. And they learn of her new plot to create an immortal child -- this time, using her "special medicine."

The previous volume of "Mermaid Forest" explored the best and worst in human nature. And in the third volume, "Unquenchable Thirst," the series focuses on the loss of children, and how obsessed people can become with keeping their children with them -- no matter what the cost.

In the first story, we get another glimpse of Yuta's lonely life before he met Mana. It's a bit on the gross side, but the story explores not only the loneliness of an immortal, but the desperation that a parent who has lost his child can feel.

Things get less bloody -- but even more guesome -- as we are are brought back to the present. It gets even nastier here, since the latest immortal is mentally ill, and is in conflict with Nanao's real mother. The climax of this two-parter, in which the demented woman is forced to confront the truth about her actions, is quietly powerful.

Inhuman children and wicked grandmothers crop up in the third volume of the "Mermaid Forest" series, where immortality is not such a gift.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series Feb. 19 2006
By Brandon - Published on Amazon.com
This is a really interesting series, my fiance' bought it for me after discovering that I watched Inu Yasha, it is not at all like it, but it's still a very good show. Really unique concept.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Sept. 24 2014
By Lonnie Allen - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I love it and it arrived in a timely manner!
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