Preparations are well underway for the second Ofunehiki ceremony, during which Akira accidentally drops the necklace (containing Manaka’s stone) in the sea. When Miuna goes to retrieve it, she hears the until now ‘secret feeling’ that Manaka had stored inside it five years ago – that she really does love Hikari after all. What’s more, Tsumugu knew this all along, and Manaka had only been suppressing her feelings because she didn’t want to hurt Chisaki. Obviously, Manaka doesn’t remember any of this due to losing her heart, although she’s becoming increasingly frustrated at not being able to understand what love is anymore. Meanwhile, everyone else’s feelings are rampaging all over the place – Chisaki wants to be happy with Tsumugu but feels guilty about getting to be ‘the only happy one’ (apparently forgetting Tsumugu and Sayu exist, nice going there Chisaki), Hikari is still in love with Manaka but doesn’t want to tell her if she is physically incapable of understanding or returning those feelings, and Miuna can’t seem to stop loving Hikari no matter how hard she tries. It is with this chaos of unfortunate emotions that the Ofunehiki ceremony finally begins for the second time, and, for the second time, it goes horribly wrong.
I kind of expected this for the climax of the series but damn we’ve reached Maximum Awkward Teenager Love Nonsense at this point. After the breakthrough in the last episode it’s really hard not to feel frustrated at the stupid misunderstandings that have been causing all this trouble for 13 episodes. These two girls have been pretending to like the other guy all this time so that they don’t hurt their friend who they think likes the guy that they like and both of them are wrong this is so frustrating to watch. This is why I don’t usually do romance stories. I can’t stand this frustration. Nagi no Asukara’s supernatural element and interesting plot makes up for its at times painfully irritating romantic subplot at least, and its true that there’s a huge sense of relief that it’s finally all coming together, but man. Did any of these kids stop to realize that maybe they could have just…spoken to each other? Or were they do busy dramatically running away from each other every time someone implied they like someone? You’re lucky you’re a good show, Nagi no Asukara, because your romance writing is so aggravating it’s actually unintentionally hilarious.
Again, my ranting about these things makes it sound like I’m really slamming the show but it’s honestly not that bad otherwise I would have dropped it a long time ago. The romance writing is definitely its main fault but if I had to choose another I really gotta say that some of the more fantastical elements are just a little hard to take seriously. You really need to be in the right mindset to appreciate the magical stone made out of feelings that a seaslug spat out because you told it your secrets five years ago. Believe it or not, this show makes that sound a lot more whimsical than I can. It actually is possible to enjoy the fantasy element, even when it becomes kind of wishy-washy like this, but there are times where it does give me pause and I can’t help but giggle a bit.
Anyway, to absolutely nobody’s surprise the Ofunehiki didn’t go so well again, although I was still surprised by the ‘victim’ this time. I’m looking forward to seeing how all this is going to be resolved. Here’s hoping everybody – especially Miuna – gets a happy ending.