English cover of 2nd edition of the first manga volume published by Viz Media.
|Written by||Rumiko Takahashi|
|Imprint||Shōnen Sunday Comics Special|
|Original run||August 1984 – February 1994|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Takaya Mizutani|
|Music by||Kenji Kawai|
|Released||August 16, 1991|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Morio Asaka|
|Music by||Norihiro Tsuru|
|Released||September 24, 1993|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masaharu Okuwaki|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||October 4, 2003 – December 20, 2003|
|Episodes||11 + 2 OVA|
Mermaid Saga (Japanese: 人魚シリーズ, Hepburn: Ningyo Shirīzu) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi. It consists in 9 stories told in 16 chapters. It was first published in 1984 in Shōnen Sunday Zōkan and later in Weekly Shōnen Sunday.
Two of the stories from the series, Mermaid's Forest and Mermaid's Scar, have been adapted as original video animations (OVAs) in 1991 and 1993. All of the tales, except one, were later adapted as an anime television series in 2003.
In North America, the manga has been licensed by Viz Media, while the first OVA was released by US Manga Corps in 1993 and the second OVA by Viz Media in 1995. The anime television series was licensed by Geneon Entertainment.
According to an ancient Japanese legend, mermaid flesh may grant immortality if eaten. However, there is a much greater chance that consumption will lead to death or transformation into a damned creature known as a Lost Soul (Deformed Ones in the English dub). Mermaid Saga tells the tale of Yuta, an immortal who has been alive for five hundred years after eating mermaid flesh. However, he is tired of his immortality and throughout the series, he wanders across Japan searching for a mermaid who may be able to turn him back into a normal human. He encounters Mana, a young woman who is about to be sacrificed. She has been forced to eat mermaid flesh so that after she is killed, her flesh can be used to rejuvenate a village of ageing immortal women. Yuta rescues her and they travel on together while Yuta pursues his quest to become human again.
- Yuta (湧太, Yūta)
- Voiced by: Kōichi Yamadera (Japanese); Justin Gross and Liam O'Brien (English)
- Mermaid Forest OVA Voiced by: Michael Magee (English)
- Mermaid's Scar OVA Voiced by: Jason Gray-Stanford (English)
- He is the main character of the series and is a 500-year-old immortal. Yuta and his fellow fishermen ate the flesh of a mermaid to attain immortality when thy captured one, but only Yuta survived while his comrades were either poisoned or turned into Deformed Ones. He married and lived normally until he discovered that while his wife grew older, he did not age physically from the day he ate the flesh. He hears that a mermaid could help him to become normal again, so he begins an endless search for a mermaid. During his travels, he encounters a lovely fifteen-year-old girl named Mana in a village of mermaids. They made her an immortal and were planning to devour her to rejuvenate themselves, but Yuta rescues her and she joins him as a traveling companion. Kind-hearted and helpful, Yuta befriends many people who have had contact with mermaid's flesh over his 500 years existence.
- Mana (真魚, Mana)
- Voiced by: Minami Takayama (Japanese); Karen Thompson (English)
- Mermaid Forest OVA Voiced by: Anne Marie Zola (English)
- Mermaid's Scar OVA Voiced by: Lalainia Lindbjerg (English)
- She is the female protagonist of the series, an immortal and Yuta's companion. She was raised by a group of old mermaids who kept her captive and incapacitated in a hut. Once she reached adolescence at 15 years of age, they made her an immortal and planned to eat her flesh in order to regain their youth. She is rescued by Yuta and then travels with him. She is very loyal to Yuta and rescues him a number of times. She has feelings for him, but due to her somewhat naïve nature, she does not seem to understand her own emotions.
- Masato (真人, Masato)
- Voiced by: Makiko Ohmoto (Japanese); Erika Weinstein (English)
- Mermaid's Scar OVA Voiced by: Yuuichi Harada (Japanese), Chris Turner (English)
- A young boy who has been immortal for 800 years. He has a childlike appearance but centuries of loneliness turned him into a cruel and heartless monster. His first victim was his original mother to whom he fed mermaid flesh, but she became a Lost Soul. After 100 years of being adopted by various people and losing them to famine, disease, and war, the boy decides to feed small amounts of mermaid flesh to random people, and have them pose as his parent until they succumb to the adverse effects of the flesh or serve their purpose. He acquired a Nambu pistol during World War II, which he used in his fight with Yuta who had discovered his true nature. His latest mother Misa, gave him the name Masato. He met her during World War II after she lost her son in an air-raid. When Yuta and Mana came across Misa and Masato, Misa was losing her regenerative powers so Masato planned to make his nanny Yukie his new mother. However, she turned into a Lost Soul. He tried to kill Yuta and Mana but failed and got in a car crash when he tried to escape them. His corpse was never found.
