Nagi no Asukara – 05

Reunion

A deeper love than we thought

spring13-highwIt’s drama time, and also time for a conclusion, at least by one of the characters. But which way will Akari go with dealing with the surface?

Conflicted Young Women

Breaking up

Akari breaks up with Itaru, for now

Akari is at least telling herself that she’s going to refocus on her life under the surface, and is finally going back to the surface to clean things up and have a conversation with Itaru. A lot of this episode was focused on Akari’s time with Itaru, and how Miuna changed from being happy with Akari to trying to get rid of her when they brought up the possibility of Akari marrying Itaru. This really shows that Akari and Itaru’s relationship was farther along than anyone else had guessed. Kind of surprising given that she’s been with them for over 3 years.

Miuna loves Aka-chan Shock from Miuna

Happy times and sadder times

Meanwhile, Chisaki is conflicted about what kind of friend she is, and even admits to Tsumugu, and accidentally Manaka, that she likes Hikari more than as a friend. I wonder what she’s afraid of becoming if she keeps liking Hikari, tho. A friend who isn’t honest with herself is someone who’s hard to be a friend with. Perhaps she feels like she’ll wish bad things on Manaka, or push Manaka into doing something that she shouldn’t (like become involved with someone from the surface) because it gets Manaka out of her way. But it’s hard to stop liking someone you have a crush on, and denying it frequently only makes it worse.

Manaka runs

What is Manaka running from?

Crisis Time

So Many Meteorites

Akari’s sky is falling around her

The nature of teleplays is that they show things more dramatic than ordinary life, so while some people would decry the second half of the episode as “Oh boy, here goes Mari Okada again, manufacturing melodrama,” I think it’s perfectly fine to have the crisis that we had come up, especially given what we learned about Miuna’s caring for Akari both before and after she runs away. But the real effect of Miuna’s running away is to get Akari to face her real feelings. And despite her lip service to moving the aspects of her life to Shioshishio, she loves Itaru and Miuna far too much to just leave them.

Akari confesses it all

Akari confesses all the things

And Hikari realizes this too, that his sister’s eyes are focused on Miuna and the people she loves above the surface. And with Miuna’s help, her description of the pain she felt when losing her mother Miori, and her fervent desire to never feel that kind of pain again even if it means she doesn’t love anyone that much, he has to come to his own realizations about what he feels for Manaka. Does this mean that he’s going to try to fight for her (although with Hikari, perhaps ‘fight’ is the wrong thing to bring up)?

Starlight Eyes

Starlight

header-spr13-highway

We’ll see how much more we get of Miuna and Akari from here out, although it sounds like Akari’s more determined to move her life out of the sea at the same time that Uroko and the Sea God are saying that “the boundaries between land and sea must be made permanent.” This still doesn’t sound like the right thing for them to do, but for all we know, Shioshishio is the only population of sea dwellers in the world (and if it is, you’d think there’d be more dang scientists around or something).

It’s interesting to me also that Chisaki would open up to Tsumugu. Maybe his quiet nature seems like he’s a good listener, but that would seem to open up just all sorts of cans of worms. Better to do what Miuna does and pour your heart out to something not able to talk (her attempt at pushing away Akari, which became something of a touchstone for her feelings). Or maybe the best thing for Chisaki WOULD be to open up to Manaka, share her feelings with her. Yes, it might get back to Hikari, because Manaka isn’t necessarily the safest location for a secret, but it also might help Chisaki work it out, and Manaka as well.

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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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16 Responses to “Nagi no Asukara – 05”

  1. skylion says:

    Melodrama exists in narrative, because it exists in life. And I wouldn’t want Mari Okada to mirror life in any other way; she is large and in charge of that convention.

    I loved this episode. I saw a new family being born. The drama over that past few episodes have been well worth it. Minuai is just the sibling that Hikari needs, and I think that relationship is going to inform a great deal of characterizations as the show progresses.

    As for life under the sea, the need for boundaries is creating some very interesting items for future. And I think it’s part of the overall theme of the show. Tradition is often shortsighted, and rather amnesiac….

    • Highway says:

      Yeah, I think we pick on television and movies sometimes too much because the people in them don’t act as rationally as we, the audience sitting in our chairs and relaxing, would. But in life, people don’t act, or especially react, rationally (here’s a hint, tho: telling your wife she’s overreacting? Not a good plan, ever). So I don’t mind when we have situations like this, and people get emotional. I think that it stays authentic and is well within the realm of human drama.

      That’s not to say there aren’t things that will annoy me, or that I’ll let a show (*coff*AoT*coff*) get away with anything. But just labeling something ‘melodrama’ is not something I consider an indictment.

      We’ll see how much Hikari and Miuna interact going forward. Given the way that Sayu and Miuna were acting toward Hikari earlier in the series, I thought it interesting when I finally noticed they were friendly in the OP sequence.

  2. MgMaster says:

    This in-your-face melodrama didn’t bother me too much,I guess.That is of course,as long as I watch Nagi on a different day than WA2.Seeing the contrast between them,I’d probably end up nitpicking on Nagi.

    But at any rate,it was a fairly enjoyable ep.Hikari’s also received some good(albeit maybe a bit rushed) development.I guess it’s better for his character development to witness how some kids act,annoying him at times & making him realize that that’s how he must sometimes appear to others.

    • Highway says:

      I actually watch the two shows on the same day, most of the time. But I’m pretty good at compartmentalizing different shows (I even watch another show I’m writing about before finishing writing about a prior one, i.e. watch White Album 2, write half my post, then watch Nagi no Asukara, then finish the White Album 2 post). So that doesn’t bother me, or harm my immersion in a series.

