First Impressions – Tsuritama

 Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you get Tsuritama.

Wah, Tsuritama is finally here! I’ve been anxiously waiting for its premiere since discovering it on the Spring preview. I have some pretty high hopes for this because of its strange storyline and nice character designs, so hopefully it’ll please me and my picky taste~.
When I first read the synopsis of Tsuritama, my immediate reaction was whaaaaat is this insanity. From past experiences, this is actually a good sign for what’s yet to come. xD I’m expecting some amazing craziness and comedy! ノ*゜▽゜*)
Number 1 on my list of spring shows to watch…here it comes…TSURITAMA! Pretty much everything has already aired a first episode, so I was left waiting for this eccentric gem for quite a while. Just how eccentric? Let’s take a looksee!

Tsuritama opens up with a colourful, storybook tale about a 5-headed dragon going on a rampage until a goddess smiled and stopped them in their tracks. This “goddess” is quickly replaced by the smiling face of a whacky blonde kid named Haru who claims to be an alien. More on that later. For now, enjoy him command a school of fish to perform a synchronized swimming routine for him, as he wanders around with a fish of his own. Did I mention the fish can talk to him? Well, it can.

The show’s main character, Yuki, is a bit more on the average side. He’s just a regular teenager who happens to easily get nervous when thrust into unfamiliar and unpredictable situations. On his last day of school before moving, he starts freaking out when he can’t think of anything to say for a goodbye speech. He literally feels like he’s drowning, so his face contorts into a freakish hell-mask to leave a rather..erm..lovely memory for his former schoolmates to remember him by. He leaves the class quickly and heads home to pack up the last of his things so he can move to his new house in Enoshima with his grandmother.

I sure hope all that water he’s swimming in isn’t supposed to be SWEAT

He gets used to his new home pretty quickly. It’s a gorgeous house with a perfect view of the sea, and the town itself looks inviting and lively. With a newfound courage, he dashes off to school to try and actually make friends this time around. However, as he leaves, Haru makes his way to his house after quite a bit of meandering, twirling, and killing time chatting with his fish. He meets Yuki’s grandmother and boldly declares that he wants to live there. “This is anime, so why not?” she says, totally not taken aback by a strange boy claiming to be an alien wanting to live with her. As she’s doing this, a mysterious Indian man with a duck is spying on them and flipping through fishing magazines. Definitely not a bad idea, grandma…

Can I come in? …..Forever?

Yuki has a spazz attack before he even gets to school. Over what? Whether or not to give up his seat for a man bordering on elderly kinda-sorta-not-really. A boy and a girl from his class witness his spazz face, which whittles down his confidence a bit. When he does actually get to school, his speech is actually pretty decent! He introduces himself and says the city is nice. He almost has a meltdown near the end, but the teacher cuts him off. Whew, looks like he was saved. At least…until he sees the girl on the subway and has yet another unreasonable reaction. He bursts out of his chair, and instead of explaining the situation, he freezes and starts sweating heavily.

Yuki Sanada: smooth as sandpaper

In a way, Yuki is saved again by an interruption. Haru waltzes into the room and introduces himself as an alien before miming a reeling-in motion at Yuki with an actual fishing rod. It’s not really the reputation he wanted to have, so he starts to panic again. Haru’s halo flashes and he douses him with his water gun before things get too out of hand. Yuki has calmed down at the alien’s presence, but it doesn’t mean he likes having a crazy blonde follow him around and beg him to go fishing with him. He refuses until he gets a squirt to the face with his water gun. Is that even water in there? Is he mixing date-rape drugs in there or something?

Yuki and Haru end up at a fishing shop where they meet the third character of the show – Natsuki! He hasn’t spoken much in class until now, but we find out from his co-worker that he’s a professional level fisherman. This obviously sparks Haru’s interest so he drugs him with his “water gun” and BAM! before you know it the three of them are at the dock to do some fishing. Being a pro, Natsuki is quick to correct their poor technique without so much as a smile. Haru doesn’t mind, but Yuki gets rubbed the wrong way because of it and once again starts to feel like he’s trapped under water.

Yuki is snapped out of his irrational thinking by a fish actually biting his line. Unused to the whole fishing thing, he runs halfway across the platform trying to reel the fish in, despite Natsuki’s advice. The pro eventually has to just take matters into his own hands and grab the rod himself. The fish gets away in the end, although it would have been a nice catch if they had succeeded. They call it a day and head home. Somehow, Haru comes home later than Yuki, probably just to troll him. SURPRISE, YOU’RE LIVING WITH ME FOREVER AND EVER! What does Yuki do? *drum rolls* panic attack!

