「伝説のビッグフィッシュ」 (Densetsu no Biggu Fishu)
“Legendary Big Fish”

That cliffhanger! Why can’t it be next week yet!?

Now, this is the first episode of Tsuritama I’ve honestly been at a loss as to what to write about. No, I’m not saying the episode was bad. On the contrary, I’m at a loss because of its brilliance. Ever since we learned about it, we knew that the fishing of the dragon, JFX, was always going to be the climax of the story, the ultimate culmination of the characters’ growth and their relationships. Tsuritama didn’t shy away from this prediction, making it clear to the audience that this would the moment where the pay-off for all its build-up will peak. Even if it had to resort to breaking Ayumu’s arm in wayward missile strike. Yes, the bro lives! So just like we’d all expected, it ultimately came down to our four leads to take charge of this task.

For a lesser show, this might have worked against it, but not for Tsuritama, which for the better part of its run has been meticulously building the characters and the world they inhabit. It all comes down to the execution, which seems to hit all the right notes as we watch our leading quartet’s attempt at fishing JFX. There are call outs to the various details throughout the series, such as the revelation of Haru’s obsession with the color red, Ayumu’s “Yatta Zou-” on getting hugged by Misaki, as well as Yuki plopping down in the middle of the deck to recollect his thoughts in the recurring filmreel sequence.

Then there are the nods towards the character’s growth, most notably in Yuki’s angling skills; remember how we’ve spent an entire episode on the tying of a uniknot? Yuki does that in a second flat. Tapping on the line when casting? I nearly missed it, but there too. How about Natsuki’s various advice on the countdown technique, angling strategy and choosing a proper lure? Everything’s present. And let’s not forget the now iconic ENO. SHIMA. DO–N! It was hard to stop grinning like an idiot as I was continuously delighted by these little details the show had previously devoted entire episodes to, things that had the character’s -and my- emotional investment to them. Tsuritama has brilliantly captured the essence of its build-up with these cues, these nuances, and translated it onto screen. That’s why I’m at a loss for words; I can only describe it as pure joy to watch the integral use of quite possibly every detail Tsuritama has shown us up until now, while reminiscing and even cheering about the meanings attached to each one that the show has painstakingly established. I can think of scant few other series that has the attention to detail Tsuritama has displayed, and with such an engaging payoff for all this build-up to boot. Along with a brilliantly evocative score. And its incredibly likable supporting cast.

Yes, I’m just gushing. Now you see why I’m lost on what to write about?

So how did the perfect combination of teamwork and friendship fail in their fishing attempt? I was fully convinced that they’d come out successful, so my eyes were wide open with shock at the moment the lure broke. Of course, JFX will be caught one way or the other, and the world will be saved by them in the end. It’s the only logical conclusion to the story, yet how will they go about it in next week’s finale as our characters find themselves in an increasingly hopeless situation? And perhaps the most important question of all, the one weighing most heavily on my mind since the very start of the show; Will Haru really leave Earth? It would mark a fittingly bittersweet conclusion to Tsuritama’s tale of growth and companionship, but on the cusp of the show’s conclusion, I’m beginning to doubt my own conviction, and think that just maybe…just maybe, the show’s infectious positivity might influence its end. Irregardless, despite my earlier complaints of pacing, Tsuritama has been in retrospect one of the most brilliant shows I’ve had the chance to catch in a very long while, and I honestly can’t wait to find out what kind of conclusion it has for us. And till then, I’m gonna keep asking: “So, is it Thursday yet?”

Author’s Notes

It seems that I was under the mistaken impression that this episode would be the finale, which was reflected in my previous post, so apologies for that.




  1. Every episode since the sixth has been absolutely great and this was no exception. A real strength of Tsuritama is how the absurdity and realism mix. During the fishing scene, I began to wonder if using an actual rod would really work against dragon. And surprisingly enough, it didn’t. Even though the premise of the show is imaginative, it doesn’t coast on suspension of disbelief, which makes the general dualism (mythological vs realistic, alien vs human, man vs animal, and slife-of-life vs catastrophe) so brilliant. No detail used to build their universe is wasted and everything we learn about the world as viewers circles back. Tsuritama’s found a very unique world and set-up which really works.

    As usual, the supposedly touching scenes with Haru never really hit me, mostly because I have never had much love for Haru’s character at all. Even then, I’d hard pressed saying that they aren’t well done. The rest of the cast is just too strong to let the moments sink.

  2. Man, I’m gonna be so sad when Tsuritama ends. The build-ups are certainly paying off very nicely and it’s great to see how much the characters have grown.
    I’m still rooting for a happy ending for our main four. Yuki seems intend to make Haru stay and it seems like Haru & Coco would like that too. Depending on how they wrap it up next week, it’s gonna rank very high up in my favorites of all time. Well done, Team Tsuritama!

    Seishun Otoko
  3. Oh no, why can’t Tsuritama be the one that gets 24 episodes anime? This anime really brightened up my week and it was really the best anime this season had to offer.

    Great episode. Great to see Ayumi back. Now all we need to Koko. I really hope it’s a happy ending. This is one of those rare animes where all characters are equally likable.

  4. Can’t blame you for expecting this to be the last episode, I was thinking the same right until the credits started. I mean, since when does noitaminA have 12-episode series? Now I wish that [C] could’ve got that very last episode that it needed so much.

  5. For a show that excellently portrays a group of boys growing up into men, I find the show’s female characters criminally underused, with the exception of Yuki’s gran Kate.

    I would have liked to see the boys interact more with Erika, their classmate as well as the priest’s granddaughter, which makes her the local miko in turn. Seeing as the legend dealt with a “goddess”, you would have thought the local miko would have played a bigger role. Instead our “goddess” is none other than Haru.

    Same goes for Sakura, Coco, Misaki the fishing equipment owner and Mariko, Natsuki’s stepmom.

    Kinny Riddle
    1. I can understand you thoughts about this. I was expecting at lest Koko to have more influence in this series as least. But Haru being the “goddess” of this story also makes the most sense.

      I also hate to say it buy fishing is a sport makes gravitate to more then females in general. It not so much that girls can’t fish (I use to finish a lot when I was younger) it just that it’s more appealing to guy as it a way to them think and do nothing for a day. Females in general are basically hardwired to be contently thinking/processing things and we find it hard to sit and do nothing for a day without some sort of feedback. Its the reason why most females bring books on vacation as well to give our minds something to do while we relax.

      This of course is a generality but we see thing trend in amateur golf as well.

    2. While I agree with you about the underuse of Erika, I think that the other females served a fairly significant role. Mariko served as the source of Natsuki’s conflict with his dad, and Sakura as the voice of innocence, namely her frustration with Natsuki’s attitude with their dad really opened his eyes. Someone needed to vent, and it wasn’t going to be Natsuki. Misaki’s role as the fishing equipment owner offered the group a place to join together, doing what they like doing best, fishing, and she also acted as a cheerleader on some occasions toward the boys. Coco served as a foil to the outrageously innocent and naive outlook that her brother, Haru, has toward their goal of fishing JFX out of the ocean and his stubborn desire to involve humans in their plight.

  6. I love this show to bits, and this episode shows that it’s worth watching every single episode. Everything is brought together nicely for the final showdown. Truly an anime with a great beginning, journey and, most probably, ending.

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