A lull in the sea or Nagi no Asukara is an anime/ manga, or as my co-host from Hopelessly Animanic puts it, Animanga. The manga was created by Risou Maeda a mangaka whose work I had not the pleasure of reading before this one, which was a direct contrast to the anime which was directed by Toshiya Shinohara whose work I do know.
Between the choice of reading the manga and watching the anime I choose the anime, a practice that has become a very rare occurrence for someone like me who consumes a majority of his media via text. However After watching all 26 episodes of the anime I can safely say that I do not regret it at all. It was everything I would have wanted and then some.
A story between the Sea and the Earth. Childhood friends Hikari and Manaka, who live in the sea, together with their friends Kaname and Chisaki, are forced to attend school on land after their own school undersea is closed. But due to a special encounter, their lives gain a new twist.
When I first started watching this one I went in blind, blind as to what I should expect. That meant no trailers, not reading of manga, nothing, and I hold that highly responsible for a lot of my experience with it. You see It starts off like you’d expect a school days type of romantic harem to start, but before you can even get comfortable with that concept it throws you a curveball in the form of the location. It seeks to alter perception of boy knows girl, boy leaves house to meet girl before school, then they work on their relationship while other characters also likes boy. Instead of that regular *garbage you get boy likes girl and they live under the sea… and so much more. That so much and more is where this story shines. You see the story is not just about two students in love, Oh no, no no… It’s got some deeper meanings than that. It’s about racism, discrimination, beliefs, migrations and some other more subtle tones. The characters that live in the sea village are looked upon by those on the land as different, strange, and the same can be said when viewed the other way around. They live literally right next door and are biologically pretty much the same, but yet they hate, distrust and treat each other poorly. It’s so bad that if someone from the sea chooses to be in a relationship with someone from the land they are banished from sea village. This discrimination is further driven home by the candid way in which the characters from either village interact with each other on a daily basis. Its all fake smiles, with hidden miss trust. This is the true story of A lull in the sea, and the story that I think that most that watch it may miss, but shouldn’t.
*don't take me so seriously
Because this is the story about us. About humanity, about how we treat each other, about the hidden feelings we keep close, that at a moments notice can explode from our lips and actions.
This is what we are like, something that we shouldn’t be, and that is the tale that A lull in the sea tells. All the while covering it in a sweet romantic anime coating.
The visual Beauty
A lull in the sea immediately captures the viewer’s interest with it’s artwork, or well at least it did for me, and it kept that interest for the first 13 episodes thanks to the vibrant colors that bleed through my screen. Imagine the most colorful anime you can think of and then turn up the contrast a bit and that’s A lull in the sea.
The character design is very tidy, Smooth and cute. This is a style that I rather like a lot, and one of the biggest selling points for this anime. It’s very adorable in so many ways, well for the first 13 episodes at least, and it benefits from that. I guess you could say that the first few episodes serve to get you comfortable in the universe that Risou-san created and then after that it grabs you by your heart strings and pulls you into a very human tale. To do this the style changed. It switches from being all vibrant and bubbly to one that is much darker. From episode 14 the vibrant colors are drained from the anime, so In place of sunny days at the beach you have cloudy skies over frozen waters. This sets the mood for the second half of this wonderful tale, and served as an important story telling tool that immersed me even more into the anime.
The mood is then helped along some more by the music, which starts of as what you’d expect from a school days type of anime, some form vibrant Japanese music with sounds of summer then in the second half it adopts a much slower sadder tone. The music is sad but sweet. The sounds you hear are sparse, serving only to sell you on how alone and lost the characters feel. This is another aspect where I believe this anime shines. It sets a tone very well and sways the viewer to feel what the animator is trying to convey via look and sound. This is what I believe every animator wants when they create an anime and this is what **ALITS does well.
**A lull in the sea
I could go on and on about how much I liked this anime, but then that would result in me spoiling most of the plot, and who really wants that. As such what I can say is that if you like anime with beautiful art, dept, and don’t mind wading through a first season that basically serves as a setup for a greater plot, then you need to see this anime, and after you do I highly recommend listening to Hopelessly Animanic Episode 5 to hear more of my thoughts [Spoilers] included. 😉
If you’d like to hear more about my thoughts about this anime, then I suggest you listen to the Buttonsmashers podcast & Hopelessly Animanic
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