“Yuki, he’s totally harmless.” “I WON’T BE HARMLESS WHEN I RAM THIS ROD UP YOUR-” “See? A true gentleman.”

So long, and thanks for all the fish:

Am I reading too much into this, or have I seen a main character with that marking before

“Just shut up and bear it! We need to meet our weekly bromance quota to make it in the noitaminA block!”

Telepathic duck? Nope…just a duck. Somehow that makes it even more weird.

You don’t wanna know what happens when he taps the glass.

End Thoughts:

~I AM IN LOVE! From the opening song, to the silly story, to the mechanics, to the characters and to the ending song, I’ve just fallen so ridiculously hard in love with this show. The overall atmosphere was so…weird and fun! The vibrant colors (and gorgeously animated sky) definitely helped in that, along with making the perfect summer-y, beach-y feel for this town on the coast. I could honestly feel that beach atmosphere radiating from my screen. While the setting animation is absolutely gorgeous to me, the character animation was pretty decent, not bad at all, as expected from A-1. Anyway, so far the story sounds quite silly, yet there’s a lot of mystery hidden underneath all this fun. I’m assuming the whole ‘saving the world’ thing is related to the story told at the beginning, but just how it’ll all pan out in the end seems like it will be interesting to predict and watch once it comes to it.

I also have quite the soft spot for Tsuritama’s characters: designs, personalities, and all. They each seem so quirky and unique, and I’m already getting giddy to know more about them. YUKI THOUGH…WE ARE SO ALIKE AND IT’S ONLY THE FIRST EPISODE. I always get pretty anxious and start overly worrying about things the same way he does, so watching him brings back all these memories and I start cringing for both him and me (lol). I really loved the whole ‘drowning’ analogy as well. Sometimes it does feel very suffocating, and you feel like you can’t talk while, of course, your face starts getting really red the more you think about it. I totally feel for you, Yuki; I totally do…All in all, this first episode was very…mesmerizing for me, probably because of all the pretty colors that sent my brain off into the same world. Though we didn’t get to much of the main story, I still enjoyed it (obviously) and the strange introductions of the characters. I’ll of course be sticking around for more; I mean, this show has pretty much passed through my picky taste test. Definitely can’t wait for more next week~!


And I feel a sense of growing happiness as my anime watchlist for spring grows longer and longer.  (*^ワ^*)Tsuritama gave us an enjoyable first episode with lots of comedy thrown in, and the characters have already grown on me even though it’s only been 20 short minutes. I like how all the characters stand out in their own ways, their weirdness is actually endearing – I think everybody can at least connect to one of the characters thus far. Haru is my new favorite character, because he’s the cutest thing ever and he has a freaking talking fish as a pet! He brings much-loved silliness and laughter to the show, and he kind of reminds me of myself (yes, craziness and all) …plus his seiyuu is Irino Miyu!! (cwutididthar 8D) I’m sure many teenagers will be able to identify with Yuki, with all his self-consciousness and social awkwardness, but the way they dramatize it is ridiculously funny. His facial expressions are awesome, and that drowning thing? I don’t even xD

The episode ended off wonderfully with a “I never thought we’d actually save the world”, and that makes me really excited for what’s yet to come. Why does Haru’s fish talk? What does his magical water gun actually do? Why is the unintroduced Indian character so interested in him? Although I originally thought that this might’ve just been a really dramatically-presented slice-of-life anime about high school boys, but after this episode, I don’t think they’re really exaggerating the “change the fate of the world” part. These characters have lots of potential to do just that. What’s going to be interesting to watch is how they’re going to link all this insanity together while maintaining a reasonable pace and giving us more character development. The short story told at the start of the episode obviously has something to do with all of this – although I doubt we’ll be seeing five-headed dragons and floating princesses, maybe Haru and his fish are actually some kind of guardian sent down to Earth to keep away all bad things (like eternal darkness and all)? xD It’s still pretty hazy, and I’m looking forward to finding out more~

As for the animation, I like the use of bold textures during the story telling, and also during the OP/ED. The style isn’t the gorgeous kind that you’d be swooning over, and although there are a few derpy scenes, the simplicity of it all is perfect fit for the easygoing mood and setting of Tsuritama. Their character designs are also really cute (poofy hair! pointy noses!) and I like all of them so far! Wrapping it up, I’m extremely pleased with this first episode and I’m looking forward to the fun ride I’m gonna have blogging this along with Cool-senpai, and of course with all our awesome commentors here at Meta!~ <3


