Nagi no Asukara – Episode 1

Doin’ a test writeup here. Not the biggest Okada fan, but Kill la Kill may prove to be too fun to watch for me to want to write up, and I’ve gotta waste my time overanalyzing something. So let’s see.

Episode 1

0:03 – Hah! Yes.  What an overdone shot, what a cute subversion to open with. I approve

0:31 – Salt concentration forecast?  Solid incidental storytelling. A classic trick, but professionals (and Mari Okada is certainly a professional, regardless of my overall feelings about her shows – she knows writing) don’t shy away from the right trick at the right moment

0:59 – It’s a pretty evocative choice, these fishies 

1:11 – These backgrounds are also lovely.  The show certainly has a firm color palette – unsurprisingly, the whole thing looks like a sunlit coral reef

1:16 – Ah, right.  Nice one-two punch of exposition there – “pretty salty morning” into the bubble reveal


1:50 – Wow are these few seconds ever loaded.  The undersea outsiders attempting to diminish the markers of their outsider status to fit in to the establishment – yeah, that’s not historically relevant at all. Alright Okada, let’s see where you’re going with this

2:17 – And they’re being bused in to another school?  Holy shit are they making this desegregation angle overt

3:01 – This is pretty interesting 

3:19 – And this is really adorable 

3:47 – Welp, starting character conflict established 

5:27 – Really like the overall design so far . The overworld maintains the color aesthetic, though they’ll probably create a visual contrast somehow – the contrast between the earth-colored land uniforms and sea-colored ocean ones pretty much already sets that in place

5:34 – Even the fact that it’s only a few students is resonant 

5:38 – Who’s that boy in the main character seat?!? 

5:59 – That didn’t take long 


7:21 – An interesting line.  She associates him with the familiar

That “here, cover yourself. That way you won’t stand out as much” was also pretty brutal

8:37 – Well the die has certainly been cast . Let’s see where they take this

9:10 – So is he expositing to himself, or…  Wait, he also did this when she first met the boy. So, actually relating this all to someone else?

10:16 – I think I’m actually going to like this guy.  He’s aggressively proud of his heritage when it’s challenged, but also sees these guys as fairly simpleminded. That seems like it might speak to an underlying conflict between his emotional mindset and his intellectual one, which could be used well

11:22 – Lovely 


12:05 – Well that happened 

13:03 – Another nice shot.  Nice symmetry with his body and the shrine gate

13:20 – They’re getting pretty aggressive with the adolescent sexuality.  A good sign – many people actually do have sex as teenagers, contrary to what most anime would like you to believe

13:59 – That’s just gorgeous 

14:34 – Aw, man, sucks for him.  He’s just a big brother to her, huh?

14:44 – Wonderfully chosen extended shot.  His headspace is bright as day

15:16 – Another one-for-one scene.  “Can I feel your hair?” etc

16:34 – And one more beautiful shot.  Skin like scales – a great, otherworldly idea


17:13 – More pieces to play out . This one seems a little too routine, but that’d be a really harsh early assessment to make in a show that already seems so smart

17:24 – AWESOME.  WHAT an immediate comeback of storytelling. Not only is this a very perceptive view of their relationship, but it also means this guy hopefully won’t just be the token “loves the girl who loves the MC unrequitedly” guy. Meaning he might actually be worth something as a character. YES

18:11 – More visual niceness 

18:23 – And even more 

19:44 – This is maybe the weirdest intimate moment I’ve ever seen.  Nice work, Okada

21:03 – They’re using the lighting really nicely in this scene.  I also really like how direct the boy was in the previous one – this show apparently has a lot more to say than “I hope senpai notices me” for a bunch of episodes

21:34 – An underwater park.  What a beautiful little idea


And Done

Smart, beautiful, thematically pointed, fast-paced first episode. A love story filtered through the context of racism and desegregation in a beautifully realized new world. No complaints. That was a fantastic episode, and I hope this will continue to be a fantastic show. Picked the fuck up, Nagi no Asukara.

3 thoughts on “Nagi no Asukara – Episode 1

  1. it’s really really beautiful both visually and culturally; let’s hope the MC and his sexist, brute behavior gets called out soon; as well as that of the small god- he needs a slap in his face

    • Yeah, the small god’s a creeper. The MC’s behavior wasn’t excusable, but I think it was understandable – he’s a young, scared kid who’s basically trying to be an adult while holding onto a cultural pride that already seems suspect to him. Having the childhood friend he’s in love with grow past and away from him must be both a painful and frightening feeling.

  2. Pingback: Nagi no Asukara: First Impression | Kori's Anime

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