Time-skip time!

It has now been five years since the fateful day that the Sea God went berserk, and much has changed. Miuna and her friend Sayu are now starting middle school, Akari now has a young son, Tsumugu is working with a scientist to figure out exactly what is going on in the now unenterable Shioshishio, and then there’s Chisaki. Whatever exactly happened underwater, it sealed everybody away, leaving only Chisaki on dry land and with no home to go to. Taken in by Tsumugu and his grandfather, she has reached college-age, and has only just begun to adjust to this life without Hikari, Kaname or Manaka when suddenly and inexplicably Hikari comes back.

Man, Tsumugu eats really damn well.

I’m really liking Sayu’s post timeskip design.

Looks like I was right about the timeskip, but man is this show being cryptic about what the hell actually happened five years ago. There’s still no sign of Manaka and Kaname, which is getting increasingly worrying considering the last we saw of Kaname was him seemingly having a massive stone pillar fall on him, while the last we saw of Manaka was her being seemingly slammed into the ocean floor. This episode is leaving that mystery unsolved for the time being as its mostly concerned with how things on the surface have changed. It’s rather interesting, considering how worried everybody was that the people on the surface would die. Nearly everything is blanketed in snow (I’m still not 100% sure if this is actual snow or the ‘salt-flake now’) but it hasn’t actually been stated whether its permanent or just winter.
Miuna and Chisaki were the stars of the episode, and both have matured a lot, Miuna in particular. Given that both have crushes on Hikari, the theme of ‘change’ is pretty significant. When Hikari reappears at the end of the episode, he hasn’t changed at all, and looks exactly as he did five years ago; presumably as a result of the ‘hibernation’. Thus Chisaki is now much older than him, while Miuna is the same age. It puts yet another spin on this confusing love-pentagon(or whatever shape it is now). If Manaka is going to come back any time soon, one can only wonder whether Tsumugu being five years older than her makes him more or less desirable. (The same goes for Kaname with Chisaki I suppose).
Despite keeping what we all want to know about Shioshishio in the dark for now, this episode did let some interesting factoids slip. It confirmed that there are 14 underwater villages in all of Japan, all of which are currently inaccessible. Tsumugu’s grandfather, too, was confirmed to be from the sea.
I honestly have no idea where things are headed now, but the new opening for the second half is much more sombre and sad than the more uplifting first half’s one. Manaka also seems to be absent from the group shot at the beginning of it – although curiously Kaname is there.

I have no idea where his clothes went, though.

Miuna sure got pretty.

Out of 5,
melonmelonmelonmelon

Episode 15

It’s kind of cruel irony that Chisaki is the one that ends up even more grown up than the rest of the main 3, given her complex about it.

Hikari has woken up five years after episode 13, but for him it feels like yesterday. Having to adjust to the change in everybody he knows above land (as well as Chisaki) is difficult enough, but he too can’t reenter Shioshishio. The entire town is surrounded by a fierce underwater current that instantly repels any attempt at penetrating it. Some are optimistic that his appearance means that the others hibernating in Shioshishio may also start to wake up and appear, but there is still no sign of them.

Tsumugu aged pretty well. I feel like his appearance didn’t really drastically change, though.

It seems like a huge portion of this episode was dedicated to pretty scenery, and I have no problem with that.

The synopsis for this episode may seem rather short, but that doesn’t mean the episode was boring. Most of it consisted of Hikari being agitated by change, and it was definitely necessary to dedicate that amount of time to such a thing. I really think that the way they’ve handled this plot development has been great so far, as well as rather realistic. A lot of people never really give much thought to exactly how much can change in the space of a year, let alone five years. I lived in Japan for two years and then came back to Australia to find so many weird differences in things I usually took for granted; I can’t imagine what five years would be like. But how about five years that never actually passed for you? If you felt as though five years ago was literally yesterday, and suddenly everybody is older and different? Especially in regards to somebody who has romantic feelings for you? The series has done quite an admirable job portraying emotions thus far and I found all this particularly impressive.
While I do appreciate how much time they spent dwelling on this, though, I am really aching to see what is going on with the other Shioshishio kids. The opening has already revealed that Kaname is alright (albeit unaged, like Hikari) and that he’s going to be joining this new gang made up of Hikari, Chisaki, Tsumugu, Miuna and Sayu. But all references to Manaka are still cryptic as hell, and I’m beginning to wonder if the main plot of the second half will be about trying to save her from something.
Since I haven’t addressed it much properly yet, I also love what five years has done to Sayu. She was an unlikeable little brat in the first half, but now even though she’s retaining something of a fiery streak she’s becoming quite the little lady. Kind of reminds me of Tohsaka Rin. Her placement in the opening seems to suggest that she might be playing a bigger part in this second half, so let’s see.

I like the way this shot is framed; the pole dividing the two isn’t exactly subtle.

New and improved flag.

Out of 5,
melonmelonmelonmelon

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