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
Premiered: Fall 2013
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.391 (scored by 70,137 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
To this day and forth, this anime will stand as my favorite anime for various reasons.
*Story- This anime is set in a world where there is sea people and surface people. The story follows around the leading characters Manaka Mukaido, Hikari Sakishima, Chisaki Hiradaira, and Kaname Isaki. They meet some people from the surface (which helps the plot advance in later episodes) because they are forced to go to school up there. This is a story with a lot of emotion and it will definitely bring you a tear or two a couple times. (getting back on track) Through the story you start to notice that (other than the complicated love stuff) they start talking about a mysterious sea god and the ena these sea people have.. (There are mysteries that are left up ahead but it will be your choice to unlock by watching the actual anime.) 10/10
*Art- The art in this anime is truly beautiful, so beautiful that it was one of the main reasons why I had to watch the anime in the first place. The design of the sea people's eyes and the ocean and the surface is just ughghghgh... so amazing. I don't think I've seen a anime with this good of design since a while back. 10/10
*Sound- The sound, for me, there's not much to say about it. The soundtrack during really intense and dramatic parts where just so beautiful adding to the background animation and plot.. I don't think any anime with a theme like this one could have done any better. 10/10
*Character- As I said before the anime revolves mostly around these 5 characters going up to the surface and back down to the village meeting new people along the way. The way these characters make me feel at really emotional parts are just half of what I need to say about them. I get really frustrated throughout this anime for various reasons, (Characters cry a lot and many other reasons) but because the characters cry a, lot I'm feeling frustrated because I just have to cry with them at these parts. I don't think I've ever teared so much at an anime as much as this one. 10/10
*Enjoyment- You definitely know what I'm gonna give for this one ;). Listen, at the beginning of the anime I was thinking about not trying to rush through it and just take my time like I've did with several I've been watching. 5-7 episodes later I was so into it that I just had to watch more. I did take short break's but trust me, they were short. 10/10
*Overall- This anime, overall, was the best anime I've ever watched in my time of watching anime (which isn't that long.) It definitely gives you a kicker in the eye with all the tears you'll be flowing. It definitely does sounds crazy to say that it's my favorite anime of all time but I still got ways to go in watching anime and that might change. All that matters is right now and how I'm making a review and how my favorite anime of all time is Nagi no Asukara or A Lull in the Sea. 10/10 read more
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
I should point out that I actually quite enjoyed watching Nagi no Asukara when I first started. The fantasy setting was certainly intriguing and I also found myself quite fascinated by the relations between the land and sea people. Of course, another reason why I picked this show up in the first place was that it was supposed to be one of the better anime romantic dramas out there on the market and I was in the middle of a romance binge at that point in time. But over time, the stuff that I found myself liking about the show combined with other things the show was doing as it progressed ended up causing me to actually really hate the show. Allow me to explain.
1) The "romance" is fucking terrible and it eclipses the actual plot of the show
Now, I'm not one to despise will they/won't they romances from the get-go (especially given how I happen to adore the shit out of Rumiko Takahashi's works) and I usually don't take umbrage with love polygons because if done well enough, it makes for a more suspenseful read and leads to interesting developments going down (like in the manga for Ichigo 100%). But in Nagi no Asukara's case, nothing of the sort actually happens. This is the kind of love polygon that's just meant to shoehorn some shitty melodrama into the show for no other reason than to give off the illusion of actual romantic development.
Kaname likes Chisaki, but Chisaki has the hots for Hikari. Hikari wants to bone Manaka, but Manaka's fingering herself to the thought of Tsumugu. Meanwhile, Tsumugu's just standing there like Kurasama from School Rumble with a blank expression on his face. Hell, this isn't even a love polygon. It's a love line segment, if anything. I mean, I wouldn't mind this so much if the characters were actually capable of carrying a scene without it devolving into melodramatic territory. I wouldn't mind this so much if the farcical melodrama didn't eclipse the actual plot of the story, but it unfortunately does.
I have nothing against works that try to tell a romantic subplot whilst telling a larger story at hand, and if done correctly, it can actually be quite lovely (i.e. Futurama, Justice League, Daria, The Spectacular Spider-Man, etc). Unfortunately, it would seem that PA Works forgot that the real story at hand is (supposedly) about two tribes of people with vastly different ways of life that must work together to avoid cataclysmic disaster. I wouldn't mind this so much if the "romance" actually went somewhere but unfortunately it doesn't and it never does at any point in the series. Hell, the resolution is open-ended with only one official couple actually forming by the end of it all (and even then, that pairing didn't have much build-up going for it).
2) The characters are one-note archetypes with no depth whatsoever
You know, it seems like just yesterday when I was 15/16 years old so the hormone mixture was still running wild and I was having a shitload of brand new experiences. As such, I can definitely sympathise with what our leading quartet would (presumably) be going through... to a certain degree, anyway. Unfortunately, being able to sympathise with someone does not a good character make. I suppose it's not entirely fair to say that the characters are one-note archetypes but I'd be lying through my teeth if I said they weren't defined by a gimmick or two.
