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English: Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea
Synonyms: Nagi no Asu Kara, Earth color of a calm
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: 8.481 (scored by 37700 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular TagsNo tags found
May 22, 2014
A long time ago people lived and flourished in the sea. But one day some of the sea people wanted to live in the land, and thus they moved to the land and away from the sea. The story revolves around 4 middle school students who are forced to attend a school on land after their school in the sea village closes. Many problems such as adapting to new environments and dificulties making friends follow.
The story presents itself as a slice of life in the beginning with the main focus on problems the main characters have on the surface. Now for some people the pacing in the first half might be a bit slow, but There is good reason for that. As a character driven anime, Nagi No Asukara has to focus on its characters a lot and flesh them out properly, and Nagi No Asukara does just that. The show uses a lot of its time developing its characters and making sure they feel more like actual people rather than flat characters that you care little about. Was it worth it? Definitely.
But don't be fooled. Nagi No Asukara doesn't always stay a fun, light slice of life. The mood changes dramatically darker in the second half. The show takes a turn from slice of life to being more dramatic, and this is where Nagi No Asukara falls short on. Many slice of life romances that try to implement drama in their plot tend to be overly melodramatic, and this also seems to be the problem with Nagi No Asukara. Nagi No Asukara's second half is chocked full of drama. From unrequited love to arguing. The show sometimes becomes quite frustrating in the dramatic parts. Many parts felt uncomfortably lengthened because of the melodrama and how the characters are so unwilling to talk and make up after an argument. Now although to me this wasn't a major problem. It still dampened from the experience as a whole.
Story isn't the only thing Nagi No Asukara focuses on.The animation of Nagi No Asukara is top-notch, with animation that rivals even The big studios like Kyoto animation The show looks absolutely gorgeous. The backgrounds were created with such detail that it felt like I was watching an art gallery. Character designs were also very appealing and detailed. Seriously, Nagi No Asukara's art is definitely some of the best I've ever seen in the anime industry. I'm not exaggerating at all.
The sound of Nagi no Asukara is also paid much attention on. "lull ~Soshite Bokura wa~" by Ray is a great first opening that fits the slice of life aspect of the show perfectly. The second opening "ebb and flow" also by Ray has a more serious tone to it and is also a great song to listen to. ( I have already listened to it 20 times). The soundtrack also doesn't disappoint. Pretty much every track and tune fits the mood well. Nagi no Yanagi also does a great job on the ending song.The first ending song "Aqua Terrarium", is a calming song that fits the show very well. The second ending song "Mitsuba no Musubime" is also a very good song that fits with the second half very well.
As a character driven show, the characters are the aspects that make or break the series, and I can honestly say that Nagi No Asukara has quite the cast. The main cast consists of 5 characters. The crybaby Manaka Mukaido, the hotheaded Hikari Sakishima, the calm and collected Kihara Tsumugu, beautiful and caring Hiradaira Chisaki, and the handsome Isaki Kaname. Now at first the characters felt very stereotypical. Hikari is the main character that gets mad at many things and gets the viewers pissed off because of how much a jerk he can be. Manaka felt like those characters that were made to be cute and cater to the audience. Tsumugu was the smart one in the show that would preach life lessons to the other characters. Kaname was the handsome guy, and Chisaki is that kind girl who also joins in on the love triangle. As you can see. The cast doesn't seem to be very likable or original in the beginning. What P.A works does an extraordinary job on though, is putting a serious amount of depth to the characters and developing them immensely over the course of the show.The characters develop dramatically and feel way more alive throughout the show. As you get to learn more about the characters through the show. You end up feeling way more connected to the characters.They turn into characters that you actually care about. Not second dimensional characters that you forget about in a few weeks, but characters that really make an impression on you.But that's not the end. There are two more main characters added through the show. Shiodome Miuna and Sayu Hisanuma. Although they only receive development in later parts of the show. They recieve a lot of development through the series and although they might not get as much depth as the other characters. I ended up caring for them just as much as the main cast.Another very interesting part of the show is that Nagi No Asukara has one of the biggest and most complicated love webs I have seen in a while. Almost every important character in the show loves someone else. And watching this web unfold was truly an enjoyable experience. As I watched the characters grow up and see how they coped with their unrequited love. I began to root for their happiness from the bottoms of my heart. The characters truly made an impact to me, and it was a bit sad for me to finish the show.
Nagi No Asukara isn't for everyone. It's slow pacing in the beginning and it's focus on the characters are enough to scare off people who have little patience and want immediate action . But for people who are patient enough. Nagi no Asukara is a show that will deliver. With its beautiful atmosphere, great characters, and a very interesting story. Nagi No Asukara is that gem in the rough that should definitely be watched by fans of romance and slice of life. 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
May 5, 2014
This show is a "slice of life, fantasy and romance" show in a nutshell, however it takes these themes and fulfills them really rather well and isn't without some original twists.
The story is set in two villages, one in the sea and one in the land. There is a conflict between the people of these villages due to friction about their cultures and beliefs. The people from Shishoshio, the sea village, believe that the people originated in the water and that those who had left in the past for land had betrayed the sea god and had turned their backs on their way of life. This rivalry in the show is actually well developed as the show goes on and plays a defining role in moulding the story.
The story starts of with four main characters, essentially around whom the meat of the story revolves around (although there are two other main characters added shortly after). These are Chisaki, Kaname, Hikari and Manaka, the few children in the sea village. They have been childhood friends and in the same school for as long as they can remember and are being transferred to the school on the land to continue their education. Obviously, having been together for so long, they all have strong feeling for each other and the refreshing fact is how realistic their relationships are. They fight, have fun, love each other and are jealous of each other at times. Unlike many other shows this really helps drive the story further on solid foundations.
The story then revolves about their life on the land and the interactions between the characters. The new main characters added are Tsumungu, a quiet but reassured boy who lives on the land with his grandpa and two younger girls, Sayu and Miuana. All of these characters are well developed over the show and themselves are involved in secondary themes such as dealing with second marriages in their family and loneliness. Not everything is laid out on a plate however and there are certain things that are left for you to figure out or wonder at.
