Nagi no Asukara | Review: Ep. 2

Don’t Associate with Underwater Anime

My first impression of Nagi no Asukara last week was depressing in many ways. Not only was the show one of my highest anticipated shows but it was also from P.A. Works, my favorite anime studio. The first episode showed off a annoying cast of character, infuriatingly bad writing and just a waste of any talent. The second episode continues this to the letter as the show just sinks deeper and deeper into a sea of shit.

vlc 2013-10-10 18-59-23-77The episode follows Manaka and Hikari once again as they take turns showing off what they do best. That is Manaka being really sad and insecure while Hikari yells his lungs out in anger and complain about essentially everything.

The actual events of the episode are unimportant until the very end where a character gets subjected to something so obvious and overplayed that it’s sad to see them even try to play it off as a surprise.

If you’re a good show, you can get away with things that doesn’t really make sense at times. Unfortunately, since Nagi no Asukara isn’t a good show, the idea of having to look past things evaporated a long time ago. Call it nitpicking, but I have a hard time watching a serious drama, which is what this is meant to be, where they can just drink sake under-water with no problem and can even boil water by itself in a pot. This isn’t Spongebob Squarepants, you can’t just defy the laws pf physics to this level without even giving a bullshit explanation as to how you can do it.

vlc 2013-10-10 18-55-14-77The show is meant to be set in something at least very similar to our reality, so why is it that nothing in this show feels even remotely real? It feels like someone watched Disney’s adaptation of The Little Mermaid, really liked it and decided “I am going to make my own underwater story!” without even trying to think reasonably about anything they then put on paper. This is not a fairy-tale, this is not a kids comedy cartoon, this is a drama where we are meant to feel sad and happy for characters, but that’s impossible, because this show feels less real than Straight Title Robot Anime.

vlc 2013-10-10 18-54-47-75Everything in Nagi no Asukara have been explored in countless media before it and done so better. While I’d be able to look past this if the show had any semblance of quality beyond its production, there’s nothing to be praised or appreciated here.

The characters that we follow for the most part are a pain to follow and their writing is stupid to the point where it almost becomes funny.

Maybe if the show focused on differently written characters and maybe if it didn’t lift every little idea they had from tired old folk-tales, then maybe this show would have been decent, good even. But this is just pathetic.

vlc 2013-10-10 18-52-11-79But, visually the show is amazing to look at. The characters are all drawn with great detail and the backgrounds are gorgeous.

I can’t praise the design work however, because while everything is pretty from a technical view point, the lack of creativity in the design is just as depressing as the writing. We have a under-water city that’s meant to be older than man built cities, yet it just looks like someone drew the Greek city of Mykonos and then put some fish on top of the image and said “It’s under the sea now.” and sent it to the animation department.

I wonder if even the art director cared for this show or if he/she was just bored to the point where it didn’t matter to him/her what they did, because the looks of Nagi no Asukara is so creatively bankrupt I actually feel sad for calling some other shows dull this season.

There’s no other way to put it, Nagi no Asukara may not be the worst show this season, but it’s by far my biggest disappointment, possibly of the year as a whole. I tried imagining the show taking place in the Spongebob Squarepants universe just for my own amusement, but not even that could save myself from having a terrible time. Maybe I’m just a filthy surface girl who doesn’t get it.

Episode Rating: 1/5 – A Sinking Wreck.

Series Available on Crunchyroll

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