November 25, 2012

Fishing? That’s for boring old people, right? Either with nothing else better to do, lots of time to kill or have nothing exciting to pass the time, right? Hah! I hope fishing enthusiasts, young and old won’t kill me. But really, if you are really into this outdoor sport, you better have lots of patience and be prepared to endure hours after hours of idleness. I’m not one to say but I just can’t seem to understand the thrill and excitement of man against fish. The exhilaration while trying to reel in scaly creatures. So it was kind of odd for me to actually go check out Tsuritama because I well know beforehand and from the promo poster and synopsis, fishing is going to be the main theme of this series.

But something else caught my attention like a lure. There’s an alien involved! Oh, among the boys there’s a guy who puts on a demon face when he gets nervous and an Indian national spy. How weird can it get? This I got to see. While this anime is about friendship fostered via fishing, perhaps for beginners you’ll learn a thing or two about the basics of fishing (professional anglers would definitely have better material for references). Without giving away too much, this anime is something like this. Alien kid comes to Earth to find somebody worthy to fish out something dangerous from our ocean and bring it back to his home planet. Seriously, fishing? Don’t they have some high-tech equipment that just sucks whatever he is looking out from the depths of the sea? Or maybe the alien is just really into fishing… Hmm… Sounds like a fishy story…

Episode 1
A narration of a story that a five-headed dragon that lived in the ocean terrorized Enoshima till a beautiful goddess descended from the sky and stopped it. There’s this weird kid named Haru with his talking goldfish in a fish bowl walking around Enoshima. He is mesmerizing the crowd at the aquarium as he can command a school of fish to swim in patterns. Elsewhere Yuki Sanada is going to transfer out of school due to his family’s job. He has to give his final speech but since he is afraid of people staring at him, he feels like as though he is drowning and his face contorts into a devil!!! Soon he and his grandma, Keito pack their things and they drive down south to Enoshima, where they’ll be staying. Haru spots them and gets excited. The mansion Yuki will be living in seems decent. I mean, it’s got an ocean view so what’s there to complain? As Yuki makes his way to school, Haru comes by the house, proclaims he is an alien and will be living with them! Well, well. Keito accepts him with open arms! Yuki is on the train and facing a dilemma to give up his seat to an elderly guy. Is that panicky face again and by the time it’s over, Natsuki Usami already gave his and Erika, the girl sitting opposite is laughing. In class, Yuki yet again has a hard time introducing himself. Considering how he is explaining about the goodness of Enoshima, I say he’s doing pretty well despite nervous deep down inside. Taking his seat, he gets a shock when he realizes Erika is sitting next to him! Then everybody starts staring. The sweat is running down his face. Suddenly the other new transfer student, Haru enters class. With a fishing rod in hand, he introduces himself as an alien and is seemingly wants to get friendly with Yuki. Who the hell is this kid to know his name? Of course with the others staring intensely, his face is about to turn into a demon again when Haru shoots his water gun into his face. Next thing he knows, Yuki is doing the Enoshima Dance with Haru. Huh? WTF?!

Haru follows Yuki after school. Since he’s going to pull that face again for being too close, another water gun squirt to his face. Next thing he knows, he is in a fishing shop run by Misaki. Natsuki comes in and it seems he is a part timer but as Misaki awesomely describes him, he is a talented fisher nicknamed the Fishing Prince. Since Natsuki doesn’t want to get friendly, it’s cue for Haru to squirt his water gun on the guys. Next thing they know, they’re at the pier with fishing gear. Since Haru wants to fish and it’s come down to this (despite Yuki having no interest in fishing whatsoever), Natsuki demonstrates how to use a lure. Yuki the amateur did a mistake with the lure and thought Natsuki was angry so much so he felt that drowning feeling again. Then he felt his line pulled. Yuki has a hard time reeling it in but manages to do so with Natsuki’s help. He gets his first lesson that the sea bass will shake its body to unhook the lure. Don’t panic or you will lose it. Yuki goes back home, tired out. If he thinks this will be his sanctuary, think again because here comes Haru. This is his home, remember? So it’s kinda funny to see Haru chasing Yuki here and there like as though he’s some happy serial molester. Haru wants Yuki to save the world together. Say what? Oh, don’t put up that face again or else you’ll get… Too late.

Episode 2
So it’s a pain having Haru following so close to him so much so rumours has spread that the duo are like an alien and Hannya combo. I wonder how many times have it been Haru shooting his water gun into Yuki’s face and they end up in that weird Enoshima Dance in front of class. Then entering the shop, he gets another water gun squirt. This time by a girl. The next time he finds himself on top of Skytree Tower! That girl, Koko is Haru’s sister (and that goldfish too). Oh dear. That means she’s an alien too. She wants him to help Haru out for a big catch as he is the only one who can save the world. Otherwise, Earth will be destroyed. If that isn’t a good motivation to agree, I guess her water gun is. Back at the fishing shop, Haru pesters Natsuki to teach him fishing. Both remain stubborn. Till Natsuki’s little sister, Sakura comes in that we see a total change in Natsuki’s attitude. Man, he agrees to teach them and he even smiled! So at the pier, Natsuki teaches the guys on the basics, especially how to tie a uni knot. I guess amateurs and unenthusiasts like me won’t get it at first go, eh? As for Yuki, he has to do it since Koko is pointing her water gun from a far. Since Natsuki won’t show them again, Haru shoots his water gun. Now Yuki can see for himself how Yuki fully commands Natsuki to show him again. So that was how he’s being controlled all the while? Scary indeed. Of course it isn’t a good tie so when Yuki gets his line hooked again, despite his confident feeling he can reel it in this time, the line snaps. However Natsuki asks if he tied his knot right. Since he didn’t, he wants him to think who’ll suffer the most if it doesn’t. He refuses to fish with such a guy. A bunch of harsh words has Yuki’s face turn into a demon and in the end, he runs away. Not even Koko’s water gun threat could stop him. Screw fishing!

