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Shiroi Suna no Aquatope | First Impressions

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Kukuru Misakino, an 18-year-old high school girl working in an aquarium, meets Fuuka Miyazawa, a former idol who lost her place in Tokyo and escaped. Fuuka will spend her days in the aquarium with her own thoughts in mind. However, the crisis of closing is approaching for the aquarium, as the girls explore their dreams and reality, loneliness and friends, bonds and conflicts.

Shiroi Suna no Aquatope was an anime that I was kind of interested in. It had Nagi no Asu kara vibes in large part because it was an anime I did enjoy watching. So I thought, “Hey, maybe this will be good.” As of writing this blog post, I am three episodes in, and it’s been okay.

In terms of general storytelling, there definitely hasn’t been anything spectacular. There certainly hasn’t been anything that would knock your socks right off. We have one character named Fuuka Miyazawa, a former idol who almost got to debut. Still, because of circumstances out of her control, her dream never became a reality, who meets Kukuru Misakino, whose dream is to inherit the Gamagama Aquarium. However, the only problem is the aquarium is on the verge of closing down, and so Kukuru is doing everything within her power to ensure that doesn’t happen. So there you have it, you have Fuuka, someone whose dream was ruined, meeting Kukuru, whose dream is on the verge of being ruined. Shiroi Suna no Aquatope’s story is essentially about Fuuka supporting Kukuru and her dream with the help of others.

The story feels pretty basic, and I will be honest; the characters also feel very basic. So what then is the draw of this anime? For me, there’s a lot of character development that is to be had because the series is going to be twenty-four episodes long; you know there’s going to be a ton of it. We have two characters who seem very raw and rough around the edges. I’m sure as we progress through the episodes, that is going to change. As is typical with anime, the characters you see at the beginning will not be the same characters you see at the end (character development). That is the main draw for me and is something that excites me.

Weirdly enough, however, while I talk about all this potential for character development, the one thing that annoys me the most about Shiroi Suna no Aquatope is its characters. In particular, Fuuka is the one who frustrates me the most because of how she’s going about her life now that her dream is ‘ruined.’ I understand that under normal circumstances that if something you’ve worked to obtain for years, dedicating your life to achieve your dream only to have the rug pulled from under you. I understand how gutted you would feel, how lost and helpless you’d feel in that moment. So you start finding ways to distract yourself even though what had happened to you was out of your control. Although supporting someone else and helping them achieve their own dream is all well and good, you cannot be the one who watches from the sideline as someone else’s dream is realized and obtained while you’re there still fumbling about. For lack thereof, a better term, there is no return on your investment.

In Fuuka’s case, I guess by the end of it all, should Kukuru’s dream come true, Fuuka would have the satisfaction of knowing she helped save the aquarium and that she helped Kukuru achieve her dream. But what about you (Fuuka)? The fact that Fuuka is roaming around aimlessly, not taking steps to discover another dream, something that she wants for herself, is probably the most frustrating thing (for me anyway).

Anyway, these are the things I thought now three episodes into Shiroi Suna no Aquatope. While I’m excited about things, generally speaking, the first three episodes have been mediocre at best. In short, my first impressions of the anime were okay.

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