Ahhh, I love you, Nakamura Kenji! If you couldn’t tell by my icons alone, I loved what he did with Kuuchuu Buranko, and have come to love his style since then. He’s also the dude who directed Mononoke and C, but I see more similarities with the psychedelic, mental disorder-based Kuuchuu Buranko. If you think Tsuritama uses a bright palette then your eyeballs would melt out of their sockets from Kuuchuu Buranko. The art style is charming and everything is bright, crisp, and a joy to look at. Even the backgrounds have their own special sort of texture to them. As a result, Tsuritama is beautiful to look at, and makes use of some nice visual metaphors to show what the characters are feeling. Again, I hate to be the one who pushes up their glasses on their nose and compares two works with a dorky voice and a lisp, but seeing Yuki drowning in water as a depiction of his social anxiety is just like how Irabu’s patients had their various mental disorders shown based on which animal they suddenly morph into. It was used several times in the episode, but never abused. I especially liked how Yuki literally got pulled out of his pessimistic thoughts when he caught a fish, and how fishing with friends wrenched him out of his self-destructive thoughts. A nice little trick. Basically what I’m saying is that Tsuritama looks beautiful. Thank you A-1 for keeping things quality! Not the sarcastic kind of quality either, actual quality!

As Miyu said, the “saving the world” thing might be a hint at something huge, or it could just be 4 kids doing weird things that indirectly save the world. It’s hard to tell with shows that have those slice of life vibes. I won’t be surprised if there’s a poignant message at the end of all this, wrapped in a bundle of whimsy and joy. It’s a light-hearted show, but I feel like it has a very specific direction it wants to go in and a story it wants to tell. No excessive amounts of moe guys doing moe things for the sake of it (Yes, it indulges in that a bit, but it’s not the main draw to the series by far). Although, to be honest, I’d be fine watching these guys do anything. Yuki may be the usual loser main character who transfers schools all the time and has a friend change his life, but I like how he’s presented. Most of his dialogue is in his head, meaning he lives in his own world, and his depiction of what is actually happening isn’t accurate. I liked how he complained about Natsuki being cruel only to have the fishing prince think exactly the same thing about him. You really have to form your own opinion about things, because everyone in this show is all sorts of loopy. Opinions aren’t fact. Don’t even get me started on Haru. We don’t get any of his inner thoughts, and yet he’s the most mysterious character. He’s like Kuuchuu Buranko’s Irabu (same fashion sense too) but with a love for fishing and waterguns instead of giving people shots. I think he’ll also play an instrumental role in getting Yuki to be less of a spazz and learn how to make friends.

While it didn’t have a 5-star first episode like Apollon, it was still a very impressive first episode. One of the season’s best, I’d say. It’s a bit on the trippy side, so if you don’t mind fish that talk for no explained reason and self-proclaimed aliens, then you’ll be fine. Tsuritama just feels plain good to watch. It will leave you smiling, or at least tempted to smile, at least once. Yes, even if your usual fare is more on the..erm..darker side, like myself. It’s odd, but not much more so than the usual anime where a boy comes across some alien and has their life turned upside down. Although, things will probably just get weirder from here out,. Haru definitely is SOMETHING if not an alien. He can control fish, and he has an odd halo that appears when he’s using his powers, and he has a watergun that seems to hypnotize people into doing exactly what he wants them to do. I want to know what his deal is and what’s up with his telepathic fish…Despite seeming like a completely easy-going show, there’s actually quite a bit to unravel here.

There’s no preview, so just hang tight until next week! Just go watch some fish swim around at a pet store for a bit, and that can be your episode 2 preview. See ya!

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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35 Responses to “First Impressions – Tsuritama”

  1. lvlln says:

    This first episode blew me away. In a season full of great 1st episodes – Space Brothers, Mysterious Girlfriend X, Sankarea, Upotte to name just a few – this might have been the best. The characters are quirky in an endearing way, and the solid writing had me laughing for most of it.

    What really sells this is the art. I didn’t realize going in that Atsuya Uki of Cencoroll fame was behind the character designs, but that was something one could pick up on pretty quickly. There’s a softness to his characters that makes them feel more innocent. And the way the show is distinctly set in a cartoon world, taking advantage of things cartoon characters can do like have their face and hair transform, is great. We’ve seen a variety of visual styles this season, such as the live-action TV-style of Space Brothers and Mysterious Girlfriend X and the Shaft-influenced cinematography and lighting of Sankarea and Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, and this show adds its own unique look.

    And those last lines about actually saving the world… it’s time to get hyped for a Noitamina anime again.