Hikari is your typical male tsundere, whilst Kaname is the mature, mild-mannered one. Manaka is the primary love interest who's a crybaby, relies on her friends, and has the hots for some other guy whilst Chisaki is the tertiary love interest who withholds her feelings for Hikari because he knows he wants to fuck the shit out of Manaka. Meanwhile, Tsumugu doesn't even have any sort of characterisation about him. He's just this quiet guy who follows our leading quartet around.
Manaka and Chisaki could've easily been fused into a single character, because they both feel like they were meant to originally be one character but were then written into to separate separate characters for some undecipherable reason. On that note, Kaname has to be the most useless character in the entire show. I appreciate how he's a foil to Hikari, but he never contributes anything of relevance to the story at hand. All he really does is just stand there chatting with the other characters. At least Manaka, Hikari, Chisaki, and even Tsumugu (at one point) contributed *something* of relevance to the story at hand. Hell, I can't even call Kaname a Kaworu Nagisa clone because Kaworu actually did more stuff in Evangelion in one episode than Kaname ever does across the span of 26 episodes.
Then again, I really shouldn't be bitching about Kaname and Tsumugu not contributing anything of substance to the plot because they (along with some irrelevant side characters) are the only ones I could actually find myself liking. I couldn't help but feel contempt any time I saw Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki, or Miuna in the frame because they're so fucking unbearable. Hikari's tendency to shout at everything he doesn't understand is what ultimately causes me to viscerally despise him because I just want him to shut the fuck up AND HE NEVER DOES. Whilst I hate Manaka and Chisaki, I can safely say that they're nowhere near as infuriating as Hikari is.
On that note, let's talk about our two lead "heroines" and why they make me want to shoot up some heroin. Manaka is a moeblob plot device and nothing more. Thankfully, she's not the insufferable hyperactive type of moeblob, but that still doesn't change the fact that she's a useless crybaby who serves no purpose other than to advance the plot. Say what you will about Usagi from Sailor Moon, but at least Usagi grows as an individual over the course of the series. Hell, at least Nagisa from Clannad helped spark Tomoya's growth as an individual. I have absolutely nothing of the sort to say about Manaka whatsoever. Virtually everything I've said about Manaka can also be applied to Chisaki, but it should be noted that Chisaki at least has *some* sense of characterisation about her.
3) The worldbuilding in Nagi-Asu is absolutely appalling.
Considering the fact that this show takes place in a fantasy world where one group of people split off from another and then went on to live their own lives whilst still retaining *some* form of contact with one another, one would assume that the cultures of the people on land and at sea would be highly divergent but that couldn't be further from the truth. Aside from the fact that the people of Shioshishio live underwater and worship a sea deity, there's virtually no conceivable differences between the people of the former village and the people of Oshiooshi. I mean, their names are just anagrams of one another's for Christ's sake!
On another note, I love how the series claims that all of humanity originated from the sea and moved onto land but we only really see two locations throughout the span of the entire series. By sheer implication, Shioshishio would've been the origin of all humanity since that's the only sea village we're ever made aware of and it's never stated whether or not other sea villages exist. So how is it that a faction of people could emigrate from a single village and then go on to populate the rest of the planet? I mean, Nagi no Asukara does exist in /some/ space of reality. We have electrical grids, motor vehicles, grocery stores, and other such things that would imply that the history of the world that Nagi no Asukara also follows real world events to /some/ degree. I wouldn't be bitching about this so much if the show didn't bring up all this shit and decided to do absolutely fuck-all with it. Hell, I wouldn't have minded any of this whatsoever if the actual "romance" went anywhere meaningful, but both plots are fucking awful and half-baked.
4) The second half of the show is a poorly paced time skip and has a resolution that forces a happy ending
The second half of the show starts us off with a time skip after a MAJOR event occurs, which is already an indicator that these episodes are bound to suck because PA Works already proved that they're incapable of writing a cogent plot in the first half of the series. With that in mind though, it's not like the first half of the show was entirely without merit because the actual plot of the story, though extremely atrophied in terms of depth and detail, was still interesting enough to keep my attention and the episode before the timeskip was nothing short of intense to the point where it was almost enough to make me forget about all the shit I was complaining about previously.
On that note, I should point out that I don't have anything against time skips in general. When you get right down to it, a time skip is a literary device and what ultimately matters is how that literary device is used. Oyasumi Punpun, one of my all-time favourite mangas uses time skips to great effect, as it covers life-changing events throughout various points in time that ended up shaping the person that Punpun would eventually become. Unfortunately, the guys at PA Works lack the tact of Inio Asano so they just ended up using the time skip as a crutch to avoid actually writing up the direct aftermath of what just happened after said major event.
If that weren't bad enough, the pacing is just dreadful. There's almost no sense of transition whatsoever, so events are brought up like there's no fucking tomorrow. Random plot details are also introduced at random intervals with almost no sense of foreshadowing whatsoever and effectively diminish the impact of events that previously happened. The events pre-timeskip implied that the world was doomed because the sea god was angry at the fact that people abandoned the sea to live on the surface, and the land dwellers aren't appeasing him with regular offerings. It's not a perfect set-up, but at least that seems like something meaningful, right? Post-timeskip, apparently the sea god is just lonely and he needs someone to cuddle on those cold winter nights. Way to ruin what little good there was to be found in your shitty programme, PA Works!
