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    Marina (Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, 1975)

    NOTE: This page is dedicated to the late Kirsten Bishopric (1963-2014).

    Behold! Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid adapted into a beautiful anime girl.
    Gender: Female
    Type: Tragic Mermaid Protagonist
    Age: 14
    Species: Mermaid (formerly), Human (briefly), Sylph (currently, possibly)
    Portrayed by: Kirsten Bishopric (English)
    Fumie Kashiyama (Japanese)
    Status: Deceased
    Media of origin: Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid (1975)

    Marina is the titular main protagonist of the 1975 anime adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's 1837 novel "The Little Mermaid". Unlike the Disney version of the character, Marina is closer to the original portrayal of the character who is tragic, mainly her ending. Since the original novel didn't give the mermaid a name, the anime film gave her one which is "Marina".

    She was voiced by Fumie Kashiyama in the Japanese version and the late Kirsten Bishopric in the English version.

    Why She's a Mermaid Who Comes of Age

    1. For starters, Marina's portrayal in her anime film is very faithful to the Little Mermaid in the original novel, even more so than Ariel in Disney's version, which makes sense because the 1975 anime film is closer to the original book, including the tragic ending.
    2. Japan has made multiple anime adaptations of Hans Christian Andersen's novel (which were 10-11 minute episodes from series that show adaptations of many fairy tales), including different designs for the Little Mermaid, but Marina is no doubt the most well-remembered out of all of the anime adaptations.
    3. Her character design is pretty, classic, and adorable. She has long blonde hair, turquoise blue eyes, fair skin, small pink lips, a light brush of freckles, and an aquamarine green fishtail. Her art style looks nice and befitting as well.
      • She also wears a white lily with a light pink pearl in her hair, which does look cute.
    4. Both Fumie Kashiyama and the late Kirsten Bishopric voiced her really well.
    5. Marina is portrayed as a very kind, caring, curious, fun-loving, and wholesome individual who isn't a damsel-in-distress, given that she risked her life to save Prince Fjord from drowning.
    6. After saving the prince, she patches his wound using one of her mermaid scales and then kisses his forehead, which is a very beautiful scene that's emotional and sweet.
    7. Her friendship with Fritz is cute, just like Ariel's friendship with Flounder in the Disney version.
    8. Marina is shown to be amazing in harp as she can play beautiful songs with one.
    9. While celebrating her coming of age, she sings a beautiful song "Matteita Hito" ("When a Mermaid Comes of Age" in the English version) while daydreaming about spending time with Prince Fjord and the scene itself is beautiful and not to mention memorable.
    10. Speaking of which, although she never got to marry Fjord in the end, her relationship with him was still cute and the two got along really well:
      • When Fjord wanted to know Marina's real name, he gave her a quill and some paper, asking if she can write her name use them, but Marina doesn't know and is unable to tell him anything, since she can no longer speak after making a deal with the Sea Witch. Fjord notices that Marina seems troubled and doesn't want to pressure her into doing something she doesn't understand.
      • After a month in the castle, Marina plays a beautiful song using a harp with a little bird accompanying her. Furthermore, Fjord hears the song and loves Marina's talent, even giving her a name "Princess Mermaid" because the song she played reminds him of how beautiful the sea is.
      • When Fritz gets bullied by a group of kids, Marina protects him while Fjord tells the kids not to hurt to poor creature. This made Fjord see how kind Marina is. In fact, Fjord (despite wanting to marry the one he thought saved his life) really likes Marina because of her personality.
      • After that, Marina and Fjord even ride horses together and the scene itself is nice.
      • Fjord tells Marina that if he can't find the girl he thought saved his life, he will marry her instead. Although Marina's joy didn't last long, it was still a nice scene.
    11. Her heartbreaking ending: When Fjord finds the girl he thought saved his life, Marina is heartbroken and remembers that she'll turn into sea foam after failing to marry him. After the wedding, Marina is depressed and scared of what is going to happen. Her sisters arrive and encourage her to kill the prince with a dagger to make her return to her mermaid form and stay alive, but Marina couldn't end the one she loves and instead accepted her only fate. She drops the dagger into the sea (which explodes in the water and wakes up Fjord), Fjord arrives at the scene and notices her on the edge of the ship, and then Marina drops herself into the sea before Fjord could save her. After that, Fjord notices that Marina left her lily pin and the mermaid scale she used to patch his wound earlier in the movie (which is the only part of her mermaid form that remained). As the sun rises, Marina turns into sea foam and Fjord sees her spirit ascending to heaven. During the scene, Fjord's memory clears up and realizes that Marina was the girl who saved his life, making him grieve her death.
      • While it wasn't in the book, the idea of making the prince realize that the mermaid was the one who really saved him from drowning was a nice change that made the scene feel more complete.

    Sea Foam Qualities

    1. While not as much as Ariel, Marina herself can be impulsive and reckless at times.
    2. Unlike Ariel, Marina is topless as a mermaid. While her breasts are mostly obscured by her long hair, there are some shots where they're uncovered, which can be inappropriate for kids watching.
      • The DVD re-release of the film did remove the frames that show her nipples however.
    3. She isn't the most consistently drawn anime character; in some shots, her facial features aren't scaled the same.
    4. Some fans may wish the movie had the full ending where she becomes one of the daughters of the air and gets her own soul by doing good deeds to mankind for 300 years, one day rising up into the Kingdom of God.


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