The Great Passage is a 2016 Fall anime that was based on a novel by the same name from Author Shion Miura. The Animation Production was done by Studio Zexcs. It’s a 11 episodes slice of life anime series that is about dictionaries or at least on the surface it is But when you dive into the Great Passage you realize its about Relationships, Work politics, Love. Basically its about what we humans call Adult Life.
Mitsuya Majime is a sales man at Genbu Publishing’s, His communication skills are poor, While being at work dealing with a client he is noticed by Masashi Nishioka a senior at Genbu Publishing’s dictionary editorial department, Who approaches him to give advice, it is at that moment Nishioka realizes Majime likes Words,Definitions,Vocabulary. Nishioka mentions Majime to Kouhei Araki a veteran editor, who plans to retire and is looking for a replacement for himself to complete his latest work a new dictionary called The Great Passage, Araki meets with Majime and is impressed by his passion for Words. Araki offers Majime a position in the dictionary editorial department to which Majime accepts and so begins the struggles of Majime’s new Life.
Beautiful animation with bright colors and original character designs by Haruko Kumota famous for (Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū), So much attention is given to the way the characters move and behave, They tried to make it as real as possible even the facial expressions they give is very realistic, Although sometimes the animation might derp in the lesser important scenes, Nonetheless I really got no complains with this one in my opinion this is one of Zexcs better works till date.
I have been waiting to write about this part since the first time I listened to the opening song Shiokaze by Taiiku Okazaki. One of my favorites of 2016 it’s so upbeat and catchy puts me in a good mood every time I hear it. The ending song is I & I by Leola, It’s a nice slow song not my taste though. Composed by Yoshihiro Ike the music score was rightly placed in the scenes they’re in and do a fine job to give you the feel of the scene.
I am not gonna write about each character in the show because that would take forever. Mainly I wanted to write about Majime and Nishioka work relationship and how it changed with time. In the beginning when Majime joins the dictionary editorial department he is awkward he can’t express himself, Loses himself in his thoughts in the middle of the conversation, he can’t read the atmosphere around him, his confidence level is low, but he works hard and his passion for words is admirable. On the other hand we have Nishioka who is social with people, easy-going, Brimming with confidence, he can change the atmosphere around him easily, but unlike Majime he still didn’t find his flair for his job yet. The way these two connect and help each other is what carries the show, With Nishioka helping Majime in his love life and to raise his confidence level to the opposite Majime helping Nishioka realize indirectly or directly that he needs to put his soul into his work to feel the sense of achievement that his missing.
The NegativeThe Great Passage is an excellent anime series no doubt but it has its issues. in the middle of each episode their is a segment called learn with dictionaries for 2 minutes that gives some facts and knowledge about dictionaries to the viewer that is interested in them. To the average viewer who wants to see the social life drama aspect of the show it is only something to skip and feels like wasted time that could’ve been used better. The other thing is the ending I don’t want to spoil anything so I will just say its a cliché ending and you can see it coming miles away.
VerdictGoing in I really didn’t expect much out of The Great Passage nobody talked or made a buzz about it. So I just started watching it with no expectations and I gotta say i was pleasantly surprised. The Great Passage tells a heartwarming story about Relationships and Working hard to achieve your dreams in a realistic way. I really enjoyed watching this anime with its Catchy Opening Song, Great Premise, and Good Characters. While it may not be to everyone’s liking. I would still recommend The Great Passage if you’re looking for a heartwarming social life anime.
Overall Rating: 8/10 Recommendation: Watch it