On top of that, the actual ending to the entire series just feels forced beyond all belief. I understand the desire to see everything work out for the better in regards to your protagonists, but god damn it, you have to fucking EARN that happy ending and I can safely say that nobody in Nagi no Asukara deserved that happy ending. The entire conflict is just resolved without any hint of subtlety, foreshadowing, or anything of the sort. Hell, nobody ends up getting sacrificed to appease the sea god's raging boner by the end of it all! Like, what the actual fuck PA Works? Is it so hard to actually write up an ending that doesn't stick a gigantic middle finger to anyone with a functioning brain? Of all the things that I dislike about Nagi no Asukara, the ending would definitely have to be the thing that I hate the most.
So, in conclusion: this show sucks the chrome off of doorknobs. In between the farcical melodrama, the shitty worldbuilding, the hackneyed "romance," AND that shitty ending, I just have one question to ask: Why? As in, "why did PA Works even greenlight this show in the first place if it had such obvious problems?" I guess this is the level of quality we should expect from a studio that's effectively the poor man's Kyoto Animation. Whilst Nagi no Asukara is far from the worst thing I've ever watched, it's still undoubtedly the most disappointing thing I've ever sat through. Here's to hoping that PA Works won't fuck up another show beyond all belief... oh wait, we have Charlotte. *sigh* read more
At first I thought it would be a cheesy cute child's play but after watching it i realized how much meaning it had and how touching it was.
The summary gave me the idea of a few kids from magical sea cities just wanted to play on land and it sounded pretty simple and somewhat boring.....seriously do NOT trust that stupid summary it got me in tears and I literally got so into it I took a day and a half to just finish it!
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
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
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
Now before I begin, allow me to describe what I enjoy in a story. I like it when death lurks just around the corner for as many characters as possible. It’s just one false step away from the snatching the life from them and they know it. I want to see characters tortured and bleeding, mentally-wise, and still persevere to the end.
Don’t get me wrong, I love and adore good endings and detest bad endings where all die or feelings are left unrequited. That’s why I dislike slice of life or drama anime that kill characters in the sweetest way possible in the end. NO I’M NOT HAPPY FOR THEM THEY’RE FRIGGIN’ GONE.
I don’t want to invest time to get depressed. What I like is when characters work and struggle for that happiness at the end. For that, I would watch.
*WARNING MAY CONTAIN SMALL SPOILERS*
*Before episode 13*
‘Yeah, yeah. Happy, happy. Oh, you love this boy, and he loves this girl and such determination wow.’
In other words, I was bored out of my skull, so much so I dropped the anime at the 12th episode. It was weeks later when I continued to
‘Yes, same substance as before, I’m sure you’ll miss each other but I don’t care. You haven’t managed to-WHAT A TURN OF EVENTS! What are you going to do now, huh? What are you going to do?’
*50 hours and 13 episodes later*
‘Hoorah! One of my ships hit the port!’ Although the later episodes touch on some darker themes, the tone remains relatively sunny. BUT THAT BIT OF DARKNESS IS DELICIOUS.
The conclusion is satisfying enough. That’s all I can say.
I’m not one to care much for art, but I suppose the background and scenery was well done, since I would consider using it as my wallpaper.
I watch anime with low volume, in case the weird sounds the female characters make when talking cause my parents to think I’m watching porn.
Hikari: The ‘active’ character. Keeps the story flowing but can be a dick at times.
Kaname: The ‘nice guy’ (no, he really is) whose character is presented vaguely to the audience but gets more and more solid as the story progresses. Plastic smile for at least 10 episodes until his true feelings start to seep through.
Manaka: The character who seems to exist in every slice of life anime. Curious, innocent and I skipped over bits of her monologue. (Sorry, not interested in saints like you)
Chisaki: Most conflicted character, in my opinion. Often described as composed but becomes turbulent quite a few times.
Tsumugu: The ‘stoic’ character who prefers not to drape his issues on other people’s shoulders (like Kaname, hence these two share quite some personality). My personal favorite. Bold and competent for most of the time. I’m a guy and I can say that he’s hot.
Well, it got me shipping so that's pretty good already.
Boring first half, exciting second half.
*Scene containing a more realistic reaction from surprise hugging your girl friend (notice the spacing) In other words, you might want to ask first :D
*No “I want to confess but then someone butts in and interrupts” scenes. The characters get it done, loud and clear.
*The final couples remain a mystery for most of the story. Really, it’s not easy to tell from episode 1 like many anime.
*Characters running away when things get tough (Annoying, but not too bad)
*Characters occasionally making foolish, life threatening decisions read more
Wish me good luck!
When reading my review it's good to keep in mind that my own love life is lacking severely and have been for a really long time.
