Tsuritama – 04
At this stage in the show it feels like we’ve finished introducing the characters and got the bare bones of their relationships with each other established – which is exactly were Tsuritama needs to be at this stage since it only has 11 episodes to work with. I continue to be enthralled by how natural the character development has been in this show, especially when you consider how it’s characters have pretty wacky elements to them.
Much of this episode was spent on showing the effect Haru has on those he meets. We already know that Yuki has changed dramatically as a result of constant interaction with Haru and his perpetually sunny, outgoing personality; but Haru’s influence has also touched others in the show. The change in Natsuki has been a bit more indirect – really Natsuki has only warmed to Yuki so far, he’s still quite aloof with Haru; but it is Haru’s influence on Yuki that has facilitated Natsuki’s budding friendship with Yuki. Keito says that “Haru has a mysterious power; the power to melt people’s hearts”, which seems to be about right – he may completely lack any sense of tact or shame, but Haru’s heart is in the right place and his good intentions shine through.
In this episode we see Haru attempt to get closer to Natsuki, but his attempts are pretty naive and clumsy. Haru easily befriends Natsuki’s easy-going family and in his own blunt manner tries to thaw the frost between Natsuki and his father. Unfortunately forcing Natsuki to fish with his dad with the mind-control water gun was a very poorly thought through plan, and it once again highlights how simplistic Haru’s outlook is. Haru, when chastised by Yuki, says “I don’t understand, but I want to!” and “If we understood each other, we wouldn’t fight any more” – Haru is so straightforward that I almost admire his positive view of the world, life isn’t this simple but it is extremely difficult to explain why human nature makes things more complicated than they should be.
It has been so interesting to watch Natsuki warm to his role as a fishing instructor, he really comes alive when talking about his passion. When Natsuki talks about the true joy of fishing being the satisfaction of going out and getting something with your own two hands, it’s easy to see the appeal – it almost makes me want to give it a go myself! Natsuki finds fishing relaxing, so when he sees Yuki getting stressed when Haru does his disappearing act, Natsuki is quick to suggest going fishing to Yuki – again he never says anything directly, but his intentions are clear. A few episodes ago I would have never thought we’d see Yuki & Natsuki chat, laugh and enjoy fishing together – the fact that this has happened so naturally is really quite impressive character development.
When you see Natsuki interact with people he trusts it throws his behaviour around his father into sharp relief. Natsuki seems to be naturally given to being caring and considerate, but also he’s also very serious and takes things to heart easily. The loss of his mother appears to have hit him very hard and Natsuki is struggling to move on. Natsuki probably sees his father’s attempts to start over as a slight to his mother’s memory, but his own difficulty with expressing himself means he can’t really convey his feelings to his father properly, so we get him behaving like a stroppy teenager instead. Natsuki’s dad’s frivolous personality is probably at fault too, by attempting to breach the frosty gap with his son with humour and levity he’s only driving the very serious Natsuki further away – it will be interesting to see if these two can ever resolve their problems.
The other notable thing in this episode was Yuki finally landing a fish, it was kind of adorable to see how please he and Natsuki were. It was also interesting to see Yuki’s scramble to take a photo to show Haru was quite similar to when he took a photo to show Natsuki that he had finally mastered the uni-knot in episode 2. I like how Yuki’s pictures are more to share his success with the friends who helped him rather than for his own records. Yuki gets quite worked up when he can’t find Haru to share his excitement, and his panic upon seeing Haru face down in the sea really cements how he does actually care for Haru as a friend, despite him always seeming irritated with the alien.
Akira had very little screen-time this episode, at the moment he’s very much an observer (really do wonder just how he’s managed to cover the town in cameras to spy on Haru & Coco with), I am very interested to see how he ends up interacting with the other three characters, as well as hearing more about his Duck organisation.
Until next week!