TUNA Girl (2019) - full transcript

Everyone knows what canned tuna
and tuna salad is.

But did you know tuna came
from the Latin term Thunnus,

which in turn was derived
from the Greek thýnō?

The word itself means…



Pacific bluefin tuna may grow as big
as 10 feet and 1,100 pounds.

It really is in a rush.

Pacific bluefin is an endangered species,
so our research institute is

raising them using a fully farmed method.

We raise adult fish from eggs
and make them spawn.

Then eggs to adults again.

This farming style doesn't
damage natural resources.

We also ship them to market.

So your area of study is
directly related to economics.

In Japan, we call this
a practical science.

This is what you're learning.

Oh, no.

I'm really sorry,
but could you drive a little faster?

Kishimoto is really
a great place to raise tuna.

But I'm worried about you guys.

Compared to our Osaka campus,
there's nothing here.

Think you can handle it?

Yes, sir.

I want you to learn all about tuna
and tuna farming at this research camp.

We look forward to working with you.

Sudo, let me introduce you.

This is Ryota Sudo,
a second-year grad student.

I'm often away on business,
but he can help you.

Happy to help.

Thank you.

I'll show you
the floating cages after this.

Leave your things here,
and put on your boots.


Just a little longer.

-We should wait?

She said she'd be late,
but when exactly?

I know, but just a bit longer.

Sorry I'm late!

Are you okay?

I panicked about being late.

I nearly started running
in the train and taxi.

-Professor Higuchi?
-That's right.

I'm Minami Takayama, a junior
at the Department of Fisheries.

Nice to meet you!


They eat raw fish and fish feed.

The fish feed was made
after research into what tuna like.

Their personalities show when they eat.

Greedy ones eat like pigs.

Selfish ones eat more than their share.

Timid ones barely eat at all.

Hey, you're gonna fall in!


I was trying to find the impatient ones
and the pushy ones. 

It takes ten years
to spot things like that.

Ten years?

It takes that long?

That's crazy.

That one is huge!



And the dorm mother puts
our dinner in the fridge.

We do our own dishes and laundry,
and take turns cleaning the bathroom.

Just ask if you have any questions.

Koizumi, have you been here before?

I visited when senior members
of the Aquaculture Club attended.

The club that built the aquarium
at the school festival?

Exactly! The Aquaculture Club, fishing
for fun, and a part-time sushi-bar job.

-I'm all about fish.
-That's hardcore!

Before I forget…

My mom said at camp,
students usually drink at night.

So I brought some fish-based snacks
to go with the booze!

Tuna rice crackers, eel jerky…

This is great, thanks!

Teach me how to fish!

-Sure, let's all go.
-I can't wait!

Is there a beach?

The most popular place is here,
but I recommend this spot.

Why's that?

Only the locals know about it.
You can swim and fish.

-Sounds great!
-See you later.

What do you catch?

-Smelt, sea bream…
-See you.

Sounds amazing!

I came all the way here to Kishimoto,
so I gotta have some fun!

Yeah, I totally agree!

This is way too heavy.

Keep it moving.

Yes, sir.

Don't drop anything.

Yes, sir.

It's so heavy.

Steady on your feet.

Why are we doing this?

They said this was a research camp,
but this is just hard labor.

I didn't sign up for this.

My back and shoulders are are killing me.

-Look out!
-You okay?

Takayama… you mind keeping it down?


All you do is play around and complain.
It's annoying.

They need nets, tanks,
and this fish feed to raise the fish.

Did you forget what Prof. Higuchi said?
"Fish research starts with raising fish."

She came late, so…

Right! Sorry, I missed that part!

Come on, Kuroda, don't be a grouch.

This is my fault?

She has zero motivation.

I'm motivated.
I wanna do a ton of research.

I'm totally into tuna.

-Like what?
-Medium fatty tuna!

She humphed me.

You hear that?

-What's wrong?
-It's a girl.

-Just guessing.

You okay?

-Here, it's all yours!
-No, wait!

-The fish feed!
-I'm so sorry!

We often switch tanks during tests.

We drain the water
and move the fish to another tank.

Suck the hose a little…

and it drains.

-You try it.

-I did it.

That's hard.

Here goes!

It's so salty!

No way I can do this.

We gather rag worms to study parasites.

The sea sponges on the cage ropes
are a good place to find them.

It's all right.

No, get that away from me!

I just came here to raise tuna.

After this, we'll go harvest a tuna.



Minami, you left early
because you felt faint?

I had to watch a tuna harvest.

It was all blood and guts.

A real gore-fest.

Maybe I'm not cut out for this.

But you said raising Kindai Tuna
would look great on your résumé.

You were so excited.

