「いのちは、海から」 (Inochi wa, Umi Kara)
“Life Begins In the Ocean”
There was so much beautiful cinematography and symbolism about water and the idea of life being protected behind the glass. Gorgeous, I tell you. Both in the aquarium and the human world. For life to remain protected, this episode makes it clear there’s only so much an individual can do. Collective action is an optimal policy when it comes to protecting life – from the highschool characters scrambling to place the pregnant lady in a comfortable position, to calling the tourism board lady to serve as a hospital courier when no taxis could be found, to the doctors who make the delivery as safe as possible.
Kukuru and Self-Reliance
This episode also served as an important lesson for Kukuru to not shoulder burdens by herself. She puts so much expectation on herself to save the aquarium or manage a childbirth. Like she needs to prove herself a worthy successor of her grandfather and be at his level even though she’s still in school while he’s clearly had decades of experience.
Despite her questionable approach to management especially when it comes to having unrealistic expectations, her good intentions can not be mistaken in the slightest. She loves Gama Gama Aquarium with every iota of her heart and we discover there’s good reason too and not just some average, child-like obsession.
Kukuru’s parents died in an accident, which is why she was raised by her grandparents. It also helps explain why she cares so much about the aquarium. Not only was Gama Gama the place where she shared some of her best and only memories with her parents, the aquatic life became a second family of sorts to her and she will fight tooth and nail to see that they are saved from impending closure. Not saying it’s justified, but that’s why she became so emotional and angry when Fuuka messed up that feeding time. To her, they are family above all else.
Although there’s a lot of personal feelings going in there and it’s understandable she wants to be directly involved with helping, Kukuru should not let this cloud her judgement and learn to take a step back and rely on others or leave it to the experts. While it hasn’t come back to bite her yet, I could definitely see it coming sooner than later if she doesn’t fix up her outlook.
The Cycle of Life and Death
The birth of new life is certainly a wonderful thing. Although it seemed unreasonable for Kukuru to bother the pregnant vet, something her grandfather scolds her for, a surreal, fantastical experience occurs which seems to keep the vet at ease before she welcomes her baby into the world. Despite their reputation for mischief, I hope the Kijimuna has given its blessing and protection to the child.
A minor detail of character development which I greatly appreciated involved Fuuka, upon witnessing the vet’s love for her child, realises she had been very inconsiderate in worrying her mother – culminating in her apology via text and informing her mother of her location and plans. Throughout the show, she has struggled to express her true feelings and often runs away from situations instead of facing them head on. This is definitely the first step in a better direction, and we can definitely see that while the whole idea of going to Okinawa came from left field and was poorly conceived, in a stroke of luck it has been rather beneficial for Fuuka’s personal development.
Finally, I must confess I’m rather worried for Choko. She’s the penguin who is closest to Kukuru, as they go way back in time around a span of 14-15 years. They’re basically siblings from another species and it’s obvious how deeply Kukuru cares for this particular penguin. As mentioned in this episode, Choko is getting up there in terms of a penguin’s average life span and is experiencing the onset of a gnarly medical condition. Just as we’re exposed to the conception of new life, I expect accepting the transience of life will be another theme for the characters to come to terms with and I look forwards to seeing how Aquatope chooses to handle it.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!