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.
Early on in the episode, we see the four main characters from the sea village sorting out their feelings and emotions and talking with others. Hikari has a bit of a monologue where he ultimately comes to realize everyone cared for someone, and some of them didn’t realize their feelings themselves or knew what to do with them. After this realization, he goes to find Manaka. They both try to talk at the same time, but Manaka insists that Hikari talk first. He tells her that he seriously loves her and that she’s precious to him. Whether she likes him or not, the fact that she’s precious to him won’t change. When Hikari asks what Manaka was going to say, she says she’ll tell him after the Ofunehiki is over,
Chisaki has a talk with her parents, and she learns that they had figured out she’d been secretly eating while she was on the surface. They tell her to go ahead to the Ofunehiki, and that they’ll try to stay awake until she gets back. After this, she runs into Kaname, and the two of them have a conversation before all four of them head up to the surface to help with the Ofunehiki.
On the surface, everyone is busy getting ready. Manaka overhears Miuna practicing saying “mom” before using the word to address Akari for the first time.
Uroko-sama’s blessing before the hibernation and the Ofunehiki begin at about the same time. Uroko-sama makes sure sacred fire lights up to guide the way for the Ofunehiki. Suddenly, whirlpools begin forming near the sea village and head up to the surface; the Sea God is ready to accept the sacrifice.
The last few minutes of this episode are incredibly intense! When I started into this episode, I was not expecting what ended up happening during the Ofunehiki. Silly me. I was assuming that since the Ofunehiki was such an anticipated event over the course of these 13 episodes that everything would turn all right. But nope, I was wrong. Very wrong.
The ending of episode 13 is a major cliffhanger, because the audience doesn’t know what happened to several of the characters at the end. Argh! Now I have to wait two whole weeks in order to find out what happened to these characters!
If you had told me right after I watched the first episode of Nagi no Asukara that I would come to care about these characters so much and lamenting having to have a two-week wait to find out what happens to them, I probably would’ve said that you were crazy. But I’ve grown to really enjoy and appreciate this series, and I’m very impressed by how much Hikari has grown as a character over these 13 episodes.
The end of episode 13 was a definite “game changer” for Nagi no Asukara, and now I’m very curious to see how this series will end up continuing for another 13 episodes.
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