Nagi no Asukara Episode 8 Notes

November 21st, 2013.

It’s all About Emotional Context

Out with the old (home), in with the new (family). It’s going to be a series of awkward and painful moments. Some people call that growing up, I call it a drama show.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) “I’m not going to give up! Not on dad, not on the Ofunehiki, and not on you, Akari.” – Wanting everything is laudable, and in fiction, the mark of a child. Adulthood is marked by understanding you can’t have, and shouldn’t even desire everything.

2) Man, that dinner reminds me of visiting my aunt and her husband’s daughter from a previous marriage being there. Free-flowing talk is out of the question, any comment, any compliment is judged for ulterior motives and feels fake. Not a fun environment. I often think of how unusual it is that for me and all the people who were my close friends, none of us had parents who’ve undergone a divorce.

3) Well, there’s a city. With everyone living by the sea in this sort of post-apocalyptic setting, it’s not like we had much knowledge of how the rest of the world looks like. Well, let’s see.

Salt-water for Ena stations, made me think of places that have “Breast-feeding station” symbols. Well, I guess as you go deeper inland the Ena-folk become rarer, or come prepared.

4) On the Nature of Love: “He’s nice to everyone.” – Ah, how to take this. On the one hand, him being nice to you doesn’t mean he cares about you especially, or that you are special. On the other hand, that makes him special. And you know what, if we subscribe to the “Everyone’s special” mentality, then you can see the first point as him being nice to everyone, because he sees the uniqueness within anyone, even if him being special to you isn’t unique :3

“I’ve decided I’ll make Manaka smile.” “Hikari, I think you’re fine as you are.” – And here we have two common stories of what love is – Hikari is voicing the “If you love someone, you’ll care for their happiness over your own,” which is obviously a bad story to tell because putting someone else first is just as bad as placing yourself first, and Chisaki is voicing the conundrum – if I love someone now, will I still love them should one of us change? They are two different spectrums, but it’s the same old story – “What is love?” (Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more…)

5)“Manaka, you’re able to say what you think now.” – Too blunt, since this is what Tsumugu had “scolded” Manaka for, and now she not only changed, but others can pick up on it. Eh, too fast, and too overt, story-telling wise.

6)“Maybe they have it in another store!” – Come on guys, you heard the boy, “Do you just need one like this?” and Miuna’s “I want one with a shell from the sea I love so much” which coupled with Hikari’s “The sea has lots of those!” – Come on, we know that in the end they’ll make one themselves :3

Tsumugu, laying it down with the old-man truths! “It doesn’t matter what you give her, so long it’s been chosenby you.” Someone needs to make a rap out of Tsumugu’s lines :D

“Saltflake snow, on the surface? Uroko-sama did say it’s just the beginning, about the heavy saltflake snow undersea. Also, that ED fade-in is great.

Hm, next episode’s preview, it seems we had Uroko-sama with a baby. Hmmmm.

Post Episode Notes:

Though I’ve been wrong before in one episode, overall this show is following a regular pattern for now – we have some time which we spend with the characters, we see them in their element, having fun, crying; we see themgrowing up. We see them making decisions.

Then we see the cultural clash, which is to a large degree fueled by the characters’ choices, or reflects them, or leads to them having to having to make more choices. As I’ve discussed last episode, since the communal is made of the single people, and we could see last episode how the lack of the communities making peace in the end could be divided down to the decisions the single people make, it all makes sense.

Then we have episodes where it all relates, and the choices hurt the culture, and the culture hurt the people, and the people make choices, and hopefully there’s some healing in the middle, because if we only hurt everything, then things can’t keep going on. And that’s a good place to situate stories, when things change, when things have to change.

Also, these “Small Moment” episodes are not just important, but vital – too many shows make sad things happen without making us care for the situation or the characters, so it feels hollow. These episodes let us see the kids being kids, grow fond of them, and also learn to value why the choices they make are so hard for them. Growth and change, emotional connection, they’re all about context, and the emotional context is episodes such as this one.

Return to the Nagi no Asukara Episodic Notes page.

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