Nagi no Asukara – Episode 10: The Saltflake Snow Falls and Falls
It’s finally here, the turning point. For the longest time now, the biggest question on my mind was ‘what does all this lead to‘? Sure, there have been specks of plot scattered here and there, but this is the first time we’ve seen them actually build upon the foundations; layers are beginning to form. We’re almost half-way through Nagi no Asukara and things are finally starting to happen… yeah, this is a good feeling… Hikari is informed that, according to Uroko-sama, the Sea God’s power is weakening and thus the saltflake snow will keep falling and cooling the world until it freezes, possibly killing all humans in the surface in the process until his powers renew and the world is restored to its former self… what’s this? Plot? Yum.
The revelation that the world is effectively coming to an end was, to be honest, rather shocking. For the longest time now it’s been uncertain how far and how dark Nagi no Asukara was going to go, it’s premise and art-style leading me to believe that it would attempt to stick with it’s almost ‘slice-of-life’ roots. But boy was I wrong. It’s nice to be surprised in a show that has been, so far, rather predictable, you know? I couldn’t help but be reminded of ‘The Great Flood‘ when I heard about the Sea God’s displeasure however, this whole ‘cleansing the Earth’ plot point coming across as, well, rather extreme. I mean, sure his power is weakening (hence the shortened sacred flame light periods in episode 9), but saltflake snow that threatens to kill anyone who doesn’t live in the sea? Extreme – yes, that’s a word. And what about everyone else on the planet? Are they going to be affected? Where does it end? Why do I not know the answers to these questions? Answer me, Nagi.
Manaka and Hikari are still at odds over Hikari’s overzealous comforting. Honestly, I still don’t see what he did wrong, but what the hell would I know? I’m so happy that Hikari isn’t running around after Manaka, pestering her until she snaps. Whilst it’s evident that he’s still looking after her, for example, stopping her from being subject to peer pressure (the creeper with the alcohol), it’s nice to see him acting in a mature fashion despite his (apparent) age. I’m almost certain that they’ll make up, but whether or not they’ll end up a couple I’m still unsure. It does indeed beg the question ‘just what did Manaka tell that red-bellied sea-slug?’. Did she tell it of her love for Tsumugu? Or is she feeling inclined towards a bit of the Hikari action? Question, questions…
And this in turn leads us into ‘The Confession‘… me gusta… Again, I did not see this coming until the very last second, and I was pleasantly surprised. Kaname, for all his bluster and that overtly evident facade, realizes also the realities of the situation they’re posed with. He might never see Chisaki again and, despite knowing how she feels for Hikari, he makes his move as smooth as a fish in water… wait! He is a fish in water… Obviously this happens right at the end of the episode so we don’t know how Chisaki will respond, but I can only hope that she rejects him. Why, you may be asking? Because she believes in love. She loves Hikari and if she wavers in this desire, she’ll effectively be admitting that a love that strong can, and will, never work out – not for Manaka, not for Hikari, and not for herself. Indeed, ’tis a rather perplexing situation. To avoid their fate, the people of Shioshishio will enter into hibernation and the villagers gathered a banquet on the Friday, entering into a fasting period after that until the hibernation begins. I’m very wary of this sleeping ordeal. Firstly, we don’t know if it’s actually going to happen yet. But, secondly and most importantly, we don’t know how it’s going to pan out. Will our four main characters wake up at the same time? Or are they doomed to live their lives separately? I have a feeling that they’re not going to go to sleep, but that’s just me. It’s complicated because they now have friends up on the surface, and that’s what makes the last nine episodes, much more potent and, certainly, gratifyingly worth it. The emotional ties to the surface has been set… let’s just hope they don’t mess it up in the execution of this major plot point.
To conclude, Nagi no Asukara has, once again, outdone itself. Episode 1o had a great OST, something that I noticed immediately. It perfectly suited the scenes and made my heart stir when it normally would not have. Odd, I know, but that OST is a must for me when deciding whether or not a series is good… call me superficial. The Ofunehiki has, once again, arisen as a major plot point, although this time they have a valid reason for it, and so I forgive them. Also, Chisaki better actually give an onscreen response in episode 11. I’m just saying.