Tsuritama: 11 & 12 [End]
And so we reach the end of our extended fishing trip – its been a lot of fun! I’ve really enjoyed watching Tsuritama, in a fairly strong season it really held its own, and I felt that it ended up being the better of the two Noitamina shows, since it was more consistent and better paced, making optimal use of its running time; although Sakamichi no Apollon had higher highs.
Anyway, let’s have a look at the final two episodes to finish off the Spring season!
I can not help but be impressed by how far Yuki has come in this series – it’s amazing to think that the socially reclusive & panicky boy from episode one is the same person as this determined, confident young man we have in episode 12; the amount of time Tsuritama dedicated to developing its characters was well worth it. I also really liked how Yuki’s newsreel flashbacks actually played a crucial role in the final stages of the show – his ability to retain information, piece things together and draw it out when needed was something we saw in action throughout the show, but it was only here at the end that you can appreciate what a useful skill it is.
At the end of the show we see Yuki still in school while Natsuki & Akira have moved on, but for Yuki this is probably a major step forward since he moved about so much in his early life. In addition to finally staying in one school for longer than a year, Yuki is also much more comfortable in the classroom & talking to other people – with Haru returning at the end it’s the best possible ending for Yuki as a character.
I enjoyed seeing Haru take a much more serious, useful role towards the end of the series, as Haru was always the character I liked least due to his hyper, random ways. The level of trust between Haru & Yuki was rather touching, as they both put their lives on the line – Haru trusting that Yuki is accomplished enough as a fisherman to guide him as a lure, and Yuki trusting that Haru will provide enough protection to avoid falling prey to the mind-control.
I wasn’t at all surprised to see Haru come back at the end of the show, his bond with Yuki was always much stronger than with the other boys, and I’d imagine Haru came back to keep Yuki company while Natsuki is off chasing his dreams in America.
The final resolution to Tsuritama was arguably a bit anticlimactic, with JFX turning out to be a rather odd meek looking fella, rather than some evil mastermind determined to take over the world with the Enoshima dance! However this kind of anticlimactic resolution suits Tsuritama perfectly – it was never about saving the world really, it was always about the characters growing up and getting to know each other through their common interest in fishing.
I really did like the designs of the aliens – from their funky polka-dot spaceship to their tiny fish form and penchant for bright colours, they were definitely the least threatening looking aliens I’ve seen in a while.
Tsuritama’s epilogue wrapped everything up very neatly – happy endings all round (well except for Tapioca cheating on Akira!). From beginning to end this has been a very feel good show, and I’ve really enjoyed watching it. I don’t really have an awful lot more to say about the finale – things progressed in a very linear, predictable manner and I really enjoyed it.
Overall Tsuritama is easily my favourite show of the season, its bright, vibrant presentation, competent direction, excellent character development and well written & paced scripting all made for a well polished show that fit well into it’s 12 episodes. It could have perhaps done more with its quirky cast and concept, but Tsuritama’s decision to focus on characters rather than the bigger picture worked well for the show. I’d definitely recommend the series.