      Hikari needs as much feedback on his behavior as he can get. You get the feeling that noone’s really tried to correct him growing up, both because he’s got so few peers and because he’s kind of difficult. Akari, Chi, Kaname, and Manaka all just kind of think “Oh, that’s just Hikari.” And that’s not really the way to get better at fitting into society. So having more people to show him a reflection is a good thing for him.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I think Hikari is doing just fine. Most of the time, unless we’re really out of sorts and have a lot of issue, we can correct our behavior mostly on our own, by observing others, and knowing what is acceptable and what isn’t. I can only go by experience with my younger brothers, who were pretty rowdy at that age, but somehow matured astronomically both mentally and physically around the ages of 13-16. So, I think Hikari’s on the right path, his heart and mind are in the right place, his behavior and habits will follow.

  3. Irenesharda says:

    This was a good episode overall, with really good character development. The story with Miuna and Akari was a nice one, even if I thought it was pretty predicable, it had some nice drama to it.
    I really like Hikari, he’s my favorite male character in this after Uroku-sama. I am also a stalwart supporter of Hikari x Manaka. I actually think that relationship is the one with the strongest indications.
    Most romance shows with a triangle start off indicating one thing, but eventually as the characters learn and grow, they begin to realize the love they were looking for was right under their nose the whole time. Manaka might have a crush on Tsumugu, but she doesn’t love him. She’s really too young and inexperienced to really understand that yet. The same for Chisaki and Hikari, though Chisaki looks like she’s a little more far gone than Manaka.

    Tsumugu seems that he really could care less about Manaka (or really anything for that matter), and Hikari seems to think of Chisaki as a sister.
    Hikari has just now realized this episode that he cares for Manaka, however, he has resigned himself to not being with her because she cares for Tsumugu. In my experience, the character that resigns himself to simply having unrequited love so early in the show, is usually the one that gets the girl in the end. As for Chisaki, I’m actually beginning to see a connection between her and Tsumugu of all people. Tsumugu is someone that challenges her and her previous ideals, and I thought their talk this episode actually had a little chemistry to it.

    But enough of relationships! :)

    What really began to interest me was the talk between Uroku and Hikari’s dad. Uroku once more stresses that the land and sea has to remain separate, however he indicates that this is because some sort of calamity is going to come to the land? If this is true, however are they going to save the land people? Or is this some sort of divine punishment given by the sea god? Or does the sea god just not care about his prodigal children? Or does he already have a plan to save them?

    • Highway says:

      It’s a shame you don’t appreciate the stoic brilliance of Tsumugu. 😉 Really, tho, I think it’s just a mistake to take his lack of excitableness as lack of caring. I think he’s shown that he cares deeply for Shioshishio, and sees beauty in both people and things.

      Interestingly, you describe Hikari’s attitude towards Chisaki as a little sister, but that’s more what I get from his attitude toward Manaka: The girl who always is behind, needs to be protected, needs to be pulled along. That’s why I don’t think that he’s ultimately able to realize a different kind of love for Manaka, because he’d never be able to see her as an equal person. Of course, I don’t know if he’d ever be able to see anyone like that. But especially with Manaka, it wouldn’t be good for her to be with someone who, in my opinion, would constantly stifle any ambition she has to be her own person (which is what Hikari has pretty much constantly done).

      • Irenesharda says:

        I think Tsumugu has an interest and cares about the sea world, sometimes even more than the surface world. However, I do not think that he cares about Manaka any more or any less so than he cares about the rest of the sea kids as his friends. I just wish they would give him more of a personality beyond being the one who gives advice and exposition when needed.

        Actually, I think that Hikari did care for Manaka as a little sister, but that that relationship is beginning to evolve. I can see the subtle hints of his thoughts beginning to go towards the non-platonic. With Chisaki, he cares for her and looks out for her, but he he also argues and plays with her and he makes fun of her and doesn’t think anything of it later. With Manaka, he is beginning to think before he speaks, he looks out for her a little more than he does Chisaki, she’s in his thoughts long after they’ve said goodbye, he had that one point where he wanted to touch her cheek and wipe away her tears. This is indicative to me that he thinks more towards her with an attraction that is more than friendship.
        As for Manaka, she has a crush on Tsumugu, but she rarely interacts with him since the first couple of episodes. However, without thinking, she sticks up for Hikari, she corrects him when she knows he’s wrong (and is beginning to have the courage not to back down either), she knows him inside and out, she will go to him instinctively for advice or comfort. She doesn’t do any of this with Tsumugu or Kaname. I think she’s a good match for Hikari, even if she doesn’t know it yet herself.

  4. Liza says:

    The drama in this episode just stabbed me in the heart over and over again!

    I loved the scene with Miuna and Hikari in the ocean when they both figured out something important. So pretty plus, “dolicon.” Lol

  5. BlackBriar says:

    So much drama that I was rocking back and forth with feels for the involved characters. There are love triangles but what’s going here may be a love circle as one person has affection for another while that one has the same for the next. Hikari wants Manaka, Chisaki wants Hikari. Things are really becoming complicated.

    Akari tries to be selfless for the sake of others but it’s not necessarily a bad thing to want to be selfish sometimes. If one keeps giving what others want, what will they have left for themselves in the end? So if she wants to pair up with Miuna’s dad then she should go for it. She practically has Miuna’s approval anyway now.

    • Highway says:

      I’m not really an objectivist, but I do subscribe to the idea that everyone does things out of self-interest. And if you’re doing things that make you happy, you do tend to be happier.

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