Whenever I am out in public, I always ask not just my closest friends, but my acquaintances if they are into anime, and the two most common responses I receive are:
1.) "No, I don't really like anime, I find it to be too weird."
2.) "Oh, I love anime! I've been a fan since my childhood!"
I most often reply to the second response by asking them what shows they like, and unfortunately, for me, I almost always receive an answer that goes something among the lines of:
"Oh, I like Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Cardcaptors, Dragon Ball Z, and just about any film created by Studio Ghibli."
Now, before I move ahead with this conversation, I just want to clarify that I don't think any of the vintage classics from the 90s are terrible shows, nor do I intend to insult any of the people who are part of these fanbases. However, I feel like I do need to get something off my chest that has been bothering me for quite a while now, and it is this:
I don't think people should really count themselves as fans of anime if all they watch is Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, etc, because let's be real, that hardly qualifies as someone who loves anime. If you ask me, I'd say these people are more just fans of American pop culture as opposed to anime. To me, a REAL hardcore anime fan may like the following shows:
- Higurashi no Naku Koro No
- Azumanga Daioh
- Your Lie in April
- Lucky Star
- Lupin the Third
- Elfen Lied
- Angel Beats
So those are just some of the popular shows within the ACTUAL anime/otaku community, but then there are those shows that are still fairly popular, but are even obscurely known by even the greatest mighty kings of otakus.
.....is one of those shows.....
Created by the same studio that did Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens (A-1 Pictures), this anime has a slightly bigger fan base than the latter (being in 875th place according to the popularity poll, while Kannagi ranks as being in 898th place).
Both of these shows I feel deserve more popularity within the otaku community. Kannagi was released in the fall of 2008, and had quite a big following back in the late 2000s and early 2010s, but as time went on, the anime began to fade more and more into obscurity to the point where if you ask anyone if they've ever seen or heard of said show, they will just give you an awkward stare as if you have lobsters crawling out of your ears.
The same thing can be said for Tsuritama, released in the spring of 2012, and had somewhat of a massive fan base back in its day. It was all the rage throughout its year of release, but as time went on, it eventually fell into the same boat as Kannagi and fewer and fewer people were discovering it.
Okay, enough fooling around! Let's dive into my review of Tsuritama now!
Story - 8/10
The story has quite a unique set-up. It starts off by telling a legend of a five-headed dragon who was known to terrorize the village of Enoshima, Japan until a goddess came along and scared it away. After the dragon was scared away, the village of Enoshima began to live in peace.
The story then shifts its attention over to Yuki Sanada, who is a young teenage boy with really bad social anxiety and who is unable to maintain friendships, due to his grandmother frequently moving around with him a lot and transferring him to different schools. Eventually, Yuki meets a strange boy named Haru, who claims to be a fish alien.
At first, Yuki has somewhat of a dislike for Haru, but as the anime progresses, the two of them manage to form a healthy friendship, with the help of Natsuki, who teaches them the basics of fishing.
Near the end, we begin to discover how the legend of the five-headed dragon is connected to Haru's existence, but I'm not going to give too much away. Instead, I'm going to tell you what I thought of the story set-up.
I thought the story was very well done. It really brought me to tears when Yuki wasn't sure what to think of Haru or Natsuki at first, given Haru was a bit annoying, and Natsuki was a bit rude to him at first when he was teaching him the basics of fishing, but as time went on, their stories began to unfold more and they all began to realize they were outcasts, and started to bond more by going on fishing adventures.
Art - 10/10
I've noticed that a lot of anime shows produced by A-1 Pictures have a lot of bright pretty colours. Tsuritama's artwork is close to that of Fairy Tail, Kannagi, Seven Deadly Sins and Ano Hana. It is just breath-taking.
Sound - 8/10
The voice acting is good, though I think Yuki's feelings of social anxiety are a bit exaggerated. As someone who has Asperger's Syndrome, I can understand what it's like being around unfamiliar faces, and being uncomfortable building friendships with specific individuals, but I feel like the whole image of Yuki drowning in an ocean and screaming at the top of his lungs to show off his discomfort was a bit over the top.
Characters - 9/10
The characters are kind of relatable. Haru is cute in the ways in which he tries to get Yuki to take a liking to him, while Yuki is reluctant to build friendships with Natsuki and Haru until he gets to know them a bit better. As someone who is on the autism spectrum, this anime really speaks to me.
Enjoyment - 9/10
This anime was excellent, though I didn't really enjoy it as much as I did Kannagi, as this one was more focussed on the slice-of-life genre, while Kannagi I felt had more plot development, but other than that, this was quite an awesome experience of an anime.
Overall - 9/10
This anime is a must-watch. I highly recommend this to anyone within the otaku community. This is a very underrated anime, and needs to be kept alive!