Ningyo no Mori (Mermaid Forest) Anime Review

Reading Time: 5 minutes

While I was searching for a new anime to watch, I thought that I should watch a really really old anime for a change. An easy to binge-watch anime. I was able to find one in my “SOON TO BE WATCHED” collection. “Ningyo no Mori” or ‘Mermaid Forest’, an old anime that I had forgotten it even existed in my collection. I pretty much forgot how I got a copy of this old one.

So, I watched it, and surprise, surprise, I actually liked it. XD


Type: TV
Episodes: 13
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 5, 2003 to Dec 21, 2003
Premiered: Fall 2003
Studios: TMS Entertainment
Source: Manga
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: R – 17+ (violence & profanity)
According to an ancient legend, mermaid’s flesh can grant immortality if eaten. 500 years ago, Yuta unknowingly ate a piece of mermaid’s flesh. For centuries, he travels across Japan, hoping to find a mermaid, thinking she may be able to make him a normal human again. When he finally finds one, he discovers that she and her companions have been raising a girl to be their food so they can eat her and take on her youthful looks. That is how mermaids stay young. Yuta kills the mermaids and rescues her, but she has already eaten some of the mermaid’s flesh. Although he had to kill the mermaids, Yuta isn’t too disappointed. Yuta’s once lonely existence is now over, as he has found a companion in Mana. And Mana, who had been trapped in a small hut her whole life, finds delight in even the simplest of things. Together, Yuta and Mana attempt to seek out more mermaids, trying to become normal humans again. (MAL)

My Thoughts:

Okay. Before I start sharing my thoughts about this series, let me share to you that I really didn’t research ahead of time anything about this series. So I never knew that the creator of the famous and widely known manga/anime Ranma 1/2 & Inuyasha, Rumiko Takahashi, also created this one. Amazing!!! I thought that the similar art style was only a coincidence, but bruh, it was not. I will discuss more on that later on. First, I need to talk about the premise.

The premise made me watch the series. Mermaid? eating flesh? hell yes! It was intriguing and very interesting. Pretty much, the story follows the adventure of Yuta and Mana as they travel to find clues about mermaids, & immortality so that they could be cured. Its pretty simple, and the anime delivered the story well. It was well thought out and well-paced. Some episodes needed a lot of time to flesh out their respective stories so they were given 2 episodes, while some shorter ones were only given 1 episodes. The last story in the anime was indeed a good choice to end the series. It had enough impact to make me eager to know how everything would turn out in the end. The ending turn out to be what I had expected. I’m satisfied.



ningyonomoriss3.pngI did find some weird and absurd plot holes from the series. There were some stories from the anime that made me go “wut?” cuz it didn’t make sense to me at all. I don’t want to spoil it, so I will be very vague. There were some reasonings and explanations to some events and happenings that doesn’t make sense. But, if you not think about it too much and just accept it for what it is, its quite understandable and easy to disregard. Its an anime after all. Logic is always thrown out in the window. Lol.

The main characters were really likeable. Yuta was really cool guy. He was really strong and protects the people he cares about. I did find Mana a bit annoying in the first episode, but she redeemed herself in the later episodes. She was innocent and naive cuz of her upbringing, but she became capable, strong, and be able to stand on her own feet. Though there were times she needed Yuta to save her, she sometimes do the unpredictable and save Yuta instead. Both were really amazing characters.




Now, for the art and animation. Rumiko Takahashi art style had always been familiar to me as I had been exposed to her works all my life. Since young, I had seen both Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha again and again, to a point I even memorise some episodes. Right now, I am following her newest work, Kyoukai no Rinne. Anyway, back to the anime. Ningyo no mori had Rumiko Takahashi painted all over it. From the face to the shape of the body, its definitely Rumiko Takahashi’s work. I also find this anime a lot darker compared to other Rumiko Takahashi’s works. It’s quite understandable, after all the series tackles a different vibe and had a darker premise. Inuyasha was close, but nah. For the animation, in fairness, the anime was very consistent and it aged well. The anime was released last 2003 and the series definitely looked like an anime from the early 2000’s.

Oh! I also wanted to point out the funny scenes. For a very serious anime, the comedy timing was really good. It wasn’t too much  and it fits well with the anime. From the dialogue to the animation, the funny scenes were on point. XD



Overall, the series was a gem. I didn’t expected myself to enjoy this anime. I was expecting to roast this one but nah, it was better than I expected. Definitely worth a try.

That is all.

Thanks for reading.


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  1. Permalink

    Wow! I can’t believe somebody watched this. I watched it back when I was just getting into anime, and being a fan of Inuyasha and thinking that eating mermaid flesh was cool, I naturally gave it a try. Perhaps I was too young back then (14, maybe), but I couldn’t quite get into the narrative and dropped it at 5eps. I found the arcs repetitive already at only that many episodes, and didn’t think it was as edgy as the premise promised. Perhaps I’ll pick it up again. Absolutely loved the OP!

    1. Permalink

      Ooohohoho…I didn’t expect someone else watched this XD
      The arcs do follow the typical storytelling pattern, but each story is quite interesting. :3
      I hope you enjoy 😀

  2. Permalink

    oh, i didn’t know rumiko did this. I love this anime. it’s dark, a reason why i never thought ranma’s author did this. the whole eating mermaid flesh thing is so inspired. i think my fave is the little boy and his psychotic story.


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