「シオシシオ」 (Shioshishio)

Things are about to change once more.

The word I would use to describe this episode would be “haunting”, though perhaps not in the way I would usually use the term. This is no horror flick, no suspense driven arc, nor is it even haunting in the sense that you necessarily expect something bad to follow, though that isn’t impossible. This is haunting in the way the site of an accident is haunting, the way a city in the dawn is somewhat off, in that too quiet way. That is, of course, very fitting, considering where the kids find themselves. This is Shioshishio, but as Hikari makes sure Miuna understands, it’s not the Shioshishio it’s supposed to be. It is, in some ways, a form of graveyard, though the inhabitants are sleeping rather than dead, and that allusion is only sustained when we see another graveyard of sorts near the end; but I’ll get to that.

Firstly, Uroko-sama’s return and the resulting conversation between him and Miuna were of particular interest to me. I never doubted we’d be seeing the mysterious “scale” again soon, and his presence is rather foreboding in that god-like “I know something none of you do but I shouldn’t interfere” sort of way. He’s always been a bit of an enigma, the one who seems to be behind the scenes despite the fact that he claims he is only a part of the sea god, and his words to Miuna are just as dripping with that sense of otherworldly insight. The question he asks her, if she has found what she has been looking for upon arriving in Shioshishio, is something I think is relevant to all the sea kiddos and not just Miuna.

Miuna is not the one searching for Manaka, after all; as much as she might care for her safety, Manaka has never been Miuna’s priority. What she wanted was to insert herself in Hikari’s life, to form the bonds that already exist between him and the other sea kiddos. At first the boundary was age, then it was the fact that she could never know the world he came from, and even once she arrived in Shioshishio, that boundary is simply the fact that one cannot insert themselves into a past that has already been written. The one who has always been searching for Manaka has been Hikari, but it can hardly be said that he and Kaname were prepared for what they found in Shioshishio either. As much as they want to believe the people they love are just sleeping, it doesn’t change how eerie and wrong it is to see their village in the state it is. Finding the Ofunehiki graveyard and Manaka in the state she’s in must have done nothing to allay their nerves and fears, nor does it help fix the situation in regards to the rest of Shioshishio.

On top of all that, Manaka’s reappearance looms over all; has the sea god willingly returned her, or was it against his wishes, as Kaname asks? Why is she losing her Ena, and why is it Miuna who can hear the scales? Why has Miuna suddenly acquired Ena in the first place? Why is there a connection between the two?




  1. Manaka’s return is yet another game changer in the never ending evolution of this convoluted love polygon.

    IMHO, I believe Uroko pretty much intervened and gave Manaka’s Ena to Miuna, meaning Miuna would have to take Manaka’s place in order to appease the soon-to-be pissed off Sea God, unless our heroes can figure out another way (those mysterious highway-like pillars come to mind).

    1. Yeeeah, but there’s also a working TV present plus other electronic devices that would’ve, of course, not worked in water, but they do.

      So tbh I think it’s best not to question Anime Magic ^^;

      Skins Thunderbomb
      1. Yeah, but I would assume those TVs and other said electronic devices were specifically built for Sea People use in mind. Or they were manufactured locally in their villages (which is less likely, considering how rural Shioshishio looked)

        So probably most items, like Miuna’s Pocky, were probably manufactured for intended use in both Land and Sea, even after the Sea People went into hibernation. lol

    2. Oh for god’s sake, you people.

      All the responses so far make it sound like I’m taking this way too seriously when the truth could not be any further than that.

      I regret not adding a smiley emoticon at the back to acknowledge that I am aware that this is just an anime after all. 😀

    3. like they said don’t worry about the details its anime magic or other reasons, they probably let her eat pocky to show that she’s doing something to pass the time, it makes her seems she is relaxing while analyzing the situation in Shioshishio.

  2. aaaargh! not another cliffhanger!
    -will Manaka be brought back to life, or drown at the last moment?
    -what will be reaction of the Sea God to stealing of his bride?
    -will the people of Shioshishio wake up finally?

