「たゆたう想いのさき」 (Tayutau Omoi no Saki)
“Beyond the Wavering Feelings”

I have grown to like Hikari quite a lot over the last few weeks.

That, more than anything, is what really stood out to me this week. This definitely isn’t quite as plot-heavy an episode as the last, but I’m seeing a sort of pattern emerging with the pacing. We’re sort of oscillating between the micro and macro aspects of the problem in the world of Nagi, with the micro focusing on the kids and characters in general, and the larger picture looking at the relationship between Shioshishio and the land as a whole. This being one of the “characterization” episodes, so to speak, it’s rather remarkable how far Hikari has come over 8 episodes. Even better, his growth is completely in tune with who he is and what he has experienced, and I find this process of maturation to be pretty believable. He was never a bad kid, per say, he was just immature, which makes perfect sense considering his age and his strong personality.

It’s not like the latter has really changed either; he’s still hot headed for one thing, but he’s now reacting to situations in a much more considerate and thoughtful way. He understands that his jealousy and anger toward Tsumugu and Manaka’s feelings were selfish and that he wasn’t thinking of their feelings before getting upset for his own sake, and he has also realized how wrong it was to base his anger on prejudice. As a result, he is now actively coming to terms with the feelings of those around him, as well as with his own. Chisaki is definitely right that he doesn’t have to give everything up and deny his feelings to honor Manaka’s; after all, you never know what will happen until you act, but there really aren’t many other choices anyway. Right now, Manaka would almost definitely choose Tsumugu, and I’m sure Hikari doesn’t want to be outright rejected and confuse her more. Ironically, that mirrors Chisaki’s position in terms of her feelings for Hikari, which is why, of course, she doesn’t want him to give up. If he did, it would be admitting that such a love is hopeless, and thus crushing her own hopes.

One of my favorite aspects of Hikari’s maturity, however, has to do with his relationship to Miuna and her father. He’s adapted well to their presence in Akari’s life despite his initial dislike, and he’s come to regard Miuna like a little sister. Miuna, of course, has probably developed a bit of a crush on him, but considering all he’s done for her and her family, that makes sense. The way they interact is pretty endearing, especially since they’re somewhat similar souls at heart, and the moment when Miuna tried to rehydrate Hikari out of fear that he would dry out was very symbolic as to the state of how much things have changed.

Unfortunately, even if everyone is starting to find happiness together, the issue at large is not about to simply disappear. The sea god definitely has something to say after Akari and Hikari’s departure from Shioshishio, and the appearance of salt flake snow on land cannot be good news.

 

Preview

23 Comments

  1. Hikari is heading to good husbando territory

    In other news, did anyone see the way Tsumugu melted into the background? It’s some serious talent, he’s Nagi no Asukara’s “Phantom Fifth Man” with the way he has no presence when he isn’t speaking.

    and that’s not me making fun of him, per say. he was boring at first but now when he speaks I actually like what he is. but his character’s complete and utter lack of life when he isn’t the main focus is pretty bad. he doesn’t pop out of the screen like the others do and his color scheme doesn’t help any

    Same with Kaname, actually, but at least we see more of him

    EmD
    1. I agree about Tsumugu’s almost phantom presence at times. However, I believe that this is intentional of P.A. Works. Let’s not forget that out of the 5, he is the odd one out. Maybe that’s their subtle way of pointing this out. That way, when he does manage to fully integrate himself into the gang (if he ever truly does), it will have way bigger impact.

      Tassadar
  2. Miuna-chan. HNNGG
    https://randomc.net/image/Nagi%20no%20Asukara/Nagi%20no%20Asukara%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2011.jpg

    Great loli episode if there ever was one. 😀

    https://randomc.net/image/Nagi%20no%20Asukara/Nagi%20no%20Asukara%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2015.jpg
    If this seating arrangement is attempting to hint at anything:
    1. Manaka has her eyes totally on Tsumugu. Tsumugu OTOH keeps his cards hidden.
    2. Hikari, realizing his unrequited love will never borne fruit, decides (unconsciously) to settle with a loli. 😀
    3. Chisaki, conflicted on whether to take advantage of Hikari’s broken heart or help him stage a comeback against Tsumugu, looks on. Kaname is probably the only one pleased with being a content bystander.

    echykr
  3. You got to admit, Hikari was a total asshole at the start. The series developed him over the story and he’s pretty likeable now. He “matured”, if there is no better way to describe him.

    He still has that “delinquent feel” about him though. I just can’t shake how his character is very similar to those delinquent school characters that are actually good. Impulsive, determined/stubborn aura about him.

    Anyway, MIUNA! God, that pint-size piece of love. I like how she reflected that she was against her dad’s and Akari’s marriage before. She has that same aura I feel for Hikari. I guess she and Hikari makes a great pair in the future.

    TheMoondoggie
    1. In shounen anime culture, the one with the spiky hair and frowning eyebrows is usually the one who’s the stubborn “bad boy” protagonist of the story. He usually has lots of leadership skills (later to used for Makana Powaaaa!) but rarely thinks before he speaks. Think Digimon’s protagonists. Or Naruto’s. But the viewers all become pretty accepting in the end because of their “kind heart” or whatever char-development devices thrown at us.

      petitorenji
  4. great episode. really really great one. maybe the best of all this week’s crazy Thursday 😛 (only this week!)

