A very different land and seascape
And 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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Two people Hikari doesn’t really know: Older Chisaki, and his nephew Akira
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.