- Genre : Comedy, Sci-Fi, Surreal, Action, Sports!
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
Yuki Sanada is going to get a fresh start at his new high school. He’s going to be smooth and cool and super popular. That’s his plan. It’s a pretty good plan, after all his grandmother already thinks he’s cool, kind of… But even the best laid plans can go awry, especially when you throw in a bouncy transfer student who also happens to be an alien fish, a stoic and stern classmate with the title of “fishing prince”, and a mysterious man in black stalking them with the help of his possibly psychic duck named Tapioca. Yuki may not become the Big man on campus but his fishing skills may just save the world. Did I mention there’s an alien weapon that a makes people break out into a regional folk dance? There’s an alien weapon that a makes people break out into a regional folk dance.
So, this is your basic alien fish, x-files/sports anime mash-up. By now, we’ve all seen this 1000 times so there’s no need to go into much detail about the storyline. Instead, let’s concentrate on what is actually a little different about this title.
The visuals are great. The art style is just different enough to be striking, but familiar enough to avoid distraction. There are occasional surreal scenes that very successfully use little animation tricks to set them apart. The color palette is wonderful. All those rich colours that are simultaneously bright and soft are an instant mood elevator on those gloomy grey days. I watched this during a Canadian winter. It was almost like a little vacation.
Although likable, the characters do tend to start off one note and a bit lacking in complexity. A third of the way into the show and already there are clear differences. It’s done pretty well, too, not jarring or strange. Certain traits remain or later resurface, without a complete remission. Moreover, like I said, they are also all very likable – kind of like that sweet kid you are always happy to see cause they’re always in a good mood. Yeah – like that.
Even though the premise is super traditional and nothing new, the story is actually decent…. Ok, ok, the premise is weird. However, the story manages to be pretty easy to follow and paced rather well. Of course, a lot of details are glazed over, there are only 12 episodes after all, but it never feels so incomplete that you don’t understand the course of events and there weren’t any enormous plot holes for me to get stuck in.
The narrative progression starts off as an unconventional sports anime and slowly but organically morphs into a hero’s journey with a sci-fi bend. It’s quite impressive really. The transition isn’t exactly perfect and as you can imagine, the second half of the series feels a little rushed with the action ramping up quite suddenly. But that the show manages this shift at all is pretty nifty. Maybe you’ve read a bit about this and you’re thinking ok there’s the saving the world bit – so Hero’s Journey we get but sports? Pffth – you just want to call all anime: sports! And I do! I’m a sports anime devotee, you see. In this case though, it’s a little justified. Fishing is a sport, and the first half of the anime is dedicated to the main characters learning about and practicing this sport while going to school together, like they’re on a team or something. The end of world events start in the latter half and fishing still plays a big role. Team work may not be that prevalent but Yuki does have a coach in Natsuki. Should I just start writing posts explaining why all anime are sports anime?
Overall, the series is pleasant to look at and the story is weird but equally pleasant. It’s a bit shallow and occasionally lazy in its narrative but everything is in good fun.
Favorite character: Natsuki Usami
What this anime taught me about myself: I am not above stretching genre definitions
“Surround yourself with people who have issues, those people always have alcohol”
Suggested drink: Hook line and sinker
- Every time Yuki has stress face – take a gulp
- Every time we see flowers – call your grandma
- Every time we meet an alien – take a gulp
- Every time Haru is being “fishy” – take a gulp
- Every time Natsuki smile – take a gulp
- Every time we see the Enoshima dance – Dance!
- Every time Akira talks to Tapioca – take a gulp
- Every time we see Sakura – take a gulp
- Every time we see fish – drink water
- Every time Yuki says: Eno! Shima! Don! – Toast!
6 thoughts on “Tsuritama”
I first heard about this anime when I saw a trailer of it after watching The Garden of Words (it was on the DVD). The animation looks great and it looks really quirky.
It’s a hidden gem! There are hit or miss elements but it is definitely different
Gotcha. Different and unique stuff tends to intrigue me.