There comes a time when many shows want to shove positive, uplifting messages that make me roll my eyes (hello typical Key series). But then there’s Tsuritama: a show who’s positive and uplifting messages are 100% genuine and because it so happens to feature a ton of dudes, it must be gay and avoided like the plague. I have one thing to say to you who won’t watch this show for that reason.
What I like most about this show: it never forgets its roots. True there’s a lot of sci-fi themes floating around and the “final boss” is pretty much the representative of those themes, but the show was always a story of friendship, understanding and adolescence. I usually say those things with sarcasm, but Tsuritama totally proved to me that a show with such cliche themes can actually do something great with them. It reminds me of another criminally under-rated series, Michiko to Hatchin, in which the journey was what I felt to be the plot and not the actual story, which was somewhat disappointing. But it didn’t just take the same emphasis on soul-searching as Michiko to Hatchin, it also did something not many series can do to a veteran anime watcher like myself: it really touched me, and it made me remember the first time I ever laid eyes on an anime before. What I’m trying to say here, is that Tsuritama is a show that for whatever actions it takes, it feels completely natural. Everything that happened in the series happened for a reason, even if we didn’t understand why at first.
Just thinking about this show makes me smile like crazy. From Natsuki’s hilarious rendition of the Enoshima dance, to Yuki’s facial expressions and Tapioca’s moments of awesome – these were just some of the many great moments this show brought. But Tsuritama is a perfect example that you CAN have a solid story and wonderful characters in just 12 episodes, and it shows how the industry cares more about trying to make money by taking popular manga series and cramming details to fit a schedule. It’s the perfect foil to the other noitaminA series from Spring 2012, Sakamichi no Apollon. That show had the star-studded director and music from Yoko Kanno, but in the end it was another rushed adaptation and it was obvious to everyone that it was rushed – no matter how great the music was (and it was great), it couldn’t hide the bad pacing. Tsuritama is a show I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who’s willing to put their “all guys = gay” notions to rest, because it’s these kinds of shows that are the true gems in a field of moediocrity.