「まいごの迷子の…」 (Maigo no maigo no…)
“The Lost, Lost Little…”

Dammit, my world just doesn’t make sense any more.

This is what Nagi no Asukara has reduced me to – I’m happy to see Yoshino Hiroyuki’s name attached to an episode. That just should never happen, but so it is here – down is up, right is left, and Yoshino is a symbol of quality. Every episode of Nagiasu he’s written has been excellent, and given that last week’s episode seemed to find the show teetering on the edge of a cliff, I was actually given a spark of hope by seeing him credited as the writer. And damned if he didn’t deliver.

Happily, there’s still an element of this that very much does make sense, and that’s the formula that the quality of an episode is inversely related to the screen time for Miuna. She was basically absent from this ep – her only role being to rather grievously violate Hikari’s privacy by eavesdropping on him talking to the still-sleeping Manaka – and it was like the glorious dawn of a new spring. It’s not her fault, but she just exemplifies everything that doesn’t work in this series, and every unwise creative impulse in Okada Mari. Is it the whisky’s fault that an alcoholic can’t drink it responsibly? Of course not – but that doesn’t change the fact that you shouldn’t put the bottle in their hands and leave them to their own devices.

This episode definitely took a slightly different turn than I’d expected. Hikari remains very much on the periphery, and Manaka slept her way through the entire thing (about a week in real-time). Instead, Okada/Yoshino chose to focus on Chisaki, Kaname and Tsumugu. While I still think Hikari has the most compelling story in the cast, this was still a very welcome turn as these characters have been sadly under-utilized of late. As for Hikari, he’s being used mainly as a plot driver at this point, as he remains central to pretty much everyone else’s story. And that can work, but only if the camera is turned in the right direction.

Of course, Hikari’s role in Chisaki’s story is pivotal. And it’s now obvious (she actually admits to it) that Chisaki is still in love with him. Obviously there are huge issues with this – namely the age difference and the fact that he’s shown no signs whatsoever of romantic inclinations in her direction – but I actually find it kind of moving that in spite of all that, Chisaki’s love for him is so strong that it remains unbroken. The heart wants what it wants, and he’s still the same person she fell in love with (more literally than would normally be the case, but on a deeper level) – the boy who silently rescued she and Manaka when they were lost as small children. The guy who always tries to do the right thing even if he doesn’t know what it is. And the guy who’s in love with her best friend.

The symbolism of Chisaki’s Petra Pan syndrome is hardly subtle here, but that’s fine – the scenario is such that subtlety would really be beside the point. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether she’s changed a lot and wishes she hadn’t or wishes she’d grown up more than she had, but she’s clearly confused and trying to cling to the past (even trying to slip into her middle school uniform – which was tight even then). Hikari for his part insists on telling her that she’s the same person, and one senses that he’s not completely doing so for her benefit – it seems as if from his perspective where only a few days have passed, Hikari sees all the same quirks and habits in Chisaki that he did when she was his own age.

As for the guys, it was nice to see them get a turn in the spotlight – especially Kaname, who’s been ill-served by the series most of the way through. His position is an odd one – he was the most mature of the group when they were kids so at least in theory, his transition should have been easier. But I think it’s actually harder (which is pretty much Kaname’s life story) because he no longer has that maturity feather in his cap. Chisaki – for whom he feels the same unrequited love that Chisaki does for Hikari – has leapfrogged him into young adulthood. If she didn’t take him seriously as a partner then she certainly doesn’t now. Kaname clearly feels things just as deeply as the others, and I like it when that comes out – as it certainly did when he admitted to Tsumugu that he’d considered letting him drown. But he didn’t, and that’s really the point. And his reward is to wake up and find out that Chisaki and Tsumugu have been cohabiting, and his love for her developing for all that time.

Tsumugu is emerging from his “sea slug” role a bit here. He gets Chisaki “drunk” on plum juice she believes to be umeshu (sorry Cruncyroll – it’s a liqueur, not wine), and inadvertently (I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt) tells Kaname something very cruel – that he and Chisaki have been frozen in time and Kaname’s return has, in Little Busters fashion, allowed their frozen time to start to move. I’m reminded a bit of Chihayafuru, where one might argue that Taichi’s only real chance with Chihaya would come after Arata was physically back in the picture – it’s hard to fight against a memory, or an ideal. Tsumugu really hasn’t done anything wrong here – he’s played the responsible, supportive friend – but his very existence is a knife in Kaname’s heart even though Chisaki has shown no more romantic interest in him than Hikari has in her.

