Nagi no Asukara – 14

Nagi no Asukara-Chisaki and Frozen Sea

A very different land and seascape

spring13-highwAnd now we’re back with the last show I’ve got off Winter Break in Nagi no Asukara! The events last time were certainly tumultuous, with Hikari, Manaka, and Kaname all lost at sea after the disastrous ofunehiki. So where will the show go now?

Timeskip

Nagi no Asukara-Domestic

Not really domestic bliss for Tsumugu and Chisaki

The first place the show goes is 5 years into the future. Without much preamble, we come off the break right into the new current time. Just for a quick rundown of the current status:

  • Miuna and Sayu are now Middle Schoolers
  • Tsumugu and Chisaki are now college-aged, and Chisaki is living with Tsumugu and his grandfather.
  • Akari has had a baby boy with Itaru, and his name is Akira.

Nagi no Asukara-Broken Chisaki

Broken Chisaki gets a hand

Chisaki is the person who has had the biggest change. Separated completely from most of the life she’d known – her parents, her lifelong friends, her home – she took the happenings very hard. As people were trying to regroup after the happenings, here was this broken 14-year old girl who’s feels like she’s lost everything. And in that moment, a caring hand is extended by Isamu, Tsumugu’s grandfather.

Nagi no Asukara-Nice Architecture

That’s awesome architecture, but who’s building all those lovely cylinders?

Chisaki now seems to be the main character of the show, in the center of the title screen (right next to the empty space for Manaka that everyone’s looking at). Of course there’s speculation about her: living with Tsumugu (when he’s not in the city for school), staying home, taking care of Isamu who is now sick, the feeling that she’s some kind of lonely housewife. And she still remembers her life before and her friends, and with the coming of a tomoebi (which she’d last seen with Manaka) she is feeling that loneliness and isolation again.

Life Goes On Even From Tragedy

 Nagi no Asukara-Akari despairs Nagi no Asukara-Miuna saves Akari

Akari feels like she can’t go on, but Miuna saves her

Akari might have been affected the second most. What we didn’t know before was that she was pregnant at the time of the ofunehiki, and after the shock of the disaster, she doesn’t know if she can be a mother. But Miuna is the voice of hope and reassurance for her, telling her she’s glad that she’ll have a baby brother, and calling Akari ‘okaa-san’. But Miuna herself wasn’t unaffected. She’s promised herself she wouldn’t cry about what happened, and has really been holding a torch for Hikari, who she’s convinced is safe. She even rejects another boy who asks her out, because she won’t give up on Hikari, and I wonder if she’s growing her hair long because Manaka’s hair was long.

Nagi no Asukara-Kiss of Life

A kiss for life

But how much fire can that torch catch? Will it burn brighter? Because for whatever reason, Hikari is back from the sea, released by apparently the Sea God, unchanged from 5 years ago (except with no clothes on). I’m sure some people will read a lot into his first word being “Manaka!” but I don’t know if that means anything more than he was trying to save Manaka when he was frozen. But now he’s the stranger in a strange land, with the people that he knew now different, and the person he cared for most gone.

Nagi no Asukara-Chisaki and Akira

Two people Hikari doesn’t really know: Older Chisaki, and his nephew Akira

header-spr13-highway

It’s a good setup for coming out of a time skip. I really like the way that they’ve reset the couples, and even the triangles. Will Chisaki even still be in love with a Hikari who is still a middle schooler? Sure she’s been in love with him for a long time, but that memory is different from the reality. On the other hand, Miuna has now gotten to be exactly Hikari’s age, and they share the same development. Will she be a better match for him? I think we’re also going to see Kaname come back, since he’s in the OP and the concept art, but Manaka isn’t (and there’s a significant hole where she would be). But the real person who bears the brunt of the whole thing is still Chisaki. Perhaps the reality of Hikari coming back, not as someone who can match her anymore, but someone who is exactly the way he was, will push Chisaki to Tsumugu. But I don’t know if Tsumugu matches Chisaki as well as he did Manaka. They certainly get along, but he seems even more taciturn and reserved with Chisaki now than he was before. That might have been good for Manaka, who seemed to revel in his quiet, but Chisaki seems like such quiet will just pull her down.

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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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21 Responses to “Nagi no Asukara – 14”

  1. sadakups says:

    Tsumugu – WHY U NO BANG CHISAKI?!

    Seriously though, the hottest sea girl in her most broken state gets to live in his house for five years and… nothing.

    • Highway says:

      It’s a bad bad person who would take advantage of a girl like that. :P Are you that little devil on his shoulder?