It's impossible to adress the faults of Nagi no Asukara without getting into
the couples and how it all ends up so don't keep reading unless you are ready for spoilers.
It all begins in a interesting setting and I really liked this show at some points as well as for the most part.
My problem with Nagi no Asukara you ask?
Facts that gets established in the beginning part of this show will be twisted to go with the lackluster ending of this trainwreck concerning almost all of the love interests.
Manaka loves Tsumugu in the beginning, right? Nope, not according to this shows second part anyway. It almost pretends it never happened, or certainly doesn't adress it very well.
Remember the part where Hikari holds Manaka and she rejects him or the part where she screams that she "doesn't understand that" after he told her he loves her?
Never adressed properly either.
Even after all of this the show still insists that she does love Hikari.
IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!
As if that wasn't bad enough Tsumugu that you slowly accepts as Manaka's love interest then falls in love with Chisaki and she also falls for him.
I was speechless, what the heck where the creators thinking?!
Since they completly ruined the possibility of a happy ending with Manaka and Hikari with the Tsumugu-bit could they at least end the show with Hikari and Chisaki? Nope, also ruined with the Tsumugu-bit. Ok then... so Hikari and Miuna would be cute together?, Apparently not!
That would give the viewer pleasure, and we couldn't that have that now could we.
I am probably trying to hard with finding hapiness in love in anime shows
but the sensible way of pairing in this show would be as follows.
Manaka and Hikari (until Tsumugu appears)
Manaka and Tsumugu (After Tsumugu appears)
Chisaki and Hikari (After Tsumugu appears)
Chisaki and Kaname (After Tsumugu appears would also be fine)
Miuna and Hikari (After having decided to keep watching this show to the end even though it does what it does at every turn)
The only pairing I liked was Sayu and Kaname.
Do yourself a favor when watching this show, do NOT expect Hikari to end up with anyone because he won't.
He simply goes on with his feelings towards his love interest.
Thank you for reading and goodnight! read more
I highly recommend this anime to anyone who likes a good story. You'll have a good time.
*Personal Rating: 86.5/100*
-Sound Design/Music: 6.5/10
-Personal Enjoyment: 9/10
Good fantasy stories in anime are surprisingly rare. Don't be mistaken, there is plenty of "fantasy" out there, but Nagi-Asu is the rare story that can take you with it, infect your mind, and fill every corner of your being with its soul. You'll remember it for a long time. Experiencing this story, watching this anime is like getting washed away into the ocean; it moves slowly but before you know it, you've lost sight of land.
Nagi-Asu presents itself as a classic middle-school slice-of-life anime as it introduces the story and the characters to the audience. At first glance it looks like everything else out there - four childhood friends (spoiler alert) go to school. They experience the drama of being 14. Some viewers will be immediately turned off by this, especially ones coming in with high expectations. Thankfully, the story has much more to offer than this, and as the episodes rolled by I found myself more and more invested in these characters that I initially thought nothing of. By the midway point, I was completely hooked and couldn't stop watching.
While good and well-written, there is nothing especially unique about any of the characters, and this is perhaps the weakest aspect of the anime. You feel their joy and sadness, wishes and problems, but if you look too closely, you'll also at times see the cogs of the story turning behind them - they can feel like plot devices, tools to get the message across. Admittedly, it is the story that leads the viewer and the characters along on a little string, hitting all the important plot points and moving on. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, I just didn't feel these characters met their full potential. Is there development? Yes, and it's rewarding, but if you find yourself not invested in the story, you might end up disliking the characters.
The animation is good. The artwork on the other hand is an absolute 11/10 masterpiece. Stunning scenery and beautiful colors bring the screen to life. It's amazing to think that this originated in someone's mind. The overall setting is not very expansive; the majority of the story is spent between Shioshishio, the underwater village, and Oshiohshi, the land-based town, and yet it all feels massive and very familiar. It feels like home, like I've lived there my entire life, and I think this is a result of the artwork.
The sound design and voice acting is fully serviceable and there is nothing to complain about. The soundtrack is good, but I wouldn't consider it a masterpiece. It mostly serves as background music, and unfortunately rarely gets the chance to take over and shine in its own space. There were times I found myself wishing for more variety in the music, maybe something darker in tone or more intense, larger in scale, especially at the story's big moments.
PERSONAL ENJOYMENT (9/10)
Should you watch this anime? I say yes, absolutely. Although I can only give this an 9/10, it stands as one of my favorites. Occasionally the story can feel manipulative when the characters are specifically placed in situations in order to further the plot - I recall one scene where someone is listening in on someone listening in on someone confessing their love to another. Certain scenes can feel overly dramatic at times.
But looking past that, there's a childlike wonderment, a warmth to the story that is really very hard to find, in anything, not just in anime. It feels Ghibli-esque in its charm. It's the kind of story that moves slowly past you and asks "Do you want to come along?" Whether you do or not is entirely up to you. Allow yourself to be immersed and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised! read more
It started off fairly well-I enjoyed the first couple of episodes. But after passing the 5th, I began to like the characters less and less. Manaka became annoying and overemotional, Hikari became nonsensical in his actions, and I still wouldn't be able to tell you s*** about Kaname (who's name I had to google to remember) because while the show gave decent amounts of development to its other main characters, Kaname didn't even have enough screen time for me to have the slightest idea what his personality is like. Chisaki remains the only decent character in my book, but even she can be overdramatic/nonsensical at times.
