Nagi no Asukara
Episode 8 – A Lull in the Sea
What’s this? Real character development in my slice-of-life? While Episode 7 was really heavy on plot, this time Hikari is going above and beyond the typical young and rash kid that we see in almost every anime. When Nagi no Asukara began, there was nothing to like about Hikari. He yelled instead of talked, got angry and his closest friends and was generally unremarkable. But now he has cast aside selfish thoughts, diverting his passion towards the well being of those he cares about.
After escaping the wrath of Uroko-sama, Hikari and Akari go to stay with Itaru and Miuna. The four are starting to become like family as Akari and Itaru discuss their future. Itaru suggests they reconcile with her father and to do things “properly” or else they might live with regrets.
Miuna wants to do something for Akari but can’t put her appreciation into words so Hikari suggests they go to the city the next day with all their friends and find something nice to buy. Now there’s a fair share of noteworthy character development on this shopping trip, particularly the alone time Hikari and Chisaki get in the elevator.
Here we learn that Hikari accepts that Manaka may one day leave the Sea Village for a man from the surface (Tsumugu?) and he will support her if she does. Chisaki presses him further and while he agrees he loves her, he learned that seeing her smile was more important than what he wants for himself. Chisaki isn’t satisfied with the response as her feelings for Hikari are still bottled up and we’re left with her leaving before more could be said.
Funnily enough, Kaname meanwhile asks Manaka what she thinks of Tsumugu. It’s clear she admires him a lot and doesn’t hesitate speaking clearly when she talks about him, which is interesting and she is indecisive most of the time.
Back to the shopping, the friends are struggling to find a gift for Akari, but Miuna does find a beautiful seashell pendant that’s tactlessly dismissed by Hikari as too expensive. When they still can’t find anything and eventually work their way back to the pendant, it turns out that it’s now out of stock.
Not to be discouraged, the group split up and look for it in other shops. Hikari at this point trips over and Miuna, thinking his ena is drying up, opens the backpack she was suspiciously carrying all day and pours salt water from a bottle all over him. It turns out Miuna kindly thought ahead for the Sea Village members and packed some handy salt water for them! They didn’t really need it but were happy enough to have a pleasant water fight to show their appreciation.
On the way home they realised that the gift should be just what Miuna likes, so using some fish scales that Tsumugu once found and a seashell they spent all afternoon looking for on the beach they made a handmade pendant for Akari. Seeing the kids’ effort and accepting the gift makes Akari realise that they need to wed properly, even with the approval of her dad.
So once again it ends with just Chisaki in troubled waters, still unable to resolve her attraction to Hikari. Something mysterious happens at the end of the episode, though, which is saltflake snow falling on land when it normally only happens underwater! It leaves there, puzzled before the credits begin to roll. This mystery had me loading the next episode in no time.
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