Manaka reaches out toward her sun
It seems like everything else is about over, or at least on a break, but Nagi no Asukara continues at least this week, with some big happenings around the Boatdrift Ceremony.
Coming to Realizations
Manaka lets Hikari speak
Everyone’s crystallizing what they think, from Manaka equating Tsumugu to the sun that she’s admired from afar since she was little, to Hikari bringing Manaka down from a pedestal in his mind to more on a level with everyone else, all the people he holds dear. Even Chisaki and Kaname have discussions with their parents, Chisaki’s quite a bit more civil than Kaname’s apparently is, about their participation in the ceremony. And we get quite a few decisions made, but of course, everyone holds off on saying what those decisions are until after the ceremony. Seriously, this show set more flags figuratively than all the men waved in the boatdrift ceremony.
Is this the last time these four will be together?
Of course there were some nice moments through all this. Manaka reaching out to Tsumugu, perhaps realizing that just like the sun, he’s something she’ll never be able to grasp. Manaka and Hikari speaking at the same time, and Manaka assertively telling Hikari to go first. Kaname chiding Chisaki that she hasn’t given him a proper response. And Miuna practicing calling Akari “mom”. All in all, a nice workup to the Ceremony.
The Sea God Takes What Is His
Miuna is stunned and Itaru can’t look
And so we finally get to the Ofunehiki ceremony, which for a while seems to be going beautifully. A beautiful path of lights, pageantry, a lot of participation. It’s everything everyone wanted it to be. And Akari does look beautiful going off to be the bride of the Sea God, so much so that Itaru can’t look at her without thinking he’ll call the whole thing off. But what happens next really will set the second half of the show in motion.
And this was before the boat capsized
Is the Sea God demanding a sacrifice? Is it that he is trying to reclaim Akari, either because she’s special or because she’s a symbol of the loss of people from the sea? Or is the Sea God trying to instill that fear of his power in his subjects again? Whatever the motivations, it’s all going wrong for the ceremony, and to their credit, all the sea kids jump in to save both Akari and Tsumugu. It’s perhaps the conclusion of her growing up that Manaka pleads with the Sea God, not as a child, but as an adult to release Akari, the one who has people waiting for her, the one who has made decisions about her life, and take Manaka instead.
Manaka offers herself instead
Yes, Manaka has people who care for her too, but in terms of commitment, this is something she could easily do, make the trade for Akari. But as Kaname and Chisaki save Tsumugu, the only one of the sea kids who makes it to the surface is Chisaki. But are Hikari and Kaname ok? Did they make it under whatever barrier seems to have enclosed Shioshishio?
I have to say that that was pretty unexpected. And great job breaking up every single relationship that there was among the middle school kids: Manaka x Tsumugu, Kaname x Chisaki, Hikari x Chisaki, and I’m even going to say Hikari and Manaka, because I think the Sea God took Manaka. She sure hit the ground pretty hard. From the preview, it looks like we’re going to be following the people on the surface for a while, but how much will the show really do without at least half of the main cast? How long will it keep them, effectively, ‘on ice’? At least I hope Akari recovers, and then isn’t racked with guilt or anything. She shouldn’t blame herself for what happened, and the best answer she could give Manaka for her sacrifice is to live her life with Itaru and Miuna as happily as she can.