Thursday, 28 June 2012

Tsuritama - Episode 12 (Completed)

A full-strength typhoon, their precious and legendary lure broken and all hope seemingly lost - where next for oursea-faring friends as they attempt to fish JFX out of the ocean?

It seems that the only option left is for Haru to sacrifice himself for the greater good, but as he says his rather protracted goodbyes Yuki is having none of it, racking his brains in a desperate last-gasp search for an answer... and whaddya know, he finds one.  This couldn't come as a better moment either, as time finally runs out in terms of keeping Duck's barrage of missiles at bay.

Ultimately, Yuki's idea is a simple one - rather than having Haru sacrifice himself, why not simply use him as a lure?  This makes for one of the show's more satisfying scenes, as Haru has fishing line tied tightly around the neck before he's dumped into the ocean.  Joking aside, this is just the ticket when it comes to catching Haru's alien comrade, and as JFX is fished out of the sea the bad weather breaks to reveal sunshine as fish rain down across the town and we're introduced to the true nature of the threat which has hounded Enoshima of late.  From here, it's happy endings all around, as even Haru and his newly-caught friend quickly make a return to Earth after saying their goodbyes.

This plethora of happy endings for all and sundries, including the re-emergence of the "transfer student" trope to resolve everything as positively as possible, is broadly fitting of the twee nature of Tsuritama, which continued to be colourful and fundamentally cheerful even when it was throwing explosions and missiles around.  The sense of the surreal and ridiculous never really sat well with me, especially when coupled with the insistence upon viewing everything through the lens of fishing, which frankly left me cold.  As a result of all of these things, I never found myself caring about the characters or the situations befalling them - a huge issue for a show predicated almost entirely around you feeling for its characters and their relationships.  While Kids on the Slope was a runaway success for me this season, Tsuritama is easily the spring's biggest disappointment for me - beyond its colourful shenanigans it could do nothing at all to catch my eye.

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