Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Vol. #06 (Mania.com)

By:Robert Harris
Review Date: Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Release Date: Tuesday, July 31, 2007

From the mouths of mermaids comes the dirge that signals the coming of the end and the final destruction of this world.

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist: Pink Hanamori
Translated by: N/A
Adapted by: N/A

What They Say
Lucia and the five other mermaid princesses have witnessed the rise of a tyrant, Michel, who wishes to transform the world into his twisted image - and it will take more attack power than the princesses possess to stop him! But Kaito, Lucia's true love, is stuck in a self-made prison of guilt - and the seventh princess has yet to be born. Without the united forces of all seven princesses, and with their allies missing in action, how can Lucia and her friends hope to save the world? This volume chronicles the climax of the Pichi Pichi Pitch series!

The Review
Content:

I'm going to make a concerted effort to avoid any fantastical hyperbole in this review. I usually don't mind dabbling, and from time to time I've gleefully indulged, but I want to really be taken seriously here. Because Mermaid Melody is not a very good series, and this volume was particularly offensive, so you need to understand what I say is how I honestly feel and not an attempt to elicit chuckles from you, the reader. The laughs may or may not come, but if they do they will arise from the fertile soil of truth and not the sod farm of fanciful exaggerations. So to begin the review proper, I'd like to say that volume six of Mermaid Melody Pitchi Pitchi Pitch made me feel like it was punishing me for some slight; real or imagined, past or future, I'm not sure, but I'd have preferred it if they had sent Judge Dredd after me and been done with it.

It's hard to pick one aspect in particular out of the collective trainwreck that is every panel between the front and back covers, but I'll try as best I can. Firstly, all of the other problems the series has had thus far - unlikeable characters, quicksilver motivation changes (often directly opposed to their previous decisions), pacing that manages to be both too fast and too slow, an absurd story; these are all still alive and well here, some more strongly than ever. What I believe exacerbates these flaws is that the volume is mammoth at 230 pages, and with absolutely zero narrative ebb and flow, there's never a break from the assault.

The author seems to lack any sense of drama. She feels that in this part, there should be a moment where the heroine is in danger, and the hero risks his life to save her. So what happens is that Lucia slips on a railing, and Kaito catches her. She then tells him that she can't be saved, and to go on without her. What's offensive about this scenario is not so much that we've seen it in a million other series word for word - after all, anime and manga, on the whole, shy away from originality as though it's a poisonous shark - but that, immediately after Kaito tells her he's not going to leave her, he simply lifts her to safety. The entire exchange lasts for a page and a half, and if you happened to zone out while reading - which I would completely understand - you would miss the entire thing. This is not an isolated incident, as essentially every single dramatic encounter gets the exact same amount of attention, which is to say, none. There's never any build up to events, aside from kind of a macro-level ascension of the overall story towards an inevitable conclusion, while all the character interactions seem like afterthoughts thrown in to pad the journey from point A to point B.

Yet somehow the volume is 230 pages, which I continually tried to wrap my head around to no avail. Let me not gloss over the writing either - and while I often find it difficult to pinpoint whether the translation team or the original source is to blame, in this particular situation I really have a feeling it's the latter. With lines like (and I'm not making this up), "If I am a monster, then you are calling the heart of your sister which resides in me a monster as well!" Just let that sentence flow over you for a moment, and try to imagine an entire volume packed full of similar gems. The writing throughout is beyond childish, and I would say roughly 60 percent of it reads as though it was generated by a cliche generator. It may be the tritest thing I've ever seen, which is no small feat in this information age of high school authors, stay at home playwrights and enough fan fiction to cover the eastern seaboard in Harry x Snape monstrosities.

In Summary

I hated the characters, I hated the story and I hated and continue to hate the harsh reality that there is still one more volume to be read before I can put this series out to pasture permanently.It haunts my dreams. It boggles the mind how something which presumably was the result of a collaboration could end up in this state. I simply cannot believe that no one - not an editor, friend, assistant, stranger who happens to glance over on a crowded train - would stop and offer some friendly advice or constructive criticism. It can't be that simple. One day I hope I hear the story behind the story of Mermaid Melody, because that, at least, must be a story worth telling.



Mania Grade: F
Art Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: C-
Text/Translatin Rating: B-
Age Rating: All
Released By: Del Rey
MSRP: 10.95
Pages: 208
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch