Is fishing your favorite sport? It certainly isn't mine. Therefore if I knew beforehand that Tsuritama is a fishing anime, I probably wouldn't have even started watching it. But I am really thankful that I didn't know, because it has turned out to be a funny, charming and immensely enjoyable series. Yes, there are many fishing scenes, but these are done in an interesting way and there is a lot more to this anime than just fishing.
It is also about friendship - a group of young people who are completely different from each other who eventually develop a common love for fishing. Those young people are an unusual bunch: Yuki is a boy who has never had any close friends because of the need to move around with his grandmother; Haru is a self-proclaimed alien who squirts water at people with some unexpected consequences; Natsuki is a fishing champion who takes a long time to warm up to people and Akira is a boy who belongs to a mysterious organization called Duck.
How much you like (or hate) the characters will determine how you find this anime. If you can accept their quirkiness, then you will likely enjoy the anime quite a lot. On the other hand, if you find them annoying, then you are unlikely to find the show enjoyable. The good thing is that you will have a pretty good idea after watching just a couple of episodes.
About halfway through the anime, a bizarre event takes place during one of the boys' fishing missions, and from that point, there is a change in the direction and pace of the show's narrative. While the first half of the anime is more relaxed and allows viewers to learn about the characters, the second half focuses on one main action-packed adventure. There are actually clues that viewers will pick up on during the first half of the series that signal that this is not just a coming of age anime about a group of friends and their fishing adventures. As a result, the change shouldn't come across as too abrupt. And the climactic scenes are really quite epic and I have never imagined fishing could be so exciting.
Tsuritama is saturated with bright colors, which makes the coastal town of Enoshima, where the story is based, look pretty and energetic. The residents of the town are happy and positive. The opening and closing theme songs are cheerful, as is the music used throughout the anime. Director Nakamura Kenji, probably best known for Mononoke, has made a sci-fi comedy that is both funny and heartwarming, and it is an anime that will give many viewers a very happy feeling.
Tsuritama is distributed in Australia by Hanabee Entertainment.
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