Everyone wants to live forever, right? The manga Mermaid Saga centers around immortality and its terrible consequences, and the people who get caught up in it.
In this manga, eating mermaid’s flesh will grant you immortality(groan… I don’t even eat fish). Inversely, mermaids can return to their youthful look if they eat the flesh of anyone who’s eaten their flesh. Confusing? Well, turning into an immortal isn’t for everyone, because there’s a poison in the mermaid’s flesh, and only a handful survive after eating with their former selves intact. The other lucky ones just die, but others transform into walking humanoid fish creatures.
Our hero ate the mermaid’s flesh a long time ago, and is in the present day searching for mermaids since he was told that if he meet another mermaid, he can turn back into a mortal again(fool!). In the first chapter of the manga, he goes into a secluded island where there’s a beautiful young lady being taken care of lots of other ladies. Turns out, she ate the mermaid’s flesh, and the ladies who are taking care of her are mermaids and are waiting for the time to eat her flesh so that they can be youthful again. The hero finds out, gets the beautiful lady, and escapes the island. Oh, they also stab and kill some mermaids on the way.
The manga’s story is told in a loose anthology fashion. The hero and the young lady he escaped with either face people who want to eat mermaids flesh, or those who are immortals just like them. There is also a chapter set in the past of the hero’s life. Everything doesn’t end well for everyone except the hero and the young lady.
The art style is done by the mangaka of Ranma 1/2, and I just learned of that fact after finishing reading the thing. So that’s why the art is familiar. The story is dark, certainly not for kids, and if you thought just because this one’s about mermaids that it’s aimed at women, it isn’t. Disembowlments, decapitation, suicide, even skinning appear on this manga. There’s even an evil kid thrown in for good measure. Also, the immortals don’t die unless they get burned or get decapitated, so don’t be shocked if you see one of the main characters get killed then see them come back to life again.
I’m not really sure what to say about this one, but it isn’t certainly bad. It’s just the story lines aren’t that original, but for what it is(mermaid themed horror stories), it is pretty good.
(This review covers the whole Mermaid Saga manga.)