「寂しくてキャスティング」 (Sabishikute Kyasutingu)
Huh, and here I was thinking fishing was just about throwing a line into the sea and waiting for something to bite. Or at least, that’s how Pokémon and old men colored my biased perception. Damn you Gamefreak! Tsuritama’s blinding passion for the subject matter is almost infectious, in no small part due to the detail paid each episode to the fishing equipments and angling techniques that is quite frankly, impressive to watch. Seeing Yuki shouting out his youth while swinging his rod time and time again in a scene reminiscent of (out of all things) Gurren Lagann was damn near cathartic, and has me itching to try my hand at this whole fishing shebang. If I didn’t know better, Tsuritama could easily be passed off as an introductory teaching aid for angling beginners, though I doubt anyone besides the real professionals would even attempt the near-impossible training of aiming one’s lure into a barely 10-inches-wide bucket lying some 30 feet away.
But of course, you readers and I do know better, so what’s going on in the overall plot?
Tsuritama is still in the early stages of its story, and while we still aren’t seeing much in the way of plot developments, details are being fleshed out bit by bit as we continue the build up toward the later part of the story. Most interestingly, Tsuritama played the sickly family member card way sooner than I had anticipated, with Kate being admitted into the hospital for her unknown illness. It slowly becomes clear why Yuki is constantly moving, and he is also obviously disturbed by this, understandably because Kate is probably the only person alive he has a proper social link with.
Then, dear Haru goes and agitates him even further in one of the worst ways possible.
It was at this point that I had to stop and wonder. Haru’s presence in the show is extremely polarizing, and I’ve seen a fair number of people hate him for the very same reasons other would find his character enjoyable. This episode served to fuel the debate further with Haru’s “everyone dies” comments. Some might find his innocent bluntness due to his extraterrestrial origins to be charming, while others might find his behaviour to be downright tactless and annoying. I find myself sitting with the former camp, but regardless, the show makes a strong case for the validity of Haru’s character through his dynamics with Yuki. Tsuritama is very much about these boys stumbling around the complexities of friendship, and the parts involving the oblivious Haru are what conveyed this idea the best; for example, Haru’s continued childlike defiance of his sister who persuaded him to break things off with Yuki. Haru, who continued to stand up for Yuki and in him, saw strength where others would see flaws. Tsuritama manages to make this two characters play off each other extremely well, with the development of their relationship in this episode feeling both subtle and more importantly, genuine.
That is not to say the development of the other characters paled in comparison, as I really enjoyed how Natsuki really opened up to Yuki and Haru at the close of this episode. The final few minutes was undoubtedly my favorite moment of the show till now with every core character (save Akira) going through their own moment of catharsis, and the closing scene with Natsuki dashing in the rain yelling his lungs out was as emotionally refreshing to me as I imagine it would’ve been to him.
The episode also gave us a look at the other side of Akira’s double lifestyle, and if there were any doubts from last week that he actually is 25 years old, they should be put to rest with his diet of cigerettes and beer. More fabulously is the organization he works for, Kirabo- err, I mean, DUCK!, which asides from their unbridled passion for, well, ducks, seemed to have taken more than a few fashion tips from a certain glittering brigade. It confirms the suspicions of Akira being part of a MIB-esque group, sent to infiltrate Enoshima and observe the alien siblings. Judging from the conversation with his superior and his dismissal of bond between the boys, Akira appears to be your young upstart that is completely focused on his goals at the expense of relationships. But where this anime is going, I expect he will turn around soon enough. Speaking of ducks, the antics of chick-magnet Tapioca were a delight, especially the amusing scene of Akira mistakenly thinking Misaki (Tominaga Miina) was talking to him.
Next week’s episode seems to continue the build up on existing plot points, with a focus on Natsuki’s family as Yuki and Haru comes into contact his father Usami Tamotsu (Saitou Shirou). So for now, this is Asobi, signing off.
Full-length image: 01