Flat and lifeless
I feel so behind, because I’m watching so much of the Olympics. I like the Olympics so much, I’ve taken the whole week off to have more time to watch them. So trying to catch up on anime is kind of difficult. But life marches on. This week, a voyage of discovery for a small cast on Nagi no Asukara.
A silent guard
Well, it wasn’t exactly lost. They knew where it was, they just couldn’t get there. But what is different is that Miuna is able to lead Kaname and Hikari through a hole in the barrier to the town. It was interesting seeing it with that flat light, abandoned, empty. Not even any of the fish that usually gave it life (because there usually weren’t people visible anyway). And here and there, corpselike bodies of the residents, frozen for the time being in hibernation.
Visiting his father
I thought Miuna’s reactions were completely understandable, but Hikari took each one as a personal affront (here’s where I mumble “something something usually acts broken record”). So the three kids end up splitting up, with Hikari and Kaname going to their houses, where Hikari finds his father and fills him in, like someone on a gravesite visit. Hikari also notes that Uroko-sama’s temple building has been crushed, but I didn’t see by what.
Miuna sees what it was really like
Miuna, for her part, doesn’t really listen to Hikari and Kaname who tell her to stay where she is, and I don’t blame her. So she ends up at their old school, and there has a bit of other-consciousness where she sees – or imagines – seeing the school full of children, bright light, life. This is the Shioshishio she’d been looking for. That she’d retrace the steps that Manaka did on her visits there, striking the same note on the xylophone even (I checked), was an interesting choice, even as Miuna and Manaka are very different people, but Miuna is there to try to find Manaka.
Tricky scale of the sea god
Miuna does find Lord Uroko, or rather he finds her. They play a little of ‘guess the true motive’, but as always, Uroko’s motives are nearly completely opaque. I think he would have been happy if Miuna’s true motive really was to just see the real Shioshishio (more on that later), but she states that she wants to find Manaka. And following that same sound, she leads Hikari and Kaname to the graveyard of ofunehiki sacrifices. It’s sobering to think that all of these sacrifices were kept, along with the current one. It takes the ofunehiki from ‘superstitious religious ceremony’ to something with a dread meaning. And of course, the latest sacrifice is there as well: Manaka. But more than just being there asleep, she’s losing her ena, and struggling to breathe. Hikari makes the decision to carry her back to the surface, as everything caves in on them.
So what does this mean? Well, my best guess ties into what I said about Uroko: he would like Miuna to see the real Shioshishio, and want to live there. I am thinking that Miuna’s ena is somehow from Manaka’s ena, and as the sacrifice, Manaka is giving up her ena to many other people to bring them back to the sea. We haven’t seen other people get in the water, but maybe anyone who did would gain an ena. It’s terrible for Manaka, but who knows what would have happened. Would that have helped with the sea god’s power, or with the population issues? How many people would choose to live with ena, in Shioshishio, when you can get most of the best of both worlds? Would Itaru go with Akari to move back to her home? This could be the chance for resettlement. And what does Uroko’s look as they’re carrying Manaka away mean?
An interesting development with Manaka. Will she be able to live on the surface with a half destroyed ena? Is she now going to be someone who really doesn’t have a home? Unable to return to the water, but not free of it like the people on land, she may have the worst of both worlds. Will Manaka even wake up? Or is she hopeless? I’m actually really surprised she’s making a comeback at all.