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English: Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea
Synonyms: Nagi no Asu Kara
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 3, 2013 to Apr 3, 2014
Duration: 23 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.521 (scored by 22904 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular TagsNo tags found
Jan 14, 2014
This premise might make the show sound like an incredibly deep and hauntingly beautiful social commentary on racism. A work capable of making even the most intolerant of racists tearfully renounce their ways...
Sorry, but not quite. The show’s premise does influence the plot direction, but it’s not why you should watch this show. Rather, you should watch Nagi no Asukara if you’re looking for an expertly-crafted drama anime with well-written, dynamic characters; many emotionally intense moments; beautiful artwork, animation, landscapes, and music; poignant yet uplifting drama.
The area where Nagi no Asukara really excels is in its characterisation. The show depicts characters as realistic (as opposed to being caricatures of people), relatable, and likeable. The characters are dynamic characters, who are constantly growing and changing as the story progresses. This character development is most pronounced in the main lead, Hikari.
After watching the very first episode, a few viewers considered Hikari to be an insufferable brat and Manaka an annoying crybaby. The show quickly dispels these impressions. By episodes 3-5, there’s no reason to complain about Hikari’s or Manaka’s personality at all. Nor does their development abruptly stop there. They, their friends, and even side characters, continue to change throughout the show. Witnessing these characters grow up is truly a rewarding experience.
Of course, this isn’t without its downsides. The massive development that Hikari in particular receives also means that some characters receive less love, development-wise. There’s also the fact that certain characters (looking at you Tsumugu) don’t get as in-depth personalities. Although all of the characters are interesting in their own way, it’s disappointing to see certain characters be neglected when other characters are given so much depth and development.
Nagi no Asukara is a character-driven drama. As such, your ability to enjoy the drama is something that really depends on your level of attachment to/investment in the characters. As I mentioned above, though, the show does a really good job at developing the characters and making them both human and likeable. The result is that we do actually care about the characters, and end up being invested in the drama.
For the most part, the story is paced decently. However, there are some points that feel a little slower in terms of plot advancement. The first few episodes, for example, are expository, and introduce us to the world and the characters. Though slow, these parts do serve their purpose in getting you attached to the characters, which pays off later.
This show is tagged as romance. However, the drama is not the typical anime romantic drama fare. It doesn’t revolve around teenage angst or silly misunderstandings. When watching drama anime, I often want to yell in frustration at characters for their stupidity, or start to slowly dislike them because of their role in the drama. This is not at all the case in Nagi no Asukara.
Setting and atmosphere
Nagi no Asukara is set in a fantasy world where all humans once came from the ocean. Eventually, some people left the sea to live on land. Fast forward a couple hundred of years and here we are. This is a world with a long and rich history, complete with a religion and various traditions of their own. Also, some people can live and breathe in the ocean. Sadly, that last part is about all that really matters. It allows a good part of the anime to take place underwater (which is really beautiful, by the way) and helps move the plot along.
Nagi no Asukara’s world really seems like it was designed around the story. That is to say, every aspect of the world only exists to help the plot. It’s not the kind of anime that pays much attention to worldbuilding. For example, the show makes no effort to explain how certain things, such as deep-frying food or drinking alcohol, would work underwater. I’m not mentioning this because it had any effect on my enjoyment of the anime – it didn’t. Just don’t watch this for the fantasy universe alone.
Ignoring that part, though, Nagi no Asukara is a pleasure to watch. The art is very colourful and bright. The underwater setting is one not often explored in anime and does allow for some interesting moments. The landscapes, both above and below water, are very pretty and awe-inspiring. In fact, the show as a whole probably has hundreds of wallpaper-worthy scenes.
The music is pretty good and does a good job at complementing and enhancing various scenes. All in all, production values are really good.
Nagi no Asukara is through and through a drama anime. Its strengths lie in its ability to humanise and develop the characters and its ability to convey the characters’ feelings in such a way that the viewer is greatly affected. However, it does not develop each character equally, resulting in certain characters being deeper while others are more flat. The art and music are superb, but my favourite aspect of this show is how it made me feel. read more
Apr 8, 2014
Nagi no Asukara (or Nagi-Asu for short) takes place in a fantasy world where there exist two different subspecies of humans. In this story, people originally came from the ocean, however over time there were ones who started crawling up on land as well to see what lay above the surface of the water. Now, ages later, the population has been split completely into land people and sea people, and they generally live quite isolated from each other.
The story follows a circle of childhood friends from the sea, living in an underwater village called Shioshishio. For various reasons their local middle school closed down, and they had no choice but to transfer schools… to one above the surface. Trying to adapt to a life on land is not an easy thing, as they constantly have to keep themselves wet in order to not dry out their Ena; the protective shell given to the sea people by the Sea God, which is what enables them to live and breathe underwater in the first place. Furthermore, there is substantial discrimination and tension between the land people and the sea people which keeps raising new hurdles for the group of friends.
There are numerous areas that the plot revolves around over the course of time. There is the diplomatic relationship between the two groups of people, the mysterious supernatural aspects concerning the Sea God and Ena, and last but not least Nagi-Asu has some of the most complicated love drama I’ve ever come across in anime. However fear not, because Nagi no Asukara is an exceedingly rare case of romance done right.
You see, unlike 99% of all romance anime out there, Nagi-Asu is actually unpredictable. Normally you barely have to watch five minutes of the first episode of an anime TV-series in order to know with almost complete certainty which couplings will end up taking place before the end (unless there turns out to be no development at all, which is even worse), but not this time.
For one, the main character cast of Nagi-Asu is rather large as well as evenly divided in gender. There is also no one that really can be called a protagonist in this series; Hikari probably gets the most screen time but I wouldn’t really go as far as to call him a “lead” character. Point being that it never really feels like anyone has any innate “advantage” when it comes to love rivalry simply due to the concept of plot armour, because they all appear to be on fairly even grounds from start to finish. Above all though, if you would draw up all the characters and their various crushes in a relationship graph, you would very quickly realize that there are just way too many arrows… and there is no obvious nor optimal solution in sight. Hence, I honestly didn’t know how any of this would turn out until very close to the end of the entire series, and that is something extraordinarily rare in anime (which in itself is a pretty sad realization for the sake of the anime industry).
Anyway, all the love drama aside, the character development in Nagi no Asukara is fantastic. Each and every character feels like he/she actually serves a purpose, and adds something crucial to the bigger picture. The anime covers a quite large timespan and there is plenty of opportunity to see how everyone matures and changes over the course of the story. All the members of the main character cast have very specific and detailed personalities and depth behind them, and you never get the feeling that any of them are any less important than the other. I guess the best way to explain it is that the supernatural aspects aside, there is a constant sense of realism when it comes to the characterization in Nagi-Asu and it just kept getting better and better the longer it went because of it.
Oh the burden of not having an 11/10 rating.
If there is one thing you will realize within the first few minutes of the very first episode, it is that the visuals of Nagi-Asu are simply out of this world phenomenal. I’m not talking as much about the facial expressions etcetera although those are certainly very good as well, but this category is all about the environments. Everything involving the sea in this anime is breathtaking. Absolutely stunning. The underwater world and its submerged town has all kinds of marine creatures swimming around everywhere in perfect detail, and the lighting coming through the ocean surface (which works sort of like the sky in this case) and how it refracts with the water looked almost futuristic at times. P.A. Works really outdid themselves this time around.
That is not to say that the surface world is that much less impressively looking in any way, as the animation quality of this show is just all-round top notch. I don’t really have much to say about it however other than the fact that it is really solid throughout; it’s just that it kind of gets outshined simply by how gorgeous the water world of Nagi no Asukara is. I really cannot praise it enough.
Anything starring Hanazawa Kana is always an immediate potential winner in my book, but she’s not exactly the only factor to take into account regarding the audio of Nagi no Asukara. As far as the voice acting goes, I think pretty much everyone really lived out their characters’ roles as good as you could possibly ask for. While there was no one character that really stood out for me as being above the others in this regard, the amount of feeling that was put into the voice acting should definitely not be understated, and consequently I think it was a really good performance by the seiyuu cast in general.
