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Anime / Tsuritama

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You can't catch fish if you don't go fishing, and you can't make friends if you don't at least try. Relationship-challenged student Yuki happens to find himself on a fishing trip to a small island with three other boys he doesn't know particularly well. These include another boy, a grown man and Haru who claims he's an alien. Natsuki is constantly stewing and mysterious Akira are not prospects for good companions. Fishing, however, is a unique activity that offers quiet sense of companionship and hopeful expectation, and it might bring some personal connections to Yuki. In addition, Haru says they're going to have to save the entire planet.

Tsuritama ("Fishing Ball") is an original anime that first aired as part of the Spring 2012 anime season.

This series contains the following tropes:

  • Art Shift: The first episode's introduction, the ending credits, and the eyecatches use a computer-generated artstyle based around clusters of circles and paper cutouts.
  • Babies Ever After: In the epilogue Tamotsu reopens the resturant with Sakura as a waiter and Mariko is heavily pregnant.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Natsuki is protective of his little sister Sakura. Haru saying to Sakura that Natsuki'll be teaching him and Yuki how to fish is the only reason Natsuki agrees to do it.
  • Character Development: A third of the way into the show and already there are clear differences. It's done pretty well, too, not jarring or strange. Certain traits remain or later resurface, without a complete remission.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Several characters are in mortal danger at times, but ultimately Everybody Lives.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Ayumi gets blown up by a rogue missile! Subverted as he survives
  • Dancing Theme: The opening features the various characters performing what is apparently an Enoshima-endemic dance.
  • Double Meaning: Yuki points out that Haru can literally "be the lure".
  • Easily Forgiven: Urara gets nothing in the way of comeuppance and even becomes friends with Haru, Coco, and Yuki.
  • Family Business: Natsuki feels obligated to take over the family restaurant, but also wants to leave Enoshima to pursue a professional angling career.
  • Fee Fi Faux Pas: Haru tries to cheer up Yuki about Kate's hospitalization by telling him that everyone dies at some point.
  • Foreshadowing: A lot of Haru's behavior actually makes the fact that his species of alien are fish rather obvious, such as being afraid of cats, needing to stay wet, and shouting 'Ow' while Natsuki is talking about hooking a fish. There's also a blink and you'll miss it shot of the fishbowl he carries around being empty, right before Coco is introduced.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Defensive Universal Confidential Keepers
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: Yuki overcomes much of his social anxiety thanks to Haru and the others, but all of them have character development as a result of hanging out with the other weirdos.
  • Meaningful Name: Misaki ("ocean blossom"; the pronunciation also matches "cape" when written with different kanji), the girl at the bait and tackle shop.
  • Mukokuseki: The Frenchmen and Indian don't look significantly different from the Japanese characters.
  • No Social Skills: Yuki. The poor guy didn't have friends at his old schools—mostly due to how he gets facially expressive panic attacks when nervous. This is a product of social anxiety disorder but some of his unsocial behaviour and anxiety may be attributed to something else.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The organization that Akira and his team work for, who are somehow involved in both the occult and aliens.
  • Parental Abandonment: Yuki's parents are not in his life. Whatever happened to them is not specified, but Yuki seems to imply that they're alive.
  • The Power of Friendship: Friendship and making bonds is the point of the entire series, fishing coming at a distant second, saving the world third.
  • Real-Place Background: Most of the series takes place on Enoshima, an island off the coast of the Japanese town of Kamakura. Many local landmarks are clearly recognizable.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The ending, "Sora mo Toberu Hazu", is a cover of an existing song by Spitz.
  • Saving the World: What Yuki is supposed to be doing by being forced to fish... somehow.
  • Scenery Porn: Enoshima is a beautiful, colorful place.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Haru and Coco, if they really are siblings. Haru's free-spirited, bubbly, and energetic, while Koko's more serious, calculating, and willing to use her mind control water gun.
  • Sinister Geometry: Haru and the dragon can conjure creepy triangular halos.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The cutesy ending theme cuts in as the Big Bad finally begins to take action in episodes 6 and 7.
  • Spell My Name With An S: The Crunchyroll subs give Kate's name as Keito and Coco's as Koko.
  • Starfish Aliens: Haru and Coco's alien species can communicate through water, but whenever they try it on a human it just ends up as Mind Control. A powerful enough alien can work via moisture in the air if it's particularly humid. When the Dragon's nearby not even wearing protective suits will protect you from his control. Only one of the crewmen seemed to not be affected by it.
  • Stealth Pun: Haru's obsession with the Sky Tree might have something to do with the fact that the "Tree" is tsurii and "fishing" is tsuri.
  • Strange Salute: Akira's crew hold up cards emblazoned with a "D", strike a Ginyu Force-esque pose, and shout "Duck!"
  • Theme Naming:
    • Floral Theme Naming: The girls. Coco (coconut), Misaki (doesn't seem to be an actual plant, although it literally translates to "ocean blossom"), Sakura ("cherry blossom"), Erika ("heather"), and Kate (keito/"plumed cockscomb").
    • Gender-Blender Name: All of the main boys have unisex names.
    • Temporal Theme Naming: The boys are named after the seasons—Yuki ("snow" for winter), Haru ("spring"), Natsuki (natsu/"summer"), and Akira (aki/"autumn").
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 6, boy howdy. An artificial reef suddenly disappears. A giant pink halo appears in the sky that looks like Haru's. It then smashes Haru's halo. Haru goes berserk and starts using his water gun. Akira starts shooting at him before their ship crashes and he goes unconscious. Everything soon goes back to normal...up until the episode ends with a bunch of fishermen doing the Enoshima dance for no reason with the creepiest smiles on their faces you ever did see.
    • Episode 8: The true nature of the Big Bad is divulged (the "dragon" in the fairy tale—a renegade member of Haru and Coco's species), his possible plot is revealed (mind control the entire world via air humidity) and his fleet of mind-controlled fishing ships makes landfall at Enoshima. Akira is disowned by Duck and held at gunpoint by the rest of his unit; meanwhile, a Duck combat unit is en route to Enoshima.
    • In Episode 9. Haru got hit with Break the Cutie. Hard.
    • In Episode 10: As JFX takes control of a Duck battleship, without the use of water, the only unaffected officer bumps into a missile control switch. The missile launches and destroys the Hemmingway, with Ayumi inside.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In episode 7, both Sakura and later Yuki call out Natsuki for picking a fight with their father and slapping his sister respectively. He tells them both to shut up and storms out.