Always with a smile, always holding your head high...
— Yuki Sanada
Sanada Yuki
Yuki2.png
Kanji 真田 ユキ
Character Information
Gender Male
Age 17 (during series)

18 (post-series)

Height 172cm (5'6")
Weight 58kg (127 lb)
Family Kate (grandmother)
Unnamed mother
Unnamed father
Media Information
Animation Debut Episode 1
JP Voice Actor Ryōta Ōsaka
English Voice Actor Adam Gibbs

Yuki Sanada (真田 ユキ) is the main protagonist and one of the four main characters of Tsuritama (つり球), along with Haru, Natsuki and Akira.

A teenager troubled by an awkward disposition and apparent social anxiety and depression disorders, Yuki moves to the fishing town of Enoshima where, upon his arrival, he's thrown into a friendship with a quirky alien, a so-called "fishing prince", and an undercover member of an alien hunting organization.

Visual Appearance[edit | edit source]

Yuki's titular characteristic is his bright, red, unusually crimson messy hair — probably attributed to his mixed race. His skin is pale, though tans particularly easy underneath the sun, as noted in episode 6. The series depicts him in multiple different outfits, however, he is most recognized in his Higashi Academy attire — a blue blazer over a high collar shirt, a black tie, black pants, and white sneakers.

Visually, he has an average stature and weight. Upon the beginning of the series, he is shown to hardly even smile and instead appear perpetually on edge; not to mention angry during his panic attacks. In fact, Yuki only ever felt at ease and happier around his grandmother, Kate. Though as the plot progresses, he shows a much more diverse range of emotions, and an overall healthier grip on his negative ones.

When his anxiety spikes, he is noted to make an expression not-so-endearingly referred to as his "demon face", mostly by Haru. Yuki's face notably stretches downwards more, to the point of deep wrinkles forming. His face flushes completely red, his nose scrunches up, and he sweats excessively. Most notably, his expression looks completely enraged — it typically warrants other people becoming frightened and being pushed away, inevitably only worsening Yuki's social ineptitude and, as shown later in the series, his depression.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Yuki is a high school student who finds it difficult to approach others and make friends, and initially struggles immensely with social situations, alongside difficult topics and confrontations in his relationships.

Yuki doesn't respond well to being the center of attention either, be it public speaking or when he is placed in an embarrassing situation where all eyes are upon him.

He is shown to have anxiety and panic attacks in situations he cannot control, shown to the viewers as him "drowning in water" — the viewer should understand this metaphor to infer to a nervous state in which he cannot feel himself breath until he escapes the physical environment. To people surrounding him, however, he displays his "demon face" — an ugly and hideous facial expression, causing people to assume he is angry.

Yuki's "drowning" scenario when he is placed in a mentally stressing situation.

Because of this, Yuki is restrained from making friends or getting along with anyone, being too nervous or unmotivated to approach others in fear he will enter this state of mind, or that they may leave. It also restricts him from expressing how he truly feels, as he is constantly nervous about other's viewpoints of him, and desires to be a "normal student". Having transferred several times due to his Grandmother's constantly shifting job, as well as being socially inept, Yuki does not have any fond memories with any of his past classmates, and thus concludes that friends are useless to him.

As the main protagonist, the viewers see the mind of Yuki the most, seeing how he perceives the world and the people who live in it. He's particularly worrisome and jumpy, even cowardly at the beginning of the series — remaining silent, and finding barely any reason to smile. Because he doesn't have friends and hasn't had the chance to develop his relationships, social skills, or perception of others, he finds it difficult to understand his own feelings as a result. For example, when Natsuki was teaching him and Haru to properly cast a rod, he didn't understand why and how he was feeling frustrated. Many of the characters believe he is simply cut-off and angry for the most part because of this — this fact changes as the show progresses onward.

Yuki getting "yanked" from his drowning scenario after getting his first bite.

When fishing for the first time, it is vital to note that during his first successful cast, land, sink, then bite, the feeling of accomplishment had "yanked" him out of his usual mental "drowning", rather than him freaking out and running away from the situation. As a result, he was euphoric, leaving with a newfound hobby, and eventual career, no longer simply under obligation to accompany Haru.

Despite his initial lack of ability to harbor relationships, to say Yuki is uncaring is far from the truth. Although, he is at first silent and awkward by the hand of Haru, who had forced him, Yuki, and Natsuki into a fishing circle. These friendships were clearly unwanted at first, though Yuki's character developed to care for many people, most notably Haru, Natsuki, and eventually Akira, as time continued on, acknowledging the fact that his friendship with the three had changed him for the better.