Back home Yuki locks himself in his room and despite Haru’s pestering, he won’t come out. Haru talks to Keito so she advises just to let him be because he might be thinking about something important if left alone. She is confident he can be his friend. Yuki reflects on Natsuki’s harsh words and realizes the frustration he felt. Next morning, Yuki works hard to tie the perfect uni knot. Koko doesn’t think Haru should fish with him since he broke his promise about fishing together. But Haru remains positive and if he leaves him alone, they’ll be friends. Yuki still couldn’t make the perfect uni knot but thinking back thoroughly at the things Natsuki did, he follows exactly the steps to reduce friction and keep it from breaking. Later he confronts Haru and agrees to fish with him but wants him to stop shooting the water gun because he doesn’t like it. Okay. In class, Yuki summons his courage to show Natsuki the uni knot he tied and wants him to teach him fishing. Now, if you realize an Indian turban guy in a suit spying around in some scenes, now he makes his proper introduction. Akira Agarkar Yamada and his pet duck, Tapioca (nice name for a duck. Should ducks be named, say, Donald?) is the new transfer student in their class. Despite admitting he is 25 years old, he hopes they can be friends. How weird can this get? And Haru seems to be afraid of him.

Episode 3
Being interested in fishing doesn’t make you an overnight pro. So Natsuki teaches them how to cast but being amateurs, he won’t let them cast into the ocean yet till they manage to throw their line into the bucket. They have to shout “Enoshima Bowl” while casting. Why? Donno. Just do it! It’s not easy as it seems despite Natsuki making it look so easy. He’s a pro, remember. Thus Natsuki explains about feathering (something about controlling the reel and line with your finger as a break). In the end, the duo didn’t even come close to the bucket. Back home, Keito says from tomorrow she won’t be home because she’ll be hospitalized after a check-up at the hospital. Yuki is not amused since she is telling him last minute but accepts this kind of thing since he’s used to it. Keito notes he won’t be lonely this time since he has Haru around. Meanwhile Akira has been going around Enoshima and experiencing the place. He returns to his base which is masquerading as a roadside duck restaurant. The name of his organization? Guess. DUCK. Uhn… If you’re interested, it stands for Defensive Universal Confidential Keepers. He reports to his boss, Joushi about the alien known JF1 (Haru) and JF2 (Koko). Joushi is baffled since they’re just tourist aliens. What more, they’re impersonating humans and Haru fishes every day. Akira warns about Haru’s water gun that can control humans so Joushi lets him take care of the rest because they’ve got their hands full with the Bermuda Syndrome investigation as well. Haru is taking a bath and communicating with Koko. He is afraid of that Indian guy, especially his duck. Yeah, they think it’s some sort of weapon! Koko tries to persuade him to ditch Yuki. That night Haru can’t sleep and talks to Keito at her flower garden. He wonders why she is taking care of the flowers since they’re going to die. It’s because they’re going to die. Huh? Because of that, she wants to make them bloom beautifully. She hopes he can look after Yuki and thanks him. But he hasn’t done anything yet. You not necessarily thank people when they’ve done something. You thank someone because you’re happy. She keeps him a pot of her flowers and whenever he’s sad or they have a fight, just look at them and they’ll make him happy and think of those flowers as her. Just water them every day. Haru notes they’re the same like him. They need water to survive.

So after Keito is admitted, Haru and Yuki’s relation takes a nose dive. Well, can you blame him when Haru tried to console him by saying that everything dies eventually? Yeah, Yuki is not talking to him. So much so he skips school. Even Natsuki pays him a visit to convince him but it’s no good. He doesn’t even want to fish. Haru tries to talk to him again but Yuki blows his top saying he doesn’t know how he feels since he’s an alien. Sure, he may not understand but Haru starts wishing good things for Yuki and reiterates what Keito told him. May he get the Enoshima Bowl in, among others. Koko once more tries to convince Haru to break up with that guy but Haru believes in him. Yuki after having serious thought about things finally gets up in the wee hours of the day to practice his casting. Not even the rain can stop him. Haru, Koko and even Akira are watching and tell him to give up. Haru then gives him the necessary verbal support and Yuki’s face change into a demon. I’m not sure if this helped his casting. But his casting with passion now. Then he got close enough and notices he can control the line with his finger. A few more tries and Haru’s constant cheering finally has Yuki landing into the bucket. At this point, Natsuki who is doing is morning jog saw everything. Yuki thanks him but he says he didn’t do anything. Haru begs to differ. It’s because he taught him Enoshima Bowl and became his friend. So Yuki and Haru continue to practice their casting over and over throughout the day. Practice makes perfect.

Episode 4
Mornings have become busier for the duo ever since Keito got hospitalized. If only Haru didn’t make a mess of things. Well, he’s alien after all. While practising their casting, Yuki couldn’t believe Haru and Natsuki’s dad, Tamotsu whom he affectionately calls Tamocchan are good friends. Yeah, they even know the hand signals. Back at his ramen store, they also meet Sakura (she also know the hand signals) and Mari (Tamocchan’s new wife. Natsuki and Sakura’s mom passed away). Seems Natsuki and Tamocchan aren’t getting along despite daddy trying to patch things up. Haru isn’t tact when he blurts out Tamocchan and Mari’s relationship. Moving onto what they want to catch, Haru says something huge in Enoshima. Akira with his spy cameras everywhere are watching them and wonders if he’ll return to outer space once he catches it. Yuki visits Keito and complains about Haru’s attitude but she notes Haru has a strange power. The kind that melts people’s hearts. Once Yuki and Haru master their casting in a bucket, Natsuki takes them to fish at the ocean. With more fishing terms and techniques (unenthusiasts like me are just lost), they cast their lures and Yuki manages to hook a sea bass. Of course Yuki panics and the fish got away. Akira shows Misaki some cool fishing gears and asks the big fish around here. The boat captain, Ayumi Inoue heard and will allow him to fish on his boat (he considers anything less than 60cm not a fish – so what are anchovies?). Ayumi departs some cool advice that it’s not the equipment but the skill. Misaki is impressed (in a teasing manner) of his coolness so Ayumi rushes off to proclaim his love victory. I take it he’s always like that. Next morning, Haru uses his water gun on Natsuki so that he could patch things up with his father. Yuki is surprised to see them both fishing together and they both snap out from the hypnosis when Yuki talks to them. They both didn’t realize what happened before. Natsuki is not amused despite Tamocchan wanting to fish together and leaves. Haru tries to stop him but Natsuki isn’t staying. Once Yuki learns Haru used the water gun, he blows his top he broke his promise. Even though he didn’t us it on him. Because of this, Yuki gets upset and is through. He doesn’t want alien boy to follow him. Haru visits Keito and seeks her advice. Though it was his fault, she notes that “Sorry” isn’t just a word and it takes more.

