Director: Toshiya Shinohara
Anime Adaptation: Mari Okada
Studio: P. A. Works
U. S. Distributor: NIS America
U. S. Release Date: Premium Ed. 6/30/2015, Standard DVD Ed. 7/14/2015
Format: Blu-ray / DVD / 615 Minutes / 26 Episodes
Genre: Slice of Life, Fantasy
Age Rating: PG 13
Overall Personal Rating: A
Due to the closure of their middle school, four students from the sea, Manaka Mukaido, Hikari Sakishima, Chisaki Hiradaira, and Kaname Isaki must attend middle school on the land, despite the growing tension between the land and sea people. While getting used to their new lives, these four and their new friend from the land, Tsumugu Kihara, plan to put on an Ofunehiki, a festival traditionally organized by the land and the sea people, in an attempt to create peace between the two villages.
Five years have passed after the Ofunehiki and Shioshishio’s hibernation. Itaru and Akari now have a son, Akira. Sayu and Miuna, now 14, attend Mihama Middle School. All the while, Chisaki continues to worry about the whereabouts of Hikari and the others while living with Tsumugu and his grandfather. One day, an unexpected discovery leads everyone to revisit the events of the Ofunehiki and unlock the mysteries lying deep beneath the sea…
For a great many fans anime is known for its Mecha (Big Robots) or Fan Service (Big Boobs) series that take up all the fresh air in the marketing and fan dome. For me there are the little Slice of Life series that really make the art form shine. A Lull in the Sea is a shinning example of the genre and along with other P. A. Works stand at the top to prove that bitter sweet love stories can stir even the coldest of people.
A Lull in the Sea takes a somewhat simple fantasy and idea and creates a rich love story that not only transcends time but also the line between reality and a world that only exists in dreams. The story allows the viewer to relive many of the same emotions that come with the simple coming of age that a 14 year old might experience and the twist in some reminds us that maybe we never out grow these emotions.
Because A Lull in the Sea is 26 episodes long it allows some rather detailed character development that both helps and hinders the pacing to the series. As I moved through the first 8 episodes I was beginning to wonder if maybe they had lost their focus and were going to just give us a pretty anime with a rather bland story line much the way a series like Clannad played out. Although, once the plot really began to develop things to a much different path and the real richness of the story began to come out.
Overall Grade: A
The fact that A Lull in the Sea ends up making you feel very good about these people saves it from the fatal blow that many other anime have met. I don’t want to give anything away, but I was very please with how the series wrapped it all up. All too often the end of a series can feel hurried and allow way too many loose ends, but A Lull in the Sea does a great job of letting us walk way with a full belly and a warm smile on our face.
NIS did a interesting thing with the release of the series this time, They released the Premium Edition only 2 weeks before the released the standard DVD editions. Now you might find the price to be high, but if it were other distributors I have a feeling we might even see the retail price even higher.
If you are looking for a series that capture your imagination give you a few tears along the way and then allow you to walk away satisfied then A Lull in the Sea is something you really need to see. I did watch some of the series in English and Japanese and can say the English Dub is well done and stays true to the series. This one is winner the same way AnoHana, Tari Tari or Angel Beats! are.