Sunday, April 6, 2014

Nagi no Asukara

I will not deny, I love movies and shows with under water scenes or that take place under water. It is something about these shows that draw me to them, and they often do not disappoint. In Fall 2013 season, a new anime started airing and it had the mystique of under the sea written all over it. Nagi no Asukara appeared to be a beautifully animated work of art, and it also appeared to be right up my alley for an anime.

Nagi no Asukara starts off with a group of  middle school kids, Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki, and Kaname, from underwater who have just found out that their old school is closing and they must transfer schools. Since there isn't any other schools under the sea, they decide to go to a school on the surface. Before they start school, Manaka gets caught up in a fishing net by a soon to be classmate named Tsumugu and almost near instantly falls in love with him. However, the peace that the group from under the sea and even the surface can not last forever and there is something omninous waiting for them on the horizon. 

The plot is very character driven as it is a drama anime. Even though the begin all, end all problem is an external source from outside the characters,name the fact that they are threatened with the fact that they might be going to sleep for a very long time and might wake up long after everyone they have ever known on the surface has passed away. Also, within the anime, there was a time skip, whichshowed how everyone one the surface had change, but yet the people from underwater hadn't changed one bit. The second arc, which also revolved around finding Manaka's ability to love, was also decent, but in some ways it felt like it went on too long.

However, the drama at some points makes no sense, especially since Chisaki keeps flipping back and forth between the male cast. Hikari starts off as a headstrong character, but he eventually learns to mature and show his soft side, especially in a time of crisis. Kaname is the other male member from the underwater cast, and while he is plot relevant, he usually gets shoved into the background until he is brought up again but then he just disappears into the back ground. Manaka is an interesting character as she is portrayed to be the love interest of Hikari, but she is completely ditzy and ends up falling in love with the boy from the surface, Tsumugu. Are these characters the most original characters out there? No, but for the most part they were decent characters. The one exception lays in Chisaki because I have a feeling that she knew she was a side character in comparison to Hikari and Manaka, but she kept trying to butt her way into the story.Miuna's character became more developed after the time skip was done, but by the end of it, I honestly felt sorry for her because Chisaki, Sayu and Manaka ended up with their own special someone, while she sacrificed her happiness for Hikari. 

The art for this anime is actually pretty amazing. The underwater scenes were so well animated it honestly took my breath away. There is quality animation for the surface scenes as well, but the real quality comes from underwater. All the characters has great character designs,except for Iam still wondering what the little feather things are behind Manaka's ears. Another part of the art style for the characters I liked was actually the eyes of the people from the sea. The eyes were such a pretty blue that I couldn't help but to admire them.

Now was Nagi no Asukara the perfect anime? No it wasn't. It lacked some consistency about the Ena, the layer of skin that covers the people from the sea's skins to enable them to breathe underwater. Also, as I have stated before, certain characters irked me , but despite its flaws, I enjoyed the emotional roller coaster that this anime put me through.