Yuki thinks deep and remembers Keito’s words of what he’ll do if Haru disappears. He is confident he’ll be fine. Next day, only Natsuki and Yuki went fishing. Seems quieter without that alien boy around, eh? Then Yuki gets another pull. This time, he doesn’t panic and focuses with Natsuki guiding him when to lift his rod and to reel it in. In the end, Yuki successfully catches a big sea bass. In his happiness, he wants to take a photo of his catch to show it to Haru. However he isn’t at home and goes out looking for him around town, worried he already returned to space. He is surprised to see him lying face down in the ocean and dives in to save him. Well, Yuki can’t really swim. Imagine the surprise look on his face when he knows Haru is alright. He’s just floating in the sea since he felt ‘dry’. Haru is happy that he was worried about him. But save that for later because you got to save this guy first before he drowns. On land, to show his sincerity, Haru is willing to throw away his water gun so he won’t get mad anymore. But Yuki cools down and apologizes that it’s his fault for getting mad in the first place. He’s an alien who doesn’t understand humans after all. That’s why Haru wants to understand so that they won’t fight anymore. Yuki shows him the picture of the fish he caught but since his handphone got soaked in the sea. I guess nothing’s coming out. Haru thought he’s lying. Akira watches from afar and wonders if Haru is here just to make friends. Though Yuki caught a cold that night, Haru stayed by his side the entire time and he didn’t feel the least bit annoyed.

Episode 5
Yuki thinks of buying his own rod since they can’t forever be borrowing from Misaki. At her store, Misaki introduces some rods (with an equally lengthy product explanation that nobody would care to hear) but guess what? A rod costs a bomb! Can a high school student afford that? Ayumi comes in and seems Haru is his friend too. Yeah, he knows about his planet which is all cool. The perfect place for summer vacation. On the other hand, he doesn’t like Akira too much because his turban makes him feel hot. Natsuki suggests they can make money while fishing so he pleads to Ayumi to work on his fishing boat. Ayumi accepts and they’ll start tomorrow. He’ll make them a real man of the ocean in 3 days. Misaki praises him so Ayumi rushes off to do his usual victory call. Later Akira spies on Haru talking to Koko. He wonders who the other guy is because Koko warned Haru if ‘he’ is out there, he’ll be in trouble. Akira thinks of joining the boat job. As the boat departs, the boat is rocking, Yuki’s confidence is rocking too. He can’t even stand up. But Haru is so happy and jumping around like an agile acrobat. He’s having so much fun. In the middle of the sea, Natsuki seems to be fishing first. But he says he is instructing on how to catch mani-mani fish. It’s his job to catch the first one. With the school of fish gathering, Natsuki gives the signal to cast away. Yuki and Haru’s job is to scoop up the caught fish with their net. Since Yuki is still nervous, he is slow. When he manages to net in a customer’s fish, the handle of the net broke. He panics and makes his demon face. Ayumi is quick to apologize on his behalf and lightens the mood that his face looks like a stone fish. At the end of the first day, the guys receive their first pay but Yuki isn’t thrilled. Next day, the gang are waiting for Yuki who is running late. Akira thinks he won’t show up after that embarrassing incident but Natsuki says he is wrong. Yuki will be here and won’t let something like that get him down. He notes Akira doesn’t have any friends. Soon, Yuki comes rushing in. He was held back because he was trying to fix the net. Yuki observes Natsuki does his cool catch and reeling. It gave him enough confidence to stand and boost his morale further when he is able to net the fish properly. See how happy he is? On the third day, Yuki gets the honours to instruct and though fights a big fish, he doesn’t forget his lessons and puts all his knowledge to good use to reel it in. He is also made to let out his loud voice to signal the others to cast away. Yuki is a happy man by the end of the third day. Akira notes he doesn’t need friends now. Yuki narrates he found something interesting. He has friends by his side and is surprised how he can loudly laugh out now.

Episode 6
It’s been 3 weeks and Yuki is enjoying his job. Man, he’s worked up a tan. Natsuki points out to a bait ball whereby small fish are swimming on the surface and probably bigger fish, tuna perhaps, are trying to eat them from underneath. Yuki and Haru visit Keito and the good news is that she’ll be discharged by the end of the week. Thinking of celebrating her return, Yuki thinks of fishing a tuna since it is her favourite. Meanwhile Akira reports to Joushi about some strange phenomenon that he believes has something to do with Bermuda Syndrome. However he wants Akira to continue with his assignment instead of investigating this incident. Akira goes to see Eriko who is also a miko priestess at the shrine to ask about Spirited Away incidents. She thinks it’s better to ask her grandpa, Heihachi who is the head of the shrine and town mayor. Heihachi explains about the old legend about the dragon who spirited people away and the goddess who subdued him. Akira doesn’t believe it since dragons are mythical creatures. Heihachi believes the dragon is real and did spirit people away. Koko is seen eavesdropping outside. The gang are out fishing for tuna and they are given finer tips on how to catch the big fish like jerking and wearing a fishing belt to support the rod. Because tuna are cautious, they only have one chance as they can’t easily approach them either. Plus, the boat driver must also be good so fishing tuna takes great cooperation. But the biggest problem is finding the tuna’s location. One day they passed Akemi, the nickname for an artificial reef where lots of fish gather. Even so, locals do not fish here and there is no fishing ban. Rumours have it a boat went missing there a long time ago. While the kids continue to fish, Akira requests Ayumi to teach him to drive a boat. However Ayumi has to head back early since he has something to do. He warns them not to go near Akemi. The trio lament that there are no free boats and that they can’t fish for tuna on shore. Then comes Akira the saviour. He offers to take them on his boat.