    1. They did. Did you miss how mad the Sea God was? He’d probably be asking for his wife back, or he’d ask for a younger, newer one, after enjoying Manaka on his hand for 4 years.

  3. I love the music that was used at the end of the episode when they found Manaka – it was the same piece they played from when Hikari first appeared after the time-skip, wasn’t it?

  4. well, we can also say miuna is indeed looking for manaka. within herself, that is. notice that she was surprised when she uttered manaka’s name when chasing after the sound and the salt flake snow. it might be that deep in side her, she is still trying to catch after manaka and wanting to be her in hikjari’s eyes. that is also probably why she imagines herself as part of that school, and why uroko-sama sarcastically asks her if sea school was fun. it might also be the very reason why she let her hair grow long.l

  5. I know everyone has their shippings. I do too. But I think Manaka’s return is also significant not in rocking the shippings (as it stands, it most typically would be HikarixMiuna, TsumuguxChisaki, KanamexSayu), but Manaka is like Memma in Ano Hana (Okada-sensei wrote that too). Manaka probably won’t fully reciprocate the romantic feelings Hikari has always had for her, and something is strongly telling me Hikari won’t reciprocate Miuna’s (he still views us too much as family and is absorbed in Manaka). Tsumugu has yet to show a proactive stance; therefore, he probably won’t make a move on Chisaki. The only possibility is Kaname and Sayu, but even then, I believe this show is more about their friendships and change rather than one person “ending up” with another; I believe Okada will take a similar approach that she has with her previous plots – it is about bringing the characters back together after growing through their journeys.

    1. I wouldn’t hold my breath on it. If we look at age, it almost has to be Tsumugu and Chisaki. Hikari and Manaka are main characters. Kaname and Sayu as a result of that, with Miuna being the odd one out.

      Nothing is certain until. I watched the author’s True Tears and she plot twisted the pairings at the end. This is the vibe I’m getting.

    2. lol
      I don’t think that’s gonna happen

      BUT we might(finally?) got to know what Chisaki really feels(Hikari? Kaname? Tsumugu? or 4ever single?)
      And since the gang is now complete(?) I’m guessing that Tsumugu will finally make a move

      And stop w/ the age thing lol

    3. My heart still wants to see KanameXCHisaki, before the timeskip it was obvious that Kaname was able to read her like a paper, the timeskip ruined all chances for him though, but I still hope..

  6. Although the sea people are alive, I found that state they and their city are in reminiscent of the excavation of Pompeii. It’s that frozen in place feeling that was so hunting about Shioshishio.

  7. Why is she losing her Ena, and why is it Miuna who can hear the scales?
    Her Ena appears to be floating through the currents – you’d have to wonder if anyone who doesn’t have it to begin with could “hear” it provided the conditions were right. I suspect that most people aren’t throwing themselves into frozen water without any sort of protective gear though – that doesn’t tend to end well.

    Why has Miuna suddenly acquired Ena in the first place? Why is there a connection between the two?
    The Sea God is answering her prayers, and those of others, by creating a situation where those who were born without Ena could obtain it; Manaka sheds, her scales spread to the currents, those who “sacrifice” themselves to the ocean are enveloped by them and can lead others back “home”. Gods tend to be overly complex like that. By removing Manaka they’re screwing the whole cycle up.

    And there’s my totally wrongheaded speculation of the week. Enjoy.

  8. I gotta say, i love the heartfelt convo hikari had with his dad, especially considering the way they had parted when the hibernation began. That and I feel that that very last look we had of uroko-sama in this episode spoke volumes bout his character.

