Thursday, 24 October 2013

Nagi no Asukara - Episode 4

As if Akari's romantic entanglement with someone from the land wasn't tough enough, we now learn that the man in question has a daughter of his own, which only succeeds in further inflaming Hikari's ire.

However, and perhaps surprisingly for him, rather than take action at the behest of said daughter and her friend, he chooses to simply walk away.  Unfortunately, this isn't a habitual reaction for our protagonist, and as the spectre of bullying once again raises its head at school it doesn't take long for him to snap - although he manages to remain restrained when a cooking lesson ends with Manaka pushed to the ground, discovering that the Ojoshi the group has been working on is ruined pushes him over the edge, and he attacks the assumed culprits with extreme prejudice.

Having been sent home for his efforts (and with Manaka following stubbornly in his wake), Chisaki discovers the true culprit of this particular event and finds herself determined to protect Hikari from further trouble by hiding it despite others knowing better than to do so.  Ultimately, this act of vandalism ties back in to Akari's relationship, as we discover when her boyfriend almost drowns trying to pay her a visit under the sea only to be saved by Hikari, while Akari herself talks of her own feelings as they developed over time.  In the aftermath of all of this, and Hikari coming to discover the true Ojoshi vandal (or so he thinks, anyway), he begins to question whether he's still protecting Manaka or whether it is in fact the other way around.

As I mentioned after last week's episode, I remain a little torn about Nagi no Asukara - I love its setting but still don't feel its being used to its fullest extent (most of the drama here could be provided without the undersea versus land-dwellers premise), and find myself occasionally frustrated by the simply nature of the show's drama and how elements of it spring up and resolve, before reminding myself that this is a series about a group of kids for the most part and that this is basically how things tend to pan out when you're that age.  One area where I am definitely mellowing is in my feelings towards Hikari - I'm really rather starting to like his character and specifically the way its developing and maturing, and he now feels like an interesting focal point for proceedings rather than an overblown cipher for any drama.  I'm still not entirely convinced that Nagi no Asukara has enough going for it to fill out twenty-six episodes, but it's providing me with enough entertainment for me to enjoy watching it at present.

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