Regarding the soundtrack… this part is actually pretty hard to comment on. The reason for this is that the music of Nagi-Asu is generally pretty quiet. It doesn’t have any sort of epic OST or catchy/emotional music; rather it goes with a generally ambient theme that tries to up-play the atmosphere of the anime in general as well as its key scenes. As far as that goal goes, I think it does its job very well, but on the flipside it also results in the individual tracks not being very memorable as they’re pretty much only good alongside the show itself and not as something you would ever listen to on its own in a music playlist. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but it’s simply the way it works.
The various OP/ED themes would probably all fall into the category of “good, not great” to me; originally I wasn’t too fond of them but they kind of grew on me over time as the show kept getting more and more emotional.
Overall I feel that the music of Nagi-Asu was mostly intended as a supporting aspect for other categories of the show rather than something intended to be great on its own. It’s not the most common way of approach but if that was indeed the producers’ goal then I think it was executed fairly satisfactory.
This show took up almost all the spare time I had available over the course of the three days it took me to marathon it. Normally that is not something I manage to do quite as much anymore, at least not for anime of this type of genre, but in the case of Nagi no Asukara I really could not stop watching it. It has this constant drive of making you want to know more, both regarding what is going to happen to the characters in focus, but also regarding the entire population of the two human subspecies and the world itself. It is extremely immersive and has a huge sense of realism to it that makes it really hard to not get absorbed by it. Also, like I mentioned earlier, it is less predictable than most anime series out there so you can never take what is going to happen next for granted.
Nagi no Asukara is a series for people seeking feels and beautiful landscapes. It utilizes environments you normally never get to see in anime and it does so in style. It once again showcases that a seemingly stereotypical concept can be extremely successful when you add one or two twists to it on a very basic level, as well as boost it with very high production values. It also makes you care, not just for the main characters but for everyone and everything in it as the scope of Nagi no Asukara is unusually large.
This anime made me bask in its beauty as well as sob silently. It went above and beyond all my expectations and now I have to consider it as one of the best I’ve seen in ages. A gem not quite like any other. read more
Dec 23, 2013
With the anime concluding today, I decided that a refresh of the review HAS to do be done. To put it simply, it's one of the most memorable animes' I will ever come across and i'm glad to have seen it through to the end.
Nagi no Asukara is an anime based around the journey of 4 young teens who have to go to school on the surface, racial tensions have arisen between the people of the sea and the people of the surface. The show documents the twisting events that happen in this world, and the unraveling and intertwining of bonds and relationships between friends.
The animation quality still kept it's glistening feel, as the added detail of Shioshishio is simply stunning. The vivid colours and detail of the sea and ice are really something to be treasured, therefore, it's a reason why this anime is compared to 5 centimeters per second, the visuals are brilliant.
The plot itself changed very much after the first cour of the show was completed. There were many plot twists and character development that went past my expectations. As I previously stated, this anime is very much about change. Its about dealing with change, whether it be the fear of changing relationships or the fear of people themselves changing, and that change may not be such a bad thing. Added with the characters love for each other, you have a show which tries to deal with conflicting emotions and the morals of the characters themselves. This was executed perfectly by the boldness of some of it's messages, as well as through the characters thoughts. Nevertheless, the ending could be seen as frustrating, but the right thing to do for the show. This is because what the characters feared the most didn't happen, in the end, they didn't have to change.
Furthermore, the pacing of the plot is decent with decent story telling. However, in some cases confusing (especially when talking about the legend of the sea god), but these can easily be cleared up in dialogue.
As I mentioned above, the character development was very satisfying in comparison to the earlier episodes. We saw each characters views on moral judgement and whether or not these took president over what the heart believed. One character who demonstrated this perfectly was Chisaki (supposedly the character many people aren't to fond of). Her indecisiveness came from her overwhelming fear of change, and because of this, her role of the 'mature' stubborn one of the group showed her main flaws and weaknesses. As did the other characters, this is the one show which accurately displayed flawed yet realistic characters. For example, Hikari changed dramatically from a stubborn child to a mature, understanding child. Contrastingly, even he had evident flaws, as his one dimensional thinking led to him hurting others. On occasions, I was wondering when they would all just get together, but when thinking about it holistically, the relationships all made perfect sense and was executed professionally.
That said, people like Kaname and Sayu unfortunately didn't have as much charcter development as the 'main' few such as Hikari, Miuna and Masaka, this was disappointing. For a character like Kaname and his brutal honesty made for a likable character, which the audience could have possibly likened more than Hikari or Tsumugu. It would've been a 10 if there were more character development for others, but I digress.
On to the music, the opening and ending songs did the show justice in the beginning, but the change of songs weren't of a good quality than the first cour. Nevertheless, the soundtrack was fantastic due to it's capture of emotion.
Enjoyment and Conclusion 10/10
Did I enjoy it? Well, it's a yes from me. A show which has captivated me in more ways than one. To sum up, the credit goes to the cast and the writers, they've given a brilliant modern day love story which realism is unparalleled in comparison to other animes I've seen. It's been a fantastic watch and I will miss it dearly.
Apr 16, 2014
The anime industry often has a tough time dealing with the idea of love. Very few have ever portrayed it correctly, and even then it's difficult to move us. They either fall flat because of pacing issues or the plot fails to convey a character's motivation causing climactic moments seem melodramatic or forced. Nagi no Asukara doesn't face these issues. In fact, the show has been one of the most well-paced anime I have ever seen in terms of character and plot development. I will get to that soon enough, but first I would like to start with the art.
You may know them best for animating Angel Beats!, Another, Tari Tari, and Hanasaku Iroha. Yes, it's P.A Works and they have done it again, creating wonderful background arts and stunning imagery as well as good, consistent animation. None of that going-to-shit in some episodes to save budget to make one or two episodes look fantastic. I don't know how many times I had to pause to take a screenshot to store in my wallpaper folder.
A lot of time is evidently dedicated to creating the world of Nagi no Asukara, and rightfully so. Story is heavily focused around their lives on Shioshishio and Oshiooshi. The sea's art alludes to the beauty of our own world but retains its mysteriousness. The ocean's depths isn't something people see every day and yet the studio is able to capture its beauty with little details like the schools of fish, coral reefs, and among other details that I won’t spoonfeed. The art manages to enrapture us by showing what the sea looks like, and it is only made more stunning by the inhabitants of Shioshishio going about their daily lives.
The sound to me was something to admire. The OPs and EDs were composed so well, and even the lyrics fit well into the story. The sound department did a stunning job, it’s not often you find a studio adhere to the laws of physics when creating sounds for the background. By this I mean the claps of thunder, thrashing of water, birds, fish, the bloops you hear from fish, etc.
I love good character development and I love good characters. It is incredible to see how much Hikari changes throughout the show. If you were to watch the first episode, and skip a few, you will notice that Hikari isn’t the same. Everything that happens in the plot serves to progress his development, and this was done extraordinarily well. While development is good, no development is also good when portrayed correctly. Take Chisaki for example, her development remains static, but it does something for the plot. It drives Kaname to act the way he does after the time skip and when juxtaposed to her peers accentuates the change that the group of friends go through. Furthermore, many, but not all of the supporting characters play their role into the story. Not everything is great though. I take issue with certain character interaction in the show. One blaring issue is the friendship between Kaname and Hikari. Their interactions with each other are so bland that it almost seems like they’re hardly childhood friends at all. It is known that tension exists between the two regarding Chisaki, but it isn’t conveyed enough in the dialogue between the two boys. Sure there was the time at the Shioshishio’s school, but having a climactic moment to portray that tension without proper character interactions prior to the incident is simply melodramatic. This just undermines the whole issue they have with each other and depreciates its attempt to move the audience.
The web of love may seem overwhelming at first, but when you stop, start at one character and ask yourself “who does this character like?” you will realize it is much simpler than you think.
The story is a simple one. This is a story about a young group of friends dealing with the concept of change, both themselves and the world around them. However, the plot is a lot more intricate. Four childhood friends from Shioshishio attend the surface school Mihama. Their coming of age becomes the catalyst that motivates the Sea God (Notice how Uroko-sama acts as the herald for some radical shift when he sniffs out Manaka and Miuna.) Along the way, tensions between the inhabitants of Oshiooshi and Shioshishio continue to grow and culminate into that dramatic shift. What I think the writers did best is how they well they incorporated the issue of change and love as a theme into the plot. I will explain; BEWARE, BEYOND THIS SENTENCE IS SPOILERS AND THEME ANALYSIS TERRITORY.
