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 started out by focusing on four middle school students who live in the ocean named Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki, and Kaname. Because their middle school shut down, they had 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. At the beginning of episode 14, five years have passed and a lot of things have changed.
At the beginning of episode 17, word starts to spread that Kaname has awakened and is now on the surface. When Hikari and Miuna learn he’s at the Fishery Cooperative, they immediately go there to see him. When Chisaki and Tsumugu arrive together, it’s a little awkward for Kaname to see them together and assumes they’re in a relationship.
When Kaname talks about what he remembers when he came to, he mentions hearing a sound that kind of sounded like sand flowing. Miuna mentions that she heard that same sound when she fell into the water in episode 16. After hearing that Miuna could suddenly swim and breathe underwater, Mihashi, the professor that came with Tsumugu asks to talk with Miuna again at a later time. Tsumugu and Chisaki take Kaname to Tsumugu’s housem and as Tsumugu watches them working together in the kitchen to make some tea, he looks uncomfortable.
Later, Mihashi meets with Miuna and her family, and he says that he’s discovered that Miuna has started to develop Ena, and that he has about a 50-micron layer of membrane above her normal skin. This seems to go against conventional wisdom, because it was thought that children born from a union of someone from the surface and someone from the sea would lose the Ena. Mihashi asks to look at Akira as well. This could be a very interesting development, because there could be some major repercussions because of it.
Later, Miuna overhears Hikari and Kaname talking, and that Hikari says he doesn’t plan to change because he doesn’t want to surprise Manaka at such a point that she awakens and returns to the surface. Later, Miuna declares to Sayu that she’s not going to change, either.
Mihashi and Tsumugu come up with a hypothesis that the sound that Kaname and Miuna heard might be an unknown current. At the end of the episode, Hikari, Kaname, and Miuna dive into the water to try find out whether or not the hypothesis is correct.
Some of the episode also focuses on Sayu and her confusion over Kaname after learning that he’s returned. She’s having to deal with the confusion that Miuna found herself facing after Hikari suddenly returned.
It was interesting to see Kaname’s reaction to what the surface is like after he’d been asleep for five years. Kaname seemed to handle the culture shock a lot better than Hikari did. Of course, this is probably due to the fact that he’s always had a calmer demeanor and the fact that he can talk to Hikari about the things that could cause the culture shock. And where Hikari’s reactions to the shock were external, Kaname’s reactions are more introspective.
As expected, Kaname’s feelings for Chisaki haven’t changed since the Ofunehiki five years earlier. During the episode, he finds himself wondering if Chisaki still likes Hikari like she did five years earlier.
Right at the end of the episode, Miuna hears the sound that she heard back in episode 16, and is just starting to lead in the direction it’s coming from when the ending credits start up. I feel safe in saying that we may get an answer to what the sound is and where it’s coming from at some point during episode 18.
Nagi no Asukara continues to be a strong series, and I find myself looking forward to seeing the series week after week. I thought the ending of episode 17 was very effective, because it makes the viewer want to come back for the next episode with the hope of finding out what the sound is. I’m looking forward to watching the next episode to find out what twists and information will be revealed.
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