It is not up for debate: Tsuritama is the most colorful and consistently delightful show of the Spring 2012 Season.
But this rainbow-colored joy ride is quickly approaching it’s inevitable and emotional end. Like every other episode, “Our Tackle” opens with its upbeat theme by Fujifabric, Tsurezure Monochrome, but unlike all the other Tsuritamaepisodes, this one forgoes most of the antics and comedy even episode nine had makes it very clear: we are approaching the end. That is not to say that this episode is bereft of all of the heartwarming moments that have thus far endeared us to these characters: Tapioca explains to Akira that he should look to his friends for help, further highlighting Akira’s friendless past and inexperience in how friendship works; Yuki enlists the help of a sympathetic cab driver who is willing to drive him as close to Enoshima as possible simply because Yuki is looking to help his friends; and as Akira organises our small cast of characters in preparation to fish the dragon out of the ocean, Sakura gives Natsuki a long hug, slides the orange bracelet on her brother’s wrist, and tells him “Mom will protect you”. And so then there are ten or so minutes of everyone running around collecting all of the things they’ll need for fishing out the Dragon, including Haru and Yuki. Unfortunately we see Haru give up his last bit of water to his plant “Keito” and say some very morbid things about not being able to go on when Yuki finally rushes into the backyard of his house. Haru freaks out and starts to yell at Yuki, but Yuki runs right at Haru, slapping him hard across the face. And then the episode turns a little tearjerking.
“Don’t go running off like that. You didn’t sat good bye. You promised! You promised Grandma…” “But it’s dangerous for you to stay here, Yuki.” “Is that why you helped everyone escape?” “Because I love everyone.”
And with that the truth is out, both about Haru and the overall plot of the story. Haru spills the beans to Yuki about Koko and him being alien fish who came to Earth to take back one of their kind because he terrorizes humans, about how Koko was kidnapped by “the Dragon” when they tried to lure him away, and more importantly about how Haru tried to empty Enoshima to protect them and to lure the Dragon away this time. Haru finally reveals his heart to Yuki: Haru cares so much about everyone, literally everyone in Enoshima, that he is willing to sacrifice himself and his happiness to make sure that they are all safe from the Dragon this time. Haru wants to selflessly sacrifice himself to save the world. And Yuki calls him out on how selfish that is. Haru has been so self-absorbed that, just like Akira, he cannot see that he has people, friends, all around him who want to help save Haru, and save Enoshima, and save the world. Haru hasn’t been able to see that this isn’t just his problem, this concerns the people of Enoshima and Haru’s friends, and it is wrong of him to not let them try to fight for Haru and their homes. Yuki yells at him for all of his:
“Can you do that by yourself?” “I don’t know. But if I don’t hurry […] No one will be able to lure him away. Then no one will be able to save the Earth.” “But what are you going to do if you end up like Koko?” “I don’t know, but…” “You’d be running into death!” “But it’s the only way. I can’t catch him myself.” “You always do whatever you want. […] You forced me to fish, and we fished every day. Now, after learning from Natsuki and the captain, I love fishing. […] I want to fish with you, Natsuki, and Akira. But you disappeared without saying anything, saying you can’t fish, that you’d do something yourself, doing whatever you want.” “Sorry, but I didn’t know what to do.” “I’ll fish. Then everyone will be saved, right? Give me a chance.” “But…” “We promised we’d fish together. […] I’ll try it. I can’t let you face danger alone.”
Haru finally realizes what the audience has known all along, that Haru has friends in Yuki, Natsuki, and even Akira. Natsuki comes along and even he confirms this. “You’re the only companions for me,” he tells them. This episode is heartwarming, a little tearjerking, and overall happy. The entire cast meets up at the tower, thing, determined to catch the dragon and save the world.
But here things get serious: Duck is able to ascertain the location of the dragon – or as they call him, “JFX” – and mobilize a missile strike against him. The dragon however, controls the Duck personel through their protective suits and make the missile target another location.
And that other location is Ayumi’s boat. Tsuritama has it’s first death in episode 10, and manages to make it completely tragic and dumbfounding.
Natasha said it in her episode nine review and I will say it in this review: Tsuritama is bringing the saddest, serious shit to the table, and I have utter dread (but also excitement?) for what may happen in the show’s finale.
Well, I’m off to see how this all pans out now!