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Seto no Hanayome: First Impressions

A show summary.

Yes, I know. I’m a latecomer to this show, a very late comer, and I only picked it up because I read other reviews which hailed it as the funniest show of recent vintage. Since the release rate of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei has been slow lately in English, I needed another pick-me-up and wanted to see whether it fit the bill. It does.

I’m surprised there are not one but two shows featuring mermaids in this season–Umisho this season, and this one, which continued from the spring. The mermaid aspect in this show is a lot more prominent, though, and what’s more, they actually make use of some of the less pleasant aspects of the real mermaid legends–the capriciousness, the turning-into-foam business, which was present in the uncensored version of The Little Mermaid. Not that this is a dark or serious show. No way. Instead, the mermaid clan is essentially a Yakuza family. With a typical overprotective dad. At times, this feels like the Japanese version of Meet the Parents.

Which is an apt analogy in a way since te plot point of this first episode is a contracted marriage. We’ve seen this before in anime, of course–can anyone say Ranma?–though it seems this couple gets off to a much better start than Akane and Ranma did. Here the parents actually completely steal the show from their kids, which goes against anime type–they are the ones committing the slapstick, the slapping, the hilarious over-the-top childishness…and crushing on bad boys.

I’d watch a show just with them in it, mermaids and boys be damned. They’re just props for the parents to go insane.

I can’t believe I missed this show. I’m downloading more episodes as I write this. Screw Hayate–this looks like a more reliable barrel of laughs!

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