Long ago, all humans lived in the ocean. But some who longed for the land abandoned the ocean, casting off the special raiments granted to them by the sea god to adapt them to life under the sea... Though mankind was divided into sea dwellers and land dwellers, each with different ways of thinking, they were all still fellow humans, and they continued to maintain contact as time went on.
Due to the closure of their school four young teenagers from under the sea are sent to attend school on land. Sakishima Hikari, Mukaido Manaka, Hiradaira Chisaki, and Isaki Kaname live in an undersea village, while Kihara Tsumugu lives on land. As these middle school second years meet for the first time they attempt to understand one another and their differences as they try to get along. When things in the sea suddenly start to change the four teens relationships begin to change in the wake of what is to come ... The youthful fantasy tale of these young people's lives unfolds in a strange and beautiful world.
As a P.A Works production I simply knew it was going to be beautiful. . .and it was! Breathtakingly gorgeous animation that often made me pause watching just to admire the beauty of it! The soundtrack was also incredible! I absolutely LOVED the music choices! And the VA's did an amazing job! The plot was also very unique and not at all what I expected when I went into this ... I was thinking mermaids or some such shit but, I got something completely different and was pleasantly surprised at how well it was carrried out! I've never really dealt with drama well so I was kind of turned off by that but I still loved how things were put together. I even got teary eyed several times! The characters were amazingly well done with each character growing before your eyes as the anime progressed. As they struggle with their feelings and what's going on in their lives you watch them fully develop right before your eyes.
Overall I started this anime because it was by P.A Works and I adore their animation, but in the end I completely fell in love, not just with the animation but with the whole package! Nagi no Asukara was a wonderful surprise! Very glad I watched it!
Nagi no Asukara (aka Nagi-Asu) is based in a semi-fantasy world. Humans used to live upon the ocean floor but there were a curious few who decided to leave and see the surface. Some stayed and lived there. As time went on, the surface people and the sea people became separated and usually had nothing to do with each other. However, the story begins when Nami Junior High School shuts down and the remaining students had to go and study in a school at the surface. Our 14-year-old protagonists undergo many differences to their relationships and surroundings, and have to learn to cope with them and understand whether things really do "change" or not.
Story - 7/10
The anime's primary genre is romance, however the story is pretty much about how friendships are tested because of feelings developed for characters. If you want hardcore romance, you won't be getting that from this anime. The story revolves around relationships and characters changing. How everyone deals and copes. The story to me was unique in a sense that we had a sea people civilisation upon the ocean floors and their lifestyle is completely different to the surface. At the beginning of the anime, the idea of racism is involved but is not a primary theme as that topic dies down after the first few episodes. The anime really begins to take shape in the middle. My only issue was that the plot beat around the bush at times and some parts I felt were important werent really delved into as much. I was nearing the end of the anime and felt so many things weren't concluding and as expected, some things had closure in the very last episode and other things were left ambiguous (which I hate, but I know some people love.) While certain aspects were unpredictable, others were super predictable. How some relationships were shaped, however, for me felt they were kind of awkward and nearly out-of-the-blue. You would expect some kind of foreshadowing but then you just get this sudden moment and you're like, "What the hell?"
Animation & Sound - 8/10
I'm putting these two together because they shared the same score and they're both pretty much about technical things. I gave them an 8 because I loved how fluid everything seemed. I was in love with the sea people's blue eyes, they were just so pretty so see because they seemed like they reflected the ocean. The scenery was excellent and characters' expressions were so nicely conveyed. The sounds were good too in a sense that sea waves had such nice dynamics and when I had my headphones on, I felt there was a hint of surround sound happening. Very good technicalities. This aspect of the anime was my favourite.
Characters - 5/10
What the animation & sound cannot make up for, however, are the characters. I suppose I'm just being biased or probably denying the point of the anime, but most of the characters pissed me off so much. They irritated me so much that I wanted to slam my whole body into the wall out of frustration. Hikari at first annoyed me but he had the best character development. You could see his personality shaping up and he was becoming more open and accepting. I was fine with him by the end of the series, but I just wished the conclusion for his character was something else other than what was done in the story. Other characters like Kaname and Tsumugu I felt were verging on 1-Dimensional as there were times where they had their key moments but they weren't enough to satisfy me and I felt they could have so much more. I just felt like they were characters that were just simply there for the plot and weren't actually explored. Same goes with Sayu and Miuna. I had mixed feelings for Chisaki on the other hand, I wasn't too sure about her or her character. They didn't have any kind of foreshadowing over her character in the second half of the anime and it felt super rushed. On the other hand, Manaka is by far the most annoying heroine I've ever witnessed in anime in the past couple of years of my anime-watching. She had some character development at the very end but throughout the entire series, I just wanted to her to go away. Honestly, I just felt the characters were just your typical cliched love-circle personalities that I just simply hate. You have the cutesy cry baby girl and you have the head-strong, stubborn male protagonist. You have the boy that everyone thinks is so kind and you have the aloof guy. It just felt like a character template that everyone else was using. While I apologise to some as they may have actually liked the characters and thought their character development was good, I was just too busy crying my eyes out in anger as I watched these characters go about their lives, aggravating me in the process. Was this the point of the anime? Possibly.