The first half goes through the gears and describes the life of the characters and how they get on, with a few usual bumps and twists, some of which is original and some which is to be expected but by no means boringly cliched. The main plot of the start is the build up to the "Onefeukhi" a ritual which is carried out by the sea and land people together to pay sacrifice to the sea god. I shall say no more. This is one of the very few anime with a twist that is shocking however done in such a way that doesn't irritate but actually works with the story and ultimately makes it better. It is this "twist" that actually helps to make this such a memorable anime.
So thats the story glanced over, of course there is so much going on all at once for me to explain but take this much 1) The complex relationships (between sister and brother, children and parents and between the children themselves, even the adults, the villagers too. 2) The character development is paced perfectly with the story and is satisfying to watch unfold. I haven't even scratched the surface of the story yet.
The art style is nice, there are no faults and quite mellow.
The soundtracks are well used and OPs are definitely amazing.
Overall this anime gave me a chance to feel what I had with anime such as Clannad and Little Busters. It's a story driven by the entire cast, there is a whole bigger picture behind everything and the fantasy setting doesn't detract it really defines the show in a way while still making everything absolutely relatable (not in a practical sense but an emotional one).
So if you are looking for something with substance, a well paced story and a brilliant cast all blended to amazing effect, Nagi no Asukara is not a show to miss. read more
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
Jun 28, 2014
Such a disappointment. I'm almost enraged at how things turned out!
Nagi no Asukara is one of those anime that can make you dream, smile and feel for the characters. And it was like this for me too...until it happened! A beautiful setting with quite an original and meaningful premise was ruined in the name of one of the most overused and cliched stereotypes in the anime industry.
The story starts out stupendously. Two races coexisting in the same city and at the same time living in two different worlds. One on the quite familiar surface and the other under the blue tranquil depth of the sea. The sea setting is enchanting, dreamy and promising. The problem is, it isnt't exploited as deserved. Our protagonists spend most of the time on the surface and in the second half of the series, the sea village is completely forgotten. Regardless, we were also presented with some interesting philosophical and existential topics such as coexistence and love between different cultures, integration in an hostile environment, fear of extinction, separation, sacrifice, death, loss and a few others. Some of them were fairly deepened during the first half of the show and there was room for improvements.
But, a couple of episodes after the thrilling plot-twist at the end of episode 13, the authors decided to do a 180 degrees turn. At this point we can forget everything that happened so far since the show starts to focus on romance, and the story develops around sappy dramatic moments which I found quite forced sometimes. And let's not forget the convenient plot twists to ensure that nothing goes the wrong way!
The fact is that the main background story gets forgotten and, as a result, advances really slowly. Then, there is possibly the biggest love train/polygon that I ever saw, with 7 main characters involved, and each one of them continuously changing their mind on an episode basis. This is when I came to dislike most of them.
Sure, it's a romantic series! And it is fine in the first half with a right mixture of story development, slice of life scenes and dramatic romance-related moments. However, in the second half, they go totally overboard, and as a result the story becomes boring and meaningless. The final blow is the deus ex machina ending where everything is magically resolved...and they lived happily ever after!
ART AND ANIMATION (9/10)
Awesome, gorgeous, bright. Detailed backgrounds, well-refined settings, nice character designs, smooth animations. The most striking visuals are those of the sea village with fishes swimming around and falling snow made of salt. Sadly, we have very few occasions to dive into this imaginary world.
The blue color is overused but it doesn't detract from the experience. At the contrary, it enhances the perception that we are in a story that revolves around the sea
The openings are lively, intense and joyful. Not bad but not amazing either. The ending is instead pretty good. More on the sad, melancholic side with an appealing singing. The tracks used during the episodes are also satisfactory. An heavy use of violins and piano helps setting the mood for the increasingly recurring dramatic scenes. I love sad songs and compositions, and I enjoyed the ones used in the anime.
We have 7 main characters alternating during the course of the 26 episodes. As a series that revolves around characters and their relationships, you'd expect them to be interesting and go through a lot of changes and developments. This is the case for some of them, mainly Hikari and Manaka. They're the real protagonists, the series revolves mainly around their actions and both change quite drastically in character and emotions. They feel to me almost complementary in their evolution...like they switched their thoughts and behaviors.
Some others, instead, like Tsumugu and Kaname appears to be either totally plain and boring or plot devices. And they basically don't grow at all.
Finally, the massive love-train doesn't help with them acquiring new specific traits. They continuously change idea, their feelings are inconstant...they don't appear very likeable.
The series starts great and ends in one of the worse ways possible. The sudden change from a plot driven story to a romance driven melodrama really turned off all of my involvement. It is definitely a well made and somewhat good show. If you like love polygons, you'll quite surely enjoy it.
I simply feel quite disappointed and almost betrayed. So many chances to make an amazingly good and meaningful story were thrown out of the window in the name of forcibly dramatic romantic moments. read more
Aug 8, 2014
Let me start off with what I liked about the anime.
The art style was one that I'd never seen before, therefore it was very refreshing and overall very pleasing. Since turquoise blue is my favourite colour, the art was really a gold mine for me, seeing as all of the characters who come from the sea have turquoise coloured eyes. Overall I thought the art was beautiful.
Wow! In terms of music and sound, this anime would be up there with my top 10. All of the openings and endings gave me chills, and I actually have them in my iTunes playlists. Both Ray and Yanagi Nagi have incredibly beautiful voices, and to be honest I thought they were the same person at first. They sound very similar, however they each have their own style of singing which adds a beautiful aspect to the music. I don't have much to say about the inserted music because I actually don't remember much of it, but I'm sure it was appropriate for whichever scene it was used it. Overall the music was stunning and used very well throughout the series.
Okay. Now that I've gotten what I like out of the way, let's get to the biggest issues that I have with this anime.
