Yay!

After a lot of class teamwork, the doll for the Funehiki ceremony is finally completed. Everyone is riding the satisfaction high that comes from the fruit of their combined efforts, and they even have a lot of success with collecting signatures from the townspeople for the petition. For a while, it seems like the Funehiki ceremony – originally set to be cancelled this year due to the growing tension between the sea and land – may really go ahead with flying colours.
And yet, this all comes crashing down once it becomes time to show the signatures and the doll to the adults in charge of the operation – a joint meeting between the leaders from above and below the sea. Sometimes, adults can be far more stubborn and childish than children when it comes to putting aside their differences.

Kaname’s got some smooth moves.

-insert scenery porn comment-

I couldn’t help notice the decrease in animation quality in this episode – but luckily it only seemed to affect the secondary characters, and the scenes with the major characters were still very well-done. I particularly liked the scene with Hikari and Akari leaving Shioshishio only to have Uroko attack them with ice.
This episode was quite sad, but it was also sadly realistic. No matter how much children can reconcile their differences, adults can hold longer grudges. The scene where the argument breaks out in the meeting room, culminating in the doll being broken (again!) was actually hard to watch; I could just feel the disappointment and anguish at the adults. I like how none of the kids (or young adults) even pretend for a second that the older men must have some noble reason for their actions and that they should respect them, too.
I expected that Akari would end up leaving Shioshishio for this reason, but not for Hikari to leave with her. Akari is leaving to demonstrate the depth and the seriousness of her love, but Hikari’s leaving is to stand up for what he believes in. It was a really good way to highlight exactly how much he’s grown recently – he was actually the star of the whole episode, and worked the hardest for the festival approval to succeed because he knew how much it meant to Manaka and Tsumugu. For him to get himself banished from the village in only the 7th episode – I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen to him, or the others, next.

Aw…

Uroko’s magic ice attack thing was actually really cool-looking.

Out of 5,
melonmelonmelonmelon

Episode 8

Itaru doesn’t have much in the way of facial expression, does he.

Unable to return to Shioshishio (or at least, for the time being), Akari and Hikari are now staying with Itaru and little Miuna. Miuna, feeling guilty about the grief she gave Akari before about her disapproval of her relationship with her father, now wishes to give her blessings. However, she thinks it would be best to do this with a gift, and so entrusts Hikari and the gang to help her choose one. It’s decided that a trip to ‘the city’ is in order, where most of the kids haven’t been.
It’s a very different place to the small seaside village (not to mention small underwater village) that they’re used to, and finding the right gift proves to be very difficult. Like all stories like this,  they only find it difficult because they overlooked what’s really important in such a gift, getting caught up in overly expensive pendants.

Kaname’s got some sass.

…Miuna’s head is huge.

It seems a bit strange to have such a light-hearted episode after such a serious one, but judging from the way it ended, its more like a quick breather before things start to get really serious.
As far as light-hearted episodes go, this one was heart-warming enough, although followed the classic ‘everyone tries to find expensive fancy gifts and only after they can’t find one good enough realize that the best gifts are hand-made as they come from ~the heart~’ which isn’t the pinnacle of original storytelling.  I also find it quite hard to believe that somehow every single jewellery store in the city was fresh sold out of pendants shaped like sea shells. However, seeing the city was really nice, especially considering how curious I was about how things were outside the two villages central to the plot. It also implied that there are more underwater towns besides Shioshishio; or at least, underwater tourists expected, from the salt water suppliers littered here and there in order to replenish these tourists ‘ena’ (basically, the coating on their skin that lets them live and breathe underwater, and which can dry up and cause them to presumably die unless replenished). It was also interesting that the children commented that there was ‘nothing like that in Oshiooshi’.  It’s these little touches that really make me appreciate the world-building in this show, and its something I’m really looking forward to see expanded.

….wait a minute, there’s a clam-shell pendant right there! I guess it wasn’t good enough?

We all saw this coming but it was still really sweet.

Out of 5,
melonmelonmelonmelon