I’ve wanted to give episodic anime blogging a try for a while ago, but never find myself watching something that felt suited for it. But, since this season’s been kind enough to feature a show that feels right, it would be remiss of me to pass the opportunity up. So let’s get this train rolling and look at the first episode.Between the Sky and Sea is utterly absurd, and I love it.
Every single world building element or explanation brings with it a host of new questions which it proceeds to entirely ignore.
The parade of nonsense begins before the credits even roll, with the narrator explaining that after the spontaneous disappearance of all the fish in the oceans (which apparently had no impact on the wider ecosystem). Mankind, with characteristic ingenuity, set about solving this problem in the least efficient way possible. Given the tech level on display here and the fact that they were able to work the solution they eventually did come up with, the obvious thing would be to try to reintroduce fish to the oceans. But that’d be far too sensible so instead we get…
These kinds of nonsensical solutions are a constant in the first episode. It’s like at every single point someone decided to go with a needlessly convoluted or just plain wasteful way of tackling the problem. How should we get to space since we’re presumably going to be going there a lot? Rockets! The way the space fishing is framed certainly implies that they’re sending people up there on the regular so you’d think they’d come up with some kind of space elevator or something (how do they get the fish back down anyways?) But nope, rockets it is.
And then there’s the space fishing itself, which is carried out using “strike pods” submarine/mech things which each character pilots. So far so mostly sensible, until they toss deities into the mix. Rather than just equipping the pods with regular fishing tools they instead use a mobile phone app to summon gods which grant the pods magical equipment (in case you’d missed that this is a mobile game adaptation).
Even the fish themselves don’t make a ton of sense, being giant spiked monstrosities which are actively hostile towards the intruding strike pods, with the episode’s climactic battle being against a murderous giant crab. Why? Humans must have created these fish, they certainly don’t exist on earth. Why make them so dangerous when you’re specifically creating them with the intent to fish and eat them? Nothing in this show holds up to half a second of thought.
Luckily this sheer bewilderment is reflected in Haru, the protagonist. Haru spends the first half of the episode lost, then gets dragged into space almost by accident and naturally ends up completely out of her depth. The rest of the cast are fine, having not really had much time to establish anybody beyond that one guy who’s blatantly going to end up being convinced that “maybe girls really can fish as well” at some point in the future.
All in all this was a really fun pile of absurdity and I hope the show can maintain that going forward.