In his first swimming class on the surface, Hikari challenges Tsumugu to a race, but loses and splits his toenail on the pool wall. Manaka tries hard to bring Chisaki and Hikari, but only ends up making things worse. While biking her to the pier, Tsumugu asks her about the phenomenon known as “Tomoebi”, when there appear to be three suns underwater; Manaka remembers angering Chisaki when she missed it last time. When it happens again, she finds Chisaki and they watch it together; Hikari and Kaname also watch just below them.
After focusing on Akari we return to the core group and its bright, buoyant core, Mukaido Manaka. As Kaname points out, is always the first to jump way ahead in things before the other three realize it, contrasting with her classic scaredy-cat nature. When Hikari gets hurt she springs into action before Chisaki can budge. She tries desperately to keep everyone together, and happy, but no matter what she does or says, the unhappy reality remains: it might not be possible for everyone to be happy. Too much may have changed, or is changing, between them all.
All she and everyone else in the group can do is be clear in their feelings for one another, face the trials that come with those various revelations, and see how the saltflake snow shakes out. Even Kaname, a relative island of tranquility (and gaining a surface-girl admirer), hasn’t come clean about liking Chisaki as Hikari remains paralyzed vis-a-vis Manaka. The final scene of the Tomoebi in all its grandeur is remarkably beautiful in its execution, but also profoundly sad; an echo of simpler times. Manka brought everyone back together for that moment, but the peace may be fleeting.
Rating:7 (Very Good)
- A lesser show might’ve had Hikari’s pool duel with Tsumugu be the entire plot of the episode; here the point is made and it wraps it up quickly
- Speaking of wrapping-up, what was with the surface girls wearing modesty towels even in their own locker room?
- At this point, Hikari gets so mad seeing Manaka alone with Tsumugu that it makes his own encounters with Manaka needlessly tense and strained.
- We like how the show portrayed the sea people being accepted more and more by the growing number of people helping out with the Ojoshi-sama
- We hope to more of Kaname’s growing friendship with the nice surface girl who likes him.
- Manaka’s multiple attempts to include Chi-chan were appropriately hard to watch, but that’s kinda Chisaki’s fault for not being upfront with the necessary party; not that anyone else has been, mind you.
- Tsumugu’s suggests that Manaka finish her sentences to avoid ambiguity, which is safe but ultimately self-defeating in the present situation. That sound advice could apply to everyone in the group.