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Nagi no Asukara tells an old tale about the king of the sea's love through the change of time. Now the tale tests the wits of young teens who live in the sea, who will meet with the surface people.

This article contains spoilers from the anime!

About Nagi no Asukara:

Nagi no Asukara or Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea in English is a unique anime that separates itself from all other romance anime. Nagi no Asukara is created by P.A.Works, which is not a single person obviously, so the award will be for all the people part of that entity. Now for some short background information from what I think Nagi no Asukara is. 

Nagi no Asukara is an anime that takes place in a modern place. There are two kinds of races in this anime, a human race that lives in the ocean, and another human race that lives on land. The story behind this, is that a long time ago, humans used to live in the ocean, but then some moved to live on the land. Then another tales following this was told: the tale that the Sea God fell in love with a girl and sent her to live in the land due to a misconception of love. Follow the story of four teenagers in their life. Yes their life. Their life of just living life and understanding the most inevitable thing in the world, change. The overall theme of this anime is change, which is something you don't quite often see, especially with the unique story behind it.

The Slow Swim to The Surface:

So for the first few episodes, obviously all the characters will make an appearance and the first six episodes will focus on every character you will need to follow. The most important character in this entire anime is Manaka (because of what happens to her). Manaka's overall being in the anime seems to be the center of attention, especially for Hikari. This is how the story of this anime worked. Manaka was always there, but the events that take place seems to push Hikari away from her until the end. This prolongs this unique story to the span of 26 episodes. Not only is the story unique because of the tale behind it, but the animation is very magnificent! I would give this anime the award for the best animation (for it's season airing). In the sea you can actually see fish, bubbles, grass, sunlight, and a ton of other things in the anime. The best thing about the anime is that everything is not still (in some cases). Trees are moving, there is rain, and snow that also sets the tone of the story when characters interact or there is an emotional/relational twist. Now that comes into play is the music. I don't really notice it at times, but the background music is great, but not really amazing.

After the first arc... We move onto the second arc of the anime!

A Frozen Time Skip:

That is correct. The second half of this anime is a time skip. To be exact, it is a time skip of five years. So now that their is a time skip, thing start to become unclear with the group of friends. However, Hikari tries to keep it strong and always moves forward accepting the "change" that has happened in his life. This second arc of the anime will become very depressing... Do not worry though, the tears are worth the trouble to watch it for. In this part of the anime, we kind of understand all the character's purposes for being with each other. If it wasn't clear, there is a love triangle happening in this anime. One of the characters, Chisaki, undoubetdly likes Hikari; however it is clear Hikari doesn't love her back. So when Hikari does awaken from the slumber; he is shocked by the sudden change in scenery and his friends. Now if we took this to a real life perspective, a person would also be bewildered and lost. However, one thing remains the same. The theme of this anime is about love standing the test of time and change. Hikari is desperately looking for Manaka, who appears to still be in a deep slumber, even after they find her. Everyone that is associated with Hikari, want to help, but some of his friends are also hurt because love is hard.

The Whole Ocean Together:

Manaka was basically the center-point of this anime. Even with the time skip of five years, everyone was able to come through to their senses. Not to mention that they all got some one to love now, well I'm not too sure about Muina... When I realized at the end of the last episode that the whole reason the Ofunehiki existed in this anime is because of the Sea God. That's right the Sea God made a mistake, and that mistake was about love... Such an original story right? I think so! Once Manaka awoke from the slumber of five years, she lost the ability to love. Later on, Hikari realizes that Manaka forgot about the feelings she had for potential boyfriends. With Muina and her friend grown up, I was thinking that there might be a love triangle again... I was right. Muina fell in love with Hikari, but Muina knew that Hikari does not love her. At the last episode though, everything turned out right, and change was a positive experience for all the people in this anime. Yes, even Kaname found love at the end! The only person that did not find love was Muina, but I do recall that in her class some guys like her, so that settles that...

The other part of what ties this anime together very well was how the people living on the land started to work together with the people of the sea. In the beginning of the anime, as I should of mentioned earlier, they weren't exactly on good terms with each other, but when the ocean started to freeze and become stagnant, the people of the land became distressed because they needed to catch fish for their people. So when Hikari did wake up after the time skip; we can see him and other ocean humans working together/cooperating to help the people of the land restore the "fish". Through the rest of the anime they all continue to work together to also restore the old tradition they had of sacrificing the Ofunehiki doll (or so) to the king of the sea. After that whole event, Hikari and Manaka are united through all the changes around them, and express love to each other.

In conclusion, the overall theme of this anime is very important because it reminds us that change is inevitable and whether you are apart of another problem or not, it will affect you, either in a good way or a bad way. The anime also shows us that we have to work together (and settle our differences) to live happier and better. In essence, just make sure that you enjoy how you live your life through the changes ahead of you and work out the differences you may have with others.

Final Thoughts:

For me, I felt refreshed watching this anime. In our generation (in respect to when this article was written from the old website in 2014), when we love someone, we often forget the simple reasons, and it is because of the change we stop loving them. How this fits with the anime is because despite Hikari not being able to express his love to Manaka from the beginning, even after all the changes and the time skip, he still only cared for her. That right there is devotion, a characteristic that seems to be rare. Hikari and Manaka's love also tied into the old tale of the king of the sea and how he loved a girl 

The Verdict:

Using our basic ten-point scale lets look at our breakdown of the allotted scores through each section of the anime in a brief and straight to the point manner.

Animation and Graphics:

The animation and the graphics are detailed. You can clearly tell that the studio that worked on this anime really wanted to use their best resources and talents. Many small animations in-between character interactions were smooth. Examples are of the fish, the bubbles, the birds, and other people walking in the background. I also like to praise the special effects department for the great use of lightning because it was dynamic, even when we see the differences of the characters being in the sea or on land. When I compare it to other anime this season, it really stands above average.

Character Development:

The character development of the main characters and supporting characters were noticeable. If this wasn't what the story was about, then I don't know what this anime was made for. Hikari and the others experienced many changes that fleshed out their weaknesses to become stronger characters. The love interests also developed and meaningful episodes had not wasted the love tropes for each character. Because of how the character's developed, that is what made most of the story enjoyable. The anime clearly stands above some of the best, when it comes to development involving romance.

Music, Sound, and Voice:

Everything with the music, sound, and voice were spot on. There was ample music for different scenes, and good sound effects to depict the setting of the anime. The characters were voiced very well, and none of them sounded out of place. However, since many animes hardly have trouble with handling music, sound, and voice, this anime would be average as there wasn't many original soundtrack that were that heavily focused on, compared to other notable (the masterpeices) anime.

Story and Purpose:

I do think that the story requires a little bit of thinking as to sometimes it is hard to follow, especially in the beginning, of what's happening; but after the time skip, the characters definitely fill the gaps of the story and drive home the purpose of the anime extremely well.

The Overall Appeal:

The enjoyment of this anime is there, but you will have to go through the rather slow beginning. If you aren't too keen about learning something, such as environmental change of your surroundings and settling differences with others; this anime is worth watching. If you're looking for some nice romance because you miss your childhood, this too fills that void, haha!

The Final Score:

A great 8.2 out of 10!

The Award:

Yet not-so obvious (in essence), overflowing with emotions (the sea), a truly unique story of mystery and change, and people brought together... Nagi no Asukara belongs in the Anime Treasury!

Thank You:

Thank you for reading this review about Nagi no Asukara from SunKoiWish, and thank you to all the people who were involved with creating Nagi no Asukara!

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