- Misa (美沙, Misa)
- Voiced by: Rei Sakuma (Japanese); Gina Grad (English)
- Mermaid's Scar OVA Voiced by: Gara Takashima (Japanese), Janyse Jaud (English)
- She lost her husband and child during World War II and was found by the young boy Masato who fed her mermaid flesh so that she could become his long-lived surrogate mother. After 80 years, she become weary of his manipulation and escaped but he found her and forced her to continue to act as his mother figure. As the mermaid flesh's effect began to wear off, Masato began to look for another surrogate. She died after being attacked by a Lost Soul which was formerly Masato's nanny, Yukie.
- Yukie (雪枝, Yukie)
- Voiced by: Chieko Honda (Japanese); Hunter Mackenzie Austin (English)
- Mermaid's Scar OVA Voiced by: Kikuko Inoue (Japanese), Kathleen Barr (English)
- She is Masato's loving and caring nanny which made her an excellent choice to become Masato's new surrogate mother. Yukie was unaware of Masato's immortality. Masato gave her a piece mermaid's flesh make her an immortal, but instead she was transformed into a monstrous Lost Soul and was killed by Yuta. He was acting to protect Masato and his mother Misa from what he saw as a monster.
- Rin (鱗, Rin)
- Voiced by: Houko Kuwashima (Japanese); Stephanie Sheh (English)
- She is the eldest daughter of Toba Island's leader of a band of pirates. Due to her father becoming ill, Rin became the leader. She was searching for a mermaid to cure her father many years ago and met Yuta when he came back to life after dying in a sea battle. They fell in love and Yuta promised to stay in Toba Island if he could turn back into a mortal. However, Yuta decided to leave Toba Island because he did not want to marry another mortal girl while he was immortal. Rin continued as the leader of Toba Island's pirates.
- Isago (砂, Isago)
- Voiced by: Ai Orikasa (Japanese); Wendee Lee (English)
- A wife of the Sakagami Island headman. Isago told her husband of the immortality of the mermaid's flesh and encouraged him to find one. Isago is pregnant from her former husband who was murdered by the Sakagami pirates three years earlier. In order to give birth to a healthy child, Isago needs to eat the mermaid flesh, because she is in fact a mermaid. She tells Rin that there are mermaids who can walk on land and mermaids who swim at sea. The ones who walk on land eat the swimming mermaids' flesh, especially during pregnancy. Isago finally ate mermaid flesh, dived into the ocean, transformed back into a mermaid, and gave birth to two healthy babies.
- Towa Kannagi (神無木 登和, Kannagi Towa)
- Voiced by: Sumi Shimamoto (Japanese); Erica Shaffer (English)
- Mermaid Forest OVA Voiced by: Mika Doi (Japanese); Kata Sheridan (English)
- She suffered from a deadly illness when she was a young girl. Towa's twin sister Sawa fed her the blood of a mermaid which cured her illness, but caused her arm to become deformed and turned her hair white. Because of her deformity, Towa was locked in a cell beneath the house. Her deformed arm caused her terrible pain, so she asked her fiancée Dr. Shiina to cut the arms off dead girls and re-attach them to her. But after a few years each arm became deformed and the pain came back. After their father died, Towa was released from her cell and tried to make Sawa eat mermaid flesh in revenge for her pitiful life, but Sawa suddenly died of a heart attack. Robbed of her revenge, Towa joins her sister in death, instructing the others to burn Mermaid Hill and everything associated with it.
