Hello and welcome back to Otaku Thursday! Can you believe it’s already August? I honestly can’t. It feels like once again, the year has just been zooming by and summer is nearly over and Star and I still haven’t been able to enjoy actual summer things. But that’s alright, because we’re currently enjoying the Olympics (well, watching it on tv), and living vicariously through summer themed anime. So naturally, I thought that we should talk about one of my current favorite anime: Shiroi Suna no Aquatope.
So, Shiroi Suna no Aquatope opens out with Fuuka, an ex-idol, running away to the beautiful Okinawa island. She’s been through some things, and clearly has no plan lined up (being a runaway). She ends up falling asleep on the beach, talking to a fortune teller, and then she gets a gentle push by fate to go to the local aquarium–the local aquarium where our other main protag Kukuru works to keep the establishment afloat. After having this mystical experience in the aquarium, Fuuka asks Kukuru to work there and she ends up doing so (and also living with Kukuru and her grandparents. The show so far has been…so wholesome. It feels like a breath of fresh air right now–light fluffy feelings, minimal drama, seeing Fuuka working hard at the aquarium and the relationship between these two girls grow. It honestly is just–so nice. Fuuka and Kukuru aren’t perfect–they are young and have many flaws, but so far they have even more strengths. Fuuka, whose kindness and genuine attitude makes up for her overall ditziness, and she has a desire to help in any way she can and improve. Meanwhile, Kukuru is an honest and hardworking individual, who perhaps can be passionate about her aquarium to the point of being rude to Fuuka, but it’s because she’s trying her best. I also really appreciate the relationship growing between these two…but also like–is this going to be a thing? Are they going to y’know, have more than friendly feelings for each other? Because I am SO there for that. But it’s so early in the show that I’m not going to get my hopes up…it’d just be really great if it were a cheeky GL anime.
Aside from Fuuka and Kukuru, the side characters are pretty good right now. I couldn’t tell you their names, but so far I like them. We have Kukuru’s friends–a travel guide, a restaurant worker, and a fisherman’s son (who clearly has a crush on Kukuru but also like, back off homeboy, Fuuka is here now). There’s also Kukuru’s lazy cousin who works at the aquarium and his existence is just like–an entire mood. And then there’s other aquarium workers we slowly see–the veterinarian worker who is on pregnancy leave, a burly man who works there as well, the silent but adorable island spirit that makes frequent cameos. So far, so good, but plenty of room to grow. Though of course it’s clear that these characters are all secondary–Fuka and Kukuru are the main show.
But when it comes to Shiroi Suna no Aquatope, the real gold in this show is the animation. This anime was done by the same team who brought gorgeous as fox-demon, anime such as A Lull in the Sea. So this anime? An absolute treat on the eyes. Like honestly, this show is beyond pretty. It’s all soft lines and bright colors. I think that’s why I associate it with summer. Plus then there’s the water. MY GODDESS THE WATER. This animation team knows how to do some water and make it look not just natural but super inviting. It makes me wish I could jump into the show simply to be able to jump into the ocean. But honestly, one of my favorite animation things so far is that surrealism in the aquarium where characters like have these out of body experiences. It’s just a moment where we see these absolutely flooring sequences of the aquarium coming to life, and characters (like Fuka), experiencing not just the aquarium but a seemingly endless ocean they become immersed in. Waters that connect beyond the physical space. It’s crazy beautiful and just SUCH a treat on the eyes.
Music–music is also pretty good. Admittedly, the soundtrack so far hasn’t been as good as say–A Lull in the Sea which is probably one of my top ten anime OST of all time–but I have liked it thus far. I think the studio does a really good job of pairing music and sound with what’s happening on screen. I also think they were really smart with the opening and ending song choices–both give off different vibes, but both feel very appropriate for the show. We have the opening that showcases bright colors and fun sequences–that’s very filled with upbeat sounds and a promising and cheery feel. Then there’s the ending which is slower, more melancholy and paired with certainly darker imagery. I think it’s a great contrast that shows that despite the good vibes and bright air, there’s something lurking beneath the surface of both of these girls.
Overall, I’m really enjoying Shiroi Suna no Aquatope. I loved A Lull in the Sea, and though this feels more drama centric and less fantastical, I’m definitely a big fan of it so far. Personally, I enjoy character driven stories that explore relationships, which feels exactly what this is. Just–with prettier colors, sceneries, and music. So I think that if you also like character driven drama, I’d definitely recommend giving Shiroi Suna no Aquatope a watch! But otherwise, until next time!