I know, but…

Raising tuna is exhausting work.

They're gross, scary, and huge.
I can't handle tuna!


Why even bother raising tuna?
People can eat other fish.

Then forget it, and come back to Osaka.
There's a bowling tournament Saturday.

It's the event club's 10th anniversary,
so there will prizes.

But it might look bad if I quit.

Would it affect my job prospects?

I'll grin and bear it.

I'll stick with it.

-Thanks, Shogo. Talk to you later.
-No, wait--



It's used as a tuna substitute for sushi
and negitoro.

You said, "People can eat other fish."
Well, it's possible to a certain extent.

But I'm shocked.

You came here ignorant
of the importance of tuna farming.


In the Edo period,
tuna were thrown out.

Its red meat spoiled easily,
so no one liked it.

Even cats would pass over it,
so it was called neko matagi.

But with changing tastes and advances
in refrigeration and transport,

tuna became more popular.

It's become a key ingredient
in Japan's food industry.

Pacific bluefin, southern bluefin, bigeye,

yellowfin, albacore, longtail, blackfin.

Global tuna demand is soaring,
partly due to the Japanese food boom.

They're now an endangered species
due to overfishing.

I know, right?

Japan consumes about 40%
of the world's tuna.

And when it comes to top-grade bluefin,
it consumes about 80%.

In short…

fully farmed Pacific bluefin tuna
is Japan's sacred duty.

Or so I believe.

I'm so sorry!

I was just venting a bit.
It's not like I lack motivation.

How adorable…

The diamonds of the sea.

Diamonds… of the sea?

-He went on and on.

Then said, "How adorable…
The diamonds of the sea."

What the heck?

That's Sudo for you.

He's brilliant and trustworthy
but kind of weird.


A total fish nerd.

He's got fish for friends
instead of people.

He must have some.

An older classmate told me
he doesn't hang out on days off.

He tends to the fish, reads,
goes fishing, and eats… alone.

Hardly ever leaves the dorm.
Spends all his time here.

That's hardcore.

What was that about diamonds?

Pacific bluefin are called
the diamonds of the sea.

It's because they're expensive and rare.

"How adorable…
The diamonds of the sea."

-A true fish lover!
-That's rude.

Wait, is he your type?

He is, right?
He's serious and handsome.

Raise him right,
and he'll make a fine boyfriend.

A real diamond in the rough.

I bet dates would be a snooze-fest.

Shallow guys who make
fun dates are playboys.

Your data sample must be skewed.

Good luck, Kuroda!

Stop it. I came here to study
the genetics of the finest fish.


You mean biotechnology.
I'm studying genetics too.


And you, Hosono?

Fish diseases and parasites.

-Then you love rag worms.
-Sure do.

You should get serious
about your work too.

Of course! I already am!

What am I studying?

Tuna can't breathe unless they're moving.

When they swim, water enters the mouth
and passes through the gills.

The gills take the water's oxygen
and sends it throughout the body.

This respiration method is known
as ramjet ventilation.


Tuna must swim their entire life.
If they stop, they die.

And they don't even sleep at night.

They lower their metabolism
and move ever so slowly.

They really are busy little beavers.

-Before I forget, Takayama?

Anything you want to study?
That'll decide your team.

Koizumi and Kuroda are
on the biotech team.

And Hosono is on the disease team
studying parasites.

Are you interested in any special area?

My area of interest?


I'm interested in…

you know…

-Fish farming…

-Fish farming…
-Go on.

Fish farming…


Okay, let's put you
on the fish raising team.

Talk to Sudo if you have questions.

That's it for today's lecture.
Well done, everyone.

Thank you.

You're on… the fish raising team?

I look forward to working with you.

Our team cares for a variety of fish.

But fully farmed bluefin are
the most prevalent.

They're delicate,
so you need a fine touch.

But… "They're gross, scary, and huge.
I can't handle tuna."

Your exact words.

Maybe I'm not cut out for this.

Then how about studying parasites
with the fish disease team?

Blood flukes clog fish gills
and skin flukes ravage their bodies.

Removing them gives you a sense
of accomplishment--

I'll stick with tuna on the raising team!
But what about my research area?

Any ideas? Maybe a hot topic or…?

A hot topic?

Yeah, like something everyone is
talking about.

Any recommendations?

How long does it take
the longtooth grouper's swim bladder

to develop after hatching?

Longtooth grouper?


Excuse me…

They're all dead. I can't do this.

I can't see the swim bladders
without crushing them.

I can't do this.

You must study them
every three hours for 48 hours.

Now's the time to quit.

What else can I study?

How about vibriosis
with the disease team?

Scales fall off, exposing flesh
and causing bleeding.