The plot- or rather, the drama surrounding it- was overdramatized in every aspect and felt extremely forced. That in combination with characters that have little likability made for a show that ceased to be enjoyable for me after I got over the "ooo pretty ocean village" aspect.
Now, I couldn't make it past the 6th episode, so maybe it does get better. But the part I did watch was quite "meh." read more
The series is not based on any previously existing works but rather stands alone as an original story produced by P.A. Works. It’s the first series since Hanasaku Iroha that is produced by P.A Works that presents itself as a 2 cour show. But more importantly are the themes explored. While the show is colored as fantasy, Nagi no Asukara surprisingly explores many factors that can be interpreted as human. This series explores various themes ranging from jealousy, regret, prejudice, alienation, bullying, and identity. It’s a show not to be taken just as a love story but something like a treasure box because you’ll someday come back and relive its precious moments.
Nagi no Asukara’s setting blends in two major contrasting style of societies. On one side is the people of the land who are just like you and me. On the other side are individuals that originated from sea. The people from the sea are curious about the surface world so they decide to venture from the deep and explore land. There’s an interesting insight based on this premise as there are various and controversial ideas poured in that divides the two societies. For instance, there are certain rules involving relationships between a sea dweller and a human living on land. This is presented early on in the series when a case involves such an incident. It sets forth a theme of prejudice and racism with debates between various characters. While it seems unfair, there are justifiable reasons to back up some of these themes such as involving the population of the human species. On another note, people on the surface world often associates themselves of being normal while identifying the sea dwellers as being inhuman. There’s a case of identity issue at crisis with even some of the sea dwellers themselves wondering where they belong in the world they live in. What Nagi no Asukara presents skillfully is the cultural clash between the people living on land and sea dwellers. Rather than some farcical soap drama with senseless dialogues, the show does well by showing rather than telling with its actions. The beginning of the school with our main characters sets a primary example of what’s to be expected with this cultural difference. It’s what Nagi no Asukara does at its best that divides its societies that draws the audience in beyond just a love story.
Of course, no story can be complete without its characters. Nagi no Asukara’s strong points involves its small yet complex characters. Not all of them are human but they often demonstrate explicit traits that can be found in humanity. Hikari stars as a main male protagonist whom may be initially seen as a brat. He is overprotective with the people he cares about but also gets into fights over his own problems. On the other hand is Manaka, a timid girl with a frail nature prone to crying. She is perhaps one of the more normal characters with her behavior and often not trying to cause people problems. Of course, she has problems of her own with insecurity about identity and sometimes even feels alienated from others. Other main characters also become involved in the story such as Tsumugu Kihara and Chisaki Hiradaira with their own interests. These interests settles itself with the romance and formulates angles of drama. Tear-jerking might not be the exact word to always describe these angles but it presents itself in a way that makes the audience want to know more and more about the characters with its dramatic storytelling. This is probably because some of these characters are relatable and have complex natures.
Taking a retrospective point, we also get to witness growth as each of the characters climbs stairs to adolescence. Characters such as Miuna and Sayu grow up more than just their physical selves. They mature from kids into young women with their own feelings and ideologies. More importantly is how far they have grown from their previous kiddy stages. What makes Nagi no Asuakra stands out itself with these stages is the construction of its timeline. There’s consistency although it lacks depth on some parts. Yet, the show also demonstrates how people can change with circumstances with characteristics learned from the characters whether it’s through bullying, romantic relationships, or alienation. Responsibility also takes in as a factor to be considered especially with some of the older characters such as Hikari’s brother, Akari. Surprisingly enough, some of the younger characters demonstrates more maturity than the adults in the show. It contrasts itself with them being one dimensional in this case with their unpredictable actions despite knowing some of the consequences.
As far as romance goes, the series can be or feel forceful at times with their exaggerated dialogues. Hikari can be seen as a male tsundere with the words that comes out of his mouth as well as his actions. Often or not, he says the opposite of his true intent and comes off as a rather blunt individual. On the other hand is Tsumugu with his easy-going nature. He’s more of the guy like a textbook with ambiguous words and difficult person to read on the surface. Nonetheless, he gets involved with the complexity of Nagi no Asukara’s love polygons. Because let’s face it here, this show focuses on romance as a main structure of story presentation with angles developing from various stages with even fantasy elements added to the mix. However, this shouldn’t come as a surprise as the world this show takes place in is decorated with fantasy elements. The waters is just one element of conventional presentation that allows this show to become what it is rather than what is trying to be. On the other hand is where we see how normal the surface people live that reflects on a society where we humans are used to.
