Nagi no Asukara – 03


Time for the pool episode?

spring13-highwNagi no Asukara has been a bit drama-filled to this point, but this episode lightened it up quite a bit, even with Hikari crashing around like a bull in a china shop.

 Not Understanding


Someone needs to cool off

This episode explored a lot more about Hikari, shifting the main character focus from Manaka to him both at home and at school. We get more about his thoughts, but even though he’s thinking about things, that doesn’t really temper his anger towards the entire world. He’s definitely roiled by many things he doesn’t understand, although I get the feeling that these things around him aren’t beyond him, just that he doesn’t take the time to understand them. Instead he lets his emotions take over leading to impulsive actions.

Akari and Hikari

Maybe she’ll go for that ‘forbidden love’

Faced with another big disappointment in her life, Akari puts on a cheerful face, but cries to herself all night. The reaction was the same when their mother died, and Akari put her future on hold to help take care of Hikari, forgoing college and taking a local job to stay at home. Hikari doesn’t understand why she makes the choices that she does, or why she’d focus on him, but a part of him is actually glad to see that she has actually thought about a boyfriend, because it indicates that she’s thinking of herself again, at least a little bit, and not feeling so obligated to providing for him. This doesn’t really temper his anger at her boyfriend, however, and so he concocts a scheme to track him down and beat him up, with Kaname and the rest dragged along to try to keep him from getting too out of hand.

Manaka and Chisaki heart to heart

Hikari overhearing Manaka talk about Tsumugu doesn’t exactly calm him down


noone takes this information well

Information that surprises everyone from Tsumugu

The person who seems to know the most about life in this mixed society is Tsumugu, which they find out after following Akari’s boyfriend to his house. While there, the kids finally learn why relationships are discouraged, on pain of banishment, between the two peoples: Mixed children cannot breathe underwater, which means they have to leave the village, leading to eventual depopulation. This is likely to happen anyway, but they’re trying to stave it off as long as possible, it seems. They actually did come up with something not completely out of left field for a reason, relating the Ena which allows breathing underwater to the amnion babies develop in. And it’s not just the umiko that didn’t know this, but also Akari’s boyfriend, who endures a pummeling from Hikari, who doesn’t see that there’s space between dating and marriage.


Stoic and sparkly

But the bigger surprise to Hikari is Tsumugu’s knowledge of Shioshishio, as well as his curiosity about it (like why their clothes are never wet, as the water is soaked up by the ena for use). And he reluctantly realizes that Tsumugu, and his grandfather, are both good people, even if they’re both taciturn and rather gruff, or knock Hikari out to get him to stop beating up Tooru. The reason for this knowledge and interest becomes clear, however, when Hikari sees the characteristic glistening skin on Tsumugu’s grandfather, indicating that he’s one of the people who was forced to leave the village. Learning that Tsumugu isn’t just pretending in order to get close to Manaka, and that he’s a pretty cool guy, Hikari finally warms up enough to him to consider him a friend, much to Manaka’s, and everyone else’s, relief.

beginning of a lifelong friendship

These three will be best friends for life

We did get a final kicker in this episode as well, by way of an explanation why those two grade schoolers were so intent on harassing Akari. After an attempted knockout (I’ll give Sayu a pass on this, it took me a while to understand there was chloroform on those handkerchiefs too), Hikari finally is confronted by Miuna about what they want: Miuna’s father to stop being with ‘that girl’, Akari. Boy, he doesn’t look that old, does he!

Chisaki has some hope

Chisaki isn’t too upset at the idea of Tsumugu x Manaka


I think everyone figured there was something that would be going on with interspecies reproduction, and we get that confirmed to us this episode, while also learning that Tsumugu is at least a descendant of that kind of pairing. I still think that’s not a reason for the village to shun the people who choose to fall in love with someone from the surface, but it explains why there is going to be a drain on the village. There’s essentially a one-way flow of people, and the best they can do is try to slow the rate of loss. Even Akari says that there’s pretty slim pickings among eligible bachelors under the surface, and the fact that there’s only the four children in our group, with no evidence of senpais or kouhais either, just reinforces this point. It’s difficult to watch your group slowly pass into extinction, even if there would be a chance of the individuals and descendants surviving.

