the_sun_is_up: Fugo and Abbacchio standing extremely close together while making model faces at the camera. (giogio - personal space invasion)
[personal profile] the_sun_is_up
This post is for the ladies! Well, moreso than usual.

I may have taken the Mermaid Melody manga to task for the myriad ways in which it sucked, but it did excel in one area: It’s a veritable encyclopedia of shojo fanservice clichés. So let’s count ‘em down, drinking-game style! (Although since this is a kids’ manga, I’ll be imbibing on non-alcoholic lemonade, but y’all can use whatever you want.)

Right out of the gate, MerMelo is built on not just a shojo fanservice cliché, but a cross-cultural-girl-aimed-media fanservice cliché: the little mermaid who sees a cute human boy, rescues him from drowning, and snuggles with him on the beach. MerMelo uses this one twice in the first chapter alone: In a flashback, Lucia rescues Kaito when they’re both little kids, and in the present day, seven years later, she reprises her heroic deed. But since this is a Japanese comic, they combine it with the well-worn Childhood Friends Who Meet Later In Life Except Only One Of Them Remembers Their Previous Bond shtick: human Lucia recognizes Kaito as the boy she saved long ago, but Kaito has no idea that Lucia is his mermaid. Jesus, that’s all worth several drinks and we’ve barely started.

Speaking of Kaito... What do chicks like? Shirtless guys! How do we get the hunky love interest to be shirtless all the time? Have him be a surfer! Genius!

Of course if Lucia wants to visit her surfing boyfriend at the beach, she needs a swimsuit! So Hanon drags Lucia to the mall to try on bikinis (DRINK) which is followed by a Showing Off The New Bikini In Front Of Numerous Appreciative Beach Dudes (DRINK), and when one of said dudes starts hitting on Lucia, Kaito steps in to tell him off (DRINK).

Lucia’s second rescue of Kaito is prompted by one of the villainesses capturing him, and of course she takes the opportunity to villainously cop a feel. This happens a lot in this manga, so it’s definitely worth a DRINK.

And that’s just the first chapter. :|

Chapter 2! Lucia attends a festival, giving her an excuse to wear a kimono in front of Kaito (DRINK). Hanon gets in on the fanservice action when she trips and falls, and Mitsuki (her imminent love interest) catches her (DRINK). We should probably take an extra drink because this doubles as a Meet Cute, but I’ll spare your livers and my bladder.

Chapter 3! Rina and Kaito are talking, and Lucia sees them from a weird angle and mistakes them for kissing! (DRINK) Kaito invites Lucia over to his house (DRINK) where she mends his shirt (DRINK) and listens to him take a shower (DRINK), and when she skewers her finger with the sewing needle, he administers some Finger Suck Healing (DRINK) while shirtless and still damp from from the shower (DRINK OH GOD PLEASE HAVE MERCY oh phew that’s the end of the chapter).

Chapter 4! Christmas = sexy Santa outfit for Lucia complete with bare midriff (DRINK). Lucia copies Hanon’s falling technique, but ends up knocking Kaito over and landing with her boobs smooshed against his face (DRIIIIIINK). (In regular manga, you get cushioned by boobs; in MerMelo, boobs get cushioned by YOU!) Mermaid Lucia shows up in an aquarium tank and takes the opportunity to kiss Kaito through the glass (DRINK).

Chapter 5! Gackto gets a bath scene (DRINK). Kaito and Lucia get caught in the rain, and Lucia has to strip off her wet clothes while he’s there, looking the other way (DRINK). Then he pins her down and forcefully kisses her (CHUG CHUG CHUG) while shirtless (DRINK). In response, she slaps him (...yeah, in shojo, melodrama is a kind of fanservice, so we better DRINK).

Okay, on to Volume 2! Lucia makes Valentine chocolate for Kaito (DRINK). Lucia’s coming-of-age ceremony gives her and Kaito an excuse to dress up in fancy clothes (DRINK). Kaito takes a bullet for Lucia (DRINK) which causes his shirt to rip off (EXTRA DRINK). Lucia gets captured and molested by Gackto (DRINK) and he’s even got her backed up to a pillar with her hands pinned above her head so that better have been a big-ass drink you just took.

