「好きは、海と似ている。」 (Suki wa, Umi to Nite Iru.)
“Love is Like the Sea.”
Live sacrifice or not, some things can’t be avoided.
I don’t think any of us as viewers expected the Ofunehiki to go off without a hitch this time, based on the experience of the last. There were reasons to hope for success; the lack of a live sacrifice in Akari and the use of Manaka’s necklace at least seemed to allay the sea kiddos’ fears. However, we all knew there was a sacrifice in tow, and it all came down to who would be the victim this time.
Miuna’s prominence in this second half has made this pretty clear, and it seems weirdly fitting that she’d take Manaka’s place now. There’s too many connections between them, especially their Ena and their now confirmed shared love for Hikari. It’s not hard to see how Miuna would choose to become a sacrifice now either. Now that she’s assured that Manaka is in love with Hikari, and that Hikari is never going to look her way, it’s an extension of mixed selflessness and self-pity to remove herself from the equation and support the one she loves. She cares about Manaka too, and about her own family and friends, but that doesn’t mean her sacrifice is the correct way out. Like Chisaki has been warned, self-sacrifice doesn’t assure the happiness or well being of those around her, nor is it good for herself.
I’m not sure how I feel about Chisaki and Tsumugu at this point, however. As much as it’s nice to see at least one romantic link get the tie, Tsumugu has never come off quite so… strongly as now. It’s okay to be a little assertive about your life, but it’s another thing entirely to push someone into acknowledging their feelings for you (or even announcing it’s true, no matter if it is) before they’re ready. That’s a job for someone else, and kind of insufferable sometimes when Tsumugu does it. I don’t think I like this new Tsumugu, because even though it’s true Chisaki does love him, a no is a no, no matter what the reasons.
The other interesting point, though small and sadly unexplored, had to do with Uroko-sama. Perhaps it’s just me, but I always found the plot and world-building bits of the story to be really captivating, and that when it mixed well with the characters, Nagi hit its best moments. It’s a little bit of a shame that didn’t happen more overall, but at the very least, Uroko-sama’s discussion with Hikari about his former position as a shoulder scale of the Sea God was very interesting. It’s striking that despite the fact that Uroko was the scale cast off with the love for the Ojoshi-sama, he never got to actually hold or touch her. I would have liked to see more about this small tangent, but it’s too late now for wishful thinking.
We’re poised, then, at this penultimate episode, where we have at least two possible major outcomes. Should Manaka’s stone reach the sea god and take the place of the sacrifice, then Miuna might be spared. If It is rejected, Miuna becomes the sacrifice. How that will affect the relationships and path of the story, we will find out soon.