Theme of Love
One would imagine that after the main group deals with the idea of love after 26 episodes, at least one relationship would have formed. That isn’t the case, but that is the beauty of it. They are young and naïve, and they deal with love as young and naïve children do. Notice how by the end of the story the only ones to truly form a relationship is Akari and Itaru. This is because they are mature enough to understand love. (If you really want to use Egawa Takashi as a point to refute this theme go right ahead, but I disregarded him because he served very little importance to the main cast as opposed to Akari and Itaru).
Theme of Change
When Hikari wakes up after the time skip, he mentions to Chisaki that she hasn’t changed. He speaks in terms of maturity. Yet Chisaki feels she has changed. She speaks in terms of age. Two forms of changes are at play in this story, Age as a form of change, and Maturity as a form of change. Chisaki may have changed in regards to age, but she has not matured at all. This is evident when Chisaki pushed Tsumugu, it is very much like when Manaka pushed Hikari. Hikari on the other hand, while he hasn’t aged at all, he has matured very much. The character development for Hikari is so top notch such that no three episodes is he static. He is a very dynamic character that grows after facing a challenge.
In a nutshell, Nagi no Asukara is anime with a great plot-driven and character-driven premise. The art and sound is breathtaking and something to be admired. I am glad this nice little story was able to grace the face of the anime industry in such an ecchi-harem-romcom dominated age.
Apr 7, 2014
Nagi no Asukara's setting revolves around two worlds: the land above the sea and Shioshishio, the village under it. People who live on land are the same as normal humans, like us. The people living in Shioshishio however have an advantage. With a protective layer around them called "Ena," the villagers of Shioshishio are able to live underwater while also being able to freely maneuver on land. The setting is completely unrealistic, yet at the same time, the relationships explored in the show feel completely genuine. Of course, the drama is exaggerated to the point of being completely artificial, but such exaggeration is a necessary evil to keep its audience enthralled; a tactic that worked well.
Of course, a setting combining two distinct worlds wouldn't be complete without its own religion and lore, and Nagi no Asukara certainly delivers. The problem is that the religion and lore comes on too strong. Romances are supposed to be stories that are driven by the character's emotions and actions, but in Nagi no Asukara, there are many times where the plot advances as a direct consequence of its religion and lore. Now I'm not saying that these events shouldn't ever occur, but in Nagi no Asukara's case, the plot advances so many times due to its mythology that you begin to question whether the show is about teenagers experiencing romance or high schoolers fighting against the supernatural. While it certainly can be both, the fact that the mythology is so forward in the show consequently adds many plot inconsistencies and leaves the watcher with numerous questions; it ultimately detracts from the romance, which is conclusively the prevailing factor. I'll apologize in advance for being so vague, but as the plot and mythology are so closely tied together, I wouldn't be able to provide a good example without spoiling the plot.
As for the romance itself, be prepared to draw one of the silliest relationship charts ever. A square? A pentagon? A hexagon? Unfortunately, things are just too complicated, and with seven main characters, it would be pretty much impossible to keep everything straight in your head. Yet somehow, I can keep all the relationships straight in my head. That's where the Nagi no Asukara shines. Even while the plot advances and everything becomes more and more complicated, Nagi no Asukara doesn't want you to forget that these are the main characters. Yet while it's impressive that I've become attached to the characters to this point, there are still too many characters. While I can keep the relationships straight, it doesn't mean I fully understand all the characters. Talking about specifics, the only characters I feel like I truly understood were Hikari, Chiasaki, and Miuna. I felt like these three characters were truly fully developed. While Manaka can be considered the most important character in the show, the fact that she was missing for a considerable amount of time made her feel distant, even more so when she begins to profoundly discuss love in the last episode, which felt completely uncharacteristic of her. The remaining characters, Kaname, Sayu, and Tsumugu felt distant for the majority of the show; it almost felt as if they were contrived solely to advance Chisaki's character. Ultimately, a mix of developed and undeveloped characters crossed together as if they were all equally developed makes everything feel extremely complicated and messy.
And speaking of complicated and messy, let's talk about the pacing. Before getting into details, Nagi no Asukara is divided into two major arcs. The second arc is a direct consequence to the events of the first arc, so as a result, they can't really be considered separate entities. But back to the topic at hand: pacing. The first half of Nagi no Asukara threw a myriad of themes at the audience including themes such as racism, the death of family, parent-child relationships, romantic freedom, and tradition. With so many different things going on, everything felt frantic. Yet even still, the underlying plot barely moved an inch in the first half until it reached its pinnacle, which was unsatisfactorily ushered by the fantasy of Shioshishio's mythology. As soon as the second half began, everything was reset. Essentially, all the themes from the first half instantly vanished and were replaced by new themes. Could Nagi no Asukara have been a 13 episode series? Probably not. But does it need 26? I'm sure it would have been fine in 24 or even something like 20 (I'm looking at you, NiseKoi), especially when the show essentially restarted. But that being said, I honestly can't complain about the second half of the series. After being completely engrossed in the setting of Nagi no Asukara in the first half, the pacing really began to feel natural during the second.
P.A. Works does a fantastic job with animation as always, and this is certainly highlighted by the gorgeous underwater landscapes present in the show. Of course, the animation still falls short when animating crowds, and you still have a fair share of CG usage due to the vast amounts of water present in the show. Overall, there's not much to comment on this subject. Expect fresh art and animation when watching this show due to its setting, but keep in mind that like all anime, Nagi no Asukara is still prone to CG, still frames, slide shows, and the works. It's not ufotable, so don't expect movie quality, and it's not Shaft, so don't expect any interesting artistic choices, but it's still P.A. Works, so expect it to be good.
On the subject of P.A. Works, the music and sound in Nagi no Asukara is definitely up a notch from their usual work. Putting popular voice actors aside, the soundtrack is where the sound department really shines in Nagi no Asukara. While there might not be anything iconic or inspiring in its music, the eerie yet serene tracks really make you feel like you're listening to the music of the sea. Of course, the tone of the music shifts to its opening and ending songs as well. For example, I found that the intro to the first ending song really captured the eeriness from the soundtrack, and fit the show's drama perfectly, bringing a fantastic mix of curiosity, mystery, and sadness. And of course, how could I forget Miuna's piercing yet poetic voice in the second opening song? Such a poetic start is greatly complimented by the second ending's upbeat intro, which gives the audience a sense of apprehension and urgency. Overall, the music fits Nagi no Asukara beautifully; unfortunately, the soundtrack just isn't memorable enough despite being so fitting. That doesn't make it bad, it's just a little disappointing to think that I won't remember anything about the original soundtrack a few months or years from now.
I wish I could tell you more about Nagi no Asukara's themes, and dig deeper into its plot, but I feel like I have already articulated the vast majority of my opinions, so any more would be unnecessary. A more in-depth analysis on Nagi no Asukara's definition of love or Akira's arc on star-crossed lovers might have been great points to cover, but I leave them to discuss another day.
So should you watch Nagi no Asukara? If you like romance and drama, it's certainly a great addition to the genre. Personally, I grew very frustrated with the characters and themes as the show progressed, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good experience. Besides, you might have a different opinion about it, so give it a try, and remember, everyone deserves a chance at love. read more
Apr 3, 2014
Are ya ready kids? I can’t hear youuu!!! OHHHH!!! Who lives in a village under the sea? Hikari Sakishima! Ill-tempered, in love, tsundere is he! Hikari Sakishima!
Joking aside, my first impression of this show was that it was going to be just another slice of life anime, this time set in Bikini Bottom rather than in your average high school… Oh how wrong I was. Nagi no Asukara turned out to be sooo much more, and is not only currently my personal favorite show of 2014 so far, but also a future classic if enough people are smart enough to decide to watch it.
