No more tests! Everything will be back to normal with this post.
Tsuritama is a series that consistently brings a smile to my face: really loveable characters (that includes the hipster grandma), really creative art style and a cliched but tried-and-true motif that friendship makes everything better for anyone. But on top of all of that, it actually has a plot! It’s like Kenji Nakamura and the staff saw my checklist of things I’d like to see in an anime and they’ve accomplished that. But entering the second half of the series, how will Tsuritama hold up?
A pretty fun episode, in which Yuki really starts to break out of his shell (or his rape face, whatever you want to call it) because of how much fun he has fishing and the friends he’s made because of fishing. I admit that the whole “four boys + fishing” premise didn’t reel (pun intended) me in from the start, but Tsuritama has done a great job in balancing a whole host of varying personalities with an air of surrealism for a nice touch. Honestly, I think this was the episode that featured little strife – Natsuki’s “You don’t have any friends, do you?” comment to Akira was funny – and just Yuki trying to earn his way to a fishing rod with everyone’s help. This show along with fellow noitaminA series Sakamichi no Apollon has a very similar background connection: both lead characters experiencing troubled pasts, experiencing what friendship truly is with a lot of likeable characters around them. While Sakamichi adheres to using music to convey the overall feel and experience of watching it, Tsuritama relies on surrealism to do the same. I do like Tsuritama’s approach a little more, because there’s more creativity to be found in using surrealism and director Kenji Nakamura’s previous works utilize this narrative and artistic style with usually good results. Putting it simply, will Tsuritama sink or swim in its own pool of surrealism?
All I can think of after watching this episode was “What did I just watch?”. Things were going pretty smoothly, until Yuki caught the huge tuna. Suddenly, something happened that everyone experienced memory alteration, implied to be everyone but Haru. Something about Akemi has some sort of connection with Haru’s power, because he clearly wasn’t acting in his right mind (you can even get a good shot of him totally brainwashed by whatever happened) to bring back his water gun and wipe everyone’s minds. I think it’s obvious that Yuki’s initial job to catch a fish is part of a much larger issue that Haru’s sister may been keeping from him. Of course with this show there’s never a straightforward answer to anything – as I’ve said this show relies on surrealism – but with the change in tone evident in this episode, perhaps this is the best time that Tsuritama can give us some answers on who Haru and Koko really are, what role the Enoshima dance really plays, the fish and the Duck organization. On that last point, perhaps Akira will rebel with his group or alone against his leaders, as it’s been hinted that he’s growing tired of his job and constantly following orders doesn’t seem to be his thing. With this show, anything can happen.