So here I am, a day after graduation and I’ve gotten sick with the flu. Lovely…but this episode of Tsuritama really delivered. As of now, I really think that Tsuritama is the better of the noitaminA series. No offense to Sakamichi fans, but Tsuritama has really proven to be a more than capable storyteller with the limited episodes it has and it brings a warming type of feel I haven’t felt since watching Natsume Yuujinchou. Plus this show loves ending its episodes with big cliffhangers..
(A paragraphs comparing and contrasting Sakamichi and Tsuritama below..so spoilers for that show are evident.)
Of course, the fight with Yuki and Haru wouldn’t last long it’s just simple miscommunication between the two. But this mini conflict was resolved in a way that really made sense and because of the length of the series, it wasn’t dragged out into oblivion like most romance series love doing. No one in this series suffers from incompetency, either. Not even the flamboyantly crazy Duck organization, as they’re committed just as much as our heroes to take out JFX. There’s not much else to say other than Tsuritama really is a series about friendship and the scene with Yuki running on foot back to Enoshima pretty much proves that friendship is the most dominant factor in this series.
But this show is also resolving each character’s conflicts as well: remember that Natsuki hated his father and didn’t acknowledge his new wife as his mother. Well, now he’s really warming up to the both of them, even trusting Maki to watch Sakura while he goes to find Yuki (by the way, that fake enoshima dance and song scene was hilarious!). Akira’s conflict was also resolved, which leaves Yuki and Haru development for the last two episodes.
Now, I really enjoy Sakamichi but while both of these shows have a lot in common (anti-social protagonist learning how important friendship is), they have one big difference that sets these two apart. Sakamichi is an anime that was adapted from a manga which ended right as the show began, while Tsuritama is an anime original series. Shinichiro Watanabe has to take a very long manga and compress it to fit the small 12 episode allotment, but for Kenji Nakamura – the sky’s the limit – there isn’t “creative control” when the show in question is an original series. The other thing is the characterization: Sakamichi’s is just okay mainly because the stuff with Jun and Yurika was really shortened and rushed – even the love triangle with Sen, Kaoru and Ri-chan isn’t the best. Tsuritama really makes use of every minute in every episode because I feel that nothing ever gets overlooked or not explained enough, such an eye for subtle yet heavy detail reminds me of Ano Natsu de Matteru: that show REALLY never wasted its time (the beach episode actually had purpose!), and neither does Tsuritama. Sakamichi has the A-list staff behind it, Tsuritama has mostly unknowns but this is a really nice example of the underdog showing its strength.
But holy crap that cliffhanger was intense! I hope the captain is alright, I would be a little upset if this show suddenly turned into Gen Urobuchi-level of despair.
P.S. – The mayor’s ramblings that “the goddess fished up the dragon with her companion” – could the companion be Haru and the goddess be Yuki? It must be as I think Haru must have known that phrase and picked Yuki for that reason, and it may be foreshadowing for the twelfth episode. Yes this show is getting one more episode than the usual 11, thank you noitaminA!