Shiroi Suna no Aquatope (The Aquatope on White Sand) Review – A Treasure Hidden in the Deep

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Shiroi Suna no Aquatope (The Aquatope on White Sand) has supplied us with a healthy dose of feelings these past few months. Alas, everything must come to an end. We’re just grateful that it is a two-cour anime, so we get to enjoy it longer than most. The Aquatope on White Sand tells the story of two girls, Kukuru and Fuuka, and how their fates have changed after meeting each other at a rural aquarium. It’s a beautiful anime from start to finish, and we’ve loved every second of it. Let us further break down why this is a true anime masterpiece.

Before anything else, let’s first discuss this anime at face value. Forget about the plot, characters, and the pacing for a moment and focus on the art and music. We’re doing this simply because this anime’s artistic elements deserve that much attention. The art is breathtaking. From the design to the color palette, there’s nothing to fault it with. However, our favorite is the opening sequence. Each frame of the first cour’s opening is a piece of art. It’s vibrant, pretty, and gives the exact vibe the anime is going for. While that is our favorite, the other opening and both endings don’t fall far behind. Also, there’s the music. Each song matches the anime’s melancholic mood and calming art. It’s one of the series that we just can’t skip any of the OP or ED. Yes, they are that good.

Now that we’ve got that off our chest, let’s talk about the anime’s pacing. This is a slow-burn slice of life series that highlights the characters’ relationships and development, and it definitely delivered. It may have taken its time telling the story, but it never felt stretched out. In fact, there are even a few occasions wherein the scenario could’ve been expounded more. Nevertheless, its slow pace complimented its melodrama really well. This also allotted time for the viewers to empathize with the characters. Of course, the fact that the characters are very relatable to begin with also contributed to that.

At first glance, it seems like The Aquatope on White Sand is one of those chill slice-of-life anime, and we’re fine with that. However, the anime definitely proved us wrong. The reality is that it takes us on an emotional journey. From Fuuka’s point of view, we experience the gravity of failure and the harshness of losing a life-long battle. Even so, that doesn’t mean it’s over. We’ve seen how Fuuka managed to regain herself after discovering Gama Gama Aquarium and meeting Kukuru. She’s discovered something that she not only wants to do but also a place where she belongs. It may not even be an exaggeration to say that she’s essentially experienced a rebirth of sorts.
From Kukuru’s journey, we witness the transition of a young girl into a full-fledged adult. Kukuru realized from her experiences that passion alone won’t make her dreams come true. Even though she’s arguably one of the greatest protectors of Gama Gama Aquarium, she’s still too inexperienced and naive to save the aquarium on her own. Similar to Fuuka, that isn’t the end of it. Her experiences working for Tingarla Aquarium have pushed her to become a better person and aquarium personnel. Even though she’s changed the way she cares for marine life, her passion for it never disappeared.

Even though The Aquatope on White Sand incorporates a few magical elements, the characters, theme, and story are as real as an anime can be. After being with Fuuka, Kukuru, Kai, Kuuya, Karin, and the entire gang for 24 episodes, we’ve inevitably gotten attached to them. It’s been a short while, but we’ve undeniably enjoyed every minute of it. While it may not have reached the popularity such a masterpiece deserves, it will remain in our memories and recommendations in days to come.
Writer

Author: Christian Markle
I am a copywriter, proofreader, and editor. I love watching anime, reading manga, and writing my own stories. Watch out in the future as you may see one of my works one day. Manga and anime were big parts of my childhood. I grew up watching Yu Yu Hakusho, Slam Dunk, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Z. Those were probably one of the happiest and most carefree days of my life. In fact, most of my values are probably molded by manga. No, that’s not an exaggeration.
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