One might reasonably ask – why is it that I consider the romantic entanglements of the original group so much more compelling than those of Miuna and Sayu? And I’d answer, if you still need to ask after 19 episodes I’m not sure I can answer. To me, we’re talking about something with deep emotional roots versus something entirely superficial and self-involved. As long as Nagiasu focuses on that original, painful dynamic it seems to work – that, and the very engaging larger story that’s been back-burnered for too long.

On that score, Tsumugu’s grandfather has told Chisaki a story which suggests the Sea God’s involvement in Manaka’s Ena leakage, and that’s prompted Hikari to try and “capture” Uroko-sama and get to the bottom of things. Hikari makes the most of his time here – the combination of his usual indomitable spirit and his rambunctious, childish eagerness is quite winning, even if its embarrassing for Akari. There’s also the matter of Tsumugu’s sensei covering up what they’ve uncovered about Shioshio in an attempt to (supposedly) use it to generate more funding to research the impending global crisis. And Manaka remains stubbornly asleep, which might just have both Chisaki and Miuna feeling a bit conflicted. This seems like much more solid ground than the quicksand Nagiasu was on last week (or perhaps “thicker ice” would be the better analogy) and, while I still think things could go either way, I can at least see a path from here that leads to a worthwhile destination.

 

Preview

62 Comments

    1. Too bad–you missed some great insight into this episode. I like Miuna and all, but you gotta question the legitimacy of a ten-(nine?)-year-old’s crush. When Sayu asked, “We’re obsessive, aren’t we?” I was thinking, “DAMN RIGHT YOU ARE. The guy patted your head ONCE. Like a DOG.”

      Speaking of Kaname, great stuff about him. I think Enzo nailed it with the identity crisis he’s going through. Tsumugu has pretty much replaced him, not only as the guy friendzoned by Chisaki, but also his original role as the “mature” one in the group. Then he had to go feed Kaname that bullshit about how “Time’s now movin’ so I’m gonna get the girl.”

      Well, tough luck. Your lady’s a shotacon.

      titus
      1. I like Miuna and all, but you gotta question the legitimacy of a ten-(nine?)-year-old’s crush.

        Legitimate or not, she’s not a 10 year old anymore and her crushing on Hikari is now justified.

        TheMoondoggie
      2. For me, it’s not so much “is the fourteen-year-old Miuna justified in crushing on Hikari,” as it is “can a crush of a nine-year-old last five years,” given that she doesn’t even know him that well–not like the way the merkiddies have been childhood friends since the beginning of time. Looking back, though, I can understand why Hikari and Kaname have made more lasting impressions on Miuna and Sayu. I guess it’s a bit different if your crush is tragically “lost at sea,” then, say, if he moved away to Tokyo.

        But I have to agree with Enzo that I find Miuno a lot more interesting as a periphery character than a main character. It may be unfair to her, but her drama just pales when you compare it to Chisaki’s or Kaname’s, who struggle with the five years they lost. I also see Hikari as someone in denial. He’s always been the type who hates change, looking back at how he was afraid of losing Manaka to the surface in the earlier episodes. So you see him insisting nothing has changed and clinging onto Manaka–as if bringing her back will restore their original group. I know a lot of the comments focus on shipping wars, but I see Hikari’s desperation more symptomatic of his desire to preserve their circle of friends than their budding love.

        titus
      3. When Tsumugu told Kaname that now he and Chisaki would be able to move on , I don’t think he meant that this would mean they’d be ‘together’. For one thing , Tsumugu knows her feelings for Hikari , and for another , he seemed to be giving off a ‘I love you , but if you need me to , I’ll let go’ kind of atmosphere.
        I don’t know. That’s just my take on the scene

        Aki-Chan
  1. I thought the age difference would set limits on the pairings, and the love polygon would take a different turn… Now…I’m not so sure..
    I might get downvoted for this, but fuck it: What’s up with the messed up pairings? AGE DIFFERENCE, DAMMIT.
    Bratty Kaname and Tsumugu fighting over Chisaki and Chisaki fawning over snotty Hikari… uhhhh, actually..nevermind. Forget I said anything -.-

    Helvetica Standard
    1. Yes. I can feel the masochistic pleasure flowing through me.
      Downvote me all you want; I’m still a “hidden due to low comment rating” virgin. Do me, please.
      Whatever ship you choose, that doesn’t change the fact that Chisaki’s a shotacon.

