Selfish Mr. Mermaid 1

June 5, 2008

If you’ve noticed, I’ve kind of cut way back on BL after I realized most of it just wasn’t my thing. I like to pick up the occasional volume if it sounds particularly good or particularly cracked out, and this one fit nicely in the latter category.

One of my other problems is that I hate pairs that involve underage boys, and I bought this one based on the hilarious-sounding plot despite the fact I thought initially that the weaker character was young. I was very relieved when I found out he was an office worker that was just drawn to look like he was young, which was still kind of weird, but it still made me more comfortable. I could go into a long explanation at this point about this, but I won’t.

The hilarious-sounding plot that won me over is priceless. The main character comes home to find his apartment flooded, and this is because his upstairs neighbor left the water running in his bathtub and let it spill all over the floor. After the neighbor is evicted, he moves in with the main character, saying he is a mermaid and basically takes up residence most of the time in his bathtub. He is the surliest mermaid I’ve ever seen, and their relationship is totally ridiculous and nonsensical (lots of fanservice where the main character bursts into tears after gruff remarks from the mermaid or cries from worrying about the mermaid, the mermaid of course fixes this by… well, having really vague sex with him).

Past the good premise, the rest of the volume was very shallow, and didn’t nearly live up to the hilarity of the plot. There’s a longer story towards the end about the mermaid being a prince of the underwater kingdom or something, and the main character is kidnapped and held by the mermaid’s rival and there’s a fight to get him back (which involves both a lovestruck giant clam and a hilarious panel of the main character being hauled around by a badly-drawn shark by the back of his suit jacket), but this isn’t all that interesting. I also didn’t like the characters. They were very shallow, and I suppose you were just supposed to infer “seme” and “uke” personalities onto them. The side story at the end of the volume about the rival mermaid and the giant clam was very cute, though. There was a sex scene in nearly every chapter if that’s your thing, but they were the kind of sex scenes with really vague panels where it’s not entirely clear what’s going on. Maybe there’s some sort of BL vernacular to these scenes that I miss out on.

Most disappointing of all was the fact that the mermaids (or mermen, I suppose) didn’t get their fins when they were swimming around, they were always drawn with legs. Part of me wonders if this is to avoid any awkward scenes involving… well, what happens to the penis during this transformation.

Anyway, as much as I liked the premise, the short stories were pretty shallow, as were the characters, and it just didn’t live up to my hopes. Oh well. I’m glad I read it anyway.

4 Responses to “Selfish Mr. Mermaid 1”

  1. jun Says:

    That sounds kind of spectacularly bad. I have a decent chunk of BL, but I’d much rather have a good plot and likeable characters than anything else. I need to read what I’ve got, but I hardly buy anything new any more.

  2. Connie Says:

    I have to admit, it was bad. It’s stuff like this that tends to give me a bad taste in my mouth about BL, as much as I liked the basic premise of this one. Not that I don’t read a ton of other bad manga, but I just seem to come up with duds a lot whenever I try a BL series.

  3. jun Says:

    One author (aside from Fumi Yoshinaga) that I see often praised for good character work is Yugi Yamada. I have a few of hers (unread, of course) but all look interesting.

  4. Connie Says:

    Bah, I’m at work at the moment and can’t check to see what she’s done. Thanks for the tip though, I’ll have to look into her.

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