- Sawa Kannagi (神無木 佐和, Kannagi Sawa)
- Voiced by: Hisako Kyōda
- Young Voiced by: Haruna Ikezawa (Japanese); Hunter Mackenzie Austin (English)
- Mermaid Forest OVA Voiced by: Aiko Konoshima (Japanese); Susie Westerby (English)
- She was Towa's twin sister who inherited the family line and was placed in charge of guarding Mermaid Hill, a hidden repository of mermaid flesh. When Towa was dying, she fed her the blood of a mermaid which deformed her arm and resulted in her confinement. Sawa married and gave birth to a child, but her husband died fighting in World War II and her child and father died sometime later. Sawa reluctantly reveals the location of Mermaid Hill after Towa threatens to kill Mana. Towa tried to force Sawa to eat mermaid's flesh, but she suddenly died of a cardiac arrest.
- Dr. Shiina (椎名, Shiina)
- Voiced by: Eisuke Yoda (Japanese); Michael Forest (English)
- Mermaid Forest OVA Voiced by Bob Foster (English)
- Young Voiced by: Kōzō Mito (Japanese); Patrick Seitz (English)
- Towa Kannagi's fiancé. Shiina begged Towa many times to leave with him but she always refused. Shiina agreed to cut the arms off dead girls and replace Towa's deformed arm. Shiina recounts to Yuta and Mana his history with Towa and how she was obsessed with by her "other self", Sawa. In the OVA, after Towa ran into the burning Mermaid Hill to end her life of revenge, Shiina chased after her to join her in death, making up for fifty-five years of lost time.
- Big Eyes (大眼, Ōmanako)
- Voiced by: Daisuke Gōri (Japanese); Kyle Hebert (English)
- He was once a mortal, but he ate the flesh of a mermaid corpse he found lying on the beach hoping that he would gain immortality. When he awoke, he saw that his village had been destroyed and everyone - including his family - had been murdered, not realizing that he had killed them himself. The flesh had partially transformed him into a Lost Soul as he could speak and had human feelings. The transformation had caused his eyes to swell so he was called "Big Eyes". Mana is sympathetic to his situation and tries to protect him, but Yuta and a local hunter have no choice but to kill him because of his murderous ways.
- Natsume (なつめ, Natsume)
- Voiced by: Kazuko Sugiyama (Japanese); Monica Rial (English)
- She died as a young girl during the Warring States period. A Buddhist monk found her father mourning the loss of his only daughter and used an ancient art called "Hangon" to resurrect Natsume who became immortal. Many decades later, Yuta met Natsume and the monk who was pursuing her. The monk had used mermaid's liver in the process which caused her to eat the livers of animals and sometimes humans, so he decided to kill her. Natsume befriended Yuta and asked if she could travel with him, but her possessive father became angry and tried to kill Yuta. While Natsume's father was dealing with Yuta, the monk was able to rip out her liver. Natsume saved Yuta from being killed, but her father jumped off a cliff with her in his arms. He died immediately, but Natsume was able to live long enough to say good-bye to Yuta before she turned back into bones.
- Nanao (七生, Nanao)
- Voiced by: Toshiko Fujita (Japanese); Chris Kent (English)
- Young Voiced by: Jay D. Stone (English)
- He is a young boy whom Yuta and Mana find terribly injured after he escaped from a moving car while being kidnapped. However, he quickly recovers after he swallows his mother's medicine. Yuta and Mana take Nanao home to his mother and grandmother who is behaving strangely. Yuta and Mana discover that Nanao's "mother" is actually Nanao's grandmother who became an immortal 25 years ago and after her son grew up, she kidnapped his son and raised him as her own. She tried to feed him mermaid flesh but Yuta stopped her.
- Nanao's mother (七生の母, Nanao no haha)
- Voiced by: Masako Katsuki (Japanese); Michelle Ruff (English)
- She became an immortal in 1969 after her husband left with their son Nanao, due to her mental instability. She ate mermaid flesh and became immortal, but her face became scarred and gave her eternal pain. Years later, her son had grown, married and he had a baby son. She kidnapped the baby, also naming him Nanao and raised him as her own son. One day, she saw a woman’s body lying on the beach and removed her face which she kept in a box. She switched it with her own face when she appeared in public to hide her disfiguring scar. She planned to feed mermaid flesh to her grandson Nanao to also make him immortal, but Yuta stopped her. She ran away in distress and her body was found later in a burned-out storehouse.
