HomeAnimeANIME REVIEW | Fishing For Comfort in "Slow Loop"

ANIME REVIEW | Fishing For Comfort in "Slow Loop"

ANIME REVIEW | Fishing For Comfort in "Slow Loop"

There needs to be a new sub-category in the slice-of-life genre. For awhile, the phrase “cute girls doing cute things” doesn’t quite mesh with many of the shows that have fallen under that list. In reality, many series like A Place Further Than the Universe, NEW GAME!, and Scorching Ping Pong Girls actually show you the ropes on how these characters’ worlds and passions work. Thus, I would like to suggest a new sub-category for the anime realm: Cute Girls Teach You Stuff!

I bring this suggestion up because of this season’s new series Slow Loop. On the surface, it looks like every other anime about cute girls. (Heck, its original premise brought to mind 2020’s Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater.) But then, this new anime from Studio CONNECT (Senryu Girl, Armed Girl’s Machiavellism) decides to go a much deeper — and genuinely heartfelt — route with its characters.

Based on the manga by Mariko Uchino, Slow Loop focuses on the duo of Hiyori (Rin Kusumi) and Koharu (Natsumi Hioka). Hiyori is an avid fly fisher, whose late father taught her everything she knows. Koharu, who runs into Hiyori on a random day, knows nothing of the sport/hobby, but is greatly interested in seeing how it’s done. After spending all day playing teacher & student, Hiyori and Koharu find out their paths are about to be intertwined even more so.

As it turns out, Hiyori’s mother is marrying Koharu’s father, making the two step-siblings. Both are excited at such news, as they begin bonding not just with fishing, but with every-day life stuff. But it’s with rods in-hand and deep waters in their view where the two truly find their peace of mind, and not just because of how fun it is for them to fish. Nay, there’s actually something much more important that the two feel when they cast their lines.

You find out early on what happened in the past with Hiyori and Koharu. Hiyori’s father passed away after a bout with cancer, while Koharu had to deal with losing both her mother and little brother in a car accident. As one can imagine, that’s a lot of heaviness for two young characters to feel. And while there’s a lot of joy in the faces of both step-siblings — be it when fishing, cooking, or goofing off — one can tell that there’s a sadness that still lingers in both characters.

It’s not so much in-your-face, but Slow Loop gives you the idea that something is bothering these two. Whenever either Hiyori or Koharu flash back to the past, the look in their eyes afterwards is filled with worry. They’re grateful for the time they had with their birth parents, but a feeling of regret lingers within them, like a case of the would’ve’s/could’ve’s have taken hold of them. That’s when Hiyori and Koharu become each other’s glue, as they stick by one another to do the things they wanted to accomplish with their lost ones.

Of course, a show this bright and colorful can’t stay in the darkness for too long (unless you’re Higurashi, which this anime obviously isn’t!). Slow Loop focuses more on the fun things in life, especially when it involves fishing. You see how Hiyori — along with friend Koi (Tomomi Mineuchi) — shows Koharu the ropes, with the end result being either feel-good success or a humorous letdown. Cooking becomes another bonding moment for the step-sisters, especially when their older friend Ichika (Kaori Nazuka) lends a hand in making more complex dishes. Then there’s the way Hiyori and Koharu celebrate the marriage of their parents, which is done in such a heartfelt way that I can’t spoil it for you!

The layers of emotion that are on display in Slow Loop are unlike anything I’ve seen in recent slice-of-life shows. What looks like a mere cute anime is instead a road through life’s brightest and darkest moments. For example, there’s plenty of joy in Koharu’s eyes when Hiyori takes her fishing in Episode Eight. But an unexpected turn of the weather leaves Koharu with a horrible cold. It then flashes to a time when her mother and baby brother watched over her a previous time she was ill. The present-day Koharu then wakes up, riddled with sadness over both her missing her departed family and the guilt of getting sick under Hiyori’s watch.

Moments like these are what keep this anime stitched together. Sure, the majority of the show is focused on Koharu learning the ins-and-outs of fly fishing, but it’s her and Hiyori getting through the rough patches in life that make it a show that’s truly special to watch. There’s a perfect balance of goofiness and tenderness on display throughout Slow Loop, to the point where simply labeling it a “cute girls doing cute things” show does it a disservice (hence my suggestion in the beginning). You don’t just learn how to fish in this series; you also learn how some people cope with tragedy.

Because of that element, Slow Loop has become a true highlight of Winter 2022. It might not be the most beautiful anime of the season, but it’s certainly one of the most soulful and endearing. Those who have cast it aside thinking it’s just another adorable slice-of-life will greatly regret missing out, as Slow Loop delivers a bountiful of sweetness, heart, and — above all — comfort. You might not think otherwise, but you’ll certainly come to learn a lot about life and soldiering through some tough times with a good friend in tow. For accomplishing that through a bright & cheerful-looking anime, Slow Loop deserves a lot of credit!

Voice Acting:
Final Grade (not an average):

Slow Loop can be viewed on Funimation, and has been licensed by Funimation. Episodes 1-8 were observed for review. Promotional consideration provided by Funimation.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Amazon - Shop. Connect. Enjoy. All from Earth's Biggest Selection.

Share your 2 cents

Share With:
Rate This Article

The J-POP king of America, Evan has been bringing the hottest sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun to the English-speaking public since his college radio days. He's also an expert in the gaming, anime, & manga realms, never afraid to get critical when the times call for it. Born & bred in Boston, he achieved his biggest dream yet by making the big move to Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2023! For personal inquiries, contact Evan at evan@b3crew.com. For press/band inquiries, write to us at thebastards@bostonbastardbrigade.com. (Drawing by AFLM of Wicked Anime)