A Mermaid Never Smiles

Ningyo wa Warawanai, zenpen

Mermaid Saga vol. 1

 Animerica, vol. 1, no. 1

 Animerica, vol. 1, no. 5

A Mermaid Never Smiles
Original Japanese title: Ningyo wa Warawanai (Mermaids Don't Smile)

The first tale in the Mermaid series that was never published domestically in stand-alone comic book form. In modern Japan, a crippled girl named Mana is being cared for in a village hidden deep in the mountains, populated only by women. Because she has been doted on all her life by women who promised to protect her with their lives, Mana is headstrong, willful, and easily angered.

Yuta, a young immortal man who ate mermaid's flesh 500 years ago and is seeking a way to become normal again, stumbles upon the village. In the ensuing battle, Yuta takes Mana hostage and escapes. They eventually discover the women are hiding a secret that could cost them both their lives.

The Village of the Fighting Fish
Original Japanese title: Tougyo no Sato (Village of Fighting Fish)

In ancient Japan, Yuta washes up on Toba island after drowning in an accident. He returns to life the next day to the shock of the villagers, but they come to accept him. As Yuta once made his living as a fisherman, he easily settles in the village, and it seems he just may have found peace in his neverending life.

Led by the chief's daughter, O-Rin, the village men are also pirates, demanding a small "toll" of just 1/10 of each ship's cargo that passes through their sea. They are rivals with the Sakagami islanders, who are bloody pirates that steal all a ship's cargo and slaughter all the crew.

The Sakagami chief's wife, Isago, is, for some reason, urging her husband to find a mermaid, and she'll go to any lengths to get one -- even by blackmailing O-Rin by dealing the girl's father a critical wound. As Yuta helps O-Rin find a mermaid to save her father, he realizes that he will never be able to live as normal people do.

Domestic printings:
  • Animerica magazine: "A Mermaid Never Smiles." Published under the general title of "Mermaid Forest."
  • Animerica magazine: "The Village of the Fighting Fish." Published under the general title of "Mermaid Forest."
    • Vol. 1, no. 5: Published July 1993. Includes part 1 of "Village of the Fighting Fish"
    • Vol. 1, no. 6: Published August 1993. Includes part 2.
    • Vol. 1, no. 7: Published September 1993. Includes part 3.
    • Vol. 1, no. 8: Published October 1993. Includes part 4.
    • Vol. 1, no. 9: Published November 1993.
      • Includes part 5 (final chapter).
      • Cover story features Rumiko Takahashi and the "Mermaid Scar" anime
  • Mermaid Forest graphic novel, with three complete stories
    • Published 1995 by Viz
    • ISBN: 1-56931-083-1; 304 pages
    • Contains "A Mermaid Never Smiles," "The Village of the Fighting Fish," and "Mermaid Forest"
  • Mermaid Saga vol. 1 graphic novel
    • Published July 2004 in the original right-to-left format by Viz
    • ISBN: 1-59116-336-6
    • Contains "A Mermaid Never Smiles," "The Village of the Fighting Fish," and part 1 of "Mermaid Forest"
Japanese printings:
  • Shounen Sunday
    • Ningyo wa Warawanai, zenpen, 8/10/84, #8
    • Ningyo wa Warawanai, kouhen, 9/15/84, #9
    • Ningyo wa Warawanai, complete story, Weekly Shounen Sunday 1000 (1000-page special edition), 8/25/1985
    • Tougyo no Sato, zenpen (Village of Fighting Fish, part 1), September zoukangou (September special issue), 9/15/85
    • Tougyo no Sato, kouhen (Village of Fighting Fish, part 2), October zoukangou (October special issue), 10/10/85
    • Tougyo no Sato, complete story, Weekly Shounen Sunday Daibetsusaku (large separate volume), 4/20/86
  • Ningyo no Mori wide version: Collection of three complete Mermaid saga stories in a special anthology.
    • Published 1988 by Shogakukan. 260 pages.
    • ISBN: 4-09-121854-7
    • Contains "Ningyo wa Warawanai," "Tougyo no Sato," and "Ningyo no Mori"
  • Shonen Sunday Comics Special, "Ningyo no Mori": Reprinted collection of three complete Mermaid saga stories.
    • Published 11/15/03 by Shogakukan. 258 pages.
    • ISBN:4-09-127741-1
    • Contains "Ningyo wa Warawanai," "Tougyo no Sato," and "Ningyo no Mori"
Other editions:
  • Mermaid Forest French edition: Collection of three complete Mermaid saga stories.
    • Published 1998 by Glénat. about 260 pages.
    • ISBN: 2-7234-2514-2
    • Contains "Les Sirènes ne Sourient Pas" (A Mermaid Never Smiles), "Le Village des Poissons Combattants" (The Village of the Fighting Fish), and "La Forêt des Sirènes" (Mermaid Forest)
  • Mermaid Saga vol. 1 German edition
    • Published 2001 by Egmont. 256 pages.
    • ISBN: 3-89885-323-3
    • Contains "Meerjungfrauen lachen nicht" (A Mermaid Never Smiles), "Die Heimat der Kampf-Fischerei" (The Village of the Fighting Fish), and "Mermaid's Forrest" (Mermaid Forest)
  • Ren Yu Zhi Sen (Mermaid Forest) (Ren Yu Xi Lie vol. 1) graphic novel
    • Published 10/1/2005. 256 pages.
    • ISBN: 7-5371-0213-9
    • Contains "A Mermaid Never Smiles," "The Village of the Fighting Fish," and "Mermaid Forest"


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