Story - 8.2:
Nagi no Asukara follows four friends who are in essence “sea people” who can breath underwater. These four middle school friends have to go to school on land after their school closes. This show really gives the impression that it will be another carefree slice of life school anime at first, but slowly builds up the drama until the drama levels are set over 9000. Yes the show goes into detail about what it’s like living underwater and how the underwater students are treated in the transitional phase by the land people, but the main focus of the show is the relationships between the characters. This show has one majorly complicated love triangle, er… pentagon… octogon? whatever, it’s a shape with a lot of sides. Now personally I usually don’t like when shows make it unclear who will end up with who, but Nagi no Asukara really just perfectly nailed this aspect of the show. More detail as to why it was so successful will be discussed later in the character section, but just know that it is done wonderfully. To go along with the personal issues each of the characters are dealing with, there is an impending larger issue that I will avoid going into due to spoilers, but is also very intriguing. This issue is made so interesting because of the fantasy setting that the world is set in, and the lore behind it all is truly fascinating. As for negatives, there are some things that get left unanswered, as well as a few poorly explained plot devices. Some of the plot devices or decisions made by the characters may frustrate the viewer as well depending on his or her preferences. However, these issues are few and far between for the most part. Nagi no Asukara’s story has its share of humor, but also moments that could easily cause someone to shed tears. The drama created by the situations the characters are put in, the problems that the world is having, and the love-triangle always keep you interested in what is truly an incredible story.
Art - 9.1:
P.A. Works has just been on fire lately with their production. Once an anime is revealed to be produced by P.A. Works, just assume that it will be absolute scenery porn. Other shows by P.A. Works include Angel Beats, Another, and Hanasaku Iroha for reference on how good this show looks. The fantastical setting is gorgeously realized both under the sea, and above ground. The animations (particularly under water) are just beautiful and incredibly fluid. It is a wonder how P.A. Works manages to make a profit with the seemingly limitless budget they throw into everything they do. There really is not much to say on the negative side for the art department for this show, so it’s about time to move on.
Sound - 8.4:
Much like the art, Nagi no Asukara’s OST is just plain beautiful. The music really perfectly matches the setting, and appropriate songs play for appropriate moods. The OST sets the tone and setting wonderfully. There aren’t necessarily any songs I would download onto my phone to listen to on a regular basis (besides the OPs and EDs which are great as well), but everything sounded perfect as the show was happening. The voice acting was also wonderful with varied emotions on display from each of the characters in a large cast of family members and friends of the main 4 characters.
Characters - 8.7:
This is the department that separates Nagi no Asukara from the vast majority of anime shows out there. The overall cast of characters is one of the strongest overall that I have seen in anime. While the cast lacks one stand out character like a Lelouch, a Light, or a Saber, each character is incredibly human (which many anime can’t say). Obviously all of the main characters are extremely relatable and 3 dimensional (although Manaka can leave a bit to be desired in terms of development). The characters that we see a lot of screen time of like Hikari, Miuna, Chisaki, and Kaname really get a lot of development and grow vastly out of their initial archetypes. Even characters who don’t seem to develop much are still multi-faceted and very likable (Manaka, Tsumugu, Uroko-sama). Side characters are also strong, displaying their own opinions, struggles, and personalities when the spotlight is on them, even if it’s only for a minute or two. Although there was a massive love web going on throughout the show (which I usually don’t like), the characters made me interested in it and made it an enjoyable experience. Usually I come up with the pairs I want, and if they don’t happen I feel disappointed. But with Nagi no Asukara, I didn’t care who ended up with who, because I loved all the characters so much. I just wanted everyone to end up happy, because they all deserved to be happy.
Enjoyment - 8.8:
Nagi no Asukara is one of those anime that can make you laugh, cry, sit on the edge of your seat, pull your hair out in frustration, and do just about any other emotionally driven action. The beautiful world, and loveable characters alone could keep you anxiously waiting week to week for a new episode. Add in the wonderful story filled with drama, emotion, and excitement, and we have ourselves a show that earns extremely high marks in the enjoyment category. The show is one of those shows that you will want to rewatch immediately after finishing because you love it so much and just want to experience it all over again. This was THE show I waited for every week, dying of anticipation to see what would happen next. Think about the other wonderful shows that aired at the same time (Kill la Kill, Golden Time, Noragami, Nisekoi), and then you will realize just how enjoyable this show was for me.
Overall - 8.64:
With an 8.64 overall score, Nagi no Asukara comes in at number 6 in my ever growing list of anime series. That should show you just how good this show is. Nagi no Asukara was a masterpiece not only from a production standpoint, but in its story and most importantly in its ridiculously strong characters. As far as drama, slice-of-life, fantasy, or romance anime go, this is among the elite and should be watched by all, and is an absolute must watch by fans of any of the genres listed above.
A wonderful slice of life story of friends in a beautiful world that is an absolute treasure to watch, will deserve consideration for anime of the year
+ Eye-meltingly beautiful animation
+ Incredibly strong cast of characters
+ Intriguing world and lore
+ Drama is wonderful
- Some characters can be annoying based on personal preferences
- Poorly marketed to the public
If you liked Nagi no Asukara, watch...
Shinsekai Yori - childhood friends, romance, fantasy, captivating world
Anohana the Flower We Saw That Day - childhood friends, romance, tear-jerking drama
8.64/10 - Wonderful
*For those of you disappointed in my 8.64 score and feel it deserves a 9 or a 10, please see my review scale and/or my google spreadsheet link of anime ratings on my profile and you will recognize just how insanely high this overall score is.
Feb 6, 2014
This is going to be a spoiler free review, however, it will be a review based on
the fist 18 episodes so newcomers might not feel the same way about this show. It's a long review so sit back, and enjoy the ride.
First, the story.
Now, the beginning of the story was pretty average with the twist of middle school students from the water going to the surface. However, as the show progresses new things are constantly brought up that make the show more interesting every week. To add to this amazing writing, the pacing on this anime is ridiculously good; almost flawless. Nothing feels sped up, or too slow, or anything. Every event is exactly how long it should be, and new ideas and dramas are introduced at such a perfect time, you are often left wanting more by the time you watch the latest episode. Also, the plot twists are absolutely amazingly timed. Overall, the show has an extremely strong story of love, drama, and out of this world ideas along with amazing writing and pacing to go along with it.
Art. (Seriously, this show is beautiful)
From the first episode to the most recent, Nagi no Asukara has always payed attention to their art consistently. Some animes have a tendency to drop their quality in animation past the halfway point, but Nagi continues to improve. The scenery underwater, and the scenery above water are magnificently detailed, and are gorgeous. The character design is also outstanding. One look into the eyes of these fictional characters captivates the watcher immediately. I have not much to keep talking about here, as all I can say about the art of Nagi no Asukara is personally the best art of the fall selection, possibly of all time. No more, no less, it is absolutely beautiful and the sceneries are eyecandy to go along with the amazing story.
Wow, the voice acting is of course, amazing (to be expected). If an anime can't get the voice acting down, generally, the rest of the sounds aren't up to par either. Now, lets break the sound down.
1. The background noises, ambient noise.
The sounds of the life underwater, the splashes, wind, everything are perfect. The cicadas are also very lifelike, and honestly, the sounds of the world of Nagi no Asukara replicate the sounds of real life, and does it beautifully well.
2. The OSTs
The music that plays throughout the entirety of Nagi no Asukara fit the mood perfectly. Also, going along with the pacing, the music is never out of place.
3. The OP and ED (both)
The first and second OP's both fit the arc that they were made for. Not only this, but the music is extremely catchy, and very good. Lull and Ebb and Flow both fit Nagi no Asukara so well in that, it represents the sea and the world so well. Overall, the OP music is absolutely amazing, and I highly reccomend you download the music, or at least give it a listen, because once you do, you will be in the most relaxed and peaceful mood of your life.
Well, I can't say much here without spoiling things, so all I'll say is the development is perfectly timed along with the story, and the characters you hate or love at first might be completely different after.
Well, did you see the rest of my review? I fucking love this anime. Please if you dropped it, give it past episode 13. I promise you that you will be on the edge of your seat and flipping from episode to episode and forgetting that hours have gone by.