My thoughts start to turn to ways that such a decline could be slowed? I wonder if some land people would be interested in raising a child that was not their own genetics, but of their spouse’s? You wonder if a boy like Tsumugu would be interested in that, for the opportunity to raise a child like his wife (if Manaka) and grandfather? They’ve obviously figured out how to live on land, so I wonder if people would swallow their genetic pride and go with it.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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29 Responses to “Nagi no Asukara – 03”

  1. sadakups says:

    Best part of the episode was Hikari getting that judo throw. Little ball of fire needs to calm the fuck down.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Cause and effect. The old man’s judo throw was the reaction to the actions of Hikari acting like a hotheaded brat.

  2. skylion says:

    Wherever in Japan that place is, you’ve got an overwater village constantly looking toward an underwater village with a mixture of scorn, ridicule, love, temperance, boredom, and sadness. And vice versa. Props to the sensei for having the kids build that festival float..

    • Highway says:

      I think a key addition to your list is the fact that increasingly, the people in the land village don’t even look at the underwater village, as it’s becoming less and less relevant as time goes on, and its population dies off or moves out. And as that feeling increases from the one side, those who live underwater are feeling more and more marginalized.

      The fact that the people of the land village aren’t even doing the boatdrift ceremony this year just underscores this irrelevance, leaving the only ones to do anything the ones who care about it innately.

      • skylion says:

        Willful ignorance of any important subject is unforgivable in my mind. But then, the value for “important” is both subjective and under a rules of diminishing returns to many. It makes it that much more sad to note that the land village might just be filled with those exiles…

        • Highway says:

          Well, we haven’t seen anything that actually points out Shioshishio as even locally important. Do they produce anything that the people on land use? Are they even self-sufficient? At best, they’re a curiosity, at worst an impediment, with fishing rights and pollution. For all intents and purposes, they’re a disadvantaged and dying population.

  3. Noc says:

    Arranged marriages. If they’re in so much trouble of dying out, then I don’t see why this isn’t happening. And are they seriously the only underwater village? The land is big, but the ocean is bigger by far. I just find it hard to believe that there wouldn’t be other villages scattered around the world.

    Another thought came to me, which I really hope we’ll learn about at some point- what of the girls who were offered to the sea god in the past? As humans who has lost their ena, why did that pairing work out? Simply because it’s a god? Or are there some conditions that can be met to give a halfbreed child ena, or return ena to an adult who has shed it? Hmm…

    But more importantly, I’m glad Hikari has calmed down a bit. Hate that impulsiveness of his. “My sister fell in love with some guy so Imma kick his ass!” yeah, cuz that makes perfect sense =/ I understand why he acts the way he does, but that doesn’t excuse him from being utterly obnoxious.

    • Highway says:

      There are likely other villages around the world, and I’m sure that the land village itself isn’t immune to the same kind of drain to the “big city”, like so much of the rural part of the first world.

      I think their mythology says that the people of the sea are the children of the sacrifices and the sea god. I’d imagine a sea god wouldn’t have any trouble having a kid with ena. We don’t see that the adults shed their ena, just that their children are born without it, so like you I’d like to see if there is some way to have children that do.

      • Noc says:

        Well in regards to the sea god and adults who shed their ena, I was thinking more about the land girls who were sent out as sacrifices. Like, did they go back to land while they were pregnant, or did the god grant them ena once more and keep them in the sea (implying a land dweller could obtain an ena if the right conditions were met)? What about giving birth? Who raised the children after that, Uroko?

        I have loads of other questions waiting to be answered, but many of them are among the ranks of “why the hell does the physics of water only apply when they feel like swimming?!” and “where are all the sharks and other vicious critters that could eat them?” which will never be answered for the sake of covering up plot holes lol

        • Highway says:

          Well, it would be easy enough for the sea god to stash them on an island as his brides. Or heck, maybe he turned them into sea dwellers, cause he’s a god, you know. I would guess that the sea god (if such exists, I’m skeptical) is not Lord Uroko.

          I’m mostly letting those other questions just go. What I want to know is what those big concrete pillars are that go along the shore.

        • Irenesharda says:

          Don’t fall into that abyss! You’ll go nuts if you continue to try to apply logic here. I’ve already tried it. It’s better to just accept that this is magic alien water with varying properties that can change on a whim. I’m enjoying this much more now.