Of course with no tuna around, I guess it’s tempting to head to Akemi where they believe will be lots of tuna. Seeing fish leaping out of the water is a magnificent sight. Yuki casts his line and baits a tuna while Akira steers the boat. He struggles with it but loses out in the end. Akira wants to handle it since Yuki can’t but Natsuki wants him to give Yuki another chance because if it’s not him, there’s no meaning to it. Giving it another shot, this time Yuki manages to catch it. Before they could celebrate their teamwork, suddenly everything goes pitch black. They realize Akemi is gone before their eyes. Misaki, Sakura and Ayumi are waiting for the boys to come back. They never did and it’s already closing time. Till Heihachi tells them the sea god is in sour mood today because a bunch of kids went to Akemi to fish. So the adults scramble to find them. Speaking of which, they manage to see Akemi in their sight at a distance and wonder if they have teleported (they notice their fuel level is still the same). Or did somebody do memory manipulation? Suddenly a huge bait ball appears. Haru becomes so happy and points out it’s ‘him’. It’s been a hundred years since they’ve met. Haru starts going happily crazy and fires his water gun at Natsuki and Yuki (they’re hypnotized to do the Enoshima Dance). Akira becomes defensive thinking he has shown his true colours. The choppy waters means Akira can’t balance well and loses his gun and knife but Haru’s hand is shaking and can’t pull the trigger. The tuna flies into Akira’s face. By the time the boys regain consciousness, they are on the rocky reef. Akira flags for Tamocchan to rescue them. Well, their boat’s done for. How did Koko get here? She made an I-told-you-so statement to Haru. Thankfully the tuna is alright and is preserved in a freezer back on land. The kids get slapped by Ayumi for doing something reckless but he is glad they’re alright. When it’s Tamocchan’s turn to be worried about his son, Natsuki just walked away. Not interested in his old man, eh? Soon Keito is discharged and everyone celebrates her return with a huge tuna feast. Yum! Yuki notices ever since that day, Haru hardly smiled.

Episode 7
Yuki now has enough to get his own gear. But will it be enough? Thankfully Misaki was kind enough to give him a discount. However Haru is not interested in fishing anymore. He claims the ocean is dangerous and forbids fishing! Akira reports to Joushi about the Bermuda Syndrome happening right here in Enoshima and that it’s the work of aliens in which JF1 is their kin. Despite himself witnessing it, since he has no recorded proof, he wasn’t taken seriously and is told to maintain his distance with JF1. On a bright sunny day as Natsuki, Yuki and Akira fish, Natsuki can’t help wonder Akira in a raincoat. He thinks it’s going to rain? Natsuki thought he should just admit he had fun fishing tuna with them. Though Natsuki won’t be teaching Yuki anything today because as an angler he has to think and make his own strategies base on his location and condition, he still imparts some advice like countdown. Yuki may still be an amateur but at least he is picking up things and has his own reasons why he chooses certain lures. They challenge each other to see who could first catch a sea bass feeding on a school of anchovies underneath the bridge. Haru suddenly apologizes to Akira for pulling off that stunt and promises it won’t happen again. I guess that’s why he wore the raincoat and had an umbrella in hand. Yeah, he’s really getting defensive not to become wet. Sakura comes by to inform that the day after tomorrow is Natsuki’s birthday and the family will be going on a fishing trip. Natsuki is not too thrilled because it isn’t really a ‘family’ because there’s Mari… Back home, Keito notices Haru’s heart in pain so she talks to him that sometimes band aids won’t be enough to heal the hurt in the heart and have to try harder. Next day, Sakura shows Ayumi, Haru and Yuki several colourful necklaces she made for her family. She plans to give it to them during the outing but is afraid Natsuki won’t turn up. Ayumi suggests they all go and will allow them to use his boat. With everyone around, they won’t fight. But Haru is reluctant so Yuki uses some reverse psychology to say that this is their chance to get along. That night, Haru hopes ‘he’ won’t get in their way tomorrow because he wants to be friends with everyone.

So everybody gets on Ayumi’s boat for the fishing excursion. When it’s time to take photos, Natsuki can’t seem to do a proper smile when he’s with his dad. Thinking it’s because he hasn’t caught anything, they are confident he will. Tamocchan says his son will be a bass fishing pro when suddenly Natsuki objects. This leads into an argument as Natsuki says he knows well he can’t catch black bass at Enoshima. In that case, Tamocchan asks him to leave this place but he can’t. Is it because of the store? He doesn’t have to worry about that because he plans to turn it into some carpet store. Besides, it’s his store and he doesn’t need to impose on himself about taking over. Natsuki is upset he was never consulted despite them being family and hates him. Suddenly a speeding boat is threatening to crash into them. Koko thinks it is ‘him’ controlling those happy boaters. Ayumi quickly steers his boat away and though they barely missed each other, the impact of the turn has Sakura losing one of her necklace. The one she made for her late mom. She could’ve been thrown off if Haru hadn’t grabbed her but the price to pay is that her necklace sinks down into the sea. Sakura blames Natsuki for it. She wanted to give the necklaces but he had to go fight. She doesn’t want a new one and tells him off why he can’t ever get along with dad. Natsuki has had enough of this and slaps her. Poor Sakura crying so loud… Yuki wants him to apologize but is being told he knows nothing about their family affairs. So with relationships strained, Yuki gets a call from Misaki that night because Sakura is missing and nobody could find her.

Episode 8
Everybody goes out searching but to no avail. Even Akira dispatches his colleagues to find Sakura. But Heihachi believes she has been Spirited Away by the dragon. Yuki tries to console Natsuki but in return he himself became emotional because he agrees he knows nothing about siblings or families as his own parents are never coming back. Watching him made him feel jealous. He doesn’t want Natsuki to act as though he is alone. Akira advises Natsuki that he speculates Sakura went off to see her mother. Only Natsuki will know what it means. He thinks back and remembers the time they spent together. Instantly he knows where Sakura is and heads over to the closed amusement park. He finds her there and both siblings reunite. Sakura breaks down into tears. Natsuki apologizes and thanks the rest (except his dad of course). Later Akira meets Haru and Koko and introduces himself as an alien investigator of DUCK (I guess they weren’t too impressed with his posing). He asks their reason on Earth and they reply it’s to catch ‘him’. One of their kind who came to Earth a long time ago and doing naughty things while travelling Earth’s oceans. They will bring him back home once they catch him but the only way to subdue him is to bring ‘him’ out of the ocean. Communication via water works within their kind but somehow it ends up controlling humans, that’s why they don’t get along. So ‘he’ sometimes forgets his own strength and becomes dangerous. Because they have no fishing experience, they can’t do it themselves. That’s why they were going to catch ‘him’ with Yuki. Once he fishes ‘him’ out, they’ll subdue ‘him’ with their power. Besides, if they’re not careful, they’ll be affected by ‘him’ too (like the other night Haru went crazy). And this isn’t his peak yet. When he gets really strong, he can even control people via moisture in the air. So if humidity suddenly increases, the air is filled with moisture, everyone will fall under the spell and do the Enoshima Dance. That doesn’t sound so bad. Akira wants them to go home and DUCK will take it from here. He can’t have them endanger human lives. Natsuki and Tamocchan talk things out. He mentions about renovating the store and sell all sorts of things. Hey, you won’t know if you don’t try. He gives his son advice to do what he wants. As long as he is happy and serious, he’ll support him. Yuki also talks to Keito about his problem of being lonely for too long. He is glad he had people to talk things out to. Haru later comes back feeling much better so Keito reminds him if he ever leaves, make sure to properly say goodbye and not without saying anything.

