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Film / Sanpei The Fisher Boy

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Sanpei Mihira is your average country boy, happily fishing away his days with his friend Yurippe. His grandfather, Ippei Mihira, is a renowned rod-maker who spends his days tending to his fields and teaching the boy how to fish. One day while fishing for trout in the local river, Sanpei bumps into Gyoushin Ayukawa, a pro fisherman who is looking for Ippei. It turns out that he is looking for the fabled Yonakidani, a fishing spot that Ippei ostensibly knows. To make matters worse, Sanpei's sister Aiko arrives a few days later to bring the boy to Tokyo for better education. In the midst of all this, Ippei finally made his decision and tells Gyoushin that he would like to fish in the aforementioned valley, asking Gyoushin to take them there. Not to mention that small bet he and Aiko made earlier...


Sanpei The Fisher Boy (釣りキチ三平, Tsurikichi Sanpei) is a 2009 movie based off the 1973-84 Shonen Magazine manga of the same name written by Takao Yaguchi. It has previously been turned into a 109 episode cartoon series in 1980 by Nippon Animation.

Tropes appearing in this movie:

  • The Ace: Gyoushin. He is a champion bass fisherman in the United States.
  • Adaptation Distillation: This movie takes elements from a few distinct arcs of the manga as well as its own spin.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Aiko inflicted this to Sanpei while they were camping in Yonakidani.
  • Artistic License – Biology: The logic of having a landlocked 5-foot trout is somewhat shaky (though not totally unheard of; see Taimen), and the idea of tribal people stocking headwaters with fish is unheard of.
  • Catchphrase
    Gyoushin: Don't worry, I'm a pro!
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  • The Catfish: The "Rakuen no Nushi" in Yonakidani ...which is a 5-foot long Japanese Char; Japanese chars typically only grow to a mere 2 feet, and that's the ocean-going larger ones.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Catch and release.
  • Cry Cute: Aiko.
  • Disappeared Dad: Aiko and Sanpei's father, Taira, disappeared while fishing in Okinawa seven years ago. Their mother died of illness half a year later.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gyoushin. He is blind on his right eye due to a fishing accident. His father inflicted that wound, and the old man was not quite the same ever since.
  • Numerical Theme Naming: Among the Mihira males, Ippei (1) and Sanpei (3). Taira broke this trend though.
  • Old Master: Ippei Mihira is considered this in rod-making. His rods however, does not sell well nowadays despite highly-regarded.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You/Worthy Opponent: Ippei kept the secret of Yonakidani since Taira disappeared, hoping that the younger Mihira will someday come back to fish for the 5-foot Japanese Char that inhabits the fishing hole. He relented when Aiko showed up, hoping that catching the giant would somehow sway her from taking Ippei.
  • Scenery Porn: Hooo yeah.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Played with since we didn't really see anything, but there is one involving Gyoushin and Aiko in the middle of the trek to Yonakidani.
  • Technology Porn: If you're an angler, you'll be aroused by the sheer variety of fishing (particularly fly-fishing) gear on display.
  • Time-Compression Montage: The journey to Yonakidani took at least two days, compressed to a few tens of minutes of Scenery Porn shots.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The Matagi people, who are told to have been hunters. They stocked the headwaters of Yonakidani with chars so they would have a source of food if they ever got lost there.
  • Walking the Earth: Gyoushin, who is looking to discover the meaning of fishing after a string of losses in the pro circuit. He also did this after his father injured his right eye by accident, because he didn't like being treated with kid gloves by his father.

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