- Nae Kogure (苗, Nae)
- Voiced by: Yuri Amano (Japanese); Karen Strassman (English)
- She met Yuta some years before World War II. When Nae learned about Yuta's curse of immortality, she told him a secret about some mermaid's ashes, brought to the local village by a nun long ago. Nae spread some ashes around the field of red flowers, causing them to bloom all year long and she called it "red valley". She and Yuta fell in love and began secretly meeting in the red valley. Her fiancée Eijiro, became jealous and murdered her. He planned to use the mermaid ashes to bring her back to life but could not find them. He eventually found the ashes and used them to bring her back to life, but she became a shadow of her former self with no memory of her past. Many years later, Yuta returned to the village with Mana, which caused Nae to remember remnants of her past. However, Eijiro fatally stabs Nae with his cane sword and slowly the effect of the ashes on Nae wears off, leaving her to die once again in the red valley.
- Eijiro (英二郎, Eijiro)
- Voiced by: Tamio Ōki (Japanese); Doug Stone (English)
- Young Voiced by: Yasunori Matsumoto (Japanese); Travis Willingham (English)
- Before World War II, Eijiro was a young, bright man who fell in love with and was betrothed to Nae Kogure who was from a wealthy family. When Yuta arrived, Nae fell in love with him and Eijiro became insanely jealous. He killed Nae when he believed she was planning to leave with Yuta. For most of his life he searched for the location of some mermaid's ashes to revive her and eventually does so, but Nae has no memory of her past. Many years later, Yuta returns to the village and finds Nae as young and beautiful as ever. Eijiro is still consumed by jealousy and fatally stabs Nae when she starts to remember Yuta and the past.
- Soukichi (翔キチ, Soukichi)
- Voiced by: Minoru Inaba (Japanese); Michael McConnohie (English)
- Young Voiced by: Kyouko Tonguu (Japanese); Kirsty Pape (English)
- A long time ago, Soukichi was an errand boy from Nae's family. Many years later after Nae's disappearance, as an old man, he helps Yuta and Mana, believing that Eijiro kidnapped her.
- Akiko Kiryu (鬼柳 晶子, Kiryū Akiko)
- Akiko is a sweet girl and the sister of the violent Shingo Kiryu. When they were young she tried to stop Shingo killing small animals with his knife, but she accidentally hit him in the face with his knife and caused him to lose an eye. Eventually Akiko decided to poison Shingo and herself. The poison she used was the flesh of a mermaid which caused Akiko to continue living in an almost comatose state, sitting at home in a chair like a life-sized doll. However, Shingo became immortal and ripped out her eye in revenge. After a battle with Shingo, Yuta decapitated Akiko, thus ending her existence as a lifeless doll.
- Shingo Kiryu (鬼柳 新吾, Kiryū Shingo)
- Shingo is the insane and violent brother of Akiko Kiryu. They lived together in the Kiryu Manor shortly before the Russo-Japanese War. Yuta worked there temporarily and witnessed Shingo's cruel and sadistic behavior. Akiko tried to poison him with the flesh of a mermaid, but although he appeared to die, he became an immortal. His father tried to kill him again, but that failed as well. Because of Shingo's insanity, he was kept in a cell in the basement of the Kiryu home. Once he was released, he ripped out one of Akiko's eyes. Now, every time he murders someone he sees the last thing that she saw, his own twisted face reaching down to rip her eye out. He believes that killing his sister will make the visions stop, but after a battle with Yuta, Yuta decapitated Akiko. Yuta attempted to do the same with Shingo, but Shingo suffered another vision, realizing he would forever be tormented by his sister's last sight, and he took Yuta's sword and decapitated himself.
- Ayu (アユ, Ayu)
- Ayu is a girl in the mermaid village who took care of Mana. Ayu was next to sacrifice herself. Ayu is a mermaid, but died after spears pierced her body. Yuta found her body and showed it to the old women.
- Mermaids (人魚, Ningyo)
- The flesh of mermaids is reported to give eternal youth. It is also a poison which can cause death, deformity or cause the person to become a Lost Soul or monster. Mermaids mostly live beneath the sea and have a normal lifespan. However, some live on land and are immortal, but they must sometimes eat the flesh of an immortal human to rejuvenate themselves.
The original manga was serialized in Shōnen Sunday Zōkan and Weekly Shōnen Sunday from 1984 to 1994. In total there are 9 stories told in 16 chapters. The first tankōbon volume was Mermaid's Forest, named after the third story within it and published on April 25, 1988. The second tankōbon, Mermaid's Scar, was released on December 19, 1992, without two stories (4 chapters): "Eye of the Demon" and "The Last Face". These stories were not yet released when the book came out. The series was re-released in shinsoban format in 2003, in three volumes with all the stories.
