Secret Santa 2016: Tsuritama


(2012 ~ 12 episodes)

As is always the case when I (or anyone) participate in Reverse Thieves’ Secret Santa, I was given three anime recommendations that my “Secret Santa” selected based on my taste as viewed from my MyAnimeList profile. Having thoroughly enjoyed a number of melancholic, brooding anime like Mushishi and Serial Experiments Lain, I shouldn’t have been surprised to see two of my three choices something of that nature. However, being in a rather stressful and busy stage of life, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my Santa had given me an option on the clear end of the spectrum: Tsuritama.

Right out the gate, Tsuritama is colorful and absurd, two things that every person needs in their media when they’re feeling down. It’s about aliens who want to go fishing, a guy with a turban and a duck, and, of course, a high school student who just wants to fit in. All the right ingredients for a fun 12-episode romp in Enoshima, the island setting of the anime.

While I very much appreciate that my Santa gave me this stark contrast of an option based on my taste for shows like Nichijou and Humanity Has Declined, I must admit that I don’t feel I gave Tsuritama the attention it deserved. For much of the past few months, my free time has been spent multi-tasking, and so most of my watch-through of Tsuritama was done while working on unrelated tasks. And I can say with certainty that watching it that way most certainly hampered my enjoyment.

If you’re interested in a cute, 1-cour series that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still contains most of the elements that please anime fans, Tsuritama is an easy watch and an easy recommendation. Its rather simplistic art style based around straight colors and abstraction suits it well, even if it’s not particularly impressive. I hated the two main characters for the first few episodes, but I found myself endeared by the end, which is no easy feat.

I gave the show a concrete score on my MyAnimeList account, but since that score is only to help me rank it relative to the other anime I’ve seen, I don’t feel that it is particularly helpful for readers who don’t share my tastes. Because of this, I have opted to adopt our standard recommendation format below.

Thank you so much for recommendation Tsuritama this year, Santa!

Watch if you:
(+) Want something colorful in your anime diet
(+) Don’t take yourself too seriously
(+) Aliens.

Skip if you:
(-) Are a meanie
(-) Are easily annoyed by ridiculous character personalities
(-) Aliens?

Content to Look Out For:
(-) Correlation between aliens and Japanese folklore…?

Note: *Following the format of our recommendations pages, I’ve included both the English and Japanese titles. In this case, they are identical, so it might look a little strange to those who haven’t seen our formatting.


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