      Helvetica Standard
  2. Much needed screentime for Chisaki after being near-absent for almost two weeks, and showcasing her cuteness and how she outgrown her school uniform. And then getting drunk over mere non-alcoholic palm juice (an anime staple) while moaning about the fact that she’s now just a “lonely housewife”. (Amusing that even she is aware of how people (and fans) perceive her as a “lonely housewife”. XD )

    (Speaking of which, why is there no proper screenshot of Chisaki in her old uniform? What were you smoking when you made the shots, Enzo? RC is nothing without epic/sexy screenshots. 😀 )

    Poor Kaname and Tsumugu, their rivalry over Chisaki may end up being fruitless, after Hikari scored yet another unintentional flag over Chisaki and reignited her flame for him, meaning potentially clashing with Miuna. But in the end, even the two girls may find their endeavor fruitless regardless of whether Manaka wakes up or not.

    A bit like True Tears, Okada Mari’s previous work, where you just have no friggin idea who would end up with whom.

    echykr
  3. Glad to have a Chisaki episode. I was kinda expecting this episode to be Sayu’s or a Miuna-Hikari-Manaka’s but I’m glad to have the other Main Character having her character developments in this EP instead.

    Red HeartGold ZX
  4. Hikari might be just a middle school boy… But look at how cool/manly he is lol
    Tsumugu and Kaname are just the same….they loved hiding their feelings

    And Tsumugu and Kaname really needs to do something or Chisaki will be 4ever lonely housewife XD

    Lol well I’m still waiting for Manaka >.<

    Nxt episode is about a brokenhearted miuna and tsumugu? lol XD
    Damn I want to watch episode 20-26 right now ;c

    "sorry Cruncyroll" XD

    ricz
  5. Kaname is such a third wheel now. It’s funny seeing how calm and collected he usually is compared to now where he’s just being plain immature trying to rile up Tsumugu. I kind of get how he feels though. Tsumugu pretty much beats him in every category now. He’s mature, smart, the same age as Chisaki and never let’s his emotions get out of hand. I’m kind of surprised at how respectful Tsumugu is towards him despite the fact he probably knows Kaname is deliberately trying to be spiteful. Just goes to show how much he’s grown as a character. But of course Hikari has to ruin the Tsumugu x Chisaki ship by making her fall in love with him again at the end of the episode >=/

    I honestly don’t know how everyone is going to end up happy by the end of this series. We only have six episodes left =(.

    leatherhead333
    1. i tell you, tsumugu is definitely going to emotionally explode in one of these episodes. that’s the guy’s biggest flaw, he keeps everything bottled up. now that he is potentially going to lose the girl he loves, he is surely bound to crack (in much the same way that kaname finally cracked).

      flamerounin
  6. I don’t get the hate on the age issue. 5 years difference is not that big, I know couples with double of that, though mainly males being the older ones. If the issue is Hikari being underage, then if he is like 10 years older will your opinion differ? Or is it that only males can be the older ones?
    If Chisaki love Hikari due to external reasons, then I agree with the dislikes. But she loves who he is, and that I will give her my blessings. Overcoming the age gap, as well as the age defining adults and non-adults is difficult. And it’s not her fault for growing 5 years older, so please be more understanding.
    Currently undecided which ship to board, all looks promising, and the journey ahead uncertain.

    ofislacker
    1. and technically, they are both 19 years old. it just happens that hikari fell into a five year coma (with the added bonus of not aging). so if you look at it, there really isn’t an age gap at all.

      flamerounin
      1. Tho’ Hikari still has the mentality of a middle schooler, so the age gap is noticeable. Even Kaname took a poke at how “adult” Chisaki seems now(IMO she’s pretty “adult” looking even while she’s in middle school, if you know what I mean *wink*).

