Nagi no Asukara: Episode 11 – “The Changing Times”

Nagi no Asukara is set in a world where long ago, human civilization lived on the ocean floor. However, there were humans who wanted to live above the surface and moved to land, and this created a separation between the humans. The series focuses on four middle school students who live in the ocean named Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki, and Kaname. Because their middle school shut down, they must attend a school on land. During the first episode, Manaka met Tsumugu, one of their new classmates. He’s from a family of fishermen and has an interest in the underwater village.

The beginning of episode 11 takes us back right to the end of episode 10, where Kaname confesses his feelings to Chisaki. She’s taken aback, and Kaname tells her that he doesn’t need a reply right now. It’s rather awkward when they head to school together because Chisaki is keeping her distance from Kaname.

Hikari then narrates about the fact that he and Manaka didn’t notice the awkwardness between Kaname and Chisaki at that time, due to being overwhelmed with everything else that was going on. He then spends a couple of minutes explaining what was going on primarily with the sea village, but he does touch briefly on the surface. It’s revealed amongst the people of the sea village that with how everyone’s Ena is thickening, it is believed the people of the sea village will fall into their hibernation on the day of the Ofunehiki.

On the surface, Akari and Itaru have filled out a marriage registration and plan to be married. They talk about whether or not there should be a ceremony, and how Itaru still wants to get a blessing from Akari’s father. Later, Miuna is trying to drive Akari away so she can return to the sea and go to sleep in order to live.

Now that the Ena has thickened on the kids from the sea village, they have to soak in water more often. After having to leave class for a soak, Hikari makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with the hibernation, because there’s no guarantee that they will wake up at the same time; the only guarantee they have of being together is the here and now. All four of them ultimately decide to start eating when they’re at school, since this will slow down the thickening of the Ena and make it less likely that they’ll go to sleep.

Since fishing hasn’t been going well and things are changing, the Fishery Cooperative begs Hikari to do the Ofunehiki. When Hikari approaches Uroko-sama about it, he says that while Hikari did a good job, nothing will change. It’s revealed that Uroko-sama believes that the Ofunehiki has no meaning or power to do anything to change the situation. Hikari feels rather deflated, but Akari comes up with an idea to save the Ofunehiki.

I found Hikari’s narration early on in the episode as well as at the end kind of interesting. While I know this was done to complement the montage of images we were seeing in order to get through these portions to get to the important part of the story, the narration was done in such a way where it sounds like Hikari is at some point in the future and is looking back at where we are now. While his narration may have done this briefly in other episodes, I had never really caught on to that until today’s episode. Usually when I’m watching the series, I believe I’m seeing what’s going on in the present for the characters, so hearing a narration in past tense from one of the characters can be a little jarring.

When it comes to Akari’s idea to save the Ofunehiki, I had pretty much guessed at what she would be proposing as soon as she said she had an idea to save it. Even though I’d already figured it out, I still think it’s a neat idea. I suspect the Ofunehiki will either take place in episode 12 or episode 13.

Also, right at the end of this episode, Chisaki finally becomes a bit more of a redeemable character. She has come to realize that she can’t fight change, and she has also decided to do something that she kept fighting in previous episodes of the series. If she does follow through on this, the repercussions could be interesting,

Now that I’m 11 episodes in, I have a suspicion that the Ofunehiki will essentially be wrapping up the first half of the series. However, I have no idea how the story will continue once we get through the arc about the Ofunehiki. Whatever the new story is, I suspect it’ll make up the bulk of the second half of the series.

Now I’m really looking forward to finally being able to see the Ofunehiki, and I’m hoping that will be coming up in episode 12.

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