Nagi no Asukara
Episode 11 – The Changing Times
I still can’t believe Kaname pulled it off before even halfway into the series. Following the sledgehammer confession in Episode 10, things are surprisingly very normal. So normal that Chisaki is still going for Hikari, despite having husband material right in front of her. Kaname knows that expecting an answer, let alone a positive one, is slim. So he just wanted to tell her (and her parents, awkwardly) before they all hibernate and proceeds to go about his day normally. Chisaki obviously feels a little different about him now.
So the sea village of Shioshishio continues to prepare for hibernation, ceasing to eat and thickening their protective ena skin in the process. Somehow a thicker ena allows them to fall asleep for long periods of time, but this hasn’t happened for hundreds of years.
Hikari and his friends are still going ahead with the Wooden Maiden sacrifice, the Ofunehiki. There is one problem though: the date of hibernation as predicted by Lord Uroko falls on the Ofunehiki date, making the whole thing that much more symbolic. If the Wooden Maiden doesn’t give the Sea God strength to precent climate change, it might be the last time the sea people see those on the surface.
During a group meeting, Hikari is suddenly hit with the realisation he will be going to sleep for a long time without knowing if everyone will wake up at the same time. Surprisingly, he refuses to accept this fate and vows to start eating again in order to stop the process. Like two peas in a pod, Manaka joins him.
Akari meanwhile is in a bit of a strange zone. She’s pushing ahead with her marriage to Itaru with a calm acceptance of what’s going to happen. The surface dwellers who bungled the cooperation of the Boatdrift Ceremony apologise in a new meeting with Hikari and Akari. Now that the summer isn’t as hot and the fish are becoming harder, the writing is on the walls about what’s going on.
Once again we have an almost pointless confrontation between Lord Uroko and Hikari. It seems like nothing will sway the guy. When told of how the Fishery men will now cooperate, Uroko says he cannot prevent disasters beyond the ocean, meaning everyone on land is still doomed. Not only that, but the ceremony had no power over the Sea God anyway! Boy, they must feel silly now.
It’s wonderful to see just how much Hikari has learned about responsibility and empathy at this point, as his first thoughts after this futile meeting was how he’d disappoint those who asked for his help. The final part of this episode has Akari announcing that she is not only getting married, but the wedding will take place on the day of the Boatdrift Ceremony and that she will be the real sacrifice to the Sea God.
Whether or not anything will happen, such as her being taken by the Sea God, is unknown. But at this point they must try everything in order to prevent the calamity. I think Nagi no Asukara will start to have a lot more surprises from now on, and who knows, something as crazy as a sacrifice might actually happen.
To finish, Chisaki thinks to herself about how everyone is trying hard to change and to improve themselves. Forgetting completely about Kaname, she vows to tell Hikari her true feelings. The funny thing is, is that she had no idea Kaname liked her…and now Hikari is going to be completely dumbfounded when she confesses.
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