        Anyway, mental-age wise, Hikari is better with either Manaka or Miuna.

        TheMoondoggie
    2. The thing about age gaps is that the older you get, the less they matter. A 32 year old and a 27 year old dating is no big deal. You can even say the same thing about a 22 year old and a 27 year old. The younger you get, though the more sick it appears. The younger ones haven’t had a chance to fully mature physically or emotionally (though there are some people beyond their 20’s who are still very emotionally immature to be fair). By saying it’s only five years implies that you would have been ok with Hikari and Miuna dating when they were 9 and 14. I personally take issue with someone who’s a first year college student going out with an 8th/9th grader. That’s how I look at it. I teach young children so I see a lot children from ages 6-15. It feels predatory to imagine one of the college interns being romantic with them. Didn’t mean to sound like I’m preaching, putting words in your mouth, or anything. I just have strong thoughts on the subject.

      tl;dr – depending where the ages are on the number line, a 5 year gap can be either be normal or predatory.

      The Walker
  7. It’s sad to see Kaname like this, he’s letting all the emotions he’s bottled up over the years leak out. I expected this, and Sayu might be able to help him release some of his emotions. I mean, Sayu expresses her feelings loud and clear, while Kaname keeps any negative emotion bottled up. Seeing all of them released may give us a view of his true character.

    That’s probably just me with my shipping glasses on though….

    Moss
    1. Well, Kaname is still a kid. I mean, even though he’s mature before the timeskip, he’s still subject to those adolescent feelings. It’s just now, with 5 years, it seems like he’s still trying to cope, though in an unsure way…

      jn99y4
  8. About the story on the Sea God, the person that Manaka loves could easily be Hikari, since he was living at the surface with Akari before the hibernating happened (and in fact he still is on the surface now).

    I feel like next episode Manaka might wake up.

    Meldoy
    1. She’s probably talking about Hikari, Kaname and Chisaki
      Deep inside…. they are all afraid on what’s gonna happen if Manaka wakes up

      Cause in reality their time is still frozen

      ricz
  9. While I like the review, here’s what I don’t totally get…Tsumugu is still the mature one, being considerate enough to give plum juice rather than alcohol (which I thought at first was really immature on his part, but I guess now it makes sense somehow)..but his comments afterwards… I mean, based on it, he does like Chisaki though he understands her predicament…so he’s not going to make a move on her and just continue acting as the friendly sibling type relationship.. Am I understanding this right or is there something I’m clearly missing out?

    jn99y4
  10. All this talk of the age difference….I don’t see one. Hikari’s body has been in a unaging coma for 5 years. Physically, time must have stopped but who is to say that there wasn’t something else going on? They didn’t die and get reborn into a younger form. Perhaps the sea god gave a lucid dream for those who went to sleep, and they’re given a choice between remaining in the dreamworld and returning to the real world. Hence a few of the sea people saying that not everyone will wake up…We still don’t know how the hibernation works. There’s something we haven’t been told yet. Or i could just be thinking too much about it.

    I’ve had my eyes on Chisaki x Hikari from the beginning of the show. Call it a gut feeling. I’m not about to start the ship wars but i don’t see Manaka or Miuna getting together with Hikari. Previously being on the Hikari x Miuna ship…I understand that not all the information has been given to us yet. We don’t know what Manaka has to say to Hikari. We WANT her to say she loves him. But i don’t see it happening. Manaka is a thoughtful girl, she wouldn’t want to reject Hikari right before the Ofunekhi, that would have killed his mood. So why not wait until afterwards to reject him? I did also entertain the idea that Hikari would end up like his dad. Alone. If Manaka doesn’t wake up, his will to keep moving forward will be effectively shot down. If that scenario happens, i can only think that it’ll be Miuna and Chisaki to get him out of the dumps, but with Chisaki being the one to get his heart to move again.

    I’ve never felt more opposed to chisaki being paired up with tsumugu. The only reason their “relationship” progressed was because of the 5 year coma and Chisaki not having a place to stay. It’s too forced of a situation to expect any sort of outcome and shame on tsumugu for thinking that it’s going to happen. This episode’s events effectively shut the hope i had for Tsumugu being the best mate for Chisaki. To be honest, i don’t like either of the guys fighting over Chisaki. Tsumugu – he’s laid back, has a background character presence, and an underdeveloped emotional outlet. He’s going to snap. Kaname – his unending love for Chisaki feels like it’s just becoming an obsession. He’s finally snapped and it’ll only get worse from here. It’s just a matter of time.

