Pieces: Frozen in Time

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Back in 2013, I was in the midst of my first year in university and my re-entry into the world of anime. From an outside perspective, this wasn’t greatest combination for my first foray into the world of post- secondary education, but anime turned out to be something like a saving grace for me. It gave something to talk about with the friends that I had made the summer before and allowed me to get close to a person that I would later become very involved with. Around then, anime was great and we all had a great time, goofing off and hanging out as we did. But I knew that things couldn’t stay the way they were. Sure it was first year but time was passing fast and if we continued the way we did, we’d all definitely be screwed. It was also around that time that I watched “Nagi no Asukara”, otherwise known as, “Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea”.

Nagi no Asukara is a 2013 anime produced by studio P.A. Works. It was an anime original project featuring the infamous Mari Okada on board as the writer. The story of Nagi-Asu is a little convoluted and will take far too much time to explain so I’ll just go over some important details (a little googling can fill in the rest). Nagi-Asu at its heart is a romance story and one that is chock full of melo-drama (an Okada trademark). It’s a beautiful show with a large and colorful cast of characters. The situations and conflicts that the characters encounter (and there are a lot of them) all echo the central theme of moving forward.

While watching the show, there was one character in particular that I attached myself to quite quickly. Her personality and conflict in the series resonated with me immensely at the time and I found myself loving her to bits by the end. Her name? Chisaki Hiradaira.

 

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Spoiler warning from here on out, folks. You have been warned~

Chisaki’s conflict came about from her love for her childhood friends and a dependency on her friends for stability in her life. Everything would be okay if she maintained these bonds and she did everything she could to keep it that way – even if that meant giving up the things she loved. She knew very well that, try as she might, things were inevitably going to change and they did. The small shifts toward instability grew after the introduction of Tsumugu and romantic affection became the focus of everyone in the group. These were the cracks in the foundation of her friendship and consequently herself which then blew wide open after the time skip mid-way through the season.

Post time-skip, Chisaki had aged well beyond her friends and made a life for herself separate from them. But she was chained to the town by the possibility of their return and still held onto those bonds tightly. Her little story of moving forward was something that I enjoyed a lot and echoed a feeling that I had around that time in 2013.

My first year of university started out pretty easy. I had chosen some easy courses for my first semester and I flew through them. Relying almost completely on the skills that I had built up in high school, I did well and still found a lot of time to hang out and play games with my friends. Looking back at it now, we probably played for a couple hours every night. My second semester of university however handed me my first failure and subsequently kicked my stupid ass into gear.

This shift in my priorities came quickly after I decided that I needed to put in a lot more effort into school, but that meant that I needed to cut down on the time that I spent gaming and that meant cutting down on time with my friends. The decision I made to dedicate time for school was a minor one in hindsight, but at the time I felt as if I was standing at a crossroad. If I suddenly disappeared, what would happen to bonds that I held so close? Would my friends join me in what I considered to be “moving forward”?

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Fortunately for me, things ended well. I ended the semester with decent marks and to this day, I keep in close contact with my friends. Recently though, and the reason that this post even exists right now is because I feel like I’m at another crossroad. University’s coming to an end and it feels as if we’re all at different stages in life. I’ve been working as an intern for a while now and the mismatch in our schedules have seriously reduced the amount of time we can spend together. I can’t stay up super late anymore and I have a lot less time for anime now. I’ve found myself in a similar predicament as in 2013 and I have to wonder if I’ve even changed since then – if any of us has. Its remarkable how even after 4 years, the ideas in Nagi no Asukara remain relevant to my life. Time goes on no matter how much you beg and cry and moving forward is both necessary and inevitable.

I don’t know if things will stay the same and a part of me hopes that it doesn’t. As much as I love stability in life, for my friends and myself, things need to change – and quickly.


So I’ve decided to keep writing little personal things like the ones in my 12 days series. It’s a format that I quite enjoy and it’s almost therapeutic. I don’t think that these will be a regular thing, but who knows what the future holds (I sure as hell don’t). Any who, I hope you enjoyed this little window into Carriage’s trivial worries. And as always, thanks for reading.

