Mania Grade: F-
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- 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
Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Vol. #07
Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Vol. #07 Manga Review
By Robert Harris
April 23, 2010
Release Date: October 30, 2007
Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Vol. #07
© Del Rey
I had enough of the nightmares, enough of the hallucinations and phantasmal terrors which stalked my every waking hour. So once more I summoned my courage and ventured forth, into the realm of mermaids.
Writer/Artist: Pink Hanamori
What They Say
Though the evil deeds of Gackto and Michel are finally at an end, the story fans really want to know still hasn't been told! Now the wait is over. In the final chapter of Pichi Pichi Pitch, the mystery of Lucia and Kaito's first meeting is revealed - as well as Lucia's amazing destiny!
Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch is not a good series. I will confess this is my opinion, not fact, though I could raise enough objective observations about the series to leave any counter-argument straining to support its own weight. Despite this, I was looking forward to volume seven, and not only because it's the last of the series. It's also far shorter than previous volumes, but there's actually a reason that aren't silver linings on this dark cloud. More than I had since the start, I was looking forward to volume seven because it features three short stories written by Pink Hanamori, stories written long before Mermaid Melody was an unfortunate twinkle in Michiko Yokotoe's eye. Finally I would discover who's really at fault for this travesty.
Long story short, it's Ms. Hanamori. The three one-shots on display here are pitiful at best. They are the same "girl falls in love with guy at first sight -> something happens to bring them together -> girl discovers guy loves her too" romance plot that makes up most of Mermaid Melody. At least she didn't try and tack a story onto the first two. The third one-shot, "Cherry Blossom," is truly a train wreck, with a villain who is positively James Bondian, while lacking any of the tongue-in-cheek sensibilities which make Bond villains so nefariously amusing. All three stories end exactly the same way - predictably - and are as void of creativity and emotion as Mermaid Melody is. Maybe even moreso; at least the premise for Mermaid Melody could have been interesting if handled competently.
The three main story chapters are as disappointing as the rest of the series. Wait, they're actually more disappointing. Hippo's wrap-up chapter regarding his ill-fated relationship with the villain from earlier in the series goes absolutely nowhere. It's a story we've seen countless times, poorly retrofitted onto new characters. The second chapter isn't really worth the name; comprised of two pages, it reminds us that while Michal and Rihito did play an important role in the second half of the manga, they have no romantic connections to anyone, and are therefore not worth focusing on. The third and blessedly final chapter of Mermaid Melody is a direct continuation of the last volume, and serves as the closing chapter to the series. A few pages in we find Lucia desperately ill. In her fitful dreams we get a heaping helping of backstory, which serves no lesser purpose than to set the stage for the ending. You see, without this rear view mirroring into Lucia's childhood, the end of the chapter (and thus the series) would make no sense. If you are thinking that the ending of a six and a half volume series should not rely entirely on exposition given early in the last chapter, I can already tell this series isn't for you.
This is actually my second attempt at writing a review for this volume; my first attempt capped at two and a half pages, and was filled from beginning to end with unrestrained vitriol and chapter-by-chapter analysis. Writing it was cathartic, sure, but after leaving it to stew for a while I realized I was kicking a dead horse. This series didn't murder my parents or empty my bank account; it's simply very, very bad. There's no grand treatise necessary to rant and rave.
The truth is, this series could have been a single volume and made just as much impact, with the added advantage of not making me waste hours of an already wasteful life. A manga is a compilation of countless elements, not just art and story but pacing, character growth, layout, dialog and more. Except for artwork, which is slightly above average, Mermaid Melody fails in every other category. The recommended age is listed as thirteen and over, but I have a hard time believing someone over the age of eight could wring legitimate enjoyment from this mess, and I remain positive that readers young and old should look elsewhere. Mermaid Melody makes an effort at a positive message - you can see the signs of strain as it reaches towards that goal - but it becomes so mutilated in the telling that I cannot in good conscience recommend it to anyone impressionable enough to take it to heart. Questionable values about love and the offensively stupid characters and storyline combine to make something that is close to approximating alchemical fury. Stephanie Meyer fans may enjoy this. All others, handle with care.