The next day the guys continue their unfinished fishing challenged. Haru now rejoins them. They talk about wanting this time to last forever and Haru assures them the world won’t end because it’d be just sad as he loves Enoshima. In the end, Yuki caught the biggest fish while Natsuki the smallest. This means it’s punishment time. They cut his hair! Natsuki now has confidence to try and be a pro fishing bass and catch the black bass. Natsuki reconciles with Sakura and his sister realizes he has been staying up all night to remake the lost necklace. He sucks. Akira reports back to Joushi that JF1 is not a dangerous alien and holds the key to explain Bermuda Syndrome. However Joushi says he has sent a combat unit to Enoshima as he has determined the unusual events occurring in Enoshima’s vicinity to be the product of Bermuda Syndrome and that JF1 is one of them. See all the ships beaching on shore and everyone happily doing the Enoshima Dance? Weird indeed. Akira is shocked with the decision and tries to convince that JF1 is not hostile but Joushi wonders if Akira is a real DUCK investigator. That’s because he has footage showing him having fun fishing with his new friends. He is being apprehended by his colleagues. Yuki meanwhile narrates he realizes Haru telling the truth because with the typhoon from the Mariana Islands slowly picking up steam and moving towards Japan, Earth is a step closer to being in danger.

Episode 9
Anybody that comes into contact with any water will do the Enoshima Dance. Serious. And DUCK has landed at Enoshima. It just bothers me that their containment suits look like yellow space bunnies. They make squeaky rubber noises when they walk too? WTF?! How do you cure people of the dancing fever? Blow them dry with powerful hot blowers! Yuki can’t find Haru anywhere when DUCK makes a public announcement not to touch or use water. Whether it’s drinking or washing your butt, it’s all off limits! Can humans survive without water? Joushi sees Akira and is not convinced that JF1 is their ally. He doesn’t listen to Akira’s advice to come up with a plan to remove JFX (‘him’) from the ocean even if this information bit came from Haru, they don’t trust an alien. Plus, they didn’t come here to fish and will commence military strike when they find JFX. Haru and Koko are together. Nothing ‘him’ is coming closer. They have no regrets if they don’t ever leave Enoshima because they had fun here. DUCK invades Yuki’s house and suspects him of hiding Haru. Then they get a call that Haru has been spotted. Yuki is confused where Haru went so Keito confirms if he had said goodbye. Since he did not, he is still around. Haru and Koko swim towards ‘him’ and they combine their powers to contain their target. But ‘he’ was too powerful for them to handle so before Koko gets swallowed by the waves, she blasts Haru back to shore. The DUCK guy guarding Akira made a mistake of eating curry at this point and he is experiencing stomach discomfort. Of course Akira laced his drink with laxative to make his escape. While Keito is treating the DUCK guards to her sweet treats, Yuki escapes outside and meets Akira. He reveals his identity and purpose of observing Haru and believes he is connected to the Bermuda Syndrome of lost planes and ships that they were investigating. These incidents have been happening around Enoshima and an alien life form is responsible. That organism has the power to control others through water and though Haru himself is not dangerous, he is involved with this incident that threatens Earth. He wants Yuki to leave it to DUCK to handle and that Haru as an alien will one day part from there. Yuki doesn’t buy his crap because they had fun together. Then a bunch of DUCK guys rush back into Yuki’s house as Haru is believed to be inside. But they all return out walking away calmly. When Yuki rushes in, he is happy to see Haru but the alien kid says he hates him. What’s more, Keito is unconscious in the floor. Haru uses his water gun on Yuki and tells him to leave Enoshima. Soon, Yuki goes on a rampage throughout Enoshima, firing his water gun at people, telling them to leave Enoshima as the alien has invaded.

Those not affected by the water gun are being evacuated in buses by DUCK. By the time Yuki and Keito regain consciousness, they find themselves on the bullet train and that the news are reporting on aliens invading Enoshima and all residents have been evacuated. Haru is alone at Enoshima as Akira confronts him, trying to talk to him. But Yuki throws up a fuss and escape. Yeah, that containment suit is indeed clumsy. By the time Natsuki could connect with Yuki, the former is in an evacuation shelter and the latter in Nagoya. Yuki is confused what to do. He doesn’t know whether he should go back or not because Haru is an alien and doesn’t understand him. So Yuki talks to Keito about Haru’s betrayal. She replies she believes what she sees with her eyes. Before Haru pulled the trigger on her, he said only this to her: “Help me”. Yuki asks why she invited Haru to stay with them in the first place. She likes flowers and thinks Yuki needed some flowers too. When Haru arrived, he looked like a blooming flower. Yuki feels better and realizes things. He is going back to Enoshima because he can’t let flowers wilt. Joushi contacts Akira of his whereabouts and learns he failed to convince JF1. Akira wants a chance to fix this blunder as he is a skilled fisherman. Joushi reminds him of DUCK’s policies and will have him suspended for this nonsense. However Akira can’t do that because Enoshima has been entrusted to him. He may not be into DUCK’s policy of protecting and saving the Earth, but he has something equally as big as the planet he wants to save. That’s called friendship, right? Yuki boards the bus back to Enoshima. Though regretting he doubted Haru earlier, all he knows now is that he wants to see him.