Chapter 7! This one just has a ton of jealousy and melodrama bollocks, so sip at your leisure. Oh and Lucia trips and Kaito catches her. DRINK!

Chapter 8! The girls tell their fortunes using a guide in a girly magazine, which also has instructions on how to make a good-luck bracelet, which Lucia does. I think those are both worth a sip each. Another villainess captures Kaito, pins his hands to the wall with her ice powers, and cops a feel (DRINK). And when Kaito won’t give her Lucia’s pearl, she starts slowly stripping him (EXTRA DRINK).

Chapter 9! Kaito gets sick with a cold, and you know what that means! Lucia tends to him (DRINK), cooks him stew (DRINK), feeds it to him (DRINK), and did I mention he was shirtless when she showed up at his house? Because fever = hot = shirt off? Yeah, that’ll be a DRINK. And then Lucia gets into the soda and gets tipsy off it (because mermaid = weird physiology) and ends up drunkenly confessing her feelings to Kaito and smooching him (DRINK). Then she passes out next to him, and the next morning she’s got a bad case of Post-Booze Amnesia (DRINK). And then one of the villainesses tries to kiss Mitsuki, because he hasn’t been villainously molested yet. DRINK! Oh and Lucia catches a cold and Kaito gives her the Headbutt Thermometer (DRINK). Phew, that was quite a fanservice-tastic chapter.

Chapter 10! Lucia and Kaito walk under a Together Umbrella (DRINK). Lucia accidentally bumps into and embraces Gackto (who came to the surface because... he wanted to enable some more fanservice? Whatever, just DRINK) which makes Kaito all jealous and possessive (DRINK). We also get some twincest-flavored HoYay when Gackto gives Kaito some head-fucky dreams and lies on top of him while stroking his hair and talking close to his face and did I mention Kaito’s shirtless? Because OF COURSE HE IS! DRINK.

Volume 3, here we come! Gackto’s visiting the beach wearing swim trunks (DRINK). Hippo the penguin mascot transforms into a cute (naked!) boy (DRINK). Also he looks a few years younger than the heroines so we’d better DRINK in honor of the Cute Shotaro Boy trope. Hippo and Yuuri get a Meet Cute (DRINK) when he dives under her beach parasol to escape from his fangirls. Hippo also channels his inner Ouji-Sama and comforts a crying Yuuri while sparkling magnificently (DRINK). And Kaito remembers Lucia’s birthday all on his own. Definitely worth a DRINK.

Chapter 12! At the beach, a guy starts hitting on Lucia again, prompting Kaito to come to her rescue again (DRINK) because we haven’t yet run that cliché into the ground. Lucia competes in a beauty contest (DRINK) where the winner has to give a kiss to the surfing champion, which predictably ends up being Kaito (DRINK). We get another round of Showing Off The New Bikini In Front Of Appreciative Beach Dudes (DRINK), and this chapter is starting to look like a respray job of Chapter 1. But this time, Kaito notices the other guys ogling and drops a jacket over Lucia’s shoulders to defend her modesty (DRINK).

Chapter 13! Mitsuki gets in on the dub-con action by pinning Hanon to the floor and embracing her (DRINK). We get a reprise of Kaito showering while Lucia’s there (DRINK) which leads to her accidentally barging in on him naked and dripping (DRINK) which prompts her to punch him and call him a pervert even though it was her fault (DRINK and also THROW THE AUTHORS DOWN A WELL because I loathe that cliché).

Chapter 14! This one belongs to our villain, Gackto: he dresses up the girls in fancy ballgowns (DRINK), captures Rina and gets mildly molesty (DRINK), wields prehensile rose vines as a weapon (DRINK), and even uses them to tie up one of the mermaids (D-D-DRINK). And Kaito gives Lucia a sakuragai (cherry-blossom shell) that he found (DRINK).