I would give this a higher rating, as I actually liked most of the characters in the anime. The two characters that broke this anime for me were Manaka and Miuna. I actually quite like Miuna's personality, so I'll get to why I don't like her later. Let's focus on Manaka. God, I hated her. I still hate her. I hate Manaka with a burning passion and it will never go away. One reason is because of the voice acting. Manaka is played by Hanazawa Kana, who is a respectively known voice actress. She has a childish but very cute voice, but she was wrong for Manaka. I feel like Hanazawa-san is repeatedly getting thrown into the crybaby role, which I hate. The only character that I really thought Hanazawa-san played exceptionally well was Kuroi Mato from Black Rock Shooter (the OVA, mind you). Now let's move on to Manaka's character. She acts like she's 5 or 6 years old, constantly crying and making other people worry about her. She is incredibly naive, such to the point where she can't face the truth when it's right in front of her, and doesn't pay attention to the way anybody else is feeling around her. She runs away from everything, including Hikari's love for her (which isn't really a spoiler since it is known that Hikari likes her from episode 1). One could argue that she's very noble, since she does a certain something halfway through the series (I will not give up spoilers), however I found that she had no basis or motivation for doing what she did. It's like the writers just wanted to paint her as a good person so they made her do what she did. She confused me for a long time into the series, making me believe that she liked someone when she actually didn't. Sigh. Overall, I hate Manaka.
Okay. I am done ranting about Manaka. Time to look at the other characters.
Personally, I really liked Chisaki. Chisaki, unlike Manaka, had a very in-depth character, and actually took the time to think through her actions and decide why she wanted to do something. She is a very mature, independent person, and I really like that about her. It's really hard to analyse Chisaki's character further without adding spoilers, so I will just say that Chisaki is a very likable character.
I also really liked Hikari and Sayu. Hikari was one of the boys with a short temper, making him angry at almost anything. However he got angry with good reason. He would usually get angry trying to protect Manaka and his friends, or he would get angry because he was jealous of Tsumugu, whom he thought Manaka liked. I liked Hikari's playful and caring side, however, and that he would honestly admit a mistake when he made one. Throughout the episodes you watch his character changing, so that he becomes a more flexible and less angry guy. I don't understand what he sees in Manaka, but that's just me.
I also liked Sayu. Sayu looks like a typical tsundere on the surface, however she really cares about her friend Miuna and about the boy she loves. She felt tortured because she started liking him when she was in elementary school, and worked hard during middle school to get him to notice her. I really liked Sayu's voice and I hope that the voice actress, Ishihara Kaori, get's more opportunities to star in more anime. Overall, Hikari and Sayu are very likable characters.
This anime's characters all have the opportunity to be likable, depending on what kind of person YOU as the viewer like. As I have said many a time before, I hated Manaka's character. But I liked everyone else. Overall, the characters were pretty good.
I usually love the kind of drama found in this anime. Friends that are dealing with unrequited love within themselves is a genre that I wouldn't give up any day. However the fantasy part of the story was really bad. Let me start by saying that this is one of those stories that makes you think it's about one person the entire way through, and then at the very end it pulls the rug out from under you and says, "Whoops, it's actually not about the main character." This is the main reason why I don't like Miuna. Miuna, from what I understood, was supposed to be a side character. A character that sort of mattered to the plot, but not really. Then I find out at the end that she is essential to the plot, and suddenly she becomes a main character. Think about it like this: if you were reading Harry Potter, and the main character is Harry Potter, wouldn't you be ticked off if, at the last page of the last book, it became about that kid that Harry said "Hi" to one time in the second book? Of course I'm exaggerating a bit but that's what it feels like to me. I was extremely thrown off when I found out that Miuna was the main character all-of-a-sudden, and I honestly hate stories like that. The fantasy part of the story, while it did it's best to be explained, didn't really make me believe it. It seemed very shallow, and there were a lot of mysteries that weren't explained, which makes me angry. The ending of the story felt very rushed and hurried, and suddenly there were these new things that had to be smushed into the last few episodes. I was also astonished by how foolish the sea god acted at the end of the series. I was honestly sitting there, at my computer, thinking to myself, "How could you be so stupid?!" But I digress.
Overall this anime didn't strike me as anything worth watching, although I am glad to have watched it so that I know exactly what I hate now. I'm also glad that I got to listen to the music as that, as well as the art, was probably the only thing that kept me going. Please remember that this is only my opinion, and that I am not trying to convince you to share it, but rather tell you of the things that I noticed while I was watching it. Anyway, happy anime watching!
Jul 30, 2014
Story : Well, you might considered the background story a bit strange when you first watched it and then you raised your eyebrows. I mean, underwater villagers? It's a bit strange right? But, I promise you, with that kind of background, you'll be super amazed as the story progressed.
Nagi no Asukara served you a really interesting drama and romance story. In my experience, I thought I've figured out who ended up with who, but I was totally wrong. Because they gave you a twist that sometimes you can't expect. So, for me, the story was a 9/10.
Art : The art was a complete beyond awesome. The beautiful backgrounds and scenery, the details, even the water details, it was really awesome and breathtaking. So, it's a 10/10 because of the amazing art and details.
Sound : The Opening and Endings are both lovely. Really soothing and relaxing. The voice actors themselves were awesome as well. The main male trio were voiced by new faces in the anime industry, such as Ishikawa Kaito, Hanae Natsuki and Ohsaka Ryouta, yet they have gave us an awesome performances. Hana Kanazawa, Ai Kayano, Ishihara Kaori and Mikako Komatsu also gave us their best performances while voicing their characters. Both the OSTs and Voice Actors are 9/10.
