“The Messenger from the Bottom of the Sea” (水底よりの使い)
I think it’s safe to say that this was the most long-awaited episode of the second half of this series. And with it comes a couple of changes in the opening, i.e. the inclusion of this very beautiful-looking scene right here. Isn’t it just stunning? There’s something very breathtaking about this particular screencap and I think it’s because it looks both lovely and kind of sad at the same time and as soon as I saw it my immediate reaction was don’t do anything to Miuna! The fact that they’re both under the sea and very clearly connected in regards to Manaka losing her ena and Miuna gaining hers makes for a very exciting scene within the final stretch of the show. As rocky as it started out for me I’m beginning to feel a little lost with what I’m going to do with my Thursdays from now on.
This was actually a really beautiful episode and I didn’t find myself being annoyed with Manaka even a little, which is a huge achievement on my part – and on the show’s, to be honest but let’s not go there right this instance. The plot for this one is simple; Manaka has woken up and the quartet of friends is now complete with a very obvious difference in Chisaki being five years older than the rest of them. There’s excitement and lots of throwing of salt-flake snow and many giggles to be had.
But underneath it all it’s obvious that Chisaki feels out of place and perhaps even a little lost herself. She’s warring with the joy she feels at the four of them being reunited but is simultaneously lonely and that’s something I found was conveyed perfectly through her dialogue with Tsumugu. I find my attention really gravitating towards scenes with these two and just paying that much closer attention to their very symbiotic relationship. I was literally gripping the edge of my seat during their scene together, just waiting for something to happen, for him to say something, to tell her he loves her but, alas, their conversation sort of segued into the perverse nature of Uroko and porn magazines. What I did love, though, was the very clear fact that Chisaki’s going to be lonely when Tsumugu leaves at the end of the month, back to university. And the fact that he instinctively knows to reassure her that it won’t be long and that he’ll call her every day speaks volumes about their feelings about each other. I’ve no idea whether it’s going to be resolved by the end of the show, though…
One thing for certain, however, is the fact that Uroko has got some explaining to do and I think we’re super close to an explanation as to why Manaka has completely lost her ena and why it was given to Miuna instead. Part of me thinks that it’s the dissonance between their feelings of where they want to be and where they belong. Whatever it is, I’ve managed patience for this long, so I’m sure I can handle it for a little bit longer, hopefully.