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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  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Mar 7. 2015 02:00 AM)
    @Vxien, Not sure who that recommend is for but whoever it is has seen death note. It’s like recommending Cowboy bebop. Anyone calling themselves an anime fan has likely already seen it and anyone that hasn’t…should watch it immediately.
  • Vxien
    (Saturday, Mar 7. 2015 12:41 AM)
    Might I recommend Death Note if you haven’t already.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.

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