Thanks for reading! read more
Apr 3, 2014
The show does start off a bit slow as it's mostly focused on the everyday activity of Hikari and his friends interacting with humans at their school, while hints are dropped of lingering hostilities between both races. It does have some developments with characters like Manaka becoming less dependent on others and Hikari showing less prejudice towards humans, though nothing too significant occurs. The plot does pick up in the second quarter of the series when the prophecy concerning the sea god begins to manifest itself onto the humans and affect the sea dwellers. This leads to events building up as Hikari and his friends try to help the human residents of the seaside village in trying to halt the oncoming calamity, which they do at a great cost to one among the group.
A timeskip occurs which focuses on the four children learning to come of age as they come to terms with their feelings for one another and any lingering doubts they had from the events that came from the sea god. The character developments that take place throughout Nagi no Asakura's felt natural for me and I could connect with the issues faced by the characters as they try accepting any changes they experience and overcoming any doubts they are facing.
However, these developments do come at the cost of the title's plot quality. The events of the timeskip lead the focus on the tensions between humans and sea-dwellers to get shafted and later developments involving the sea god up to the show's finale were not as engaging as the events in the second half due to the lack of huge risk affecting both parties compared to the first half's events and it seemed a bit too convenient in its resolution with the fates of humans and sea-dwellers.
As to be expected from a PA Works title, the visual presentation of Nagi no Asakura is high quality with plenty of vivid color and detail shown off in the title's gorgeous scenery shots with character designs getting similar treatment. While not the prominent element of the series, the show's animation is still quite fluid in showing off the movements of characters as they walk or swim, with animated highlights coming off both the events that involve the sea god spurring up disastrous events like whirlpools and huge waves to those within the sea.
Issues aside with its plotting and slow start, Nagi no Asakura is still a solid series that offers up a nice amount of character drama faced by its young cast coming to grips with growing up and the first half events with the sea god offer up some genuine suspense over what would happen with both humans and sea-dwellers. It's not perfect, but it is still worth looking into if you are a fan of PA Works' titles. read more
Jan 23, 2014
I seriously can't NOT do a review on Nagi no Asukara, looking at its extremely underrated score right now. If you're reading this and sitting on the fence on whether to pick it up, DO IT. REINCARNATED MENMA WOULD BE PROUD.
I heard of this show when it first started airing, but like many of you I put it aside. After another 9001 recommendations from friends, I watched the first episode.
Then the all-nighters began.
Pack yo' bags and prepare your fucking minds for the biggest feels trip this season.
Story - 8/10
The story, at first glance, seemed quite dull to me. My first thought was a cute, light-hearted slice of life. HOW FUCKING WRONG WAS I. Pick this up prepared that your heart will get assaulted by feels in nearly all the episodes.
So we have a bunch of happy-go-lucky friends - join Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki, Kaname and Tsumugu on their adventures AS THEIR WORLD FREEZES OVER. LITERALLY. Not to mention theres like a complicated as fuck love-pentagon going on. Crazy, beautiful stuff.
After watching the first episode you'll definitely find it's something different.
The plot is unique enough to give a premise to watching it, and the key factor is how well they execute the other things (art, sound, character...) that brings fullness to the story.
The plot beautifully enwraps motifs of discrimination, segregation, fear of change, friendship and lots and lots of friendzoney angst.
At times however I do feel the story went a little over-the-top with the melodrama to the point where it stopped being relatable, more notably Episode 5. Aside from those moments, a key strength in this anime is how it incorporates and weaves themes that could relate to real life easily, despite its fantasy elements.
The story is hard to convince you with, since I don't want to include any spoilers - since spoilers can seriously damage your viewing experience with these sort of series.
Art - 9.5/10
The art is wonderful. I absolutely love the art direction. I tend to like animes more which has a variety of settings and rich backgrounds - Nagi no Asukara ticks all the boxes. From sea to surface, animation is solid and refined.
A tiny peeve of mine would probably be the situation underwater. If you're the logical and analytical type like me, I found it slightly uncomfortable when underwater scenes had people running, moving, eating and cooking at forms and paces which are scientifically impossible. It's like watching that episode of spongebob where they set up a campfire underwater and you think "what the fuck are they thinking?"
Of course, this is a fantasy anime so after a while I stopped caring. Animation is the best way storytellers can immerse us in a fantasy story after all.
Although I would probably find a "live action" version of Nagi no Asukara hilarious. Cue the crappy CGI effects of bubbles and fish to try and convince us that the scene is happening underwater. Or all the actors and crew dive underwater in tanks and attempt to converse. Huehuehue
Sound - 11/10 (if possible)
The sound is ridiculously good. 11/10, SERIOUSLY. The opening and ending for the first thirteen episodes are near perfect, and they were on my iPod and osu! playlist from Episode 1. Very good compliments to a strong OP and ED animation and feely episodes.
The BGM in scenes are heartfelt and emotional at perfect times. Combining the soft elements of piano progressions with the dreamy, resonating synths, we get a complete picture of the emotions of characters, the problems they are facing, the fears they have, the tensions and drama, and the differences and similarities between the sea and surface people. Perfect in every aspect.
Voice acting is stellar, as you would expect from such a strong cast. When I recommend this anime to my MAL peers, they get sold almost entirely on cast. We have the voices of Menma/Mashiro, Mayushii/Kanade... the experience these actors have guarantee a great drama.
Character - 10/10
Character development is the strong feat of this anime, and is definitely one of the strongest I've seen in my days of anime-viewing. Development moves at a rapid pace for almost every character, but still manages to be convincing thanks to the strengths in Art and Sound. Because of how well executed development is, there is enough screen time for almost all. We see huge changes and maturity from our protagonists as they overcome their internal struggles with themselves and others.
Timeskip is an element almost never used correctly, but in Nagi no Asukara it was used in almost the best way possible. It ensures that you really feel for the characters, all of them, at different points in the story. Hikari goes from a hotheaded faggot (lel ichigo kurosaki anyone) to an understanding and supporting character in a matter of 6 episodes and none of it seems rushed. Manaka develops from an indecisive, protected crybaby to a courageous, outspoken person. You get my drift. Of course there is more development to come, and I think we will see the greatest developments in the next coming episodes with Chisaki, Kaname and Tsumugu.
Enjoyment - 9/10
Nagi no Asukara leaves you thinking about the characters, their relations, and what will happen to all of them even while you're doing important things (like trying to sleep). I rate enjoyment here more so of how much of an impact the show made in my mind. It's definitely a feels trip (or more a feels journey) - so whether you enjoy that or not is up to you. Granted, it will leave you with a strong and fulfilled experience. Beautiful.
Overall - 9/10
This show has the potential to be a masterpiece. A highly underrated masterpiece. The show isn't over and I'm not ruling out any sudden dips into crapville, but looking at its consistency throughout these 16 episodes, I'm sure the series will conclude beautifully. Prepare for the rating to skyrocket once the series is over and people can marathon it (Sakurasou, anyone).
TL;DR: Underrated and may seem dull but an unbelievably, surprisingly strong and beautiful experience. Recommended to all.
Nov 6, 2013
ART: This show is anything but cutesy. Well, that might be saying too much. They push the cute at first, then club you in the face with realistic characters. The art is amazing. I can't stop staring at the characters' eyes, which look as watery as their own world. And Shioshishio (the underwater world) is just gorgeous! It makes you want to live there.
STORY: Rather than a slice of life similar to K-on, this is more like a drama in the vein of Kokoro Connect or Shinsekai no Yori (without the killing). While the characters are adorable, they have some serious issues. And the cute, young art style just emphasizes that they are tweens dealing with the drama of simply growing up as well as some more serious issues mixed in (dating a widower, falling in love, needing an outlet to express your emotions, wishing ill on your best friend because you're in love with the guy that loves her and all that ill will makes you hate yourself, etc.). On top of all that drama there's the sea god's "spokesman" who may curse you by making your knee sprout a talking fish...like tweens need THAT kind of problem?
CHARACTERS: Well, most were very likeable. Hikari is your typical angry, angsty guy similar to InuYasha. I don't usually like characters like that, but Hikari seems to almost physically grapple with his feelings to the point that his anger is clearly a metaphor as he struggles to understand himself. Then there's Manaka, who seems at first glance to be the typical wilting flower that can't stand up for herself. Except that she grows as well to the point that she's not only standing up for herself, but protecting her friends as well (there's an episode where Hikari is utterly amazed by this). I don't know, sounds cliche but it isn't. There are two characters that were a little too much like what I've seen in every other anime like this, and that bothered me. One is Chisaki who loves Hikari and is sad all the time because he doesn't love her. The other is Kaname who is the gentle, almost feminine support that compassionately loves the unobtainable female.
