Thursday, 20 February 2014

Nagi no Asukara - Episode 20

Hikari seems utterly confident that Manaka will soon awaken after her return to the surface at his hands - however, one week later there's no sign of this actually happening.

Regardless, Hikari remains upbeat and confident that her spiritual return isn't too far away, while also spending much of his free time in Shioshishio trying to track down Uroko in the hope that he may hold the key to Manaka's comatose state, helped all the way by Kaname and - increasingly - Chisaki.  In fact, Hikari's preoccupation with finding Uroko sees him run himself to the point of collapse from exhaustion, if there were any doubts as to his devotion to Manaka.

With this trio of underwater residents seemingly closer than ever, those outside of that circle find themselves feeling a little left out, particularly in the case of Miuna and Sayu.  It's Miuna in particular who finds herself suffering a crisis of sorts, as she increasingly comes to realise that perhaps deep down she doesn't really want Manaka to wake up after all given the effect she knows this will have upon any chance of Hikari noticing her romantically.  This comes to a head when Sayu suggests that perhaps Manaka could be awoken like some kind of Snow White; it's left to Tsumugu to assure Miuna that she isn't alone in her feelings, as it's a prospect that he's all too familiar with thanks to his own situation with Chisaki.

It's this focus on Miuna that has proved to be one of the strengths of Nagi no Asukara's second half - she, along with Chisaki, makes for a fascinating centre-point for so much of what is going on within the series, and her emotional turmoil has driven a lot of the best moments of the show of late, including in this episode where her discussion of her feelings with Tsumugu are a simple but effective high point.  By the end of the episode, things are about to get shaken up once again thanks to an understated and humorous finale, which should promise more similar moments as Nagi no Asukara continues to play to its strengths.

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