In North America, Mermaid Forest began serialization by Viz Media in Animerica's first issue in November 1992. Rachel Matt Thorn provided the translation. It was published in the first nine issues, and then the rest was published in the comic book format from December 1993 to September 1995. The manga was released in three volumes, Mermaid Forest, Mermaid's Scar and Mermaid's Gaze, from November 1994 to March 8, 1997. Later it was released in four books, simply named Mermaid Saga, from July 14, 2004 to December 22, 2004. In February 2020, Viz Media announced a new three volume release of the manga as Mermaid Saga Collector's Edition.
1st Japanese edition
|No.||Japanese release date||Japanese ISBN|
|1||April 25, 1988||ISBN 4-09-121854-7|
|2||December 19, 1992||ISBN 4-09-121855-5|
1st English edition/2nd Japanese edition
|No.||Title||Japanese release||English release|
|1||Mermaid Forest||October 18, 2003 |
|2||Mermaid's Scar||November 18, 2003 |
|February 5, 1996|
|3||Mermaid's Gaze||December 18, 2003 |
|March 8, 1997|
2nd English edition
|No.||English release date||English ISBN|
|1||July 14, 2004||ISBN 978-1591163367|
|2||September 21, 2004||ISBN 978-1591164845|
|3||November 30, 2004||ISBN 978-1591164838|
|4||December 22, 2004||ISBN 978-1591164821|
Original video animations
The first original video animation (OVA), Mermaid Forest, was released in Japan in August 1991. A subtitled Laserdisc and VHS tape were released in North America by US Manga Corps on March 3, 1993. It was marketed as one of the Rumic World anime (along with Maris the Chojo, Fire Tripper, and Laughing Target).
Anime television series
In 2003 the animation company Tokyo Movie Shinsha produced a 13 episodes TV series based on Takahashi's short stories as part of the Rumic Theater series and it was broadcast on TV Tokyo from October 4 to December 20, 2003. All but Mermaid's Gaze were animated. While closely following the story of the original manga (more so than the OVA versions), many of the violent aspects of the stories were toned down. Only eleven episodes were shown on Japanese TV, with the final two episodes (Mermaid's Scar) released direct to video, allegedly because this particular story was too violent for TV. It was released in North America by Geneon.
|1||"Mermaid Does Not Smile"|
|October 4, 2003|
|In a mountain village, Mana has just turned fifteen. She is cared for and pampered by Baba,[e] an old woman who keeps her shackled in bed. The village is inhabited by identical old and young women who are all mermaids in human form. Meanwhile, Yuta, a young man arrives, looking for a mermaid. He is actually a 500 year old immortal human who became so after eating mermaid flesh. One of the women is chosen by the others to become a mermaid by entering the ocean and she is then sacrificed. Baba feeds her flesh to Mana to make her an immortal human whose flesh will rejuvenate the old women. Yuta learns of their plan and escapes with Mana after explaining her fate. The women try to stop Yuta and Mana from escaping, but they are caught in flooding sea water and revert to their mermaid forms. Baba, who is an immortal human, not a mermaid, decides to stay with the mermaids who are unable to take human form again. As Yuta leaves with Mana, he tells her that life as an immortal isn't all bad, although he still hopes to become mortal again.|
|2||"Village of the Fighting Fish (Part I)"|
|October 11, 2003|
|In a flashback, Yuta recalls meeting Rin, the daughter of the pirate chief of Toba island. Rin's father was gravely ill, so Rin led raiding parties on passing ships, demanding a tenth of their cargo as a toll and sparing the crews. Rin buried Yuta after his body washed ashore following a violent storm. However, Yuta revived and explained that he drowned while mermaid hunting on behalf of Isago, the wife of the Sakagami Island chief who were rivals to Toba Islanders. Isago convinced the chief to use his men to hunt mermaids and Yuta was hired with some other men in a nearby port for the hunt. For a time, Yuta lived and worked with the Toba islanders. One day, Isago saw Yuta and Rin in port. Surprised to see Yuta alive, Isago realized that he was immortal and believed he had access to mermaid flesh. Isago followed them back to Toba and stabbed Rin's father in an attempt to force Yuta into revealing the location of mermaid flesh and stop him from dying. In angry retaliation, Rin slayed Isago.|
|3||"Village of the Fighting Fish (Part II)"|
