Time to bring out the waterproof bandages.
What They Say:
Episode #06: “Beyond Tomoebi”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I don’t know if it’s such a good idea putting salt water creatures into a pool with chlorine in it. I don’t even know why they’re making the sea kids go to swimming class! However, after seeing Hikari’s pathetic performance against Tsumugu, I guess even sea people need to work on the crawl.
It’s interesting that the kids mention that there is no such thing as swimsuits underwater. Is there no recreational sunbathing in the summer under water? Do they have a winter in that part of their fictional Japan? There are still questions about their world and society that this show is casually glossing over that I would love to have elaborated on.
This wouldn’t be a drama without the drama, so Hikaru stubs his toe hard enough to graphically crack the toenail and has to be escorted to the nurses office. Manaka attempts to get Chisake to accompany him as well, but she’s playing the avoidance game now that her crush has been outed.
I feel bad for Manaka at this point, constantly trying to appease Hikari like she does. Stuck between Hikari’s jealousy of Tsumugu and Chisake’s crush on Hikari, she’s trying to make everyone get along by just being her sunshiny self and it’s clearly not working. Her cheerful outreach has lead to a group of like minded classmates finally joining them in rebuilding the festival offering. Granted, the boys are just there to check out Chisake’s chest and other girls seems to have a crush of Kaname, but hey, it’s a start.
Manaka actually makes the most emotional progress in this episode out of all the kids. She takes Tsumugu’s advice to speak her mind and finish her thoughts. A strange ocean phenomena gives her the opportunity to finally make good on a promise she made to an upset Chisaka ages ago. It mends the rift, but who knows how for how long.
The final part of this episode certainly gave the animators a challenge. We get to see a spectacular looking underwater ocean sunset with plenty of sparkling particles and CGi fish. It really is a lovely scene, and I wish we could get closer looks at the undersea world more often. I wish the animators would remember to stop drawing trees and flowers underwater as well, or at least explain how they survive down there.
Chisake’s crush comes dangerously close to breaking up the close knit group of friends, and only Manaka can make amends. Beautiful scenery aside, this episode made me just want to shout ‘get on with it!’ The constant foreshadowing of the group of kids eventually being split apart constantly hangs overhead like a anvil, but I’m not certain if that will occur before or at the end of the series. I think it’s safe to say from the preview that the next episode should be a sort of climax for the first part of this series. It looks like Akari will finally have to confront the village elders about her intentions to marry outside the sea.
Episode Grade: B
Streamed by: Crunchyroll
Review Equipment: 27” iMac running OS 10.8.4, via Safari 6.0.5, FIOS 15/5 Mbps connection. Your milage may vary.