Shipping in Nagi no Asukara
Note: This post contains spoilers.
Nagi no Asukara has a huge cast. Since romance is one of the main aspect that the show covers, that means the anime features elements like a “love nonagon” – far more chaotic than any other love triangle you may came across before.
However, this large character cast where everyone is interconnected with each other through love really reinforces the ability to ship. Shipping, as we know, comes from relationship, and it involves us putting two characters in an intimate relationships with each other. One can show their support in shipping the main, canon couples, or to ship pairings which ultimately did not happen in the anime. So in an anime like NagiAsu with such capability, which pairings do I ship?
First off, one of the possible pairings which the anime never led to is Hikari x Miuna. I’m totally for Hikari x Miuna. The feelings she had shown us, and how she tackles it, just seem so straightforward, so genuine and powerful. There’s also the fact that Miuna > Manaka in terms of characters, there, I admitted it.
Wait, I totally forgot Hikari is technically Miuna’s uncle. But it’s love! Love will conquer all obstacles! Be it forbidden or not, the power of love will prevail. Sadly, this pairing isn’t the chosen one at the end, and Hikari x Manaka ended up being the legitimate, canon couple, as if Hikari’s passionate emotions towards Manaka and his platonic interactions with Miuna aren’t already any indication. By the second cour, even without Manaka there, we know Hikari will still love her regardless; we know from the get-go that Miuna’s love is one sided, and the way our point of views switched to hers by the second cour just augmented the authenticity of that unrequited love. I guess this is where shipping comes in – helping us re-imagine another pairing which the anime does not choose to make explicit.
Also, I would like to add a noteworthy fact that NagiAsu did some things right with it’s timeskip, even if some may not agree with me. The timeskip reinforces NagiAsu’s main thematic exploration – the concept of change. Furthermore, it gives more focus on characters like Sayu and Miuna, and ultimately, gave them more fighting chances as they were pretty much the same ages as their crushes. It’s through this timeskip that I found my love for this shipping – Hikari x Miuna.
This timeskip has huge impact not just them, but on a lot of the other characters in the cast too, most notably – Tsumugu and Chisaki to grow up, the latter, unwillingly so while the rest of her fellow sea people were in hibernation. Before that, there were hints, but I was shipping for Kaname x Chisaki rather than Tsumugu x Chisaki. The timeskip completely changes that, I can feel Tsumugu and Chisaki’s genuine, raw emotions they had for each other, despite their hesitations. It had been five years, and while Chisaki may love Tsumugu, she never pursued it, as she was still tied to her past, and since the feelings of her love for Hikari was still clinging on her. Tsumugu is aware of her insecurities. Although loving her, he chose not to pursue as well just to be considerate, being the gentleman that he is. It’s both their love they had of each other, yet, their hesitations, guilt and insecurities that just make them one of the most emotional, heart-wrenching couple in my opinion, and I’m actually happy Tsumugu x Chisaki becomes a canon by the end.
Again, what makes this possible is the timeskip, which propelled such insecurities into Tsumugu and especially Chisaki in the first place. If the timeskip didn’t exist, I would root for Kaname x Chisaki instead, it just seemed like the most possible outcome at that point. Chisaki never gave him an answer though, and seeing as though, Tsumugu’s the next she’s the most affectionate with, after Hikari, Kaname just never stood a chance. Poor Kaname.
NagiAsu just seems to give off an odd power of shipping. In fact, if you followed the MAL discussions, you can easily find so many, many “shipping wars” discussions. Perhaps, the assumption bolster the emotional attachment of shipped pairings, especially so if they ended up being canon.
So which couple do you ship in NagiAsu? As for me, I will be here shipping my Hikari x Miuna, and no one can stop meh. Miuna is BEST GIRL.