Tsuritama – 05
Tsuritama gives me the warm fuzzies. This is a sensation which is quite rare; shows that illicit this response inevitably worm their way into my favourites, even if not a whole lot actually happens in them. Tsuritama is on track to do just this – this entire episode was just the boys going fishing and trying to earn some money at the same time so Yuki could buy his own gear; yet I was completely enthralled by the whole thing and was grinning like an idiot by the end. But yeah, not much actual plot progression this week.
As a cash strapped teenager, nothing really builds character quite like having a part-time job. I was painfully shy when I was younger (and I remain quite introverted) but being told that I would have to get a job if I wanted that shiny new mobile phone when I was 16, forced me to break out of my shell a bit. Watching Yuki go through something similar (although his job on a fishing boat seemed much more fun than my trial by fire in retail) was a pleasant stroll down memory lane.
I especially felt for Yuki when he messes up using the net on his first day and the customer starts berating him – that feeling of “oh god he’s shouting at me; what do I do!? I want the ground to swallow me up right now” is something I went through a lot in a my first few weeks of work, right up until I learned to bullshit my way out of trouble (a valuable life-skill everyone needs to learn). It’s also my experience that when you make a mistake and someone tells you not to worry about it, you end up obsessing about it for hours afterwards, just like Yuki does with his mental film reels at night.
It was gratifying to see Yuki gradually get over his social anxiety and start enjoying his work – I really couldn’t stop smiling during this episode; something that Natsuki & Ayumi also seemed to share. Natsuki’s conversations with Yuki are really natural now, like they’ve been friends for years rather than weeks – seeing how cheerful and helpful Natsuki is now, it’s hard to believe he was so aloof and condescending at the start of the show. To those that earn his friendship and trust Natsuki is unflinchingly loyal, best demonstrated when he rebukes Akira for doubting Yuki’s determination to do his best.
Ayumi is just a true Bro. It was a delight to watch how considerate he was of Yuki’s social anxiety issues and how easily he managed to coax him out of his shell. Ayumi is the kind of fella it is impossible to dislike, he’s just so genuinely good-natured and defuses tension with absolute ease – everyone needs a Bro like Ayumi in their lives. When Yuki does finally start to open up and talk to strangers, the look of satisfaction and pride that Ayumi & Natsuki share really warmed the heart – true friends that help you out like this are worth their weight in gold.
Akira had some interesting moments this week. At first I though his interest in fishing was just camouflage for his observation of Haru & Coco, but in this episode he seems unable to stop himself from getting really into the sport – something that also amuses Natsuki “you’re really into this aren’t you?”. Akira’s encyclopedic knowledge of fishing gear, the fact he can usually be found hanging out at the fishing store and the way he got massively into things on the boat (“FISH, FISH, FISH!”), all attest to Akira actually having a real passion for fishing, even though he tries to pass himself off as cool and uninterested most of the time.
Another thing that piqued my interest was Akira actually responding to Tapioca as if she had made a comment. It reminded me of Haru talking to Coco in her fish form in the first episode; if Tapioca turns out to be another alien I probably won’t be too surprised, but it will make me laugh. However if Tapioca isn’t an alien who is talking to him, then Akira’s responses to unspoken questions take on another guise, as it feels like Akira is either very lonely or trying to reinforce his self-imposed personal walls.
Akira’s repeated statements of “I don’t need any friends” or words to that effect, seem at odds with his almost wistful, melancholic expressions when he watches Yuki, Natsuki and Haru interact. It makes me once again curious about Akira’s past, and I find myself wondering if a close friend betrayed him or something – such vehement rejection of the idea of friendship usually results from some sort of trauma.
So an overarching plot has yet to make itself known and we’re reaching the midpoint of this show. Tsuritama does drop some tantalizing hints about something bigger brewing in the background (Duck, the Bermuda Triangle, Haru & Coco’s grand plan to use Yuki’s fishing skills) but as of yet we don’t know just what the show has in mind. I’m really enjoying the whimsical, bright and cheerful feel of the show at the moment and really hope that the show continues to deliver those warm fuzzies I so love.