    • JPNIgor says:

      He waaaants iiiiit 8D I CAN SEE IN HIS EYES THAT HE WANTS IT!

      Thank God he isn’t a jerk who would take advantage of poor broken Chisaki.

      (but he wants it. that’s for sure.)

    • BlackBriar says:

      It’s bad form to take advantage of a traumatized girl, especially when she’s dealing with the fact she’s been cut off from family and friends.

  2. JPNIgor says:

    It was kind of anticlimatic after all the ruckus on the last episode. Those two weeks waiting and building expectations to see what would happen didn’t help either. I should have seen the preview =.=’ When the episode started and I knew what was happening, I was like “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

    I can’t say anything though. This new start was really great and the only thing that is weird is that we can see everywhere that Nagi no Asukara suddenly became more serious, from the character developments, to the scenery, completely white from saltflake snow, to the opening and ending (dat opening almost made me cry).

    I’m mostly looking forward to the character dynamics now that Hikari came back from the nowhere, and about the same age as Miuna. Does it mean Miuna have a real chance with him, and not a platonic love? Maybe… But Hikari’s more likely to wait forever for Manaka, just like Chisaki =/

    • Highway says:

      I dunno about Hikari waiting forever. There was more of an unknown factor before: When and how would Hikari come out of the hibernation? Would he be the same age, would he have gotten older? Would he remember anything?

      But now, many of those questions have been answered, and honestly, they’re not really favorable for Chisaki. And at the same time, those answers are more favorable for Miuna with respect to Hikari waiting for Manaka.

      For whatever reason, I find that I like Hikari x Miuna much better than any other relationship in the show. I don’t know why, but it just feels better. I do wonder if Tsumugu x Chisaki is doomed, due to familiarity, in both senses of the word. He’s just too much of a brother now, and they’re both just too used to each other for that spark. And I honestly think they might use Sayu x Kaname as a bit of comic relief, in that Sayu will definitely chase him, and I think he’ll know what’s going on.

      • JPNIgor says:

        It’s just that when I think Miuna once was much younger than Hikari, I feel like something is quite not right, specially when you stop to think that if things in the ofunehiki hadn’t gone so wrong, they would probably have a sibling-like relationship right now. Of course, the episode when Hikari went after Miuna showed that they would somehow work just fine together… But still…

        You’re right about Tsumugu x Chisaki. But I really think that Tsumugu likes her, and she’s just too blind for it, firstly, because they are almost family, true. And second, because she certainly can’t seem to forget about Hikari. It probably won’t ever happen. I would like it to happen, though.

        I just don’t know how much Sayu matured (psychologically), so if what she said about wanting to be an independent women, maybe Kaname x Sayu won’t happen, but they would surely make a strange couple. But will Kaname ever come back to the surface? .-.

        • Highway says:

          Given his prominence in the OP (which Manaka is missing from), I think he’ll be back. Heck, maybe he’s back somewhere else on the ice, naked and not breathing, because Miuna and Tsumugu didn’t happen to be there. I did think that scene was kinda dumb, tho: Miuna and Tsumugu run to the spot with the big glow… and then Hikari appears way over there. Whuuut?

          Sayu’s always talked bigger than she acted. And who knows how much of her ‘independent woman’ schtick was because her crush disappeared on her.

          Miuna x Hikari will depend, like Hikari x Chisaki, on how Hikari acts now that he’s back. Can he even identify with Chisaki anymore? If they were both 10 years older, that 5 year difference might not mean so much. But at their age, she’s lived, experientially, a whole life without Hikari. That’s a hard gap to bridge. But as I said, the opposite works for Miuna, in that she’s now caught up to Hikari. She may have had an onii-chan crush on him before, but now it could be something quite different.

  3. MgMaster says:

    Unlike Golden Time,which really started it’s 2nd half on the wrong foot for me due to a number of reasons and will go down fast on my list if it keeps it up like that,Nagi did the exact opposite.

    I assume everyone was at least a bit worried about how it’s gonna handle a time skip should there be one but I must say,they handled it quite well. Looks like things are gonna get REALLY complicated soon,especially when Kaname will inevitably be back as well,with him & Hikari getting a full grasp on the situation. I wonder if Manaka will be back since she’s not present in the OP at all.

    I’ve always found Chisaki interesting so it’s a big plus for me to see her getting this much attention. Tsumugu’s finally showing some emotion which I’m naturally glad about but eh,not quite there yet. Still,it’s a step in the right direction.

