I mentioned before that Nagi no Asukara was beginning to resemble Hanasaku Iroha in its storytelling approach, that is, letting big things subtly grow from little moments, but episode four strikes me of being more like its lesser PA Works cousin Tari Tari, where they try to do the same thing but the characters aren’t interesting enough to handle it, and the stories they use in each arc feel too melodramatic. We’ve got both problems here, not throughout, but here and there. For instance, Chisaki’s lament that she wasn’t allowed to protect Hikari not only came out of nowhere, but made me think “Who cares?” The creators haven’t done anything for Chisaki to make her interesting.
And while the “protecting” theme everyone was batting around this episode worked well–just about everyone does it somewhere, from Manaka protecting Hikari to Chisaki protecting the schoolgirls to Miuna protecting Sayu–the actual story about the statue being vandalized felt a bit tawdry, or maybe it’s because the bigotry everyone in this show has to a certain extent puts everything in such an ugly light, even if people make up and get a little smarter by the end of the episode. Then there are ridiculous bits, which previous PA Works shows could work in well and at the perfect time that here make me roll my eyes, i.e., Itaru’s sheer stupidity in trying to dive down to the underwater city with no experience (maybe because it also makes me wonder why there aren’t more tourists in scuba gear coming to visit. It’s so pretty down there). Well, it’s hard to do this sort of thing well, and it’s still early.
Galilei Donna 4 continues its ridiculous story. Everyone’s after those moon drawings. Anna takes one look at that telescope, unscrews the top, and what do we have here?! And that was while I was still marveling that Hozuki could actually build and fit that entire spacecraft, down to the kitchen with five plates, cups, etc, not only by herself but with no one else noticing. Then there was Materazzi’s extremely long wait while the girls discuss what to do, discover the drawing, argue what to do some more, with enough time for Kazuki to leave in another huff … What was he doing all that time? Not to mention that Materazzi and that pirate give up so quickly after the Galilei is freed. When annoying us with clumsy plotting, the show annoyed me by making every character save Hozuki annoying as hell. Anna won’t shut up about Galileo and how honored she is to be hanging out with his heirs, we’re shown time after time that Kazuki is very unhappy … It’s as if they have to repeat everything in case we didn’t get it the first time. Trust us, we got it.
I was expecting a big fight in Monogatari SS 14(17), the bang-up conclusion to the last arc, but since that won’t happen until graduation, whenever that will be, a big event in itself, the show moves on to the new arc and its conversations. First, Araragi walks home with Mayoi to pick up her backpack, and the subject is along the lines of whether she’s a still a snail, or a slug, then switches, upon their arrival and the retrieval of the backpack, to how much Araragi disgusts her. The wordplay gets more intense when the oddity-which-really-isn’t-in-fact-you-can’t-even-see-it shows up and appears (ha!) to chase them for a while, stuff about how their minds can’t register what is there because it can’t be seen, yet they’re fleeing as fast as they can. Ononoki shows up, to her own surprise, rescues them, and now we have a talk about Araragi always depending on others, which has a grain of truth to it, but only a grain, and how hot he looks without his shirt. Oh, she also kisses him. Shinobou shows up and he kisses HER. I forget why. We do learn that Shinobou’s seen this unseen thing before, but I’m not sure that’s going to be much of a help. Oh, and Araragi tries to peek up Mayoi’s skirt, but you expect that. Typical Monogatari arc-opener.