Episode 10
Akira has been eluding the DUCK guys and it seems Joushi has given orders to be wary of him for he may have been brainwashed. Yuki tries to get a taxi back to Enoshima but none will take him since the news said that place is off limits. I guess his demon face did the trick for one. Though he has not enough cash, the taxi driver will take him as far as he can because you can’t buy friendship with money, can you? Yeah, they’ll last you an entire lifetime. It may be a distance away but the traffic is starting to crawl so Yuki gets out and run. Wow. I don’t know how far it is to Enoshima but I guess he can be a good marathon sprinter. Keep on running, Yuki! Akira knocks out some of the DUCK guards to see Natsuki and reveal his identity and what’s going on. Then with Heihachi, the expert explains about the legend and it seems even in the drawing too, the only way to calm the dragon’s rage was via fishing. Then meeting with the rest, they plan in fishing that big dragon out of the sea. Natsuki reconciles with his father, assures Sakura he’ll be back and accepts Mari to take care of her in his absence. But first they’ll need to get out of here. Easy. Misaki fakes she is going into labour so the panicky DUCK guys let her and the rest (in DUCK suits) to board the train. In the train, they further delegate their duties. Based on the legend, not just an ordinary fishing lure can be used. Akira remembers the one back in Heihachi’s shrine stuck in the dragon statue’s mouth. All that’s left is who to fish the dragon. Though they have many anglers here, he can’t just be an ordinary angler. Yup. Guess who the hero will be? Akira drives his truck and rams through the DUCK security to grab the lure in Heihachi’s shrine. That easy? I guess it must be the clumsy suits. Yuki arrives in Enoshima and meets Natsuki who becomes a decoy for him (Enoshima Dance?) so he can pass the DUCK guards to his house.

When Yuki finally comes face to face with Haru at his house, Haru becomes enraged because he thought he told him to leave Enoshima. He is quickly greeted with a slap. Yuki tells him off he didn’t say goodbye as promised and not to run off like that so Yuki explains it was getting dangerous here that’s why he had everyone whom he loves to leave. Yuki hears from his mouth about his goal here as an alien and the bait ball they saw underneath Akira’s boat then was one of their kind. Since they can’t fish, that’s why he thought Yuki could do it and thus this is what saving the world meant. Haru adds that he was too strong so he and Koko decided to lure him far away and save everyone from harm. Since they are fish, they baited ‘him’. Unfortunately Koko fell under his spell and became part of his horde. She might not come back. That’s why he sent everyone away from Enoshima so he could lure ‘him’ away this time. He has to hurry or he might fall into his control again. Now it’s Yuki’s turn to give his lecture on why he should rely on his friends and not go at it alone. More importantly, he wants to continue fishing with his friends. So he wants a chance to fish this one and save everyone as they promised to fish together. Haru feels better but is weaken from the lack of water (he used it to water all the flowers). However he can hold a bit longer because there is ‘water’ running down from his eyes. Natsuki heard everything and brings them back to everyone. Haru says that even if he manages to catch ‘him’, he may have to leave this planet. Once reunited with everyone, they are glad Haru is back with them and aren’t mad. DUCK has detected JFX’s presence so Joushi orders to prepare deployment of the missiles. The DUCK guys on the ship think they are safe as long as they are in the suits but suddenly, everyone starts dancing! One of them accidentally pushed the missile button and the ship fires the warhead into the shop at the harbour where Ayumi is getting the fishing rod. HOLY SH*********T!!!!!! Everyone is completely stunned.

Episode 11
Guess what? Thankfully Ayumi wasn’t directly hit by the missile and is still alive (and the rod is safe too). Misaki is so relieved that she hugs him. Well, this must be how heaven feels like. However he has some broken bones and is in no shape to drive his boat. Akira will do that. Since Yuki will be the one to fish, Ayumi makes Natsuki the group leader because he knows the ocean better than anyone else. They promise to return alive. But Haru wants to say goodbye because he’ll be leaving after they catch ‘him’. Ayumi hugs him and tells him to say that after they throw him his farewell party. Before the boys could get on the boat, Joushi and his DUCK members stop them. Joushi is still not amused Akira is going to fish JFX up since all their DUCK fleets have fallen under JFX’s control. Since Akira refuses, Joushi strips him of DUCK’s membership thinking he is under JF1’s spell. Like he cares. Akira gives the Duck guys a taste of his kung fu as Tapioca starts up the ship and the boys make their journey. Because the typhoon is coming closer, to avoid further casualties, Joushi has everyone evacuate. Tamocchan wants to stay behind for his son but Joushi says those are the wish of the boys who want to save Enoshima and also do not want them to be in danger. In the end he relents because he believes in him. Haru guides them close to JFX. They can’t go closer or else Haru will fall under his control. Yuki starts fishing and we catch a brief glimpse of JFX. Looks long like a dragon and all those fish swimming around it make it look like a swarm of bugs. However as Yuki tries and tries, he feels something is wrong because he knows something is there but it’s not biting the lure. Then he drops everything and goes into deep thinking mode. It hit him. He starts painting the lure red. If JFX is one of Haru’s kind, then he should be also be attracted by this colour which is Haru’s favourite. However he gets a little freaked out and puts on that demon face when he realizes the world is broadcasting their heroic feat. The world is watching! But he calms down after Natsuki says who cares if this is the focus of the world. They’re just fishing. Yuki throws the lure once more and JFX bites the bait. However this is one strong mother to pull out. Joushi contacts Akira to tell him the typhoon is his time limit. After that, he will order the deployment of anti-missiles at JFX’s position. Akira disagrees with his idea since a DUCK fleet is in the way and will kill their own comrades. Even so, this is to minimise further damage. What if their fleet fires another missile onto shore? But Akira is confident they will fish it out without further casualties. He goes to help Natsuki pull Yuki to reel in JFX. Haru is close to losing himself when the lure snaps and breaks into half. Oh dear. Then the dreaded thing happened. Before Haru completely loses himself, he tells Yuki he won’t bother him anymore and will lure ‘him’ away. He says goodbye to Yuki, much to his dismay. Meanwhile on land, more people and DUCK members are being affected by the Enoshima Dance.