Defining Slice-of-Life

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I had high hopes going into this season of anime. While I knew that the winter shows would probably pale in comparison to the awesome anime from fall, I figured that I’d still find a lot of enjoyment from this season. This presumption of mine came from the fact that there seemed to be a lot of slice-of-life shows, a genre that I generally enjoy a lot. As for the result? Well, those that followed my now discontinued weekly impressions posts would know that this season was mostly a flop for me. As it turns out, there isn’t a one-to-one correlation between the supposed genre of the show and my enjoyment. Obviously there’s a lot of problems with this line of thinking but I think my biggest mistake was the over application of the term “slice of life”.

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Winter 2017 – Week 7: Questionable Content

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With the rising temperatures and sunshine coinciding with my first long weekend in about two months, I was looking forward to some good anime this week! Unfortunately the universe has to balance out happiness somehow right? Anime this week was definitely not fun with Maid Dragon’s unexpectedly weird episode, Scum’s Wish’s seriously uncomfortable episode, and really mediocre episodes for the rest. I don’t really like to write about my unhappiness with shows since it’s not fun to think about or to hear about if you actually liked the episode. That being said, I’m still holding on to some of my determination to put this thing out until the end of the season.

So without further ado, let’s get this over with.

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Winter 2017 – Week 6: Touru’s Wish

 

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Tuesday is here and it’s once again time for me to talk about the stuff I’ve watched this week! This week’s been a good one for anime and a couple shows have really given me a lot to talk about (although it is just the usual stand-outs). On that note, I haven’t been super happy with the content of this weekly impressions thing so starting with this post, I’ll be changing up a few things. For a majority of the shows I’m watching there really isn’t much to talk about and otherwise it’s usually negative criticism. So this week I’ll spotlight the shows of which I have something substantial to talk about and leave the others towards the end or just leave them out.

So without further ado, let’s talk anime.

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Winter 2017 – Week 5: Kanna-tastic

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I’m writing this one off the back of my update post and I have to say, the reception to that one has really reignited my passion to write! Thanks again to everyone for all the support. That being said, it’s been a couple days now and I’ve certainly been brought back down (I really need start writing these things on the weekend). Any who, appropriately enough, the anime this week seems to have taken a bit of a nose dive for me. Scum’s Wish and Maid Dragon had good episodes but nothing that’s lived up to my expectations thus far, and the rest of the shows felt mediocre at best. Only three more months ‘til Spring-season, but this is what we’ve got. So enough chit-chat, let’s break it down.

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Update: Directions and Rambling

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So it’s been a little while since my last update post and I’ve been thinking a lot lately – about the blog, and where to go with it, and what-not. Things have been a little quiet over here. I’ve been putting out weekly impressions posts but nothing that I’d consider to be a “real post” – which is weird to say (more on this later). I’ve been itching to write something a little more substantial for a while now, but I haven’t the time to actually work on it…. Which is one of the many excuses that I gave myself to not put out anything other than the weekly stuff. Like I said, I’ve been thinking a lot about a lot of things and I kind of want to put it to words. It’s easier to verbalize in parts so I’ll break it down into sections. But be warned there’s a lot of text and rambling, so I’ll probably put in a short summary (i.e. an actual update) at the bottom.

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Winter 2017 – Week 4: Highs and Lows

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We’re now about a fourth of the way through the season and it looks like we’re in it for the long haul. The rest of the episode threes came in this week and those episodes for their respective shows were actually pretty strong. Continuing on with the trend, I found Demi-chan and Gabriel Drop-out pretty weak but the rest of the shows have been good. I’d love it if I got five shows to look forward to every week, but what can you do.

Any who, let’s talk anime.

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Winter 2017 – Week 3: Dropping like Flies

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Another week’s passed and we’ve got another round of anime to look at. We’re beginning to hit the fabled quality-drop episode threes and unsurprisingly those shows felt a little weaker than the others this week. I’ve also decided to drop a couple more shows, not because of lack of interest, but because of time. This is hard enough as is and it turns out that I’ve got less free time to write than I thought.

Anyways, let’s talk anime.

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