Kawauchi Shima was raised by his grandpa after his parents divorced when he was a child. However, his life turns upside down when his grandpa passes away and is filled with grief and misery. He goes to the beach alone, weeping while holding his grandfather’s remains and suddenly drops it in the sea. He tries desperately to save it but instead almost drowns himself…until he is saved by a merman?!
The 30 minute OVA mainly surrounds the life between Shima and the bizarre merman Isaki (Shima named him after a fish in his fridge) as well as the grief he experiences everyday without his grandpa and his bottled up insecurities. While he spends time with Isaki however, he changes for the better and is able to learn to smile and have fun again. Eventually, Isaki gets lonely and after seeing that Shima is happy without him, he returns to the sea with conflicted feelings. Shima returns home and is distressed that Isaki is gone so he runs to the beach to find and bring him home.
Despite the short length of the OVA, the story is anything but rushed or out-of-place and you get your fill of angst, romance and lighthearted comedy. There isn’t a tonne of things to say since the length is quite short, but the story ticked a lot of boxes for me. I have watched ‘Kono Danshi, Uchuujin to Tatakaemasu’ and I can see that you get the same amount of angst and comedy, but the romance is much more subtle compared to this OVA. It also deals with loneliness being experienced by both of the main characters which they eventually learn to overcome through the support of their family/friends.
Kawauchi Shima (CV. Kaji Yuuki) is a high school student and an only child. He lived a normal life, was loved by his parents and was a smart child, however due to his parents’ conflicting opinions, they both had different expectations of Shima and so he felt pressured and under-accomplished. After his parents divorced, his grandfather raised him and Shima found himself happier under his care. But for some reason, he still felt lonely and insecure through hiding his true self since he fears that people will hate who he really is. Shima was at his lowest after his grandfather passed away and it seemed like life almost meant nothing to him until he met Isaki. Through him, he learns to accept himself and soon experiences a new feeling: love.
Isaki (CV. Midorikawa Hikaru) is a merman who saved Shima from drowning. There isn’t much information about him other than his gender and that he has watched Shima cry alone at the beach since he was young. In contrast to Shima’s initial personality, Isaki is bright and cheerful who lacks knowledge of the human world and provides most of the humour in the OVA. Isaki is perhaps the main catalyst in Shima’s positive change yet when he finds himself feeling lonely and helpless without legs to walk and see Shima, he is clueless. Isaki spent most of his life under the sea and hence has never experienced his conflicted feelings until he met Shima.
The cast was a perfect choice imo. I have no qualms with either of them as I felt they suited their roles respectively! Both Kaji Yuuki and Midorin do a wide range of roles and this was nothing they couldn’t handle (obviously).
The animation is simply too gorgeous for words. It’s nothing I’ve ever seen in animation and the colours are so appealing to look at. Compared to the typical anime, the colouring is vibrant and consists of shapes and textures. It’s literally eye-candy every second and everywhere you look.
Ahhhh all so pretty!
I also love the OST Midorin sings called 「海より蒼く」(Umi Yori Aoku) which plays towards the end and in the PV and it is beautiful to listen to. I’ve always been a fan of his voice and this song pretty much sums up the emotions of the OVA. I don’t usually comment much on the BGMs but I felt they suited the scenes as they were easy and nice to listen to and created the right mood.
Overall, I am glad I bought this. It’s short, it’s sweet, it’s sad yet everything ties together beautifully. I know I will watch this many more times in the future! I look forward to Yamamoto Soubi’s future works and it’s clear that her animation, designs and stories are clearly one of a kind. For those who are interested in buying it, it comes with Japanese, English and Chinese subtitles and is available on Amazon or Stellaworth (comes with a music CD!).
“I’m not sure what Isaki thinks, but I think I’d like to stay together with him.”