Having moved back to her childhood town, Hina is keen to join an afterschool club that lets her focus on her favourite hobby – crafting. However, fate has other plans when she meets Yuki, a student from her new school fishing by one of the town’s breakwaters. Following an encounter with an octopus, Hina is strongarmed into joining Yuki’s Breakwater Club so the group will have enough members, but there’s one big problem – Hina is scared of fish. With the help of her new club mates, Hina starts exploring the local fishing spots and learning about all the different critters there are to catch and cook, and begins to awaken a passion for fishing.
Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater is based on the manga series Yasuyuki Kosaka and adapted by Doga Kobo, the studio behind Asteroid in Love and Ikebukuro West Gate Park. The anime focuses on school student Hina and her time in the Breakwater Club with Yuki, Makoto and Natsumi, with each episode having some new wisdoms to impart on fishing and cooking. The girls dig for clams and fish for squid, flatheads, horse mackerels and prawns. The anime takes the audience through the variety of different methods and equipment used for fishing alongside Hina, explaining the tips and tricks of fishing without reels, fishing without rods, the different types of bait, and how to use lures effectively. Having been recruited against her will into the Breakwater Club, it is heartening to see Hina develop a genuine passion for fishing and a thirst for knowledge on the topic as the series progresses, translating into a newfound confidence.
Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater is also a remarkably nostalgic and rosy depiction of school life and serious small-town vibes. The only impediments to the members of the Breakwater Club are annoying teachers, homework that needs to be completed, the frustration that comes with learning new skills and not acing it the first few tries, and how the weather impacts club activities. It’s a simple, uncomplicated and cosy series, filled with reminders of rainy days at school, hanging out with friends after classes, and the joys of discovering and sharing a new hobby with friends. It might not be for everyone, but Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater does a good job at being a low-stakes slice-of-life that eagerly shares facts and an infectious passion for fishing.
I’d also like to give a shout out to the English voice cast who used soft southern accents for the main cast in the dub. It really contributed to a quirky small town feel for the series. Actual southerners from the United States may feel different, but this Australian thought it worked well.
Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater is the cosiest series I’ve watched in some time, with a cheerful focus on recreational fishing and the joyful discovery of new hobbies surrounded by friends. It’s light-hearted, cute and slots nicely into the genre of slice-of-life on a niche topic that balances facts and fun.
A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.