In episode 16 of Nagi no Asukara Hikari returns to school, chipper as ever (on the surface anyway) and we finally got to see Sayu on a somewhat “deeper” level, she having been finally given some lines that reflect her character on a more personal level. Oh! And Miuna and Hikari went on a date, but that’s irrelevant…-ish. Whilst not as emotionally wrought and action-packed as the last few episodes, episode 16 still managed to shine in its own right, comical overtones integrating well with the gloomy undertones.
After gap year (or three…or five…) Hikari finally returns to school, soon finding himself the class “senpai” and hot topic. You’ve got to feel sorry for Hikari really, thrown into the deep end and forced to swim. He’s basically going to a “new school” with “new students” and, well, I’m sure he feels somewhat left behind. Even though we didn’t see her in this episode, I’m sure Chisaki is on Hikari’s mind – she’s grown up. She doesn’t need to go to school any more. And, I suppose, that’s why he doesn’t need the Nami Junior High School uniform anymore – the reason he wanted to wear it in the first place is because he was with everyone from Nami Junior High School. Nami Junior High School is Manaka, Kaname, Hikari and Chisaki. Now that he’s alone, Hikari can’t “be” Nami Junior High School; it’s gone. Sad though is is, Hikari’s decision not to get the Nami Junior High School school uniform is one the first steps he’s taken in accepting his new reality, albeit a more depressing one.
Sayu’s suffering too – “her’s” didn’t come back, after all. She’s not been a major character really, and I doubt that’ll really change, but Sayu’s grown significantly over the course of the series too, moving from an indignant brat to a not-so-indignant teenage girl. She misses Kaname. Then again, so does everyone else. It’s just that, from Sayu’s perspective, Miuna is almost flaunting the return of “her” Hikari. The scars that these kids left behind when they fell into the ocean all those years ago still fester, and their return shall surely reopen old wounds. I suppose it’s only natural that even small characters like Sayu have been affected by the events…
Towards the end of the episode when the crane collapses (so unsafe!), Miuna falls (once again) into the sea and calls out for Hikari to save her. Slowly drowning, she gives up hope of ever seeing him again. And then she, seemingly, gains Ena. Exscuse me? What? How has this happened? I can only assume that is has something to do with her deceased mother being from Shioshishio? If this is the case, it might not be so out of the question for Tsumugu, whose grandfather was originally from Shioshishio, to gain Ena and see the sea he loves so much as well? But that’s just wishful thinking. Seeing Hikari saving Miuna once again was nice, namely because it is in these moments that we tend to find the “bonding” moments. Naturally there is the issue of Hikari being Miuna’s uncles (step-uncle really, so I don’t see what the issue is), but, regardless of the romance, many a good character building moment has been found in underwater drama.
And, finally… Kaname you babe, you! Welcome back! I was so happy so see his naked ass at the end of the episode – my joy soars to new heights! I can’t wait to see him, firstly, deal with the new world around him, and, secondly, see Chisaki again…damn, Chisaki’s getting all the surprises… He’s the character that I’ve been most interested to see again, the way things ended for him five years ago forcing me to cast aspersions upon Chisaki, Tsumugu and everyone who ever let our blunt friend down… But again, I ask you, why is he naked? What is the Sea God doing with their clothes?