Character : The characters are great in their own ways. I admired all of them. The unrequited romances, friendships and conflicts between a character with another character or a character with themselves are great. It's a 9/10
Enjoyment and Overall : For me Nagi no Asukara was a pretty amazing anime. The story, the characters, the conflicts and dramas, it made me want to joined them and explore. I had a great time watching this, all the funny moments, the breathtaking moments, even the sad moments (I remember crying watching several episodes couple of times), I'm glad I watched Nagi no Asukara. Really, I do. For an enjoyment, it was a 8/10, and the overall score for Nagi no Asukara was a 9/10
If you're looking for a romance, drama and fantasy with a little bit of twist, then Nagi no Asukara is definitely the one. read more
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 23, 2014
So story wise, Nagi takes sometime to pick up. Think Steins;Gate. The beginning is somewhat boring and not quite perfect, even boorishly melodramatic in spots. But there are glimpses of excellence here and there to keep you interested. But the proverbial shit hits the fan at the end of the first cor. Everything changes after this point, and Nagi enters it's golden age. Quality character development, good humor, great dialogue and excellent pacing. I was hooked, like a fish on a lure. Christ I was preparing a spot for it in my 5 favorite anime, pondering over which show to give the axe and remove from my hallowed lineup. Then, Nagi's gilded shell began to peel and crack, revealing something not quite so perfect, like discount chocolate. The melodrama began to pick up, confusing new plot lines were introduced, and the amount of crying per episode reached beyond my tolerable limits, which are rather high for the average anime viewer, if I do say so myself. But I held fast, muttering to myself as I scoured the interwebs for my fix that it'd all be rectified by the time the show ended. Much to my dismay, this didn't occur. Most poor endings either provide too little closure on plot lines or really bad closure, too the point where you wish they didn't even do so in the first place. Nagi is special, in that it resolves abso-fucking-lutely nothing. Overall plot line, left out in the open in a "maybe we fixed the problem" conclusion. Romantic sub-plots? "Maybe ever after" endings. This is disgraceful. The absolute worst thing you can do with a story is leave it out in the open. And I don't even know where'd they go with a second season either. It's like this unfixeable clusterfuck that I just can't get over. The ending is just plain awful.
Now though it may seem like I have nothing but ills to say about Nagi, such isn't the case. As i've exemplified before, I love 90% of the show's story. It does few things wrong, and even fewer of these flaws are critical. One of the best parts of Nagi, IMO, is the characters. Hikari, the main protag, shows huge development throughout the show, going from my least favorite character to my undisputed favorite. Manaka, though I feel she functions as more of a plot device to an actual character, shows good development and does some amazing things in the show. Chisaki is probably the weakest of the cast, constantly inducing groans from me due to her indecisive and grating personality, but still, she grows as a character. Kaname....let's just skip him. His role in the plot in dazzlingly minor, and by the end of the show is revealed to be nothing more than a plot device, much like Manaka (you'll see). Miuna and Sayu are two characters who, though initially seem like unimportant side shows, become incredibly important (at least Miuna does) as the show progresses. Miuna functions as one of the main characters, if not THE main character, in the latter half of the show, taking up most of the screen time with her plot. Sayu always felt like a spectator in the show more than a character being actively affected by the events in the story, and in all reality isn't all that important, but IMHO she is the best girl in the show and I love he-I MEAN, what I meant to say was...*ahem*; she is ultimately an eternal side character that has minimal impact to the plot, but is still likable.
You notice how most of the characters in Nagi grow, in differing degrees, as characters as the episode count rolls higher. This exposes the predominate motif in Nagi: growth and change. This is one of the most bread and butter themes in anime, considering the demographic that much of anime is aimed at (young people and teens). Nagi manages to provide a fresh take on the growth theme, but not so much change, which is arguably the more important of the two. The show spends quite a bit of time stressing how change is the greatest fear of the characters, and that any change in their relationships with each other is a bad thing. Now, logically, the show would then show the viewer how change isn't bad, how it's a natural part of life and should be embraced, not shunned. The show seems to go in this direction as we wind down to the finale. But guess what happens? Take a guess. Got one? Was it "the ending"? If it was, then you're absolutely correct. The ending doesn't provide any real conclusions to the side plots it introduces, with perhaps one exception (you'll know by the ending, trying to refrain from major spoilers here). In this, it betrays the theme of "change", as nothing concretely changes. It's certainly in the midst of changing, so perhaps it half-delivers on it convictions, but it still stands that this side-plot is left out in the open, like so many other things in Nagi.
SUPER RUSHED ART AND SOUND SECTION TIME
Yeah, I never like writing these sections, so let's just get it over with. Nagi is animated by PA Works (PAW), a studio predominately known for a little anime know as Angel Beats! Now if you've seen Angel Beats!, you know PAW does a bang up job with it's art/animation, and Nagi is 10X better than Angel Beats was. The art is super sharp and the animation is more than fluid enough for a slice of life show like Nagi. The sound is equally excellent. The soundtrack is one of the best I've heard in awhile, with tracks complimenting every scene under the sea. The OPs and EDs are all good, but the second OP is definitely superior to the first OP. So yeah, no complaints here, the art and sound are actually what keep Nagi from being a 5 overall.
Nagi is my prime example of what an awful ending can do to a show. I was balls deep in this show, so to speak, and was about to finish when it just slapped me across the face and left me hanging dissatisfied and betrayed. A crude anecdote to be sure, but it should summarize what I feel about Nagi as a whole. Mixed feeling abound, with an intense longing for something better, but bitter regret knowing that I probably won't get anything to satiate that craving. Nagi no Asukara, The Lull of the Sea is truly-
6/10- Fair read more
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
Jun 27, 2014
I don’t know what I was expecting based on the synopsis when I started watching Nagi no Asukara, but I sure didn’t expect this.
Of course, I knew it wouldn’t be dark and mysterious like some other anime, but I never knew I would wind up watching slice of life - one of the genres I avidly avoid because my action-longing heart just can’t take it. Or, maybe I’m too immature. Whatever.
In brief, at the start, Nagi no Asukara seemed to be just a slice of life with a little bit of fantasy and too much romance in it. Something that made me want to bang my head on the table. I support that, still, but only for half of the anime. But, let me elaborate on that in a less confusing way. So, as tradition goes, let us start with the story element.
What I’m going to do for this review, in particular for this story part, is divide the anime into two parts. Part one, episodes 1 - 12 and part two, episodes 13 - 26. I have to do this because the parts are vastly different in many aspects.
Let’s start with part 1. As I said before it’s a slightly boring slice of life with a little bit of supernatural in it - there are some people who live in the sea. This causes some minor complications such as prejudice, getting a fish in your knee and Ena drying up.
There were also some interesting but seemingly useless plot line points such as the preparations for the Ofunehiki which felt like plain filler. Well, not exactly in that sense - I felt like they were trying to use that to establish character relations, which may be a good thing, I guess.