Chapter 15! The girls get to see Kaito’s baby pictures (DRINK) and find out that he has a mysterious past (DRINK). Rina gets to Meet Cute her now-love-interest when he offers her a hanky (DRINK) when she’s crying at a piano concert.

Steaming right along to Volume 4! It’s Christmas-time again! Lucia gives Kaito a hand-knitted scarf, which he loves (DRINK), and he gives her a ring (DRINK). Then he uses his body to shield her when a nearby window shatters (DRINK).

Chapter 17! Rina serendipitously meets the hanky guy again (DRINK) while she’s dressed up as a shrine maiden (eh, that’s worth a sip). In other news, Kaito goes all out and says “I love you” to Lucia in a two-page spread (DRINK). Then he pins her down and kisses her (DRINK), with a lot more reciprocation this time around.

Chapter 18! The girls make Valentine’s cookies for their three love interests. DRINK it down, my friends!

Chapter 19! This is Gackto’s swan song and he’s pulling out all the stops: tying up and molesting his twin brother (2X DRINK COMBO) and getting all “I have you now, my pretty” at Lucia (DRINK). On the flip side, Lucia breaks Kaito out of Gackto’s control using the power of looooove and pep talks (DRINK), and Kaito vows to protect Lucia (DRINK).

Chapter 20! Is mostly plot, but we do get to see Kaito defend Lucia with a sword. I’d say that’s worth a sip or two.

That concludes the first story-arc; on to the second! Kaito pins Lucia down (on a sofa this time) and kisses her (DRINK), and they wind up spending the night together (DRINK). As parting gifts, Mitsuki gives Hanon a composition he wrote just for her (DRINK) and Kaito gives Lucia a key to his house (DRINK). Hanon attracts a new suitor, a boy two years younger than her who fills the manga’s Bratty Half-Pint quota (DRINK). Lucia trips and falls and gets caught by a Michal’s older brother (DRINK). And we end this chapter with the biggest melodrama soap-opera cliché of all: Kaito has amnesia and remembers nothing of his relationship with Lucia (CHUUUUG IIIIIIIIT).

Chapter 22! Bratty Half-Pint Nagisa composes a song for Hanon (DRINK) and gets in a cock-fight with Kaito (DRINK). And Rina bumps into her love interest by chance yet again (DRINK).

Chapter 23! A shirtless and unconscious Kaito gets captured and felt up by yet another villainess (DRINK).

Chapter 24! Nagisa brings Hanon a pair of tickets to a fireworks show (DRINK). Kaito barges in on Lucia naked in his shower (DRINK) and takes off his shirt in response (DRINK) because... I have no idea why. Who cares, shirtless dudes need no excuse.

Chapter 25! Kaito gets his memories back (DRINK) apparently because of Lucia kissing him earlier (BONUS DRINK).

We're on the home stretch with Volume 6! Mermaid Lucia and Kaito get their freak on underwater (DRINK) although I question the logistics of that. #mermaidproblem Elsewhere, Nagisa says the big “I love you” to Hanon (DRINK).

Chapter 27! Lucia makes a birthday cake for Kaito, which he loves (DRINK), and when he gets icing on his face, she licks it off (DRINK).

Chapter 28! Rina rides on a motorcycle with her dude (DRINK), and Hanon receives the gift of a barrette from hers (DRINK) which he puts in her hair. Then there’s a big battle, and Kaito swoops in to rescue Lucia, Tuxedo-Mask-style (DRINK).

Chapter 29! This one’s mostly plot, but Kaito protects Lucia again. (sip)

Chapter 30! Plot plot plot, but Kaito does get in another “I love you.” Yeah, I’ll DRINK to that, and I'll DRINK again to this randy-ass manga being over! Woohoo!

Date: 2013-06-16 04:54 am (UTC)
esmenet: Little!Anthy with swords (Default)
From: [personal profile] esmenet
Wow, just reading this recap is making me reach for a copy of Vampire Game. (Antidote to all cliché-tastic shoujo manga.)

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