Hikari, Miuna and Sayu go to the city in order to get him a new uniform. This causes some love tension between Hikari and Miuna, which Sayu gets jealous over and then throws a fit at Miuna for it. In the end, however, they reconcile, and Miuna has gotten much closer with Hikari.
I feel like this episode was incredibly short… And yet, the amount of things I have to say about it could probably cover 3 episodes of any other show. I have trouble believing it, but this show is probably going to surpass my expectations as to the rating I thought it would get; this episode was the final blow which confirmed to me that the directors had no intention of making this turn into a cheese fest which has no taste.
Indeed, the layering of different depth levels in Nagi no Asukara is very well done. On one level, you’ve got the little love and friendship problems encountered, first by Manaka and the rest, and now with Hikari, Sayu and Miuna. The main plot of the episode consisted mainly of this level, and I thought it was super cute to see Miuna flirt unconsciously so much with Hikari; I also reminisced stupid girl fights from my teen years when I saw Miuna go into an argument with Sayu. The depiction of that particular age group is incredibly well done, and could very well intrigue adults just as much as any middle schooler watching this show.
On a second level, however, we also have the drama involved with Hikari’s disoriented life, where his whole world has been changed in what seems to him to be the matter of a day. To him, any form of change at this point is hard to bear; he has barely learned to accept the fact that he is back, and has to adapt to everything else that happens around him. The “I don’t need a uniform” argument, for example, pretty much expressed Hikari’s fear of even more change than what he has had to endure; although missing Manaka is part of the reason why he feels that way, I feel like he’s probably also really overwhelmed by everything around him.
The third and last level is what I’m still unsure about, mostly for the fact that it hasn’t been completely developed yet. Part of it involves the deep environmental crisis which was thrown at our faces many times during the first half of the show, and the other part will probably come to light once the story explains to us what actually happened at the Ofunehiki ceremony; whatever it is, I feel like it pretty much revolves around much bigger themes than just the storyline for the show, once again related to the environmental crisis. Miuna’s discovery at the end of the episode uncovered a bit of this side of the story, but it is far from being the main focus at the moment; I’m sure we’ll get more about it later.
What I’m curious about, is to see if there is a particular reason, other than plot devices, why everyone is coming back at such random times, with such a specific order. Anyone could have come back up the surface, but it had to be Hikari first, during the Tomoebi, and then Kaname, except for him it was just a really random time and had no relation to any event in particular. Those are the kind of questions that I’d usually think anime doesn’t really take into account, but I feel like this show is putting the matter so much up front that there might be an actual reason as to the specific order that people come up.
No matter how short it looked, this episode was surely jam-packed with information; unfortunately, I can’t even begin to cover everything that needs to be covered, and only scratched the surface of things. All I can say in the end is that this show is sure to entertain me for the rest of the season, and probably for the many other times that I will rewatch it.