Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Mermaid Music Video: Music - Madonna (2000)

I caught this on VH1 over the weekend - Music by Madonna (2000) has a brief animated sequence where Madonna turns in to a mermaid and swims among purple fish that look like Ali G - The whole video references other Madonna videos - this bit probably a nod towards Cherish - the mermaid then pops up from a wine glass and morphs into Madonna in the American pie outfit.

Review: Mere Passion

Book Review: Mere Passion by Daisy Harris
(Ocean Shifters book 2)

Mermaid Princess Alara is furious that her father has accepted help from the dragon council until she sets eyes on handsome were-sea dragon General Kai Nasu. She seduces the straight-laced virginal general but promises herself that her heart will stay out of the equation: She is in charge of the Islands armed forces and no dragon, no matter how hot is going to challenge her for control. The pair must overcome both race prejudice and their own personal issues of dominance in order to track down the mad scientist who is kidnapping helpless mermaid children to experiment on. To add an extra spanner in the works, it looks increasingly likely that the dragon council is in on the plot and may be sanctioning the research....

Really liked the plot of this - I love the mermaid/dragon dynamic - The mere were once the slaves of the arrogant dragons, and while they are now independent, there is still resentment on both sides. I also like the evil scientist idea - the ship kidnapping paranormals for research.

Characters are so-so - I did like the hunky hero General Kai Nasu and could picture him looking like a proud African warrior. It was a tad unconvincing that he was a virgin, but he was certainly hot, noble and competent - you could easily see why Alara fell for him.

I wasn't as keen on Alara - There wasn't much particularly wrong with her, I just didn't find her that interesting. Still I liked the idea that she was captain of the guard, and stood up for herself.

More interesting was the subplot characters - Graicie the succubus with a conscience and vampire John Karon, Captain of the research ship - What's great about these characters is their flaws. Graicie has to leave John before he feels guilty enough to do the right thing.

There's plenty of mermaid content - our mere have seal like tails that manifest when they hit salt water - And dragons turn into full scale scaled beasts. Really like the image of the mermaid riding on the back of a sea dragon. Sex scenes are fairly hot, but sadly all in human form.

I really enjoyed Mere Passion - a strong story, and the world created here is original and draws in the reader. Decent enough characters, throw in some hot sex and a happily ever after. Everything you could want in an erotic mermaid novel, though not amazing.

verdict 7/10

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Manga Review: Jyunketsu Ningyo

Manga Review: Jyunketsu Ningyo by Mikage Tsubaki

Merman Sango (uke) comes to the landworld to work in a company in order to make money to support his undersea family. He somehow gets promoted to junior secretary to the president Minami (seme). There’s an urgent package that needs delivery within 20 minutes, and there is no way humanly possible to get it there on time. The recipient is the father of Minami’s girlfriend and his engagement rides on it arriving on time. The secretaries are tearing out their hair. Sango finally pipes up that if Minami will trust him, he can get it there in time. The other secretaries scarper and Minami has no choice but to entrust the package to Sango.