|October 18, 2003|
|Yuta's recollections of his past continue. Yuta and Rin took a fishing boat and captured a mermaid to save Rin's father. However, the Sakagami islanders followed them and after killing both the mermaid and Yuta, they took Rin to Sakagami. When Rin saw Isago there alive, she realized that Isago was immortal. Isago revealed that she has been pregnant for three years by her previous husband, whom the Sakagami islanders killed. She needed mermaid flesh so she could finally give birth. Meanwhile, Yuta revived and returned to save Rin. The chief and his men alternately fought Yuta and Rin while they ate the mermaid flesh. However, many were poisoned by the mermaid flesh and the survivors, including the chief, became Deformed Ones. Isago told the chief that she too was a mermaid and leaped off a cliff into the ocean. Yuta and Rin thought Isago did so in desperation, but Isago changed into her mermaid form and swam away, trailed by two smaller forms. On Toba, Rin's father recovers from his wound without eating mermaid flesh. Back in the present, Mana asks Yuta how far does the ocean go.|
|4||"Mermaid Forest (Part I)"|
|October 25, 2003|
|Mana is accidentally killed by a truck when she runs onto the road. Old Doctor Shiina tells the police and Yuta that she survived and wandered away, however he takes her corpse to the house of an old woman named Sawa who lives with a young woman called Towa. Shiina prepares to remove Mana's forearm to replace the deformed arm of Towa, but as he begins, Mana revives. Yuta realizes that Shiina lied and tracks him to Sawa's house in Mermaid's Forest, where local legend says a mermaid is buried. Towa commands a Deformed dog to attack and kill Yuta. When Yuta revives, he finds himself chained in a cell in the basement. Towa kills Mana, planning to have Shiina transplant her head onto Mana's body. Meanwhile, Sawa frees Yuta and reveals that she and Towa are identical twins, but when they were young, Sawa gave Towa medicine made of mermaid blood to save her from a terminal illness. The medicine made her ageless, but turned her hand into a Deformed claw and her hair white. Rather than admit his daughter was partially Deformed, their father had told everyone that Towa had died and confined her to the cell in the basement until his death.|
|5||"Mermaid Forest (Part II)"|
|November 1, 2003|
|To save Mana's life, Sawa takes Towa to the mermaid's tomb. Yuta follows and warns Towa that eating mermaid flesh may completely transform her into a Deformed One. Towa says immortality or transformation makes no difference, and tries to force Sawa to eat a piece of mermaid flesh. She explains that when they were young, Sawa desired immortality, but was too afraid to try it herself and experimented on Towa, her identical twin. Towa developed a Deformed hand and remained eternally youthful instead. While Towa was forced to live in confinement, Sawa lived a full life, marrying and having a child. Towa tries to make Sawa eat the mermaid flesh, to become immortal as an old woman or a monster, however Sawa dies of a heart attack, denying Towa her revenge. Towa instructs the others to burn the tomb, the house, and everything in them, including herself. As they watch the fire burn, Shiina reveals that he had tried to convince Towa to elope with him when he was young, but Towa refused, remaining to extract revenge on her sister. Later, Mana reassures Yuta that if they were separated, she would eternally search for him.|
|6||"The End of the Dream"|
|November 8, 2003|
|Yuta and Mana fall off a cliff while chasing a butterfly and both die. A heavily bandaged man, called Big Eyes by nearby villagers, carries Mana to his cave. An old hunter from the village finds Yuta, but Yuta revives during his burial rites. Big Eyes tells Mana that 40 years earlier he lived in a fishing village and ate mermaid flesh. He blacked out, and upon regaining his senses, discovered everyone in his village had been killed. He ran into the mountains and lived alone ever since. Yuta and the hunter find Big Eyes who flees deep into the cave with Mana. There, Mana stumbles upon the skeletons of villagers that Big Eyes has eaten and Big Eyes explains that he still blacks out. The hunter shoots Big Eyes who goes berserk and runs away. Yuta catches and kills Big Eyes. Later, Mana ponders that there are all sorts of Deformed Ones, all sorts of mermaids, and all sorts of Yutas.|
|November 15, 2003|
