Tsuritama ReviewKatrina Hummel
Let me start off with a little summary of the anime. Released in 2012 and created by A-1 Pictures, our main hero Yuki Sanada... Well, hero is a stretch, at first. Yuki is an introverted high school student whose Aunt, Keiko Sanada, seems to not be able to keep in one spot. Thus he has to constantly transfer schools. He moves along with his Grandma to the island of Enoshima and transfers to a new school. A strange new kid who walks around with a fish bowl on his head also transfers in the same day. An alien. Yes, an alien named Haru, transfers in and isn't afraid to tell everyone he's an alien. Of course everyone thinks he's just being silly since Haru is really uhm.. Crazy! He marches in with a fishing pole and demands that Yuki should go fishing with him in order to save the world! Soon they meet Natsuki Usami, the fishing prince with some family issues, and Akira Yamada: a turban-wearing Indian who is a member of the anti-alien organization DUCK. Akira's mission is to observe the potentially dangerous alien life form that is Haru. Soon, under the fishing prince's strict eye and keen instruction, Haru and Yuki begin to learn how to fish in order to save the world from a threat lurking in the waters near Enoshima. Soon they all form a bond of friendship and must take on the organization, as well as the alien life hiding in the waters that is trying to take control of the people and force them to do the Enoshima dance!
Overall I really liked Tsuritama. It had a lot of points where I was wondering what exactly had happened, but I feel like most of my questions were answered in later episodes. There were a few episodes with seemingly random drama that came out of no-where, and were concluded really suddenly with a forced conclusion. I will chalk those episodes up to character development. The plot seemed so far-fetched when I first started watching, but I just finished watching Free! for the third time the other day, so I figured a fishing anime wasn't THAT impossible to make an enjoyable story out of. Unfortunately, until I hit episode 6 I found myself becoming a little bored and would not feel the need to mash that next button once the ending theme began. Once I got past that part and started becoming attached to the characters and wondering just how they will keep changing and what Haru's antics will be, it became really fun! The genre is labeled as a comedy, but I felt like it was so much more than that. I felt like it was dragging my emotions around: I would be laughing one minute and then 5 minutes later be holding my hands against my face trying not to cry. It has its light-hearted moments and dramatic moments that are tied together very well. It felt like the actual plot of saving the earth could almost have been left out and it would have made more sense and been just as strong, if not a stronger story. However you need a reason for aliens to come to earth, don't you?
The characters were all really likeable, and I didn't find myself disliking any of them, even the so-called bad guys in the end. The way their relationships developed, and changed each other was honestly much more interesting than whatever they were trying to save the world from. Yuki himself was a real pleasure to watch change and grow. All of the characters went through one change or another, and at times it seems like fishing was just the string that brought them all together. As they were all changing, growing in their own ways, and overcoming their own battles, I found myself feeling really proud of them!Yuki is super introverted, and he has this cool mental metaphor of when he starts to freak out, it's like he's drowning. He also makes a really funny face that makes everyone around him think he's instantly furious, which leads to him freaking out even more... Haru is such a fun character! If you know a little Japanese, you realize he doesn't use particles much in his speech, which causes him to sound really young and unable to speak well. It essentially would sound in English like if someone said I go store buy fish. He's just that kind of dorky, fun kid who feels like someone just gave him 30 pixie stix and dared him to eat them all in one go. Natsuki is super tsundere at first, but after Haru begs him to teach Yuki and him how to fish, he eventually opens up to them and they become good friends. Natsuki has some family drama that is really well placed. It keeps popping up, and eventually he gets his friends wrapped up in it. Haru doesn't help by interfering in these relationships that he doesn't understand... Y'know... Since he's an alien and all. Akira ended up being my favorite character! With his duck friend, Tapioca (no, really an actual duck) their mission is to observe Haru, so they joined the trio on a fishing trip and eventually started working with the others on the same boat. Soon after becoming friends with them he wonders if Haru really is a dangerous alien....
THE ART! The art, I can't say enough good things about it. It felt sooo pretty! I say it felt' pretty because it was a simple art style, but it was executed so well that it just flowed so well with the story. The shading of the backgrounds was absolutely amazing, and when there was CG, it was cel-shaded, so it blended nicely with the regular animation. The music was also well done! I didn't have any complaints about it. The voice acting was also superb! I had a major fan girl moment when I realized my favorite seiyuu (voice actor ) Tomokazu Sugita voices Akira, yet I didn't notice until he started using random Engrish. The way he got into his new role and was able to change his voice really impressed me. Haru's seiyuu, Miyu Irino, just kept on impressing me with her bubbly voice and adorable sound effects. I loved the voice acting in this anime.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.
"Hello! I'm Katrina, a senior in college and major in Japanese. My interests include anime and Japan, but recently also drawing and guitar. I'm looking forward to doing a lot of anime reviews!"
About the Author: Katrina Hummel
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