  9. we are back to Shioshishio. it’s kinda like where all has started. and oh the visuals. PA works at their very best here. and apparently, not only in terms of animation.

    this episode touches many different buttons. almost parallel. but it worked and was able to convey different feelings throughout the episode. because it was a well organized course of events.
    at first, our fellows entered Shioshishio but we got gloomy atmosphere of kinda graveyard in which Miuna seemed confused and Hikari got mad and/or frustrated. it’s a very natural feeling for them both considering the circumstances.
    then we moved with Miuna to Hikari’s old school and got some really lovely flashback moments. and in the end, it has all shifted back to a gloomy atmosphere (of kinda graveyard) in which we can’t not to wonder that something is definitely fishy here (and it’s not the fish. or maybe it is LOL).

    and let’s talk about the big elephant in the room. what’s going on with this graveyard?
    we all remember the old tradition of sacrificing a maiden to the sea good, tradition that has become the Ofunehiki with the dolls. and what we got is a dollicon sea-god. way too dollicon.
    but this time this isn’t some doll..was the sea good thirst for blood (or Ena) for real?
    we aren’t so surprised to have Uroko back. he is like the con man of NnA. a very suspicious and mysterious character. always claiming to be just a mere scale of the sea-god. but he was in this. we, the viewers, know he was in charge of what happened 5 years ago before the hibernation. and how he “betrayed” the old-man – Hikari’s father and the chief of the village. now it was obviously that Hikari’s dad didn’t wish for the events of 5 years ago…but how much he knew about what was in the village?I also didn’t forget about his talk with Uroko when it was said “they are his descendant”.
    it seems there are some secrets in this village and there are a lot of questions in the macro level. and of course we are stepping forward with each episode.

    continuing from last week last minutes, Miuna is in the lead. and I am not talking just about leading them toward the voice. she is in the spotlight. all revolves around her – she was the narrator of this ep and most of the thoughts and events are hers.
    this is something that NnA was always good at – shifting the narration and thoughts from one to another so naturally. it’s like that all the time in NnA. giving us POV of one character and/or sequence of interaction.
    I really loved how she was experienced a so called flashback.
    is says something interesting about Miuna. it’s almost like she wants to live in the sea. now yeah, maybe it’s because she’s easily influenced by Hikari, but not exactly. Miuna always had something to the sea – she loves looking at the sea and her mother (biological and not) is from the sea. not to mention the thing for the sea-slug. in a way she reminds me Manaka who always looked toward living in the land and has a thing for sea-slug. not to mention this is interesting how one lost her Ena while the other developed one…interesting?

    Manaka is back and she is alive. her return isn’t really surprising. I mean, with the current opening and previous ending, I was expecting her return in some way (THO the context with the stone-hand and graveyard…the closest, not brutal and “dark” way to Berserk? LOL). however, her condition doesn’t seem so well. she lost her Ena (unknown if it’s permanent or not) and the preview doesn’t provide info about her condition, which makes me wonder if she’s still fighting for her life. is time ticking away (remind you the hourglass from the previous ending)?will the sea-god become angry?
    Manaka return of course not only arise questions in the macro level. but now the romance complex can become a real mess. there will be implications on Hikari (and of course Miuna) and maybe on Chisaki. not to mention, if she really lost her Ena for good…the option of Manaka X Tsumugu might be on the table.

    from here NnA is almost in its last third when 8 eps left. still lots of questions, but stepping forward little by little toward climax. the question is which kind of climax NnA (or more accurately – Okada) has decided to pull out?it’s too early to know. but this will be NnA’s true test – can it really bring out the potential and everything that it accumulates so far?can it really be called an excellent and awesome series(or just a mere “very good” one)? 8 eps left to find out!

  10. Ahhh, I have a feeling. A had, had feeling.

    So we all know (even if you don’t support the ships, I’m just saying!) That all the characters could end up with someone. (Chisaki and Tsumugu, Hikari and Manaka, Kanane and Sayu) but however, this leaves little Miuna out….

    Remember that look Uroko-sama gave Miuna as she lead the others to the surface?
    Remember how Miuna wrote on the measuring thing in the School?
    Remember Miuna getting Ena?
    Remember how Miuna jumped into the Sea as a kid?

    This seems to be foreshadowing something unpleasant involving her. As I’ve stated before, I believe that Miuna will have to be the girl from the story told in episode one (About the girl who swam down to the bottom of the ocean to save the humans) and do the same, because the larger issue at hand was that the surface was going to freeze from the Sea God’s weak power. That’s the whole point they celebrated the Ofunehiki! And given that they polished the Sea God off by saving Manaka… I think that it’d take a girl like Miuna to set things right.
    It makes sense to me, this may be why she’s getting so much spotlight.