Another tendency of Yuki's is that he is shown to rely upon his phone to search topics or information of things he does not know about. He also tends to daydream, often allowing his mind to wander often and deeply. In the anime, he is seen going through the events of his day at bedtime, picking out the moments that impacted him the most, portrayed metaphorically as rapidly rolling film reels.

Background[edit | edit source]

Yuki's backstory is only mentioned briefly in the anime, however, it is confirmed that his parents had both passed away when he was young to unknown circumstances. Having (and preferring) no other place to live, he was placed in the care of, and cares for in return, his grandmother Kate, seeing her as both the mother and father that were, more or less, taken away from him.

Next to Coco's fishbowl are a few pictures of a young Yuki with Kate, indicating how long the family has only consisted of them two.

It's his parents' passing that's likely the root of Yuki's initial troubled and anxious mental state — as the possibility of it being traumatic can't completely be ruled out.

Moving schools frequently due to his grandmother's constant shift of jobs, Yuki had never made any friends or fond memories in any of his upbringings.

The anime begins with Yuki once again moving schools, becoming nervous about the goodbye speech he has to make to his class before departing. After his, first according to the viewer, drowning mental scenario and running out of the school in a panic, he returns home only to jump to Kate's rescue, immediately worried for her as she carries a final box to the car. After aiding her before changing for the big move, the pair set out on a long, coastal journey to Enoshima — the setting of the plot.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Main Cast

Haru

I can't let the flowers wilt.
Yuki, about Haru, to Kate

Haru is Yuki's first friend once he moves to Enoshima, at first to Yuki's chagrin, though eventually becomes the most important, dependable, and healthiest he forms.

Displayed by multiple scenarios and unique gestures in the anime, Yuki and Haru share a very quirky, but tightly knit friendship. It forms in Episode 1 after Haru had spotted Yuki by chance passing over Bentenbashi Bridge — attracted by the sight of his red hair in particular, Haru pursues him, and Kate by association. Haru first meets Kate after claiming his home at the same residence as her and Yuki, quickly gaining her approval with his happy-go-lucky disposition, and genuine do-well attitude. Haru fthen travels to school in pursuit of Yuki, unbeknownst to the latter. He's immediately creeped out by Haru's unique appearance, claims, and personality; only to be at the end of, metaphorically and literally, Haru's constantly extended fishing rod, officially destroying his desired "normal school life".

As the first episodes are displayed, Haru forces himself upon Yuki, much to his discomfort and misunderstanding, often commenting about how he and Haru are not friends. Haru, on the other hand, boasts about their friendship, and follows Yuki's examples to whatever extent — taking him as his prime example to follow human life. Haru's puppy-like attachment causes Yuki's discomfort to reach a point where he fears Haru temporarily, and runs away from him. However, after accepting the fact that it would be impossible to pry the alien off of him, Yuki dismisses his desire and fears and instead withstands Haru's acts in annoyance, hoping to help show Haru how to more appropriately express himself.

Yuki and Haru's strong trust, as displayed in the final episode, during Haru's final mission, and the quartet's final fishing trip.

In Episode 4, Haru temporarily disappears, coincidentally after Yuki tells him he should return to his home planet because he's an alien, thus couldn't hope to understand human nature. This causes Yuki to enter a panic once he realizes that Haru is missing, when in truth he'd simply gone swimming. Upon discording Haru and thinking he's drowned (possibly intentionally), Yuki goes as far as jumping in, in order to save him, much to Haru's joyful surprise. At this point in the series, Yuki begins to treasure his friends more — Haru in particular, as wise words from his grandmother make him realize that he must cherish the friends that he's made.

As the series progresses, Yuki and Haru's friendship strengths to one in which displays a strong trust and attachment to one another — to the point in which both parties go long distances for the other. Reaching the final episodes, Yuki displays an immense care for Haru that would not have been seen by his prior self — escaping the safe area of the city during its lockdown in pursuit of him, in order to see if he is doing okay after Haru's breakdown and power rampage. During the final episode, Yuki shouts the phrase "I won't let you wither!", in notes to how his grandmother had compared Haru to a flower, and thought Yuki had needed one as well. Haru and Yuki are ultimately recognized as the "Goddess" and her "Companion" respectively, reflecting the old tale told in the very beginning of Episode 1.