    That being said, i cooooould possibly see Hikari and Miuna getting together if Chisaki is unable to get her feelings reciprocated. But we’ll see. I’m hoping that urobutcher doesn’t get a hold of the script and kills off Hikari or something to that effect. That would be just…heartbreaking. I’m not saying that is what’s going to happen, but can you imagine? There’s been a tremendous amount of buildup for something, and i’m a little scared of that could be… I have a bunch of thoughts as to what “it” could be, and i’m scared of every single one of them.

    Synic
  11. All I know is that I’m marathoning the “S” out of this show right before the last episode airs. I have a strong desire to re-experience the whirlwind of emotions of this show in quick succession right before the conclusion. Though morbid, kind of like having your life flash before your eyes before it all comes to an end. The ending better make me bawl, damn it!

    Trippwire
  12. Shipping is starting to get out of control. I’m a walking dead fan, there’s a show called the talking dead, which discusses the episode that just happens. The host mentioned “that fans are shipping two of the main characters” and I was like whaaaaat? Culture invasion! Now people are starting to ship characters in western shows in a more mainstream way, it’s not just limited to Japan anymore lol.

    I’m going to continue the only one true ship that rules them all, ChocolatexPeanut Butter! So good together ;p

    Is anyone else getting the feeling that Hikari is going to be killed off? I feel like Hikari is going to die in a sacrificial way just to save everyone else. He got two, possibly 3, girls that like him, just shows up at the right moment to save them, and he’s practically the Jesus from the sea at this point. Hikari is obviously overpowered and he’s going to get nerfed eventually.

    Tsumugu tried to stealth NTR Kaname by saying that Him AND Chisaki can finally move forward. So the guy who tries to act all mysterious like Shun from Shin Sekai Yori expects a girl in love with another guy to start to like him just because they’ve lived together for 5 years. I believe the story the grandpa told is like the same thing between Tsumugu and Chisaki. Chisaki would’ve been unhappy if she got with Tsumugu if Hikari didn’t come back. You can’t force somebody to be happy or to feel differently, it’s unnatural.

    That was a bitch move Tsumugu to do that to Kaname. Not only that but the whole “I wouldn’t let you have Chisaki if you left me to die” thing was equally as bad. First off, you would’ve been dead so it wouldn’t matter what you thought at that point. Lastly, Chisaki is not some trophy to be owned either and you certainly don’t “have” her. You tried that mysterious bullshit with Manaka and it didn’t work out so you went after Chisaki. The difference between Shun and Tsumugu, Shun made it clear who he wanted and was still mysterious.

    You better shape up Tsumugu, don’t think Hikari can’t kick your ass just because you’re taller. Hell, him and Kaname would probably double team you if you tried to force Chisaki to do anything or if they found out you stole her first kiss or something. Kaname would probably kill you and I would not be surprised because Kaname was ready to do some damage when he saw Tsumugu touching Chisaki’s hair while she was sleeping.

    magoiichi
    1. If you think about it , Tsumugu was also ‘frozen’ in time when the others hibernated-he did consider them his friends , after all. So saying that both him AND Chisaki can move on now may not necessarily mean that they’ll do so ‘together’. He does know that she still likes Hikari , after all.
      And , how do you force your feelings onto someone if they don’t even know the feelings exist??If anything , Kaname is guilty of that-he’s already confessed , and now seems to be showing possessive traits. But don’t get me wrong , I’m not hating Kaname (or any of the characters , for that matter , except maybe Uroko).

      Aki-Chan
      1. There’s the suspension bridge or whatever theory it’s called where if something tragic happens to one person or both, they will become closer and enter a relationship because of it.

        I don’t see Kaname as possessive. Like I said, he doesn’t own Chisaki and they’re not together in the first place. If they were an actual couple then he would be possessive, but they’re not, unfortunately for some shippers. I see it as Kaname not wanting Tsumugu to take advantage of Chisaki just because they’ve been alone together without their friends.

        magoiichi
  13. Here we go again she fall for Hikari again , hikari amazing
    L’ll properly fall for him even if I have another person who likes me
    But he keep still and do nothing infront of me . In other word
    You guys ( kaname + tsumugo ) should show her how much you like her
    Otherwise she won’t notice or fall in you .

