Nagi no Asukara – 25

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Oh, dear…

My experience with anime has been that it’s usually far easier to drop shows earlier than later, at least from a blogging perspective.  Once shows have an established fanbase and viewers feel pot-committed, they often get very hostile towards anyone who criticizes that series – we certainly saw it with Gatchaman Crowds and Samumenco, for example, and we’re seeing it now with Nagi no Asukara.  But the flipside is that I don’t like being bullied into dropping shows I still think are interesting, and Nagiasu is a show that stayed interesting for a very long time.  So I stuck it out, and it got to the point where I was committed myself – you certainly aren’t going to cover 90% of a show and then drop it.

So – here we are.  I can’t say I’m sorry I stuck with this series, because it has indeed been interesting and occasionally brilliant for most of its run.  But to my way of thinking it’s hovering on the precipice between uneven and outright disaster at this stage, and that leaves me squarely in the “nobody wins” position when it comes to covering it.  Nagiasu is a mess right now, plain and simple, and I’m not going to lie and say I think otherwise.  But I have no interest in getting into a pissing contest with the commenters who disagree.

There’s really one moment in this episode that rang true, and it was the revelation of what Manaka said to that sea slug.  Does it come as a surprise?  No – though some viewers somehow convinced themselves otherwise it never seemed remotely possible to me that Manaka was going to tell Hikari anything except “I love you, too” after that Ofunehiki, and who knows, maybe it was supposed to be suspenseful.  And of course, there were seemingly endless gorgeous visual moments in the episode – the art in this series is astonishingly beautiful even by P.A. Works’ standards.

But Lord, the rest of it…  So much crying – and it’s getting louder.  So much navel-gazing.  So much plot contrivance.  I mean, honestly- after last time did it occur to no one that holding an Ofunehiki might, you know, be a little dangerous?  Seriously?  And Ena once again proves itself to be the ultimate asspull writing crutch – it can be used to facilitate any plot development that needs a little push.  There’s so much good stuff that could have been focused on here – the stuff with Uroko-sama talking about how he was part of the shoulder blade of the Sea God was actually pretty compelling.  But it was one minute of an episode where we got probably ten of Chisaki and Miuna wallowing in self-pity and self-deception.

It’s all such a shame, really – there was so much potential in Nagiasu, but Okada seems once again to be her own worst enemy.  To completely recycle the Ofunehiki storyline and to have completely abandoned so many of the seeds that were planted in the first cour is just plain bad writing.  Kaname is royally shafted, that’s a given, and Chisaki’s character has pretty much been decimated by the last three episodes.  At this point about all I can hope for is an ending that doesn’t feel like a complete Deux ex Machina (recycling the timeskip as well as the Ofunehiki seems a given), and a conclusion to Hikari and Manaka’s arc that doesn’t leave them both utterly miserable or dead.  There’s just not enough time for anything mote than that, and the credibility of the story has taken too much damage.  It really is too bad – I was on-board for a long time here and I really wanted this series to finish in a blaze of glory.  Okada is certainly adept at supplying the pyrotechnics, but it’s not the sort of fire I was hoping for.

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25 comments

  1. H

    I think you're being a tad bit pessimistic here about predicting the show will end in flames and tears but I'll agree that I hope we get a damned good explanation for what the ena is doing next episode or that's really going to detract from the show as a whole.

  2. G

    You can't have so many love triangles not end up with some folks getting their hearts broken. I liked this series but would have prefered a little less "As The World Turns" and more of real plot development and the 2 peoples (sea and land dwellers).

  3. H

    I think they were just trying to make the best out of a very bad situation when they prepared for the Ofunehiki the second time. Should they do nothing and simply wait for the world to end (and have Manaka be unable to love for the rest of her life) or do something (it seems to me that the Ofunehiki is the only method to get through to the Sea God in any way) and take the risk? Either way, it's a lose-lose scenario, so I believe there's no "logical" or "correct" choice in this.
    Just my two cents, though.

  4. S

    There were a lot of weird and perhaps nonsencical stuff going on in this episode here, primarily the secret kept by Tsumugi. Ummm .. why??? Surely he would know that was actually useful information in aiding Manaka????

    You could sorta come up with an explanation with the Ena I guess. Miuna touches Manaka while in the sea and the Ena is not really active on the surface. Her Ena is an 'offshoot'? from Manaka. Still, it was way too convenient and also UNNECESSARY! All they needed to do was get her to the surface!!

    As to what will happen now? Well we have the neckless with the slug spit (conveniently found) falling down which will I guess allow the freeing of Miuna. HOWEVER, Manaka's neckless is emitting a feeling of love of someone FROM THE SEA, not land. So how does that fit with the myth?

  5. R

    the myth said that the ojoshi sama was longing for someone she left on the surface (on and from the surface at two different things) so it could be alluding to the fact that hikari was left on the surface while manaka slept underwater.

  6. R

    i find it interesting that this is a rehash (the whirlpools scene look exactly like that of episode 13) practically because it was intended to be a rehash. Uroko-sama's lines say it all, this is as if the characters are saying that they will not make the same mistakes again (of course, your mileage will definitely vary whether or not they did learn from their mistakes).

    another thing i find interesting is how the tsumugu-chisaki was (sort of) resolved. it's kaname, of all people, who goes on saying "hey you two, you're both grown ups now. stop acting like teenagers" kinda amused that when sayu nearly fell off, he manages to save her.

    i read one prediction from the frorums saying that it's possible that what we see in the preview is not a time skip, but a flashback to the ojoshi-sama story.