STORY: Well, at episode 6 the show has been developing the main characters while focusing on their reactions to things that happened to supporting characters. I'm hoping we'll focus more on the main characters. I'm certain there's more to Chisaki and Kaname than the show lets on so far. I'll edit as I watch more, but right now I highly recommend this show!
Feb 1, 2014
Synopsis: Nagi no Asukara tells a tale of three high schoolers from the sea (yeah, you heard me right) namely Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki and Kaname adjusting themselves on the surface. After meeting new faces and befriending them, the group of friends then act as a catalyst of bringing balance and harmony between the surface and the sea whilst facing many trials and hardships.
The show is visual spectacle to say at first glance. Beautiful animation, great colors, breathtaking art, artistic character designs and so on. With Buriki handling the visuals department, the show itself is considered art.
Music is brilliant as well. The track from the opening and ending theme is a treat on the ears after you've watched an episode. The music greatly relates itself to the story's mood and story, bringing more life in presentation and storytelling.
If you remember AnoHana, then you might have heard the name Mari Okada - the show's screenwriter and the latter is handling Nagi no Asukara's as well. The story is fairly enjoyable and interesting. It's not predictable as I deemed and it would be thanks to the plot twists. Halfway into the series that storyline takes on a more deeper and complex turn. We see the characters asking themselves about who they are and what was happening around them. And characterization excels due to the character development present in most characters. The show's take on the story is somewhat related to racial disputes. A major example is the conflict between the land and sea people that reflects on the continuous feuds between african-americans and caucasians. Overall the story is fun and interesting to watch and its shortcomings won't make you dislike the show entirely.
In conclusion Nagi no Asukara isn't just a show worth to waste your 25 minutes. The show is creative and enjoyable. It's brings a tinge of nostalgia if you're already familiar with the concept running behind most anime shows but you'll be surprise of the impact in storytelling Nagi no Asukara projects. And along with the beautiful visuals and likeable characters, Nagi no Asukara is a show worth your time. read more
Jan 5, 2014
Nagi No Asukara follows the lives of a group of children. The setting takes place a world where a specific minority of humans have the ability to live in the sea. The people of the sea and the people of the land do not get along well, making a difficult situation for the children.The story balances its kind characters with an increasingly intense plot. The characters offer a sense of security and safety that the setting does not. Both the Land and Sea have an aura of judgment and discrimination. Being blatantly different is hard, you could compare the character's struggles to the feeling of being black after the ending of the Civil War. No one's suppose to be judging you differently, but they are and it's too intentionally obvious. We see family defined by bonds rather than blood, parents have to protect their children in a world they no longer know. As the anime progresses, a more serious tone becomes prevalent.
Romance is also a major role and downfall in this anime. Unfortunately for the characters, it comes in the form of an inconvenient love chain. You can't help you fall in love with, and you can't force someone to love you. You can ship almost all the characters to your hearts content. At a certain point the romance gets a little annoying, as the characters refuse to give up on their crushes. Rather than moving forward, there is a strong desire to pause time. There is such a heavy focus on the unattainable, that it becomes over-dramatic and overly emphasized.
Nagi No Asukara has received plenty of praise for its stunning top quality art. This praise is well deserved, as the scenery is beautiful, and the colors are astounding. It's evident that the creators were careful with their palette. The characters are slightly more cartoonish than realistic; there's a good balance of reality and fantasy.
The OP/ED are soothing and fit well with the tone of the anime. There's a lot of meaning to the lyrics, and the mood of the song fits the atmosphere.
Character voices are well done for all characters.
Friendships are fragile, and nothing is permanent. Time never stops, and people continue to age. Delicate bonds can only be kept if everyone puts in effort.
The notable issue of the characters is how generic their problems are. Being overly shy, in love with someone unattainable, and dealing with change. The way these problems are handled makes up for it though. Sometimes the romance gets a little unbearable, as almost all the characters like someone who doesn't like them back.
The characters really do have unique wonderful personalities that are a delight to discover. And yes, they do prove to gain much more character over time and their friendships are truly heartwarming. Some characters are already mature enough as it is. All the characters are nevertheless, interesting.
-The main character Hikari is quite childish, stubborn, and very loud, but has good intentions deep down inside.
-Manaka is a clumsy, cry baby but she isn't super annoying and develops character quickly.
-Chisaki and Kanama are the two other supporting main characters but receive much less attention. They're extremely noble friends, and I believe they're slightly more intelligent than the other two main characters themselves. Kaname is one of the most emotionally stable characters.
-Kihara lives on the surface, and is genuinely a good boy.
Although Kaname and Kihara receive less attention, they really are more developed than the other characters initially so it's understandable. The two are very considerate and mature. Though it's important to note that maturity does not equate to perfection, everyone has their own problems regardless of age.
All the characters are proving to be like-able, and have a high amount of depth to them..
There are also more characters such as family members and other supporting characters who actually play large roles in the story. So far I've liked all of them. There's such a great message of family importance that is used in such an original way.
On an ending note, this anime may not be for everyone because of it's childish characters. By childish I mean young and growing. It does however, shines with an enjoyable plot that viewers can effortlessly get into. There isn't a large amount of heavy action, but there is enough dialogue and interactions to keep you drawn to the show.
I'd recommend this anime to anyone who enjoys a great story accompanied by a plethora of emotions. The anime really sets itself apart from all previous anime with it's surreal visual quality. Personally, I love the anime for it's characters, story, and art. Each episode has been a pleasure to watch, so I'm going to give this a strong 9, hoping that the upcoming episodes continue to keep quality. I find myself really enjoying this anime and the plot keeps me wondering what events will happen next.
Jan 11, 2014
About love and youth and growing up. Also telling you that even adults are still growing up.
A mixture of drama, romance, with a little bit funny scenes coupled with fantasy and science. The personality struggle of each character is something I sympathize too.
You'd expect lots of twist in the story that would leave you expressions like "Ahh, I see" and "Oh, now I know" and etc.
You'd expect some scientific explanation about the people living under the sea and the best part is how they made fantasy and science go together.
I originally scored it 10 but I remembered some very minor scientific/logic flaw about how they walk under the sea. You'd get what I mean when you watch the series.
Modern graphics. Definitely not an eyesore especially the color blending.
The theme songs are perfect especially the lines.
The background music fits perfectly with the scenes.
The characters are well drawn. Their face, body, expressions show their personality. You can see how they struggle with their own issues. Even the minor and very minor characters have been drawn well and gives a sway to the story. Their outfit is cute too.
The way I score this anime shows how I enjoyed the series.
The twist and drama got me real good.
Let me repeat it again, the twist and drama got me real good. The personality of the characters and how they act make you feel how they feel too. The music support the emotional LULL of "Nagi no Asukara" (A Lull in the sea).
I hope this review will encourage you to watch this too and this anime gets the rank it deserves here in MALnet. read more
Apr 3, 2014
The series is not based on any previously existing works but rather stands alone as an original story produced by P.A. Works. It’s the first series since Hanasaku Iroha that is produced by P.A Works that presents itself as a 2 cour show. But more importantly are the themes explored. While the show is colored as fantasy, Nagi no Asukara surprisingly explores many factors that can be interpreted as human. This series explores various themes ranging from jealousy, regret, prejudice, alienation, bullying, and identity. It’s a show not to be taken just as a love story but something like a treasure box because you’ll someday come back and relive its precious moments.
