Otaku USA Magazine
[Review] Merman in My Tub

Walking home one day, Tatsumi meets a sick merman on the river bank. Being a soft touch, he takes the stranger home. The merman, Wakasa, has had enough of the polluted river he lives in and takes up residence in Tatsumi’s nice, clean bathtub. And not-quite-hijinks ensue.

Wakasa is selfish, playful, and rather ignorant of the modern world. He’s an old merman, but looks twentysomething and hasn’t gotten out of the river much. Tatsumi accepts Wakasa’s shenanigans with cool aplomb, and starts to enjoy (at least inwardly) having Wakasa around.

But every roommate comes with baggage. Wakasa spills the bathwater and constantly refills the tub, sending the water and gas bill through the roof (a problem that is neatly solved by a phone call to mom). He eats tons of food, contributes zero money to the household, and brings his friends, an octopus merman, a jellyfish man, and a tiny snail man. But Tatsumi rolls with all of it and does everything he can to make Wakasa’s stay a pleasant one.

Merman in My Tub is a pleasant and amusing collection of four-panel gag strips and short comics without any real story arc. It isn’t really funny, or romantic, but it does deliver a supernatural slice-of-life story populated with ridiculously good looking guys. Itokichi’s art is really beautiful to look at, even if all she’s drawing are half-naked men and a bathroom. There aren’t many backgrounds but the setting doesn’t change so it’s not much of a problem.

Creative camera angles seem to obscure the actual bathroom hardware which would have given the book a firmer grounding in reality. But, well, who’s really looking at the backgrounds anyway? All of Itokichi’s male characters are sleek and slender. It’s a good book for anyone looking for a light fantasy with cute guys. It would be nice if the bathroom was more detailed, though.