What was abundant in this anime was romance, so I will be focusing on this a lot. Whilst I did like it some of the time, the thing is that it was plain annoying the rest of the time. Right from the first episode a guy in my anime club said, and I quote, “Those damn love triangles.” And that’s from the first episode.
In truth, it’s waaaaay past love triangles. As I like to say, love pentagons, but it’s actually love heptagons. Seriously. All the characters have some ties in between them, drawing a complex web. It’s very, very annoying, and I hate it. It had me bashing my head on the table and exclaiming “Seriously?!” more times than I can count, especially at times when nine year-old girls fall in love with fourteen year-old boys at first (okay, okay, maybe second) sight. That, I cannot accept.
There was also an overload of mush in both parts. Characters talking about their complex feelings for other characters which just plain pissed me off.
Sometimes, the romance did lead to other points - such as the apparent tabou of sea/surface relations - but once again, tastes like filler, not entirely, but mostly. Not that I’m complaining though, because in the end, it does serve to something, I guess.
To finish off my rant on how I hate romance, I’ll say this: it wasn’t all bad. Some parts were cute. I admit it. *tsundere style* But it’s not like I enjoyed it or anything…
Overall, I found the first part of Nagi no Asukara a slice-of-life anime, which however has some complications coming up. I wasn’t forcing myself to watch it, but the first episode didn’t quite meet my expectations, and it didn’t contain any of what I call the OMG factor. This is the thing that leaves you hanging at the end of one episode and you just have to see the next.
On the the second part. This is where things take a drastic change for the better. It suddenly acquired a good dose of mystery and thus OMG factor.
Firstly, it’s not really slice of life anymore. It has more of the supernatural element in it and whilst the love heptagons still stand, I guess it’s not as bad. It was great seeing some of the characters grown up.
This was far more interesting because, as I just said, it abandoned the slice of life part, and added a little bit of mystery, I daresay. There’s the whole element of the forced hibernation and the snow and all that. It is great when characters start reappearing again, but I find it a little weird that of course it’s the main protagonists who show up. Why not the others? But then again, that would probably lead to some more wasted episode time.
Episode thirteen is pretty much a bridge between the two parts, and it did get more interesting. I have a few complaints on the cliché-ness of the show which I just have to mention here, because I hated how Manaka offered to be the Ojoushi-sama. That ‘unexpected’ heroism has been done about a thousand times before.
Back to the topic. Whilst the general plot of the second part was a lot more interesting (incidentally I won’t elaborate on it much because I would have to recount the whole story), it still had several issues. One was the Ena. I swear, suddenly all the characters have it. Just jump in the sea and almost drown to get free Ena.
Another issue was that Miuna became the main character. It’s not that I don’t like Miuna, but she became really annoying, especially how she keeps thinking about her love with Hikari and how he doesn’t love her back and yadda yadda yadda tears and torment etcetera. I understand she is in love with Hikari, that was decided in the first part, but she just became so annoying with her thoughts that I felt like either shouting at her to shut up (or stop thinking) or slap her. Of course, I could do neither, so I bashed my head on the table instead.
The final issue is the romance - it hasn’t changed much. Hikari is overly obsessed with Manaka. Almost all the girls are in love with Hikari. No one but Sayu loves Kaname, who in turn feels like a third wheel (hahahahahaha third wheel). Everyone doesn’t realise that someone else loves them because they are too obsessed with someone else. There is a general soppiness and love tangle, but not as bad compared to the first part.
There also was one point where I just smacked myself on the forehead because pretty much the same thing was going on as in an earlier episode, but I won’t elaborate for sake of spoilers.
To summarise the plot part in general, I feel as if I have been too sarcastic. Whilst it may not be exactly the genre that I like, it was slow-paced at the start and I found myself exclaiming “Seriously?!” a number of times, the plot was quite good, very sweet and funny at times (I laughed a fair bit), sometimes, especially in the second part, I felt very strongly about certain things. All in all, I did not force myself to watch it by any means. I really cannot decide on what I feel about the story. At the start, it wasn’t so great, but I really enjoyed the second bit. I give the first part a 6 and the second an 8, which makes an average of 7.
Art was really high quality - the animation was good, scenery was absolutely beautiful, characters as well. I absolutely loved the eyes. Some of the characters were so cute! It also fitted the context.
I was impressed with the art and thoroughly enjoyed it - for this, I give it 9.5.
As usual, I don’t have all that much to say about sound. It was good, and although I would have loved to hear more music, the music that was there was beautiful. Some of the themes were quite emotional.
One thing that did bug me was some of the voices. Like how Miuna’s voice is deeper than Akari’s, who is an adult. But, since it does happen in real life (kind of), I’ll let it slide. I really hesitate between 8 and 9, so to avoid too many decimals, I'll give it a 9, because I really did love the music.
On to characters.
Character development was very good. I feel like I got to know a bit about every character. Nevertheless, I feel like I just can’t put my finger on some of the characters. Like if someone asked me to describe Chisaki’s or possibly Kaname’s character, I wouldn’t be entirely sure what to say. For this reason, I just can’t be 100% happy. Also, I didn’t develop a favourite character until much later in the show, which isn’t a very good thing.
Another problem was how the characters were a little too similar. This isn’t entirely true, but sometimes I just felt like they possessed too many similar traits.
The final issue for me with the characters was Manaka. She was cute and nice and all, but I just could not stand her childishness.
Making sure to include the positive things, let me say that I did feel quite strongly for the characters after a while. For instance, I was dying to see Hikari cry, for some reason. I also think I understand why all girls are falling for him. :3
I would give characters an 8 because they were quite good, and I liked them (in general), however I feel as if they could have been so much better. Because of this, I lower the score to a 7.
Enjoyment wasn’t all that high at first, I would give it a 6 or a 6.5, because as I said, it was a slice of life, and there was so much fluff that sometimes I felt as if I was eating cotton balls. However, the second part was much better, and I enjoyed it a lot. I watched quite a few episodes in a row every night and couldn’t wait to get home from school to keep watching. Once, I even watched an episode at school. I would put enjoyment at a 7.5.
