Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho

Genre: Comedy
Format: 13 Episodes
Allegiance: Artland
Director: Koichiro Sohtome
Vintage: 2007
Intelligence Agency Report by: Drake
Okimura Kaname is a student at Prefectoral Umineko Shougyou High, or ‘Umisho’ for short. When he was growing up, Kaname encountered a mermaid, which in essence terrified him , and forced him to develop hydrophobia- fear of water. Ironically, despite this phobia, Kaname is the manager of the school swim team, which is dominated by a dozen or so girls. To make matters more interesting, we meet the happy-go-lucky girl Ninagawa Amuro. Right off the bat, she is drafted to the swim team for her bizzare talents in the pool, such as her unbelievable swimming speeds and unusual style, including the occasional skinny dipping. The final spice? Amuro reminds Kaname of the mermaid he met years ago. So just who is Amuro, and is she really a mermaid or not?

Field Agent Report by: Drake 
Overall 4.25
(not an average)

Comedy? Check. Fanservice? Check. Loser guy put in awkward positions? Check. No-brainer Plot? Check. Swimming pool? Check. These are all the elements that make up Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho. In other words, this anime is basically about a generic loser guy who, through some luck, ends up being a swimming manager for a swim team dominated by girls in numbers, and the daily mishaps he has to undergo as such. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it isn’t.

While there are some scenes that are actually funny, there are triple the number of cliche gags. Everything from hot springs peeking, an uninhibited girl that places the protagonist in awkward sitations, Love Hina’s ‘Naru punches’ Umisho-style, and a couple dozen panty shots or so are just the begining. However, through it all, I was able to find a few gems that made me laugh. As for the plot, there’s really not much to it with its random comedy routines and perverted high school boys, but the Prefectural Tournament was actually a pretty good three part arc (and the reason the mark on this anime was as high as it was).

Now some of the characters are really bizzare, namely Ikamasa, the team captain who has a strange obsession with shaving body hair and wearing revealing speedos (which I suppose is better than his strutting around au natural, but not by much), or the short, quiet kid that gets a bloody nose at the slightest sight of bare skin and needs to get laid. The question that should be asked at this point is, ‘were the bizzare characters a good thing or bad?’. Unfortunately, in this case, it’s a double edged sword. Some of the characters were bearable, and served their purposes in their roles as comic relief- even if their names are unimportant details and better recognized as ‘the girl with a kick board’ or ‘the one with a lot of cleavage’. However, the rest of them were either a major let down, or just plain annoying. Just to top it all off, the characters showed no signs of ever developing or even showing signs of change, save the slightest miniscule change at the end for the main characters, and even that was just so cliched and predictable that it did nothing to help the show’s image.

As for the art style, it’s pretty, vibrant, and flashy, to say the least. The character designs are nothing new or unique. In fact, I can almost swear that there’s a resembelance in design between Sanae Kise and Kitsune from Love Hina, and the other designs are just your generic harem character designs. Though I will admit, the music was pretty catchy, especially the opening, “DOLPHIN☆JET” by Ayane.

In the end, if you’re in the mood for half-naked girls clad in bikinis pulling off every concievable and cliched gag ever, then this show is for you. However, if you want an anime with the same gags and an actually substancial plot, stay away from this and go watch something else. If you’re in the former of the two groups, I wish you a happy viewing; if not, then I’ll recommend Onegai Teacher to you as something you’ll enjoy more than Umisho.