    • Overcooled says:

      This is one my favourite first episodes as well. The spring season is really amazing this year. NoitaminA is really back in top form.

      I’ve never watched Cencoroll, but I do quite like the character designs. Anime can do almost anything, because it’s a cartoon, so it’s best to take advantage of the medium and just go all out with visual metaphors and stuff. I don’t think anyone could make such an amazing nervous face if this were a live action show.

  2. Kyokai says:

    TWADDAIMAAAAA~ In Haru’s style, that is noitaminA knocking at your proverbial door that they are back in their glory.

    I really loved this episode and oh the animation; not to mention the weirdness of all characters, which I usually connect with for the wrong reasons! Anyways, who else thought of the Vice President from Nichibros whenever Yuki made that angry-ass face? The waterplay showed a lot of connections; now I’m just waiting to see how the dudes save the world from this remote island.

    • Overcooled says:

      I wouldn’t mind having a blonde alien boy live with me. Hmm, how old is he? Is he old enough for me? LOL

      I was thinking more of the face Black Star and Death the Kid make when they see Exaclibur, although yours is probably more suitable.

      All they did was FISH and I was excited. Just wait until they SAVE THE WORLD.

  3. Rakuen says:

    I watched an episode about fishing… and I liked it. As my buddy Raph said, that’s a ringing endorsement.

    Maybe it was just the scene with Haru and the fishes, but something about the animation reminds me a little of Summer Wars.

    • Overcooled says:

      Fishing: minus the sanity-eroding boredom. It’s kind of amazing how anime can take boring things and make them so damn good.

      I can see a bit of Summer Wars in the art style. The characters have a slightly similar look to them.

  4. Karakuri says:

    The colours, man. THE COLOURS. I was extremely impressed by this one for sure. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything this bright… ever. Plus Haru is extremely endearing (as is that duck). I want to know what that water gun does!

    Anyways, long story short, this was amazing. The whole ‘saving the world’ thing was a good hook for episodes to come.

    • Overcooled says:

      Kuuchuu Buranko is going to kill you.

      I really liked it too. Haru is actually borderline annoying for me, but so far he hasn’t crossed the line yet. THE DUCK THOUGH. Oh man, best character of 2012. Or at least his master.

  5. Amutofan123 says:

    Tsuritama blew me out of the water! This episode did a great job at reeling me in. I’m hooked! Okay, sorry for the really bad puns. *shot*

    Anyway, it looks like the two noitaminA anime are going to be my favorites of the season. Right now, they are tied for first. I loved this so much more than I was expecting to. There was nothing I didn’t like about this episode.

    The visuals were fantastic. It was so colorful, bright, vivid, and whimsical.

    I love all of the characters so far. I have never seen an anime (or anything, really) that portrays the feeling that someone with social anxieties gets so well. Drowning is EXACTLY what it feels like. I really like Yuki because he is so relateable. The whole episode I was going “I know how you feel”. Akira has a duck. Nuff said. Natsuki was cool (megane~).

    And Haru. OH, HARU. I CLAIM HIM. HE IS MINE. NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE HIM. But I might be willing to share him if you are nice to me. I loved him so, so, so, so, so freaking much. HE’S SO ADORABLE~~~ Obaa-chan likes him too. That’s why she let him live at the house. She’s into adorable, blonde teenage boys.

    I’m not sure where the story is heading right now, but I don’t really care which way it goes.

    Anyway, I can’t wait for Thursdays now. With this and Sakamichi no Apollon, Thursdays are gonna be absolutely fabulous~

    • Amutofan123 says:

      Awww, I meant to end it with another fishing pun. >.<

      • Rakuen says:

        You might say it’s the one that got away…

        • Overcooled says:

          STOP IT YOU GUYS, I WON’T HAVE ANY GOOD FISHING PUNS LEFT FOR THE POSTS D:

          The noitaminA block is going to be STUPID good this season. This is refreshing considering that I didn’t even survive to the end of the Winter season noitaminA shows. Thursday is now…the best day.

          You can have Haru…Give Natsuki to me. Although Miyu might fight you for him, I don’t want him date-raping me with that magic watergun. I’ve since gotten over public speaking, but I used to be just as bad as Yuki, so I feel his pain. It really is a good metaphor for anxiety! Ah, thank goodness they forced us to do so many speeches in school…Now I don’t make weird Yuki-faces anymore XD

          • Rakuen says:

            I have at least two puns I could respond with, but I’ll spare you this once. You run out of puns, I will invent some for you! XD

            • Overcooled says:

              I may send you secret messages in the dead of the night, begging you in tears for puns so as to not disappoint the readers.

