Episode 14, “Penguin Chaser” is, in some ways, a callback to Fuuka’s preliminary days at Gama Gama. We begin with the place we left off, with Fuuka again in Okinawa, declaring her intent to work at Tingaara. However, it seems that she will not be working in PR, however fairly as an attendant within the Aquatic Animals division, which locations her in actual opposition to Kukuru who’s nonetheless caught in PR. Where this can go is not instantly clear, although given every part that occurs in episode 14, I’m prepared to guess it is someplace good, or no less than might be by the point the penultimate episode and finale roll round.
I stated that this was a callback, and I do imply it: lots of the entrance half of episode 14 is spent getting Fuuka settled into her position as an attendant answerable for the penguins, in addition to simply type of usually reuniting Fuuka with the forged, each outdated and new. Thankfully, issues aren’t as disastrous as her first day with Gama Gama’s penguins in episode 2, although Chiyu creates a distinct sequence of worries for Fuuka. Yet this is not the Fuuka of the primary half of the sequence: this can be a younger girl who’s extra assured, and positively prepared to push herself for the higher.
Truth be advised, I wasn’t anticipating Fuuka to be reunited with Kukuru this quickly – I had envisioned spending an episode or two together with her again in Tokyo earlier than her return. Still, having her again this quickly, however together with her and Kukuru’s office roles flipped, is fascinating. Fuuka and Kukuru at the moment are competent younger ladies, however as this episode exhibits, they clearly want one another’s help to develop of their careers. And up to now, The aquatope on white sand appears dedicated in creating these younger ladies into fully-fledged professionals, even when it’d take its time getting there. That’s half the enjoyable of watching this sequence: it is the build-up, and the gradual, gradual growth of its two leads and their relationship, in order that when issues get dynamic and emotional, they hit like a truck.
Now, it is time I admit one thing: I do suppose that, by and enormous, The aquatope on white sand will not be a yuri sequence; fairly, it’s a sequence that, equally to Yuri!!! on Ice, is not explicitly about queerness, however positions sapphic feeling and emotionality as highly effective, pure, and at occasions, extremely lovely. That stated, I believe that studying queerness as a platonic component into the sequence is simply as precious, which is what I’m leaning into extra as a result of… let’s be actual, there is not any heterosexual rationalization for lots of the physicality between Fuuka and Kukuru, and that is okay! Quite a lot of platonic friendships between female of us are kinda sapphic, involving loads of touching and intimacy, which is what Fuuka and Kukuru exhibit as they each proceed to settle into their roles. While it is to be anticipated, I’m glad Fuuka and Kukuru are nonetheless such nice associates, as their friendship is actually lovely to witness.
All in all, episode 14 continues the actually good emotions from episode 13, reassuring viewers that sure certainly, aquatope stays as sturdy a present as ever in its exploration of this new part of Fuuka and Kukura’s lives. While not probably the most plotty of episodes, it’s a stable demonstration of each how a lot the women have grown and the way far they nonetheless should go as we settle into Tingaara and the second half of the present. Ultimately, I’m thrilled to see the place this sequence goes, and advocate that should you fell off the aquatope bandwagon someday round, say… episode 5, 6, or 7, that is the time to get again on, although I additionally advise watching these episodes you missed as a result of the present is nice, and truthfully, completely price being in your watchlist this Fall season.
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Mercedez is a JP-EN localization editor & proofreader/QA, popular culture critic, and a journalist who additionally writes for Anime Feminist, where she’s a staff editor, and But Why Tho?. She’s additionally a frequent visitor on the AniFem Podcast, Chatty AF. When she’s not writing, yow will discover her on her Twitter or on her Instagram the place she’s at all times as much as one thing.