Mija is a character from the animated series Happily Ever After Fairy Tales for Every Child. She is the Little Mermaid in this retelling of the story.
Mija was the youngest daughter of the sea king, Young-Jin. She and her older sisters, Mi Kyung and Mi-Jin lived with their father, grandmer (grandmother mermaid) and her best friend, Nuri the starfish in a wondrous palace in the waters near Taipei's international trading post.
Mija is bubbly and excitable. She is kind and well behaved and respects and loves her family but she is also adventurous. She dreams about seeing the world above.
Mija is a very beautiful mermaid of East Asian descent with long dark hair worn in a bun with the rest flowing freely in the water. On her human half, she wears a long sleeved shirt of yellow with a purple square around her collar and purple cuffs with pastel blue-purple fins on her wrists and shells for earrings. Her fishtail is long, slender and covered in light yellow scales with light purple, silky fins on her waist and near the end of her tail. Her fluke is shaped like a fan with a deep golden-yellow fish. Even as a human she is very tall with a slender, streamlined body with slightly elongated limbs.
On her fifteenth birthday, King Young-Jin prepares a family photograph in honour of Mija's birthday. While everyone waited, Mija prepared to ask her father to allow her to see the above world. Noticing the time, Mija rushes to her family. Her grandmother rips off Mija's flowers and orders some oysters to decorate her granddaughter's tail. For being a good mermaid, her father promises her anything she wants. While reluctant at first, he allows her to swim to the surface with Nuri in tow.
Upon the ocean waves, an excited Mija spots a ship and is instantly smitten with the handsome prince, Chow-Yun onboard. Suddenly, a storm arrives and sinks the ship. Mija rescues the prince from drowning and brings him to the shore. On the beach, Chow-Yun briefly opens his eyes and sees his rescuer before falling back to sleep. A crowd of women approach and a frightened Mija returns to the sea. As she swims back into the open ocean, she finds a portrait of the prince and brings it home. Her sisters try to tell her that a relationship between a mermaid and a human would never work out.
To gain human legs, meet her prince and see the human world, Mija went to the one person who could grant her wish, the sea witch Ming. She was a crab who knew the secrets of magic and would use them to help people for a price. The witch agrees to help Mija and offers a potion that will change her into a human. If she wins the heart of a human prince, she will be human forever but if the one she loves gives his heart to another, the mermaid would turn into sea foam. After considering, Mija agrees but the witch's price of a thousand pearls is too much. The witch offers the potion in exchange for Mija's beautiful voice.
On the beach and now in human form, Mija is found by Chow-Yun. After some charades, he discovers her name and invites her to stay at the palace as his guest. At first, she struggles to fit in on land, much to the amusement of princess Michiko (the maiden who found the prince). Soon, Mija and Chow-Yun became best friends. However, Chow-Yun's parents wanted him to marry Michiko. The prince was reluctant as he had feelings for Mija but thought she only saw him as a friend and was too afraid to tell her. Mija tried to tell him she was the one who saved his life but he couldn't understand her charades.
That night on the ship, a heartbroken Mija stared out to sea. Believing the prince was going to marry Michiko, Mija prepared to throw herself into the sea. In reality, Chow-Yun was telling Michiko he couldn't marry her and went looking for Mija. He ran to stop her from falling into the sea but tripped and fell overboard. Mija came to his rescue just as she had before. Chow-Yun remembered Mija and revealed he loved her. Mija's voice was restored.
Eventually, the two were married by the sea so both humans and sea folk could attend. The two lived happily ever after and even though she had legs, Mija knew she would always be a mermaid at heart.