Overall, to sum up everything I said in this review:
This anime wasn’t quite up to scratch for the first twelve episodes, being very slow-paced and sometimes a little melodramatic in my opinion, and there were a few cliché elements, but after that the story became much more interesting. The romance was a little bothersome considering there were so many love triangles I was bashing my head on the table, but it wasn’t all bad. Characters had good potential and good development but could have been better. Art and sound were great, but I wish there was a little more music. Enjoyment went up with the plot line. I’m glad I watched this anime, and I enjoyed it.
A/N: I was actually originally planning to give this a 7, (and actually still think that maybe I should do so) but after having to rewatch a few episodes because my internet was really slow so it kept pausing every 5 seconds, I was surprised to realise that I actually liked it more than I had originally thought.
Thank you to animele220! It is thanks to youthat I found out about this anime! *clap clap*
Oh, and thanks to all who take the time to press 'Helpful' or 'Not Helpful'. If you have some time on your hands and pressed the 'Not Helpful' button, please comment on how I can improve my reviews! :3
Jun 23, 2014
Let's start off with the foremost first impression, the art. Your eyes do not deceive you when they report the mesmerizing construction of the characters and settings. The artists of this show have done an outstanding job pronouncing the colors of each little detail to produce a masterpiece of a scene. Meanwhile, the animators work on controlling the lighting so it seems as you are walking through a shimmering dream of precision and almost realistic reality. However, the perfection of the art isn't intense to the point where it robs the spotlight away from the actual story. Picture it as a sparkling, smooth wave of gentle sea water rolling alongside a rocky boat. It would make the boat ride more enjoyable to brush your fingertips on the soft water top, wouldn't it? The art does just that, it emboldens pleasure in watching the show.
I described the story as a rocky boat, but why is that, you might ask? Well, the first half of the story enhances the rivalry and feuding that has long been brewing between the sea and surface people. Four friends from the sea village Shioshishio have to attend of a surface school in a town called Oshiooshi. At first, the two different groups of children don't get along with each other, as the whole racism concept still remains. However, after a period of time, they begin to realize that they are more alike than different and decide to cooperate in an annual tradition called the Ofunehiki. Yet, don't be deceive by its new, lighthearted appearance, because a sudden turn of events plunges the story into a slightly different setting. This ends the first half and opens the doors for the second half of the story. The plot line in the second half is a heavy fog of mixed feelings and confusion for the characters as they attempt to unravel the answers to their ever-growing questions. With all that in mind, I could say the first half of the story was a rocky boat ride, but the whole plot is like a drop tower. It slowly builds up and teases you with mild drops of shock until you're confused on whether the real drop will occur, so once it does, you are in for it. Keep in mind that the ride isn't over after one plunge, it will continue its round until the very end.
A story is nothing without good characters plots. In this case, the characters in Nagi no Asukara are, to the very least, much like us. They are all normal beings with the flaws of human nature. They share a society where racism, stereotypes, and discrimination dominate their lifestyles alike our own. One of the great things about this anime is that you can relate yourself to any character. That connection between you and a character makes the show much more enjoyable as you watch the scenes roll by and go, "I totally feel you, bro." Likewise, the connections between the characters themselves is much like our relations too. In their case, it's a flat-out love polygon. Think love triangles or harems are tough enough? Just wait till you see Nagi's. Normally, I'd hate how infuriating love polygons can be, but Nagi no Asukara intertwines their love plots with raw human emotions. Again the relativity of this show breaks through your armor of criticism and reaches into your soul to find something that will squeeze the feels out of you. You may hold your judgement against a particular character (as a matter of fact, I still do), but there is no absolute way you can hate any of them. Put aside the fact that half the cast can breathe in the ocean, they are otherwise all just as humane as you and me. Some may share some of your personality traits, and how could you possibly hate yourself? (C'mon, you gotta at least have some self-respect or arrogance in you) Nevertheless, this show really makes that strong connection with the viewer and I think that's a wonderful thing to have.
I could never forget the impact this show's sound had on me. Nagi no Asukara's OST has made its way into my top 10 anime OSTs of all time. I can't even begin to describe how marvelous it was, but obviously I will have to attempt to describe it. Here goes. The first opening had that sweet, lighthearted feeling of a beautiful friendship. It was like it was stringing together all those days spent with your closest friends that consisted of sunny laughter and frivolous fun. The endings and second opening don't have this level of happiness anymore, but they still make their marks with creating that atmosphere of reminisce. It's like looking back at your life and going through a film of memories, laughing and smiling at the remarkable ones, or somberly regretting the unappealing ones. You can't make out a specific emotion when you hear those works of music, but rather a steady stream of feelings that make you enjoy your life as it is.
Do I even need to say anymore? Yes, I did enjoy Nagi no Asukara and I'm grateful that I came across this anime when I was looking for another satisfying roadtrip through the feels. If you find anything hindering, I'm sure you will come to overlook it and if not to its fullest extent, enjoy this exquisite piece of work.
In conclusion, Nagi no Asukara is a show where you can calmly watch the perks and flaws of human nature unravel before your very eyes. The characters are startlingly relatable and enjoyable to root for as they try to follow their heart's desires. The art is pleasing to the eye and enhances the beauty of nature itself and our civilization. The sound is like watching a personal film of your life that only you know all about, but through your ears. It's the perfect option for pulling over from the fast lane and onto the sidewalk for a nice stroll through another take on what our life really looks like.
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
Aug 5, 2014
When I had first started the anime I didn't really know what to expect. The synopsis had led me to believe that it was a classic romance anime with a twist, but I was completely and utterly wrong.
Getting into the anime, the first few episodes I was fairly right. This made me stop, don't get me wrong it was not because it was bad. But because I could not get into the mood of another "S-senpai, dai-sukiiii" moment. There were simply too many. However the story, the plot, and even the romance is much deeper than expected. There have been some scenes where I did not expect one to like the other. The romance was tremendously exceptional, I could not believe how deep and thought out the romance was. It was not the simple rooftop sunset "senpai, SUKIIII!!!" It was much more thought out, and had a much more deeper meaning.
