Welcome to Rockmandash Reviews! Today I’m reviewing one of my favorite anime, Nagi no Asukara, a Romanctic Drama Comedy made by PA Works that’s been NAGING me to review. Once again, it’s PA Works doing what they do best: Great drama with cute girls.
To put it simply: Nagi no Asukara is a very well written show, with great drama, great characters, and... great everything really. What sets Nagi no Asukara up so well is it has a wonderful scenario, with an excellent setting. Nagi no Asukara is a wonderful coming of age story focused on 4 middle school students from the sea village of Shioshishio (don’t ask me to pronounce that, i’ll probably screw up...) that have to go to school in the surface. It’s a story of love, racism, tragedy, happiness, kindness, etc, and all aspects of this coming of age story is executed very well, mainly because of how well the cast is written. The whole premise of the show, with the water myths, the decline of Shioshishio, and the Love Dodecahedron were all absolutely fantastic to me. One thing that shocked me was the ridiculous amount of drama; way more than I’m used to, yet they managed to balance it out with lightheartedness. The pacing is nice, and it’s great. It gets even better after the time-skip in the middle of the show, but there was a bit of missed potential with the things that happened after the time-skip. Personally, I’m perfectly fine with how it went, but there are definitely some people that would disagree.
Worth mentioning - The first two episodes contain main two characters being infuriating with Hikari being a brat and Manaka being childish, annoying to the point of irritation. While this erodes the beginning of the show, in a way that emphasizes how much of a coming of age this story this show is, so it’s kinda essential but I feel like they could have done it in a better way.
If you’ve been reading this and this seems familiar, that’s because the screenwriter for this anime is Mari Okada,who also did another show very similar to this called Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day. Yes. THAT ANOHANA. If you liked Anohana, you will like this as the style of writing is very similar, and It’s done just as well. I love how they spend just the right amount of time with character development, just like in Anohana, and if I had to compare the writing to each other, I’d say they are just as good, in the same ways. Surprisingly, the secondary characters were strong in character, development, and made the world feel real and added a depth to the show that wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t the case. Also, I have to mention the ending. I’m a sucker for good endings, and after seeing tragedy over and over again, I was really glad to see a good ending. Nagi is an amazingly written coming of age story, and if you are into this kind of stuff, you don’t want to miss this one.
Writing - 9/10
Man, this show looks great. PA Works really knows what they are doing with the visuals, and this continues the tradition. In my opinion, this is up there with Shinkai films in levels of Scenery Porn, which is extremely impressive... and even more so when you consider that this is an 26 episode anime. I cannot count the amount of times that I stopped the show just to stare at the visuals, it’s that amazing. Its very rare that you see a show that’s so excellent and amazing overall with the animation art, setting the mood, and characters being all absolutely outstanding. There’s no way I could give this any less than a 10 in visuals.
Visuals - 10/10
With such impressive visuals, and fantastic writing plot, what could possibly top that? By some miraculous reason, in my opinion the music manages to be the strong point of the series, trumping both the plot and the visuals in quality. The soundtrack for the show is absolutely phenomenal, and it wasn’t long before I was wishing that I had the soundtrack sitting in my phone, ready to be listened over and over again. It’s one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard in recent times, and that’s a pretty ballsy claim considering the amazing soundtrack that Attack on Titan and Kill la Kill had. The high point for the soundtrack in my opinion, has to be absolutely fantastic ending theme Aqua Terrarium. I love it to death. Another fantastic thing about the soundtrack is that they use the tracks at the right time, for the right length, etc. They use the music for enhancing the mood, something every show with a standout soundtrack has to do. On another note, I thought that the voices are pretty great as well. I felt like all the voices were kind to the ear, as they all did a fantastic job at the voice acting and the casting was superb. Never once did I think these voices could be done by anybody else, and I’d be really sad if they were. (well, probably not....)
Sound - 10/10
I had a great time with Nagi no Asukara. It was an essential portion of feels Thursday, and I loved every bit of it. It was an amazing show, especially if you are a big fan of Romances... It did everything I really wanted it to, and I loved the hell out of it. If you are into this type of show, a better question would be... WHY ARE YOU NOT WATCHING THIS? One thing that needs to be mentioned is the middle of the show. I marathoned most of it so I didn’t feel the drag in the middle too much, but it’s definitely there. I’m sure if you asked someone who was watching weekly, they’d get really annoyed.
Enjoyment - 9/10
If your one of those people who like to scroll down to the very bottom for the results and just skip the actual review.... NagiAsu is great.
It’s very hard to find faults for this show. If I had to point any out, there’s the beginning of the show, but outside of that, I can’t think of much. It’s damn close to perfect, and I highly recommend you check it out. If you have any interest in romance series, or have seen Anohana, this is a must.
Overall - 9.25/10, Polarization + .5, - 1.25
Copyright Disclaimer: Under Title 17, Section 107 of United States Copyright law, reviews are protected under fair use. This is a review, and as such, all media used in this review is used for the sole purpose of review and commentary under the terms of fair use. All footage, music and images belong to the respective companies.
Note - updated review on 1/11/19 - changed the scores and added criticism of the beginning of the show.
This show is available on Crunchyroll for Free & Legal streaming.