NoitaminA is making small, but helpful and noticeable improvements in their awful habit of awarding excellent series with only 11 episodes and really awful series that may or may not have the word “Crown” in the title being awarded 22 or more episodes. But I think it’s quite clear that Tsuritama doesn’t need any more episodes (well, it would be nice..), because it’s doing an excellent job with character development and the plot as well.
Of course, our manly captain with the girly name Ayumi is alright, but with a broken bone. This was to be expected, as I can’t see such a uplifting series about friendships doing anything Urobuchi-esque in trying to kill off the supporting cast. This episode was a very climatic and frenzied one, and it did a great job in preparing us for the almost inevitable: saying goodbye to Haru. It annoys me that most animes go this way, but it makes sense. Haru’s a fish and his home is in the water – fish cant survive on land for long (so how did Haru survive then? The water gun?). But I do think the parting will be a tearful one though hopefully not as overblown as Ano Hana’s ending.
Again, what I really love about this show is how subtle it gives our other main characters their “before and after” personalities. Here, Natsuki was even asking his father to take care of Sakura. He wouldn’t have done that at the beginning of the series. Akira fighting the other Duck members to save Haru, and he wouldn’t have done that at the beginning. Yuki confiding in the rest by proclaiming he’ll be the one to fish JFX out of the water. Once again, at the beginning of the series he wouldn’t have the courage to say that. And the one who’s responsible for all of this is Haru, and his goodbye will be painful for all of our main characters. What this show is essentially doing is telling us “You can’t have your hand held by someone forever, take the initiative and learn to experience life on your own.” Haru obviously doesn’t want to leave, but I feel his role in giving our three main characters ample time to take a look at themselves and realize what they want to do in life has officially ended. He will be missed, but this departure was something many of us saw coming. I also hope we see Keito for the finale to give us some more words of wisdom and to console the rest of the gang.
The voice acting is spectacular in this series: newcomer Ryouta Osaka does a really tremendous job as Yuki, capturing a perfect slew of teenage emotions effectively without fail. Tomokazu Sugita does a really great job as Akira and definitely playing against type as he’s usually cast as a trolling character, but this kind of role is something he should do more often. Miyu Irino as Haru, I can’t say anything other than wow on his performance. How he goes from the moody and depressed Jintan from Ano Hana to such a spunky and cheerful alien boy is pretty awesome in my opinion. And Kouki Uchiyama as Natsuki was a spot-on choice: he does a great job in making Natsuki’s character relate to us personally and his performance definitely feels natural and smooth. Both he and Irino are also in Kimi to Boku. (Kouki as Yuuta and Miyu as Chizuru), another series that feels almost like this show and another series where their performances are solid. I’m in such a praising mood mainly because Tsuritama has earned it: It’s proven that you can tell a wonderfully written story with wonderfully developed characters in just twelve episodes.