    But the biggest surprise is definitely Miuna becoming like one of the main characters now. Sure that thought crossed my mind but it was the option I expected the least. As to whether that’s a good or bad thing,I can’t say yet.

    I’ll admit that I’m drawn to shows where things get complicated. I don’t care too much if I’ll end up disliking certain characters after it’s all said & done(and I rarely do as I usually only dislike incredibly annoying characters that I wouldn’t give a damn about no matter what happened to them) as long it’s all well executed. Besides,that’s more than balanced out by the many happy-go-lucky RomCom,harem & ecchi shows out each season. I definitely enjoy those too but I need a bit of “spice” in my anime every once in a while : P

    At the same time,I’m also a little worried. Worried that Nagi will try to complicate things too much,not being able everything up by the end and leave a bad taste in my mouth like a certain mecha anime did last season.

    • Highway says:

      I rather liked the direction Golden Time went, although more of Ghost Banri will suck.

      This was about the best timeskip I’ve seen. It helped that there were very few characters to deal with, a relatively short time, and that the path from there to here was straightforward.

      I actually like that they’ve broken up the love conga line. And it’s unlikely that Mari Okada will introduce any new characters from here, that’s not her style at all. Generally her stories become much more “Will they get together or won’t they?” and the fight is generally inside the main characters, rather than between them. That’s the general setup I see here. Can Hikari, Chisaki, Tsumugu, and Kaname get over their own traumas to see the people around them that love them? We’ve already had one success in that vein, with Akari.

  4. skylion says:

    Ah, the wait is finally over. That was a hard two weeks. And it was filled with some dread. Okada can drop the ball, and if anything, we can mostly tell that time skips come with just as much bad baggage as good story points.

    But damn, she makes it work so very well. The strength, I think was focusing on Chisaki, and how she had to grow up in this world, alone, but not alone at all really. Yes, losing her parents and friends is tough, but she did have mutual feelings across the board.

    Yes, redraw those triangles, and squares or whatever you call them.

    • Highway says:

      Well, it’s almost like all the triangles and squares and conga lines got split up into single line segments. There’s almost no conflict possible, without some really poor judgment (oh nooooo, that’s never happened before). Despite setting up all those triangles, I don’t see how they hold up now. The only ones I see are ‘too old for Hikari’ Chisaki x Hikari x Perfect Age Miuna and Married Couple Tsumugu x Chisaki x Crush-on-an-older-girl Kaname.

  5. Irenesharda says:

    They DID do a time skip, but they ended up doing one that I actually liked! They clear shot right over high school and now have at least a third of the main characters as 18-20 year olds in college! Wow, that was a pretty big jump! Funny how so much growth is in only 5 years time. Chisaki and Tsumugu are now adults with burgeoning careers in oceanography and nursing. I am so happy and yet also stunned at the new maturity we now have in all the characters we saw as only kids a couple of weeks ago.

    Miuna and Sayu have grown up well, and Akari now has a little boy of her own. However, the sea is frozen over and the sea god protects his sleeping people well, not allowing anyone near the village or any of the other 14 villages we find are in hibernation as well .

    Hikari and Kaname were in hibernation as well, but I guess since they were away from the village proper they awoke earlier. We haven’t see Kaname yet, but the OP shows him coming back. Hikari awakens at the end of this episode. And for him not a moment has passed since he tried to save Manaka. However, time has gone by without him, and now his childhood friends Chisaki and Tsumugu are adults, and Miuna is now his age.

    It’s now obvious since she’s middle school age now that she really liked him, however, I’d hate that she would be the rebound girl since Hikari is obviously still in love with Manaka. However, now that they are the same age both mentally and physically because of the suspended animation, I can go along with the two of them as a future couple. Did anyone notice that Miuna when her hair is down, looks a bit like a black-haired Manaka from the back? In fact, that was my first thought when I saw her take it down was that she looks like Manaka.
    I’m wondering if she did that on purpose, like other girls in anime she sees that a guy they like likes a girl with long hair so they grow theirs long too? I especially noticed when Sayu brought it up. I can see a moment where she takes it down and Hikari mistake her from afar, which would be a pretty painful scene for them both. How is Miuna ever going to get from under Manaka’s shadow? Or does she even have a chance?
    Kaname and Sayu will also probably be an item and I’m hoping both poor Hikari and Kaname, now officially fish out of water, can find a new beginning with all the time that’s gone by and learn to love again.

