Nagi no Asukara – 13

Manaka reaches out to her sun

Manaka reaches out toward her sun

spring13-highwIt 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

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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.

The last time they're together

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

Itaru can't look

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.

Akari is taken

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 sacrifices herself

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?

Getting a rise

header-spr13-highway

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.

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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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7 Responses to “Nagi no Asukara – 13”

  1. skylion says:

    Or maybe the Sea God just really hated that bridge to nowhere, and wanted it gone?

    What about Chisaki and Tsumugu? She seemed more than just relieved to have saved a friend.

    • Highway says:

      I don’t know if that was really much more than the adrenaline from that kind of ordeal. I certainly wouldn’t read much more into it. It’s true that Tsumugu and Chisaki have become closer, but I don’t think that Chisaki was anywhere near “I almost lost my true love” or anything like that. Just good friends.

      I really wish I had more explanation for that structure. It just outright bothers me as a transportation engineer. I guess like everything else, it’s just cool.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Once again I’m reminded of how adept P.A Works is with their animation. It’s been good thus far but the Boatdrift Ceremony sequence was beautiful to look at. Akari really made that dress stunning on her.

    Looks like we’re getting some White Album 2 vibes with Chisaki apparently being torn between Hikari and Tsumugu. She seemed a little too attached to the latter to be simple concern or friendship.

    I didn’t want to but I just felt something was going to go awry again in spite of everyone’s effort to get things done right this time around.

    And Uroko continues to piss me off with his aloof, uncaring demeanor. Because to me, it’s like he’s doing these things because he wants to, not that it’s out of obligation, especially when he already had some sort of notion that people’s happiness was riding alone. So I don’t buy him saying he doesn’t have any choice.

    • Highway says:

      When I initially wrote this article, I said that I thought Uroko had instigated the vortices and disruption of the ceremony, and wondered what his angle was, just like you do here. But on rewatching it to write the article, I felt that I had to change it, because the only thing I think Uroko is apologizing for is silencing Akari and Hikari’s father and not helping ‘save’ Akari. It really seemed to clear up to me that the Sea God is the one who was doing the action, and that Uroko, as the Scale of the Sea God, had no choice but to support the Sea God, not fight him. Uroko did seem truly sincere that it was a gift for her when he lit the path for Akari.

      Like I said above, I really doubt Chisaki, in the light of day, would be more than just friends with Tsumugu. I think she was much more torn between the calm surety of Kaname and the tempestuous excitement of love of Hikari.

    • Irenesharda says:

      As for Chisaki and Tsumugu, I was not surprised. I’ve actually been expecting it for some time now. I’ve noticed a spark between them for a few episodes now. Not only has Tsumugu shown a split second of interest for Chisaki, but also, he has a different more mature relationship with her than she does with Hikari. Tsumugu’s the guy who will point out her faults and make her face the truth, he’s the guy the makes her face the reality of herself. Hikari is more of her childhood crush that’s she going to eventually end up giving up, Tsumugu is that guy you see in many a romance, who has chemistry with the girl but she thinks she hates him instead because he takes her out of her comfort zone.

      The way she’s holding him is not a simple comforting pose, and the fact that she went after him with no thought to her own safety? Isn’t that exactly what Manaka does for Hikari? And Chisaki was wondering why she doesn’t move out of instinct like Manaka does? Yet she does for Tsumugu? She clearly does have feeling for Tsumugu, feelings that she probably didn’t even know was there or didn’t even think to acknowledge.

      As for Uroko, he doesn’t seem to have any malevolent purpose to me. He actually tried to discourage them several times from doing the ceremony. I think it was that he knew the sea god would come for a living sacrifice, and he was telling the truth that a non-living doll would do nothing, since the god was probably tired of not being taken seriously. Uroko didn’t tell them because they would go all nuts and everything over the idea of human sacrifice, and as he said, he’s a part of the sea god, and so thinks as he does and has desires as he does. He’s not a human, nor does he think or act like one. He was doing what he believes is right for the sea people.

  3. Irenesharda says:

    Wow, this episode was really good and the best I’ve seen of the series so far. The ceremony was breathtaking and the appearance of the sea god was awesome. However, it amazes me that they go through all of this to hope that the sea god listens to their prayers and yet when the sea god actually appears they suddenly panic that he’s going to do what they asked him to do? If you offer yourself as a human sacrifice, fully expect for the god to take you up on the offer.

    I think Uroko, being a part of the sea god knew that the problem with the sea ceremony was that they had started offering wooden dolls in place of the real thing and the sea god was tired of not being taken seriously. Which was part of why he was losing his power. A living sacrifice was what the ceremony originally required and why the sea god responded this time.

    Also interesting that only ones who go to help the kids and Akari isn’t her fiance or any of the adults but just these 4 preteen kids. :P

    I wonder what happened to the 4 of them, especially Manaka, Kaname, and Hikari? Also what happened to the people of the sea, are they all asleep now?

    Also next episode looks to be a timeskip of some sort, whether days, weeks, months, or years, I can’t tell. And what was the significance of the sea god knocking down the fisherman’s pillar? They seemed intent in showing us him destroying it purposefully, so I just wondered.

    • Highway says:

      I don’t know if it’s a ‘living sacrifice’ in the terms I’d understand it (as killing a person like throwing them in the volcano). The mythology was that the sea god had taken the living offerings to a particular place to live out their lives.

      I figured the imagery of destroying the piers was just to show the power was real, not just show. Not really “These piers have to go!” just “Strong enough to break a reinforced concrete pier.”

      Info about the future episodes in spoiler: Show ▼

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