Despite the melodramatic nature of this show, there is also room for comedy whether it involves our characters or the events that takes place. Kids in the beginning such as Sayu still says things that kids would say. It fits well with their initial role before growing up because it defines Nagi no Asukara as a series that matures itself. This later comes with regret from our younger characters that may earn sympathy from the audience. While not all expressive in nature, it demonstrates itself with characterization that focuses characters in more ways than just relationships.
While the story itself has some unexpected plot twists later on, the show still has some generic attributes that doesn’t shine itself at times. Most of the characters have complex personalities but sometimes hard to appreciate with their actions. Manaka is one character I find difficult to get accustomed with her frail nature and constant prone to tears. The audience might also find this a hard to bear and takes patience to get used to. Hikari’s outbursts sometimes also feels forceful and over exaggerated that serves as a primary example of being immature despite his intentions. And while the show’s plot can be unpredictable at times, there are various foreshadowing hinted at throughout some episodes that makes the show seem lifeless. This pinpoints some future events that can come as unsurprising even if done in a way that seems dramatic. Yet still, Nagi no Asukara doesn’t just focus on its fantasy-romance nature. It does more than that with its pyramid of character building on a foundation of its story.
By technical art standards, Nagi no Asukara can be described as a lavishly and luster anime that shines in this field. Thanks to P.A. Works, this show stands out more than just its images but with its setting that demonstrates credibility. The aquatic natures and backgrounds presents itself fair with consistency such as the fishes and sea. Not only has that but the characters themselves also showed evidence of being sea dwellers. These include but not limited to the characters’ azure-green glowing eyes or their bluish hair. They don’t look like merman or mermaids but rather as people not too different than you and me.
The soundtrack also demonstrates progress. In the beginning, most of the music has a light tone with some dramatic moments. But later on, we hear more of an emotional tone with the events going on. The OST itself also becomes an embodiment that reflects as a clear view to present Nagi no Asukara’s melodramatic style. Additionally, the OP and ED songs presents montages of characters and how they have changed over the time. Most of the voice acting of the characters fits well thanks to their talents. In particular, Hikari and Tsumugu’s voice becomes a symbol of opposites with their clashing personalities. Manaka’s voice also is easily recognizable thanks to the talents of Kana Hanazawa whom is well known for portraying cute characters.
I would recommend giving this show a try at the very least besides just from reading the synopsis. While it seems generic at all once with its characters, the show moves itself with characterization and plot that demonstrates maturity. It also focuses on a variety of themes that is credible and relates to humanity despite having fantasy elements. More so however is the way the characters interacts and the circumstances they undertake to become who they are. While the show focuses on romance as a central element, there is also themes of responsibility and cultural clashes that becomes insightful to get accustomed to. Not everything is fair after all in a world with drastically different cultures. In the world of Nagi no Asukara, that’s an understatement and you’ll find out exactly why.
As stated before, the setting is original. The plot line however fails to bring forth anything. To put it in simple terms, it was crap from start to end. Basically, we follow a few youngsters and their romance. There is no goal whatsoever and the romance isn't even properly developped. They completely scrapped the idea within the setting by failing to talk about it or exploit it. Sure, it is present over the whole series but except them being from the sea and the transition in between arcs, there isn't any manifestation of it. We have something awful that happens on a global scale but in a few years, the people haven't even acted when their life was endangered. Instead we have a resolution full of bullshit which smells as bad as the rest of the show.
The art was great. Unfortunately for Nagi no Asukara it isn't what makes an anime.
OST wasn't that great. Didn't like either OP and ED.
Just how the hell can every single character fall in love with no character developpement whatsoever for more than half of them. I can't comprehend it. Also, I hate how everything went in between the characters. The interactions in between them were just bad and sometimes embrassing. Unjustified hate in between people of the Earth and the Sea. They do the same things, have the same decorations and some people of the Sea even end up leaving it for the Earth.
I could not comprehend such a high rating with the first few episodes. I had to watch the first episode three times before forcing myself to get into the show. I was expecting things to go smoother in the rest of the show because of its rating but it clearly didn't. It even got worse.
This show was boatched. This series is an overflowng garbage dump. I usually hate to use 'overrated' but it can only be described as such. A last thing I want to add is that the script wasn't well-written, it was written to please a large audience. I find it very stupid how naive people can be. read more
I’m usually not much for romanticism, and Nagi no Asukara was a clear reminder of why.
Despite a pretty interesting lore around the sea (which is represented beautifully here), the show spends nearly all of its running time on teens drama, with a pointlessly complex love polygon. In the end, all the drama created by the lore of the sea god, and the sea, and all of that, was all resolved through the power of love. Riveting.
Maybe I wouldn’t see it as that big of a problem if the show didn’t remind me of Shinsekai Yori in the mysterious feeling coming from the environment our characters are living in. While I never expected Nagi to become as dark as SSY, I expected a payoff, like after seeing how Uroko always seemed to hide things, or the sea god’s almost malicious actions, but nothing like that happens. The sea god was basically oblivious and sexually frustrated, but got saved by the power of our characters’ feelings. And started giving Ena to everyone. While I don’t mind how everything is resolved through emotions in something like AnoHana, here it felt like there should have been some logic in this world. Why taking the time of introducing a god, with an entire society built around him, with a religious ceremony, but not taking the time to create a deeper reason on why the god would act like that? And a deeper meaning on how and why the main characters are bonded to the sea? Instead, the show tried to make the viewer go through a purely emotional journey, which is fine, but I wasn’t expecting this from the start. Even then, maybe I wouldn’t have mind that much, if it wasn’t 26 episodes. It felt like most episodes were empty and kind of boring to watch.
