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snakebrain

Tsuritama

BASED ON 12 OF 12 EPS WATCHED
28 JUN
2012

To be fair, I probably shouldn't review a series minutes after finishing it.  Right now I'm very much on a "Tsuritama High," which means that the outrageously high scores above are potentially more reflective of my gut reaction to a stellar final episode than to the quality of the series as a whole.

Of course it's just as possible that this show is just that good.  I have never, ever purely *enjoyed* an anime series as much as this one.  The last one that came close was probably Ouran High School Host Club, but that was more a guilty pleasure than anything else.  Tsuritama is not quite like anything I've seen, which, granted, isn't saying a lot, but still.  The story revolves around -- get this -- fishing, and the bond formed by three (later more) friends as they attempt to learn to fish, and then get to save the world.

The series begins slowly but delightfully, with Yuki, a shy boy who's forced to come out of his shell by Haru, who claims to be an alien, learning how to fish from the "Fishing Prince" Natsuki.  The series takes its time forming the bond between these characters, and while the initial episodes are fairly episodic in nature (no real connective tissue between them except the characters and general premise), the wonderful characters, quick pace, and gorgeous art will keep you glued to your screen.  Yuki's growth as a character and the growing friendship between the three leads is simply fun, and uplifting in the best way (happy without being cheesy).

Actually, you could describe the whole series like that.  There are moments of darkness as it goes along and the plot becomes more important, but throughout the tone is kept light and the characters are always allowed to shine.  Speaking of the characters, they're all fantastic.  Yuki is a wonderful twist on the shy anime boy, because the guy actually manages to get stuff done as the show progresses.  Natsuki is chilly at first, but as his exterior melts he reveals a genuinely kind heart, despite his conflicted feelings for his father.  And Haru -- Haru annoys some, to be sure, but I enjoyed every minute he was on screen.  He's a delight, and his innocent and earnest nature is incredibly endearing to me.  Other characters come along as it goes (I'm trying desperately not to spoil anything here) who are surprising and fun in their own ways, and beyond just the leads, even the supporting players are vibrant and compelling.

The story is great and highly original (remember, this is a series about fishing, and that carries through to the end in big and often surprising ways), and remember that it does turn into a "save the world" situation by the end, which allows for plenty of big dramatic moments.  Also, as I said, this is one of a select few anime that manages to stick the landing completely with a tremendous finale.  The story, though, is ultimately really about the friendship these kids form, and how it helps each of them grow.

The animation is gorgeous.  The show is about fishing, and it makes full use of luscious blues throughout for both sky and ocean.  Even better, the fishing scenes themselves are so dynamically animated as to make a sport than many might find inherently dull extremely exciting, and as the show goes into the final stretch this dynamism helps maintain both momentum and tension.  The character designs are not particularly original, but are bright and cheerful enough to effectively match the tone, and the DUCK suits are hilarious.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the soundtrack.  Soft at first to illustrate the relative innocence of the first episodes, it gradually swells into a dramatic crescendo as the series reaches its climax.  The score is amazing, and really sets the feel for the entire show.  The opening and closing themes are less interesting, but certainly serviceable.

Overall I adored this series, as I'm sure you can tell.  It's fun, funny, dramatic, exciting, has great characters, a great plot, stellar animation and music, and a perfect ending.  I honestly can't recommend this highly enough.

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User Review Scores

  • Story 9/10
  • Animation 10/10
  • Sound 9/10
  • Characters 10/10
  • Overall 9.8/10

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