Diary of our Days at the Breakwater – 1st Episode Review
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Synopsis: Introverted Hina Tsurugi is trying to adjust to her new school since moving from the countryside. And in spite of her unease around sea life, classmate Yuuki Kuroiwa somehow convinces her to join the Breakwater Fishing Club. She wants to be open to these new friends and experiences, but some of them are as strange as the fish they’re supposed to hook. Is she biting off more than she can chew? (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Diary of our Days at the Breakwater gives off strong ‘Cute Girls Doing Cute Things’ vibe, CGDCT for short, and there’s no denying that at its heart it is one. Here we have a handful of high school girls coming together through a high school club and spending time hanging out and indulging in club activities, a staple mark of any CGDCT show. What helps Diary of our Days stand out though is that it presents fishing as anything but glamourous or cute, something CGDCT shows often try to do with whatever their premise is. While some of the girls do try to show Hina that there is fun to be had in fishing, they do not sing its praises like its the next best thing since sliced bread. Nor does it come off as highly educational, going into extreme minute details like some other shows tend to do. It tells you just enough to help you follow along, doling out information in a more natural and engaging manner.
Tom: CGDCT anime aren’t all terrible, but they can often be so exclusively targeted at the sub-genre’s core demographic that it offers little real appeal for a wider audience. That said I think Diary of our Days at the Breakwater is one of the CGDCTs that does contain wider appeal. Outside of imparting knowledge on small time fishing, it helps that the girls all exhibit unique enough quirks to set them apart from each other. CGDTCs can often have casts that are too similar, all the girls feeling like clones, just with varying hairstyles. Here the girls may be little more than stock character types, but the way these stock personas are presented feels lively enough to obfuscate that. There’s also a healthy vein of comedy running through the show, preventing it from feel too hum-drum and uneventful. That said, the comedy mainly consists of Hina’s terror at the wharf roaches and how slimey fish are, which makes it bordering on one note.
Linny: I think Hina as a lead really helps Diary of our Days shake off its more generic vibes. Her aversion to this new club and its activities is the complete and total opposite of girls from similar shows. Usually the protagonist ends up being utterly mesmerized by the activity/sport/skill or has been a fan of it for years and is super eager and excited to be able to try it herself. Even if they are reluctant, they quickly and completely embrace it within one episode. Not only does Hina despise fishing and bugs, even when she does come around, she makes it clear that she will be taking baby steps. It offers some conflict and comedy as opposed to most CGDCT which rarely offer any conflict and makes Diary of our Days one of the more enticing and well rounded entries in the CGDCT catalogue, even if it never fully shakes off all the cliches.
Tom: Diary of our Days at the Breakwater is good, not great, middling, easy-going fun. Viewers who love CGDCT type anime are going to adore this series, and I think it shows enough promise with this first episode that more general anime audiences should be able to find enjoyment as well.
Diary of our Days at the Breakwater is available for streaming via Funimation.com