Between the Sky and Sea – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Fish suddenly disappeared on Earth. The Ministry of Fisheries has initiated the experimental program of creating ‘Aquatic Orbs’, farming fish in encapsulated bodies of water in space. Six girls are selected as candidates to become fishers who will go into space to catch new species of fish. From Onomichi City to the cosmos, this is the story of aspiring girls aiming to be Space Fishers! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Here we go again. Between the Sky and Sea is yet another nonsensical show with a completely inept, frustratingly clueless female protagonist. What makes this particular idiotic protagonist all the more frustrating is the fact that the show specifies that this whole endeavor of sending women into space to become space fishermen (fisherwomen?) is part of government efforts concerning equal employment. This might lead one to believe that there had to be some proper method of selection and training involved. Yet our protagonist is about as inept as a newly born calf that hasn’t even mastered the basics of walking. She is constantly making mistakes and needing to be rescued or helped every single step of the way and is clueless about every single aspect of the job she signed up for. Her clumsy and clueless behaviour becomes oh so very contrived for the sake of cuteness and it doesn’t work at all, only making her and the show come off as one of the most nonsensical things to emerge in recent anime.
Tom: Between the Sky and Sea is borderline offensive in its depiction of women, even if it outwardly projects a positive message; women as an equal part of the workforce.Seeing as this is an adaptation of a phone game, one constructed around a strong gacha mechanic, this seems more a gimmick excuse so as to have pretty young women for audiences to fawn over, rather than the typical burly fisherman. Indeed few of our female characters seem like positive depictions, mostly obnoxious, ditzy or boisterous and overconfident as to create ‘comedy.’ Where as the men are ‘cool,’ ‘capable’ and have to save the girls’ bacon because they’re simply too inept for the job.
Linny: Between the Sky and the Sea does absolutely nothing to elevate its source material. Granted its origin is a mobile game so there isn’t much to expect here but the lack of effort and logic in this first episode is outrageous. The premise feels like it was conceived after drawing random ideas from a hat. Fishing, but in space. Gods.. but on an app. Gods literally being used as actual tools/aids for catching fish in space. There’s little to no hope of this show ever growing deeper based on how vapid this first episode was. And what’s resentment inducing is the fact that the show has the nerve to try and promote itself as a show about women empowerment and growth yet spends the entire episode painting them as nothing more than cliches and incompetent damsels in distress throughout its first episode. If one were to argue that this is to give the girls a chance to grow, it still does not excuse the fact that the show takes every chance to portray its main female protagonist as an utter and complete bumbling idiot beyond logic and completely unqualified and unprepared for the job she claims to have wanted for a while. The fact that a fair chunk of the opening credits is just the girls frolicking in bikinis on a beach is a clear sign that these girls are nothing more than bait for a hormonal crowd to fawn over and want to protect rather than crafting them as well written characters.
Tom: Between the Sky and Sea is really lazy in trying to anime-ify its game mechanics. Where as other game to anime adaptations have at least put in some effort making these elements feel like real components, Between the Sky and Sea just sort of plops them in, and isn’t even self-aware enough to make a joke about it. It doesn’t help that the episode wastes a lot of time early on, doing a slow build as our lead obnoxious girl spends the first five minutes sight-seeing in a needless and useless sequence that just drags out the introduction. What’s here is pretty lame, and while game to anime adaptations are often hardly inspiring, this one feels particularly lazy, save for decent animation. Unless you’re aching for more incompetent female characters, who may (or may not?) rise to prove themselves in a half-hearted attempt at a positive message, Between the Sky and Sea is an easy pass.
Linny: Anime is usually great at taking a really bizarre premise and turning it into an entertaining, or at the very least self aware, humorous tale. However, Between the Sky and Sea is absolutely nothing but the laziest of promotional material. Zero effort has been put into developing proper characters or story. Instead the show is content to throw girls on the screen and hope that their aesthetic or vapid/cliche personalities will be enough to make young male audiences latch on. There’s no rhyme or logic to the plot and absolutely no good reason to recommend this show to anyone.
Between the Sky and Sea is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.