No, wait!

I'll stick with longtooth grouper.

Better pick up the pace
before the next observation.

It's hard looking at all the dead fish.

If you quit, all of these
will have died in vain.

I'll try my best.

Oh, no, the observation time…

What am I gonna do now?
I blew it.

I collected a sample.

I'm so sorry.


Did you stay here all night,
so I wouldn't oversleep?

Not really. I had other things to do.

I see.


Thank you so much.

That was the worst research ever!
Forty-eight hours of little dead fish.

Sounds hard.

At least Sudo helped me, but…

He's amazing.
I don't think he slept a wink.

After my test, he said,

"Now I need temperature data
for raising Japanese horse mackerel."

Then got right to it.
And they say tuna never sleep!

He's a tough one.

I just wish he'd lighten up a bit.

You can't get a word in
while he's explaining stuff.

It's like, why am even studying
grouper swim bladders?

Hold on, Minami.
That applies to tuna as well.


With bluefin,

there are many surface deaths
after they hatch.

They aren't yet strong swimmers,
so the pump's current pushes them up.

The surface tension traps
them there, and they die.


To combat this, oil is applied,
creating a film that weakens this tension.

However, as time goes by…

sinking deaths start mounting.

If their swim bladders don't inflate,
they sink and die.


Here's the key.

On the third day after they hatch,
right when their swim bladders develop,

the oil film is removed.

This allows them to take in the air needed
to inflate their swim bladders.

But there's still a risk
of surface deaths.

So on the fourth day, oil is reapplied.

That's the sinking-death solution.

So, Takayama,

you were collecting data for preventing
longtooth grouper sinking deaths.

That was amazing.
So easy to understand.

You could totally be a teacher.


I'd like to teach fish farming overseas.


We're trying to raise
meatier red sea bream.

The myostatin gene prevents
excess muscle growth,

so we destroy it to get more meat.

It's an efficient,
low-cost farming technique.

It might reduce overfishing
in developing countries.

You have a really clear-cut goal.

Even the biotech professor praised him.

"He looks glib,
but he's the real deal."

Akira, I could do without the "glib" part.

We're not on a first-name basis.

Kuroda, aren't you studying
top quality fish?

We're testing red sea bream fin DNA
to identify fast-growing adults.

By having them mate,
you create even better fish.

Injecting the ID tag
into their stomach is hard work.

I know exactly what you mean.

It's a race against time.

How so?

Genome editing is like a mad dash.

Cells rupture if you don't finish
within 15 minutes of fertilization.

That's high tech. Really cutting edge.

All I do is raise rag worms.

Rag worms?

They've grown.


They've sure grown. Yes, indeed.

All I've done is raise rag worms.

Doesn't this institute study fish?

It's not a rag worm farm, is it?


Try to remember the larger goal.

What goal?

Once we understand
rag worm ecology…

We can stop them from breeding.

And if there are less blood flukes
infesting rag worms…

Our farm-raised tuna will be healthier.

When the price and supply
of tuna is stable…

There will be more tuna to go around,
we'll protect wild tuna,

and we'll avoid a food crisis.

And ultimately?

World peace.

-Back to the rag worms.

Now that's a team.

He's a great motivator.

Can I give them some extra food?

No, you shouldn't overfeed them.

Really? How come?

They're all amazing.

They've got big goals
and know what they're doing.

I can only do what I'm told.

This is bad.

I probably won't take anything
away from this camp.

Minami, you finally call me
only to start complaining again?


You ignore my calls and instant messages,
and don't even return my stamps.

Sorry, but I really have been busy.


You said there was a guy
who wants to teach fish-farming overseas.

He's really handsome, right?
Are you cheating on me?

Don't be stupid!

You've got so little trust in me?

You never call.

I worry about you.

Sorry, Shogo.

I wanna see you.

Can't you come back for the weekend?

It's my turn to take care
of the fish this week.

Here's the swim bladder study data.

Nice work.

So, Takayama, getting used to things?

What do you think of our institute?

What do I think?

Be honest.

How can I put this?

Go on.

It's kind of dull.


Both the fish raising and research.

Sorry! I had this exciting image
in my head of Kindai Tuna,

the world's first fully farmed bluefin.

I see, so it's dull, is it?

This institute is
financially self-supporting.

We farm and sell tuna, red sea bream,
olive flounder, and other fish,

and use that revenue to operate.

In 2002, we were the first in the world
to fully farm Pacific bluefin.

That's when support for our research
really took off.

But that was already ten-odd years ago.

Improvements in research
and farming will only come

with more funding and personnel.

Funding and personnel?

Here, take a look at this.

This is a research society.

It's a group for protecting rare species

and sharing farming technology.

