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「ムカついてランディング」 (Mukatsuite Randingu)
“Angry Landing”

There’s beauty to be had in the subtlety of Tsuritama, but with a third of the show past us, I’m starting to yearn for greater strides in the story.

Make no mistake, much like its Noitamina counterpart Sakamichi no Apollon, Tsuritama excels in getting the audience engaged with the portrayal of its lovable cast. This episode reiterates the point with its continued development of Yuki, Haru, Natsuki and the people around them. We see the socially awkward Yuki, for the first time in the series and maybe in his life, really open up to a person besides his grandmother and freely converse with Haru and Natsuki, whom he previously had problems dealing with. He gets so emotionally tied up with Haru that they almost seem like family at this point. The way Yuki got angry, frustrated, and annoyed with Haru, but also realizing that Haru became an integral part of his life, feels almost like the relationship between a pair of brothers; Haru as the well-meaning but clueless younger brother, and Yuki having to be the one to clean up the mess. The scene with Yuki finally catching his first fish and desperately wanting Haru to see it was a nod towards how far their relationship has come to, and it is heartwarming to see how much they have bonded. Haru’s eventual departure from Earth seems to be getting more likely with every passing episode, and I expect this will be the emotional climax of the show.

On the topic of the portrayal of characters, one of the things about the free-spirited Haru was that there always was a certain amount of artificiality to his words and actions, something this episode set out to convey to the audience; his incessant apologies for his mistakes in this episode, while well-intentioned, felt hollow, as if he never really understood or meant his words. Haru’s lack of knowledge of the subtleties in human relationships led him perform deeds he believed were good, but never really carried out with any purpose and meaning to them other than their inherently good nature, such as him trying to make Natsuki patch his poor familial ties. It makes the moments where he really means his words stand out; in the last episode, where he emotionally supported Yuki with his chant, and in this episode, when he genuinely wanted to understand human emotions and subtleties so as to repair his relationship with Yuki.

While Yuki and Haru’s relationship is given the most focus for now, it is also in the scenes involving Natsuki and his family that Tsuritama exemplifies the subtlety it gives to the development of its characters. There are many small details to pick from, such as Natsuki now talking back to the father he had largely ignored in past episodes (possibly a positive result of last week’s cathartic finale), and his father slowly losing the strong front he has tried to keep up after failing time and time again to connect with Natsuki. Little Sakura is also understandably getting more despondent about the cold war as well, and this is starting to show on her face with increasing regularity. There’s a layer of depth to the dynamics of this family unit, with each member having their own set of feelings and emotions regarding the situation, but none willing to really open up to each other. It speaks volumes about both the acting and the animation in Tsuritama to carry across its meaning like this.

But Tsuritama’s strength is also its greatest weakness. Watching Tsuritama is almost like fishing, and the patience of the audience, while watching the characters and the world build themselves, is necessary. We’re a third of the show in, but hardly anything is going on in the overarching plot even though characters themselves are taking great strides in their growth. And as charming as the cast is, the show lacks the sort of strong, overarching developments that I feel are necessary to episodic shows. Perhaps this is more a complaint stemming from my tastes rather than an actual flaw with the show, because with all this build-up, it is likely that the plot will pick up towards the end of the show. As of now however, I cannot help but express my desire for Tsuritama’s story to pick up the pace or give me a new, engaging development in this rather laid-back series.

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May 5, 2012 at 6:56 pm
17 comments »
  • May 5, 2012 at 7:33 pmDrift

    Oh Haru, why you so cute?

    It was nice to see how much Haru has changed Yuki’s life so far, and I know that their relationship with each other will deepen and become the core essence of this show. It’s so cute how Yuki ran out of his house to find him XD

    And yes, I would like to see how Natsuki and his relationship with his family will turn out. Even though his dad is such a nice person I do understand why Natsuki is angry at him (Obviously it’s about the lose of his mum and his dad already having someone he likes besides his mum). It’s quite a touchy subject so it will be wonderful to see how it will play out.

    Thank you for blogging this :) Looking forward to it next week as well.

    • May 5, 2012 at 7:49 pmAsobi

      I looking forward to how their conflict is gonna play out too. One of the things this episode alluded to is that the conflict between Natsuki and his dad might be due to Natsuki feeling that his dad shouldn’t be putting the memory of mother behind, if the little conversation about the restaurant they own is anything to go by. And because Natsuki is giving him the cold shoulder, Tamotsu might be finding it hard to explains his own thoughts on the matter.

  • May 5, 2012 at 10:06 pmTsudera

    There should be more people watching this great show.
    I was already in love with the characters,music,humor since episode 1.
    Tsuritama,in my opinion,is a quirky and irresistible series..Looking forward to this episode and what will unfold in the future plot-wise.