Sango packs the item water tight and then swims the channel to the destination, getting it there safely. He returns and passes out at the president’s feet. He wakes naked, in the president’s bed. Minami asks him how he achieved the impossible. If a mer-person tells a lie they turn into bubbles and die. Sango has no choice but to reveal that he is a merman – and shows his fishtail. [We don’t see how he suddenly manifests his tail, but I’ll give this the benefit of the doubt and say he pours a glass of water by the bedside onto his legs]. Minami is both stunned and aroused, never having seen anything so beautiful.
He dries out and is hugely embarrassed to be completely naked... and human, before Minami! Minami wastes no time in seducing the super cute merman. Afterwards, his girlfriend turns up. Minami breaks up with her, but Sango knows that if Minami stays with him, he will never have a normal life and family. He lies and tells Minami he doesn't love him and then goes to the seashore to await the sunrise and his metamorphosis into bubbles. Minami finds him and says that he will never let him go. Sango remains as he is, true lover conquering all... and they live happily ever after.
The second story is a follow on, in which Sango wants to get Minami a present. He swims to the bottom of the ocean and finds a piece of broken glass. While he's gone Minami goes mad, thinking his lover has left him. When he returns, he's at first puzzled by the broken glass, but soon comes to treasure it more than anything because of the thought behind it.
There are several other (non merman) stories in the anthology, the best of which is "Hercules" which deals with a beetle who falls in love with his keeper and wishes to the beetle god to make him human - very similar to the Haru/clam story in "Selfish Mr. Mermaid" - There's another transformation one about an albino snake. "Found love with you" the last story is also really nice, about a boy who kisses his best friend and feels so guilty that he doesn't wait around to see if his feelings are reciprocated. Its only years later he finds out that his friend loves him back.  Worth checking out for yaoi fans but no mermaid content.
Back to our merman story...
The story is really sweet and the characters are great, particularly Sango the merman. Artwork's not bad either, the colour cover and frontispiece are gorgeous. Things move a tad too quickly, being a short and all - I would have liked more explanations - why doesn't Sango turn to bubbles? How does he get his tail in Minami's bed? Also I'd have liked more underwater tail scenes and just more... everything! 
Sex is all in human form and typical yaoi. There is a pretty hot sex scene at the end of the second story as Minami shows Sango just how much he loves him. Thumbs up, there, very nice.
I liked the idea that merpeople can't lie on pain of death, and thought that the broken glass present was such a lovely story idea. The BL version of the little mermaid, with a happy ending, Jyunketsu Ningyo is a worthy addition to the mer-slash genre and definitely one to track down.

Available to read online here

Verdict 7/10

Monday, 20 August 2012

Anime Episode Review: Rosario + Vampire 1.5

Anime Episode Review: Rosario + Vampire 1.5 "School Swimsuits + vampire"

This is the anime adaptation of the mermaid encounter found in test 3 of the manga.

It follows exactly the same plot - Tsukune wants to join the swim club and the president is an evil mermaid who wants him.

It's gorgeous to see this in colour - we get her green hair and orange tail which is a nice reversal of Ariel. And of course their personalities are polar opposite as well.

The anime also makes a little more of the other mermaid members of the team.

So our evil mermaid attacks Tsukune:

Moka dives in to rescue him and the girls fight. Moka turns into her super vamp alter-ego and trounces the mermaid in a mid air fight. Again, really loving the use of colour - the pool become red like blood.

Moka is victorious and we get this nice scene, not seen in the manga, of the defeated mermaid caught in a net. 

Short and sweet. Evil mermaid monster overcome, not much more to say really - except we never see her legs in the anime, she's always in the water.

verdict: 6/10

Manga Review: Rosario + Vampire Volume 1

Manga Review: Rosario + Vampire Volume 1

1st volume of this charming series, follows average student Tsukune who after failing his high school entrance exams for every school in the human world, accidentally gets sent to Yokai Acadamy - a high school for monsters, where he is the only human and must hide the fact. In this volume, Tsukune meets the love of his life, vampire Moka, and her love rival, buxom succubus Kurumu. He fights off a band of killer mermaids, a werewolf and joins the school newspaper club. Fun story, super cute art-work.

Test (chapter) 3: Going clubbing, deals with Tsukune and Moka deciding which extra-curricular school club they want to join. Tsukune wants to join the swim club. He’s ok at swimming and wants to show off to Moka – plus seeing her in a bikini wouldn’t hurt. There are two big problems. Firstly vampires react badly to water because of its purification properties – so Moka can’t even enter the pool. Secondly the club president, Tamao Ichinose is a mermaid who wants to eat him.

The story plays out like all the other encounters in the manga - Tamao attacks Tsukune in the pool.

Moka dives in to save save him, even though it may well be fatal. Tsukune manages to rip the cross from around Moka's neck - she becomes her super vampire alter ego and trounces the mermaid in a mid air fight. One battered evil mermaid gives up and everyone else lives happily to fight another monster.

