Plot: Lucia is the Mermaid Princess of the North Pacific Ocean. Seven years ago, she saved a boy from drowning by placing her magical pearl on his chest, imbuing him with her life force. The two fell in love, but they were quickly forced to part ways.
Seven years later, Lucia goes up to the surface world to find her pearl since she needs it in order to be a true adult. In addition, mermaids only have a sense of music when they have their pearl. Lucia goes up to the surface world to live life as a normal teenager when she meets a rather boastful and seemingly sleazy guy named Kaito who invites her to watch him partake in a local surfing contest.
After meeting her new friend, Hanon, she goes to the competition and is amazed by Kaito’s surfing abilities. However, when an evil mermaid notices the light of the pearl Kaito wears around his neck, she sends a storm to knock him into the water and take the pearl for herself.
Lucia quickly dives into the water to save him, reverting back into her mermaid form. Recognizing her as the mermaid who saved him seven years ago, Kaito throws the pearl back to Lucia and she transforms into her Idol Form; Pink Pearl Voice.
She sings her magical song and quickly dispatches the sea witch.
Back on shore, Kaito and Lucia recognize each other (though, Kaito doesn’t really realize she’s the girl he’s been talking to) and embrace each other on the beach.
Hanon reveals that she had a suspicion about Lucia being a Mermaid Princess and admits that she’s the Mermaid Princess of the South Atlantic Ocean. While they have found Lucia’s pearl and kept the sea witch at bay, her penguin friend, Hippo, is incredibly worried at the implications of her falling in love with a human.
Breakdown: It’s Sailor Moon and The Little Mermaid squished together.
What? That’s the way several people described it to me and…..yeah, that’s pretty much what it is. I know the whole ‘every magical girl show is a Sailor Moon rip-off’ thing is overused and unjustly thrown around quite a bit, but I’m going to stand pretty firm here. I mean, they don’t even try hiding it in some respects like Lucia’s mermaid and idol hair styles with the incredibly long blond pig tails or ‘totally not Queen Beryl as a mermaid.’ At least I’m pretty sure Kaito isn’t a Tuxedo Mask clone.
What does this show have going for it outside of the regular magical girl spiel? Not much so far. Lucia’s nice enough, but she’s very much the typical teenage main magical girl character. A bit airheaded, clumsy, though maybe more understandable than normal considering she’s a mermaid, and brave when the situation calls for it.
Hippo is….not funny. Also, he seems like he’s supposed to be keeping Lucia in line in the surface world to not bring attention to the mer-world under the water, but he doesn’t do anything to mask his presence. He walks right out in broad daylight talking and interacting with people like it’s no big deal…even though he’s a talking blue penguin in a sailor suit.
It seems more like Lucia does more to mask his presence than he does. He’s also slightly annoying because his one role is to nag and yell at Lucia to find her pearl and keep her identity a secret. Luna he is not.
Hanon is fine, but a bit overbearing. Sea witch woman was generic as all hell.
I probably liked Kaito most of all. He’s a bit overbearing too, but he’s genuinely sweet. While he does come on a bit strong to Lucia upon first meeting, he’s not being an ass about it. And I appreciate that they just had playful flirting with them to start with instead of having them hate each other and slowly realize they love each other.
As for the story of this episode, it’s pretty predictable from start to finish. She tries to fit in, she tries to find her pearl (I’m just now realizing the high levels of innuendo with this) she meets Kaito, faces a bad guy and transforms to save the day.
Before I got into this series, I didn’t know really anything about it outside of it being a magical girl show with mermaids as the subject matter this time. From reading a little more before watching, both on Wiki and on THEM Anime Reviews, I realized they used music as their weapon and that the magical girl cast actually rivaled the size of Sailor Moon’s with seven soon-to-be-discovered Mermaid Princesses.
I was fine with this. It’s actually kinda nice to have more of these shows with larger casts, though how useful the other mermaids are is yet to be seen.
I was also fine with the singing aspect. Singing is a part of mermaid lore, and there are plenty of audio/singing based attacks in superhero shows. At least the music aspect makes much more sense used here instead of Tokyo Mew Mew who basically tacked on musical instruments as their weapons for no reason.
THEM noted that one of the main flaws of this show was how doinky it was, and I didn’t quite get what they meant as I watched a bulk of the episode. However, when we got to the end, I quickly understood.
Let’s go over all of the steps here. Lucia is a mermaid who can turn into a human at will on land, but the instant she hits water she reverts back to mermaid form – even when it comes to taking a bath.
She is a mermaid. This show is called Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch. Mermaids should be the central theme here. Agreed? Okay.
Kaito throws her the pearl which inexplicably turns into a “microphone” also known as an e-pitch. I say “microphone” like that because I know that’s what it’s intended to be, but that thing seriously looks like a detachable shower head.
