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EP. REVIEW: The aquatope on white sand




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boldulysses



Joined: 21 Apr 2020
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 2:26 pm Reply with quote
Yay! So glad you're reviewing this!

I think the "is or isn't it yuri?" will be the biggest talking point until the show definitely settles it in one direction or another.

IMO the hand clasp and the hug in the OP are the only things so far that could really be interpreted as "yuri bait."

I for one hope they buck current fashion and don't go that direction, if for no other reason than to show that by golly, two girls (or two guys for that matter) can develop a strong bond without it tipping over into yuri (or yaoi).

But I guess we'll see. I'm along for the ride regardless.
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TanyaTheEvil



Joined: 11 May 2018
Posts: 233
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:11 pm Reply with quote
I am so loving this anime. The characters are really good and I like both girls and hope that we get a good heart touching anime. I am really curious about the spoiler[ little native person who took Fuuka's hat.]
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pixelatedlenses
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Joined: 15 Apr 2021
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 6:35 pm Reply with quote
boldulysses wrote:
Yay! So glad you're reviewing this!


Oh goodness, thank you so much! I'm quite thrilled to be reviewing this myself!

boldulysses wrote:
I for one hope they buck current fashion and don't go that direction, if for no other reason than to show that by golly, two girls (or two guys for that matter) can develop a strong bond without it tipping over into yuri (or yaoi).

But I guess we'll see. I'm along for the ride regardless.


I'm definitely hoping that this puts a strong friendship in place before things go anywhere romantic. More than anything, I'd like to see a really good friendship, whether or not romance is on the table. I hope we both enjoy our time with aquatope!
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Bayuro2.0



Joined: 08 Jul 2020
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:27 pm Reply with quote
This anime is very interesting. I'm always a big fan of girl meets girl anime. They even paired my two favorite voice actresses Rikako Aida and Miku Itou. I'm gonna follow this right to the last episode.
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Redbeard 101
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:53 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Mind you, we're only at the beginning of adhesion: Fuka and Kukuru are nowhere near a true friendship, nor even a romance. They've only just become acquaintances, and that hinges on Fuka becoming good at her job as an animal keeper at the aquarium.


This is something I am honestly grateful for. The build up. I understand why some shows/manga, especially yuri titles I've noticed, can dive right in (no pun intended) to get to the drama and relationship issues. It's what a lot of people watch/read them for. Will they or won't they work things out and stay together? I do appreciate titles that buck that trend though and take time building up the relationships first. Which includes building up the base friendship instead of us simply knowing from the get go the MC's have been friends for years so that buildup gets skipped. I do hope once the friendship is more established they in turn take the time to establish any romantic aspects as well.

I agree with the notion of considering this a yuri title until proven different. As the saying goes, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck then it's probably a duck. I would be fine though with waiting a while for any real romantic feelings to develop. According to MAL it's listed at 24 episodes, assuming that is true then there's plenty of time to establish any romance and not rush it. I do also hope there is a nice equal slice of life focus mixed in as the setting and music thus far really provide for a relaxing view. While I expect there will be a romantic focus eventually, I hope the show doesn't lose this initial relaxing vibe along the way.
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boldulysses



Joined: 21 Apr 2020
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 8:39 pm Reply with quote
One of the decisions that makes the Fuuka and Kukuru characterizations so relatable is that only two episodes in, they're already defying type. Normally you'd expect the more energetic, bubbly Kukuru to be the impulsive one, and the reserved Fuuka to be sober and responsible, but we're shown exactly the opposite. Lots of showing as opposed to telling, and the result is more character development in 2 episodes than in 7 or 8 of a more conventional anime.
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pixelatedlenses
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Joined: 15 Apr 2021
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:20 pm Reply with quote
That's honestly what's so engaging about these first two episodes, isn't it? Like, I feel like I have a very clear idea who Fuka and Kukuru are: their personalities are so flexible and human, and it's really setting up a pretty dynamic relationship between them, just on the level of them being characters. I'm definitely excited for all future episodes!
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Folcwine P. Pywackett



Joined: 21 Feb 2017
Posts: 31
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 4:29 pm Reply with quote
pixelatedlenses wrote:
That's honestly what's so engaging about these first two episodes, isn't it? Like, I feel like I have a very clear idea who Fuka and Kukuru are: their personalities are so flexible and human, and it's really setting up a pretty dynamic relationship between them, just on the level of them being characters. I'm definitely excited for all future episodes!