    Chisaki is now too old for both Hikari and Kaname and I think despite Tsumugu’s thought that she pines for another, she will eventually turn to him. It’s was subtle before, but now it’s really obvious that Tsumugu likes Chisaki. How he looks at her, how he didn’t deny liking her when his professor asked, how he stood outside her room when she was crying, helpless to do anything. Actually, with him trying to find Hikari and the others, it’s like he took Hikari’s role in trying to do whatever he can to help the girl he loves be happy, even if it’s not with him.

    Chisaki also cares for Tsumugu, but she doesn’t show the explosive love of a teenager, but the steady love a woman who’s ready for the next stage in her life. The way she cooks for him, packs his clothes, worries over him, and the fact that they no longer use honorifics are all things that a traditional wife would do. However, there is just that last obstacle of the past that they don’t want to hurtle. Again, like when she was young, I think Chisaki doesn’t notice that these true feelings she has because she’s distracted. When she was a kid, it was her childhood crush for Hikari. Now, it the guilt and sadness of being separated from her friends, family, and people. However, the distraction can’t last forever, and she will eventually have to face the truth. The two are practically a couple already as the professor mentioned. They just don’t go by the titles of boyfriend and girlfriend.

    I really feel sorry for Chisaki’s parents who waited up for her and everything. They’ll wake up and find their little girl is now a very adult woman, who they never got to see on her first date, or first day of high school, or all those other milestones parents live for. And Chisaki’s got to be homesick for her people and family after all this time.

    This is a pretty interesting dilemma here, and a pretty mature subject matter involving everyone and their perceptions both past and present. The idea of family and the idea of friendship and coming of age.

    As for poor Manaka, I have a feeling that the girl might not show up again, or at least not as she was. That ED had some pretty heavy symbolism with the fact that we never see her face and her one white paper airplane is separated from the 6 others in the sky that represent her 4 friends and Sayu and Miuna. If she returns as the wife of the sea god, I wouldn’t be surprised. In this new world they’ve made, I can’t really see her fitting in anywhere. Maybe she’ll show up later and be the one that awakens the village and says a last farewell to her friends before returning to the sea god?

    Anyway, this was a time skip done right and I’m excited to see what happens next!

    • Highway says:

      I don’t think Manaka will show up again, at least as anything except a memory. The cynical jokey reason is that Kana Hanazawa is not just appearing in 7 shows this season, but is the female lead or co-lead in every single one of them. Even the short, Tonari no Seki-kun, is just an excuse to get her to narrate something ridiculous for 4 minutes. So she’s too busy to do anything on this show.

      As I said above, I wonder how Chisaki will break out of the locked room that she’s in. Tsumugu isn’t the kind to go breaking down those walls, although I can see that if she opened a door for him, he would gladly support and love her. But that scene where she was crying and he was outside the door, unwilling to intrude, was very symbolic of him in general. I do think that some ‘knowing’ rather than ‘hoping’ will do something to change the status quo, and hopefully Tsumugu can fill the hole that will be left by Isamu’s passing (It’s Mari Okada, he’s got a death flag bigger than the one Hikari was waving).

      For whatever reason, I really like that the timeskip was just long enough to bring Miuna and Sayu into play. That just works so well for me.

  6. BlackBriar says:

    The new OP is just as nice as the prior one. There was some doubt it wouldn’t be good but that concern has been put to rest.

    A lot has happened but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’m glad Chisaki had enough kindness around her to be offered a place to stay given that not only has she been separated from some friends but also her family and that Tsumugu was decent enough not to move in on her when he knows she has eyes for someone else.

    It only makes sense Hikari’s body hasn’t grown over the past 5 years. Being frozen alive suspends physical growth.

    • skylion says:

      In terms of music, I think the new OP is much much stronger than the original, and the original ED is much stronger than the newer one. Which is not to say I dislike any of these pieces.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I agree in that the new OP seems to be going for a completely different mood than the first one. It’s not as bouncy and upbeat, but more somber and thoughtful. As for the ED, I kind of like both equally, however, the new one is more powerful by the imagery than the music. The several scene of Manaka, yet she’s obviously still a preteen because of the uniform. We never get to see her face, and she seems to be alone on a summer landscape, which is different than the eternal winter that is the calamity. Also, her white paper plane is separated from the 6 in the sky, which I’m assuming is her friends including Miuna and Sayu. Lots of symbolism there….

    • Highway says:

      I like both the OP and ED much better now. The first ones were always skips for me. And getting Ray to sing the OP works really well. She’s got a good voice, but it’s not overused, and it can carry more power and flow than Nagi. The first OP was just too fake instrument sounding for me.

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