RogerBW's Blog

Fune wo Amu 12 July 2017

2016 slice of life, novel adaptation in 11 episodes: AniDB, vt "The Great Passage". Introverted Majime is a useless salesman for Genbu Publishing, but finds his true calling working in the Dictionary Editorial Department.

This is one of those "commercial" series like New Game! or Sore ga Seiyuu, that try to educate the viewer as to what goes into some product or other; here the product is dictionaries.

While there's some slight tension and an ongoing subplot of the publisher wanting to shut down the dictionary department because it doesn't make as much money as other sections, the core point here is a love of words, and the necessity of dedicating one's life to compiling a dictionary. (There's a thirteen-year time skip between episodes 7 and 8, but only very slight differences in the way characters are drawn.) There's some light romance (oh dear, yet another cringingly awkward virginal male protagonist), and serious talk about the nature (and necessity) of obsessiveness in one's life.

Rather weirdly, although the show is clearly meant to be set in something like the present day, all the work is done on paper – which leads to an entirely avoidable panic and labour-intensive double-checking towards the end of the process.

One has to take this series on its own terms, because it makes little compromise with conventional ideas like "dramatic pacing" or "plot". I rather liked it.

See also:
Sore ga Seiyuu
New Game!

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