Back in 2006, Kenji Nakamura surprised probably everyone with his three episode masterpiece that was Bake Neko, part of the Ayakashi-television series. It was trippy intense and brilliaantly written and built up, Together with Kenichi Kasai’s adaptations, it defined and popularized Noitamina and brought it to a mainstream audience. Ever since, Kenji Nakamura has been releasing a new series every now and then, with 2012’s installment being Tsuritama, at which he completely diverges from the types of shows he normally does.
I loved all of his previous works, but they collectively all had one downside: the characters. Relatively little time was spent on fleshing them out, and most of them were pretty one-sided and didn’t really come to life. Tsuritama is entirely dedicated to attempt to do this correctly, and it works. The plot is simple on purpose exactly to allow the characters to play themselves out naturally. There are relatively few action-packed climaxes in this series, but all of them have clear meaning and kick ass and ultimately make it a really fun show to watch.
And even though this series takes it easy in terms of pacing, it definitely doesn’t take it easy in terms of the ideas it has. This series really thrives on originality: it may have a teenaged cast, but within that it has many fresh ideas, like an alien with a watergun, a duck named Tapioca, or how about an entire series dedicated to fishing? Especially in the second half of the series the scenarios get particularly creative.
A downside is that this series does take a while to get going. The first half of this series contains a lot of build-up and is pretty much fishing 101 as it drills the necessary fishing skills into the main charachter in order for him to function properly in the second half of the series. While this can get a bit boring at times, I can’t deny that this series has a really well written structure: it knows exactly how much story it should have to not get rushed, it knows how much time to spend building up an make its characters feel alive, while stil having enough time to actually deliver on the fun and action-packed bits. Noitamina-series are infamous for their pacing issues, but Tsuritama is a series that gets the balance and format just right.
|Storytelling:||8.5/10 – Fun to watch and a greatly paced out structure and a creative scenario.|
|Characters:||8.5/10 – The series is fun because the characters are fleshed out well and get to play themselves out naturally.|
|Production-Values:||8/10 – Not as trippy as you’d expect from Kenji Nakamura, but still has a unique and colourful look and wild animation where it matters.|
|Setting:||8.5/10 – Really tries to be original amidst all of the teenaged series that try to see who can rip each other off the most.|