Still, to a certain degree, I can let that go, but what I really can’t let go are the characters: they are awful and ungodly annoying. The biggest problem with them in general is that they are only there to serve the drama. Most of them had their personality entirely centered around creating drama, like Kaname’s jealousy, Manaka’s weak character, Hikari’s anger problems, Sayu’s uselessness or Chisaki’s… everything, being a giant plot device. Their connection with the story were farfetched, and most of them were either forgettable or plain unlikable (especially Hikari. God, how many years before he gets arrested for domestic violence or something like that) even if some gets better as the series goes on… or worse (poor Kaname though).
On the plus side, it was gorgeous to look at. It really was. I adore the sea, and it was presented really well, with some breathtaking scenes, like both Ofunehiki and I think the show is almost worth watching for those two moments alone. The colors were also really well used, with a lot of emphasis on the blue, but with enough others colors so it doesn’t get jarring. The Ofunehiki song is also great.
Overall, the show is a beautiful looking representation of the sea with a really interesting lore, but buried under melodrama and annoying characters. I wished the show would have put more focus on the world, and most of the series would have been about exploring this exotic universe. Instead, we got a mediocre product were everything is resolve with the power of love. What a disappointment for what could’ve been a great show. Damn romanticism.
If you’re looking for an emotionally filled (but forcefully filled) journey, then you might enjoy it. Otherwise, don’t bother. read more
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
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!
Nagi no Asukara is also filled with adventures, surprises and unexpected love between the seven main characters in the story. If you are expecting development between characters, romance, tragic and happiness this is the anime for you.
The main reason for me writing this Review was the fact that this is the ONLY anime by far that had made me cried thrice through out the 26 episode story. I love how amazing I was moved by this anime. read more
Nagi No Asukara has a very complicated drama, I must say. But is it confusing? Don't worry, it's not. Yes, it is complicated but the show won't make it that confusing to you
Although something is bugging me. Towards the end I feel like there is a little bit of 'Ex Machina' moment. But that doesn't prevent me to enjoy this anime.
I'm out of words for the art of Nagi No Asukara. The art is so exquisite, I'm still dying to live in Nagi No Asukara world. Sometimes I paused in the middle just to stare at my screen computer in awe.
All of the OPs and the EDs are all pleasures to my ears. But the second OP has a special space in my heart. Funny story, in the beginning of this review I said at first I wasn't interested in watching this anime. What changed my mind is this song. I heard it on a website and I got blown away. The intro of the second OP is so beautiful. The soundtrack in Nagi No Asukara is good to and they put every single soundtrack in the right moment.
The characters are very stereotypical, that was my thought. Once again, I was wrong. The characters have their own stories, and we get to see each of them in different aspects. Each character has their own problems and in the end it all comes down together beautifully.
This anime is for you who love drama and romance, with a little bit of fantasy. I love those 3 genres therefore I enjoy this anime so much.
Should you watch it? Yes. Big yes. I also love the message this show left me with. 'Everyone loves someone. Sometimes the person doesn't love you back. Or maybe you do, but you just don't know. But in the end, you will end up with the person that fits you well, even that means things change and you have to let go.'
Story - 3
The setting is, to say the least, and I think everybody can agree, the best thing of this anime, however all the potential and originality that it could have had fell flat on its own face with a plot that it's completely nonsensical and not justified. The first half of the show, the one which i had fond memories from, was actually quite fun to follow along; of course, ignoring the overall defying of phisics that Shioshishio village has (yes, you cannot eat soup underwater! also, the sense of gravity should be cut in half compared to the surface. Also let's do not forget salty water makes floating a whole lot easier than sweet water!), but after the first 10 episodes or so, I started to wonder what exactly was the point of this show. Love polygon between teenagers? Slice of life with a supernatural setting? Angsty teenagers and their misunderstood love? Around episode 19 I felt like it turned into a teen version of The Bold and the Beautiful and I really couldn't care less anymore and from episode 21 and forward I facepalmed so many times my forehead turned red. I don't know whether I was simply blind when I liked this or I was in a phase of my life where I actually believed that love was the answer to everything (what literally just happened in this show). It would have been so much more interesting if instead of any other slice of life, this show would have tried to concentrate more on the original setting, on Uroko-sama and the Sea God, which definitely intrigued me through the whole 26 episodes, instead it even took that concept and smacked a half-assed "just because" on it, keeping it ambigous and trying to mask its own nonsense with it. That just shows how desperate for a conclusion the author was at that point. Anyway, in other words, I was expecting something more similar to the Little Mermaid and instead I got some bratty teenagers bragging about love and pretty much nothing else.