Getting onto the story and plot. Again at first you will expect it to be a classic SUKIII anime. However later into the story you can feel the rising tension, the unexpectedness, the curiosity forcing you to watch the next episode. And once it hits, everything just shatters. Not in a bad way though, its more like an arrow. The further it travels the more of a force it creates, (or maybe I just play too many video games). The story, and plot, also go much further and deeper than I had ever even expected of this anime. Incorporated with the romance, it has officially become one of my top 10 animes, that is, to wait until I have finished it. Except, I won't be expecting anything less from excellence.
I've successfully finished the anime, and I must apologize. This anime is 10 times better than what I had predicted it to be. It did not fail, even at the last few seconds, to disappoint or fail me. As I had expected it had only gotten better from there. It does not fail to disappoint, the surprises, the tied connections that all lead to romance. Everything. Even the new Op had given the arch a proper feel to it, and what you were going to expect. As did the first Op. The whole show was amazing. Every scene was deeper and everything was much more complex but at the same time simplistic. Maybe it was simply simple with deeper meaning, and honestly, who doesn't prefer that. This had been one of the greatest animes I have seen and honestly if this isn't on your top 10, I don't know what else could be. 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.
May 22, 2014
Judging strictly from its promotional poster and synopsis, I thought Nagi no Asukara was just another sappy, childish drama. I was greatly mistaken, and I owe P.A. Works, the studio producer of Nagi-Asu, an apology for having such presumptions. This fantasy, slice of life, and romance anime is absolutely breathtaking in every aspect. The story is unpredictable and goes beyond your typical anime of its genre. Despite the supernatural aspects, its underwater theme creates logical situations that the characters face, including forbidden love and discrimination.
Nagi-Asu takes places between two settings: an underwater village called Shioshishio and the surface village called Oshiooshi. Upon the closing of their middle school in Shioshishio, four childhood friends (Hikuri, Manaka, Chisaki, and Kaname) have no choice but to enroll in Mihama Middle School on the surface. Later comes fateful meetings with characters, including Tsumugu, who become an important part of their lives. The new characters also become valuable to the story, because they each face difficulties and have their own goals. The joint of two human races brings forth forbidden love, discrimination, grudges, newfound feelings, heartbreak, etc. Unlike drama anime with your usual love triangles, Nagi-Asu has a love heptagon that gives several opportunities to root for certain individuals but plenty of disappointments for viewers who may dislike the ending result. The love heptagon is not as complicated as it sounds. As the story continues, the events and interactions between characters makes it easier to detect why Character A is precious to Character B.
The greatest accomplishment of Nagi-Asu is its pacing with 26 episodes put to good use. Sea folklore has a huge impact on the story. Proper execution allowed for orderly suspense and thorough explanation of the folklore. It also made way for character development over a five-year time span. Time and characters’ interactions with each other allowed them to grow positively and influence their life choices. Some characters develop into someone you can’t help but praise. The finale was clear and gives the viewer a sense of how the characters’ lives will continue.
The characters are given fair screen time, allowing the viewer to understand each character. Monologues reveal their inner feelings about certain situations or individuals, particularly the ones they care for. Each character worked towards achieving a particular goal. The only character I couldn’t stand was the lead male protagonist Hikuri, who was too similar to Eren from Shingeki no Kyojin with his constant complaints and quick temper over little things. The show reveals important events of MCs' pasts, but it vaguely discusses the origin of their friendship. The most Nagi-Asu does is show some scenes of their times at their underwater middle school. Their interaction with each other proves the closeness of their relationship, but more information about their past would’ve been great.
P.A. Works never fail in making top-notch and realistic animation for fantasy. The settings, especially Shioshishio, and character designs are beautiful! All of the scenes were active from the sun’s reflection on the sea to the school of fish underwater. Group settings showed activity from all characters. The distinction between the sea people and land people is outstanding. The eye colors of the characters are sparkly with the brown eyes of the land people and the aqua-colored eyes of the sea people, particularly the MCs. It does not matter, but I highly recommend watching this in HD to get a better experience.
The OST is amazing, and the vocals fits perfectly with its underwater theme, especially in its first ED “Aqua Terrarium” by Nagi Yanagi. The lyrics describe the feelings of love throughout the story. There were stressful moments in the series that played happy background music, and it can prevent one from feeling any sympathy for the characters. The seiyuu played the characters’ voices very well. For example, Hanazawa Kana did an excellent job playing Manaka, the sensitive girl who cried most of the time. The sound effects, including crashes of the waves, were very good, too.
Nagi-Asu instantly became one of my favorite anime, and I can’t believe I waited months before watching it. Besides Hikari’s annoying tsundere attitude, I was disappointed with how certain parts resembled something you’d expect from a Disney movie. Nevertheless, I enjoyed how each character fought for the ones they loved or openly expressed their feelings. The settings and conflicts that follow are really intriguing, adding to the enjoyment. The unexpected events and passion between the characters led me to marathon it, and I was very pleased with the ending.
Overall, Nagi-Asu is an amazing work of the fantasy and romance-drama genre. P.A. Works makes it live with its colorful and active animation. The characters develop feelings and express themselves fully. The story, especially the conflicts, presents itself well with proper execution, creating suspense. If you have crazy presumptions about Nagi-Asu like me, try at least the first five episodes to truly get a hint of what to expect. You may not like it, especially with the love heptagon, but it is likely to become one of the most beautiful shows you've seen. read more
Jul 30, 2014
The story progresses well, very well indeed. The port town isn't something new, still the show makes it possible to 'renew' the usual plot port town concept. A remarkable thing in the story is the romance progress, makes it even greater (Is it possible someone much younger than you and loves you, then she/he becomes a peer to you?).
The art is commendable, I should say. Just take a look at the cover or simply watch the episodes.
Opening theme song as well as the ending theme song never cease to amuse me every time I listen and hear. The voice acting goes well, the female leads, primary my favorite.
Characters in this anime develop greatly. You'll definitely like it the time you start watching. Not to mention their cute expressions.
You'll enjoy the anime to the fullest starting the new opening theme comes, of course with some new features added in it.
