The "introduction" for this series was so very pretty.

Summary:

A young man named Yuki is forced to transfer schools again.  He’s been moving around place to place with his grandma for a while now, so he’s used to moving.  However, what he isn’t used to is dealing with social interactions.  Whenever he’s faced with a problematic social situation, he has a panic attack and feels like he’s drowning.  In reality, he just freezes up and makes a really ugly face which only worsens his reputation.

Haru. I'm sad I couldn't get any good caps of his fish...

Yuki and his grandmother’s latest move is to what seems to be an island city called Enoshima, which is surrounded by a beautiful ocean.  On the first day of school, Yuki once again has a panic attack, though he’s “saved” by a strange boy named Haru, who also happens to be a new transfer student.  Haru happily claims that he is “an alien” and seems to be able to communicate with fish.  (One of Haru’s companions is a fish that he tends to carry in a fishbowl placed on top of his head.)

We also have this guy, who appears to be a secret agent??? He talks to a duck.

After school ends, Haru ends up dragging Yuki to a fishing shop, where they meet with Natsuki.  Natsuki is a brooding young man who thinks Haru and Yuki are weirdos.  However, Haru’s able to “convince” Natsuki into helping them fish by shooting him with a water gun (that appears to be possibly magic).  Yuki of course gets dragged into this also, and almost catches a fish on his first try, with help from Haru and Natsuki.

Yuki's character design is okay, I suppose. Haru's on the other hand is really adorable.

Natsuki. Brooding teenager alert!

When he gets home, he finds out that Haru is now going to live with him.  And thus, the episode ends.

My Opinion:

There are certainly a lot of “weird” anime this season.  While Tsuritama is certainly strange, I think “weird” is a bit harsh.  This series is really more “surreal.”

While there are a lot of things in this episode that didn’t make sense, I felt that instead of being detrimental to the series, it actually helps contribute to the surrealness of the setting.  Everything seems relatively normal on the surface, but the small bits of strangeness helps to give the series a slightly magical feel.  (Though I guess Haru helps a lot with that too)

I quite like all the characters so far, except maybe Natsuki because he’s the most boring of the trio.  I suppose Yuki can be considered a bit plain too, but I really identify with his social awkwardness.  I feel your pain, Yuki!  And then there’s Haru.  Oh boy.  He is by far the most unique of the bunch, and seems to be quickly becoming a fan favorite.  I suppose this makes it a little unfair to compare him against the others, as he’s in a whole ‘nother class.  He quickly proclaims that he’s “an alien,” and while I slammed Langrange for their “Also, I’m an alien” stunt, Tsuritama actually pulls this off pretty well.  Sure, it still comes out of nowhere, but at least it’s more believable given how surreal this series is. I also kind of love how everyone is just “oh, okay” about this because they think Haru’s just a strange kid.

I can’t really say anything about the plot yet, but apparently Yuki and co. are going to save the world somehow.  It should be entertaining to watch, if nothing else.  The thing I really like the most about the series so far, however, is the setting.  The backgrounds do sometimes suffer from the “looking flat” syndrome that Sengoku Collection had, but at least the backgrounds are far more detailed and colorful.  By setting, though; I really mean more about the actual location that the series takes place.  Enoshima’s community so far seems really charming and laid-back, and the background/minor characters help to drive this point home.  The animation for this series is also fairly high (for now).

Overall, Tsuritama is a series that is hard to put into words.  I guess the best word is “surreal,” even though I’ve probably already used that word a half dozen times in my review.  It’s a strange series, and you’re probably not going to understand the first episode very well, but that doesn’t make it bad.  If you just go with the flow, you’ll find that Tsuritama is (so far) a rather laid back series.  In a way, it kind of reminds me of Mawaru Penguindrum, except with a more cheerful atmosphere.  I don’t know if this atmosphere will last, but this episode certainly made me smile throughout the whole thing.

I think this is a series that I’ll definitely review for the spring season.

Out of five:

      

This series is so charming I'm willing to forgive this overused cliche.