After leaving her idol career behind, Fuuka Miyazawa finds herself on a spontaneous flight to Okinawa instead of returning home to her pity party in Morioka. Bearing a heavy heart and nowhere to go, she aimlessly wanders around the area until she stumbles upon Gama Gama Aquarium—an aging aquarium on the verge of closing down.
With a lack of visitors and costly but necessary repairs needed to keep its doors open, the director is faced with shutting down the establishment for good by the end of the summer. The director’s aquatic life-loving granddaughter—Kukuru Misakino—cannot stand the thought of the aquarium closing and is determined to make enough money by the end of the season to keep the doors open.
Seeing the unique magic of the aquarium, Fuuka begs Kukuru for a job; however, she soon finds that her lack of experience makes her more of a hindrance than anything else. At the same time, Kukuru realizes that her ambitious goal might be more than she can handle. With mounting pressure from all around them, will Kukuru and Fuuka be able to save the one place they hold close to their hearts?
Man to think that I would spend pretty much of 2021 invested in the anime that is Shiroi Suna no Aquatope. That was something I didn’t see coming. Right off the bat, I will say that this anime felt longer than usual for some reason. Maybe that’s because while this anime was airing, I watched many other shows, but anyway, that’s neither here nor there. After twenty-four episodes, it’s finally time for me to give my final thoughts on the Shiroi Suna no Aquatope.
The anime is structured in two parts, with the first half taking place at the Gama Gama Aquarium and the second half of the story taking place at the Tingaara Aquarium. I also think that while you can view Shiroi Suna no Aquatope as an anime split into two halves, you can also view it as an anime that focuses on the characters’ individual stories. Both Kukuru and Fuuka learn a lot from each other, and because of that they affect each other and influence each other’s decision-making in their own way. With Fuuka’s support, Kukuru discovers herself and continues to follow her dream regardless of difficulties. While Kukuru, on the other hand, can show Fuuka that there’s a life outside of being an idol.
Shiroi Suna no Aquatope is all about taking all opportunities in stride and following your dreams. In many ways, this anime is also about self-discovery because there have been many instances where we see Kukuru and Fuuka rediscovering who they are and their purpose. These were two characters who watched their dreams crumble before their eyes. To me, Shiroi Suna no Aquatope was about them overcoming that and discovering a new dream together.
While Kukuru and Fuuka were the focus of the anime, and because of that, they’re the ones who have received the most development. The other characters, however, that is a different story. In the grand scheme of things, the supporting cast role in the anime was not significant at all because for the most part Kukuru and Fuuka leaned on each other for support. After the first half of the anime, it seemed like everyone was immediately pushed to the side as Fuuka and Kukuru started to take up more and more of the screentime. Would it have been nice if our supporting cast were better developed and played a bigger role in the story? Yes, in my opinion, an anime is at its best when every character from the main protagonists down do their part to support the story being told by the anime. However, if the supporting cast had played a bigger role in the story, maybe I would have liked Shiroi Suna no Aquatope that little bit more.
Overall, despite a few boring episodes here and there, and character development that could have been better. Nevertheless, I thought that Shiroi Suna no Aquatope was a good anime. There were times when I asked myself “What’s really the point?” or “What’s the story about now?” because there were times when I felt like the anime had lost its purpose along the way. But I think that Shiroi Suna no Aquatope rebounded well towards the end and I think that episode twenty-four did a great job at summing up the anime. Shiroi Suna no Aquatope was definitely an anime about friendship and following one’s dream.