Nagi no Asukara – Episode 3

Adolescent hormones bubbling, narrow paradigms broadening, sisters in rather immediate jeopardy. Let’s get to it!

Episode 3

0:17 – Good stuff – continuing to twist the personal and the political.  Hikari’s worried about his sister, but Manaka has somewhat less immediate reasons to care about this outcome

2:23 – What a sad image.  Says more than any conversation could

…please don’t ask how chalk works underwater . This show isn’t about pedantic worldbuilding, it’s about societies and individuals


2:44 – I really like that they retreat to the last place their world made total sense to discuss this , and I continuously like the way Hikari’s understandable emotions mess with his reading of the situation. He’s definitely my favorite character of the season so far

2:49 – Lel 

2:59 – Hikari: Master Problem Solver 

3:11 – Oh jeez, what a one-two punch.  “It’s his fault for putting his hands on a girl from the sea” (as if his sister has no agency of her own, which is both absurd and proven extremely untrue by last week’s episode) followed by this dismissal of the girls. The stress just shows how much growing up he has to do – but of course, one of his biggest failings is his inability to accept Manaka’s control over her own life

3:27 – This show is so pretty 


4:03 – This is awful, awful exposition.  Why would these two characters who both know this trade off articulating it to each other? Plus it’s just an incredibly hackneyed way to lead into a moment of honesty – it’s just completely unnecessary. Really terrible scripting here

5:03 – This is better, but it still feels like they’re overtelling the obvious 

6:42 – And yet this is handled beautifully.  Him hearing her crying at night segues perfectly into this piece of backstory

7:38 – Man, this is all fantastic.  Filling out the world, but grounding it very specifically in the emotional journey of him and his sister, all centered on the overheard crying representing the stable veneer of their home life. Great work


8:34 – When he’s not in the heat of anger, he does understand – he’s actually a pretty compassionate guy.  And now that understanding will have to extend to the girl he loves

11:06 – Clever choice to frame this confrontation at Tsumugu’s house , giving Tsumugu’s grandfather the chance to establish his own perspective for later

12:59 – How dare you date my sister! How dare you not plan to marry her!  Love this kid.

That baby stuff kind of gives everything a somewhat different tenor. Not substantially (there are plenty of cultures and groups that fear marrying outside for this exact reason, underwater-breathing aside), but it certainly lends a bit more desperation to the “dying culture” angle

15:04 – Aw, shit.  Shoulda guessed

15:41 – Akari, give up on that guy! Wait, don’t do that, have a baby with him! 


16:15 – Man, this was handled so well.  It’s kind of hard to believe this is 2-cour – they’re exploring all these ideas at such an efficient rate

17:31 – The Amis always do 

17:52 – BAM BAM BAM.  The links keep coming. Kind of loving this show

19:39 – Hey, she’s growing up a bit.  In the most embarrassing way possible


And Done

Great, great episode. It pushed the development of the characters individually forward, it fully established the friendship with Tsumugu, and it dealt with the Akari plot (at least for now) in graceful, very relatable fashion. Hikari’s development in particular was great this week – the contradictions of his desires, base nature, age, and everything else just result in a full, conflicted, and completely understandable human being. The series of flashbacks that established his relationship with his sister were just beautifully done, both poignant and critical to his fairly significant maturation this week. I didn’t mention it during the notes, but the music was also a great force this week – critically, it was appropriate but understated at virtually all times, and the light piano used for the moments when Akari was compromising her own desires made the scenes even more tragic. This show has surprised me from moment one, and I hope it continues to keep up this level of quality and emotional insight.

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