Fishing expert Sanpei ~Bible for fishing idiots


Overview of “Fishing expert Sanpei”

”Fishing expert Sanpei”

*Broadcast period:April 7, 1980 to June 28, 1982
*Number of episodes:Total 109 episodes
*Production:japanese animation

Sanpei, a boy who loves fishing, is the main character of the anime who loves fishing and tries various types of fishing all over Japan and around the world. When fishing in rivers, he tries traditional Japanese crab fishing, mountain stream fishing, and Western-style fly fishing, which is rare in his work.When fishing in the sea, he catches a variety of fish, from rock fishing to blue marlin. Technical explanations are added along with Sanpei’s experiences as he sometimes travels overseas to take on challenges for the first time, making it useful as a guide for fishing experiences and introductory guides. In addition to fishing-related topics, a variety of other topics will also be covered, such as fishing, hunting, and natural environmental issues.

The story depicts the naive but curious protagonist Sanpei, who builds strong bonds with the people (mainly old men) he meets through fighting countless fish in various places. The content is never boring, covering everything from rich nature to cutting-edge technology, and is a story about enjoying fishing in an ideal environment. This work is also famous as former Prime Minister Suga’s favorite.

“Fishing expert Sanpei” review

Source: Amazon

Although there is a large story of 109 episodes, each episode is consistently interesting and unfolds without getting boring. The main character, Sanpei, is not treated like a child, but is instead treated by a good-looking young man named Gyoshin. They are united by the common value of fishing, and the story depicts the interactions they have in the process of enjoying fishing, regardless of whether they are adults or children.

There are some twisted and difficult characters in the story, but Sanpei’s naivety and the sympathy between the fishermen keep the story moving along smoothly.

“Fishing expert Sanpei”Charm 1~Character

Source: Amazon

Main character: Sanpei Mihira (11 years old)

Although he has a bright and simple personality, he changes completely when it comes to fishing, and is known as a “fishing fanatic” who loves fishing more than anything else. He lives in a mountain village in Akita surrounded by nature, and frequently goes out to try various types of fishing. Although he is still inexperienced, he shows excellent fishing sense and is respected by the adults around him. At times, he takes on the challenge of catching phantom fish and legendary big fish called “nushi,” and uses his ingenuity to solve difficult problems and catch them. Throughout the story, he grows as a person while meeting various rivals and friends.

Sub-character: Ippei Mihira(Sanpei’s grandfather)

He is also Sanpei’s fishing teacher, and also acts as a substitute parent for Sanpei, who has no parents. He is also known as a Japanese rod craftsman, and the rods he makes are called “Ippei rods” and are famous among many anglers.

Supporting role: Gyoshin Ayukawa

At a fishing tournament held at Mikazuki Lake, he met a famous “Furaibo fisherman.” After the tournament, Sanpei wins the battle at the same lake in “Lake Crescent Main Fishing”. After that, they worked together many times in Japan and abroad, and they became so close that Sanpei respected him as his older brother. He believes that Sanpei’s fishing skills should be developed freely and as is, and he does not teach Sanpei any more techniques than necessary, and sometimes declines requests for guidance from others. He wears a fishing vest with the words “Prayer for a fishing trip around Japan” written on it.

Supporting role: Yuri Takayama

A girl two years older than Sanpei who lives next door. They are childhood friends who grew up like siblings, and they are also friends with whom they often fight. Sanpei calls him Yuripe, and Yuri calls him San-chan. My father is Anzo. My mother is a hawk. Direct and moody.

“Fishing expert Sanpei”Charm 2~fishing fight scene

The original work has extremely high quality depictions of landscapes and fish, and scenes of fish swimming, scenes of fish going wild after being hooked, and other scenes were eye-opening with a sense of dynamism even though they were still images. The story of encountering the target fish, interacting with rivals, observing the characteristics of the target fish and formulating a strategy for catching the fish, selecting the tackle, the vibrancy of the fish when hooked, and catching the fish…excites the reader. The challenge was how far these captivating depictions could be reproduced in animation.
The anime carefully follows this series of original stories, skillfully enhancing the movements of the characters and fish with sound effects and BGM, and can be praised as a very well-made work for the 1980s.

Memories from when “Fishing expert Sanpei” was broadcast

Back then, when I was in elementary school, going fishing with my friends was a big thing. With little pocket money, I would buy fishing equipment and bait and go to the sea, rivers, and ponds after school and on holidays. We held a “casting competition” in a nearby plaza, and of course we also did “shark casting” and “full turn casting,” but I was disappointed that the sharks couldn’t fly as far as they did in the anime.
At that time, Gamakatsusha’s fishing hooks cost 100 yen, but something called “Tsurikichi Sanpei Fish Hook” was sold for 50 yen. However, the “Tsurikichi Sanpei Fishhook” was not as durable as the Gamakatsu, and I remember that many times the hook would bend and fall apart when a big fish was hooked.
I still enjoy fishing as much as I did back then, but due to work and raising children, I don’t have many opportunities to go fishing anymore, but when my son got a little older, I went fishing with him, and I was able to share that excitement with him. I would like you to taste it too.


“Fishing expert Sanpei” has a really simple story, but you can enjoy each episode easily. There’s no unnecessary weight or mesoness, and there’s no need to play around with it strangely or create a serious feel. Viewers will feel the comfort of the fresh morning sun and fresh air shining into their hearts, just like the hearts of the people who meet Sanpei. This work has a healing element that is different from everyday works. The depiction of nature is wonderful, and you can feel as if you are fishing in the river yourself.


Image reference source

矢口高雄 公式ホームページ
秋田県出身のマンガ家、矢口高雄の公式サイト / ホームページ。代表作は自然をテーマにした『釣りキチ三平』『マタギ』『幻の怪蛇バチヘビ』、幼少期を描いた『おらが村』、銀行員時代を描いた『9で割れ!』など。
釣りキチ三平 | 作品紹介 | NIPPON ANIMATION


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