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Merc Storia: Mukiryoku no Shounen to Bin no Naka no Shoujo Anime Cover

Score: 6.57/10

Merc Storia: Mukiryoku no Shounen to Bin no Naka no Shoujo

Eng Title : Merc StoriA: The Apathetic Boy and the Girl in a Bottle

JP Title : メルクストーリア -無気力少年と瓶の中の少女-

Year : 2018

Genre : Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Magic

Season : Fall 2018

Status : Complete

Rating : PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Episodes : 12/12

Duration : 23 min. per ep.

Studios : Encourage Films

Synopsis

Merc Storia takes places in a world where humans and monsters coexist. The protagonist, Yuu, is a healer apprentice and possesses the ability to tame monsters. In a quest to regain the memories of Merc, a girl confined in a bottle, the pair embarks on a journey. (Source: MAL News)

Merc Storia is a late adaptation of an ancient mobage, and as of right now, it’s one of the most overlooked anime of the fall season. I’m writing this review so I can convince you to give a chance to what I personally feel is the best anime of this season, and one of the best animes of 2018.

Story/Characters:

So here’s the premise: in this world, people and monsters are living together peacefully. However, not all monsters have been tamed. That why healers exist, whose job is to heal those monsters’ hearts. Our protagonist, Yuu – from “yuusha”, a.k.a. hero in English – is one of them, there’s just one problem: he’s deathly afraid of them, which makes his job quite complicated. And he’s a wimp in all regards anyway. And his sidekick, Merc, is just a tiny girl in a jar whose only power is to float and has lost her memory prior her encounter with Yuu. In the first episode, after a confrontation with one of those monsters, they begin their travelling through the country in order to find a way to restore Merc’s lost memory and for Yuu to overcome his fear.

All this setup, which was the first episode, however, is just an excuse. Merc Storia, despite what the title suggests, is not mainly about Merc, but about the unique places they visit through their travels. These mini arcs consist of one or two episodes, and after their problems have been resolved – or partly resolved -, Yuu and Merc moves on to their next destination. And while they’re certainly helping, they’re only there to give an incentive for these mini arc’s main characters to solve their own problems themselves. And the story doesn’t shy away from heavy topics: people’s role in their society according to their gender, a father not being able to connect with his own daughter, dealing with loss, keeping up appearances and self-worth, just to name a few. And as I’ve said, each place is very unique: for example, episode 8-9’s mini arc is a musical – I’m not kidding.

And don’t expect heavy action. Our hero is not a fighter after all. And sometimes even the monsters themselves play little role in these mini arcs. But if you can get through the episodic premise, you get a damn good story. I ended up in tears multiple times; episode 6-7 is one big tearjerker, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Art:

Animation is certainly not this series’ strong suit to be honest, but the backgrounds are gorgeous and more than make up for it, especially later in the series. The already mentioned episode 6-7 is one of the best examples of that.

Music/Sound:

Let’s start with my pet peeve: the sound effects of the monsters can be annoying and it’s not helping when you’re in the middle of a headache or a migraine. Now that I have this out of the way, I have nothing but praise. The OP, the ED, the background music: it gives the series an aura you could call “comfy” for a lack of a better world. And don’t forget the aforementioned musical episodes. They really outdid themselves on this front.

Tl;dr:

Merc Storia is a damn good story and if you can overlook some of its flaws, which has nothing to do with its writing, you’ll get one of the best anime this year. Please don’t sleep on this one!

First of all, I recommend this to anyone who is lost on their journeys. If you read the sypnosis, its not all there is to it. I very much like this anime, never even read the Manga and will not do so sooner or later. What I liked or loved about the Story: It really has a dramatic beginning in the animation that in a young age, he lost or parted with his Father without knowing what happened to him but even if he was shocked by the reality, Merc has given him the PUSH he needed to step in his own two feet and move forward. This was really an interesting production for ALL AGES that tells you "There is more to life than this, get out off your shell and seek happiness" (Sorry for my grammar or Terms used because I'm just a newb so forgive me). Me: There were many teachings that I forgot in my journey(in reality) and found it in this anime, even if this is a fictional creation, you can still provide or produce or give it a more profound meaning in many stories like a picture book, yes this is more like a wonderful picture book other than being a Manga. What I liked or loved about the Art: The Art is Good but not great, I was actually expecting that Merc could have a human body (like a Genie in a bottle) but nope, she doesn't have any bottom which is very... (how will they pro-STOP!!!) And I was like 'Hey accessories what cha doin in there? B-)' (How did they get in there? Does Merc got hurt putting acc in her bottle even when tumbling down the stairs? And falling underground?) What I liked or loved about the Sounds: For me it was perfectó, even more to the 2nd last arc that was shown in the anime (or was it 3rd?). Where Bird people (were they even bird people?) have a city and have great voices and having a great voice will make you a D--- Ahem, forgot not to spoil the fun. I was in awe and impressed in how well they put singing in Anime (how about Mangas do they have like music in it? or just lyrics?) The Opening Theme was great with a melodramatic piano and of course the Ending Theme as well, Its like I can't get enough even though I do not understand the lyrics because of language walls(is there another term for it? I forgot) but the way the music was created was UNIQUE and Calming. It purifies my heart so badly that I want to buy it for sure. What I liked or loved about the Characters: The characters are good enough for my expectations, I really don't know what to say about them... Yuu is good enough to be the main character, he has the quality- and the pure innocence soul to be good to others, he is potrayed to be a kind and understanding boy and as well as Merc. Merc is a cheerful girl, and I love her VA really well, it suits her. Even not knowing of her past, she still believes she may find it someday which is very heartwarming. Toto was very cute and I want some more Toto-Merchandise!! The way the VA did it, is more than Pikachu's VA which is superb. My Overall Enjoyment to this is 9 or 10. (Maybe 8) P.S. In the last part, I wished they could have portrayed that. "Even if he doesn't have wings, even in different form- they could learn to accept each other whatever kind they may be, as well as well as the monsters who eat their cloud or rain and can still be accepted as an Angel even without wings, remove the old and bad culture" Is what I would like to have in my Opinion for the last arc in the anime. I really wanted to have more episodes where in the last part he could finally reunite with his father (even in a grave with a last parting letter) and a heroine other than Merc. And the way he heals every monster was REDUNDANT, it doesn't have any uniqueness which is very much unsatisfying.

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