「知らないぬくもり」 (Shiranai Nukumori)
The scenery porn just gets more and more beautiful every time I come back to this series.
I’m not sure what the sea god has in store, but with every passing episode it seems like the sea kiddos are in up to their noses in danger, and not necessarily the kind that causes bodily harm. After the appearance of saltflake snow on the land, it seems as though a declaration of war has been issued, though it’s not entirely clear just what that entails. Shioshishio, at least, is wary of whatever is about to befall the land, and it’s either a unanimous decision or completely out of their hands as to what the future will bring. The adults don’t seem to care what happens to the land, though its possible their lack of empathy is simply a result of accepting something that they have no power to stop. The only thing they seem concerned with is that their children stay out
The whole affair reminds me a little of the way the adults in last year’s Shin Sekai Yori knew more than they were willing to divulge, though it’s not quite that much of a conspiracy. The men of the village have spoken about a prophecy, and it’s very likely this relates directly to the population problem, but I’m not entirely sure that’s the ultimate issue at hand anymore. Just what have Hikari and the others found themselves in?
There’s no doubt in my mind that the characterization when it comes to Hikari and a few others like Akari and Chisaki is doing really good things, even if it leaves those like Tsumugu a little on the, well, bleh side. As much as I love piling praise on how wonderfully Hikari has developed in the last nine episodes, it is a little sad to see Tsumugu being a rockful of fun, and not the interesting kind. He doesn’t have much to his name, other than words of wisdom he always pulls out of nowhere. In fact, he’s like Kaname’s landed antithesis, though much less interesting (Kaname has a stronger presence even if he’s never central to the drama). Ironically, it wouldn’t be so noticeable had Hikari not received such great coverage, but I suppose that’s crying a bit over spilling extra milk when I’ve already been fed some fresh, good stuff; it would just be nice to see more of him, and it would help make Manaka’s attraction more clear cut as well.
Right now, however, I don’t think being clear-cut is the goal. Hikari is definitely rethinking his choice to leave Manaka and Tsumugu be, whatever he believes is right. It isn’t easy to give up those you love when it seems the world is turning upside down, and with the situation so dire, and Manaka so scared, it makes sense that he’d want to cling to her. Unluckily for him, Manaka doesn’t feel the same, something he’d known but had never quite driven home. With his father asking him to return and the village preparing for some unknown purpose, however, love may not be the first thing on his mind even so.