「届かぬゆびさき」 (Todokanu Yubisaki)
And that is why one must always take into consideration the possibility that things could work a little too well.
It isn’t really a shock when an anime OP or ED turns out to be prophetic, but that doesn’t mean one is always prepared for the implications. In Nagiasu’s case, it is the ED that has been giving me ominous vibes; it’s hard not to call a flag (perhaps not death, but a flag nonetheless) when there’s so much visual symbolism going on with just Manaka, and that seems to have come true as soon as Manaka switched places with Akari to save her. That being said, there has been plenty of foreshadowing up to this point. From the very first episodes, we have seen (and heard) depictions of the sea god taking sacrifices from the land; we’ve heard stories, seen tapestries of his taking a bride, watched endless panoramas of the concrete pillars, so on and so forth. The Ofunehiki is simply the ceremonial continuation of that practice, but without live sacrifice. Thus once Akari volunteered herself, something was bound to happen; everyone was just too naive to consider the true nature of the practice and what would happen if the sea god chose to take his bride.
Whether or not the whole hibernation still stands (and the impending disaster with it), the fact is that the tables have turned in an unprecedented manner. Uroko-sama is definitely not as allied with the villagers as they thought, though whether or not this was his plan from the beginning is uncertain. He certainly didn’t seem keen on the Ofunehiki when it was without sacrifice, but did he forsee the sea god’s choice to accept a live bride? Has he actually put Shioshishio under a hibernation spell or did he simply stop them from interfering in the ceremony? What’s going to happen to Manaka; will she somehow disappear or will she become like Uroko-sama, not quite human and not quite god?
As it always is with Nagiasu, nothing is without relationship drama, however. Manaka made a very difficult choice for someone so young, perhaps even naively; she gave up both Hikari and Tsumugu, her family and life itself, for the sake of Akari and her new family. It was brave, and that she did not express regret even after seeing Hikari and understanding what she’d done is quite mature of her, a far cry from the crybaby Manaka she was (and still is). It’s as everyone has always said, Manaka has always been a few steps of everyone else, even if she never realized it.
Then there’s Kaname, the understated rock of the group. We haven’t gotten to see as much into his turmoil as we have into Hikari’s and Chisaki’s, but in the end, he too is in the same shoes of adolescence, and he has the unfortunate gift of being perceptive and understanding far too well how his friends feel. That is why he’s the first to notice Chisaki going directly after Tsumugu when no one else did, and also the first to see how she looked at him once he was safe. If anyone understands the implications of that it’s Kaname, and thus Kaname who suffers silently, though it’s not even assured that he’s alive after the whole fiasco.
What we’re left with is effectively the aftermath of a storm, a cruel and ruthless one that’s been brewing over the course of the season and which has left everything the sea kiddos have seen and done on unknown shores. It’s entirely possible and very much plausible that a time skip awaits us, though judging by the preview I’d say it is minimal if it happens at all. We’ll have to wait until January 9th to see how things proceed from here, but I am as glad as ever to have chosen Nagiasu to follow; Thursdays would not be nearly as good without it.