If I were to offer the chance
to study panda rearing,

we'd be flooded with applications.

Especially from younger people.
More than double what tuna get.

-People love pandas.
-Right, that's just how it is.

When something is popular,
it attracts all sorts of things.

For instance, funding and personnel.

I know!

If tuna were as popular as pandas…

-How come?

I don't see that happening,
but if you have any good ideas…


I have a tank inspection.

-Excuse me.
-Off you go.


I want you to attend this meeting
on my behalf.


You want me to go?

Just you.

I want you to represent the institute.

You have other plans?

No, I'll go.

Great, thanks.


-Coming through.

I'm so sorry!

That stinks!

What is that? It reeks!

It's Chlorella extract.


-What an awful smell.
-What a waste of perfectly good Chlorella.

I'm really sorry.

I can't take it anymore.

Takayama strikes again.
What a scatterbrain.

Don't worry, we only get
the most outstanding students here.

They earn units over two years,

and forgo clubs and part-time jobs
to come here.

But she was late the first day.

I remember that.

About the time we passed Shirahama,
I started arguing with my boyfriend.

He said, "Wild-caught fish
are better than farmed."

So I go, "You do realize I'm off
to study fish farming?"

I was furious!

Then I go, "Cows and pigs are farmed,
so why are wild fish better than farmed?"

But I wasn't able to convince him.

And before I realized it,
we'd passed Kushimoto Station.


She was late over a spat
with her boyfriend?

Yes, but she was right.
Wild is wonderful, farmed is no good...

That's people's general impression.

Even though we carefully raise them
from eggs and strive to improve quality…

farmed fish still fetch a lower price
than wild caught.

She just might bring a unique perspective
to this whole thing.

You've got a ton of tolerance.

At least we can always count on Sudo.

I suppose so.

Can tuna ever beat pandas?


Operation "Boost Tuna Popularity."

Screwing around again?


Professor Higuchi said if tuna became
as popular as pandas,

we'd attract more funding and personnel.

Aren't people already interested?

Bluefin are known
as the diamonds of the sea.

-It's on the news too.
-News and popularity are different.

There are plenty of young people
who want cats and dogs

because they're so cute.

But none of them want to raise
and research tuna because they are tasty.

-Good point.
-I know, right?

Maybe a cute mascot
would boost popularity.

Like "Tuna Man."

-That's a "Bonito Man" ripoff!
-Bonito Man?

The local mascot in Kochi has
a bonito head and a human body.


Half his head is shaved off!

Creepy but cute!

Has it been merchandised?
Where'd you hear about it? Social media?

Any good ideas about a tuna mascot?

How would I know?

Come on! We can't lose out
to Bonito Man!

Minami, you're kind of tuna-like.

The word tuna comes
from the Greek word for rush.


Not again! A girl?

-Just guessing.

Leave me out of this
mascot character business.

You're so serious.

What's wrong with that?

Not at all.

-Show me again!

It really is cute.

-We should include the sea.
-Yes, I see.



I see.


Bluefin tuna eggs are
only about 0.4 inches in diameter.

We remove the fertilized eggs
floating in this water,

disinfect them with ozone,
and place them in a tank.

And to keep track of the survival rate,
we record the quantity.

Done over there.

-Set the water temperature.
-Got it.

To ensure an even distribution of eggs,

gently stir and scoop, okay?

You got a lot in there.

Good, all right.


They're swimming!

They're so tiny.

So cute…

They're going to grow up to 10 feet long?

They're amazing!

The real challenge is yet to come.


Yes, the tuna are really delicate.
They die all too easily.

About 95% of the eggs hatch,
but after three or four days, half die.

And a week later, half of that die.

Only about 5% remain when we move them
to the floating cages a month later.

Five percent?

Yes, but when we first started
full farming, it was only 0.1%.

-Zero point one?

With red sea bream, it's 60%.

You have raise tuna very carefully.

Got it!


That's enough oil to make a film?

Yeah, two or three drops does the trick.



Surface deaths.



Any sinking deaths?

There are.

But they're so fragile, they dissolve.


Not bad, right?

Here, look


It's true.

They easily die.

We need more survivors.

Even one more surviving
to adulthood helps.

You treat them like they're your kids.

The professor said
when we ship them off,

"It feels like my darling daughter is
leaving to get married."

What an old softy.

Still can't handle tuna?

No, they're adorable.
They're the diamonds of the sea.

Sudo, will you work here
after you graduate?

Sorry, I didn't mean to be nosy.


is none of your business.


You received an interview request.

An interview?



Tuna Girl is a major hit!

I was so busy with the tuna, I forgot.
Why are there so many followers?

