Change, change, change – that’s all anyone seems to care about anymore. And, ultimately, it’s what most people fear – the change and loss of the things that we hold dear. Once again we see this fear manifest within one of our main cast, Kaname waking up from five years of “sleep” and witnessing the world that remains in the wake of his disappearance. Now Kaname, unlike Hikari, tends to keep his true emotions hidden, they instead being seen through the slight dimming of his eyes and the forming of a frown. But Kaname, like Hikari, is afraid of the fact they he may have been left behind and that now all he can do is find someplace to slot himself back into everyone’s lives without feeling like an intruder.

The first thing that Kaname notices is the close relationship between Chisaki and Tsumugu, their many years together having brought them almost into “sync”. Kaname interprets this closeness to suggest a more intimate relationship than is actually (probably) present, although Tsumugu has seen Chisaki topless, a feat that, I’m sure, Kaname has not yet achieved. Now Kaname has to worry about both Hikari and Tsumugu getting in the way of his romantic endeavors whilst accidentally luring Sayu back into his manly cardigan web. Like Hikari, Kaname feels out of place. And, like Hikari, he is under the impression that nothing has really changed…all that much anyway. I feel as though Kaname suffers from a severe case of over-maturity, many of his issues perhaps being easily resolved if he’d just act a little bit immature every once in a while. That said, neither Kaname nor Hikari want to let go of their past or present selves in order to main some semblance of grounded normalcy to the ever changing world but in reality this is neither healthy nor logical. Everything in nature is subject to change. Why, in twelve episodes we watched all of our main cast develop from immature brats with relationship issues to pseudo-mature pubescent teenagers with relationship issues. Despite his wish to remain the same for Manaka’s sake, I fear Hikari’s already changed immensely, something that even Manaka was making note of before she died/became a goddess/became a sleeper. Who knows? Maybe Kaname and Hikari will maintain the status quo for their ladies, and maybe one of the morals of the show will be that too much change is a frightful thing. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

Nagi no Asukara Episode 17 Image 0018

Oh Sayu, you love-struck teenage girl. Kaname is her unrequited love, the love that, as a healthy and growing gal, she probably should’ve gotten over by now. But love doesn’t work like that. No sir, love transcends logic and unrequited love is a sickness. In doing nothing and allowing your feelings to simmer, you become disillusioned and your feeling stagnate. For both Sayu and Miuna, barriers stand between them and their love, barriers that’ll be tough to overcome. Both of them are wise in the fact that they realize this. Both of them are afflicted, the sick two. Miuna doesn’t want to change anymore. Sayu doesn’t want Kaname to move on without her. Both of the girls are striving to reach their unreachable goals and, ultimately, someone’s going to end up unhappy. Place your bets now.

On a side note…not to complain or anything, but…I’m sure everyone saw Kaname telling Sayu that she hadn’t changed coming, right? It’s the same thing that happened with Hikari? In fact, this entire episode was simply the last two episodes crammed into one with Kaname as the figurehead instead of Hikari? In my opinion, Sayu still feels as though she’s been tacked on for no other reasons than to be Kaname’s “fall-back” option – a potential love interest. And whilst she’s certainly received quite a lot of development, she’s no where near the standard of what I’d consider to be a main cast character. But, then again, that’s just my opinion. OhAnd I’m not happy with the lack of Chisaki…but again, that’s just me.

Finally, it would appear that a deep sea exploration is on the horizon and that our favorite aquatic village shall soon be rediscovered. The only real question on my mind at this point is, is Manaka still alive? And, if so, what state is she in? I think it’d be much too easy if Manaka were simply to awaken like the others and, if anything, the fact that she was the sacrifice during the Ofunehiki must mean something. But what is something? And what state will the village and the villagers be in when they’re found? ‘Tis and exciting prospect…