“Resonance: To create harmony with another person”
Fune wo Amu aka the Great Passage is an anime about making dictionaries. This anime is made by Zexcs and was released in 2016, and ended just recently. The anime is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Miura Shion. Fune wo Amu has 11 episodes and is fun to watch!
There will be a spoiler here, but it is not going to break the show, I promise.
Majime Mitsuya is the protagonist of the series. He is very quiet, shy, and extremely polite. He very particular when it comes to words and their usage. He is very detail oriented and have a ton of patience. And he is extremely awkward in social situations.
Nishioka Misashi is Majime’s coworker and his total opposite. He is less detail oriented, but he is a people person, a social butterfly. By the start of the show, Nishioka has been working in the dictionary department for awhile already.
Hayashi Kaguya is Majime’s landlord’s grand daughter. Majime instantly falls in love with her. She is a chef at a Japanese restaurant and dedicated to her craft. She recently moved into her grandmother’s house to look after her while working.
Kishibe Midori is the newest hire after Majime. She used to be in the fashion magazine section but has transferred to the dictionary department. She feels awkward as she does not feel she belongs here, and she has no idea how to interact with Majime.
This is a hard story to sell….. mainly because it sounds really boring.
This story is about making a dictionary and what it takes to get that done. The story follows Majime, a sales person recently recruited to be an editor in the dictionary department. He is obsessed with word choices, making this the perfect job for him.
There is a side plot where it focuses more on Majime’s interpersonal and social skills, where he is very lacking in. This is not limited to his obvious crush on Kaguya, but also focuses on his relationship with his coworkers, mainly Nishioka.
Although I really wanted this show to sound perfect, it is far from it.
I love how the show is more realistic than New Game, but that also means there will be realistic problems like being transferred to another department, finding an error in the entries, and learning how to do paperwork. I liked parts of it, but some parts were boring to watch as it is literally work.
As mentioned before, there is focus on Majime’s relationships with other characters, but unfortunately this is eclipsed by making of the dictionary. I have not seen an anime where the relationship was so secondary yet progressed well as this, but it does not change the fact that they are cast off to the side at times.
Her,I am going to talk about a spoiler………………………….. There is a 13 year time skip. I like this but it also saddens me. The time skip is 13 years, over a freaking decade. We see relationships in their infancy (pre-time skip) and we see the relationships at their maturity (post-time skip), but we do not see how these relationships grew over the last 13 years, and I really want to see that!
The latter parts of the show feels more slow as things start to focus more on the actual job rather than drama, and the comedic aspects seems to have muted itself. It does make sense, the characters have been doing this for 13 years, there is going to be less surprises and things will be more grounded. But it does not change the fact that the beginning was more lively and exciting.
While just looking at the screenshots you may not receive the impression that it is fun. The characters are genuinely likable, and very adorable at times. There are plenty of funny moments in the show and several serious owns. Majime is very cute and his awkwardness is delightful to watch.
This show has everything I wanted from New Game. Yes, I am saying this show is far better than New Game. I mentioned that the work aspect can be boring, and I still do think that, but the larger picture of it is far more interesting. This felt like a documentary-anime hybrid rather than a terrible animification of industry like New Game.
Fune wo Amu shows the workplace as, you know, place of work, not playground for children. If you mess something up, you get in trouble. There will be consequences for disobeying orders, acting against interest of the company, and not meeting deadlines. And these mundane things are what makes this show fun to watch.
There is a time skip in this anime, and the time skip is 13 years. To me, this shows dedication. A show like New Game made it feel like developing a game takes only couple of months worth of hard work, but this show shows it as it is. Development could take years, even over a decade. There will be personnel changes, there will be shift in positions. And this show embraces this. This also applies Majime’s personal relationships with Nishioka and Kaguya.Things take time and everything changes.
- Will I watch it again? Yes, I have already re-watched couple of episodes while waiting for new ones to come out. Although the later episodes may not be as well remembered.
- Do I recommend this? I do. This is a slice of life, but it has very subdued comedy and romance. Love is in the air, but that is not the focus of the show, the focus is making a dictionary.
I loved the first half of the series, I was so excited by it. But the second half was not as exciting. It does portray the life in the work force far better than New Game ever did, but that does come at a cost at times. The center of the series is making of a dictionary. If you like seeing how things are made behind the scenes, this will be interesting.
Hope you liked this one!