Nagi no Asukara – 12

Happy Blimp

Happy Blimp watches over the city

spring13-highwEvery one of these Nagi no Asukara posts, I sit for minutes trying to think of an intro. This may be the hardest series to write intros for (not that I’m good at them anyway). And as you can see, I completely punted on this one.

Winding Things Down

Looks like death

It does look a little too much like death

The time of the hibernation is drawing closer, and so is the ofunehiki and the wedding. And as the preparations for both are coming to a close, everyone’s reflecting a lot more on what it will mean. The net effect for us is that we get some nice conversations and relationship progress.

Akari and father

More understanding

First up is Akari and her father, both of whom are starting to understand the other one more, with a little help from Miuna. And I thought this was really touching for the two of them to essentially make up, and not have Akari’s flight from Shioshishio as their last communication, maybe ever. Akari has really put things together in her mind, and realizes more the full nature of her father, his coarse but kind nature, and how much he loved his children even if he didn’t outwardly express it much. And for his part, Dad admits how much losing his wife hurt, through saying that if there had been any way to not have her leave forever, he would have done it. It was a nice shared moment, made more sweet by Dad’s reflection on Miuna and Sayu’s change from “oji-san” (older man) to “ojii-san” (grandfather).

Decisions

A nicely composed shot

And Dad has another sweet moment, in telling Miuna and Sayu that he won’t force them to go into hibernation, since the future is uncertain, the danger is likely decades off, and both of them may be happier staying awake and living on the surface. To me this shows that he wasn’t just thinking about saving them from pain as he implored Uroko to let them go, but really wanting them to live their lives the way they think it would make them the most happy. And Akari’s definitely determined that what makes her most happy is Itaru and Miuna (and maybe future aka-chans?). But what does Hikari want?

Follow the Flag

Flag

Hikari needs to figure where to go

It’s pretty evident he still doesn’t know. Is that part of why the idea of the flag-waving appeals to him so much? Guiding towards the place you need to go, does he wish he could see someone waving a flag in front of him? Hikari seems to want everything for everyone else, but can’t sit down and unpack his own feelings enough to decide what to do for himself. And that’s really the common theme among half the characters.

Poor mother

A mother’s pain

But some have made decisions, like Akari, Kaname, and Chisaki… and maybe Tsumugu. We saw the first crack in the facade of near perfection in Tsumugu with his quick dismissal of his mother. Why does he not want to talk to her? It clarifies that he moved to live with his grandfather because of some problem with his parents, and the brusqueness with which he treats his mother is obviously painful for her (and the cut from that scene to Akari and her father making amends was well done). Even the circumstances of their meeting – at the town square, meeting like mere acquaintances – point to there being something to their relationship that’s not very happy.

Kaname pushes it

Kaname pushes it

And even among those who have made decisions, there’s still uncertainty about how to move ahead. This comes to a head with Kaname pushing the issue of “What does Hikari feel about Manaka,” putting him on the spot in front of Chisaki. And while Hikari’s confession of liking Manaka pushes her to run away, Chisaki manages to confess to Hikari and stop him running after her. And maybe there’s more hope for Chisaki than she thought, since Hikari’s maybe not in love with Manaka, but is maybe in love with thinking about being in love with Manaka. Could that refocus to Chisaki in the future, and would Chisaki want that? If she loves the Hikari that’s in love with Manaka, would she love a Hikari that’s in love with her?

Chisaki confesses

Chisaki finally confesses

The final wild card is what is Manaka thinking? I think the message has been that Manaka can’t really make up her mind, or even sort things out in her own head. Yes, she’s done better at moving forward, standing up for herself, and finishing her own thoughts, but every time she’s confronted with conflict, especially of the heart, she shouts “I don’t know!” and runs away. And while this time Hikari was chasing her but gave up at Chisaki’s urging (yet didn’t resume the chase even when she urged him to), the person who caught her, again, was Tsumugu.

Caught again

Caught again

header-spr13-highway

I may not be able to write introductions for this series, but in discussing the episode, there’s a lot that happens. I like that they’re keeping the uncertainty of the hibernation, whether anyone will even wake up or not, in play. But that uncertainty is what’s really putting Manaka through the ringer, as she sees people like her mother fallen asleep in a style too reminiscent of death.

Something that they keep hinting at is how will the hibernation effect the sea people who stay on the surface? They’re not immune, which leads Tsumugu to wonder about the cause. Will they be able to resist its effect completely? Will Akari lose her family after all? Would Tsumugu have to go back with his parents, with all the apparent mismatch there?

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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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5 Responses to “Nagi no Asukara – 12”

  1. skylion says:

    Is Kanade a great Minorin or is he? You would be a fool not to see the 23rd episode of Toradora here. I know many derp Okada in her form, but she really changed it up here. Minorin had closure to achieve by the time that Toradora ep 24 unwinded. Kandade has no such relief. It’s just sleep. That was a gutsy, ballsy, stupid, insane, awesome way to do it..

    But then Miuran recognizing her own grandfather was priceless.

    • Highway says:

      Sometimes things just come out, and that’s kind of how it seemed with Kaname: pushed over the brink seeing the girl he likes, the girl he even confessed to who didn’t give him an answer (he’s got one now, don’t he!), going after another guy.

      The way they’re ramping up the uncertainty about the sleep is really putting everyone on edge, and I can see wanting to get these things out before that happens.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    It must be a troubling thought for people both in the sea and on the surface. If the upcoming crisis has no exact timing with no one the wiser, then the sea people may be going into hibernation prematurely and unecessarily. For all they know, they might wake up in the midst of what Uroko was talking about.

    What Kaname did was abrupt and inopportune but the topic had to come up sooner or later. It’s just something that can’t be suppressed forever. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, it will be interesting seeing where things go from here.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I really applaud Kaname for what he did. You can’t just leave these sort of things festering under the surface forever, and since the next day is the hibernation/sea ceremony, it might never have come out if he hadn’t have forced it out. Another blogger mentioned that he’s one of the most mature of their little group, however, because he’s still a kid, you could see how much bringing up their relationships hurt him. Especially when he know that his love is unrequited.

      This show really likes to express the change from child to teen/adult, and I like how they showed that here with the kids wishing to cling to the facade of their childhood relationships, when they’ve already changed so much that they can no longer think of those relationship as they did when they were children. They are trying to deny growing up, and yet it is necessary, and something you can’t stop.

  3. Irenesharda says:

    This was a pretty good episode to lead up to the midway point season “finale”. I really liked that they finally have put all their feelings out there into the open which is something I really applaud Kaname for being able to do. However, because this is a sort of penultimate episode, a lot of it is waiting in anticipation for what’s going to happen next.

    However, since episode 13 came out today, I can tell you this: It’s going to be good! ;)

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