Episode 12
Haru is saying his last goodbye speech but you know his friends won’t let him go. Joushi gets a call from his boss back at DUCK’s headquarters wondering when he will deploy the missiles. Joushi wants a little more time but time they have got not. Some sacrifices are inevitable and is he going to take responsibility if this incident becomes a worldwide phenomenon? In the case Joushi fails to conduct his role, 4 members of the council are also at Japan will act on his behalf. The boss will wait no longer than 3 minutes. Yuki thinks hard at all the lessons he learnt and what happened. Then he screams out he won’t let Haru wither. This causes Haru to snap out of JFX’s spell. Yuki throws away the broken lure and mentions about the legend whereby the goddess worked with her companion to fish the dragon. How did that goddess subdue the dragon? There were 2 goddesses in fact. One was watching over the fisherman and the other was the legendary lure. Since Haru and Koko knew nothing about fishing, then why where they sent here? This means Haru is the lure himself. As more casualties (in the form of Enoshima Dance) are increasing, Joushi warns Akira one last time to leave the area but Akira says to give more time because they have one more measure to try. Joushi can’t wait and presses the button. Akira hears from the guys how they want to stay and fish so he apologizes for doubting them. Haru then squirts his water gun over their faces (including Tapioca) to prevent them from being under JFX’s control for a limited time. Once they prepare Yuki as the lure, Yuki fishes him into the sea. JFX takes the bait and it’s a strong fight to reel it in. Suddenly Tapioca starts dancing. Uh oh. It’s a sign that water gun protection is running out. A dancing duck? Weird. Yuki is by himself now when Akira and Natsuki starts doing Enoshima Dance. With all his strength, Yuki pulls out JFX and instantly the dark skies disappear and everyone stops dancing. Hey, it’s raining fish! Akira reports JFX has been captured and Joushi says he has done his part in stopping the missiles. He merely adjusted the attack time. Because he believes in him…

Haru and Koko are reunited as the boys realize JFX is just a really small blue fish! Palm size! Man, for a little fish it sure put up a tough fight! You could say the fish is out of troubled waters. After Akira dries everybody, JFX transforms into his human form. He introduces himself as Urara and gets down on his knees to apologize. Well, all this wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t so naughty in the first place. Soon the aliens say goodbye to their human friends and they too equally bid them farewell before blasting off into space. First, unidentified organism that controls others via water contact and now, a UFO spaceship in the sky? Somebody call in the X-Files! Six months down the road, Heihachi draws on the scroll the boys as part of his new legend that calmed the dragon, Tamocchan didn’t renovate his store and maintains it as it is and experiences brisk business, Mari is a few months pregnant, Akira went to America to be a bass fishing pro, Akira fishing somewhere alone, Tapioca found the love of his life, Ayumi and Misaki got married but that guy is regretting it big time because Misaki has totally changed into a ferocious slave driver! Women are fearsome! Yuki and Erika end up in the same class again as he notes he may have not changed much. The teacher introduces 2 new transfer students. When Urara comes in, nobody reacts except Yuki. Seeing Urara a little shy, Yuki invites him to go fishing. But when Haru walks in, everyone reacts with astonishment because they know who this weird alien is. Yuki notes maybe he did change after all.

The Big Catch That Almost Got Away…
Well, it’s a nice end to this short series. In the end everybody continues to do what they love and pursue their dreams but it still bugs me why did Haru and especially Urara came back to Earth once more. I’m sure it’s the allure of Haru’s friends and that he wants to go fishing with them once more (the fishing rod was in his hand when he returned). But Natsuki and Akira are so far away so I guess he’ll have to make do with Yuki for now. But for Urara? He doesn’t really look that all threatening when he is a fish out of the water. So why did he come back? Whether he got his punishment and served his time for it back on his planet is a different matter. Maybe he has changed. Maybe he learnt his lesson. Maybe he just wanted some friends. Well, Yuki is the best person to start with. I just hope he won’t cause another disaster that will erupt the entire world into that infectious Enoshima Dance. Maybe that is why Haru is back with him too. To keep a watch on him so he doesn’t pull off that stunt that lasts for hundreds of years. Yeah, conveniently he was the reason why Bermuda Syndrome existed, eh? Maybe the answer to Amelia Earhart’s disappearance is linked to Urara. Haha! Hey! Come to think of it, didn’t Koko tag along back with them too? She did say she love the food at Enoshima.

Yuki as the main person is the one who underwent the most changes. From someone who was just afraid of starting a conversation with others, he easily breaks into one without sweat and is now a natural. It was really funny to his face turning into a demon. I mean, can someone really pull that off? I guess when Japanese want to throw those beans during the bean-throwing festival, Yuki can easily play the demon part. Haha! Initially he wasn’t too interested into fishing but after giving it a shot, he is now a pro, looks forward to it and has the knack and talent to come up with his own fishing strategies on the spot. Maybe I should give fishing a chance too, eh? Not! Just like Haru, he all he needed was a friend he can smile, laugh, fight and share things. It’s a good thing that they’ve met because they needed each other for help, support and changed for the better. Another odd thing about Yuki is that when he thinks deep, we see a scene that is like a roll of film rapidly rolling with scenes of past events. I thought this was a prerequisite for him to unleash some latent super power. I guess I was wrong. Maybe it just makes him think clearer and better. Akira is another changed dude. At first he was a loner, sceptic of the boys and only true to his duty. But the longer he stays and observes them, he realizes what is more important. You can’t replace friendship like you can replace your job and position. I’m not sure what his relationship is with Tapioca and I guess it’s just his faithful pet but the funny thing about them is that Akira understands every quack this duck makes! Maybe Akira previously had no real friends so he turns to ducks for company. At one point I thought Tapioca may be an alien too! Because this duck has got brains and not just one waiting to be slaughtered to be roasted over the fire. That won’t ever happen! I just wonder how Haru and Koko got over their fear of Tapioca. I thought they were really scared of that duck and the Indian guy but one day all that fear just vanished like it never occurred in the first place and they’re already best of friends. Natsuki is okay. Just that he had trouble accepting his new mom and filled with angst with his dad and despite being dubbed the Fishing Prince, he is initially a distant person. What’s the use of being a pro at something when you don’t share or teach others? Once he gets over that, he won’t hesitate and is definitely better than his grumpy self. Haru as an alien doesn’t understand human emotions so it’s really funny when you see him trying to understand the way we humans think. Even the way he talks is like as though he is a carefree person always putting up a smile. That’s good, right? At times he may get lost on what to do but that’s why he has his friends to support and encourage as they go along.

