“This Boy Caught a Merman” is a fantasy film. Shima is a young man who has just recently lost his grandpa. When his favorite photo of him falls into the ocean, he jumps in to save it, only to nearly drown. He is saved by a mysterious being, who turns out to be a merman. Soon, the merman promises to stay with Shima for as long as he needs him. So Shima decides to take him home and names him Isaki. Isaki has to keep a low profile, but living with him isn’t all that bad. However, Shima’s insecurities about being a perfect person and his parents’ divorce still haunt him. Complicating things is the fact that they’re falling in love with each other. Will they be able to make their relationship work?
It’s pretty surprising that there aren’t any references to the fairy tale “The Little Mermaid”, considering that Japan loves it. The animation retains the same level of quirky fun that “This Boy Can Fight Aliens” had. This is a much more blatantly obvious yaoi story with both its strengths and weakness, so viewers who don’t like yaoi may want to avoid this anime. It seems a little odd for Isaki not to have a name at first, considering that he never explicitly says that mermaids don’t have names. It would have made more sense if he was called Isaki because Shima couldn’t actually pronounce his real name. It also would have been nice to find out why Isaki came to Japan. Was he the last of his kind and was desperately looking for companionship. It would have been cool to find out what mermaids are like biologically and mentally in this film. Luckily, they do get a happy ending, through the stakes probably should have been higher. This is a solid film for Honolulu anime fans.
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