Evil flesh eating mermaids are reasonably common in Japanese manga. They are women, often depicted with green hair, fluked ears and razor sharp teeth - Here our mermaid can also transform at will into a bikini clad hottie. 
As this is only a very short interlude in the saga, there isn't much mer action, though i do have to give a huge thumbs up for the mid air bitch fight which is really nicely done.

Verdict 5/10

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Sanctuary - Season 4

Sanctuary Season 4  (2011)

Another fun season, although the first half does seem to be a bit of a reboot going back to the first season's episodic format. There are some excellent episodes, most notably the musical episode "Fuge" which is brilliant. Lots of Tesla episodes too (yay!). Sadly again, no mermaid content whatsoever, other than in the title sequence and a couple of mentions in dialogue.

Mermaid Sally gets a brief mention twice: once in episode 4.3, Will says why can't the government official come to do an audit of the sanctuary be satisfied with a simple photo with the mermaid. In episode 4.10 Biggie is brainwashed by the Crixorum, Magnus reveals that she is getting mermaid Sally to help repair the neurological damage. Episode 4.7 references back to episode 1.9 where we had the mermaid massacre caused by a microscopic parasite.

It looks like this is it for Sanctuary and it sadly won't be returning for a 5th season. The board is wide open for fan-fiction however :) 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Mermaid Music Video: Save dat mermaid by the Gothsicles

Mermaid Music Video: Save dat mermaid by the Gothsicles

For all you retro gamers out there.

Mermaid Music Video: I'm on a boat by Lonely Island

Mermaid Music Video: I'm on a boat by Lonely Island feat. T-Pain (2009)

If you can get past all the swearing, there's a mermaid at the end of this one.

Sanctuary - Season 3

I've just finished watching Sanctuary season 3 and wanted to note that despite the same mermaid image in the title credits from last season, there is no mermaid content whatsoever in this season. There aren't even any water based abnormals either. There are some really good episodes such as the Queen of the Damned style one about the resurrection of the vampire queen, and Magnus' part in the Normandy landing (yay Druitt was a Nazi, I knew it!!!). It's also quite heavily plot based dealing with the underground city of Praxus - for a while we completely shift genres and go all sci-fi, which is weird, but kind of fun. Still no mermaids at all. Wonder what season 4 will hold?

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Mermaid Music Video: Jack's Mannequin - The Resolution

Mermaid Music Video: Jack's Mannequin - The Resolution (2008)

Video was written and directed by Twilight author Stephanie Meyer.

Mermaid Music Video - Lady Gaga - You and I

Mermaid Music Video - Lady Gaga - You and I (2011)

Honestly haven't got a clue on this one, there's so much packed in here.

Mermaid Music Video: Mermaid Sashimi - Juan Son

Mermaid Music video -   Mermaid Sashimi by Juan Son (2009)
Really freaky this Mexican pop song tells the story of a mermaid escaping her fate at a sushi restaurant. 

Mermaid Music Video: Madonna - Cherish

Mermaid Music video - Cherish by Madonna (1989). Another childhood favourite.

Mermaid Music Video: Sade - No Ordinary Love

Music video - No Ordinary Love by Sade (1992) - Pop song inspired by The Little Mermaid. Beautiful video. This one always makes me sad.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Mermaid Music video: Dethklok - Murmaider

Had to share this one. It's a metal track about killer mermaids by a band called Dethklok - Murmaider.  Unique!

Review: Hiro's Merman by Daisy Harris

Book Review: Hiro's Merman by Daisy Harris
Urban Merman 2

Following directly on from "Jamie's Merman" this one gives us the romance of one of Jamie's other three flatmates Hiro.

Timid selkie (merman) Deniz is the runt of his pod. He's a rua, the equivalent of a human albino, which means he has red hair and a tail like a Koi carp. Because of his freakish looks and natural submissive tendencies he is the prey of pod alpha Gai who rapes him on a regular basis. Deniz flees to the human world through a portal and instantly falls for half Hawaiian half Japanese, Hiro.