Also am glad that you are reviewing Aquatope as you have many very interesting points of view.
What first struck me was the sheer beauty both visual and musical being presented plus the added sense of magical realism in the shrine spirit. The secondary title "Two girls meet in the ruins of damaged dream." is intriguing and tells the fans the core of the story. But before the relationship can center, the story tellers have introduced some major plot points which must be immediately addressed spoiler[Kukuru's grandfather is planning on selling the Aquarium rather soon, Fuka must come clean with her parents, and some shady characters in EP2 might return!] So how the girls go about solving these will make the relationship. In just two EPs, the storytellers have gabbed me by the collared necktie and won't let go, and that is always a good story start!
As a little nit, kukuruくくる has some deep roots in Japanese poetry and is closely associated with kuguruくぐる where kukuru is above kuguru which hides underneath. This relationship between two words, is pivotal to another anime, "Chihayafuru"! But I cannot see any symmetries between fuka and kuguru so I don't know if any of this is intentional. Perhaps there might be connections made as we travel this road.
Am also very excited about Aquatope which might end up as my number 1 fav of the season.
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Folcwine P. Pywackett



Joined: 21 Feb 2017
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 3:31 pm Reply with quote
Well, when one speaks off the cuff, expect cider in the ear. The above is wrong. After some research, I learned that kukuru くくる is an Okinawa dialect word which has no connection to kukuruくくる in standard Japanese, and therefore has no connection to Japanese poetry.
When an Okinawan says kukuru くくる, they are saying kokoro 心 Kanji or こころHiragana in Standard Japanese. Kokoro means heart, mind, or soul.
So for our two leads, Kukuru "heart" meets Fuuka "wind flower"!
Sorry about the confusion.
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HoshizoranoUtage



Joined: 20 Jul 2020
Posts: 30
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 2:48 pm Reply with quote
Episode 3 felt fairly boring and too sentimental for me. I'll give this show another episode to see if I drop it or not. Showing the ins and outs of running an aquarium interests me much more than focusing on sentimental side stories involving the characters...
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 8:33 pm Reply with quote
Aquatope is this season's replacement for Super Cub. Three episodes in and I'd rate Super Cub somewhat better. The hook (motor scooter v aquarium) as a vehicle (double meaning intended) for recovery from depression through activity and friendship seemed to be more organically linked in the narrative. As someone who has been through depressives episodes, I found that Koguma's slow but steady recovery had a ring of authenticity to it. The show had a unique mood to it that I found compelling. While Koguma has new foci in her life - her friends and her Super Cub - I fear she may have further bouts of depression, just as that fear lingers in my own mind. And, as a long time motorcyclist, I also loved how the show deftly captured the magic of the activity.

Aquatope is airier, lighter and lacks the oppressive feel of its predecessor. Fuka has had a major setback, but I'm sure, by the end of the series, she'll be changed - wiser and more secure emotionally - just as I'm sure the the aquarium will be saved. A happy ever after ending seems inevitable. I'm looking forward to the developing friendships, particularly between the two leads. Yet, I'm more than open to the show surprising me.

I suppose I would say, in short, that Super Cub - despite covering 12 months of Koguma's life - had a wintry feel to it, while Aquatope has a summery feel, each a metaphor for the intentions of the respective series.

I've appreciated your coverage of both, Mercedez.
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Chiibi



Joined: 19 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 8:49 pm Reply with quote
boldulysses wrote:


I think the "is or isn't it yuri?" will be the biggest talking point until the show definitely settles it in one direction or another.


I like to think of having what I call "a shipper's Sixth Sense" (Laughing) and...so far I'm not getting any hints that sets it off.

The hand-grasp in the OP could indeed be an indicator of 'romance'...though we don't actually see who the hands belong to (or maybe we do; it goes by so quickly)...but going by the actual content of the episodes?

My answer for now is "just friendship". Which is very nice. I also appreciate the lack of fanservice...despite...(probably) being targeted at a male audience.

Comparing a show like this to a show like Flip Flappers (that was definitely going there), makes the relationship between Fuuka and Kukuru feel extremely platonic.
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pixelatedlenses
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Joined: 15 Apr 2021
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 9:17 am Reply with quote
Errinundra wrote:
I've appreciated your coverage of both, Mercedez.


I really appreciate hearing this and hope that you'll continue to enjoy my coverage! I'm defintiely excited about this season's Super Cub (what a perfect way to compare both series for real!) and hope that aquatope will be a series to talk about for a while yet. It's deifnitely got that summery feel baked in right from the beginning: it truly is the perfect Summer season anime!
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Yuribone



Joined: 25 Jul 2021
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 3:05 pm Reply with quote
boldulysses wrote:
Yay! So glad you're reviewing this!

I think the "is or isn't it yuri?" will be the biggest talking point until the show definitely settles it in one direction or another.

IMO the hand clasp and the hug in the OP are the only things so far that could really be interpreted as "yuri bait."

I for one hope they buck current fashion and don't go that direction, if for no other reason than to show that by golly, two girls (or two guys for that matter) can develop a strong bond without it tipping over into yuri (or yaoi).

But I guess we'll see. I'm along for the ride regardless.


I'm sorry, but I don't quite remember any show with subtext between girls turning yuri in the past few years. There are so many shows every single season that offer the strong friendship vibe you're looking. Yuri fans almost never get what they're looking for so I don't really understand where you're coming from.
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Key
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:45 pm Reply with quote
I'm not feeling the Super Cub comparison, but that may be because I could never get over how much that felt like an advertisement told in story form, whereas this is more of a story told in an interesting setting.

I would compare this in feel much more to Irodoku (not surprising, given the similarities in staff and studio) or, to a lesser extent, Hanasku Iroha (also the same studio). Either comparison is plenty enough to get me to continue watching the series.

As for the yuri angle, I consider myself a yuri fan but I'm not sensing it angling in that direction, either, and would be fine if it never develops. It doesn't seem like a good fit for the tenor of the show.
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