She does her magical girl transformation sequence, and I swear hardly any of these magical girl shows actually put effort into their transformation scenes anymore.
So, she’s a mermaid fighting underwater against a mermaid using powers heralded from her mermaid kingdom. What is her final transformation?
A pop idol, to be precise.
……Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch…..has magical girls….who aren’t mermaids.
Okay. When did this train get off the insanely simple track?
I know it’s asinine to nitpick logistics with magical girl shows, but what the hell is this even? I’m guessing these powers are ancient and passed down from generation to generation yet here she is with a modern day microphone and transforming into a pop idol.
You might say this is fine as long as the music is beautiful and powerful, but it’s not. It’s the same pop drivel you’d expect from any shoujo show. And how is that some ancient powerful song she’s summoning from her magical non-mermaid mermaid powers?
The enemy isn’t even being attacked by it. She listens to it, gets slowly annoyed, then it seems like she’s in pain and then she leaves. Truly a battle of the ages.
What are these pearls? Who was that lady? Why did she want the pearl? None of this is ever explained.
That ending was just horrible execution on top of horrible execution topped with, yes, doinkiness.
Really think about this whole ending, guys, because you’ll come to a striking revelation. The main plot of this whole show is basically moot because of the direction they chose to take the magical girl aspect.
Why does any of this mermaid stuff even need to be there if most of the series takes place on land and their transformations are all human pop idols? I thought the whole reason their music is beautiful and powerful was kinda because they’re friggin’ mermaids.
Why wouldn’t it make more sense to have them turn into some really cool mermaid with various types of attacks based on music and sound? You could still have them have a human form that they can turn into when needed. Why have the human form be default?
I hope I’m wrong about this series because I do have a soft spot for magical girl shows. For now, though, this episode started out mediocre and ended terribly.
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10 thoughts on “SSBS – Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Episode 1: The Pearl Tear”
Haha…this stuff is what my childhood was made of. Actual mermaid transformations happen later on! (Though it’s not like things are going to make much more sense after that)
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Oh good lol I am but a simple person who demands silly mermaids in her silly mermaid show.
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[…] Episode 1 […]
Luchia has an awful japanese voice
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Mermaid Melody was one of my favorite series when I was younger, but I can definitely see how it wouldn’t age well or be impressive to an older audience. Personally, I always thought the manga was a lot better than the anime, but I still enjoyed watching the anime as well. I can’t promise that you’ll love the rest of the anime, but if you decide to stick it out, there are a lot of pretty interesting things that happen. If you want to try out a magical girl series that’s a little bit more modern, I definitely recommend looking into Miss Guillotine. It’s a series that depicts what magical girls would really be like, and it deals with a lot of darker subjects like suicide and murder. It’s one of the more unique series that I’ve seen in the genre, and it’s really entertaining if you can handle darker stories.
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I’m definitely sticking with it until the end – I hate leaving step by step reviews unfinished. Besides, I’ll always have a soft spot for magical girl shows, even if there are many flaws with them. Objectively speaking, most magical girl shows are riddled with goofiness and major flaws either way. This one just gets under my skin a little due to the Sailor Moon comparisons and some logistics issues.
I’m definitely up for darker stories! I’ve been meaning to check out Puella Magi Madoka Magica for quite a while, and I’d love to check out Miss Guillotine. It sounds like a very interesting story. Thanks for the recommendation 🙂
Magical Girl Raising Project is another good dark magical girl show. I was hooked from beginning to end. Plus, Megumi Ogata’s in it!
I have not seen that anime, but for some random reason I discovered one of the villain songs that happens later in the series by accident which was surprisingly catchy. Yeah, this does look like Sailor Moon and The Little Mermaid did a fusion dance and became this anime. Hahaha! I heard ADV was going to license it and release it on TV, but it got dropped. I think Luci Christian (Himeno from Pretear, Yukari from Azumanga Daioh, and Kaname from Full Metal Panic) was going to be one of the main characters if I’m not mistaken.
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It’s so weird that you mentioned that! I just posted the start of my reviews for Wedding Peach, another magical girl show (that rips of Sailor Moon even more than this show, if you can believe it) and I found that ADV did a dub for it.
I wonder why they dropped Mermaid Melody, though. Hm.
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Oh, wow! Talk about timing! I know Wedding Peach and from watching the trailer back then and seeing it referenced in Happy Lesson (both were animated by that low-budget studio KSS), I knew from the jump it was a Sailor Moon rip-off. That’s right, ADV did license and dub it back in the day.
That is pretty weird why they dropped it. I know they were pitching (no pun intended) Mermaid Melody to some kid oriented networks on both cable and basic TV, but I don’t think they found sponsors willing to pick up the syndication or whatever.
Also, thanks for checking out some of my reviews. I saw you checked out my post on Comic Party which is ironically from KSS since you mentioned Wedding Peach and I believe one of the characters cosplays as her briefly in one episode.
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