          • BlackBriar says:

            When a scientist tells you to abandon all logic for the sake of your sanity, you do it!! 😀

      • Irenesharda says:

        Actually, I think they do state that a person who left the sea for good would shed their Ena. Would is another reason why the person is banished: They can’t live underwater anymore. Also, it would make sense with what we’ve seen so far. If the kids don’t return to salt water by a certain time, their ena skin begins to crack and fall off. If they never went back to water, I would imagine it all falling off after a time.
        I’m thinking that Tsumugu’s grandfather, probably lives by the sea for particularly this reason. If he gets to water to replenish the ena, then he can live (with some difficulty in both places.

        • Highway says:

          I dunno, showing Manaka’s reaction to it, and what Chisaki said about it, I think that if your ena dries out completely and flakes off, you will die.

          I doubt there’s much difficulty for a fisherman to deal with that. Just take a dip when you’re getting to the boat, and another when you leave. Maybe he sleeps in a tub, too. I could see an industry for making pools or tubs for people, plus, furo tubs are already pretty deep (I’d love to get a furo tub for my house).

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Hikari is such a hothead. That judo throw the old man gave him had his name written all over it. The kid really needs to stop blowing his top so often. Since Tsumugu’s grandfather is revealed to be from the ocean because he has Ena, that would mean Tsumugu himself is ¼ of the same species.

    I’m amazed this series has provided such a detriment in regard of hybrid beings when they brought up the possibilities of what happens to a child born of the union between someone from the surface and one from the sea. In a more common line of thought and what’s shown in other animes and media, one would easily think a hybrid individual would inherit the best traits from both sides of the bloodline and because of the mutation; weaknesses on both sides would be canceled out.

    • Highway says:

      Why would a hybrid have only the best parts from each? In reality, most hybrids are definitely inferior in many respects to their parents. In this case, we just get a normal person, so not really better or worse than either parent.

      • skylion says:

        In a fantasy, they could have the best of both worlds. Because who doesn’t want a half elf half dragon sorcerer wizard sky pirate ninja….? But that would be cheating…I’m glad to see our show here is taking a decent narrative tack away from that…

        • Highway says:

          Yeah, we wouldn’t have nearly as much of an issue if the show had said “babies with a land parent and sea parent are sea babies.” Were that the case, you would have more population pressure to go back to Shioshishio (as opposed to Ooshioshioo, who came up with these names?). Then it would be the opposite: “Go find a land person and bring them back!”

          Not much tension there.

    • Highway says:

      While you might take a strict percentage, that Tsumugu is 1/4 sea, the reality is that he’s zero percent sea person, since has absolutely no capability to do the same things that differentiate the two.

  5. Irenesharda says:

    ‘m really liking this show. It’s really begun to grow on me. All the kids, even Tsumugu who I had the toughest time getting to like, I’m really warming up to.

    As for the whole issue between interspecies relations with the sea and land people, I can see why it’s such a contention, and we really as the human race can’t really judge them for their decision. If the human race were failing as a whole, we would have to enact certain decisions to counteract that and our culture and belief as a people would reflect that. The sea people seem to already be dwindling. If you decide to leave the sea, you shed your ena and you’re no longer a sea person and your inter-species relations would only yield more land people. The sea people would continue to grow smaller and smaller if people were all allowed to just do what they wanted, so I can definitely see why it’s frowned upon. It’s not just a matter of society and social structure, its a matter of survival, which changes the ballgame.

    The only way I can see this being rectified is if land people were somehow able to acquire ena again. Tsumugu seems to be a key candidate, as he loves the sea and actually wants to be like his new friends. As for Akari’s boyfriend, I don’t know. He didn’t seem that enthused about committing, even after he found out what Akari would have to sacrifice. Also, he seems kind of boring to me, not much to him. His daughter has more to her, then he does to him. And if he just happens to be still married (I doubt it, but you never can tell), you can kick the jerk to the curb.

    • Highway says:

      I think Tsumugu would be a perfect candidate for a return to the sea, and would love to see that happen, but I kinda doubt it will.

      One thing that tempers the ‘survival’ concern is the fact that the children of mixed couples are still healthy children. They’re still children and grandchildren, and will carry on presumably like normal people. It’s just that they can’t go back into the ocean. But would they want to? It seems like not many people do.

