The saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, applies to Nagi no Asukara so much. When I first came across this series, I assumed that it will be your typical overly done, cliché high school drama series that we have seen many times before. But, as you keep on watching and the show continues on from one episode to the next, you come to realize that these self-fabricated assumptions are incorrect.
The plot follows a group of childhood friends, who grew up in an underwater village called Shioshishio. At the beginning of the story, we learned that their local middle school within the village closed down for reasons that weren’t really explained. This leaves them no choice but to transfer to another middle school. . . One that is located above water, on the surface.
They had a hard time adapting to life on land because they constantly had to keep themselves hydrated or wet so that their Ena (Protective tissue on the surface of their skins which were given to those who live in the ocean by the Sea God). If they weren’t constantly hydrated, how would they be able to live and breathe underwater? In addition, during the first arc of the series, the tension between the land dwellers and the sea people were at an all time high. The group of friends went through so much because of this. But, from how I see it, such circumstances and situations helped each and every one of them mature and grow up.
This series has one of the most complicated love dramas I have ever seen. But, at the end of it all, it was beautifully done and none of the relationships were forced, predictable, or fast paced. For other animes I have watched, I would just have to see the first few minutes of an episode, then I will be able to predict who will end up in a relationship with whom. But, this wasn’t the case for this show. For Nagi no Asukara, each episode had something new and different to deliver on the table. I wasn’t really able to predict anything and I really admired that.
Oh, and have I mentioned that the animation is just drop dead gorgeous? The art is undeniably beautiful throughout all the episodes and you can tell that the animators were very attentive when it came to detail in the backgrounds and characters. I really admired how they really showcased the difference between pre-ofunehiki and post-ofunehiki by beautifully animating the salt flake snow.
All in all, I really enjoyed the time I spent watching this series. It now has a special place in my heart because of its beautiful animation, non-monotonous characters, and unpredictability. Also, this anime has a complicated love drama that is done right. The relationships were developed slowly with time. None of the romance were forced or rushed. Each character matured and grew up thanks to the circumstantial situations they were in. Because of this, the relationships that resulted many years later when the friends grew up happened at the right time, at the right place, and with the right person.
So, if you’re looking for an anime that will help pass the time while you enjoy your favorite cup of tea, then Nagi no Asukara is the series for you. I guarantee that you will enjoy every minute of it.