Nagi no Asukara – 21

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I really liked how Manaka’s awakening was handled so casually; both the randomness of the moment it happened, and her adorable, almost ridiculously chipper attitude right afterwards. They even teased the fact that she might have Amnesia, but it’s just because she doesn’t recognize a five-years-older Miuna at first glance. All, it would seem, is well.

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With the group of sea kids finally united, Miuna retreats. Her rivalry with Manaka had been an abstract thing in her head for so long, now that Manaka is up and about, she’s unsure of how to interact with Manaka; saying she “has no right” to hang out with that circle. Sayu snaps her out of her funk with some strategic water-splashing.

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In their latest effort to enter the circle, Miuna and Sayu quickly find they have nothing to worry about, just as Hikari, Kaname, and Chisaki find Manaka to be almost unnervingly happy, despite the fact she’s lost five years and her ena is gone. Manaka is seemingly able to do effortlessly what Miuna and the others struggle to do: be present and happy in the moment.

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It’s great to see the gang back together, but Chisaki now finds herself singularly isolated by the age gap. In a lovely, heartbreaking little moment after excusing herself from the school, she turns back briefly, perhaps resigned to the new reality: by not hibernating, she passed her friends by. The only one who grew with her was Tsumugu, but while they come so close time and again they just…can’t…quite…come together. ARRGH…they’re both doomed, aren’t they?

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Then, finally, there is something weighing on Hikari’s mind throughout his time with the reawakened Manaka: he really would like to know what she was going to tell him after the Ofunehiki, but either he’s throwing her off by not asking the right questions, ir her memory is genuinely foggy. Like Hikari, I really want to know. With Tsumugu apparently cursed by Uroko, they may get some answers soon, but they may not be the ones they—or I—necessarily want.

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Stray Observation: The OP has been tweaked somewhat; rather than depicting Manaka sleeping at the bottom of the sea, she and Miuna are both down there dressed somewhat Ojoshi-sama-y, which seems to confirm the fact both of them will play a part in appeasing the sea god. Meanwhile, in the episode, Manaka seems to be sporting boots very similar to Uggs.

 

 

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