[Review] Slow Loop – Loss, Healing, and Fish Fry

There was a time when I would have likely avoided Slow Loop the second I saw the word “fishing”, but that time is in the past. This anime turned out to be one of the most welcoming and healing shows of the winter season, replete with fishing lessons, delectable meals, and family introspective.

The premise of Slow Loop features fish and cute girls, so it stands to reason that my expectations were something along more predictable lines of cute girls having fun playing anglers but not actually providing any material of substance. Thankfully, the activity here followed a bit more along the lines of Yuru Camp, actually taking the time to teach us various methods and styles of fishing, including the poster child that is fly fishing. We were also treated to other practical lessons surrounding the sport and way of life, like considerations for preparations—supplies, weather, timing, and backups for sudden changes.

If this all sounds dry to you, rest assured the anime mixes the fishing lessons in with a substantial amount of friend and family interactions that build up the characters in a way that leaves you truly caring about their wellbeing. The relationship between our two main characters is what caught my attention in the first place, not the fish nor the setting nor the comedy. These two girls are brought together in this once place by their broken families, each grieving the loss of a deceased parent and now healing together as one new family.

“If our parents hadn’t met, we wouldn’t be here like this now….Something so small can change the future so much.”

“Aren’t You Embarrassed?” -Koharu Minagi

We’ve seen this kind of setup before, but Slow Loop approaches the concept in a much more tactful and open way. None of the conversations surrounding parents and children feel forced or unhealthy. They respect each others’ experiences and welcome those differences into their home. There’s a beautiful moment later on in the series when the girls realize they never actually congratulated their parents on the marriage. There was never a formal gathering like a wedding or a party. They take it upon themselves to officially celebrate the union and help their parents step forward together with the assurance of their support.

I highly encourage anyone interested in family-focused settings to try this anime regardless of their feelings about fishing. Know that this isn’t a sports anime, or just some cute girls doing fishing—Slow Loop is an authentic story of loss and healing that knows how to balance serious and silly…and you might just find yourself craving a bit of fish for dinner.

Rating: 1 dango

*Rating system:

  • 0 dango – average and forgettable.
  • 1 dango – very good in its category.
  • 2 dango – excellent show that is worth a try.
  • 3 dango – exceptional show one must watch.

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