Better times, when everyone worked together
Pride or Entitlement? Which is the more destructive force?
The new spirit of cooperation
It’s understandable that the children, who have put so much effort into their sacrifice for the Boatdrift ceremony that wasn’t going to happen, decide that it’s worth trying to get the adults to go along with it. And at least superficially, everyone wants to go along with it, with support gained, at least in lip service, from the fishing cooperative and even from Hikari’s dad. Unfortunately, it’s in the details where it breaks down. And those details are that each side perceives some slight from the other side, such that apologies are demanded. Actually, they aren’t even demanded, they’re expected. The smug self-satisfaction on the part of the men from Shioshishio was pretty jarring, with their “Feel free to apologize as much you want, our hearts are as great as the sea.” And maybe it’s too much for me to expect, but these guys showing up in wife-beater A-shirts and unbuttoned work shirts felt pretty low-class to me. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but at least make yourselves presentable. At least they didn’t have stains on them (and if it was another studio, I’d have just assumed that was because they didn’t want to animate it, but this is PA Works).
This they can agree on: Shut up, Hikari
So for Hikari, watching this new hope he had for cooperation fall apart, after he’d had success understanding Akari’s reasons for reaching up to the surface, and even his own recent understanding that the people on the surface are just people, watching this squabble over who was wronged ‘more’ destroy his recent dream is the last straw. And even if he thought that “we’re all people, we can communicate”, he learns that adults can find pretty stupid reasons to not communicate. And to me, the last straw is his father looking at Hikari and saying “are you satisfied now?” At what? At the complete unreasonability of ALL the adults? How does he look at that and come away with any idea that ‘we were right, and they were wrong’?
Forcing the Issue
Given that, and Akari’s realization that her father’s point of view is always Water vs Land, rather than people, Akari decides that she is going to leave. And Hikari, faced with the the stubbornness of his father, decides he’s going with her. And the question arises, what would Uroko have done if they hadn’t given up, nor their father beseeched him for mercy? Would he have killed Akari and Hikari? Thankfully it doesn’t get to that, and they’re allowed to continue on, into another phase of their lives.
Would Uroko have frozen them?
One question is where will Hikari live. Does he assume he’ll go with Akari to live with Itaru and Miuna? Or perhaps he’ll go live with Tsumugu. The show sure hasn’t been very rigorous about anyone’s income or means of support, and he’ll be an imposition wherever he goes. Will he try to work? Drop out of school? Or will someone take him in?
Really an excellent episode, and feels like a phase of the show ending. But will it be the beginning of something good? Or is it the start of more trials for everyone? I certainly don’t think that this went over the top in terms of melodrama, instead being a good example of the small-minded selfishness of adults who don’t get what they want.