Tsuritama Review

Hello there. This is review number thirty one. This also part of the Spring 2012 line up that I am desperately trying to catch while the rest of the anime in the lineup is just closing its doors. The anime I’ll review today is Tsuritama. It’s a twelve episode anime about fishing. My experience with the genre is a bit rocky with the only other fishing anime I’ve seen was catered for kids. Still though, the characters look nice and the black haired guy with the bed hair looks sexy. Right? Let’s read on.

Story

Sanada Yuki is a socially awkward boy who lives with his grandmother. He moves a lot so he finds it hard to make friends. He then moves to this small town called Enoshima. He is befriended by an eccentric boy named Haru who calls himself an alien. Haru wants to fish and he wants to do it with Yuki.

Yuki slowly discovers the joy of fishing. He becomes close to the people around and he understands how it feels to have friends who care for you. Yes, a great new hobby, great new friends and even an impending alien invasion. Yuki finds himself in the adventure of his life.

Taking the Pants Off

I saw the picture of this anime in MAL and my otaku instinct just told me to go watch it. At first, the main reason I decided to see this was because it had fishing as a theme. I didn’t investigate that far because I didn’t want to spoil myself. The other reason I wanted to watch this was because it was released under the noitaminA banner in Japan. noitaminA is an hour block dedicated to anime in Japan. The anime released during its existence includes Hourou Musuko, Honey and Clover, Ano Hi and Usagi Drop. These are anime I completely enjoyed because of their interesting plot and overall style that made them unique. It goes to show you that any anime aired under noitaminA will be awesome. Tsuritama is another proof of that.

Tsuritama is about four boys who have their own personal struggles but prevails through the hardship thanks to the bond they formed and the power of their friendship. It mostly revolves around Sanada Yuki. He is socially awkward who gets nervous when talking to people or being noticed by others. He clams up and his face tightens until he looks like a scary demon. He never had any friends and he only has his grandmother to comfort him.

One day, a boy named Haru knocked on their door and asked to live with them. His grandmother gladly let him in. Haru is super eccentric and he clings to Yuki asking him to go with him fishing. The two caught the attention of this boy named Natsuki Usami, who is known as a fishing prince. He is a talented fisherman so Haru asked him to teach them how to fish. Yuki stayed quiet but was slowly captivated by fishing. He and Haru decided to learn how to fish. Meanwhile, a man named Yamada was instructed to find Haru as he believes he is an alien out to do harm. He follows the orders of man in black-esque people telling him to capture Haru.

I love this anime. My otaku instinct sniffed me a good one. Tsuritama is a plot driven story but ultimately shines because of its interesting cast of characters. There is our lead, Yuki, who is socially awkward but slowly got out of his shell and soon enjoys fishing with his new found friends. He slowly connected with people who care for him. The viewers see his transformation from this shy guy to this dependable person.

Then there is Haru who calls himself and alien. His lack of human ideals and customs made it hard for him to understand the hardships of people but his energetic attitude is infectious and so people enjoy his company. He slowly understands the norm as he gradually becomes closer to Yuki and his grandmother. His caring attitude shows through until the end.

There is also Natsuki. He is the guy with the bed hair and the cold attitude. He cannot get over the fact that his dad has found someone new after his mom died two years ago. His cold attitude prevents him to enjoy this warm and caring family he now has. His little sister even tries her best to persuade him. It was through the time he shared with Yuki and Haru that Natsumi slowly lightens up and accepts the fact his dad has moved on.

The plot was nicely done. Who would’ve thought fishing could be so interesting? The whole theme of friendship and family resounds throughout the entire series. Each character had a conflict they slowly faced as the plot progresses and it builds up just right until the anime hits its climax. It’s not hard to like to anime and I’m sure you’ll soon be rooting for our group of friends when the anime eventually reaches its climax.

I’m getting too far ahead. First of all, the anime has a nice theme about fishing. The anime did get a little technical during some of the episodes. I find it fascinating because I only learned fishing by playing Harvest Moon and it’s not really an accurate experience. The anime tackles some technical stuff about fishing like how to move the lure or how to catch a tuna but all of it served purpose in strengthening the plot. There is no boring moment in the anime. It just keeps building and building until, like a fish, you’re ultimately hooked.

There are a handful of characters here. Some are archetypical like your standard imouto but others have their own personality. Their interactions with the lead characters had purpose and help the characters develop a bit. I even enjoyed some of them like the quirky people of the secret group called “Duck”. Hell, even the duck named Tapioca was lovable.

So the plot snowballs. Each conflict gets resolved and the story moves on to an exciting climax. By the time it goes there, you’re already so involved with the characters. It was amazing. I completely enjoyed this anime. The anime had all the conflicts resolved by the time episode twelve rolls in and the ending was very satisfying. Actually, after watching the anime till the end, I want more.

Sight and Sound

The anime did well on making the scenes visually appealing. Some scenes are real photographs though traced over and then stuck to the background. It’s not a bad thing as I’ve seen it done before and they eventually gets away with it. The anime had warm colors that give off a summery feel.

Some of the backgrounds are simple and I find myself enjoying the scenery sometimes. It has a water color like effect that feels playful and a little bit childish. I often believe that simple is the best route to go.

The anime had a wide variety of music. Some of the scenes have an instrumental background that depends on the situation. When Yamada talks to his superior, a familiar Indian instrumental is played on the background. Sometimes the background sound is harmonica or tambourine.

The opening song was catchy. I really enjoyed it and I think it’s because of the opening sequence where the characters dance the quirky shrine dance that is rampant throughout the series. The song, Tsurezure Monochrome” by Fujifabric, fits the anime nicely with its fun and light hearted feel. The ending song was a bit more serious representing the feel of discovery and enlightenment that is another theme of the anime.

Overall Score

8/10 “A solid story with likeable characters. There is even a likeable duck.”

I always believe plot makes an anime shine. This anime did all the right things with an incredible plot, well rounded characters and its approach to a dull subject like fishing. It has a great story about friendship and family. Tsuritama is one of the best anime I can ever convince you to try. I highly recommend it.

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