February 6th, 2014.
Into the Abyss, and Out Again.
Well, this show had been steadily climbing up the interest charts, delivering drama, right? That’s how such shows work, first you set up the pieces, then you kick the legs from under the characters and deliver an emotional gut-punch, so the audience could see them squirm like fish on a hook. And the audience loves it. We’re that audience, by the by.
So, change. Last episode had been somewhat of a breather, but the war-cries had been made – the children who returned vowed to never change (Hikari) or even turn back the change that occurred (Kaname), while the girls who grew up (Miuna and Sayu) on one hand said their feelings will never change, while they demand a change in the boys’ feelings, so they could recognize the new situation.
In other words, everyone works at cross-purpose. As always.
Some screenshots fit to be used as wallpapers. A bit more with someone in them, I actually think it works well.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) A Stranger in Your Own Home:
1) We often talk of the sea as something strange and otherworldly. To the kids from the village, it’s home. But here, they too get to feel its otherness.
2) This picture exemplifies everything since the decision to hibernate. Hikari’s face is saying, “Home isn’t home.” Just like when they came back and saw their parents in a weird procession. Just like waking up and seeing time had left you behind. This is the feeling of everything being just slightly wrong.
3) This looks something out of a post-apocalyptic novel. A garden of statues filled with people they used to know. Or post-war/great fire ennui, that overcame a small community.
4) Yup, “For them, this is a Shioshshio they don’t know either.” – And nothing is as bad as returning home, only to discover it no longer is one. But still no excuse to leave Miuna behind like that and tell her not to go anywhere :-/
5) And the feeling of being an intruder in your own home continues, seeing them realize they used to play in this location, but this new place is unknown to them.
2) Miuna, the Outsider:
1) That was a very specific metaphor, Miuna, “The sound is like Manaka’s heartbeat, pushing the waves against the sand.” – And, since we’ll see it’s more or less true, this is the show’s writer speaking to us. Eh, not sure how I feel about having to use such an overt method, for such a non-metaphor, really. Not everything must mean something in this way.
2) Miuna is chasing the stream of saltflake snow. Personally? I’d have tried to go in the other direction, find its source. Then again, can’t really tell if you’re clueless about currents, and doesn’t feel there should really be any in this enclosed habitat.
3) You know, the bit where Miuna saw the school as it used to be made me think and realize, where had the younger and older kids had been? We hadn’t really seen any other kids close to them in age in the sea.
4) We saw the saltflake snow go from where Uroko-sama had been. You know what else it all looks like, including Miuna’s ena before it formed? Scales. It’s possible this isn’t Manaka, but Uroko-sama’s doing. Then again, in her current state, who’s to say he’s not her face, and she the goddess?
3) Into the Abyss, and Out Again:
1) Wow. This shot is amazing. This is a graveyard of offerings to the god. These replace the need to make a sacrifice of living people. You make these sacrifices to placate a god. You make them to bury the god. You keep regular offerings and sacrifice, so the god will not rise up in anger and devour the whole world. A graveyard, one where the weight of the sacrifices is meant to pin down the god. Symbolic, for this is what offerings to angry and capricious deities, as deities of the sea usually are, always are.
2) “Once something appears, something else is lost. Thus, it all balances out in the end.” – He’s talking about emotions, and excitement. Discovering something new is the loss of what had been before. I wonder how Uroko-sama in his great age perceives these children, and all those that he had seen before.
3) Ah, I see. The sacrifice. After being the bride of the Sea God, she now leaves him, and must leave the sea. This is how we get humans without ena again – the cycle begins with a woman, and her children will not have ena either.
4) Out of the abyss, and towards the light. Out of being enclosed and out of air, trapped within our own skins, trapped within our enas, and to the open air, to freedom.
5) Uroko-sama looks sad. Is he sad for what their actions had wrought? Is he sad for Miuna? Is he sad for what he thinks will happen between Hikari and Manaka? Who can tell, what the face of a god thinks? Not I.
6) Hm, got a bit emotional as they neared the surface, might be the whole build-up.
Post Episode Thoughts:
Manaka is back, and unlike the rest she can’t pretend to not have changed. How will the situation change, as Manaka realizes part of the world had left her behind, and that she has no other option but to leave another part of her world behind her?
This episode was quite mysterious, and that’s a proper atmosphere for the current Shioshishio, for home that is no longer home.
Whose episode was this? Miuna’s? Uroko-sama has a way of stealing the spotlight whenever he’s about. He seemed so very sad, but he knows he can’t truly make humans do anything other than what they wish for.
It’s time for things to come to light, it’s time for some truths. Only by removing that which had restricted us (the ena) can we make way for a new future. Let go of old emotions, and forge a new path. It’s either that, or burying your gods in an attempt to placate them.