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 24, Tsumugu talks to Chisaki and says he feels that her feelings are for him now. Tsumugu grabs Chisaki in a hug, but she pushes him away and says she doesn’t love him. Later, when Chisaki returns home, she has various flashbacks of times she and Tsumugu spent together over the past five years. She seems to realize that she’s developed feelings for him. Kaname comes up at that moment, and he admits that he knows she’ll never love him back, and he also tells her that she needs to be honest about her feelings for Tsumugu.
Meanwhile, Akira gives Manaka a letter he wrote in kindergarten, which reads, “I Love Manaka.” Manaka doesn’t know how to react and runs off to her own room. She starts crying, because she has no idea what it means. At the same time, she can also hear the sea rather loudly.
Tsumugu runs into the younger cast members as they’re walking home from school, and he asks to talk to Kaname and Hikari “man-to-man.” The three of them go to see Uroko-sama. Tsumugu comes up with the idea of having another Ofunehiki and putting the pendant that Manaka is wearing around a wooden Ojoshi-sama’s neck to try to make the Sea God believe that Manaka has returned. Uroko-sama surprises them by saying that he’ll give a hand.
As the preparations get going for the Ofunehiki, Kaname overhears Chisaki and Tsumugu having a conversation while Sayu watches Kaname. Kaname heads out for a walk. Sayu comes up to him and tells him that she knows about his feelings for Chisaki. Kaname says he realizes that he’s been an outsider and that Chisaki’s eyes have always been looking elsewhere. Sayu tells him that he’s acting like Chisaki, and says how she’s been watching him and had him in her heart during the five years he was in hibernation. Kaname begins crying and is honest about his feelings: when he returned to the surface, he felt lonely because he thought no one had been waiting for him. At the end of this conversation, Kaname says he’ll start looking at Sayu as a girl his age instead of as a little girl. While this may not have quite been what Sayu had been hoping for, it’s really the best she can get at this point. But perhaps he’ll have feelings for Sayu that blossom over time.
There ended up being quite a focus placed on Kaname in this episode. I was glad to see him finally be honest about how he’s been feeling. I’d had a nagging feeling that he wasn’t entirely being honest with everyone and was wearing a false smile to hide the truth. I was also glad to see him come to the realization that he doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to Chisaki and is starting to open up to the idea of moving on.
Poor Manaka is starting to realize there’s something missing, in large part due to Akira’s letter. There’s a couple of scenes after this where she tries to talk to Hikari about who he loves, and both times, it becomes a rather awkward conversation. Hikari finds ways to give her some generalities about love and then change the subject.
The upcoming Ofunehiki sees characters returning who haven’t been seen in a while. The most notable is their classmate, Egawa, who comes with his pregnant wife. Several of their other former classmates also return to help get ready for the Ofunehiki.
With how much emphasis was being placed on the upcoming Ofunehiki near the end of episode 24, I’m wondering if the actual Ofunehiki will take place in the next episode, or if it’ll happen in the final episode of the series. I’m really curious to see if Tsumugu’s plan with the Ofunehiki will work or not and what any repercussions will be whichever way it goes.
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