Nagi no Asukara – Episode 8: Beyond the Wavering Feelings
And we’re back to, what I would consider, ‘minor plot episodes’. Nagi no Asukara spends entire episodes building up this multiplex story, and then it just drops everything so as to fill in the gaps with ‘character building’ episodes and freeze frames. I just want to know what the f**k is going on with the Sea God! I just wanted to see Chisaki, Kaname and Manaka rebuke Hikari (right or wrong though that may be) for leaving Shioshishio, but no – nope – apparently everyone is able to gloss over it as though it were nothing. Chisaki was more interested in the possibility of Manaka leaving… That said, maybe Chisaki and the others don’t know yet? No, you’re right, they definitely know and it was Kaname’s plan all along to oust his rival in love, Hikari, from the depths of the ocean bed. Kaname you bastard!
So, as with every single episode up till now, Hikari is maturing more and more. He’s still hotheaded, don’t get me wrong, but he’s now able to view events with a new found clarity, a sort of introspective insight that we haven’t yet seen in the series, save for Tsumugu’s dialogues. Hikari understands that, as she is now, Manaka would choose Tsumugu in a heartbeat – of that, there is no doubt. But Chisaki can’t tell him to give up. If she does that she’s effectively admitting that a love that strong can be forsaken and therefore that the feelings she has for Hikari as just as superficial. It’s interesting to watch each of the characters battle with their own inhibitions each episode, and I love watching them overcome each and every obstacle, but where does it end? Episode 8 would have us believe that everything (for the moment) revolves around the complex relationships of these teenagers and the relationships that they are forming, however, I can’t help but feel as though it needs to lead to something more… but I’ll get back to that later.
So, as with every single episode up till now, Miuna is displaying her lolified innocence and her love for Hikari in sporadically overt and subtle instances. The awkward smiles and the blushing, the sea water assault and the sparkly blue sea shell necklace – it’s all their for viewer consumption, but to where do they lead? Nowhere. And that’s the point. What was the point of this episode? Sure it was nice to have a breather, but we were just getting somewhere with the story, you know? A part from the elevator scene involving Chisaki and Hikari, this episode was nothing more than unnecessary. Sure, it was a cute little piece of animation and ‘plot‘ (I use the word ‘plot’ very loosely for, again, I felt as though this episode lacked any true substance), but did it really add anything to the story? No. But, then again, you could argue that that’s not always necessary – look at ‘The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya’, for example – but I believe that this episode was not done well. There’s a nice little reprieve and then there’s something that we’ve seen before, something that we want to move on from and develop. But alas, no, we’re forced to watch Miuna blush and Manaka yearn for Tsumugu some more.
Speaking of Tsumugu… is it just me, or does he melt into the background? Perhaps it’s meant to represent the fact that he’s different from the others in the group, that, no matter what he does, he’s never truly going to fit in. Or, maybe, I’m being one of those English Literature nerds who think that they know it all and spout pretentious cr*p in order to get the teachers approval… Yes, I’ve had a long day. My own inhibitions aside, the same thing is happening to Kanama as well, but less so. Maybe Tsumugu will play a much more integral part later on, but, as it stands now, he’s nothing but a big, fat, bland plot point standing in the way of Hikari’s pre-pubescent lust. That is all.
Now, let’s wrap this up. The appearance of the salt flake on the land does not bode well for the next episode… just what is going to happen? Perhaps it will lead to… something more? See what I did there? Tying it back to my earlier point? No? But I digress, overall episode 8 was really rather sub par. I just didn’t do it for me. In fact, I almost didn’t feel like blogging about it. I just don’t want to feel as though I’m forcing myself, you know? I wouldn’t want my blog posts to appear sub par so… yeah, you get the point. Episode 8 wasn’t great. Au revoir.