Posted by psgels on 27 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


When I first read the premise of this series, I expected nothing of this series. A swimming-club where the main female lead likes to swim around in the nude. Fanservice anyone? Imagine my surprise when Umisho actually turned out (*gasp*) enjoyable. That’s probably the first for any fanservice-anime out there.

So, yes, there’s fanservice, and a lot of it. But while most other harems and similar series have characters with what I’d like to call the “paper-bag-syndrome” (by not being able to think for themselves, having no personality and being as interesting to watch as a paper bag), the creators of Umisho have put a bit of extra work to them. Fair enough, they all start out as clichés, but right from the start it becomes clear that every single character has one or more elements that go way beyond clichés and make them really fun to watch. Think of a shy big-breasted girl who is actually secretly a pervert, or the childhood friend who used to horribly abuse the male lead in the past, and of course the male captain of the swimming-team, who for once isn’t a huge pervert but instead a giant creep without any sense of shame. You’ll understand when you see him.

There’s also been a nice amount of detail put in the setting, where the competition between different swimming-clubs gets a nice amount of development, and every member of the club has at least an identifiable character-design. The character-designs are rather “pleasing” to the eye and the soundtrack gives the series a light overall tone. Overall, it’s one of the best fanservice-anime I’ve seen this far.

But yeah, there are enough times when this series loses itself in its excessive fanservice. Some scenes were just too outrageous and blatantly obvious that it nearly became painful. This series would definitely have been even better without the useless fanservice. Then there’s also the matter of the obligatory drama and romance that show up once in a while. It works in about 40% of the cases. The others are a tad too forced and aimed at fanboys.

It’s really nice to be finally proven wrong in my bias against fanservice-anime. Umisho is energetic, has likable characters who can think for themselves (really, at times we hear huge inner monologues when certain characters are attempting something stupid), and I laughed quite a bit at times. It’s nowhere near the best series out there but it remains fun to watch.

One Response

  1. Patrick Monti says:

    I started watching this series expecting nothing, after I recognized that the name was mentioned in your blog. And it’s been a refreshing and funny short series. Sometimes you are too tired to watch and think about Higurashi, Terra e or such and it’s in those moments that I prefer watching series like Umisho or Potemayo.

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  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:48 AM)
    @Emma: which moment is that?
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:26 AM)
    @Raggers : And in one moment, a rather disturbing development.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:24 AM)
    @Raggers: Actually, thinking it over you’ve got a point there, As I had said I’ve been marathoning re and come to think of it, it is more enjoyable to do so that way.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:24 AM)
    Oh, the priest? Yeah, definitely an awesome touch. Wonder how he feels about Amon’s death…
    Juuzou? I’d complain about Arima more, the guy is hax beyond belief. Juuzou was just a nutcase who was skilled with knives – and has pretty good development in the manga.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:21 AM)
    @Emma: I think the pacing thing isn’t a problem if read as a whole – that’s a bit like complaining about slow chapters in books if you read them week-by-week. For a story like Tokyo Ghoul week-by-week just isn’t a good way to read it, I don’t think.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 04:21 AM)
    Gah, Juuzou is one of those irksome shounen-esque characters that never sat all that well with me.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 04:17 AM)
    @Raggers: The part with that locked up ghoul who Amon went to meet up with who he had history with, that was a great moment for Amon’s character and it had a kind of silence of the lambs feel to it.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 04:14 AM)
    @Raggers: I found it generally unevenly paced.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 04:14 AM)
    @Raggers: The whole thing had its ups and downs for me, I loved the first four volumes,after the stuff with gourmet and mado was done with I found myself tiring of it but then got into it again after Kaneki broke down and snapped, then somewhere after the kanou reveal it started losing me again and the ending threw me off.
  • Raggers
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 03:31 AM)
    Out of interest, where do you feel the first manga went wrong? I may have missed its flaws since I marathoned it in ~8 hours.

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