|While fishing with Mana, Yuta has a flashback to the first year of the Tokugawa shogunate, when he was 120 years old. He recalls an apparently 12-year-old immortal girl called Natsume who works with an old man, whom she calls Pa, who purports to sell mermaid flesh, but it is only fish. An itinerant monk attempts to kill Natsume and cuts off her left arm. Yuta rescues Natsume and carries her back to Pa, who reattaches her severed arm. Later, the monk tells Yuta that after Natsume died, he used a piece of mermaid liver to resurrect her for Pa. The monk has decided to end Natsume's existence because of her need to eat fresh liver to survive, but Pa escapes with her. Yuta doubts destroying Natsume is the right thing to do and offers to take her with him, but the monk attacks Natsume and removes the mermaid liver. When Pa sees what the monk has done, he picks her up and jumps off a cliff. Yuta finds Natsume still alive at the base of the cliff, but she dies in his arms and turns back into bones.|
|8||"The Last Face (Part I)"|
|November 29, 2003|
|Yuta and Mana meet Nanao, a 10-year-old boy carrying a cinerary box who lives with his mother and grandmother. Nanao's grandmother arranges for him to be kidnapped but he escapes and uses family medicine to heal his wounds from the escape. Yuta and Mana take Nanao home, where Nanao's grandmother shows Yuta and Mana a photograph of Nanao's mother, who does not appear be the woman Nanao calls Mother. Alone, Nanao's mother opens the cinerary box, revealing the skin of a scarred woman's face. The next day Mana and Nanao see Nanao's mother enter the cellar, but later the woman from the photo emerges with a bandage on one side of her face. In the cellar, Mana discovers surgical instruments and the skin from the face of Nanao's mother. Meanwhile, Yuta follows Nanao's kidnapper who meets the woman with the bandage covering a scar. Yuta overhears her call him Nanao and him call her Mother but she pushes him over a cliff. The older Nanao explains to Yuta that, 25 years ago, his mother ate mermaid flesh and then eight years ago, his mother, who hadn't aged in 25 years, kidnapped his son who is also called Nanao.|
|9||"The Last Face (Part II)"|
|December 6, 2003|
|Mana discovers the face of Nanao's mother in the cinerary box in the basement. She is suddenly attacked by the scarred woman and manages to escape, but is wounded by an axe. The woman then painfully removes her own face and attaches the one from the box and reappears as Nanao's mother. Yuta concludes that she has eaten mermaid flesh, especially after Mana opens the box and sees the scarred face inside. Yuta realizes that she is the same woman. The woman explains that 25 years earlier, her son Nanao left her to live with his father so she tried to feed him mermaid flesh to stop him ageing, but his grandmother took him to his father. When Nanao had a son, she abducted the boy and brought him up as her own son. She used the face of a dead woman to hide her face which had became scarred from the poison within the mermaid flesh. Desperately she grabs Nanao and tries to force him to eat the flesh, but Yuta stops her. Realizing that she has lost, she leaves, and later the body of a woman is found in a burned-out storehouse.|
|10||"Promised Tomorrow (Part I)"|
|December 13, 2003|
|Yuta takes Mana to visit the grave of the Kogure family grave where 60 years earlier, he knew a kind girl named Nae. Mana then encounters a girl being chases by a man with dogs and intervenes to save her. The girl kills the man with a rock, but Mana is blamed and his associates kill and bury her. Yuta searches for Mana and encounters Sokichi, an old man who was Nae's servant as a boy who says that everyone believed that Nae had left with Yuta, abandoning her fiancee Eijiro. Meanwhile, Mana revives and discovers that Eijiro has kept Nae confined on his estate, looking perpetually young, but without any knowledge of her past. Meanwhile, Yuta is captured by Eijiro's men and knocked unconscious and he calls how Nae told him how a travelling nun left mermaid ashes which Nae used to create the Red Valley, a field of perennially blooming red flowers. When Yuta awakes, Eijiro tells him that he found Nae's body in the Red Valley, and Yuta tells him another version of the story of mermaid ashes in which a villager killed a nun to steal the ashes, but the nun came back to life and killed many of the villagers. Nae kills some of Eijiro's men and leaves with Mana following her. Eijiro orders his men to recapture Nae unharmed but to decapitate Yuta and Mana.|
