This isn’t your typical story where you lovers who are meant to be together due to fate. No, it is way more than just that. In the first few episodes of the anime, you can sense that there are love triangles here and there, but the decisions who the characters end up with is still ambiguous and unclear. One thing I like about this anime is that it’s not like others that I have seen, where I can predict what will happen right off the bat during the first 10 – 15 minutes of an episode. Instead it kept me guessing where I never knew what comes next. And that, my friends, is one of the things I look for in an anime (Especially in drama/romance stories).
Another thing I like about this show is the interaction with the sea people and land-dwellers. Obviously, the show revolves around the four protagonists who are from the sea and how they handle going to school on land everyday. The stigma between sea people being in a relationship with a land-dweller is really showcased in the anime throughout the episodes. Also, there is bullying and misunderstandings when it comes to the differences of the two races which makes this show interesting. The differences in perspectives, mindsets, and cultures and the cruelty that comes with it all is another thing that keeps me drawn to the series.
In this show, love isn’t the only focus of the plot either (Which is another thing I look for sometimes in an anime). The love triangles aren’t the only focus of the plot. They only come secondary to the main focus which is the fantasy and drama aspects. You have conflict between the sea people and land-dwellers, relationships among the characters (Which includes platonic and familial. Not just romantic.), fictitious religious beliefs, and the supernatural aspects of the other world. You have all these aspects mashed together, giving you a finalized product which is Nagi no Asukara.
There is one thing that is predictable in this show that I have to point out. It’s the fact that the adults are very typical and generic for a school-life: Arrogant, selfish, stubborn, etc. Like, there are adult characters who aren’t typical because they are nice and caring, but you can already tell who they are and what their relationship with the main characters are like within the first minute they are introduced.
When it comes to the main characters that are portrayed in the story, I am honestly not disappointed. You have Hikari Sakishima who comes off as a prejudiced racist who has a tendency to be be easily angered and pick fights. But, as the story progresses, his character develops where he becomes more matured, understanding, and compassionate. I really admired his shift in character and perspective. We also have Mukaido Manaka who at first seems like a weak and hopeless crybaby. In all honesty, as the story continued, she was who I think kept the group together.
We also have the other two characters in their group, Hiradaira Chisaki, and Isaki Kaname who seem to play minor roles in the story despite having so much screen time. They seem more like side characters to me than actually being a part of the story, especially Isaki Kaname. They both don’t have much character development happening as the story progresses and I feel as if they are just their to fill in empty space. But, that is just me.
There is also Kihara Tsumugu who I think is predictable in a way where I have come across his character before. He’s quiet, cool, and collected. And he also stays practically the same during the story development even if he somehow gives advice to the other characters from time-to-time.
I can say that I liked the art. The colors really match the concept of the anime and the characters come off as adorable and cute to me.
But, sad to say the opening and ending songs aren’t that catchy to me. Again, the art is cute and the synchronization is spot-on with the music, but the songs aren’t something I will put on replay.
All in all, I enjoy watching this series. It may come off as typical at first, but I really suggest giving it a chance because it does possess potential. We’ll just see how the rest of the episodes go.