Nagi no Asukara – 04

Manaka pledges something different

Manaka is pledging something to Hikari, but it’s not exactly what he thought it would be


Nagi no Asukara continues to bring beautiful scenery and what I still find to be a compelling story. Can Hikari overcome his firecracker personality this week?

The Other Woman?

Hikari refuses Miuna's methods

Hikari decides to not play Miuna’s game

In case there was any doubt about who the main character of this series is, at least early on in the going, we get a lot more focus on Hikari again this week. And thanks to Miuna’s revelation about Itaru, Akari’s erstwhile boyfriend and Miuna’s father, Hikari again spends half the episode having the wrong idea, this time that Itaru is two-timing Akari, using her to fool around on his wife. This sends him into his usual state of high dudgeon, but in a show of something resembling maturity, he decides he’s not going to deal with this in an underhanded manner. And he gets his chance to confront Itaru soon enough, as the silly land person tries to come to Shioshishio to find Akari, but learns that scuba gear is not as easy as it looks. So after saving him, Hikari starts to rail about his unfaithfulness just as he notices the butsudan for Miuna’s mother…

Hikari blowing his top

Hikari about to boil over

Of course Akari knew about that, having been friends with both Itaru and Miori before her death. And seeing the hole that Miori’s death left in their lives, part of her wanted to fill that hole, with people who had been so welcoming to her, even if Akari had something Miori no longer had: a place in Shioshishio. I do wonder what the story was doing here, tho: If Itaru was married to someone from Shioshishio, why was he so surprised to learn from Tsumugu that a trans-surface relationship ends up banishing the person? It would be hard to imagine that Miori was living a double life to the extent that her husband wouldn’t know that she’d been banished from her hometown. Maybe they’ll come up with some sort of explanation, but it doesn’t sound right at first blush.

Miori and Miuna

But Akari seems to have given up on another dream, or at least hope, and it’s yet again kind of a sad thing. After having given up her earlier hopes of becoming a manga artist after her mother’s death to take over the household, now she seems to have given up both on having a job on the surface and finding love. She gives the indication that she wants to refocus her life under the surface, but in both cases openly laments that there isn’t much opportunity there. Can someone who has been looking up and out really find happiness with their eyes turned down and in?

Akari and Uroko

Is Akari ever going to try to look outward again?

Gaining Acceptance?

Manaka strikes out

Manaka strikes out, in more ways than one

But that wasn’t really enough for Hikari to be wrong about this episode, so he doubled down with hating on some of the boys from the surface. They did somewhat earn his ire when instead of accepting or even just turning down Manaka’s offer of sharing the food from cooking class, they push Manaka down, breaking the bowl and spilling the food. But Hikari also thinks that they carried that further and destroyed the wooden maiden for the boatdrift ceremony, and runs off and wallops one of them.

Hikari overreacts Apologizing

Hikari overdoing it, then apologizing, pretty much how he handles everything

Of course, it wasn’t the other boys, but rather Sayu, carrying her campaign of annoyance too far. And it causes a rift between her and Miuna, as well as the rift between Hikari and the other boys. But Chisaki wants to keep the truth quiet, so people won’t blame Hikari even more for flying off the handle. Thankfully, the show has the twin voices of reason, Tsumugu and Kaname, who are far more level headed. And even if Chisaki thinks that Tsumugu is just taking the land boys’ side, as he explains to Kaname, “I don’t want them to misunderstand Hikari just because Hikari misunderstands them.”

The two smart guys

The two mature guys

As the story progresses more, it seems the one who’s left behind on adjusting the most is Chisaki, who is to this point unable to deal with Manaka becoming more outgoing, with Hikari acting more independently, and with their lives changing in general. It’s hard to know what her plan or hopes might have been, but it’s plain to see that her imagination hasn’t been adequate to deal with the reality that’s been unfolding. Can she get Hikari, the boy she’s always coveted, to look her way? Can she deal with being shuffled to the back as Manaka surges forward with seeming ever-growing confidence and Hikari flounders but gets through on pure force of will? There’s been a feeling that she always had a ‘safe’ fallback option with Kaname, but can she deal with even that?


We’re still getting the slower development of relationships through the show, and it seems like most of the character development happening is centered on Akari, Manaka and even Hikari. I know I like to dump on Hikari, because he’s still a hotheaded brat. But he did get a bit more sympathetic through the past couple episodes, even if he doesn’t actually learn any lesson from it. He tells Miuna he doesn’t like underhanded tactics, but his forceful ill-considered tactics are not really much better. You wonder if we can get a single episode in a two-cour season where he doesn’t screw his face up in rage, or explode at someone. I hope he can calm down more, but I doubt it.

There are definitely major happenings afoot, however, and I wonder what’s in the cards. The two subs that I saw translated a key part differently, when Uroko is responding to the sea god. There’s a big difference between “We can’t let the surface have the people of the sea right now” and “We can’t hand over the people of the sea to the surface just yet.” Is there the possibility that all the people of the sea will be forced onto land? Would there be the possibility of repatriating those who have left? It seems like the kind of thing that could take up the majority of the focus of the middle of this series, if there is a major shakeup in such status.