      I’d say that Akari’s boyfriend is more just a Macguffin than an important character. He’s a plot device to introduce the conflict regarding mixed couples, to add tension to the Tsumugu / Manaka / Hikari triangle. And I don’t fault him too much for not being all gung-ho about committing to marriage. How long had they been dating? And how much of the excitement of their relationship was the ‘forbidden’ nature of being together? It’s way too early for them to be thinking that long term, so I don’t hold it against him at all for being non-committal. It just shows Hikari’s fundamental ignorance of the purpose of dating.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I guess it’s not so bad if you think that being able to not live underwater is “normal”, however, for the sea people it’s not. If you consider this from the sea people’s side, their people are dying out. The human populace is growing, the sea populace is in decline. Sure the children are born healthy, but they’re born of an entirely different species. The sea people continue more and more towards extinction as each baby being born becomes a surfacer rather than an aquarian. This is dangerous for their very survival as sea people species. It make no difference if the children are healthy or not, they are still leading to the decline of their people. We as humans may think it no big deal and perhaps it’s time everyone came to land or something. However, if the shoe was on the other foot, we would be just as desperate and probably enact our own laws regarding the preservation of out people.

        • Highway says:

          If I held the same values for liberty and free will that I do now, I could never support that kind of law. I would be all for whatever non-coercive measures they can come up with to boost their population, but when things start getting coercive, to me that is an unconscionable violation of an individual’s liberty.

          • Irenesharda says:

            In a normal situation I wouldn’t either, but I’m taking in consideration a world that’s different than the one that I’m used to. Just as laws and perceptions have changed over the centuries depending on the changes in society and the changes in culture, so I think if the human race were truly in trouble, changes would happen to the rules and laws to try to prevent extinction. The people of today would go against it, but it would eventually become so par for the parcel that people would begin think it’s the norm.

            One recent example would be the Alliance in Gargantia. Thousands of years ago, they had the same culture and rules that we do today, however because life in space was so harsh and with limited resources and air available, they began to limit births, practice eugenics, ration out materials, food, and water, and changed what we think of today as the family unit. We today can be horrified at what was done, but I can understand why they did it. I can understand that when a species survival is on the line, civil liberties often get pushed to the background in view of the bigger picture.

            The same here. I can understand why they frown on interspecies relations and why if you do so there are drastic consequences. They’re making it a choice you can’t take lightly and you have to consider every factor before you even think of being with a surfacer. As we see more of the story unfold I don’t doubt that we’ll begin to see more into the aquarians’ world and also as to why the surfacers also seem to hold prejudice. Is it simply because the aquarians are different or is it something else?

            • Highway says:

              I can always understand *why* humans choose to try to rule other people’s lives. The answer is always ‘for the common good’, although if it was for the common good of individuals, then people would probably be doing it anyway. Civil liberties should always be the prime source of reasoning, because without them, life is diminished.

              To me, they’re just vindictively punishing people who think “wrong”. “You’re not going to do what we want? Well, then ha! We’re going to try to ruin your life!” That I can understand their reasoning doesn’t make it right or unimpeachable.

  6. wgner says:

    ohh so akari is a slut for dating a married guy

    • BlackBriar says:

      Something’s telling me the guy is a widower and the daughter doesn’t want any new girl around him so as to protect the late mother’s memory. He doesn’t look like the cheating type.

    • Irenesharda says:

      Umm, if the guy is cheating than I put all the blame on him. Akari doesn’t look like the type who would risk getting banished for some affair with surfacer. If the guy is simply a single dad, I do think he should tell Akari about his daughter. Akari obviously doesn’t know about the girl since when the two girls were defacing her shop in episode 1, she didn’t recognize either of them.

      • Highway says:

        Looking back at that scene, I think Akari was obviously lying when she said she didn’t know the two kids. Immediately before, she said “What did they do this time?” and “When they go this far I guess it does sting a little.” I think she’s been dealing with Sayu and Miuna for a while, but she definitely didn’t want to admit knowing them to Hikari, because then what does she say about knowing them? “Oh yeah, the dark-haired girl is my boyfriend’s daughter”?

        As perishable as wives / mothers are in this show, it’s not surprising that he’s a single dad. Plus, he said outright that he wasn’t just fooling around with Akari.

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