Welcome back to season 2 of the Imouri Anime Review, where people vote for an anime that the Imouri team will review. The anime will be reviewed using these four criteria; Story, Animation, Character Development, and World-Building. Each category will be given of score (1-10), and then an overall score will be determined.
July focused on summertime anime filled with excitement. The users from the Secret Anime Club voted for their favorite anime to be reviewed and after voting ended, the anime that got the most votes was Tsuritama for the July 2022 review.
Tsuritama is a comedy anime filled with summertime fun, mystery, and fishing. The series takes place in Enoshima during the summer months. Yuki Sanada is a high school student that lives with his grandmother, who has to relocate due to her career frequently. Because of this, Yuki also has to relocate, and making friends is extremely difficult for him. Due to Yuki's constant relocations, he has trouble socially interacting with others. When Yuki moves to Enoshima, he is surprised he gets to live close to the ocean. During his first day of school, he meets a weird, eccentric boy named Haru and introduces himself to Yuki as an alien. Yuki and Haru also meet another high schooler named Natsuki Usami, also known as the fishing prince. Natsuki doesn't seem to interact with Yuki and Haru. Still, despite his standoffish demeanor, Haru tries to get Natsuki to teach Haru and Yuki how to fish. Throughout the story, a mysterious and stoic man named Akira Agarkar Yamada, with his companion duck named Tapioca, spy to keep tabs on Haru under the orders of the mysterious organization called DUCK.
Yuki Sanada, a high schooler with social anxiety and issues with making friends.
Haru, a boy claiming to be an alien in search of something interested in fishing.
Natsuki Usami, aka the fishing prince, a cold young man due to family circumstances and the local fishing expert.
Akira Agarkar Yamada and Tapioca, spies in search of something mysterious and keeps a watchful eye on Haru.
The story focuses on the idea of fishing, fishing legends, and learning how to fish. This is reflected in every episode, from fishing gear explanations to proper fishing tactics. Now for some, fishing can seem kind of boring. I enjoy fishing, but for others, it may not be their cup of tea. However, this anime combines fishing and a Japanese fishing legend to bring this incredible, heartfelt story to life. Besides fishing, there is a sense of mystery surrounding Haru and his odd behavior. How are Haru and Enoshim connected?
The series does an excellent job of merging fishing and legends. The story never shies away from the fishing aspect and keeps the mystery front and center for the entertainment. You find the connection between Haru and Enoshima's central fishing legend, and the build-up to the story's apex is fun, energetic, and heartwarming. The story has a sort of roller coaster effect where a mini climax has been built up halfway through the series. Then lets you down gently before giving you an even bigger conclusion at the end of the series.
One aspect I found pretty great was the "Events Leading Up To Now" event. It happens at least once an episode, where Yuki goes through the events that previously occurred during the episode or sometimes in the last episode. He reflects on his interactions, and it helps to push the story further. I'll talk more about this in the character development area.
Overall, the story was fun, lighthearted, and full of mystery. It has excellent summertime vibes. My only issue with the story is that the series was only 12 episodes. There wasn't time to flesh out all the characters. The series did not have enough back stories on Yuki, Haru, or other main characters. I feel this series could easily have a season 2 to expand on quite a few aspects of the show, but I doubt that would happen. Overall the story focuses on fish, which is the main point of the series.
Story Score: 8/10
Tsuritama is very vibrant. The color palette is explosive, and every scene is bursting with color. The character animation is that of your typical anime. The characters are well drawn, and the animation is smooth. The characters themselves are very vibrant. But the one aspect of animation I want to dive into is the background. The background style has a blend of hand-drawn texture that meets cell shading. It's a unique background style that I believe sets the tone for the whole show. Now the entire background does not have this style. Only parts of the environment have it to create the scene. The background animation is very colorful and brings out the best of Enoshima.
The opening and ending themes are just as colorful as the rest of the show. The opening is called Tsurezure Monochrome, performed by Fujifabric. The closing animation has a much simpler and unique design. It is also a bit mellower than the opening. The song is called Sora Mo Toberu Hazu by Sayonara Ponytail.
The animation itself is pretty smooth—some quicker action scenes revolved mostly around fishing and are well done. The show does a great job of capturing the excitement of fishing and summer. While the character animation is pretty generic for the most part, the background animation and fishing are the ones that bring Tsuritama to life. You get that summertime feel just by watching the series.
Animation Score: 9/10
Besides the fantastic story, I believe the character development shines best in Tsuritama. The story is one thing, but the character development drives the story forward. Without the development and feelings of each character, this show probably would not go anywhere.
You see most of the development from Haru and Yuki. Yuki struggles with social anxiety, and it is through fishing and his interactions with Haru that he finally decides to open up. He openly admits this in the show, and you can easily see his character develop. I mentioned before the part of the show that refers to "Events Leading Up To Now." It is this moment where you physically see the character developing. These event situations articulate Yuki's growth, and it is a big part of the show.
Haru also has a lot of growth throughout the series. He struggles with emotions and doesn't understand the feelings of others. He begins his journey by asking Yuki's grandmother if he could live at Yuki's house, unbeknownst to Yuki at the time. She agrees, and it is through her teachings and Haru's interactions with Yuki, Natsuki, and eventually, Yamada that he begins to grow. He shows growth in his interactions with his friends and even comes to some startling revelations later in the series. I won't spoil them for you, so no worries.
Natsuki and Yamada also have some good character growth points, albeit not quite as strong as Yuki and Haru. Both characters develop more towards the later half of the series, and their growth helps both Haru and Yuki grow. At the climax of the series, it takes the culmination of all four main characters and the journey they have experienced to push their growth to the peak finally. Overall, character development is robust in the series. My only issue is that I wish the characters would be fleshed out a bit more. Because the characters are fun and memorable, I feel you don't have much time to spend with them.
Character Development Score: 9/10
While the whole series is fun, I feel that the world-building is slightly lacking, just slightly, though. Throughout the series, the locals and characters talk about a mysterious god-like creation in the ocean and a fishing legend involving certain characters. There is also a dance named after the ceremony that you constantly see throughout the series that can only be related to Enoshima. Next, we have a secret international organization doing investigative works into a strange phenomenon, even going as far as to bring in topics of the Bermuda Triangle. These small details help push the narrative forward a bit, but not to the extent of the character development.
One world-building aspect I do want to cover is fishing. If I am not mistaken, all of the products fishing uses are, in fact, real products you can buy. Even though a big legend was involved, I liked how the show brought realism to the audience. While it did not entirely flesh out the world-building aspect, it was still enjoyable to see and hear aspects of real life in the series.
World-Building Score: 6/10
I hope you enjoyed the review. If you haven't yet, check out the secret anime club. It is a great way to interact with Team Imouri and learn about upcoming products and reviews. You also have the power to decide which reviews we do with our monthly polls. See you next time!
*Images are from the My Anime List website, the Tsuritama Fandom Wiki, and the Anime Background Art Twitter Profile. Videos are from YouTube that the channel owners listed such as Hanabee Entertainment YouTube Channel. We do not own any of these images or videos. Credit to all artists of the images and credit goes to the creators of the anime series. The use of these videos and images is strictly for review purposes only.