The coolest character of this series has got to be Keito. I don’t believe I have ever seen her angry. I have this feeling that she doesn’t even know how to get mad. That’s not human! Like as though she’s an alien? She is the best person to speak to if you have any troubles bothering you. She says the nicest things and gives you advice. Which kid wouldn’t love to have this old lady as their grandma? The way she speaks is quite dreamy and it always gives off that happy feel. Even when those DUCK guys come invading, she didn’t panic but remained calm and cool. Ayumi as the cool boat captain probably is the only one worst off in the end as compared to the rest. Yeah, you know what they say when a man marries a woman because she won’t change and a woman marries a man because she believes he will change. The opposite is often true, no? So why the sudden change in Misaki’s behaviour after marriage? Maybe she’s an alien? Nah! That’s very human-like. Tamocchan is also a good father and doesn’t want to impose on his son too much. But I guess when you have kids with raging hormones at their age, there’s nothing much you can do about it until a big event like this happens for father and son to reconcile. While Sakura is the cute and adorable caring sister caught in between her father and brother’s spat, I thought Erika’s role was rather redundant. I mean, she wasn’t really featured much and easily forgotten if she didn’t tag along often. I thought she could even turn out to be an alien. I’m not sure if Joushi is some sort of a drag queen but he too was like Akira, just focusing on his job and not really trusting of aliens. So when it’s his turn to feel the pressure from the higher ups, he starts to realize that Akira wasn’t lying all along and the all important trust plays its part for him to leave it to his precious subordinate to get the job done when no one else can. And I thought DUCK was going to be a rival alien hidden as a spy organization. What’s with me suspecting almost everybody as aliens?! Getting alien paranoid. Besides Tapioca, the other cute mascot of the series is the fat cat of Misaki’s store whom she calls Tenchou (literally means store owner). It was first funny to see Tapioca and Tenchou face off. But I guess we won’t know who’ll ever win in a fight between a duck and a cat.

The drawing and art of the characters may seem simple but the hues of the scenery and background can sometimes be colourful. For instance, the sea is always filled with that ‘shiny pearl’. I’m not sure how to explain it but I guess when the sun is shines on the surface of the ocean, it reflects the mini organisms like planktons and such. Despite Akira and his DUCK members wearing a turban, it doesn’t really feel that they come from India. Heck, most don’t look like Indians. From the way I look at it, as long as you just wrap a cloth over your head, there’s a big chance that you can be considered to be one. I mean if Haru, Yuki or Natsuki wears a turban, I think they’ll fit in. DUCK as an alien organization, I can’t help think that they look like a bunch of clowns. Firstly, their funny looking bright containment suit that will have kids thinking it’s some mascot parade. Secondly, their organization’s salute which is cross-hugging their arms with a DUCK card in hand. It makes me go WTF. I thought they were trying to be Ultraman. The opening theme is Tsurezure Monochrome by FUJIFABRIC. Though this rock pop isn’t appealing to me, but the amusing thing about this opening animation credits is the Enoshima Dance that everyone is doing! See how infectious it is? I bet even without any alien interfering, the dance is contagious enough for all the casts to do those hand movements (I would rate this to be on par if not slightly above Nisemonogatari’s Platinum Disco’s opening hand dance by Tsukihi – at least Enoshima Dance had more movement variety). But it may not be catchy enough for viewers to follow and imitate like the popular Hare Hare Yukai from Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. The ending theme is Sora Mo Toberu Hazu by Sayonara Ponytail. It is a slow-moderate ballad that gives off a calm feeling. I guess this is what fishing should be about.

There are some issues that I am pondering about. Like the reason why Natsuki once wasn’t confident enough to catch the black bass at Enoshima. Why or how it end up like that or what its implication means is anybody’s guess. Probably some sort of fear pertaining to that has made Natsuki hesitant to move forward. I also what happened to Yuki’s parents. I presumed they aren’t in this world anymore from the things he said. So I suppose he must have been a loner for a very long time assuming his parents has passed on for a very long time so grandma is his the only family member he has got. What is Keito’s job that requires them to move from places to places? If assuming Urara was the one responsible for all the Bermuda Syndromes that happened on Earth, why did it took a long time for Haru and Koko to be sent by whoever from their planet to retrieve Urara? Distance between the galaxy? But the aliens did return in 6 months, right? But 100 years from the previous meeting? Heck, it was kind of those aliens to perhaps notice how Urara has been troubling humans by disappearing planes and ships and to send the legendary lures to us. A hundred years later. Did Haru and Koko know they are the legendary lures then? So why did Urara only recently moved to endanger lives of people living on the land supposedly he has been carrying out his pranks in the deep ocean? How sure is Haru that Urara will stay in the ocean and not come back close to Enoshima if he successfully lures him away? Then when Urara had increasing control over the people of Enoshima, what constitutes some of them to do the Enoshima Dance? Because if DUCK’s containment suit which is so air-tight and water proof can have the wearer falling under his control, then how come our heroes and their family and friends didn’t really fall under his spell? I mean the boys were the closest to Urara so even if Haru had eventually sprayed some of his water gun on them, shouldn’t they have already been under control prior to it since some of the residents as far as back as the land have already been affected? Maybe only those strong in the heart can resist it? After all about 70% of the Earth is covered with water and our body averaging 75% Why Haru’s water gun had no hypnotizing effect on the guys in the end still boggles me. Was it some special water he used? Or maybe the power of friendship dispelled all that.

Despite some of the basic fishing terms and principles as demonstrated in this anime, it’s good they didn’t really turn and overwhelm the show into a fishing documentary because the main driven focus is the friendship cultivated among the boys. It is like as though their meeting and being brought together was by fate instead of coincidence. For good or bad, I think I’m not taking up fishing as an interest anytime soon or for the foreseeable future. I think I’ll even lose to a goldfish if I ever tried my hands at fishing. The only fishing that I’ll be sticking to is the one using cards. However I have been thinking that if there is an alien life form that could really control you by the mere touch of water and make you do the Enoshima Dance, I guess that isn’t so bad, right? I mean, you see happy people dancing everywhere. No more sadness, nobody fighting. World peace if I should say! That’s why sometimes when I think from this perspective, Urara may be trying to bring humans together. You don’t see them kill each other, right? Maybe the only danger is that everybody is so happy dancing that they are oblivious of their surroundings and may hurt others without knowing (like that speeding boat incident as seen in one of the episodes). So how is this a threat? Yeah, if that really ever happens, I don’t really mind doing the Enoshima Dance mindlessly too. But if I could wish, perhaps make me do the break dance, hip hop, tap dancing, Cossack or Moonwalk. I’ve always wanted to do those moves. And especially those impossible dance moves in the ending credits of Kill Me Baby. Imagine if everybody suddenly got up and do the Macarena. Sounds like a flash mob? Hmm… Sounds fishy to me. “Haino, haino…” *Starts doing Enoshima Dance*

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