Shuichi Okita’s latest film, “The Fish Tale,” is a heartwarming story about a lovable outsider, based on the autobiography of Sakana-kun, a TV personality known for his encyclopedic knowledge of fish (his stage name translates as “Fish Guy”). The director’s previous films such as “A Story of Yonosuke” (2013) and “Mori, The Artist’s Habitat” (2018) feature similarly oddball protagonists, but “The Fish Tale” differs in that its titular character, Meebo, is a male protagonist played by actresses.

Taking on the role of Meebo as a young adult is the single-named actress Non, who first rose to national stardom portraying a teen who aspires to become a shellfish diver in the 2013 NHK morning drama, “Amachan.” Beyond this sea-centric connection, Non exudes a natural vivaciousness that makes her ideal for the role of an eternal enthusiast.

We first meet Meebo as a child (Mizuki Nishimura) who becomes enthralled with fish during a trip to an aquarium and even more so when his understanding mother gives him a fish encyclopedia. Meebo reads the book from cover to cover and tirelessly draws aquatic creatures in class, his favorite being the octopus.