Shows You Might Have Missed: The Great Passage (Fune wo Amu,舟を編む)

Hello everyone, its been awhile since my last entry into Things You Might Have Missed. There is no guarantee entries in this list will be to your taste, or even that great, but each of them have at least something interesting about them to warrant checking them out. This week's entry is Fune wo Amu, an anime adaptation of the acclaimed novel of the same name (it even has an award winning live drama adaptation).
Mitsuya Majime is a socially awkward, lost in life bibliophile with a quietly burning passion for words and semantics. Things start to change for his stagnant when he is recruited into the dictionary editorial department to eventually head the development of a new dictionary. Its tedious, unglamorous work, but Majime slowly takes to it as he builds his relationships with those around him. There are themes of expressing oneself as well as coming to respect and support one-another, but the central narrative focuses on finding one's life passion, and the journey of those in search of a place to belong. It's the kind of comfortable, low-key workplace drama that you can easily sit through in one go with its 11 episodes. 

Sprinkled throughout are plenty of interesting tidbits regarding dictionary making, which thankfully isn't boring despite its rather niche subject matter. It instead works in service of the narrative, showcasing the patient, meticulous dedication of the characters to their work and why they love it so.

Occasional off model shots and overall minimalist action aside, production is strong in all the places that matter, and features some of the most luscious and lovingly crafted bits of character animation in a non-theatrical release. Facial expressions, minute eye movements and the tiniest of movements are often extremely detailed (who knew the simple flipping of pages could be pleasing to watch). This, combined with solid all-round voice work and a soundtrack that is pleasing to the ears (I especially liked the intro) make it an oddly lavish production for the genre, and further sells the show as an overall pleasant watch.

If what you're looking for something with a simple story with low-key workplace drama and a pleasant atmosphere, Fune wo Amu would be among my recommendations alongside shows like Shirobako and Silver Spoon. While not quite as memorable as those titles, it is nonetheless an enjoyable ride.


Popular Posts