It's probably Gourmet Man.

The celebrity gourmet?

Don't you remember?

One second.


"Kindai Tuna's fatty portion is so creamy.
Gourmet Man is shocked!"

He got excited after eating our tuna.

Then you commented on his post.

I forgot after all that plum wine.

He's spreading the word!

That's that source of all the buzz!

Gourmet Man!

What about the interview?

She's owning it.

Tuna rush!

Perfect colors for the show.

And that is?

I borrowed it!

My event club blood is really pumping!

Isn't that a bit over the top?

The show is geared towards
a young crowd.

That's right!

I have to make all that
stuffy science fun!

I'll make tuna a hit!

I'm Minami Takayama,
and I'll do my best!

Excuse me!

I'm here for the interview!

-Nice! It's perfect.

Sudo, you're up next.

I am?

And fish meal is used
in this feed formulation.

So we're using other fish
to raise our tuna.

That's why we want
to make them vegetarians.

We're developing fish feed
from soy beans and other plant proteins.

Does she have to act like that?

Her explanations are easy to understand.

You've got a ton of tolerance.


Is okay to be this silly?

It's going over well!

Getting them to eat this feed formulation
was a major challenge.

After all sorts of tests,
the flavor they liked best was… abalone.

Who knew they were such gourmets?

Imagine that!

Next up… operation anti-cannibalism!



Tuna have an incredible growth rate,
so they get really hungry.

In their second week after hatching,
they start eating each other.

The eaten ones die,
but the cannibals do too

if their victims get stuck
in their throats.

Silly tuna!

That's for sure.

Cannibalize is common
when there is a size difference.

So we sort by size!

Differences in size develop each day,

so we keep separating them.



They are so weak,
they'll die if touched.

So you have to be really careful.

What the hell?

We lovingly raised them!
What have you done?

I'm sorry.

The tuna have bit the dust!
Tuna Girl totally blew it!

This is not good!


These are dead too.





All these are dead too.















How about heading back to the lab?

It was just an accident.

You were trying hard to promote our tuna.

We know that.


They're all mad at me.

We're not the least bit angry.

That's right.

Not even the tiniest little bit.


How about Kuroda?

She... stepped out for a bit.

So, Kuroda's mad too?

So it seems.



Sorry to worry you like that.

What were you thinking?

I'm getting bashed too.

They took the stupidest-looking
picture of me

from the event club's homepage,

then wrote that I was your boyfriend,
which makes two idiots.


-Sorry, I--

Let's break up.

I mean, you don't care about me, do you?

You never call, and you do
that swimsuit Tuna Girl thing.

-I've had enough.
-I'm sorry.

But I was just promoting our tuna.

You were more than eager to volunteer…

weren't you?


Yes, I see. Thank you.

Understood. Goodbye.

Was that…
the university administration office?

Yes, it was about that incident
with Takayama.

She didn't mean any harm.

It should blow over
without any lasting consequences.

I'm sorry.
I wasn't able to help.

Don't worry,
I couldn't do anything either.

Please take a seat.


about your career…

Any ideas yet?



Are you okay?

Join us for dinner.


I'm so sorry.

I caused quite a firestorm.

Don't worry about it.
The flames will subside.

He's right.

But it really was my fault.

The institute deserves a good apology.

-Akira, cut her some slack.
-That's Kuroda to you.

Let's eat.

-All of us.
-Yeah, let's eat.

I regret not acting.

I should've stopped you.

There was nothing to gain
from your antics.

I'm sorry for all the trouble.
I feel awful.

You don't mean it.

I don't get it.

-Why do you always lash out at me?
-You don't take things seriously!

I'm not here to play around like you.

This place seems different now
because of you.

You're a pest.

Why'd you go on that show?

It's really popular with young people.
I thought it would be good publicity.

-That's just an excuse.
-No it's not!

You can't just do nothing.
You have to try!

-You're too reckless!
-Stop it!

We're classmates.

We're supposed to help each other.

Who was wrong?
Who was at fault?

I don't want to hear it.

You're like bullies.


What's wrong?


It's all right. Calm down, okay?

Sorry about that.

It's over now, all right?

I'm sorry for the trouble I caused.

I'm leaving… the research camp.

You're leaving?

Research on fully farmed bluefin tuna…

was launched by Dr. Sonoda.

And I took up the torch.

It took 32 years to make it happen.

But the period I took part in…

was an 11-year quagmire.

A quagmire?


We couldn't harvest any eggs.

Eleven years without any progress.

And criticism from all sides.

People said Kindai couldn't succeed
where national facilities failed.

They said universities don't sell fish.
Fish markets do.

That's terrible.

I suppose…

research isn't accepted
until it produces results.

