Tsuritama is the kind of anime series I’d recommend to someone who’s ill in bed or feeling down. This show is pure happiness and joy distilled into 12 episodes – it’s just so… whimsical!
The plot of Tsuritama is deceptively ‘slice of life’; Yuki Sanada moves to the island of Enoshima with his grandmother, another move in a long line of transferring from one school to another. Not only is he shy but every time he gets nervous his face transforms into a horrible ‘demon mask’, meaning making friends is pretty much impossible. That all changes on when he arrives in Enoshima and meets Haru, a self-proclaimed alien who’s decided to live with his family (grandma is apparently fine with this), Natsuki, a fishing prince (Prince of Tennis? Prince of Fishing?) and the mysterious Akira, an Indian man accompanied by his pet duck Tapioca.
Initially, I expected this series to be a ‘guy learns how to fish’ kind of story but it gradually unfolds that there’s more at stake. Even then, it’s not so much the plot that draws you in but the charming characters and light-hearted comedy. There is some character development, however, as Natsuki’s relationship with his family is explored but this isn’t the deepest or darkest of stories. I was constantly in fits of giggles watching this series and am prescribing it to anyone who says they need cheering up.
The best thing about the entire series, however, is its dance. I’m normally not one for series with dances because I find them overly cute and just downright annoying. Tsuritama’s dance and opening song has been stuck in my head for weeks, however, and I’m only a few steps away from learning the thing myself. If you really want to, you can check the opening song out over on Youtube.
Given how I currently have the Japan travel bug (just less than 3 weeks before we fly!), I had a gander at Enoshima online. The island isn’t far too far from Tokyo and home to some lovely tourist beaches, shrines, park and observation tower. Several shrines are dedicated to Benten, a goddess of wealth, good knowledge, music and fortune. It’s certainly worth a day trip to if you’re in Tokyo in summertime.
Tsuritama is a lovely little series and is available from MVM Entertainment here. If you’re feeling down at the moment or just need cheering up, it’s the perfect medicine.
Score: a charming 7.5/10!