Hiro is a natural top and once he realises Deniz issues with penetrative sex wonders if he can make things work between them. Things finally start to work out when Gai turns up in the mortal world to get Deniz back...

My initial reaction is that this story is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than its predecessor. Thank you! Thank you!

Most of my criticisms of Jamie's merman still hold true here: Misuse of the word selkie, overuse of Christian names, things happening too fast and weird unexplained tail mechanism, Jamie being annoying...

However, the main characters are great. I loved the unusual look of Deniz with his beautiful red hair and fish tail. I liked the dynamic of a natural wanton who suffered trauma after being abused. Hiro wasn't quite so well developed, but sexy dominant Asian workaholic seemed enough to go on.

The plot is enjoyable too, rather simple but works for a novella. Things do move frustratingly fast - I think the whole story takes place within 24 hours and in that time our lovers have overcome all difficulties (such as rape trauma) and fallen madly in love. Plausible this isn't - I know that this is a story about gay mermen so realism isn't its strong point, but even so things happen way to fast.

Again I raise an eyebrow at the cover - Deniz is such a unique looking character with his long red hair that I'd love to see him done justice on the cover - which if it didn't have the word merman written on it I would take to be a contemporary city based gay romance. Still they do say never judge a book by its cover.

The sex is hot and we do get some sex toy play as Hiro takes his lover to a private bathhouse that caters to gay clientele. From a mer point of view the sex is not that interesting - tail splits and our merman gets legs. The tail remains attached at the waist and seems to act as I would imagine a monkey's tail might - which is confusing when in some scenes its described as a sari and has to be bunched at the waist.

Our couple seem perfectly suited to their roles and I did rather like the scene where Hiro loves Deniz so much he lets the merman top him but being naturally submissive, Deniz turns things round so that he can be dominated. The scene isn't given much emotional depth, but its still enjoyable.

In Hiro's merman we have a sexy merman erotic novel. The sex is hot, the merman has a tail, the story works and the two leads are pretty yummy. You could do much worse.

Verdict: 4/10

Review: Jamie's Merman by Daisy Harris

Book Review: Jamie's Merman by Daisy Harris (2012)
Urban Mermen book 1

After Daisy Harris' rather good mermaid/were-seadragon romance  "Mere Temptation" I had high hopes for her urban mermen series - erotic merman slash. Hunky mermen, red hot slash, where's the bad? Sadly I was rather disappointed with Jamie's Merman.

Marin is the only gay merman (selkie) in his pod. He's mated to mermaid Sally, but can't perform so he travels to the human realm to find a lover more to his taste. As soon as he meets slutty young barman Jamie he knows he's lucked out. He takes Jamie home, but Sally thinks it's for a threesome. Jamie leaves and goes back home. Marin talks to Sally and realises that she doesn't particularly want him either so they both travel to the human world. Marin convinces Jamie that he wants a one on one exclusive relationship and Sally hooks up with Dave, Jamie's only straight flatmate.

Talk about moving fast! Dave and Sally are in bed within minutes of making eye contact. I know this is only a 73 page novella, but really! Our main lovers aren't much better, making love on first meeting and they declare their love for each other after what? a day? two? not long anyway. When Marin first boards Jamie's boat, Jamie thinks he's in costume, and by the next chapter he's fully accepted the existence of mermen. It's all too fast. Real people don't react like that.

Other niggles: The misuse of the term selkie. Marin is a merman complete with fish tail. Selkie - seal shapeshifter. OK we do get the tail becoming a kind of skin, and our merfok do live in pods, but I felt that merman would have been perfectly adequate - they aren't selkies as they are in folklore.

The writing itself isn't great. Very heavy on the use of christian names. I know it's hard in the m/m genre to differentiate between lovers. In a straight romance you can use he and she, but in the m/m genre he and he can become confusing, however using three christian names in one sentence is excessive. Here's a sentence I've just spotted flicking through at random:  "Jamie tried to clench around him, every fibre of Jamie fought the way Marin held him open."  - very name heavy which is clumsy and  sadly detracts from the eroticism of the scene.