  7. M

    I know the perfect remedy to this Enzo. Watch Gin no Saji S2.

  8. Just about to do just that, though Hoozuki already fulfilled that function to an admirable degree.

  9. R

    I agreeโ€ฆI quite enjoyed this week's Hoozuki.

  10. f

    Lolllllllll…. if there's another timeskip, maybe Akira will be old enough to be Manaka's next pursuer. *not taking this seriously at all*

  11. m

    Seriously… too many tears! …meh….I'm just going to watch the final episode, and I'll probably forget about it (like many other anime). It' a shame, but I'm already resigned…and as Tamako said.."I don't have time to deal with teenage drama"…..

  12. K

    I can't believe I'm saying this but – Miuna!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. A

    Through much of the series, I didn't really agree with your stance about Miuna (there were parts were I did though). I never thought she was such a terrible character and I did like what she added, or could potentially add to the series.

    Funny thing is, coming to episode 25, I must completely agree this time with what you wrote. You pretty much nailed it when using the word "credibility". I think relations right now look just… false. And Chisaki, who I did like as a character, lately has been just annoying. Tsumugu and his "you'll love me, and you'll like it" type of stuff doesn't help either.

    Kaname not this episode but the one before was no better with Sayu, it was pretty much "Ok, you'll do as a consolation prize".

    It is really a shame that this series isn't having a good ending. It really had some great things. On the first coeur, everything around the relations in Hikari's family (his father and sister) was really great, and I did like what Miuna (the little girl version) brought to the table. Then there was all those problems between sea and earth people, which gave a little more depth to the series. And last but not least, Hikari's growth through the series, specially just after the timeskip. Reactions to the timeskip were very well done I think.

    The problems came afterwards, when we forgot about everything but that love polygon, which I don't think was addressed correctly.

    There was no "feel" between Tsumugu and Chisaki through all the timeskip (they actually had more in sporadic moments before the timeskip), and then, by just showing a few flashbacks in episode 24, they expected us to buy on to that relationship. I'm sorry, but I can't. And I'm not even going to go into Kaname with Sayu.

    I just hope, at least, we get a decent ending with the last part of the love polygon, the triangle between Miuna, Manaka and Hikari. For me, it's not a thing about who ends with who, but about the process of getting together.

  14. K

    I think it will have a happy ending but I think it's become a bit too predictable when you could say almost everything that was going to happen in this episode weeks ago.

    I also wonder if this show would have been better as 1 cour as it does feel things were extended unnaturally. Nothing really came from the time skip except more love problems so it hardly seems necessary.

    Don't get me wrong I am probably more positive about the series than you at this point. I still enjoy it and care about all the characters, but it could have been better. And that is a disappointment.

  15. m

    I don't know why, but when Miuna started crying loudly my reaction was laughing pretty hysterically. I don't know if it was just too much crying eventually broke my limit of amount of crying I'll accept, or if just the loudness set me off, but the whole thing was pretty funny to me.
    Aside from that, I really didn't hate this episode as much as the previous few. I can easily see how you call it recycling plot, but it can also be looked as at tying things back in (haha who am I kidding its not). I clearly have a case of defending something bc I liked it a lot. It's been to soap opera heavy and I'm not convinced Okada can do romance well. (Sakurasou was ok, but that was a LN I believe, AND she managed to give that a non ending disaster)

  16. R

    maybe it was those railroad tracks going underwater that got you. i can't help but notice that one. so their trains can go underwater? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. m

    Hahaha yeah that was just absurd in general. Who decided to add that when making the scenery. Did no one say "Hey…why don't you NOT put train tracks underwater…"

  18. I actually took that to be tracks that were flooded out and no longer in use.

  19. H

    Same here, we've seen the influence of the ocean everywhere in the series (from the rust all over the landers buildings to that either abandoned or half finished bridge over the way) so I thought it was just another part of it.

  20. R

    @helen

    it's actually a joke between me and maverickmann84. the angle of that particular shot was a bit odd, making it look like the rails were going underwater ๐Ÿ˜‰

  21. S

    RE: The rail tracks. You will see that sort of thing in most ship yards. It's how they get big boats up on land. They put a rig on the rails and float the boat onto it and then winch the rig back up.

  22. m

    Haha this became a longer convo than I anticipated when after I read your comment Roger

  23. R

    hehehehe! amusing isnt it.

    BTW, i found something interesting

    http://seventhstyle.com/2014/03/29/nagiasu-spoils-the-ending-with-artwork/

    i highly doubt that this would even be in the finale though.

  24. k

    "Once shows have an established fanbase and viewers feel pot-committed, they often get very hostile towards anyone who criticizes that series – we certainly saw it with Gatchaman Crowds and Samumenco, for example, and we're seeing it now with Nagi no Asukara."

    The problem is not the criticism, it's the attitude of "this show objectively fails because it doesn't do what I want it to do" that people sometimes exhibit… ๐Ÿ˜› Both Samumenco and Gatchaman Crowds were very clever series that required a bit of adjustment to "get" and enjoy, and they both greatly rewarded viewers who stuck with them. (Not saying they were perfect, but they were certainly more than worth watching.)

    NagiAsu, though… maybe I'm just cynical but I think that with this show we all knew what we were getting from the first couple of episodes, and we got just that.

  25. Both Samumenco and Gatchaman Crowds were very clever series that required a bit of adjustment to "get" and enjoy, and they both greatly rewarded viewers who stuck with them.

    In other words, the problem is the attitude of "this criticism objectively fails because it doesn't do what I want it to do"?

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