After the credits of the final episode, Haru returns to the classroom in the same fashion as Episode 1. However, all the students except for Yuki and Urara stand up and say "The alien!" once he introduces himself. A show of Haru's own character development, he becomes bashful and apologetic, only to then look towards Yuki, who's face morphs from shock to a hearty laugh at Haru's return. Haru laughs as well, blushing vibrantly, showing he is happy to be "home" with his best friend, and fellow alien companion. (It is unknown if Coco also returns.)

Usami Natsuki

Natsuki is Yuki's classmate, and later a good friend. At first, their relationship is incredibly rocky as Yuki always felt annoyed and frustrated with the other teen. Eventually, they grow to understand one and another, and become close friends, and coworkers. Natsuki is one who taught Yuki and Haru to fish; he even was the one who pushed Yuki learn how set up his own rod, to prove to Natsuki he's wrong about his 'character'. Natsuki fills the roll of an ally during Enoshima's lockdown, and accompanies the other three on the last fishing trip.

Akira Agarkar Yamada

Like many characters, Yuki is seen to be initially nervous around Akira, however, with the moral support of Haru and Natsuki, Yuki's first encounter with Akira manages to be cordial, even hopeful. Their interactions are somewhat limited in the anime, as they do not seem to one-on-one interact with one another, instead both parties group the other as "Haru, Natsuki, and Yuki/Akira." Their relationship aspect is not touched upon often, however, Yuki and Akira both express care to one another, as they do the other two of the full quartet. Akira then becomes a close enough friend to Yuki, and the other two, to betray his organization in order to accompany the three on the last fishing trip.

Supporting Characters

Sanada Kate

Kate is Yuki's loving, supportive, parental-figure Grandmother. Yuki lives with her, and the pair often moved before their move to Enoshima, where they presumably decide to live permanently after the events of the series. Yuki loves her and cares for her greatly, and he often worries about her due to her health issues.

Coco

Haru's younger sister, Yuki finds her annoying — he is also extremely afraid of her, as she is more intimidating, demanding, and bossy; more or less a strikingly different contrast than Haru. Yuki is terrified of her water-gun, similarly to how he does not like it when Haru uses his own. As Haru's sister, however, Yuki grows care for her in a sense as well, sounding and looking concerned when Haru informs Yuki that she had been taken into the "sea dragon's" school of fish as one of his own.

Other than the fact she was used as an intimidation wall so that Yuki could not escape fishing, the two aren't explicitly shown to interact amicably, though Yuki expresses no hesitation to help Haru save Coco's life on the last fishing trip.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The novel version confirms his age at the start of the series, in the 1st chapter, stating: With his sixth farewell in his seventeen years over with, Yuki left the school.
    • Natsuki is also confirmed to be 17 in Chapter 4 of the same novel, meaning he and Yuki are the same age. Natsuki celebrates his birthday twice - both once in-show and once in an official art since. This would make Yuki 18 by the time of the post-series official art.
  • ユキ (Yuki) means snow. Along with Haru, Akira, and Natsuki, all their names are meant to reference one of the seasons. Yuki's would be winter.
  • Yuki's full name is seemingly derived from the name Yukimura Sanada, a famous samurai from the Edo Era.
  • Considering his grandmother is fully French, this means Yuki is mixed — being at least 1/4 French himself.
  • Yuki likes the school subject geography, and does not like English' — not because he's bad, but because he finds it awkward to speak. [1]
  • He doesn't have any other hobbies besides fishing, with the exception of daydreaming. [1]
  • His grandmother, fishing, and his friends are what Yuki finds the most important to him. [1]
  • For casual clothing, he prefers t-shirts and hoodies double as his top, and he enjoys sneakers as his preferred shoes. [1]
  • Yuki has transferred schools at least 6 times prior to his arrival in Enoshima, making it his 7th. [1]
  • Yuki likes tamagoyaki, a type of Japanese omelette. However, he does not like fried egg, as they mushy. [1]
  • "Encounters are sudden, separations are certain." is Yuki's favorite saying. He had seen it online and correlates it with his social dilemmas. [1]
  • According to a Twitter Q&A with the staff, Yuki is fluent in English and French. [2]
  • Yuki is a natural redhead. [2]
  • He forgets the flower names that his grandmother grows, but it's not because he dislikes them. [3]
  • Yuki owns several shirts with the names of fish on them, such as "Hamachi" and "Sea bass". [3]
  • He isn't keen on grunge rock, as it hurts his ears. [3]
  • His blood type is O.
    • In Japanese culture, O blood types are said to be agreeable, optimistic, and ironically — sociable.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

For a complete gallery, please visit Yuki's Gallery

References[edit | edit source]

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