We diverted profits
from other fish to our research.

We felt two inches small.

Professor Sonoda and I went
with our heads bowed to speak to the top…

the university's chancellor.

We said we're halting research.

Public research institutes stop...
when their budget runs dry.

But we're private.

If your research is important,
we'll find you the money.

You're working with living creatures,
and that is never easy.

Please continue your work.

Professor Sonoda and I made
plenty of mistakes.

But they were forgiven,
and here I am now.

Takayama, you shouldn't give up either.



Good night.


What's wrong?



quitting camp.

My mom's facing a long hospital stay.

She's a single parent.

And my brother… is still
in grade school.

It's so sudden.

No it's not!

One of her tests came back positive
right after I got here.

Been talking to her the whole time.

What about the hospital?

What about school?

What about the scholarship?

I get a call.

You say it's a girl.

What a waste, Koizumi.
You're a promising student.

If anyone should quit, it should be me.

What are you talking about?
You've been doing pretty good.

You've got drive and spirit.

Like a rushing tuna!

I better pack.

-Good luck.
-Thank you.

Good luck.

-You did great.
-Thank you.


-Thanks for your hard work.
-Thank you.

-You're a hard worker.

Take care.

-Thanks for everything.
-Thank you.

Don't ever give up. Do it for me too.


You ready?

Thanks for all you've done.
I really appreciate it.

Thank you.


I'm sorry about what happened
the other day.

That was my fault for not providing
proper supervision.

It wasn't your fault, Professor.

Our customers have mentioned
that our staff quality has deteriorated.

Sorry for the trouble.
I promise I'll do better!

I'm sorry.

You really need to step up your game.

After all, we raise them will loving care.

Be careful, okay?

Understood. I'll do my best.

-I'm really sorry.

No, I mean it. I'm sorry.

Enough, come on.

-It's okay.

It's all right now, okay?

That can wait till tomorrow.

No, I'll do it.

It's so hot. You must be tired.

I'm fine.

Takayama has been working too hard lately.

She didn't take
her work seriously enough before.

-Let me do that.
-Thank you.


How can I learn to stand bugs?

-Like that one there!

They're all over the place.

I have to work on that.

Bugs are cute.

If you look at rag worms--

I can't stand them. I really can't.

But they're cute.

-They've got their own personalities.
-That's enough about rag worms.

What's your favorite parasite?

-Ceratothoa verrucosa.

It's an arthropod that lives
in the mouth of carp.

I know what they are.

They're so cute.
Two creatures living as one.

They were once seen as good luck.

Parasites as good luck?

Nothing strange about that.

By the time we put them
in the ocean cages,

they're really fast swimmers.

-I see.

they stink at changing course.

They sometimes die by running into things.

-Sounds painful!
-It is.

-They're kids, so they can't sit still.

Many used to die at night.

-At night?
-Yeah, they used to die.

It was the car headlights
from the road next to the cages.

They'd get startled and panic.

-They're so sensitive.
-That's right.

But we can't put a cover
over the floating cages.

So we light them up all through the night.

-Reverse thinking.

Fish can't speak, so they tell you
they're unhappy by dying.

And unlike land animals,
their answer comes in the water.

There's no simple solution.

So it's very frustrating!

But that's the real thrill
we researchers get from raising fish.

Raising fish?

That's right.

Our tenacity and grit raising fish…

increased their survival rate
from 0.1% to 5%.

Sudo, welcome back!

You should join us!
Have a drink. How about a beer?

-No, I…
-I'll make some tea.

-Have a seat

Today you were…?

Preparing an ecological study.

I look forward to it.

Here, this is really tasty.

And what else?

About that thing we talked about…

What do you think?

If possible, I'd really like you to…

Here this spring--

I'm thinking of joining… the Kitakyushu
Aquaculture Research Institute.

I see.

They're certainly well equipped.

-I'm sorry.
-No worries.

Here you are, Sudo.

Okay, all set.

Let's have a toast to Sudo,
our future hope!

One, two… Cheers!

My wife made it.
It's nothing special, but give it a try.

Thank you.

So, an ecological study?

They can be a real pain, huh?


Our tuna is nice and fatty.

There's no damage to the meat,
so we can stock it worry free.

What sort of customers order it?


Mostly organizations
and individuals over thirty.

Like those customers there.

They have the Kindai Tuna combo.

They joked about the tuna
that went to college and took pictures.


I think it's great.

Raising fish, conducting research,
and delivering it to the world.

Practical science!

Those three-year-old fish…
Were they from when you were went to camp?

They're the fish we raised from eggs
when I was a junior.

Does it feel like a daughter leaving
to get married like the professor said?


I overheard you yesterday.