Nagi no Asukara is a worth-watching anime for you who loves teenage romance, fantasy-yet-realistic life, and stuff. It's a great anime, a master piece indeed. read more
Jun 4, 2014
::Nagi no Asukara is a romance anime that tackles serious issues between affection, friendship, family, and society. I'm a fan of RomCom anime but this, this anime is a must watch if you wanted to have serious drama mixing with the romance which is actually pretty good in the anime.
::"Love is all about sacrifices." The plot of the anime is great. Love isn't just an affection is this series. It waits, sacrifices, lets go, cares, and protects. We can see the development of the characters as they mature from episode by episode.
::Overall, the anime is best for anyone who wanted romance and drama well baked with each other. The story is great, the art is fantastic, the sound became better in the end, the characters are fairly paired (still Chisaki x Kaname for me), and I enjoyed watching this series till the end.
::Short Review End:: read more
Jul 27, 2014
In the end, I realized that I had to, somehow, try to convey how amazing this anime is.
I'm going to start and say that Nagi no Asukara isn't for everyone. The story is set up in a different world, where some people from the sea (not mermaids, just regular, ol' humans) left their home to live on land. The two different kinds of people became more distant after that separation. The story itself revolves around 4 14-year old friends who lived in the sea. They went to school on land, however, because their school in the sea had to close down. The plot then takes off as they try to acclimate themselves onto living on land. The plot may seem like it's heavily fantasy laiden - and it is - however, romance is the most prominent element in this story. If you're not into romance, Nagi no Asukara may be a turn off for you because there isn't just a love triangle, but a love decagon going on. I myself am not an avid romance-genre watcher, but I still found myself completely in love with this anime. Nagi no Asukara focuses the most on the goodness of people when it comes to their friends and those they love. Instead of showing the negative side of human nature that comes with love - envy, greed, selfishness - this anime allows the positive nature of human nature to shine instead. We see the beautiful love and sacrifices that the 4 sea children have for each other. Though the plot may be simple, there is so much more the lies just beneath the surface of the plot, which is what makes this anime so beautiful.
The very thing thing that I noticed when I first started Nagi no Asukara was art that took my breath away. The first scene immediately catches your attention, with beautiful drawn food laid out befre your eyes. Not a single detail is missed. Usually in animes, the background of the scene is neglected and half heartedly drawn. Nagi no Asukara puts that to shame. The backgrounds are all painstakingly drawn, colored, and painted to perfection - from the largest scale waves to the the the smallest detail. Each coral polyp and mountainous treae is there. I spent as much time paynig attention to the background as I would with what's happening in front of me. The background, however, is not the only aspect of Nagi no Asukara's art that should be commended. Not only are the backgrounds drawn to precise beauty, the animation is nothing short of impressive. Focusing on just things drawn underwater alone, the animation (the movement of fish and other aquatic life) is fluid and dynamic. The colors are vibrant and contrasting, enough to compliment the palette that is introduced on the screen. This animation is truly top notch.
Aside from the forgettable opening and closing themes, the sound of Nagi no Asukara is what really moved me to tears. Instead of having a powerful and overbearing OST, with epic pieces and dramatic crescendos, the soundtrack for this anime is subtle and graceful. The notes caress you like a wave; every note is in place. The soundtrack doesn't just contain lyric-less pieces, it includes all types of music. The music matches the tone it tries to create in the scene - no, it SETS the tone itself. From deep voice chanting to delicate operatic pieces, the music is a wide arrangement that makes Nagi no Asukara so refreshing to watch. To me, the music touched me deeply. The pieces are distinct and beautifully composed. The music for Nagi no Asukara should not be taken lightly because it tells so much of the story itself.
I have to admit, that when I first started Nagi no Asukara, I didn't like half of the main characters introduced. However, my prejudice quickly fell away as the plot thickened and developed into something I could never imagine. Each characters broke the stereotypes I had against teenagers in love; in fact, they completely and successfully contradicted where I would think their actions and feelings would lead to. As I said in the story portion of my review, the characters' pureness and goodness shine radiantly. The most refreshing thing about this anime is the innocence and selflessness of each of the characters that you will come across. During 26 episode, you will experience joy, laughter, tears, and heartbreak right alongside with them. These characters are so incredible that whatever moves them will move you. Even though, as the series progresses, new characters are introduced, they are not the type of characters to be forgotten easily; rather, all of them will be part of your memory for a long time. They will be a part of you not because of how they're drawn or the words they say, but by their unsaid feelings and their sacrificial actions. Instead of some cliche romance story that you might be familiar with, Nagi no Asukara breaks away from that cliche and creates something to be contended with.
I loved, loved this anime. I absolutely loved it. The story is a beautiful work of originality that creates something so paramount that it makes it unforgettable. It's just a memorable anime because of its unprecendented characters. The art comes no where near the animation you will see with the most popular animes. The delicate sounds brings another layer of feelings and emotions that you didn't think are possible, yet they're there and you welcome it.
I mean, I think I've said it all, really. If you have another doubts about Nagi no Asukara, then let me help you out: Go and watch it. You won't be disappointed at all. :D read more
May 31, 2014
The first episode, the first opening, already was surprisingly good to me. The sound and animations enhanced me. They really did a good job on creating the underwater world. The details and quality were amazing, not to forget gorgeousl colors were used. It gives you some feeling you find yourself in some magical place, which it has to represent.
Not only the animating, but also the sound is really good. It was mostly the music of this serie I found, which got me watching it. The opening and ending perfectly fitted into this animes theme. I also loved to hear the sea, birds or the rustling leaves during the convos. It gave some realistic thing. As for the voices, they fit the characters and their personality perfect imo.
Then the story itself, it started as some fantasy Slice of life with the people of the sea visiting the surface. I couldn't totally understand why you would create such circumstances. But getting deeper in the story it's all about the bonds between the underwater world and the surface. In the beginning it had a perfect pace, not too fast so the story couldn't become dull. Not too slow, it will never bore you. Although mid-season it get's some fillers, they don't seem as a filler since it fits good in the storyline.
Along with the drama and romance you will experience a beautiful story in a magical setting. And that is what makes it outstanding from other animes. For a drama-fantasy-romance, with this special setting, amazing atmosphere and the elaborate effects, it seems like a perfect anime to me. If you like the slife of life / romance genre, this is a Must watch anime. read more