    multiple interactions between all characters with each other.
    I think it was so great to have one main scenario of finding a present, which made so much interesting interactions there. I love the swinging between direct conversations and only glimpses of what’s going on inside the characters, sometimes it’s better to put it directly, sometimes there is no need to speak, just watch, and NnA did it great this ep. we had the first real close and direct interaction between chisaki and Hikari. it was interesting, once again brought Hikari under our special microscope. and yes, he has grown up a lot since ep01 when he was a brat. he is still a brat, but stronger one. not by physical power, but mentally. he is standing up not for himself, but for the sake of others. be it Manaka, Akari or even chisaki (demonstrated when he jump off the elevator for her). he is becoming a man. kinda funny ’cause this kind of man is somehow fits to be the “heir” of the village. something he isn’t willing to.

    although this ep did focus more on the micro-level, the macro is still on surface with Akari and Miuna’s father (what’s his name again?) saying they want to do it properly. we all know what it means, since his first wife was also from the sea and I guess things didn’t end up well there either. it’s tough, not only for them, but those around them. and if it’s not enough, we had the snow coming at the end.
    who knows what the sea-god is planning…
    so the macro-level is still on, but on slowpoke for now. and it’s great after the burst development last ep.

    what’s ahead of us in the micro-level?
    Tsumugu is still..I would not say indifferent. but somehow still distant.
    in the preview we see him again with chisaki(<3), I really think they fit together. go Chisaki X Tsumugu!
    what about Manaka?I really don't know. I still think she is fascinated by him, but I don;t know if it is that romantically. I am not sure she truly understand romance or herself in that matter.
    Hikari is still continue to grow up and I guess it surprises his friends (they know he left the village?I wasn't so sure until Miuna rehydrate them..but I guess they are aware?). we saw how Manaka was surprised by his eagerness last week. speaking of it, I am still waiting for Ofunehiki. but I guess it still might take a while for further development.
    it's very intriguing that there is still a lot to tell about Hikari.

    thedarktower
  5. This has been such a consistently good show since episode 1 and I really look forward to each new episode. The characters are wonderful and the art is just pure heaven. Way to go P.A. Works.

    TropeHog31
  6. While this episode was a lot more ‘light hearted’ in comparison to the episodes of the past few weeks , that didn’t take away from the story at all, which I was glad to see.
    I am actually proud of Hikari , seeing him grow and all 🙂 and Miuna is amazing too.
    Tsumugu and Kaname are still two of the most enigmatic characters . Although I feel I understand Tsumugu better.

    Aki-Chan
  7. When I saw the salt flakes fall on land, I got this sense of impending doom. Unfortunately, I doubt these happy days will last. I really hope I’m misreading things here, but it looks like the sea god got another trick up his sleeve.

    lialiakicks
  8. Eyes, eyes… those neotenic eyes!

    I wonder if these seapeople live in other countries as well. I keep imaging about the ones living off of the coast of Nigeria or Liberia going on land to trade or go to school. They probably have to wet themselves every other second to prevent shriveling up under that Equatorial sun.

    petitorenji
  9. Hikari’s interaction with Itoru was like, awkward~ hahaha…Akari’s determination somehow, for me, its like a father who refuses to give her away but still, I want her to be happy…sob sob

    Lol, funny as it is, i’m all Chisaki for the spotlight. I love her situation more compared to everybody there. Was almost like, silently cheering for her to confess to Hikari on the lift…dang!

    Seems like, its more to Tsumugu x Chisaki to me than Tsumugu and Manaka if you take a look at the preview. Tsumugu rarely interact with Manaka, i mean, they have soo little moment to have a proper conversation. Maybe its because Manaka flustered when they are together, but somehow, idk…so little conversation. He talks more with Chisaki though, and Chisaki seems like, comfortable talking about her feelings with him…whadda complicated situation =______=” and Kaname, still very confusing

    Snowflakes on the surface? wow…i sense the earth is sinking to deep sea. Salty ocean means terrible global warming…prove me wrong…lol

    onion warrior
  10. Miuna is dangerously sweet…
    Must… not… become… lolicon!
    Other than that it is amazing to see how Chisaki’s situation closely mirrors the one of Hikari – torn between supporting the one you love and advancing your own feelings.
    The saltsnow falling on land is probably omen of bigger and worse things coming, though. What is exactly the importance of Akari and Hikari, and their relation to sea god?

    ewok40k
  11. This episode was very sweet.
    By the way, has anyone wondered WHY Tsumugu was at the train station in the first place? A common theory seems to be that he was visiting his parents’ graves (because they’ve never been mentioned even once in the series, and he seems to live with grandfather only)… the poor kid. I felt sorry for him when the sea kids and Miuna were playing with the water and he was just standing in the shade watching them wistfully- it’s a painful reminder of how different he is from them. Trust the ever-perceptive Kaname to notice that.
    We’ve had lots of fantastic development for Hikari (who’s quickly becoming one of my favourite characters in the show) and some for Manaka and Chisaki (theirs seem to be moving along at a more leisurely pace- probably because they haven’t had anything earth-shattering happen to them- but it is just as welcome). Tsumugu and Kaname are enigmas- while a number of hints regarding their personality and mindset have been dropped (meaning that they DO have character depth), it’s not enough for us to fully figure them out at this stage. My hunch tells me that they’re both repressing something- and that they’re trying to conceal the aforementioned repression in very different ways. In a few ways, I believe they’re actually quite similar.
    I really like the show, despite the occasional melodrama. I look forward to more.

    mweloo
  12. What does Nagi no Asakura mean? The show should really just be called From Brat to a Cool Cat: Hikari, a true story lol

    When will Hikari rub off some of that character development to his friends? Kaname seems content with being the mysterious hidden playboy type, which is cool, but what about his family? What about Chisaki and Manaka’s parents? At least Tsumugu has his grandpa.

    The side characters are getting more development than the main characters outside of Hikari and Manaka to a smaller distinct by comparison.

    Magoiichi

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