As I am sure most fans of the tv series H2O Just Add Water and Mako Mermaids probably know, Netflix is airing yet another series connected to this franchise. This time, we return to Cleo, Rikki and Emma in animated form this time and the trailer...well I'll let it speak for itself. Suffice it to say, I was not impressed.
Anyway, when I stumbled across it on Netflix, I decided to give it a go. Having found Mako Mermaids difficult to watch, I can honestly say that my hopes were not high. After all, if a more serious and mature spin off felt wrong to me, then the obviously younger toned H2O Mermaid Adventures struck me as nothing short of doomed to disappoint
So I sat down and watched the first episode with something approaching resignation, expecting to genuinely hate the series and yet determined to try anyway. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment.
The first episode came and I can honestly say that I was surprised by one simple fact.
I enjoyed it.
Now there's something I can honestly say I did not expect to say about this show. It is definitely aimed at a much younger demographic than myself or indeed the demographic of the original show and yet I actually enjoyed it.
I'll be honest, the show DOES have some very serious flaws (as far as I've watched at least) The characters are pretty simplified and the talking animals? A little much if I'm honest. Very over cutesy.
Also...pretty sure villians are not the guys you're supposed to feel a bit sorry for. Yes I get that they're bullies, but it does feel a ...forced for want of a better word. And of course, these villians are typically creatures we typically find aesetically unappealling and/or look aggressive and that definitely feels like lazy stereotyping.
Also, Rikki and Emma do not resemble their real world counterparts and I actually thought Emma was Rikki and visa-versa. (I would add that this applies to some of the other characters shown such as Cleo's younger sister and Lewis.) and while I found the differences between how they looked in the real world against their appearances in the cartoon helpful in disassociating it with the origianl, some will find it irksome.
That said, there are good points to the series. While Mako Mermaids jarred for me by putting the same locations with a different storyline, the animated series actually feels more like it belongs together, abeit not in the same universe as the original series or the Mako Mermaids spin off.
I would also say that the series has a degree of charm to it that held me in despite the clearly younger target audience and while animated series don't need to be aimed at younger viewers, I would say that this hasn't actually detracted from the series. It doesn't seek to impress older audiences and doesn't try to take itself too seriously actually works in it's favour.
I can honestly say that this is not for everyone and certainly fans of the original series may well find it a little too young for their tastes, I would however ask that you give it a try and view it with an open mind.