The sea god demands a sacrifice… again.
What They Say:
Episode #25: “Love is Like the Sea”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The end of Nagi no Asukara approaches, and if it wasn’t apparent that the show is wrapping up in the next episode the loss of the opening credits is a dead giveaway.
I have a new found respect for Manaka after the beginning of this episode. It turns out Manaka had confided in Tsumugu, pre-timeskip, how she felt about Hikari. Yes, of course she loves him, and she says why she does so eloquently that it makes me wonder if Manaka’s usual ditzy persona is more an act that she puts on. She tells Tsumugu not to tell anyone because Manaka knew how Chisaki felt about Hikari, and she didn’t want to hurt her feelings.
So now we know how this whole situation became so entangled. Tsumugu could have told Chisaki, but he would have been betraying Manaka’s trust. Tsumugu only tells Miuna because Miuna heard Manaka’s true feelings floating up off the sea slug stone.
Now that Tsumugu has been backed into a corner he once again approaches Chisaki with a love confession, except this time he tells her that she loves him. I have to applaud Tsumugu for his straightforwardness and for finally making a firm move. Chisaki’s inner turmoil has been the cause of most of these long, strung out love battles over the course of the series. Once she hears the truth about Manaka and Hikari she comes up with a comment about how she always knew they would be together. I kind of wish Tsumugu had thrown her out a window rather than hug her, since Chisaki is still miserable thinking she shouldn’t be allowed to be the only one happy. Maybe she just likes being the tortured one.
The real tragedy here is Miuna, who never had a chance with Hikari. She follows Hikari out of the house the night before the ofunehiki and forces him to confess his love for Manaka, and wants him to keep shouting it. She runs off in tears, wishing her pain would hit some sort of breaking point. It’s clear at this point that something is going to happen to Miuna with all those emotions.
Uroko is ushered down from his land shrine, or given a lift rather, and given a position in a temporary shrine at the seaside. Hikari asks him about the original sacrifice and Uroko admits she wasn’t a looker, and that he figured the surface dwellers were just trying to get rid of inconvenient people. Reality can be crushing sometime. When asked if he loved her, the lesser god gives a cryptic answer which is typically otherworldly. It’s an interesting moment, and Hikari seems to insinuate that Uroko has more control then he actually does.
The ceremony begins, with the girls dressed as shrine maidens carrying the sacred flame. The procession goes on much the way it had before, except this time with the blue flames casting light above the surface. If they were thinking that the events of the last ofunehiki were just a fluke then they were wrong. A rogue wave strikes, Manaka goes overboard into the whirlpools, and all of the kids with ena dive in after her. Kaname stays behind to make sure Sayu doesn’t go overboard.
The end of this episode isn’t surprising. It was obvious that the switch was going to take place. The falling ofunehiki makes me think that it’s possible that Tsumugu’s plan may have actually worked, at least a little, as a substitute. Unfortunately, Miuna just had to be there, her emotions adding a wrench into the works. Remember back when the series began and Uroko said something about Hikari and Akari’s bloodline needing his protection because they were important? Uroko says something which reminded me of that odd statement, which might be the key we need to get out of this mess. The next episode preview is ominous, and I’m left wondering if there’s going to be another time-skip. I’m eager to see how everything comes to a close in this emotion driven series.
I honestly don’t have any idea how the final episode of Nagi no Asukara is going to play out, but this episode went down pretty much how I thought it would. I doubt very much that anyone, viewer or cast, would be happy going forward if they just exchanged one sacrifice for another. The question is, with only the final episode left, does anyone have a way to save a loved one caught in a dead gods clutches? What of the rest of the town sleeping beneath the waves? Can the sea god be healed, and with it everyone else?
Episode Grade: A –
Streamed by: Crunchyroll
Review Equipment: 27” iMac running OS 10.9.1, via Safari 7.0.1, FIOS 15/5 Mbps connection. Your milage may vary.