A deeper love than we thought
It’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
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.
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.
What is Manaka running from?
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 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)?
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.