Hikari, now living with his sister, is worried about his father who was left alone in Shioshishio. Meanwhile, all the students decide to repair and improve the Ofunehiki in order for it to be ready for the celebration; the time during which they work on it allows for relationships to deepen and feelings to develop. The next day, however, Hikari finds out that all his friends from Shioshishio are absent; this causes him to go down to the village to see what has happened, which results in him running away with Manaka. After a deep rejection from Manaka, Hikari tries to run away but is stopped by his father.
I hated this episode. With a passion.
…That god-damned cliffhanger made me wish I had never seen this episode before the next one came out.
Okay, me hating this episode was a complete lie. I loved it, and almost everything that came with it. I’m glad we got more development on the social context of Shioshishio; we still haven’t gotten a clear explanation on what is going on, but it seems like Hikari’s leave caused one hell of a degradation in Shioshishio after only a few days. It also seems like everyone is banned from the land… How the kids will manage to go around that is another matter which I wonder about.
The one thing I was a bit sad about in this episode was the fact that they’re still hung up on that stupid Ofunehiki. I guess it works with the show to have some childish school activity kept ongoing in order to keep the setting right, and I’m pretty sure that the actual ceremony will be used as a proof that both nations have learned to coexist, but it remains a childish school activity in my head; I guess that’s just personal opinion, however, because it still works very well with the setting of the show.
Moving on to our main characters’ love stories, I thought it was pretty obvious that Tsumugu and Manaka would end up together… But it seems like the Tsumugu x Chiaki moments are becoming very numerous; and, now that I think about it… Seeing Chisaki change so much as to move to the land would be an amazing development to see in her. They’re also very alike in their mature acts (well, Chisaki just needs to think the part too), and seem to be an amazing match altogether. The Hikari and Manaka moments were also very numerous, and it seems like Hikari’s strong will to forget about his feelings is not working at all… I’m honestly becoming very confused in this love speculation; every episode has a different possibility arising. I guess everything is up to who Tsumugu goes for, although right now he doesn’t seem to be going for anyone.
The only thing we can be certain about right now is that Manaka clearly does not love Hikari, at least for now. I was happy to see the development where he tries to hug her, and even happier to see Manaka reject him. The scene is actually the first where we see some clear attempt to convey feelings; I expect to see a lot more, but most of the characters aren’t ready for that yet. To see Hikari get rejected, and to see Manaka notice Hikari’s feelings, will definitely cause some deep thinking on either side; I expect more character development to occur there.
In the meantime, we will be a witness to the breakdown of Shioshishio; I mean, it is doomed to breakdown, after all, with the short amount of children in the village and the great amount of them leaving for the land. Whatever happens to the village in the end cannot amount to a super good ending in the long term, unless the water God finds a way to give back Ena to the land people.
Next episode will give us more detail on that; look forward to it!