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Anime review: Nagi no Asukara (A Lull in the Sea)

Sometimes it’s good to rewatch anime you’ve watched in the past, Nagi no Asukara is one of them. With an interesting story and aesthetic pleasing environments it’s no surprise that this anime is still in people’s head. Want to refresh your memory or do you want to watch a new anime? Please look no further!

Basic information
Aired: Fall 2013/Winter 2014
Episodes: 26
Studio: P.A. Works (famous for Angel Beats, Another and Charlotte)
MAL rating: 8.21
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Story
Before getting into the real story there is a prologue in Nagi no Asukara you need to know. Long, long ago, all humans lived beneath the sea instead of on land. They lived together in harmony, were happy and created their own culture. However, some people were interested in the surface and started investigating it. After some time they preferred the surface and abandoned living underwater permanently. As a consequence, they were stripped of their god-given protection called “Ena” which allowed them to breathe underwater so they couldn’t return. This was a warning for people living underwater, this way the Sea God want to prevent the extinction of his kind. Now there was a split between humans living underwater and on the surface. Over time, this split between the denizens of the sea and of the surface widened. Contact between the two still exists although this contact isn’t that positive anymore.

Nagi no Asukara follows the story of Hikari Sakishima and Manaka Mukaido, along with their childhood friends Chisaki Hiradaira and Kaname Isaki. They are underwater people but are forced to attend a school on the surface because there aren’t many children left underwater. Hikari refuses to wear the new school uniform so the group decided to keep wearing their beautiful blue/white uniform. The moment they enter the surface they meet Tsumugu Kihara, a fellow student and fisherman who loves the sea and doesn’t seem so bad. Bullied in their new class because of the deep-seated hatred and discrimination between the people of sea and people of the surface their schooltime doesn’t look promising. But Hikari and his friends’ lives are about to change as they have to deal with this hatred, storms inside their personal lives (a.k.a. love/friendship problems), as well as a curse coming closer which is bad news for everyone.

Heaven for aesthetic
One of the most memorable things about this anime is the setting, the underwater world is like a dream coming true, it makes you wonder why people left and why it isn’t real in our world. The surface is also beautifully made and you keep staring in the eyes of the underwater people. Not only visually Nagi no Asukara gets you, musically it makes it even better. The music is beautiful and fits perfectly at the right moment, with happy music at the beginning and slowly turning darker/sad once the story gets interesting.

When you hear water you might think of a way to relax, to slow down and this is the case with this anime. It takes a few episodes to find out what’s really happening and just like the water it can be fast too. The story is really good so please don’t give up after a few episodes and keep watching. It also might take a while before you like the characters, especially Hikari can be very annoying but at the end everyone has changed so much in a good way, even Hikari. Their complicated relationships can be annoying too so if you don’t like all these love/friendship problem you have to think twice before watching.

Saetori score: 8/10

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