Seto no Hanayome – Anime Review

The Essentials

Seto no HanayomeName: Seto no Hanayome
Genre: Comedy, Action, Romance
Episodes: 26
Released: April 1, 2007 – September 30, 2007
Based On: Seto no Hanayome manga by Tahiko Kimura
Director: Seiji Kishi
Produced By: avex, AIC, Gonzo
US Distribution By: N/A

Major Japanese Cast

Nagasumi: Takahiro Mizushima
San: Halko Momoi
Luna: Sakura Nogawa
Gouzaburou: Kenta Miyake
Maki: Natsuko Kuwatani
Mawari: Rika Morinaga
Saru: Masashi Yabe
Kai: Daisuke Ono
Masa: Katsuki Murase
Luna’s father: Tesshô Genda
Ren: Makiko Nabei

Major English Cast

N/A

Scores

Animation: 7/10 (x 4 = 28 pts)
Story: 6/10 (x 4 = 24 pts)
Music: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: 7/10 (x 2 = 14 pts)
English Dubs: N/A
Gut Score: 4/10 (x 5 = 20 pts)

Total: 118/190 (62.1%)

Review

Seto no Hanayome is about a boy, Nagasumi, who gets saved from drowning by a mermaid named San Seto during his vacation to the beach. However, mermaid law dictates that if a human ever sees a mermaid, either both must be killed or the two must marry. Obviously, Nagasumi and San chose the marriage route. Unfortunately for Nagasumi, San is the daughter of the boss of the Seto group – a very powerful and ruthless mermaid organization. On top of this, San’s father hardly approves of San’s and Nagasumi’s engagement.

Soon it’s time for Nagasumi to go home, and San decides to go with him. However, San’s father is able to pull some strings with the Ministry of Education and is able to replace all the teachers at Nagasumi’s school with members of the Seto Group. On top of this, San’s childhood friend and rival, Luna, who is now a pop idol, decides to show up to make Nagasumi her servant in order to “beat” San. Also, Kai, the richest boy in the mermaid world, shows up to try to convince San to take his hand in marriage instead of Nagasumi’s. All of this entangles Nagasumi in the mermaid world, much to his disadvantage.

When an anime series has me face-palming through 2/3 of the episodes instead of laughing, you know that the show isn’t going very well, but unfortunately that’s exactly what happened when I watched Seto no Hanayome.  The premise of the show isn’t necessarily all that bad, but the execution of that premise certainly leaves a lot to be desired.

The biggest issue I had with Seto no Hanayome was the fact that the episodes seemed to be consistently over the top – and not just a little but often way, way, WAY over the top – which just made the series feel more stupid than funny to me. Watching Seto no Hanayome is probably the closest I have ever gotten to actually dropping a series half-way through – something which I pretty much never do. All of this isn’t a good sign for a series which otherwise has little to no central plot that is being followed other than the repetitious exploits of Luna, Kai, and San’s father.  The series also has issues with episodes having dues ex machina endings usually involving some previously unknown mermaid power.

The entire series can probably be personified by one of it’s most ridiculous characters – Saru – who spends the entire series looking like, and largely acting like, a monkey, but who occasionally appears dressed as some master sage delving out largely nonsense advice to Nagasumi, while one of the characters summed up my feelings for this series in the final episode by crying out “This is absurd!”

The animation style (or styles, really, in this case) didn’t really impress me overall.  While switching between style can work if you pull it off well, I think Seto does it to an almost excessive degree which was more distracting that funny to me, and eventually got on my nerves.  The music also seemed about average, though the credit songs and some insert songs were OK.

If you like completely random and (way) over the top humor, then you might enjoy Seto no Hanayome. However, if you like your humor to be even marginally grounded and/or want a show with any sort of plot, you’d be better to pass on this.

First Watched: May – September 2007
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: No

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