From a conversation about work culture to watching cute penguins jump into the water, The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 19 was back at the familiar route previously explored by the show. Are we approaching the “too-familiar” territory? Find out in this review!
The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 19 Overview
The Aquatope on White Sand is the latest anime by the Anime Studio P.A. Works, previously known for producing critically and commercially acclaimed anime like Angel Beats and Another. Toshiya Shinohara directs the series, a director whose career so far has been intrinsically linked with P.A. works, having previously directed Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara and Nagi no Asu kara for the studio before. It is an original series by P.A. works, which means it is not based on a previously existing property, such as a Manga or a Light Novel.
If you want to know how I felt about the eighteenth episode of the season, or if you want to catch up on it, check out my review of it here. This episode is also known in original Japanese as Shiroi Suna no Aquatope Episode 19.
– The Aquatope of White Sand Episode 19 Review does not contain spoilers –
The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 19 Review- Plot and Characters
Nobody in their right minds would call P.A. Works a bad anime studio. Not with their extensive history of putting out some absolutely beautiful shows like Shirobako and Angel Beats. They have the tendency to be too ambitious for their own good, however, as a common complaint among many of their works is that they seem to lack in the substance department despite looking like an absolute dream.
Take Aquatope, for example. When the series started, it demonstrated tremendous potential as a story about running away from your failures and finding acceptance and beauty on a faraway island as part of a magical aquarium. The show had a fantastic run of form right up until the magical aquarium was no more, and everyone was left confused about the future direction of the show. The show’s main conflict was already over. What else is there to watch? And for 12 more episodes?
That’s when the Tingaarla arc started, and despite having some great moments here and there, it can be construed as a little disappointing. First, the show baited us by not mentioning Fuuka in the promo, then brought her back anyways for some reason, and is now seemingly stuck in an endless loop of the aquarium having events. The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 19 didn’t feel like a new episode of the show. It felt like something you had already seen a while ago.
Gama-Gama was magical, and as that part of the story ended, the show lost its magic as well. There doesn’t seem to be a direction for the story to go towards. Events by and large seem useless because an endgame isn’t visible. The show is revisiting old plot points over and over again with diminishing returns. The progress is crawling at a snail’s pace, and nothing has changed since the start other than the character interactions.
An unchanged The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 19 is still a great show, as its slice of life elements make it worth watching despite them not being as important. I still enjoy watching it every week as it airs, and it leaves me feeling great when it ends. However, as it has demonstrated, it can be so much more than what it is right now. It used to be masterful and surreal in how beautiful it was, visually and thematically. Right now, it is just treading water waiting for the end.
The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 19 brought Luka, Fuuka’s understudy, back to organise an event at the aquarium. We revisited the same plot device of Fuuka getting offered a place in show business and her not being interested in the offer. The whole episode was still fun to watch, and there were some sweet moments here and there, but it all felt familiar, as if we had been there before because we have. The show has started to stagnate, and that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 19 Review- Art and Music
I feel similarly about the animation as I felt about the plot. When we were in Gama-Gama, the surroundings weren’t quite as sprawling as at Tingaarla, but there was a certain magic to the show. The lighting, the beaches, the marine life, everything looked natural and beautiful. Tingaarla looks clean and is huge but looks lifeless despite everything. The situation isn’t helped by the animators clearly putting less effort in animating motion and interaction as they used to.
While the music in The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 19 still remains awesome, it has been 19 episodes of the same OSTs every episode. It would be good to have some new background themes and insert songs in there for once. Come on, P.A. Works. There are only a few episodes left. Let’s end this thing as it started- beautifully, with a large amount of magic.
The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 19 was the first time the show felt stale. The pace needs to be picked up as we head towards the end, for this show deserves it.
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