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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8 Responses to “Nagi no Asukara – 04”

  1. Irenesharda says:

    I’m really liking this, I think Hikari has really grown as a character just in these 4 episodes. He’s learning to reign back his temper and to consider others feelings. However, they don’t make him too mature like Tsumugu and Kaname, who I think are a bit overly mature for their age that its beginning to make them (Tsumugu especially) a bit bland.

    Also, never at a point did I think Hikari and Manaka would do so well together. They seem like a really good couple while as I said, Tsumugu seems more interested in the sea world then he seems interested in Manaka.

    This episode is beginning to really hit home the prejudice that the sea people face, and I’m sorry, I wouldn’t have apologized to those boys like that (I get on my knees for no man), they were just as bad if not worse than Hikari for they bullied and knocked over a girl and destroyed her home ec. project just because she was a sea person. So, I think it was pretty equal guilt to go around.

    As for the whole story with human guy and Akari, I’m beginning to think like Uroku-sama and ask if she really loves the guy, or she just wants to be rebound girl? Is she mistaking her want to comfort for love? Also, was the man’s wife from the sea too? If so, how did he not know about the banishment law and about the fact that all children born to them would be surfacers? I would think that would be obvious considering his daughter. Also, was his daughter bullied because she was a half-breed? Or was it just your regular average bullying?

    And what is the sea god’s plan in all this? We finally see him present himself here, symbolically, and he and Uroku are talking about the danger of the relationship between the sea and land peoples.

    Well, another good episode, and one that I really enjoyed. 7.5/10

    • Highway says:

      Boy, I just can’t wish someone would be with someone as pointlessly volatile as Hikari is. In no way do I think that he could be a good partner with that trait, and while he is ‘only’ a middle schooler, unless he grows out of that fast, he’s on a very bad path, especially considering what seems to be a continuous hopelessness on the part of Shioshishio. To me it seems like he only considers other’s feelings when his nose is completely rubbed in the fact that his flying off the handle has *already* screwed stuff up. While it might make him an interesting character, it makes him poor partner material.

      I doubt even Akari knows what attracted her to Itaru. She says part of it was that she wanted to experience that sort of love that she saw Miori and Itaru had, with Miuna included. And given the dearth of men her age underwater, that’s the kind of thing that she could miss out on. So when there was a chance, with a nice guy, she gave it a try. The fact that Miori was banished but Itaru didn’t seem to know about the rule is definitely a big plot hole, but ultimately may not matter much. And I doubt that Miuna was bullied because she was a hybrid, since there really isn’t such a thing. I think it’s more that Miuna just wouldn’t play the game, so she became a target.

      We’ll have to see through the show what is going on with Uroko. That translation difference I mentioned could have huge ramifications.

  2. sadakups says:

    Kaname and Tsumugu are chilling in the back like bosses, while every other kid is being emotional.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Well, at this point, both are pretty much just spectators watching everything unfold in front of them.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    I like that these characters have the guts to admit when they’re wrong and not try to justify their distasteful actions. They have a good sense of right and wrong.

    Hikari once again goes off like a loose canon, jumping to conclusions and not analyzing things. While he did admit he was wrong to the two boys and offered to let himself be tackled, I hope he realizes his actions don’t just him but the outlook on his friends and village. they’re the guests on the surface so they’re obligated to stay on a narrow path.

    Miuna wanting to break up her father’s relationship is understandable. Once a child loses a parent, various things could come into play. They can’t stand the thought of another person coming in because they don’t feel right calling that person what they did with the real parent and they’re afraid the other remaining parent will forget about the deceased.

  4. MgMaster says:

    I like to my characters to have a few flaws,makes them more human but I do think it’s best when the bad in a character is be balanced out by the good to make him/her likeable,yet still human and not just a Mary Sue.They made Hikari receive a lot of (justified) hate for starters but this episode(and a bit of the previous one too) made some progress in his character development and I couldn’t help but be relieved at that.If they didn’t do anything about this little brat soon,it might’ve been too late for the audience to accept his developments when came.Granted,it’s probably still gonna take quite a bit for people to like him(I certainly know it will for me) but with 2-cours,we have plenty of time for that.

    Of course,I’m just assuming (more like hoping) that the character development he received here will continue in the next few episodes and he’s not gonna be just an annoying little brat for half of the show.

    There is an exception though,and that is if this is a “you reap what you sow” type of story where Hikari is continuously presented in a negative light until the very end but will suffer for it.However,I don’t think this is gonna be that type of show.

    • Highway says:

      I don’t think Hikari’s been that last sort of character, although if I was guessing how things are going to go, based on what they’ve said about the future, the Hikari x Manaka ship is doomed. Hikari may learn about himself, but it’s seemed clear (at least to me) that the show has repeatedly shown Tsumugu x Manaka in a special way from their first meeting. And indeed, if the theme of the show is stepping out of the path that was assumed, then of course that’s what will happen with Manaka.

    • sdfgdfg says:

      Love triangle between Hikari, Tsumugu and Manaka reminds me a little of Zero’s situation with Yuuki and Kaname on Vampire Knight. Am I wrong? If I’m not we can see the ending of this anime.

      PD: I really like Hikari x Manaka more then Tsumugu x Manaka.

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