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[Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch R2 DVD cover art]
AKA: Pichi Pichi Pitch
Genre: Shoujo / magical girl
Length: Television series, 52 episodes, 25 minutes each
Distributor: formerly licensed by ADV Films; currently unlicensed in North America
Content Rating: G (nothing objectionable)
Related Series: Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Pure
Also Recommended: Sailor Moon, Tokyo Mew Mew, any other magical girl show
Notes: After episode 52, this series is covered as Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Pure.

This is the first complete review of this series that we have and thus supersedes Jennifer's older review as the "1st Edition".
Rating: Three StarsThree StarsThree Stars
 

Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch

Synopsis

Mermaid Princess Luchia fell in love with a human boy she rescued from a shipwreck at a very tender young age many years ago. Upon rescuing him, she gave him her very special pink pearl to revive him from uncertain death. This pearl permitted her to sing magical songs, and without it singing is impossible.

Now, grown into a teenager, Luchia turns into a human and lives with some family friends in order to search for her lost love and retrieve her magical pearl. Rescuing him again, Luchia reunites with her love and has her pearl returned to her--and just in time! The ocean is being attacked by sea monsters, under the orders of a mysterious figure in the shadows.

Can Luchia, along with fellow mermaid princesses Hanon and Lina, rescue the captured mermaid princesses and stop the sea monsters from taking over the ocean? Will Luchia ever be able to reconcile her feelings for her human love...without turning into sea foam like the legend warns?


Review

A magical girl fan can't have it any better. Mermaids! Songs! Toys! Cute penguin mascots! Romance! Magic! Beaches! ...what can go wrong?!

A few things, but they are minor in what I consider to be one of the best mahou shoujo sentai titles to come out since Sailor Moon and Tokyo Mew Mew. (It sure knocks the socks off of Wedding Peach and Pretty Cure ...)

The music is cringingly cutesy, but fortunately (or unfortunately) it is extremely catchy. So catchy I bought all the vocal albums in Akihabara without any questions. The vocals are quite strong, and get this--the seiyuu actually harmonize.

The majority of the vocal cast is perfect for the show--they are all cute, distinctive, and just cliche enough to personify their characters. And, of course, they all sing well. That is, except for the main character. It takes a long while for me to get used to the voice of Luchia, and while her voice isn't sharp or anything, it isn't nearly as easy on the ears as Hanon's, and most certainly not as nice as Lina's, who is arguably the best singer of the three.

The characters are lovable, and, for once, not cliched archetypes that one has come to expect from trio shows like this. Rather than Luchia being the ditzy, love-sick heroine, the blue-haired Hanon is far more spunky, fashionable, and boy-crazy. Lina is best described as the adult-like loner of the three, and is ultimately the voice of reason in the group. As the series progresses, we see cracks in her facade, and she fights with her own no-nonsense attitude about everything.

There are a total of seven mermaid princesses, and further along into the first season, we learn what happened to all the others...all leading up to a shocking plot twist towards the end.

The animation is done by mostly Korean animators, and sometimes the big-eyed innocent look can be a little overbearing at times, even for the young demographic, the heads sometimes seem to overwhelm the tiny bodies the heroines have. The colors are always bright, and makes for an energetic and uplifting viewing experience for the most part. Stock footage of the girls singing and transforming is to be expected, I suppose, though a bit more dynamic sequences would have been nice for the songs, we see a great improvement in the second series PURE. (Lady Bat's song is just AWESOME. AWESOME. AWESOME!)

Overall, MMPPP is a fun, cheery, and optimistic anime title. The characters are just cute enough to be endearing without being too annoying, and you get just enough of them before the episode ends each week. Angsty tear-jerkers need not apply, but this is certainly a fun show to kill time with, especially in the later episodes, when things start getting a bit more compelling.

Take away a star if you don't like girly things. But with a title like Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, what are you expecting? Add a star if you love all things mahou shoujo or poppy anime songs.Melissa Sternenberg

Recommended Audience: There is nothing objectionable in Pichi Pichi Pitch unless you don't like the idea of teenagers wearing skimpy clamshell tops. They're mermaids, after all. Aside from that, it's OK for a little kid to watch.



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub
Review Status: Full (52/52)
Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch © 2003 Hanamori Pink / Yokote Michiko / Kodansha / TV Aichi
 
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