Between the Sky and Sea episode 5: Questionable Life Decisions

How I feel watching this at this point

Does that post title refer to the contents of the episode or my decision to keep blogging this thing? Why not both?! While not quite as utterly good will destroying as last week this episode’s trajectory didn’t change a whole lot really. On the plus side it saw the return of the show’s distinctive style of extremely inefficient problem solving, so that was fun at least.

To its credit the show did opt to focus on one of the previously sidelined girls this week, placing Makoto in the center stage for a bit… sadly it did this by having her almost drown, which somehow caused Namino to start fighting with her. I’m not sure why it’s been decided that Namino is now just going to fight with a different teammate each week but that sure is what happened again. She’s not quite as attention stealing this time around and manages to actually patch things up slightly before the episode ends, which is a first and a change for the better, but “consistently butting heads with the entire cast” isn’t a way to make a character likeable. I get the feeling they’re trying to suggest that she’s just that passionate about space fishing but once again the fact they haven’t actually done any space fishing since ep1 undermines that.

“So I decided to take up fishing”

Weekly Namino series takeover aside the majority of the episode focused on Makoto (surprisingly quickly) overcoming her previously unmentioned fear of water, and also establishing her somewhat incongruous backstory. As it turns out she’s the daughter of a famous swordsmith but her father refuses to accept her as his successor because she’s a girl. As every human being in this setting is apparently obligated to solve problems in an incredibly inefficient and meandering way  she decided to prove herself to her dad by entering a completely unrelated industry that just happens to also be sexist. An industry directly tied to water, which she’s scared of. What a good plan.

Luckily this phobia is dealt with pretty swiftly thanks to a single afternoon of learning to swim and an incredibly contrived situation forcing her to swim in order to rescue a drowning friend. So that’s that character trait resolved forever I guess. While it’s a good thing that the show is (finally) trying to establish its characters a little more it’s sort of falling into a pattern of bringing up some space fishing adjacent weakness only to  resolve it so quickly that it feels like there was no reason to include it in the first place (except as an excuse for Namino to be awful of course).

The show remains in a rut more or less, and I’m increasingly not sure it’ll ever get out of it, but who knows, maybe if they ever get back to the absurdity of the space fishing things might pick up. Sadly next week doesn’t look like that either.

Between the Sky and Sea episode 5: Questionable Life Decisions

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