Given my history with anime Seto no Hanayome (My Bride is a Mermaid for the japan-ically impaired) is one of the last shows that I would consider watching. There is nothing about the show that seemed appealing and, to be perfectly honest, required a strong recommendation from a friend before I gave it a chance. However, I am so glad I did because it proved to be a fantastic, hilarious anime that filled more humor and fun into a single episode that most anime struggle to achieve in an entire series. The show follows the adventures of Michisio Nagasumi a normal middle school kid who drowns on his summer vacation and is saved by an uber cute mermaid known as Seto San. She also happens to be the daughter of a mermaid-yakuza group that forces Nagasumi to marry her as a formality in order to conceal her identity as a mermaid. The rest of the show is all about his life and adventures with this girl and how they both come to fall in love with each other. While the premise is incredibly simple the means by which it tells its story is pure comical genius.
The Good: The romantic comedy genre is an overused genre in anime today that is suffering from 2 major flaws: it tries to come up with some crazy new story that ultimately is still derivative and it swings too far on the romantic side causing the comedy to be overlooked . This anime understands both of those flaws and as a result creates a story that is easy to understand and rather than swing even harder to the romantic side does a complete 180 and infuses each episode with humor, charm, and action on a level rarely seen in this genre. From overprotective/Terminator fathers, to agoraphobic billionaires, to Monkey slaves, the characters are hilarious and over the top in the best ways possible. Their humor is also amplified by some great voice work by actors and actresses who show great depth, range, and tone. There are also the standard romance and harem elements too but it handles it really well, which is to say that it is still lighthearted and keeps those elements to a minimum.
The Bad: The only complaint I had against this show is that I found the animation to be a little chunky and not as pleasing to the eye. The action scenes and comedic scenes are handled really well and look good but it is not the best looking anime around. Fortunately this doesn't even come close to ruining the experience.
This show is my anime equivalent of Mean Girls; it is the true definition of a diamond in the rough and should be seen by anyone looking for a reason to laugh again.