Another day, another first episode of a new Summer 2021 Anime. In this The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 1 Review, let us see P.A. Works work their magic in another unique and exciting anime. The series is known in Japanese as Shiroi Suna no Aquatope.
The Aquatope on White Sand is the exact type of anime that excites me when I look at the upcoming anime list. A studio with a lot of great anime under their belt already? Check. An original source? Not an Isekai? Gorgeous animation? Check, Check, and Check. How did Episode 1 fair under the limelight? Let’s find out!
The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 1 Review- The Overview
The Aquatope on White Sand is the latest anime by the Anime Studio P.A. Works, previously known for producing critically and commercially acclaimed anime like Angel Beats and Another. The series is directed by Toshiya Shinohara, a director whose career so far has been intrinsically linked with P.A. works, having previously directed Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara and Nagi no Asu kara for the studio before. It is an original series by P.A. works, which means it is not based on a previously existing property, such as a Manga or a Light Novel.
The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 1 Review- The Art and Music
Normally, we review the plot synopsis and character first, but for our Aquatope Episode 1 Review, we thought about mixing it up. This isn’t an arbitrary whim, though. These two aspects of Aquatope are so good that they forced their way up here. For a long time now, all the latest anime releases have had decent art. Nothing special, but nothing especially praiseworthy either. This doesn’t apply to Aquatope at all. If Episode 1 is to be believed, this anime series is going to the top of the animation echelon.
Indeed, the animation in Aquatope is breathtaking. For a series based around water and marine life, Aquatope had to do a lot of justice to the medium; otherwise, it ran the risk of sinking below similar kinds of series in its first episode. Fear not, as it nailed the animation out of the park. The sound design and the music weren’t very far behind, either. Sound Director Haru Yamada managed to perfectly capture the feeling of running away to a faraway place and getting to swim alongside the fish with his sound.
The atmosphere that the anime managed to capture with just its Art and Music direction is commendable and, in an ideal world, would catapult this anime to the top of the rating chart. Enough gushing about this, now. Let us move to the meat of the anime.
The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 1 Review- The Plot and Characters
“Kukuru Misakino, an 18-year-old high school girl working in an aquarium, meets Fuuka Miyazawa, a former idol who lost her place in Tokyo and escaped. Fuuka will spend her days in the aquarium with her own thoughts in mind. However, the crisis of closing is approaching for the aquarium, as the girls explore their dreams and reality, loneliness and friends, bonds and conflicts.”
– MAL News.
The plot of Aquatope is a kind that we have seen done multiple times before, most recently in Makato Shinkai‘s spellbinding Weathering With You, but it is a story that fits the setting and the aesthetics very well. Fuuka Miyazawa, an aspiring idol, loses everything she worked for in a big city and runs away to an island by herself. There, she meets Kukuru Misakino, the director of a beautiful aquarium in Okinawa, Japan.
Upon learning that the aquarium is short on employees, Fuuka begs Kukuru for a job upon being mesmerised by the aquatic life and creatures in there. Since it is only Episode 1, we weren’t able to make a lot about their chemistry. On their own, Fuuka and Kukuru both felt like great, contrasting characters. Kukuru’s total dedication and fascination to the aquarium, along with her free spirit, compliment Fuuka’s sincerity and restraint very well. I also didn’t miss the romantic subtext showcased in the previews; however, whether they manage to pull that off successfully remains to be seen.
The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 1 Review- Verdict
The Aquatope on White Sand is a refreshing change from the rest of the season, with the calm and soothing slice of life offering much-needed relief from the season’s usual Shonen and Isekai focused anime. The Slice-of-Life has impressed a lot in its first episode, and I’ll be rooting for Aquatope for the entirety of its 24 episode runtime. I hope that you come along on this journey with me.
If you enjoyed reading this review of The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 1, check out our review of the next episode in the series, which is available right here!