A Clinic on the Sea

Every once in a while, mediaphiles come across things they decide to watch just on a whim. Usually it’s something that falls generally outside their typical viewing genre. At the beginning, they may question the decision, only to keep going anyway and eventually discover that it was entirely worth it.

This week’s subject is A Clinic on the Sea (also known as Umi no Ue no Shinryoujo), which I had specifically started watching because I saw that Shouta Matsuda (Hana Yori Dango, Liar Game) was in it, playing the desperate doctor Kouta Sezaki. I had seen him previously in Sennyuu Tantei Tokage, which is a whole other conversation, and figured this story would at least be interesting if he was in it. The female lead, nurse Mako Togami, was played by Emi Takei (Rurouni Kenshin, W no Higeki). There was also a third actor I was not expecting to see, who caught me completely off guard, and that’s Sota Fukushi (Kamen Rider Fourze, Starman – This Star’s Love), who appeared in a supporting role.

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At the beginning of the series, Doctor Kouta (because that’s what he insists on everyone calling him) has taken a job on a floating medical clinic that travels between the various small islands of an inland sea. His goal, aside from professional duty, is to find a woman who will marry him, who he can take home to meet his mother. Every time they pull up to a dock, he meets someone, and proceeds to tell the crew that he won’t be coming back to the boat, much to their collective disgust and eventual frustration. Each time, the woman has some story or another as for why they can’t be together, or he’s able to come to that conclusion on his own. As the story proceeds, though, he starts to make connections with the other doctors, nurses, and members of the boat’s crew.

Like most series of this nature, every episode very much has an “A” story which relates whatever medical event is being dealt with, and a “B” story which connects the episode to the main over-arcing thread. The ending is incredibly predictable, but it doesn’t detract from the journey.

What’s great is that every supporting role is fleshed out, and the viewer gets to see what Doctor Kouta sees because it takes place in such close quarters. Please be sure to watch the ending sequence of every episode, since most of them have unique animations that illustrate various other things about the characters that aren’t necessarily shown in the main story lines.

That all being said, your mileage will probably vary on this one, because it takes some patience to get through the first couple episodes.

Rating: 3rd Gear

[If you have a topic you’d like me to cover in a future article, please don’t hesitate to email me at Sara at otdt.net.]