|11||"Promised Tomorrow (Part II)"|
|December 20, 2003|
|Sokichi helps Yuta escape, and they drive to the Red Valley. He reminds Yuta of a signal of arranged stones Yuta devised with Nae to meet in the Red Valley on the day he was to depart. Yuta denies that he gave the signal and suspects that someone else did. Eijiro and his men catch up with two girls and stabs Nae with his cane sword. He admits that he set the stone signal to test Nae's loyalty to him. When she arrived to leave with Yuta, Eijiro killed her in a jealous rage. Eijiro had planned to revive Nae with the mermaid ashes, but could not find them. He explains that for decades he searched for the ashes, and after finally finding them, he used them to revive Nae's still pristine corpse laying in the Red Valley. Mortally wounded, Nae staggers into in the Red Valley and remembers that Eijiro killed her there. Meanwhile, Yuta and Sokichi have escaped Eijiro's men and Yuta embraces Nae. She finally recalls the events of the past, but she dies in his arms. As Yuta and Mana leave, Yuta asks Mana if she's jealous, but Mana cheekily asks Yuta if jealousy is some kind of dessert.[f]|
|12||"Mermaid's Scar (Part I)"|
|May 19, 2004|
|Yuta and Mana encountera boy called Masato who is traveling from Tokyo to live with his mother. One night two years later, Masato stabs his mother in the chest, then cleans up the murder scene. However, the next morning when the housekeeper Yukie arrives, Masato's mother is alive again. At a nearby seaside a nearby construction site where Yuta and Mana are working, Yuta learns about a mysterious body that washed ashore and how that after Masato's mother died in a boat accident, she came back to life. Later, Masato's mother notices that her chest wound isn't healing and attacks Masato demanding mermaid flesh, but the boy is saved by Yuta. Masato gives Yukie a piece of mermaid flesh, hoping to make her immortal, but she becomes a Deformed instead and attacks Masato and his mother. Yuta arrives in time to kill the monster, but then realizes that it was Yukie. Mana escapes to safety with Masato who leads her to his hiding place. Meanwhile, Masato's mother tells Yuta that the immortal Masato gave her mermaid flesh after a Pacific War bombing raid, making her essentially his immortal captive mother. She ran away, but he found her again from after news of the boat accident. She finally dies from wounds inflicted by the Deformed. In his hideout, Masato suddenly tasers Mana and prepares to kill Yuta.|
|13||"Mermaid's Scar (Part II)"|
|May 19, 2004|
|Masato reveals to his captive Mana that he is going to kill Yuta. Masato returns to the house, where he tricks Yuta into being caught in a booby trap of piano wire which cuts deeply into his neck. Masato explains that he is over 800 years old and recounts how he used mermaid flesh to transform many women into becoming long-lived mothers to him, but they all eventually died. Mana escapes her bonds and arrives to save Yuta just as Masato is in the process of beheading him with an ax. Masato shoots Mana, who as he dies, promises to kill Masato if he shoots Yuta, however she collapses first. Masato sets fire to the house to kill Mana, however, she awakes in time to drag Yuta's corpse from the fire. Masato drives off in his mother's car, but loses control. As a head-on collision with a truck is imminent, he resolves to find his next companion after he comes back to life. Yuta eventually revives and finds Mana crying. Later, he ask Mana why she cried and she replies that it was out of happiness.|
- "Mermaid's Dream" in English release.
- "Mermaid's Promise" in English release.
- "Mermaid's Gaze" in English release.
- "Mermaid's Mask" in English release.
- Nanny in the English dub version
- The Japanese word for "jealous" (yakimochi (焼き餅)) sounds the same as the word for a grilled or broiled mochi, a pounded rice cake
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- Mermaid Forest, Volume 1 - Quest for Death; Region 1 DVD; Geneon [Pioneer]; July 5, 2005.
- Mermaid Forest, Volume 2 - Bitter Flesh; Region 1 DVD; Geneon [Pioneer]; September 20, 2005.
- Mermaid Forest, Volume 3 - Unquenchable Thirst; Region 1 DVD; Geneon [Pioneer]; November 15, 2005.
- Mermaid Forest, Volume 4 - Unending Nightmare; Region 1 DVD; Geneon [Pioneer]; January 3, 2006.