Nagi no Asukara: Episode 18 – “Shioshishio”


[HorribleSubs] Nagi no Asukara - 18 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.08_[2014.02.07_19.26.08]Sitting on the left hand of God.

Flash Rating:Unchanged; 9/10.

Some of the best visuals in any series I’ve seen. Nothing short of amazing.

Hikari, Kaname, and Miuna continue on to attempt their way into Shioshishio being guided by Miuna who can somehow follow the noise of Ena like it is calling to her. After seeing that Shioshi seems frozen in time, Hikari and Kaname head off to check on their homes while Miuna is led to the school by to be confronted by Uroko. The three reunite and are led to the spot they used to play as children where Manaka is lying asleep.

 

Discussion

This episode may be the most foreshadowing in the series so far this season.

[HorribleSubs] Nagi no Asukara - 18 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.17_[2014.02.07_19.26.25]

Ena scales look like sakura petals.

When Manaka’s Ena appears to Miuna, what does it look like? If you think you saw cherry blossoms than we’re on the same page. The pinkish, petal-like Ena can be seen several times and appearing especially to Miuna. It is clear that Ena is similar to fish scales but in this case the appearance of petals couldn’t be mistaken.

Cherry blossoms can be analogous to change and transience in nature. In Nagi, the major themes are changes especially in life style especially over time. The cherry blossom festivals in Japan are in celebration of beauty of change: nothing lasts forever but new beauty arises from death.

How does this relate to Nagi, specifically this episode? Manaka is losing her Ena, while Miuna gains Ena. Uroko mentions that when something is gained, something else is lost. This is the main concept of what cherry blossoms symbolize in Japan. It’s kind of disheartening when you think about the options from here on considering that cherry blossoms are also representative to death. Manaka may be at risk of losing her life but then she may only simply be losing the life she previously lived with Ena; the trade has been made and change is inevitable. The one person who wanted to change the least is going to experience it the most.

It seems that this series has transitioned from the first season to revolving around Miuna and her inevitable involvement with the magic behind Shioshishio. Miuna seems like she is within a dream, searching for Manaka to help her find a bit of closure over Hikari; whether good or bad in her case. What this episode does confirm is Miuna’s importance in the plot and her involvement in the upcoming climax. Uroko talks to only Miuna directly and appears only to her during the entire trip; showing her images of school life and tests her willingness to pursue Manaka whilst fully understanding her interest in Hikari. What does raise questions is how is her importance involved with Manaka or even both Hikari and Akari? Based on my own – and that of the anime subreddit speculations, Uroko may have some major connection with Miuna’s mother and/or Hikari and Akari’s mother.

To finish off my discussion I’d like to point out Hikari’s reaction to Miuna’s reaction to the ghost-towned Shioshishio. He seemed to treat her like Manaka and even expressed that he brought her there to be able to show her how amazing his hometown was. He really does care for Miuna but I’m thinking the Hikari x Manaka route isn’t going to be one of our end-game options.

What will happen to Manaka now that she is “rescued,” from the hands of the Sea God? What was Uroko’s plan all along and why was did he look disappointed that Manaka was removed from her “embryo?”

 

Predictions

I’m not sure what to expect but I really don’t have much hopes at Manaka staying in the picture. Nothing in Nagi so far has supported that she will be around at the end of the series but then again I really did not expect her to even show up at all this episode. The suspense is bugging me. I think Miuna will have Uroko’s words to consider.

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About Clooby
I am half Korean from my mother's side while the other half is a mix of Cherokee Indian and German I grew up in Seoul, Korea swimming competitively and playing Counter-Strike, Halo 3, and Call of Duty semi-professionally for cash prizes. My favorite anime series include FMA, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, Steins;Gate, and Gurren Lagann among others.

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