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 19, it’s revealed that Hikari, Kaname, and Miuna found Manaka in Shioshishio and have brought her back to the surface. She is examined by a doctor and by Chisaki; it’s determined that she’s pretty healthy and that there’s nothing wrong with her brain waves. The doctor suspects that she’ll wake up soon. After the doctor leaves, Hikari talks to the sleeping Manaka. Miuna eavesdrops at the door, and is caught by Chisaki. After Miuna hears Hikari tells Manaka that he’ll never let her go, she runs off in tears.
Later, when Chisaki visits with Tsumugu’s grandfather at the hospital and mentions she’s wondering why Manaka has lost some of her Ena, he tells her about the continuation of the story about the Sea God and Ojoshi-sama that usually isn’t told because it’s a story with a sad ending. The actual details of the story aren’t related to the audience until the end of the episode when Chisaki shares it with another character.
That night while Chisaki, Tsumugu, and Kaname have dinner, the conversation gets a little heated when it’s revealed that Tsumugu and Mihashi won’t be officially presenting the details about the fact that we were able to get into Shioshishio or about Miuna for a while. Kaname is upset by this, and both Tsumugu and Chisaki have to explain why it has to be done the way it’s being done. Kaname quips that Chisaki is such an adult. This comment later makes Chisaki try to put on her middle school uniform when she comes across it in her closet. Unfortunately, this ends up causing an awkward situation for Chisaki.
After the embarrassing situation, Chisaki decides she wants to drink some of the wine in the house, even though she’s underage. She gets drunk and has a talk with Tsumugu in this state. In her mind, she decides that she wants to go to Shioshishio in order to see it for herself. She falls asleep, and Tsumugu starts stroking her cheek. Kaname finds them and says that better be all he plans to do with Chisaki. The two of them have a talk, and some truths come out about Tsumugu’s feelings for Chisaki, and Kaname’s thoughts during the Ofunehiki when Tsumugu was in danger.
The next day, Chisaki goes out on her own to dive into the water and visit Shioshishio. After she jumps into the water, some surprising things happen.
This episode has a strong focus on Chisaki. As I watched her throughout the episode, it really hit me that while she has matured physically, she truly hasn’t matured emotionally. In some ways, it does make sense, since it was mentioned a couple of times that for both Chisaki and Tsumugu, their time had basically been frozen for five years without their other friends around. Tsumugu says that the both of them can now move forward with the return of the other three. At the end of the episode, Chisaki also says that now that Manaka has returned, their time that was frozen for the past five years finally started moving. However, the very last line of narration is that after a week had passed, there were no signs that Manaka would awaken.
When Chisaki started doing her underage drinking, I couldn’t help thinking that as a nursing student she really should know better. Yeah, I understand that she’s upset, but still… This is one of her actions in this episode that help to illustrate some of the immaturity that she still has.
I also want to add that I found the continuation of the Sea God and Ojoshi-sama story to be interesting, and I wonder if it might be playing a part with what’s going on with Manaka. It’s also interesting to learn that a week after being brought to the surface that Manaka still hasn’t woken up. I’m hoping episode 20 might help provide some insights into what’s happening with Manaka.
Nagi no Asukara keeps me wanting to come back each week to find out what’s going to be happening to the characters and where the story is headed. I can’t believe I only have five more episodes left to go in order to reach the end of the series. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I don’t want to see it come to an end!
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