  • May 5, 2012 at 10:42 pmKinny Riddle

    Man, Yuki is so tsundere for Haru, and Haru really knows how to tease him as a result.

    If Yuki were a girl, I think I’d go moe over him already. lol

    Even without my BL goggles on, I could still feel the bromance between our 3 boys.

    PS Why do MIBs in this world all come from India? Wonder if it has something to do with their knowledge of Vimanas in Hindu mythology? (You know, the flying ship thingy Gilgamesh rode on in Fate Zero)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vimana

  • May 6, 2012 at 12:26 amJunglepenguin

    I like how it was mentioned that watching Tsuritama is like fishing, because it describes it perfectly. There are people who go fishing with the objective of catching something, and they come out feeling either triumphant with their catches or defeated with none. Then there are those who go fishing because… Just because. There’s no real objective. You just enjoy lazing around in the sun, watching the water ripple, playing around with your bait and reels, hanging out with other fishing buddies and when the fish actually start biting, you just go with the flow. Whether you catch the fish is secondary. What matters is that you’re fishing, and you’re enjoying it.

    With Tsuritama, you begin with two schools of thought. You either expect some plot development and character interaction, or you simply enjoy what’s there. Mine is the latter. Watching Haru being Haru brings me a strange joy, and seeing how the rest interact with him and each other gives me an unexplainable feeling of satisfaction, something that no other show has done for me this season. It would be nice to see some sort of progression in the story, but I honestly wouldn’t mind if all that happened was the trip going around and learning more about fishing and about each other.

    That said, I’m counting on the story to build up at this point. The tension between siscon Natsuki and struggling dad is a sure set-up for an emotional climax. Dont forget about Oba-chan in the hospital. Haru, being an alien(?), should have to leave eventually. Considering how close he’s gotten to Yuki and Natsuki, it won’t be easy for them to part ways. Lastly, DUCK! Tapioca and Akira must come in somewhere. I’m sure this whole thing is building up for an extravagant finale, so prepare yourselves!

    Anyone found the HAINO! greeting adorable? I kinda want a friend who’s seen this to greet me that way now.

  • May 6, 2012 at 1:50 amD-LaN

    Angry pink shirt guy name is AYUMI……. who give their kid tht name….

  • May 6, 2012 at 8:25 amIsabel

    Aw, no screencap of Yuki’s camera phone picture of him with the fish? :(

    Thanks for blogging this, Asobi. It seems that everyone’s on the brink of dropping this wonderful show. Please don’t give up on it.

  • May 6, 2012 at 9:29 amStereoman

    Hmm, nothing to buy this week. I guess I’ll have to run back home drenched, and without my jacket instead… Yes, that works!

    • May 6, 2012 at 10:16 amJunglepenguin

      You could learn Haru’s greeting. HAINOHAINOHAINO!

    • May 6, 2012 at 1:50 pmAsobi

      Dear customer, might I interest you in some freshly caught sea bass perfect for fish dishes? :3

      • May 7, 2012 at 4:56 amStereoman

        I could cook that for my friends! I’ll buy it!

    • May 6, 2012 at 10:52 pmD-LaN

      Go buy some Enoshima-don then. Or fish a sea bass and cook it.

      (Man, I want to have tht as lunch…..)

    • May 7, 2012 at 8:00 amSeishun Otoko

      You could pick up a new smartphone for Yuki ;)

  • May 6, 2012 at 1:11 pmsealouse

    I just wanted to mention how neat it is to watch a show that involves one of my favorite activities, fishing. So glad he finally caught something. I was like “Did he jump in the water with his phone?”

  • May 6, 2012 at 2:30 pmPolar

    Just wanted to say even though the world is building itself very slowly, I am still very interested in the outcome of the story! :)

  • May 7, 2012 at 7:59 amSeishun Otoko

    Great post Asobi, but I wouldn’t say Tsuritama’s story is moving too slowly. There’s certainly more than enough happening every episode to keep us interested. Yuki has finally caught his first fish, Haru has made his mark in both Yuki’s and Natsuki’s lives, Akira has equipped up to join the fun, we’ve also learned more about Natsuki’s family. It’ll be interesting to see how the dynamics change when Akira & Tapioca join the gang in a fishing trip next week ;)

    • May 7, 2012 at 12:01 pmAsobi

      You’re not wrong Seishun, but I see these more as the natural progression of their character developments, and not quite as the overarching story developments that would reel me in (like Sakamichi’s confessions). However, this is more a complaint stemming from my personal thoughts, because as it is Tsuritama’s pacing certainly stands on its own merits.