The mechanics of the tail are a bit weird, inconsistent or not developed enough. It splits to reveal legs, but stays connected at the waist to look a bit like a sari in some scenes and a thong in others - I think it can also move I'm presuming a bit like a monkey's prehensile tail - never quite clear how that works. Also in one scene we get a split for the penis - great for underwater sex scenes - though never used as we then move into the tail splitting to become cloth like leading to human form sex.

Characters are so so. Marin is a perfectly respectable hero for this type of story. I like how he's totally clueless to Sally thinking he was going to find a lover for them both to share. He's hunky and I like the chameleon change hair and skin. I wasn't so keen on Jamie. He's a bossy little thing, bit too dominant for a bottom. As he describes himself in the next volume he's "complicated" and they switch roles - which is fine but if that's the route its going much more character development is needed. This is a weird one - for the story as it stands it would work better if Jamie was less complicated, yet I think he's rather interesting and would suit a longer story.

Things I did like. It's a novel about gay mermen, with proper fish tails. Check. It's reasonably erotic to boot, although there does seem to be a far too high percentage of sex to story - things move way to fast. I like the fact that the selkies can only stay out of water for a very short time and get landsick. It's a nice lite romance with a happy ending, even if that ending is a bit too convenient.

To conclude, I love the fact that Jamie's Merman exists, hurrah for merman slash! It's also fairly hot, but let down by the characters, writing style and plot. The cover is a bit of an eyebrow raiser too, talk about blatant and certainly didn't fit my picture of the characters.

Available in hard-copy with its sequel "Hiro's Merman" published under the title "Urban Mermen"

Verdict: 3/10

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Review: Sanctuary Season 2

TV Review: Sanctuary Season 2 (2009)

As seen from season 1, the basic premise of Sanctuary is simple - A team of heroes, led by Dr. Helen Magnus have a series of "sanctuaries" based all over the world to protect and house all manner of supernatural entities - this both protects the abnormals from being killed and protects the human population from the dangerous ones. Season 2 moves away from the simple creature of the week formula to actually have a season story arc, and we also lose the annoying Ashley and replace her with tough-talking thief Kate Freelander. Both good moves.

There is hardly any mermaid content in this season, despite the mermaid image still appearing in the title credits. Sally the resident mermaid makes a brief appearance in episode 9: "Penance" - Stargate's Michael Shanks plays Jimmy, a thief who is wanted by the local mob. The mob take Will prisoner and force Magnus to trade - she outwits them by getting Sally the mermaid to send a mental projection of Jimmy (like a hologram) so they think she's made the trade but really hasn't. We see Sally for a brief flash and this is her only appearance in this season.

The use of the mermaid in this episode is pretty insane. Since the plot has nothing to do with water. The previous episode 2.8: "Next Tuesday" is a water-based episode in which a helicopter crashes in the middle of an oil rig and becomes the platform for a battle between a giant squid and a giant scorpion. Magnus and Will are stranded and it seemed to me an ideal opportunity to bring in our resident mermaid, or some other helpful merfolk but are there mermaids anywhere to be seen, are they heck? The whole squid episode makes very little sense (why would squid and scorpions be mortal enemies anyway? What with one living under the sea and the other being land dwelling.) The McGyver style plans like ripping out the helicopter's wiring to create a radio antenna and using a blowtorch to try and sever the cables holding the  helicopter (still with a tank full of fuel BTW) are equally WTF??? Still the squid vs scorpion battle on giant suspended helicopter is visually pretty damn cool.

The other episode with a water-based plot is the season finale "Kali" - This story spans the last two episodes of season 2 and the first of season 3. Despite it again not featuring mermaids, it is by far my favourite Sanctuary story I've seen thus far. Kali is a giant sea spider with the ability to move tectonic plates.  She is controlled by a priest who hosts a tiny spider in his body. The priest sees her not as a spider but as a beautiful goddess (Sahar Biniaz). The tiny spider gets into Will but then is forcibly removed by the villain, great cameo by the wonderful Callum Blue.

