Nagi no Asukara
Episode 7 – The Ofunehiki Shakes
Well, that escalated fairly quickly. I had a gut feeling something was going to throw a spanner in the works and complicate the tenuous relationships between the village and the surface following the previous episode.
The Wooden Maiden or the Ofunehiki, an offering to the Sea God, is finished and is looking stunning thanks to the hard work of the school kids from the village and surface alike. The clincher here is when Manaka and Tsumugu say out loud that they want to do the boatdrift ceremony inn unison, much to their embarrassment. Hikari takes note of this thoughtfully rather than jealously. In an awesome show of maturity, he decides to change himself by making the ceremony a reality for the sake of Manaka and Tsumugu.
Tsumugu suggests that they should all do it together with both the Sea Village and the surface working together, the only problem is that the Village and the surface Fishery Cooperative are in disagreement this year. Hikari pushes ahead for the ceremony to continue, vowing to get the Sea People to agree via a petition while Tsumugu tries to convince the surface.
Manaka notices that Hikari isn’t acting like himself, instead he’s more determined but for a reason she doesn’t know. Chisaki suggests he’s trying to change himself and Manaka awkwardly tries to put a negative spin on this fact. Chisaki laughs it off and ponders that some things change whether we want them to or not.
Hikari’s dad, the Sea Village, wants no part in this cooperative effort but still shows up to the eventual deliberation between the two sides. It starts off promising, with everyone but Hikari’s dad impressed by the effort put into the Wooden Maiden. But the dad points out that the kimono isn’t wrapped properly, talk about being a pessimist! It doesn’t take long for the whole meeting to go haywire as the Sea Village demands a broad apology from the surface. The smug demand turns into a full-blown argument and it gets even more heated when Akari untimely shows up with her boyfriend Itaru, adding fuel to the fire. The whole gets a little out of hand and, predictably, like a train wreck in slow motion the Wooden Maiden falls and breaks.
Later on, Akari’s father once again bluntly tells her to break up with her boyfriend, to which she replies in an interesting way. Recalling how she once asked her mother why she married, because she was in love of course, and if her father was from the surface would she still marry him? Her mother said yes, and so Akari stands firm by her decision to become Miuna’s new mum. What can her dad say to that, really?
As Akari is packing her bags and getting ready to leave, Hikari surprisingly decides to join her exodus. He explains by saying he can’t resolve the differences between him and his dad. While that’s a fair point, he’s still just a kid and one who has plenty of friends that will be left behind if he leaves. At this point, I really don’t know what to make of his decision.
The two make a final visit to Uroko-sama’s shrine and their father ans bid the two farewell. Desertion doesn’t come without consequences it seems, as Uroko-sama attempts to stop them by encasing them in the magic of the Sea God before trying to freeze them as they defy his demands. Their father begs Uroko-sama to spare them, and he does. The two siblings run towards freedom.
So ends another uncertain episode, where we finally see first-hand how it’s like to escape the Sea Village of Shioshishio. Where will this lead Hikari and Akari and the greater Sea Village in general? I’m apprehensively awaiting the next episode of Nagi no Asukara.
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