Tsuritama - 12 (END) + Series Review
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And 12 weeks later yours truly hates to see Tsuritama end, but what a good ending it was for a fantastic series.
NOTE: The series review will be at the end after the episode review.
I can't really say much about this episode, except that it did a good job wrapping up the series and tying up all loose ends. Much like any any slice-of-life series that had close to 0 serious drama, Tsuritama was never going to be about pain or sorrow but instead be about the journey taken by the main characters to reach a stage of either self-realisation or achievement, so I was glad that it ended in a happy and fun manner.
In particular, I liked how the Yuki and Haru were the ones who ultimately had to save the day, seeing as how the series started and ended with them, but also because it was a final display of their bromance friendship at it's peak. Given that this was the focus of quite a bit of the episode not much else did occur with the other characters unless it was in small bits and pieces; not a problem seeing as how Natsuki and Akira had been involved a lot in the previous episodes but that's not to say that their appearances were forsaken whatsoever, just that they might have been put out of focus for the first bit of the episode.
The overall resolution of the episode and the entire story was as "happy ending" as you can get, with plenty of comedy to boot; the aliens reunited scene was somewhat heart-warming until the comedy took over, instigated by my favourite character Akira. In way the scene with aliens also reminded me of the comedy supernatural elements to the plot of Tsuritama which otherwise gets lost due to some separation of the genres; the comedy belongs mostly to the slice-of-life elements and the more serious parts of the story belong to the supernatural part of the story.
And then came the sad yet inevitable end, with a 6 months epilogue containing a slew of information: Tapioca takes a lover, Natsuki aims to be the Prince of Fishing (worst shonen sports manga idea ever), Yuuki stays where he is working at Hemingway, a marriage for Misaki and Ayumi, the return of the alien who goes by Urara and if you waited long enough i.e. until the end of the credits, the return of Haru! Definitely a humorous set of events to end Tsuritama, although one event that might not stand out as much was Yuki's conversation with Erika at the end, which may be boring when compared to everything else listed above but it's still a cherry on top of the character development that was the staple of Tsuritama void of romance - a good thing since it wasn't explored at all past the first episode - but not without slight implications of Yuki's future prospects of a character.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank A-1 pictures - the year is young but your anime for 2012 are looking to be the best - for producing such a marvel, Kenji Nakamura-sensei - you get a lot of hate for [C] but I loved it and I loved this also - for superb directing and of course noitaminA for having a splendid spring season.
Last thoughts: Haino, Haino, Haino!
If you haven't read any of my episodic posts on Tsuritama then there's only really one phrase I can use to describe this anime: favourite anime of the spring 2012 season. Now I realise that might not mean a lot to some of you who are just getting into anime or for whom the spring season bore no delicious fruit but seeing as this season was one where I picked up close to 11 series that I watched actively, which doesn't include a few I put on hold, that is quite a major achievement on it's own.
It's easy to question how it is that a slice-of-life anime with a cast of 4 male leads, a setting that's all to familiar to a lot of anime fans, can manage to differentiate itself even in a season where there is a sequel of slice-of-life with 4 male leads (Kimi to Boku) and another original series with an almost identical setting except for it has 4 girls and there's more drama (Natsuiro Kiseki). Nevertheless, Tsuritama comes out on top and grand style; why
Be it the colourful animation, the excellent character development, the always cute and funny comedy or great use of serious drama at appropriate times, my reasons for enjoying this anime are far too numerous to discover in detail bit by bit. Sure the story doesn't seem 100% original or even that interesting but it comes second to all of the character development which took place in the series and is in fact what can be considered Tsuritama's distinguishing feature; ultimately it's the philosophical view that it's not about the destination but rather the journey that makes it worthwhile. Furthermore, unlike it's competition Tsuritama wasn't just all fun and games and in fact dealt with the more serious issues of friendships and relationships in a mature yet childish way, a combo that leaves a lot to be desired from these types of series - not to mention the comedy is always making me laugh, aided by such a colourful cast.
With no complaints about the chilled tones of the soundtrack and the quirky and unique animation, courtesy of A-1 Pictures, I can only go on to recommend this series blindly to fans of the slice-of-life genre, profusely to those thinking about getting into the genre and suggestively to those who aren't fond of the genre. The year is only half over but it's highly likely that this may be the anime of the year.