Nagi no Asukara – Episode 14: The Promised Day
Episode 14 of Nagi no Asukara began with a time skip…and I hated it. Well, at first I did anyway. After seeing a grown up Chisaki, I felt almost cheated, because it was in that moment that I realized that, firstly, the only possibly way this could have happened was if some of the characters had either gone missing or were dead, and, secondly, that things were different. The OP was different, the tone was different, the characters were different – everything was different! It felt almost like they’d started another show set in the Nagi no Asukara universe. But then I let it settle in and I realized, it was better this way. Hikari, Kaname and Manaka – they’re gone. That feeling of hopeless melancholy, which found its way into my chest in the prior episode, returned, and I felt their loss all over again. In retrospect, it was a beautiful way to begin this “second half”, in fact, this was the only way the could’ve performed the time-skip and still kept that tense, uneasy feeling which has been following the show since that first episode all those weeks ago. Episode 14 wasn’t amazing, but it was most certainly necessary.
In one, quick, paragraph, allow me to sum up my feelings on the new OP, “ebb and flow“. Eh, it was alright. It suited the tone of the episode, but I wasn’t okay with the fact that it pretty much spoiled the fact that Hikari and Kaname lived, regardless of my suspicions. I’m even less okay with the fact that they displayed Manaka in a state of sleep, especially since how much scenes like that in the last ED predicted events, especially in Manaka’s case. I don’t want to be spoiled! Hikari appearing out of the sea at the end of the episode (which I’ll get back to later) was more than enough drama for me, nullified by the fact that I knew it had to be him. Gah. Damn you OP, damn you…that said, you were nicely animated.
So, let’s talk about the situation. Chisaki grieved for a while in the wake of her friends disappearance, then being taken into the care of the Kihara family, before finally going to a nursing college. Tsumugu, once again, showed no discernible emotion (other than jealously when he realized Chisaki still loved another), before finally leaving to become an…oceanographer? Did I spell that right? Oh! And he’s now researching Sea Villages with ‘some guy‘. Sayu and Miuna? They’re highschoolers now (I think). Akari and Itaru have had a child, who is a pervert with a butt hole poking fetish…devil child to counteract their Sea God? I see epic battles ahead… Oh! And of course, Egawa. He’s getting married. You don’t know who Egawa is? Neither do I (I think he’s the guy who looks like he was ripped out of a Pokemon game). As you can see, everyone has moved on. Except they haven’t. Miuna can’t seem to think of anything but Hikari, Chisaki visits Isamu on a regular basis, Tsumugu has dedicated his life to finding out more about the forlorn Sea Villages and…well…the scars still remain. The frozen sea, the fallen bridge – they’re all reminders. Miuna won’t even go out with other guys because she’s in love with a guy who was much too old for her (but he’s failed to age since then so…
Miuna’s no longer a loli? Hikari’s no longer and lolicon? No!). It’s a sad affair, but at points it felt as though they were dumping too much on the viewer at once. I just wanted to move the story along. Surely there could have been a way to incorporate all of that exposition into the plot in a much more fluid manner? The continual flashbacks were jarring and took me out of the moment. That’s why the ending was so very amazing, because it was new, it was plot, and it was dramatic…naked Hikari’s aside.
Speaking of naked Hikari… Hikari’s back! Woo! Damn, girl! When that anomaly flared up on screen and the sea burned aglow…you should’ve heard me screaming: “YES SON! GO HIKARI! FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT! TRUE TEARS RIGHT HERE, MAN…HIKARI, YOU’RE BREAKING MY HEART!”, and then he appeared, totally nude (for Miuna’s sake, naturally), and the tears came to my eyes. For me, the moment Hikari realizes that everyone but him (and Kaname, and Manaka…) have ‘moved on’ (grown up) was the best moment of the entire episode. Hell, he even wakes up still calling out for Manaka. From his perspective, mere seconds has passed. What a shock it must be to see his loli all grown up… It was a perfectly performed scene, but I still have to ask despite this…what happened to Hikari’s clothes? Also, how did Miuna and Tsumugu realize that it would be Hikari that would appear (I suppose you’ve really just got to hope when a blue light appear beneath the ice)?
I’m so excited to see what the next episode holds, especially from Chisaki’s perspective. The way I see it, Chisaki will technically be a pedophile if she gets with Hikari (or Kaname), so that romance is off the table, leaving me heartbroken and sad. But I digress. Not much in the way of plot really happened in this episode, but that didn’t matter because the execution was delicious (for the most part). I can only wait with eager zeal for the fun to begin once more…