Mermaid Forest is a gothic horror manga written by the famous love comedy writer and artist, Rumiko Takahashi. With Mermaid Forest she cuts off her connections to comedy, however her drawing style remains the same. Mermaid Forest is the first volume of the Mermaid Saga. One can also see where Inu-Yasha, a later manga of hers, got its roots from.

Mermaid Forest starts with the idea of an old tale, that he who eats the flesh of a mermaid will become immortal. However, not all mortals that eat it are so lucky. For the strongest medicine, can also be a poison. The lucky ones who don't become immortal, simply die. The unlucky ones are doomed to become Lost Ones, a demon-like creature with no mind of its own.

The story's protagonist is Yuta, a man who is around five hundred years old. He was a simple fisherman, until his friends caught a mermaid. They decided to test out the old tale. Yuta was the only one who survived, and he was the only one who didn't want to become immortal. He asked the elder what he should do, and she recommended for him to search for a mermaid and ask them what he could do.

The first story is his meeting with Mana. Mana is a girl who was brought up by mermaids, in order for the mermaids to eat her. For a young immortal woman, can allow them to shed their tails and walk upon land. Yuta rescues Mana from the village, and they continue as travelling companions, and perhaps something a little more.

The second story goes to Yuta's past, as he remembers one of his loves after becoming immortal. A strong woman of a fishing tribe. Trouble occurs when a group of pirates learns of Yuta's immortality. Yuta ultimately decides to leave the island, and his love behind.

The third story was also adapted into an inadequate anime but worth watching to see the second anime, Mermaid Scar. The third story is about two sisters, that when one of them falls ill the other sister tries to help. She brings her mermaid blood. Unfortunatly, the blood takes her close to being a lost soul. So every now and then, the doctor of the village comes up to cut off her arm(which has been perverted to a lost one for), and replaces it with a new one, cut from some poor woman's corpse. One of the new bodies to use, is Mana. After Mana's disappearance, Yuta searches for her, but his attempts are foiled by the semi-immortal sister. For she has plans to complete before she dies.

Yuta, what's this?
It's called a "cat."
Let it go.
I want to bring it along.
It's not worth it. It'll be dead before you know it.
Dead for good?
Dead for good.
Hmmm. Poor cat.

-Mana and Yuta, in Mermaid Forest.

Mermaid Forest is followed by Mermaid's Scar.

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