You're off to the Kitakyushu institute?

I'm still considering it.

The professor wants you to stay here.

Sorry, it didn't mean to be nosy.

I just thought that the professor and tuna
would be happy if you stayed.

The tuna would be happy?

Yeah, because you really love them.

This is the Kishimoto Disaster Center.

The Kishimoto bridge has been closed
due to the approaching typhoon.

Thank you for understanding.

-You put the feeding set in the shed?

No tanks left out after drying them?

All good.

The cart's taken care of.

-The garage key.


I'm worried about the facilities,
so I'm staying here tonight.

It's too dangerous outside,
so wait here for now.


Who used the workroom today?

I did.

You forgot to lock it.

The wind blew the door open.

The microscopes
and electronics are soaked!

-They still work?
-Haven't checked.

-Let's go have a look.
-I'm sorry, let me--

It's too dangerous, stay here!

I blew it.

-It's all right.
-No it's not!

That equipment is really expensive.

It's a huge problem if it's broken.
I can't afford that much.

-Calm down.
-That was stupid forgetting to lock up.

-I'm the worst!
-Don't say that!

-Everyone makes mistakes.
-I can't screw this up.



What's wrong?

What did your parents say when you told
them you're going to college?

Nothing special.

My parents met in college,
so it was only natural that I'd go too.

My family grows tangerines.

My great grandpa and uncles… they think
girls don't need to go to college.

Even my dad ended up farming
instead of working at a company.

He's just like them.

But my grandpa was different.
He was the second son.

He was a technician here.


So did you come here a lot?

When I was little.

Then when I was in high school,
I told my grandfather…

"I want to raise fish, not tangerines."

In his will, he wrote…
"Akira, you study whatever you want."

And he left me some tuition money.

That's just like a grandpa.

It caused some trouble.

My cousin got mad and said
my grandpa was playing favorites.

And my aunt sarcastically said,

"I bet you'll be studying
something really important."

She didn't even help care for him.

So that's why…

I can't screw this up.

I don't want them to think
I was playing around.

My grandfather bred red sea bream.

He mated the best fish together
for some 20 generations.

He was delighted about how big they got.

I want to use DNA testing…

to develop even better
breeding technology.


I'm always too serious.

I hate how I'm so hard on others.

I can't stand it.

I hate it.

I really hate it!


You're hard on people…

because you pay attention to the details.

You're feeling down because that's
how much you're invested in this.

I totally get it. It's kick-ass.

You don't have to hate yourself.

You're working so hard,
you should be proud of yourself.

If you won't pat yourself
on the back, then I will.

You're amazing, Akira. You've got a ton
of your grandpa's DNA in you!

We've got this chance
to study something we love.

Let's enjoy it.

Let's tough it out together.


It's all right, Kuroda.
All the equipment still works.

What a relief.

That's awesome, Akira!

Let's tough it out, okay?


It's from that same show again.

Probably want to stir up more controversy.


Let's pass. Same for the other.

-There's others?

One's called "The Courageous Coeds."

It will die down eventually.


I want to try this show again.

Hiding away won't stop the bashing.

It's my fault the institute
is getting bad press.

I want to make it right.

Minami Takayama, aka Tuna Girl!
Thank you for coming back on our show.

You sparked quite a reaction last time,
or should I say, a firestorm.

I did.

I got carried away last time.
I caused a lot of people a lot of grief.

I'm truly sorry.

I see.

You really regret it.

-We got lots of email questions.

-They want a Tuna Girl update.
-Look at the title.


Since that day,
I've been working hard raising tuna.

Tuna are…

I'm not really surprised.

…and they're energetic,
fast-swimming fish.

But they are really delicate.

They die really easily.

So your carelessness killed them?

I made a terrible mistake
the other day.

I've absolutely no excuse!

However, they really do die easily.

They die when they surface
and when they sink.

They die from cannibalism, collisions,
and being touched.

They're so delicate.

You're saying you had little
to do with killing them?


Everyone here works hard
to raise these difficult-to-raise fish--

You don't feel bad about making them live
in such small cages?


We move them to larger cages
once they're big enough.

They've plenty to eat,
and a nice place to live.

Aren't they full of antibiotics?

That's not true!

We control water quality
and keep safety in mind.

-There's less mercury than wild--
-It's not so clear cut, is it?

You're Tuna Girl, so you want
to promote fully-farmed fish.

-I get that and wish you luck--
-You're not listening!

Full farming from fish eggs
doesn't damage natural resources.

You covered all that last time.
Let's hear from someone else.

What's Minami like at the institute?


She's… normal.


That doesn't tell us anything.
What sort of work does she do?


