Let’s Talk Anime: A Lull in the Sea

Hey everyone it’s Kernook here. Today I’m going to be talking about an amazing 26 episode anime, and one of my all time favorites: A Lull in the Sea.

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A Lull in the Sea, also known in Japan as Nagi no Asukara is a twenty-six episode anime that depicts two very separate sets of people. The ones that live on land, and the ones that live below it, deep in the sea. Released in October of 2013, this series is nearly pushing a decade old now. in spite of the age of the series, the show has a lot of charm.

Before younger anime fans crinkle their noses at me, trust me, this is an anime that can stand the test of time. Even by today’s standards, the anime looks and sounds wonderful. At least for a slice-of-life anime, it remains in my memory as perhaps one of the most compelling shows of its time. I return to it often enough because of the solid characters and the universe the story is set in.

That’s odd for me, considering that it is a slice-of-life series typically aren’t the types of anime that I settle into to re-watch often. Deep down at its core, this is a compelling series worth your time.

This anime boasts stunning visuals, and it can be praised for its somewhat curious plot. Neither of these elements falter even in the slightest. In a world where humanity once lived under the sea before adapting to live on land, the series follows four students that still live underwater. These days, they need to adapt to their new school on land, and that’s something they don’t always do well with.

Navigating these elements are central to the plot of these two communities coming together. The basic setup allows these characters to face emotional and cultural conflicts that surround their new scholastic environment. Some issues are large, some are small, but they’re all interesting to ponder.

For example, being too dry can agitate the skin of the characters that live under water. They need to take time to get themselves wet in saltwater to keep that agitation from happening. They’re looked down on for this, and those that live on land aren’t quite sure what to do about the sea dwelling people. The conflicts are brief, but very well done.

There’s a distinct emphasis on climate change too, and this shakes things up quite a bit later in the series. You’d think that might be a bit of a narrative problem, but it’s far from that. The climate change angle is neither preachy or ham-fisted, suiting the overall plot and character dynamics rather nicely over all.

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The main focus is clearly on the character relationships, just like many slice-of-life series. Honestly, that’s where things take a turn for the strange and somewhat melodramatic. Unrequited love is a core theme of the series, for interesting better and for annoying worst.

It’s hard to root for some of the couples on occasion, but thankfully it does tend to be rare. There are moments that after a while it all begins to feel a bit dragged out. That being said, generally these romantically inclined and tension filled scenes don’t often overstay their welcome. Even when they do, I’d say this is a minor nitpick at best for me.

I tend to find that A Lull in the Sea plays to other strengths, and more than makes up for any romantic goofiness that might fall flat. It will ask interesting questions about the passage of time, and what it means to disrespect the ways of nature. It’s neither too heavy for a slice-of-life, nor too dull as some of these types of shows can be.

With the story itself being cleanly and very concisely split into two distinct arcs, A Lull in the Sea adequately fills a weekend of binge watching without an issue at all. If you enjoy the slice-of-life genre, this is one I’d say you should try to watch just once and see if you like it too.

If you want to watch the series, you can do it for free over on Crunchyroll at the time of this post. If you want a proper in-depth review, particularly of the first 13 episodes, you can check out this post written by Lesley Aeschliman

This has been Kernook of The Demented Ferrets, where stupidity is at its finest and level grinds are par for the course. I’ll see you next time.

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