Thanks to a mixture of Miuna's sharp hearing and Tsumugu and company's research, a route into Shioshishio has been found, allowing Miuna to accompany Hikari and Kaname on their return home.
Of course, with the rest of the populace still in hibernation this is a decidedly eerie homecoming, and although Hikai admonishes Miuna from being creeped out by the statuesque individuals dotted around town in truth he's equally, if not more, discomfited by the whole thing. Are they really still hibernating?
While Hikari heads back to his home to cool off a little, Miuna finds herself drawn once again towards the strange sound that she can hear - a noise that eventually brings her to her friend's old school, allowing her to shake off the town's eerie nature and gain a glimpse into the world beneath the sea that she'd always imagined. It's here that she finds herself quizzed by Uroko, before in turn finally rejoining the others to find what they'd been looking for - Manaka's location at the centre of the events that occurred five years previously. However, with Manaka's Ena seemingly withering away by the moment, it seems that there's nothing for it than to risk awakening her prematurely to take her to the surface and save her life... an escape that leaves Miuna with a final memory of a withering look from Uroko, which seems to suggest she has a bigger part to play in events than she might ever have imagined.
Somewhat removed from the human (and mostly human) drama of recent weeks, this was a slightly more sedate episode of Nagi no Asukara which seems to serve largely to build towards its final series of episodes - Miuna and Manaka have now switched roles in many senses, with hints that the fate of the pair may be tied more tightly than anticipated, and of course Manaka's reappearance completes the awakening of the main quartet of Shioshishio characters complete with everything that this reunion entails. It certainly feels like we're set up for some fascinating machinations in the coming weeks, so I fully expect this series to continue to deliver.