「戦慄のスプラッシュ」 (Senritsu no Supurashu)
After a solid first half that packed some of the most brilliant character-building I’ve seen in an anime, the show finally pushes on to give the plot some much needed development.
I suppose I made it quite clear in previous posts that I’ve been waiting for the bigger, harder-hitting developments in Tsuritama, and this episode certainly didn’t disappoint in that regard. The midpoint of Tsuritama signals a departure from the pacing and direction we’ve expected thus far, and starts introducing a greater mix of elements into the story. Even so, it seems clear that the show doesn’t want to stop its characters from growing, and it’s a welcomed fact that the spirit of the first half isn’t exactly lost in transition.
So yes, it honestly wouldn’t be stretch to say that this episode had more plot developments than every other combined up until now. We got a better insight at the mysterious entity (purported to be the dragon mentioned in episode 1) that Yuki and co. will eventually have to fish through Akira’s investigations and a close-encounter with the dragon itself, which seems to have made itself home at Akemi, an artificial fish reef off the coast of Enoshima. Like any good sea monster, this thing seems to have a penchant for making boats disappear, a likely result of the memory manipulation that our group of protagonists was subject to in this episode.
With the developments also come the question marks. It was bizarre to see Haru being subject to the same memory manipulation and subsequently losing it, raising the question of the dragon’s true nature. The legend of the goddess keeps cropping up as well, without much of a clue as to what it could be referring to. (Possibly the alien siblings?) Then, there’s the mystery of those triangular halos, and its implication for Haru now that his is broken. (This could also be a reference to the Bermuda triangle, which has been mentioned a number of times. It is a rather massive triangle literally floating over sea water, after all.) And what of that crazy Enoshima dance? HAINO!
It doesn’t mean the characters have taken a backseat to all this plot development. With Akira finally getting some proper screentime to himself, we find a person whose passion for fishing is unparalleled in the show, but at the same time having a rather snobbish and elitist attitude when it comes to his revered hobby. Oh, and has a pretty hilarious reaction to jokes. He also seems to have taken a personal interest in the Enoshima case, with his investigations going beyond what his superiors want from him.
And with the fleshing out of Akira comes his proper integration into the quartet. And guess what’s the first thing they do? Why, fishing of course! I never imagined that fishing could be a team activity, so seeing them all working together to catch the tuna was all kinds of awesome. The show has done such a great job of fleshing each character out and establishing their relationships with each other, so much so that the entire sequence felt like a culmination of all that character build-up, a representation of everything they’ve achieved and how they’ve grown over the last few episodes.
It’s nice to see that all the build-up seems to be paying off extremely well, and with luck, as we move into the second half, the resulting climax of the show will be reaching even greater heights.