Nagi no Asukara’s setting blends in two major contrasting style of societies. On one side is the people of the land who are just like you and me. On the other side are individuals that originated from sea. The people from the sea are curious about the surface world so they decide to venture from the deep and explore land. There’s an interesting insight based on this premise as there are various and controversial ideas poured in that divides the two societies. For instance, there are certain rules involving relationships between a sea dweller and a human living on land. This is presented early on in the series when a case involves such an incident. It sets forth a theme of prejudice and racism with debates between various characters. While it seems unfair, there are justifiable reasons to back up some of these themes such as involving the population of the human species. On another note, people on the surface world often associates themselves of being normal while identifying the sea dwellers as being inhuman. There’s a case of identity issue at crisis with even some of the sea dwellers themselves wondering where they belong in the world they live in. What Nagi no Asukara presents skillfully is the cultural clash between the people living on land and sea dwellers. Rather than some farcical soap drama with senseless dialogues, the show does well by showing rather than telling with its actions. The beginning of the school with our main characters sets a primary example of what’s to be expected with this cultural difference. It’s what Nagi no Asukara does at its best that divides its societies that draws the audience in beyond just a love story.
Of course, no story can be complete without its characters. Nagi no Asukara’s strong points involves its small yet complex characters. Not all of them are human but they often demonstrate explicit traits that can be found in humanity. Hikari stars as a main male protagonist whom may be initially seen as a brat. He is overprotective with the people he cares about but also gets into fights over his own problems. On the other hand is Manaka, a timid girl with a frail nature prone to crying. She is perhaps one of the more normal characters with her behavior and often not trying to cause people problems. Of course, she has problems of her own with insecurity about identity and sometimes even feels alienated from others. Other main characters also become involved in the story such as Tsumugu Kihara and Chisaki Hiradaira with their own interests. These interests settles itself with the romance and formulates angles of drama. Tear-jerking might not be the exact word to always describe these angles but it presents itself in a way that makes the audience want to know more and more about the characters with its dramatic storytelling. This is probably because some of these characters are relatable and have complex natures.
Taking a retrospective point, we also get to witness growth as each of the characters climbs stairs to adolescence. Characters such as Miuna and Sayu grow up more than just their physical selves. They mature from kids into young women with their own feelings and ideologies. More importantly is how far they have grown from their previous kiddy stages. What makes Nagi no Asuakra stands out itself with these stages is the construction of its timeline. There’s consistency although it lacks depth on some parts. Yet, the show also demonstrates how people can change with circumstances with characteristics learned from the characters whether it’s through bullying, romantic relationships, or alienation. Responsibility also takes in as a factor to be considered especially with some of the older characters such as Hikari’s brother, Akari. Surprisingly enough, some of the younger characters demonstrates more maturity than the adults in the show. It contrasts itself with them being one dimensional in this case with their unpredictable actions despite knowing some of the consequences.
As far as romance goes, the series can be or feel forceful at times with their exaggerated dialogues. Hikari can be seen as a male tsundere with the words that comes out of his mouth as well as his actions. Often or not, he says the opposite of his true intent and comes off as a rather blunt individual. On the other hand is Tsumugu with his easy-going nature. He’s more of the guy like a textbook with ambiguous words and difficult person to read on the surface. Nonetheless, he gets involved with the complexity of Nagi no Asukara’s love polygons. Because let’s face it here, this show focuses on romance as a main structure of story presentation with angles developing from various stages with even fantasy elements added to the mix. However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise as the world this show takes place in is decorated with fantasy elements. The waters is just one element of conventional presentation that allows this show to become what it is rather than what is trying to be. On the other hand is where we see how normal the surface people live that reflects on a society where we humans are used to.
Despite the melodramatic nature of this show, there is also room for comedy whether it involves our characters or the events that takes place. Kids in the beginning such as Sayu still says things that kids would say. It fits well with their initial role before growing up because it defines Nagi no Asukara as a series that matures itself. This later comes with regret from our younger characters that may earn sympathy from the audience. While not all expressive in nature, it demonstrates itself with characterization that focuses characters in more ways than just relationships.
While the story itself has some unexpected plot twists later on, the show still has some generic attributes that doesn’t shine itself at times. Most of the characters have complex personalities but sometimes hard to appreciate with their actions. Manaka is one character I find difficult to get accustomed with her frail nature and constant prone to tears. The audience might also find this a hard to bear and takes patience to get used to. Hikari’s outbursts sometimes also feels forceful and over exaggerated that serves as a primary example of being immature despite his intentions. And while the show’s plot can be unpredictable at times, there are various foreshadowing hinted at throughout some episodes that makes the show seem lifeless. This pinpoints some future events that can come as unsurprising even if done in a way that seems dramatic. Yet still, Nagi no Asukara doesn’t just focus on its fantasy-romance nature. It does more than that with its pyramid of character building on a foundation of its story.
By technical art standards, Nagi no Asukara can be described as a lavishly and luster anime that shines in this field. Thanks to P.A. Works, this show stands out more than just its images but with its setting that demonstrates credibility. The aquatic natures and backgrounds presents itself fair with consistency such as the fishes and sea. Not only has that but the characters themselves also showed evidence of being sea dwellers. These include but not limited to the characters’ azure-green glowing eyes or their bluish hair. They don’t look like merman or mermaids but rather as people not too different than you and me.
The soundtrack also demonstrates progress. In the beginning, most of the music has a light tone with some dramatic moments. But later on, we hear more of an emotional tone with the events going on. The OST itself also becomes an embodiment that reflects as a clear view to present Nagi no Asukara’s melodramatic style. Additionally, the OP and ED songs presents montages of characters and how they have changed over the time. Most of the voice acting of the characters fits well thanks to their talents. In particular, Hikari and Tsumugu’s voice becomes a symbol of opposites with their clashing personalities. Manaka’s voice also is easily recognizable thanks to the talents of Kana Hanazawa whom is well known for portraying cute characters.
I would recommend giving this show a try at the very least besides just from reading the synopsis. While it seems generic at all once with its characters, the show moves itself with characterization and plot that demonstrates maturity. It also focuses on a variety of themes that is credible and relates to humanity despite having fantasy elements. More so however is the way the characters interacts and the circumstances they undertake to become who they are. While the show focuses on romance as a central element, there is also themes of responsibility and cultural clashes that becomes insightful to get accustomed to. Not everything is fair after all in a world with drastically different cultures. In the world of Nagi no Asukara, that’s an understatement and you’ll find out exactly why.
Apr 16, 2014
It was crap from start to end, they took a nice idea about a fantasy world that could totally become decent and turned it into the most senseless idiocy about "love", a kid's fairytale with no goal whatsoever.
The best ideas such as enviroment and history were completely skipped and left unexplained, the setting under the sea could become absolutely awesome and they botched it, because instead of adjusting it to the situation they simply stuffed a copy of a normal village on the bottom of an ocean with no change at all. They even have stairs. They drink broth. I just don't understand what was the point of such a forced setting.
There are loads of things that I don't understand, but just to say a few: why in the world do people from the sea and from the shore hate each other so much if they don't differ among each other in the slightest? They have the exact same culture and habits, they eat the same stuff, they even put the same designs on curtains; Why the hell should salt fall from the sky? I'm fine with fantasy but you could at least try to come up with some kind of explanation; Did someone tell those guys that they didn't have to go as far as to make every possible pairing? There are fanfictions for that; Just where did the other students of the sea school go? That's kind of creepy, they simply melted away, right?
Oh, and yes, I totally agree that the series did a 180 turn. The characters visibly leveled up in annoyance.
The ending was the best part of them all, it just wrapped things up as uncomprehensible as they were and gave it all that sickly sweet taste that dulls every black hole in the plot to a triviality.
The dialogues were awkward, trite and embarrassing to listen to. read more
Apr 3, 2014
The premise of Nagi no Asukara is 4 childhood friends, Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki, and Kaname live in the sea village of Shishishio. They are able to live underwater thanks to the layer of protective 'skin' called ena. With their school closing down, they must attend school up on the surface, where they meet new classmates who were born and grew up on the surface. In comes Tsumugu, a child of the surface, who puts pressure on the group of friends, stirring up feelings that were trying to hide. Nagi no Asukara seems like your typical shoujo romance, but it's much more than that. It's a dramatic tale of the sea, love, and everything in between. It carefully pulls on your heartstrings and makes you relate on a painful scale. Truly, the story is well sculpted in many ways.
P.A Works has a way with animation. A show like Nagi no Asukara is right up their alley. They use the right colour pallets at the right time. They vibrantly set the scene. It's a sight to admire and respect. Work is put into every aspect of art and animation. The backgrounds and scenery are beautiful. A new world comes alive on screen. Animations are almost always fluid, and natural. It is everything Nagi no Asukara deserves.