    It’s sad, I know… And let me be clear that I’m not insinuating your ships, but the most logical ones I stated prior would now be valid.

    See you all next week! :3

    1. Maybe, but then they specifically said that the Ofunehiki had no purpose… And there’s still that one dude that’s got the hots for her (he confessed, not a major character can’t remember his name.) I do get the sense that she’s important but not in a sacrificial way, like the aura Manaka gives off (I’m happy she’s safe for now though), Miuna seems more like a secret savoir than a martyr. There really is no place for her right now though, her whole character is based off of trying to fit herself into a balanced group and brake formed bonds. If she could get over her complex, that’s another story, but until then…

      1. Yeah, I actually like her and Minegishi (The bicycle boy) as a couple. I think Minegishi will get more spotlight and perhaps gain importance later on, given that he is keeping Miuna ‘s complex a secret.

  11. Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that we’re actually going to lose Miuna in the end? o__o

    Kairi makes a good point about Miuna trying to insert herself into the past and bonds of our main 4 “sea kiddos”, and the fact that there is a strong boundary she will not likely penetrate. Then there’s the whole issue of sacrificing the Ojoshi-sama to the Sea God. I get the feeling this series will end with someone taking on that role permanently.

    I can easily see a super-feelsy, tear-jerking, bittersweet ending being one in which Miuna takes Manaka’s place as the Ojoshi-sama: sacrificing herself to preserve the bonds of Manaka, Chisaki, Hikari, and Kaname, ultimately never being able to share the bond with them. This is pure speculation, of course, so don’t hold me to this. 🙂

  12. I think with this series it is better not to expect anything because no matter what theory we come up with, our hearts will definitely be broken. Right now we are under the mercy of the writers, whatever they will do to us, I really hope that they won’t break our hearts any longer than they already have. I have never experienced such emotional fluctuations as I do with this series. The episode that changed everything still haunts me to this episode, because nothing is ‘ordinary’ since.

    I don’t want this show to be about Miuna, so I really hope Manaka’s return brings back the essence this show had at the beginning of the series. I would pray that there are no sacrifice, I think this whole agenda was Uroko sama’s lonliness. I am guiltily blaming Akari for all of this. Manaka sacrificed her life to save Akari’s, so what’s the point of Miuna sacrificing her life as well? (if that happens that is), I really hope this doesn’t happen.

    Ahhhhh I love this series lol they still haven’t shown us Kaname’s parents, such mystery xD

    Cheers, M.

  13. I’d be just like Hikari too and say to hell with the sea god. If he just treats his “wives” like trophies and literally puts them on a pedastal, he doesn’t deserve them, not even the wooden wives that people put all their hardwork into making. The clothes for the wooden maidens aren’t even there anymore, wtf happened to them?!

    The sea god is just a little bitch, he’s like the kid who doesn’t want you to play with his toys so he tries to destroy the toys so no one else can play with them. That’s what the sea god tried to do with Manaka by taking her ena away, “waaah if I can’t have her no one can!”.

    Personally, if the ice age happens because the sea god died I’d be cool with that, no pun intended. Humanity will still live on regardless.

    I actually like the recent previews because they don’t reveal too much.

    As much as Uroko wants to deny it, he is really just the sea god’s human form. I’ve never bought that “i’m just a scale” bs. Otherwise why would a “scale” make that lonely face? Why does he care at all? I think Uroko was lying too. The village people won’t wake up and they’ll probably lose their ena and drown.

    1. that’s probably because Uroko is a part of the sea god that he can feel that he’s either lonely or angry(that the people forgot about him). He didn’t stop them from taking manaka because he thinks that’s its probably best for the scenario to happen this way were manaka is saved and soon the sea god will confront them …. and that’s pretty much were my thought process stops, its best if you don’t dig deep into it, there will be an ending for this series and that end will be the best time to clarify everything.


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