This new season of anime shows is treating me quite well. Where I normally see one or maybe two shows that grab my interest, I’ve already seen two that I would recommend to people. The first was Kids on a slope, the second is Tsuritama.

Tsuritama

For a more detailed background on Tsuritama, check out my preview on it here:

https://rowango.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/2012-a-good-year-for-anime/

From the start I could tell this show, for better or worse, was going to be different. The first thing that struck me was the animation style, which is very distinct due to it’s use of an extremely bright colour palette.

There's no shortage of neons and pink in this show.
There’s no shortage of neons and pink in this show.

The character designs are functional, but won’t amaze you. The backgrounds also have a rotoscoped look to them, which was no doubt done to save time, but this doesn’t detract from the animation overall. Despite this being a fishing anime, which may fool you into thinking that there won’t be much exciting going on, the animation team does get to do some action scenes that really do show off their skills in the last few episodes.

Due to the fact that the story is only 12 episodes long, the plot moves along at a fairly brisk pace. Despite this, the story doesn’t feel rushed or forced. The show was very clearly structured around several smaller storylines that interweave with each other, but are all designed to feed into the finale. I also never lost interest since each episode ended on a cliffhanger (it’s an old trick, but it still works).

The characters themselves are an interesting mix. Yuki, despite being the stereotypical awkward and shy teenager, is giving a unique visual twist to show his awkwardness. He learns to overcome his passive and fearful nature, which makes him an ideal hero by the end of the show. I found Haru to be quite annoying at the start, but after I finished the show, I feel this is purposefully done to show his ignorance of human social customs (he is an alien after all). As the show develops he still maintains his exuberance and borderline annoying energy, but he does become less annoying and while learning about humans, becomes more human himself. Natsuki is a loner, but as the story progresses, you see and understand why he prefers to keep to himself. Akira, the agent of the alien investigation agency Duck, is also a bit of a loner, but has his trusty duck Tapioca to keep him company. You get the impression that Akira is so dedicated to Duck that he never really bothered to make friends, which is why he’s so easily drawn into the new friendship that forms between Yuki, Haru, and Natsuki.

From left to right: Natsuki, Yuki, Haru, and Akira.
From left to right: Natsuki, Yuki, Haru, and Akira.

While I do find it really hard to describe this show as amazing, I also find it really hard to fault anything about it. The main concept itself asks you to buy into an unusual idea, so when strange things occur you just accept them instead of asking “why?” The show builds up to the climax really well, and the ending itself is incredibly satisfying. It does leave things a bit open, but the things that are left open don’t seem to point to a sequel. In the end, Tsuritama is a really quirky and entertaining show about fishing and friendship, which is well worth the short amount of time it will take to finish it.

Anime Rating: A quirky show about fishing and friendship that is unlikely to win any awards, it was still satisfying from start to finish. Recommended if you have a slightly off beat sense of humor.

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