Nagi no Asukara actually has some really good music. The OST is soothing, and fits just where you need it. It sets an atmosphere. It's almost the opposite of a horror movie, where the music makes you feel on edge. The music flowing from the speakers is a calming tune, a dramatic tune, whatever floats the boat of the scene taking place. It has a way of making you feel like you are at home. And in a sense, it makes you feel calm.
The characters in Nagi no Asukara are really something. Some I liked a lot more than others, I'll say that much. But either way, I cannot help but admire the differences that make them all special, unique, and quirky. All the characters balance each other, playing off of one another, and growing and maturing because of each other. Hikari is a childish, immature boy. Manaka is a sweet, innocent girl. They help each other mature, and change over time, whether they realize it or not. Chisaki lacks confidence and self-esteem. Kaname and Tsumugu try to push her to be brave. However, not all is happy and good. What I appreciate most is that each character has their flaws. That's what makes them real. That's what makes them human. That's what makes them relatable. Sometimes so relatable that you almost cringe, because you know you are the exact same way. They're the kind of character that grow throughout the series, and for some, you can get so emotionally invested in these characters, it's like your growing alongside them.
Nagi no Asukara is frustrating. It's relaxing. It's heart breaking. It gives you an immense feeling of joy, and an immense feeling of sadness all at ones. It plays in tune with your emotions. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It makes you want to rant forever, or it makes you want to rethink your entire life. I believe that Nagi no Asukara has the ability to cater to it's audience. I was engaged right from the beginning, I was engaged throughout, and to the very end. I enjoyed Nagi no Asukara. It is one of my favourite animes of the fall/winter season. It's definitely enjoyable. For me, at least. I think anyone should give it a chance.
In the end, Nagi no Asukara is what it is. A drama, a romance, a story. What you perceive to be another child romance story changes into much more. It can be playful and safe, like a child wading pool. Or it can be as deep as the depths of the oceans. It all depends on whether you take the first step and dive into the story with an open mind. Overall, I believe Nagi no Asukara is a beautiful anime. Would I recommend it? Well, yes. I'm recommending it to you, aren't I? So give it a chance, or you may just miss out.
Feb 23, 2014
So, after watching #25, I am scratching my previous review and starting over:
Nagi no Asukara is seriously worth your time. True- it starts off slow; there are good episodes in the middle; then it becomes kind of weird (in only my opinion)- but ultimately, it gets its act together in a ridiculously heartwarming way.
Story & Plot: What made me watch and continue watching was the premise. It’s quite magical. As for the plot itself, I’d give it an 8/10. The minus two are for minor inconsistencies, but overall the story is engrossing and well played out. It’s filled with exciting twists and even a time skip, which I personally really enjoyed.
Characters: Nagi-Asu is character centric, and it does a good job of developing most of its characters, giving them interesting personalities and generally making them likeable. Also, some characters’ emotions were extremely relatable (Chisaki, Sayu, I mean you). On the flip side, I just couldn’t understand other characters’ feelings- the bottom line is that the characters’ personalities are diverse and unique. Therefore, I give this category an 8/10.
Art & Sound: … Nagi-Asu has the best artwork of all the anime I’ve seen. The detail is mesmerizing! It contributes so much to the atmosphere of this anime. As for sound, the soundtrack is nice, but the openings and endings are way better than nice- they’re beautiful. 10/10 it is for both categories.
If you read my previous review, you might be a little overwhelmed at how it has changed. However, Nagi no Asukara is proving to be too enjoyable for me to gripe about its faults. Give it a chance, it’s better than most anime out there, it’s inspiring, innocent, and might make you smile a little more.
Apr 5, 2014
Nagi no Asukara is a manga adaptation produced by P.A. Works. The series revolves around 5 friends, 4 of which came from the sea. After their school closed down, four middle school students from a sea village are forced to attend a school on the surface, where they meet a certain boy who loves the sea. Due to some special encounters, their lives gain a new twist concerning love, change, and friendship.
The story starts out with some conflicts regarding the racial barriers separating the people of sea and the people from the surface. Family and friendship, along with the expected romance, are one of the notable themes in both the first and second cours. These conflicting matters consequently start drama very early in the story and continues throughout the course of the show. The second cour is more focused on the relationships between the main characters. One good thing about the story is that it tries to be unpredictable and attempts to make viewers guess what's going to happen next in the succeeding episodes. The pacing flows well, and is actually pretty fast, compared to most romance anime.
The first parts of the show were peculiarly deceptive. Initially, most viewers, including myself, found the characters annoying and unlikable. Hikari, for example, acted like a huge asshole with violent tendencies. Fortunately, this changes after a few episodes, proving that some of the characters weren't just generic and predictable, and actually had a ton of potential to develop. Over time, they became quite complicated because of clashing feelings and thoughts, but were still pretty easy to sympathize and relate with as characters.
I could honestly say for myself that the cast were the defining point of Nagi no Asukara, but that should be a given with a character-driven story. Nonetheless, they were, in my opinion, well thought out and unique... at least for some of them. Tsumugu, for example, barely changed in the second cour. Chisaki also had lesser than expected developments. She actually became regressive as a character that she turned out to be almost stagnant. This added to the fact that she barely seemed related to the core plot. In the end, it seemed like some of the cast were just used to develop the main characters. It wasn't a bad thing per se, it's just that they gave off a sense of wasted potential, which is something I found to be a huge letdown.
Another disappointment worth pointing out is that some relationships were forced and unnecessary, like Sayu's crush on Kaname which lacked substance and meaning. I seriously find the amount of devotion and trust she gave to a person she barely interacted with unbelievable. Simply put, the depiction of some relationships were nice, but very contrived.
P.A Works did a fine job on the art, as the anime was undeniably visually appealing. Backgrounds and landscapes were very well-drawn, and the animation was great. The art style fit the fantasy setting of the series perfectly. Buildings, tools, and even signs and pavements were detailed and had texture, which I found to be impressive. The value and level of the art were consistent throughout the show, apart from particular scenes which looked a bit jittery. Thankfully, said scenes didn't have too much of a significance to sway my attention, and weren't very noticeable.
The music, like the artwork, was fantastic. The opening and ending songs were meaningful, well-sung and catchy. The background music and sound effects, as well as the voice acting (especially in the emotional scenes), were executed flawlessly. You can be certain that your expectations, sound-wise, will be met accordingly.
Summing it all up, Nagi no Asukara is a well-done romantic drama, as well as a coming-of-age story, which convinces its viewers to feel for the characters. Its ability to pull you into the story is simply amazing. If you're curious, or just looking for a romance show to pass the time, I encourage you to pick this series up. I cannot promise that you'll enjoy this as much as I did, but I am confident enough to say that it gives you a good enough reason to press the NEXT button in your media player that I just know you'll be dying to click. read more
Jan 12, 2014
So first of all, i'll be giving a valuation for the storyline. The storyline is very unique. I like how they tell a story about a boy and his friends who lives underwater, the most unique thing is that they can breathe both under&above water, too. The romance is complicated, but it's what makes it interesting for me. By the explanation above i'll be giving the story 9.
I love the art of the anime. It's one of the best i've ever seen. No doubt i'll give it 10.
Enjoyable. I like both the opening and the ending of the anime. I'll give it 8.
The main character is a stubborn hard working boy. His attitude might not be good at first but if you watch further he'll start to change. I makes me think they are unique because of the complicated romance among them. I'll give it 8.
I really enjoy watching this anime, everytime i finish 1 episode, i never get satisfied and want to watch more and more because the story is just too unique and interesting. By that i'll give it 9.
Oct 21, 2013
I've only watched 3 episodes so far but I have to say that I am not disappointed at all.
For me the one thing that captured my attention for this show was Hikari. He is one of those rare characters who actually mature as the story progresses. In just three episodes, he grew so much it's hard to believe that he was the same immature, overreactive, rash, and bratty kid. He really comes to understand the people in the story and his views and actions towards them also change. He doesn't become so quick to judge others anymore either. And all that growth in just three episodes is honestly incredible.
I'm sticking to this show and I'm hoping that it continues this way.