Coming into Josee, the Tiger and the Fish, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
I had seen the trailer a while back, so I knew it would be a romance anime but I didn’t know if it would be of the comedic, wholesome, or tragic department.
Well, after seeing it in theaters, I can say that it is kind of all three of those.
Directed by Kotaro Tamura, Josee, the Tiger and the Fish tells the story of the blossoming romance between diving enthusiast Tsueno Suzukawa (Taishi Nakagawa) and the wheelchair-bound Kumiko Yamamura (Kaya Kiyohara) or Josee, as she likes to be called.
Tsueno is a young man who’s passion for the ocean and diving has him hoping to get a scholarship in Mexico to study a certain kind of fish, however, he needs the money.
This is where Josee comes in, as a chance encounter between the two occurs when Tsueno saves her after someone cruelly pushes her wheelchair down a steep road.
Josee’s grandmother (Chiemi Matsutera) kindly offers Tsueno a job to look after Josee, helping him with his fees needed for the scholarship.
Tsueno and Josee can’t stand each other.
From there, the film progresses with their relationship as they slowly go from hating one another, to being friends, to falling in love.
However, given how I said earlier that Josee, the Tiger and the Fish had comedic, wholesome, and even tragic moments, you can probably guess that it is a bumpy road to get to the end goal.
It’s a good thing then that the romance is well written.
This is helped by both voice actors doing an great job with their performance and also the script, written by Sayaka Kuwamura, which does an excellent job at showing how Tsueno and Josee’s growing bond changes them as people.
For example, we watch as Josee goes from being shut in by her grandmother, to becoming more independent and confident, with help from Tsueno’s influence.
Speaking of Josee’s grandmother, she is quite a funny character, with her reactions in one scene creating quite a few chuckles among the audience in the theater.
Along with the well-written romance and humor, there is also the animation, which is quite beautiful at times, like during the beach scene, which brought a smile to my face.
It is all of these things that combine to make an enjoyable film that will make a good watch for any fan of romance anime.
It’s nothing revolutionary or ground breaking but it didn’t need to be.
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish is a touching romance with a lot of good moments.