Kali starts sending out magnetic pulses which create tidal waves that will destroy most of India. Will, who still has a connection to Kali has to dance for the goddesses approval - yup full Bollywood with backing dancers. He pleases her and she agrees to stop the destruction when one of the other sanctuary heads decides to send depth charges at the spider, which angers her and causes widespread devastation.

We've seen all manner of evil sea goddesses, from Ursula in the Little Mermaid to Uxía Cambarro in Dagon, until Kali though, I'd never seen an underwater goddess spider.  My experience of depictions of the Hindu goddess Kali are pretty much limited to The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - two childhood favourites. Though very different in Sanctuary, and not drawing on any myth I'm familiar with, I thought her portrayal was fantastic! We see her goddess persona in a dreamscape pool and the reflection on the water gives her multiple arms. I was just going yes! yes!

Ok, she doesn't have a fish tail, but - stunning much! And a shirtless Will doesn't hurt this scene much either <g>

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised with Sanctuary Season 2 - It's taken some really unusual directions. While I am disappointed that there hasn't been more mermaid content, I must applaud the decision to focus more on plot arc. Also I don't think mermaid fans will be too upset over the portrayal of Kali here - she is an ancient sea goddess and I love the dual aspect, of sexy siren and giant spider. Highly original.

verdict 7/10

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Review: Selfish Mr. Mermaid volume 2

Review: Selfish Mr. Mermaid volume 2 (of 2) by Nabaka Kamo
[Aka: Wagamana na Ningyosama]

This is a series of short vignettes following characters and set up from the first volume.

First of we have the continuing love story of the clam who became human because he fell in love with merman Haru. This is definitely the main reason to read this series, the clam story arc and artwork are both so damn cute!!! Pito (uke), the clam boy has no voice and just like the little mermaid faces a cold lover (seme) who cannot understand him. Haru tells him of this mystical aquamarine and Pito goes in search of it in the hopes to make his beloved happy.

We meet a couple of new characters in the next story: Lord Amur and his beautiful servant Meiki. Lord Amur is arrogant, over-sexed and bored. We meet him in the previous story where he's seen Pito in his crystal ball and wants to add him to his harem. Pito refuses. No Amur has realised that he's in love with his servant, the only man to refuse him. He gives up drinking and smoking and even ditches his harem to prove his sincerity and eventually Meiki succumbs. Amur is probably my favourite character in the whole series, he's just such a charming bastard! The artwork on him is quite nice as well, with his flowing black hair and gypsy like earrings and headscarf. Total hedonist. Meiki knows just how to handle Amur however and will only sleep with him out of hours - ie: when he's not working, keeping his 2 personas (servant and lover) separate, much to Amur's annoyance.

In the third story we see the results of Amur's dissatisfaction.Totally bored, what with Meiki working, and having given up all of his vices, Amur remembers Pito and decides to stir up a little trouble. Pito is with Kanan, the two uke's now firm friends, whilst Kaioh and Haru give each other death stares in the background. Amur creates a whirlpool and transports Kaioh, Haru and Kanan into the middle of the desert, leaving the poor clam boy all alone. He tells Amur he hates him and runs off to try and find his friends, leaving Amur annoyed that he's not getting enough fun.

The two mermen do not fair well in the desert. Kaioh collapses and Kanan saves him by soaking his shirt in an oasis and bringing back water. Revived they head home. Meanwhile Amur causes more mischief by burying Pito under a rockfall. He demands Haru beg for his lover's life. Haru is just about to humble himself when Kaioh smashes the rocks and rescues Pito, to Haru's eternal gratitude. Everybody returns home to jump into bed with their respective lovers and live happily ever after.

There's a tiny bonus story about a merman called Izumi who hasn't been able to reveal the fact that he's a merman to his human lover.  The twist is that Sota already suspected and was just waiting for Izumi to tell him.