Art - 7
Art-wise it's pretty cute. I didn't like the overall characters' design as much as I loved the animation of the sea world in general. And then there is Uroko-sama. Let's all bow to Uroko-sama.
Sound - 5
The OST was to say the least mediocre. The only song that I really liked was the opening song. As for the rest, forgettable.
Characters - 3
Hahahahaha...hahaha..ha... Right. Do you remember when I mentioned that if the show would have focused more on the sea world and the Sea God /Uroko-sama, it would have been more bearable? I take that back. It ONLY needed to focus on Uroko-sama to be more consistent than this! The rest of the cast almost doesn't even matter as much in my eyes with all their very petty problems included. When a show tries to make the characters' development be the whole focus of the story, then I expect it to have a certain degree of coherence and be fairly justified. In this case, it was not justified and not coherent at all. Why would a grade schooler love somebody for 5 years and work hard for a person that they only just met a few times? We're talking about a GRADE SCHOOLER. At that age I was still playing with my dolls and wondering who shall I marry my Barbie with, not gawking over the next-door "oniichan". It could as well have been a crush, but a crush of a kid FOR a kid, crush triggered just for a bit of kindness, lasting so much just rubs me the wrong way. Brats! The whole cast can't be described any better than using the word "brats". Even those that got to 19 years old. STILL self-victimizing brats!
Enjoyment - 3
At the end of the 26 episodes, I just had a "wtf did I even watch" expression plastered all over my face, so my enjoyment was quite poor for the most time.
Overall - 4
Long ago, humans lived in the sea. However many of them wanted to live on the surface, and so they moved, causing a split between the two groups.
Nagi no Asukara follows the story of four children from the underwater sea village, Shioshishio. Due to some reasons, their school closes, and they must transfer to the school on the surface, in a village called Oshiooshi.
It is a really good setting to the story, as the four characters (Manaka, Hikari, Chisaki and Kaname) begin meeting new people and slowly, but surely attempt to reunite the two villages.
For the first ten or so episodes, the anime is enjoyable, following the school-slice of life genre. It's around the midway mark, where the anime steers away from the stereotypes and continues with a darker tone.
The show is a bit slow at the start, but once it hits into overdrive near the halfway point, it has an effect, that will glue you to the screen. Can't say anything else about it without spoiling it!
Before the aforementioned turn at the halfway point, our main characters assume the roles of slice of life character archetypes. Manaka is the emotional one, Chisaki is the loving one, Hikari is the loud and energetic one, and Kaname is the handsome, smiling one. There's also Tsumugu, a new friend from the surface, who is the calm and collective type.
In the second half, the characters each become unique, leaving the cardboard cutouts that most slice of life characters are. Their true colors are revealed, and so are their emotions.
Because this is a romance anime, the characters have crushes on their friends, and I must admit, I did get a bit confused at one point, as there are love triangles, and there's this one thing that this show does, which I haven't seen much anywhere else. This anime will not give you the final "layout" of the couples very early on. The show likes to create moments where you think, "Oh no wait, she has a crush on HIM, and not HIM." As a result, we are left wondering how these affections will conclude. Really a good job on that.
This anime has no definite one main protagonist. The title gets passed around throughout the episodes, from one character to the next, which in my opinion is excellent, as it leads to brilliant character development, not just for the main five, but others too.
ANIMATION & SOUND
The animation... What can I say. Nagi no Asukara has the potential to have the best art style of any show I have ever watched.
The animation is a masterpiece.
The sheer amount of detail in everything! Rust on ships and old metal buildings, paint peeling off houses, the reflection of light off the water surface at night, snow isn't just a flat sheet of white, I could go on forever listing where there's a huge amount of detail.
In the first episode alone we are shown how well the sea village is animated. It is like something out of a dream, going around a little village, other people swimming past, living in a house with fish around you... It is perfect!
The characters are also really well animated. All residents of Shioshishio have the same turquoise eye color, as well as the shine of their Ena (a layer of skin that allows them to breathe and live underwater). When it comes to animation itself, I cannot find a single flaw. Full marks here.
The soundtrack mainly consists of piano and guitar music, and even though it isn't the best soundtrack in the world, it seems to fit the anime. The openings and endings are quite good too, I like the shows second opening, "ebb and flow" which is conveniently put in directly at the beginning of the second half. The beginning of this song really nails it, high reverberated piano notes with a smooth vocal.
I prefer the sub to the dub, even though I had a tough time deciding between the two. However as soon as I saw The names Kana Hanazawa and Ai Kayano, I decided almost instantly.
Nagi no Asukara is an excellent anime. It has a similar approach to every other romance comedy anime, but steers away, and does its own thing. It really was great to watch, and the shows ending was very satisfying. Its animation is just a masterstroke, and gives this show its own charm.
Why would you watch Nagi no Asukara?
-AMAZING art styles
-very good cast for Japanese dub
-a very good take on the romance genre
-if you enjoy shipping characters
Why would you NOT watch Nagi no Asukara?
-if you don't like the slice of life rom-com genre
-if you hate moe. read more