The Biggest Catch; Tsuritama Episode 12

Sorry about the huge delay in this post; but it’s the final Summer review post and we’d like to go out with a bang!

gallifreyians: This is one of those shows that I just really never wanted to end; looking forward to having a new episode of a show guaranteed to make you smile each Thursday was a blessing this spring. But there is that old adage “all good things must come to an end”, even if we really, really, really don’t want them too.

I have issues with the execution of this episode – and the last handful of episodes in general – as I feel that it lacks any emotional core, and so the climax and ending don’t manage to pack any real punch. Yuki uses Haru as a lure for the Dragon, who we find out is just a puny rainbow-colored fish. Now that is all well and good, but there was nothing behind it: as the cast maneuvers around trying to make the best of a bad situation, none of them have any sort of depth. In the finale, the roles that they all took didn’t matter, as all of the characters were rendered interchangeable because of their lack of individuality in that moment. That is not to say that the “I will not let you wither” moment did not warm my heart because of the profound parallel it has to Haru’s arc.

Luckily as we move away from the climax and into our dénouement Tsuritama gets back to it’s strong suit: emotions (of which it gave me many, except for that weird moment when it was raining fish and the music indicated that we were supposed to be feeling something). Haru, Koko, and Urara’s departure a bit abrupt, but it’s light-hearted, happy tone really got to me. Akira sharing that he wants to be near the ocean and Natsuki embracing the idea of becoming a bass fishing pro showed just how far the two of them have grown. Not one of them however, has grown more than Yuki who, six months later, is working at the bait and tackle shop and is more outgoing, talkative, and less socially isolated than he was at episode one. And of course Haru and Koko’s “Sayōnara” then everyone else’s “We won’t lose! … Sayōnara!” was the saddest thing the show could’ve done in that moment, precisely because of how overwhelming happy it was. The characters are genuinely happy, but the audience knows that it is over, that Haru is never going to see Yuki, Natsuki, and Akira again.

Except we do, in the “epilogue”. Urara and Haru come back as transfer students to be with Yuki. I was smiling like an idiot when Haru came back, but on another level it displeased me. The reunion – even Urara’s return – was so abrupt, and above that unexplained. There definitely should’ve been more development on that front, but it was pleasing none the less.

illegenes: And finally, Tsuritama comes to an end, as sweet and delightful as the first episode but leaving a little sadness in your heart as you realize that there’s going to be no more Enoshima Bowl! Thursdays left.

Tsuritama had all the time in the world to make a good resolution, and it did- I do have qualms with the way they ended off, as it was a bit awkward. Overall though, it was pretty decent. I did enjoy the way Yuki was able to ‘reel’ back through all the episodes and come up with the idea to use Haru as a fishing bait. After all, the big fish go for the little fish, right? It was an interesting conclusion and good way of summarizing what Yuki has gone through during his stay with Natsuki and Akira. After much reeling, flinging Haru around a little whimsically, shouting (a lot of shouting, my god), they finally pull the Dragon out- only to find that it’s a tiny colorful fish. Talk about anti climatic. But the disaster is averted, and the world is saved. Everyone pauses in their Haino Haino trance and the skies clear. Even Akira’s boss saves the day in a way in preventing the missiles from launching, stating that he cares more about his employees, and for a minute everything seems okay and happy again. It’s a brand new day- or is it?

The action subsides to head back to what Tsuritama excels in most: emotion. As Yuki and Natsuki as well as Akira look up to say goodbye to their alien friends in the warm sunset, the audience finds that they’re also sniffing a bit. But the show doesn’t manage to become too emotional- Haru and Koko wave and glide off in their eccentric spaceship (which is sort of shaped like a little pink mushroom) and with all things, we move on in life. Akira turns out to go and pursue his own interests for once, fishing for hobby and sport. Natsuki goes off to America to become a bass fishing pro. And Yuki? Yuki’s still in school, smiling, being able to interact with the classroom he so once was frightened of and drowning in. All of these boys have made their own catch, reeling in what they can for themselves rather than for someone else. It’s wonderful to see how far these three- and Haru- have gone in such a short time as well as nostalgic.

This sadly is where Tsuritama also lands a bit short though. Out of nowhere, we have two new transfer students- the one who well, nearly brainwashed the entire world, and Haru himself. While I do like the idea of reunion very much, the suddenness of it was just…unexpected and clumsy? There was no reason to really come back, and I would have liked to actually see development behind the instant transfer trope rather than just sticking it for good times’ sake. It’s not too bad though. Yuki smiles and asks the audience- “Have I changed a bit?” And the answer is yes, and no. Some things do change, but some remain the same- and it’s about knowing the difference and never being afraid of it. In terms of themes, Tsuritama ends right on the dot, and it’s a great relief.

The hardest goodbye is to the ones you really care about, and for a good 3 months, Tsuritama has become something more than just a bunch of hooligan boys trying to fish and overcome their insecurities. It’s a show about friendships and saving the world!  And I’m going to miss it; it’s been a wonderful ride. Thanks for reading along- we hope you’ve had as much of a blast reading our Spring reviews as much as we’ve worked on them! We hope that you stick around for Summer, because this blog has just gotten started and we have no plans of stopping anytime soon. :)

Enjoyment Level: 7/10

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