I much preferred this volume to the first. There's far more going on - lots of different stories and characters, and I must say that I also thought that the artwork was better too, more detailed. We get some larger than life characters, especially Lord Amur and the canny Meiki. I was pleased that the action moved away from Kanan and Kaioh, although there are still many scenes with them in - the scene where Kanan saves his lover by bringing him water is particularly nice. Also loved the comic interaction between rivals Haru and Kaioh.

This still lacks mer content however. No tails and no particular reason that this could be set on dry land. I can find any scans of this one online, but hard copies are available from Jun Manga.

verdict: 4/10

Friday, 3 August 2012

Review: Selfish Mr. Mermaid volume 1

Review: Selfish Mr. Mermaid volume 1 (of 2) by Nabaka Kamo
[Aka: Wagamana na Ningyosama]

Timid crybaby Kanan (Uke) comes home from work to find his bathroom flooded by the flat upstairs. Going upstairs to investigate he finds a male mermaid asleep in the bathtub. Kaioh (Seme) is the son of the king of the sea and is currently living on land to better interact with humans. As soon as he meets Kanan he decides to move in with him since the downstairs flat has a bigger bathtub! The pair become lovers and after an idyllic honeymoon period mostly spent in bed, Kaioh has to return home for his father's birthday and takes Kanan with him.

Haru, the boy Kaioh bullied as a child sees how attached the prince is to his cute human lover. He kidnaps Kanan and forces Kaioh to fight him a a duel. He fights dirty and tricks Kaioh into leaping into the water to rescue Kanan, and has a giant clam ready to ensnare his tormentor. Kaioh has true love on his side and escapes the clam. He's about to kill Haru, but Kanan pleads for mercy and Kaioh indulges him. Kaioh rescues Kanan and drags him off to bed to be ravished happily ever after....

There's a bonus story about Haru's fate. Bullied as a child Haru sought refuge in a deserted area of the ocean - he discovers a giant clam also hiding and the pair become friends. The clam becomes his best friend to whom he recounts all his woes. Yup - this is the same clam who detains Kaoih in the fight. Haru goes back to his friend to seek comfort after losing to Kaioh again. At first he's angry at the clam for letting Kaioh go, but he quickly realises that it's because he is still too weak. The clam sheds silent tears for his friend and desperately wishes for arms so that he can comfort Haru. Magically he is transformed into a human and Haru is confronted by a beautiful stranger suddenly embracing him...

I confess to being quite disappointed with Selfish Mr. Mermaid. I'm not too keen on the artwork or the characters, didn't find the main story particularly interesting and thought that there wasn't enough mer content. The best part for me is the bonus story about Haru which is really sweet and the artwork is more chibi - Haru as a child, BESM style is really cute. And there is the odd panel that's really sweet like the one where Kaioh carries off Kanan in fish patterned PJs.

Kanan/Kaioh are the archetypal uke/seme but they aren't particularly likable. Kaioh, as the "Selfish Mr. Mermaid" title suggests is a bully and Kanan cries all the time. The pairing is sweet enough but it really is a textbook example of a yaoi pairing and isn't interesting. There's a great deal of sex, particularly considering the length of the volume but again it's not that interesting or amazingly erotic. It has its moments, but its not very varied and all in human form.

None of the mermaids have tails (booooo!) and there is a distinct lack of mermaid content - Other than the underwater setting  and the odd detail, this could quite happily have been a contemporary human story. I also found it weird that the term "mermaid" is used rather than "merman."

Things/innovations that I did like: Mermaids tears turn into pearls which they sell in order to make money. A bathtub can be used as portal between the underwater world and our own - they jump into the bathtub to get to the undersea kingdom and we imagine that's how Kaioh arrived as well. There's also a nice nod to "Mermaid Forest" when Kaioh teases Kanan that a human can obtain eternal youth an immortality by consuming mermaid flesh.

It's a real shame that this is the most accessible merman manga available to western audiences as it's really not the best in the genre and doesn't even have proper tails.

Verdict: 3/10

You can read it for free here: