I’m always happy when an anime series manages to be totally fresh and original, rather than yet another moe harem show about awkward young people who “have few friends” yet somehow enjoy a richer social life than I ever had in high school. One standout anime in the new season is Nagi no Asukara (“Calm Sea From Tomorrow”), which can be described as Ponyo meets Tari Tari. It’s an alternate world where some humans live in the sea and some on land, the two groups having separated many years ago. When their junior high school closes, four students from the sea village must attend school on the land, which leads to friction between the two groups, especially when romantic feelings between sea-girl Manaka and land-boy Tsumugu start to bloom. The world revealed in the show is absolutely fascinating, something only Hayao Miyazaki could have conceived of, though don’t bother asking why the under-the-sea world has things like musical instruments and people drinking sake out of cups despite already being under water. Because it’s an original anime and not based on an existing manga or novel series, it’s getting a lot of attention by fans, and hopefully we’ll get a strong ending to the show like we did with AnoHana.
I’m enjoying the new anime Nagi no Asukara a lot.