Overall (Personal Opinions) - 6/10
It's been a while since I watched an anime that delved into the story that really is moderately paced and is really to do with characters' relationships. But I think I'm ready to head back to action and a faster-paced anime because I realise such animes just make me feel frustrated. The point is, the characters aren't supposed to be perfect and you can't expect such characters to be loveable all the time. But I would prefer to associate myself with imperfect characters and possibly sympathising with them, not hate their guts. I just couldn't associate myself with any character at all so everything they did, I just felt angry. If you're the kind of viewer who likes romance animes that explore two characters, developing their own relationship, this isn't for you. But go ahead and watch this if you enjoy complicated relationships and semi-drama.
Note: I understand there are those who don't agree with my opinions and that's okay because we all watch something with a different experience of it. I apologise if you feel angry reading my review but please note that it's just becase of different opinions, feelings, experiences and associations. Thank you for reading my review! ^_^
NagiAsu has to be one of the most beautiful anime series I have ever seen.
This anime original story by Okada Mari is set in a fantasy world where villages exist under the sea as well as on land. PA works have done an amazing job of bringing this universe to life on our screens, and I never got tired of watching it. The second half of the series is perhaps not quite as magical looking, but it is still drawn, coloured and animated with great attention to detail. This world felt alive and believable, which helped me as a viewer to suspend my disbelief and enter the story. In fact if every other aspect had matched the quality of the anmiation I would have easily given this five stars. Instead it gets a very respectable 8/10.
The story itself could be billed as a drama or a romance, but I prefer to think of it as an examination of the role falling in love and being in love with someone can play in our coming of age. The main characters from whose viewpoint most of the series is told are in their early teens (middle school). They discover love in themselves, and can see how it seems to affect the decisions of those around them. They question its worth and what value it has in and of itself. This is handled better for some characters than for others, and the "longeurs" in the series occured for me when one of the weaker characters was the focus point in this way.
NagiAsu also explores other relationships and the effects they have on us such as those with friends, family, and our wider communities. The way it portrays how the two communities of sea and land relate is particularly interesting, but unfortunately takes a back seat in the seond half of the series. The other relationship which is interwoven with so many aspects of the story is that of the major deity within the villages, the Sea God (Umi-sama) with his followers, his descendants and his own emotions. This mythology is slowly unravelled, and the major dramas occur at the festivals in Umi-sama's honour.
Indeed this is not a sleepy slice-of-life tale nor is it a melodrama. There are aspects of both, and I enjoyed the balance between them. I tend to prefer series whose main characters are older than the ones here, but I am glad I gave NagiAsu a chance. I enjoyed it very much and I think it is the type of anime I will watch again. As I mentioned above, some episodes are stronger than others but that's OK. If that particular storyline doesn't do it for you, just sit back and watch the beautiful animation.
I usually like to elaborate in my reviews but you'll have to excuse me for this one.
It's gonna be kinda short.
I truely believe this is one of the best animes I've seen.
I've seen it in a marathon, and it felt pretty good,
it gets to emotional depths and honesty most anime doesn't get to,
We're not talking about plain architypes like tsunderes , moes nor kuderes/senapis.
From the very beginning we have emotional complex, layered rather than plained.
We don't have emotional cheap drama with cheap tricks (most of the time) that we see in most animes.
We do see a bunch of honesty.
The anime speaks honestly about feelings, love, changes, fears and what not.
Don't let the age of the characters fool you (14-15), they're having
very realistic, human reactions, thoughts and feels.
The use of fantasy - the story takes you to a world where there are humans who live in the water, and humans of the surface.
Even though it's one of the things that makes the show special, and provides it
some great shots of animation the series doesn't lose focus from the characters.
Characters: You may not like all characters, but most of them always search for themselves, growing up, most of them make progress so you'll never feel bored.
Story-wise: The only problem was the kind of drop in the middle which kinda let everything suck for some episodes, yet knowing it leads for the build-up to the ending,
it's worth it, and try to survive even the more depressing, disappointing episodes.
The show had me feels I haven't felt since the american show (not anime)
"Avatar: The last airbender" I saw when I was younger, years ago.
This anime made me feel I gained a bit more than just passing my time
or entertaining myself, I felt like I've got a value added,
and I got kind of a mental "boost" from it.
You might say: "It's just another romance drama nonsense"
It's got it times where you feel like every episodes there's someone crying to keep the tension, yet don't let it bother you - I know it didn't bother me:
Cause it was well executed, and I knew these times are just a build-up for the climatic ending that will give us back the honest feelings that flow like the sea.
Amazing anime; I'll remember it.
The basis is that human civilization began at the bottom of the sea, and then those people became curious and decided to live on the surface. It revolves around a couple of middle school students who have to adjust to a new environment on the surface and face many struggles along the way.
The animation is one of the best animation I have ever seen in an anime. If you are looking for top class animation, this is the anime to watch. The sound was great as well.
The characters development is rather interesting. There is always something going on between all of the characters in this anime, so there is always something to look forward to every episode.
Overall it is a great aime to watch, and would recommend it for anyone.