DVD Review: Tsuritama – The Complete Series
02/03/2015 Leave a comment
We take a dive into the ocean to see what MVM’s DVD release of Tsuritama has in-store for us; so is it a splash or does it sink down to the bottem? Find out in our DVD Review of Tsuritama – The Complete Series.
When Yuki Sanada ends up living in Enoshima with his grandmother, it’s just one more in a long line of transfers to a new school and new friends – except Yuki doesn’t make friends easily, so he’s used to making do without any. All that’s about to change, however, when the other new transfer student arrives in class – complete with a rod and reel – and announces that he’s an alien.
Now as he learns to fine art of fishing, Yuki finds himself drawn into a friendship with Haru the alien, moody Natsuki the Fishing Prince, and the mysterious Akira with his pet duck, Tapioca. But there’s something sinister afoot in Enoshima, and more than Yuki’s new-found friendships is at stake. If Yuki can’t make the catch of the day, the whole of Japan, and perhaps the world itself, will be caught in an alien net.
Unlike your traditional slice-of-life styled show Tsuritama is a bit of an oddball; as opposed to focusing on a single storyline, such as everyday school-life, it instead offers colourful animation, one-of-kind characters, a threat of an alien invasion and a whole lot of fishing…. no seriously, a LOT of fishing. Does this mean that I don’t like it? Well it’s hard to say; as by the half-way point I would happily give-up on it and never look back but upon diving into the second disc the series takes a more ‘uniformed’ turn that starts to bring the best out of the series.
So whats Tsuritama all about? Well it follows the daily exploits of Yuki Sanada, an average high-school kid who recently moved to Enoshima with his grandmother, who after failing to lead a normal high-school life, due to the introduction of self-proclaimed alien Haru, finds himself agreeing to fish in order to save the world. It’s all a bit vague but the real premise is that Haru is an alien and he has been sent to earth in order to retrieve an out of control ally, but in order to do this he needs someone to help him fish – wish is where Yuki comes in. Unfortunately for Haru Yuki can not fish, but after a chance encounter with a class-mate, named Natsuki, all three become friends and learn the ways of fishing.
For the most part the series is about ‘learning to fish’ and ‘getting along with friends’ – something which Yuki has dreamed about most of his high-school life, and while It’s sort of entertaining it does completely outrule the original plot of “the world is going to be invaded” and so you find yourself sitting through midless hours of en-o-shima-bo chants (or however it goes) and the god awful enoshima island dance. Of course this is just my take on it, and others may actually like everything that’s going off. By this point I was starting to loose interest in the show as very little was actually happening on screen, other than learning how to fish; sure there was some character development to be had but it felt like it was, yet again, avoiding the initial plot of alien invaders.
Ironically this is where things start to pick-up; as by the second disc the story shifts from ‘every-day-happy-fishing’ with friends to a more serious tone of life and death; although even then its still about fishing. For starters the alien threat which Haru mentioned he had come to retrieve makes himself known to the world; meanwhile the secret agency known as Duck also come out of the shadows in an attempt to put a stop to it. Interestingly the only way for this ‘alien threat’ to be stopped is for our group of characters to fish-him-out of the sea; like I said it’s a bit of an oddball of a show, although somehow it all comes back round to put a smile on your face for a satisfying conclusion.
When it comes to bonus features then you really should’nt expect much, as other than the inclusion of trailers and textless songs, there nothing else to be found.
What is interesting is that due an oversight by Hanabee, the studio who authored the discs on behalf of MVM Entertainment, this DVD release of Tsuritama has been rated a 15 by the BBFC whereby it would have easily been rated a 12 (if not a PG). The reason for this is because a rather bloody (and violent) trailer for Hakuoki: Dawn of the Shinsengumi has been included; if this trailer wasn’t included – or had been swapped for another Hakuoki trailer – then the entire series would have received a much lower classification.
Media: DVD 9 x2
Running Time: 2:20:18 (Disc 1), 2:20:23 (Disc 2)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
Tsuritama is a pretty quirky, but fun, series and despite how it all starts its bound to leave a smile on your face; even if you aren’t sure what you’re smiling about. The start of the show offers an emphasis on a teenager struggling to fit in, as when anyone begins to stare at him he makes this ridicous (but scary) face that throws people off – however this scenario is completely thrown out the window when Haru appears begging him to fish – albeit for an unknown reason.
It’s at this point when the third protagonist of the show appears, namely Natsuki, and they learn to fish with each other and just when they become good at it a potential threat appears and the real reasoning behind Naru’s appearance within the city is explained. Personally I would’ve preferred the social anxiety route, other than a mysterious fish-alien brain-washing people; but somehow the fish-alien scenario works and it all manages to pan out quite well; even if its not your type of genre or show.
Its not just the show itself that comes with a few surprises either; as the English Dub provided by Sentai Filmworks is actually ‘extremely good’ and, dare I say it, the best English Dub I’ve ever heard Sentai Filmworks produce. The actors seem to fit the roles they are meant to play and it even seems like some ‘enthusiasm’ went into the roles. Of course it’s still not on the scale of those of FUNimation but it’s a massive improvement compared to their other titles available on the market. When it comes to this DVD then there are no surprises; theres no worthwhile bonus features and the ones that are included ‘increase’ the age-rating. In hindsight everything works as it should with clear visuals and on-timed subtitles, and the only thing that would make it better would be a Blu-ray release – which is what Tsuritama deserves as, juding from trailers on other Blu-rays, it would look gorgeous.
For me I had a love-hate relationship; some elements made me chuckle and others just made me want to “eno-shima-bo” the disc out of the player; but stick with it and you’ll find a satisfying story that covers a lot of ground – just be prepared for the headaches (Haru) that come along with it. In terms of this DVD release by MVM Entertainment then it’s pretty much a solid product; no mis-timed subtitles or visual errors here and the only disappointment lies within the age rating.
Tsuritama – The Complete Series is now available on DVD.