Umi Monogatari 2 kind-of sort-of shed some light on the questions I had after the first episode. Kind-of. Sort-of. In episode 1, I was confused because the episode had started off light-hearted, slow, and slice-of-life-y and then got a bit darker and more unfamiliar. I was expecting episode 2 to either return to the light, slice-of-life style or take us in a darker direction… and instead it did neither and completely became a magical girl show.
On the surface (no pun intended) Umi Monogatari looked like an Aria spin-off almost. For obvious starters, it’s directed by Junichi Sato (Aria, helped on Sketchbook, Kaleido Star, Magic User’s Club, Princess Tutu), has some focus on beautiful background art (Shichiro Kobayashi is art director (Simoun, Angel’s Egg, Ashita no Joe 2, Berserk, Detroit Metal City, Figure 17, Castle of Cagliostro, Melody of Oblivion, REVOLUTIONARY GIRL UTENA, Space Adventure Cobra) and he’s definitely one of the best – I talked about him more in my Simoun review), has quiet, soulful piano songs by composer Ken Muramatsu(Kurenai and Sketchbook), and some extremely familiar character personalities. However, Umi Monogatari seems to be hiding a slightly darker card up it’s sleeve.