Nagi no Asukara – Episode 7: The Ofunehiki Shakes
What’s this? Do I smell… plot?! Now that all of the maudlin drama and angst is out of the way… hm? What’s this? It’s not?! Okada! Perhaps I’m just an emotionless bastard, but I’m really not comfortable with all the tears and wailing in this series. Admittedly, said feels were toned down somewhat in episode 7, but regardless, I can’t help but feel as though, sometimes, it’s a bit… well it feels a bit forced. A prime example of this would be Manaka and her child like tendencies. I get it okay – that’s her character – but every single episode is filled with her either crying or whining, or pouting, or lusting, or squealing or… damn you Manaka, damn you. I suppose what I’m trying to say is… none of the characters are really that interesting. The most multiplex of all the characters so far is Hikari, and that’s only because the series focuses on him and his various tribulations; but what about everyone else? Is Tsumugu receiving enough screen time? What about Kaname? He seems interesting? And stop dragging out Chisaki’s sub-plot!
Eh, but I digress…
Episode 7 was all about the festival and ‘the bigger picture’ (but we’ll get back to the latter later). When Hikari and the gang approach the seemingly responsible adults about the festival and it’s neutered state, they are immediately rebuked and the Ofunehiki ends up broken – smashed by the very adults who chided the children for their immaturity… I just… Poor Ofunehiki… always being broken. And all the while this is going on, Hikari’s father just sits there, poised as ever, and continues to be asshole father of the year. Listen to your children you old fool! I suppose the old feud could not be settled, the land and sea humans could not be brought together and the wounds still fresh (thanks Akari and Itaru) could not be treated for the sake of the children. Damn you old men! Damn you and your pride… I get a feeling that this series is going to be about reconciliation and acceptance… oh, and the extinction of a sea peoples… I suppose you could say that this series is a message to China – have more girls so that they don’t end up all emigrating, leaving you with a bunch of grumpy, sexually frustrated, old men… that’s not what this show is a metaphor for? Oh… well then…
The other half of this episode, the ‘bigger picture’, simply set up events for a later, bigger, plot points. Hikari and Akari run away from Shioshishio (which, by the way, is the most ridiculous name for a city/civilization/tribe/village ever) and Uroko-sama tries to stop them… by conjuring up a snow storm (of death!)… oh, and asshole Dad of the year saves them by begging Uroko-sama for their lives, so maybe he’s not such an asshole after all. I’m still really interested in finding out just why the two Sakishima children are so important and I’m really interested to find out what the deal is with this deity of theirs. Is this show really about stopping the sea humans (seriously, calling them ‘sea humans’ is really starting to annoy me… don’t they have another way of referring to their kind?) from leaving Shioshishio, or is there an underlying meaning? What am I going to learn from you oh mighty Nagi no Asukara? Family and friends – I think that’s what this show is trying to ‘do’ and, if that is what the main themes are, then Nagi no Asukara is very ‘Okada‘, her typical influences seeping into yet another one of her works. It remains to be seen however if this show is as good as I think it can be.
Whilst it can be said that Hikari’s decision to leave home with Akari is a sign of his emotional regression back into a child, I’d like to think that, instead, it’s actually a sign of his mental maturity, taking a stand for himself and what is right. I’m eager to see how Chisaki, right wing advocate that she is, will react to this in episode 8 and I can only hope that this is the beginning of an awesome plot arc that’ll teach me things about myself and humanity as a whole… I’m asking for too much? I think not.