Mermaid's Scar is the second anime based on the Mermaid Saga graphic novels by Rumiko Takahashi. Similar in tone with Mermaid Forest, Mermaid's Scar is a twisted and dark tale surrounding the lives of those people that have gained immortality by eating mermaid's flesh.
Mona and Yuta are two such individuals who have gained the curse of immortality by eating mermaid's flesh. The story opens with both of them finding jobs in a small ocean-side village. It is here they stumble across a young boy named Misato, whose mother appears to harbor a deep secret. Rumor in the village has it that Misato's mother was in a boating accident which should have killed her, yet she fully recovered only one week later. This leads Yuta and Mona to believe that Misato's mother has indeed eaten the mermaid flesh and the resulting psychological effect on her is less than pleasant.
The story is beset with mystery in the early goings and the plot undergoes a few twists and turns before it's all over. It's difficult to truly grasp everything that is going on as the mystery of Misato and his mother is slowly revealed. Pacing is careful and deliberate, revealing bits and pieces of the plot, yet keeping enough hidden to keep the viewer guessing. And even the ending leaves a couple loose ends left to be tied up by the viewer's imagination.
On the production quality side of things, Mermaid's Scar does a decent job. The artwork is well rendered although the animation does seem rather minimal at times (something akin to many anime). Viz did a decent job with the English dubbing, although some of the dialog seems a little clumsy and unnatural. The performances are fairly strong for the most part despite Misato's voice actor sounding a little flat at times.
Mermaid's Scar is a solid follow-up to Mermaid Forest and will probably be enjoyed by fans of Takahashi's horror fiction. Those that enjoy the dark side of anime will also want to give it a look.
The Verdict: * * * 1/2 (above average)
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