    And Harry up and wake up Manaka . We’re waiting you .

    Quuw
  14. Tsumugu finally came out with his real feelings for Chisaki and it completely changed how I saw the beginning of this second arc. I watched it as if he was falling in love with her over the five years and it really added another layer to the flashback scenes of Chisaki being added to his household and the few things Tsumugu has to say in the episodes after. Whenever she cries he wants to be there for her but all he can do is to stand behind the door. This literally shows the distance he still feels between them two. When his grandfather was taken to the hospital and Chisaki was falling apart, Tsumugu started to really understand how much she needed her old friends and the next scene shows him moving on to research on the sea villages and to figure out what happened in the Ofunehiki. He was already interested in that topic but it’s like he choose that career for her, determined to bring them back. Also I feel like he was desperate to help Chisaki move on when he decided to leave his grandfather to go on with his research. In this episode it’s shown that he doesn’t care to explain himself and there is so much that he doesn’t say but if you pay attention to his actions and word choices there are all these subtle, quivering emotions. Yeah, that’s nice and all but I can’t wait for him to finally decide that she’s ready and break down that goddamn door.

    sakuraandli
    1. Pretty much how I saw it. When you live with someone, especially for such a long time , you really get an opportunity to see what they are like (not that this is foolproof). It makes sense that he’d begin to fall for her-and then if you add all the subtle pre-Ofunehiki hints , then it seems almost inevitable.
      Just gotta wait for the complicated , subtle Tsumugu-style confession now 🙂

      Aki-Chan
  15. Chisaki narrating the episode really gave some Shin Sekai Yori vibes to this episode. Which makes me wonder-we’ve seen thoughts from most of the characters , but the only ones who have actually ‘narrated’ any of the story are Hikari , Miuna and now Chisaki. This makes me think that maybe something big is going to happen soon , and they are the ones left behind to tell the story. Or something.
    On a random side note , Kaname’s possessive side scares me.I can’t help thinking that the mind-set he has will result in him taking action in a way that will end tragically.

    Aki-Chan
    1. yeah, that last line in chisaki’s narration is rather ominous. maybe manaka will in fact never wake up at all. or someone will be lost before she wakes up, possibly hikari or miuna. i also noticed that of the three, hikari’s and chisaki’s narration feels like it is further into the future while miuna’s seems to be nearer to the present.

      flamerounin
  16. If the second half of the series would be based on Chisaki’s pov, then this is how it looks like. And yes, i love it better and i still go hngg for her. She sounds so sad and its like im watching some sad josei genre anime…;__; can i wish it would be like this til the end? we’re seeing a huge cast gathered in one place, and we can see everyone of them revealing each other’s skins (like Tsumugu and Kaname) lol

    anyway, man, i miss Manaka so much. huhuu

    onion warrior
  17. This episode, I think just sunk some shippings, but still, I’m not deciding any shipping until the end, because every ship I ship always doesn’t end up happening and this show is just making it that much harder for me.

    Chisaki in her old school uniform, HGNNNNNN!!!! Poor miuna, she is pretty much chisaki in the first cour, it’s ok, there’s still hope, we have 6 episode left!

    Anyways, I don’t see what’s all the hate about the age difference. is it really that disgusting? I feel Chisaki likes Hikari for who he is, and is it that wrong for someone who is 19 to love their childhood love who is 14? I thought that was pretty sweet (although tsumugu is also nice) and it goes to show how she actually hasn’t changed despite having 5 years pass. I know there are many married couples who have a lot larger age gap and occasionally, some that are unbelievably large, but it doesn’t really bother me, I mean if they like each other, who cares? as long as both party consent, it’s love 😛 just my take on this subject.

    TrapMaster
  18. Hikari is the most badass Character to an anime NEXT to Sweetjp and Lelouche. With that being sad, if he doesnt get a awesome ending…imma fly to motherfucking JAPAN and do some damage on the authors balls. LOL srsly tho, Hikari better get a good ending.

    HikariBRAWLS

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