Yuta is the main protagonist of Mermaid Saga. He became an immortal by happenstance when he consumed mermaid flesh that was offered by one of his friends. Though his friends perished, becoming Lost Souls, he survived and became an immortal. He took a wife and eventually discovers that while she aged, he stayed the same age he was when he consumed the mermaid flesh. He also survived numerous fatal wounds.
Yuta meets Mana when he happens upon a village looking for information about mermaid's. The villages immediately kill him and drop him into a cave that houses lost souls. He, however, recovers and returns to the village, happening upon Mana and taking her hostage to avoid being killed by the old ladies again.
Yuta is a Japanese man who looks about 20 or so.
He usually wears simple, sturdy clothes appropriate to the era. His constant wandering means that his clothes can get pretty filthy until he can find somewhere to wash them.
His face at rest usually carries a weary expression, even when smiling.
About 480 years ago, a fisherman at sea found a strange piece of flesh. He brought it back to share with his friends and fellow fishermen. Among those who ate the flesh out of curiosity was a young man named Yuta.
Instantly after eating the flesh, one man became a horrible beast and died. The next day a second spat up blood and died. One by one, those who ate the flesh died, save Yuta. After a brief period of fear, Yuta realized he wasn’t going to die as his friends had, and eventually took a wife and went on with life.
20 years later, however, Yuta’s wife confessed that she was afraid of him. She had aged, but he hadn’t changed a bit. Yuta realized that the mermaid’s flesh had had an effect after all, and he was terrified of himself. A wise old woman in his village told him that, if he found a mermaid, perhaps she could do something to help. And so Yuta began wandering.
Quest for a mermaidEdit
Over the next 460 years, Yuta would have many adventures. He often encountered others whose lives had been or would be touched by the curse of the mermaids’ flesh, but never an actual mermaid. Until the day he stumbled onto a village in Cape Nosuri.
As it turned out, almost all the villagers were mermaids who had somehow obtained human form. However, to stay in that form and to stay young, it was required that they periodically eat a young girl who herself had eaten mermaid flesh and obtained perfect immortality. Their sacrifice-to-be was named Mana.
When Yuta was discovered in the woods near the village, he was killed by the villagers. They tossed his body into the same caves as the mermaid who had sacrificed her life to feed Mana.
When he revived and discovered the mermaid’s body, he realized that the people in the village must know something about it. He took it back there, interrupting the villagers as they were about to take the unwitting Mana outside and kill her. When Mana, angry at his insolence, threw a bowl at him, he dodged it and luckily dodged a spear as well.
Tapping the Mana cardEdit
Realizing the only way out of this village full of killers was to take a hostage, he grabbed Mana and made a run for it. As the villagers chased him, one of their thrown spears made a deep cut in Mana’s cheek, shocking her. Before this, they had called her their treasure, and said they’d protect her with their lives. Didn’t they care whether she lived or died?
Yuta and Mana took refuge in the caves. Yuta freed Mana from the shackles she’d worn her whole life, and told her his life story. Their respite was cut short when they were attacked by a Lost Soul. Yuta fought bravely, but the meager weapons he had on hand were no match for the vicious creature.
However, a villager, who had been searching for Mana, attacked the Lost Soul, stabbing it with a spear tipped with mermaid poison, and drove it back into the caves.
Hungry for answers and wishing to save her life, Yuta took the gravely wounded villager back to her home. He hid Mana and told her stay behind. Telling the villagers that if they killed him, they’d never find Mana, he managed to secure an audience with the headwoman. She seemed quite knowledgeable about his situation.
In the meantime, Mana impatiently decided to teach herself to walk, and did so for the first time in her life. Unfortunately, she wandered from her hiding place, and was captured by three villagers. As they took her back to the village, the old headwoman explained what Mana was to them.
Yuta was horrified to learn that Mana had been raised in order to be slaughtered and eaten, and refused to allow them to have her.
Right about then, he heard a scream from outside, and rushed to the door to discover Mana bound and held by villagers. While he was distracted, a villager stabbed him from behind with a spear tipped with mermaid poison. Summoning all his strength, Yuta managed to save Mana and escape the village.
The headwoman told the other villagers to follow Yuta’s blood trail, as he couldn’t survive for long.
The two found a cave to hide in, and Yuta pulled out the spear, telling Mana to suck the poison out. As Yuta recovered from the lingering effects of the poison, the villagers decided to flood the caves in order to wash Yuta and Mana out toward the caves’ outlet in the sea.
Mana was singlehandedly fighting a Lost Soul to protect Yuta, when she, Yuta and the Lost Soul were caught in the enormous wave of water.
Falling to the curseEdit
Yuta managed to fully awaken in time to fight off the mermaids and escape with Mana to dry land. As he was occupied fighting off leaping mermaids, the old headwoman slowly snuck up on Mana with a spear in hand, intending to kill her. But Mana fought her off, refusing to allow herself to be eaten.
However, it was already too late for the villagers, who had reverted permanently back to mermaid form and animal mentality. Eating Mana would do them no good.
As it turned out, the headwoman was like them, an immortal, who had chosen to live in the only place a sad wretch like her could live, among the mermaids.
Yuta and Mana left her in the sea cave, and began their life of wandering and adventure.
Yuta is a very nice, kind-hearted guy, who’s rather tired of his long life.
He’s matter-of-fact, even somewhat wry, about his abilities. As tired as he is of life, however, he has no desire to be killed, instead wishing to cure his immortality and live as a normal man.
Yuta’s bond to Mana isn’t romantic or brotherly, but in fact goes far deeper than that. In 500 years of searching, she is the only one he’s found who’s just like him. Understandably, he is extremely protective of her.
Yuta seems to feel an obligation to end the lives of immortals who are dangerous (such as the aforementioned serial killer), or who are suffering because of their immortality (such as the serial killer’s sister).
He also does whatever he can to keep others from eating mermaid’s flesh.