  6. Hawthorne says:

    AMAZING. That’s how I would describe this episode. ^^

    I really loved the whole ‘drowning’ analogy as well. Sometimes it does feel very suffocating, and you feel like you can’t talk while, of course, your face starts getting really red the more you think about it.

    I loved the analogy as well, Hoshi. As someone who is terrible with public speaking, and communication in general I can relate to Yuki! I can totally feel his pain when he’s standing in front of the class and everything just goes … wrong. XD When I can relate to a character it makes watching even more enjoyable.

    the simplicity of it all is perfect fit for the easygoing mood and setting of Tsuritama.

    Completely agree, Miyu! I loved the visuals as well, it just … feels right, and now I can’t picture it looking any other way. ><

    I especially liked how Yuki literally got pulled out of his pessimistic thoughts when he caught a fish, and how fishing with friends wrenched him out of his self-destructive thoughts.

    You don’t sound “dorky” at all OC, I really like the comparison and I didn’t even think to look into like that. ^^ I love seeing friendships develop in anime, I can’t wait to see how else Yuki’s new friends influence him.

    • Overcooled says:

      I meant that I felt dorky for continually comparing it to Kuuchuu Buranko :B I’ll be looking forward to seeing how this oddball gang starts to get along, and all the visual treats that await us.

  7. Foshizzel says:

    THE COLORS OH GOD THE COLORS! Easily the best part <3 <3 <3

    Oh and the voice acting…yes…good…stuff, but I did find the drowning parts to be a bit extreme and tad bit annoying at times <3

    • Overcooled says:

      Did you just put a heart after saying something was annoying? I’ll be sure never to take your heart emoticons seriously from now on.

      Anyways, whole scenes devoted to visual metaphors can be tiring for some, so that’s alright.

  8. Jak says:

    I absolutely loved the color palettes in this anime! so bright, so vivid, so .. refreshing 😀

    like OC said, that scene with Yuki being pulled out of his drowning world by his fish on the line was a great metaphor, kinda like showing how fishing and his newfound friends can help him overcome his ‘drowning’ social anxieties.

    • Overcooled says:

      Everyone’s really digging the animation style! I’m glad it’s getting so much universal praise for that.

      I think he’ll be drowning less and less as he gets closer to his friends and starts getting more used to fishing. Kenji Nakamura always comes up with some great ways to get feelings across in a way only anime can achieve.

  9. tatsuya says:

    so many colourfull pic ~~I LIKE…
    It’s make me wanna work early in the morning ..
    gotta respect A-1 for the great quality

    • Overcooled says:

      Are the colours so bright they’re waking you up? XD It’s definitely something I prefer watching in a well-lit room than in the dark.

  10. Bob from Accounting says:

    I… I actually can’t decide what the best noitaminA show this season is yet. THAT’S HOW GOOD THIS IS!

    • Overcooled says:

      I know! I’m going to cry when we have to pick our top 3 for the season. EVERYTHING IS JUST SO GOOD! ESPECIALLY THE NOITAMINA SHOWS!

  11. Zabobinator says:

    I LOVE HARU. SO MUCH.

    That is all.

  12. Syio says:

    Every time I see that duck, I think ‘AFLAC’. D:

  13. Moni Chan says:

    I like this anime it’s so cute. It’s like Kimi to Boku and Kuragehime in one.

    • Overcooled says:

      I don’t know if I would agree seeing as I quite disliked both of those things, but I love Tsuritama.

  14. Kitty says:

    omg seriously! I laughed so hard when Indian Prince boy said he hated tourist. Classic. Is it wrong to enjoy the fact is name is Yuki Sanada! Seriously. Awesome first episode, where was this, when I was missing Kimi to Boku. Defiantly I better replacement then High School boys. I was really looking forward to this one for Spring, so happy it didn’t dissapoint. *begs the anime gods to keep it that way*

    • Overcooled says:

      I found the duck more amusing than his disdain for tourists XD

      Eh, not sure if it’s like a REPLACEMENT for Nichibros since they’re both different genres trying to achieve different things. But yes, it is a new spring show, and I love it.

  15. Ardath Gerrero says:

    Social anxiety disorder greatly reduces the quality of a person’s life. People who suffer from social anxiety miss out on so much that life has to offer. Opportunities are greatly limited, because the person who suffers from social anxiety cannot take advantage of any opportunity that might require social interaction – and most opportunities in life do require some sort of social interaction…

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