She studies swim bladder inflation
in longtooth grouper.

Isn't this place just for tuna?

We study all sorts of fish.

I've never heard of a swim bladder.


Fish that have
an undeveloped swim bladder

sink to the bottom
of the tank and die

when their swimming
slows down at night.

We try to prevent this
through statistical analysis

of how long swim bladder inflation
takes after they hatch.

Bluefin swim bladders inflate
three days after hatching.

So to prevent surface deaths,
we remove the oil film

to allow swim bladder inflation--

Enough about that!

Yikes! What a fish nerd!

It sounded like
you were possessed by a fish.

Didn't see that coming!


Why are you even here?


Just to make fun of us?

No… we're teaching young people
about tuna--

Then just mock me!
I won't let you make fun of them.

Do you have any idea how hard
it is to raise fish like they do?

You criticize, interrupt, joke around,
and condescend.

Think you're cool?

Then stop hiding behind the camera!

-You didn't learn a thing.
-I've nothing to lose!

I'm already getting bashed
on social media.

My boyfriend dumped me,
and I'll never find a job.

I don't care about myself.

-Let's make this about the tuna!

-I don't even eat tuna.
-What about sea bream?

Eighty percent of red sea bream
are farmed!

It takes a year or two
to raise sea bream

for the smallest fillets
at the store!

They feed them, clean tanks,
remove parasites,

and monitor temperature,
water quality, and health.

Where are we going?

This is where we raise plankton
to feed the fish.

We also raise Chorella algae
to boost the plankton's nutritional value!

It ain't easy!

It dies if it's too warm.

When it's too cold,
its growth slows.

They have to grow it at just
the right time in the tuna's life cycle!

We pay attention to every detail
down to the plankton!

Rag worms!

I bet you don't know
why we study them!

Tuna parasites live in rag worms.

We must understand their ecology
to kill the parasites.

No more worms!

-Here Hosono.
-Got it.

What should we feed them?

How can we prevent diseases
and parasites?

What's the ideal temperature,
water quality, and environment?

Raising healthy tuna requires tests,
hard work, and trial and error.

They spent 32 years doing that.

Only then did they reach their goal…
fully farmed tuna!

No, not exactly.

It wasn't a goal.

We're finally able to farm bluefin
just like other fish.

This is just the beginning.

The beginning?

We raised the survival rate
from 0.1% to 5%,

but I'd like to aim for 10%.

And once we reach 10%,
I'd like to go even higher.

We've a long way to go.

Yep, a long way to go.

Yeah, you're right.

You picked up
where your professor left off.

And we'll do the same after you.

We're aiming for higher heights
year after year.

That's what research is all about.

There is no final goal in research.


You got that?

They're working their butts off.

Don't make fun
of farming or research!

Don't make fun
of other people's work!


Got it.


Thank you!
Grow up to be big and strong!


-Nice day.
-It's so hot.

Yeah, it's hot.

Time to start job hunting.
What are you aiming for?

-I'll look into biotech firms.
-I see.

A local aquaculture lab.

That's a good fit for you.

And you, Takayama?

-Who, me?

Well... fish farming...


Fish farming...

-Go on.
-Fish farming....


I don't know...
but something that helps fish farming.

Good luck.

-I'll bring the car around.

I have to say goodbye to Sudo!

Sudo, he's...

I'll be right back!


Thanks for all your help.

My pleasure.

Good luck with your research...
even if you end up in Kitakyushu.

I'm staying.

I decided to stay.

There is no final goal in research.

You pick up where others left off...
just like you said.


I was intimidated.

Professor Higuchi does it all,
from research and raising fish,

to running and promoting the institute.

How could I take over
from someone so amazing?

You can do it.

The tuna will be delighted.

Is that your new research?

Yeah, it's a morphology study.

This is a tuna bone fracture.

This is an amberjack jaw.

A jaw?

Their growth slows when they can't eat
very well due to a deformed jaw.

Plus, they won't fetch a high price.

They often won't sell
because they look sick.

By showing they're not sick, they'll sell
even if they don't look perfect.

Like how a crooked cucumber
tastes like a straight one!


Reducing losses is the best
course of action for producers, consumers,

and for the fish too.

They grew up healthy and strong,

so it seems cruel to abandon them
just for how they look.

This is bad.

Really bad!

I think I'm starting to fall for you.



I'm not interested in...

You're not?

Research over love?

You really have zero interest?

You don't like me?
How about one date just to see?

Right... You're so stoic and cool, Sudo!

Makes total sense.

Sorry about that.
I got a little carried away.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck.



I'm not... interested.

But... I like how you see the world.

He is a diamond in the rough.

I'll be back!

Subtitle translation by Jason Franzman