We have reached the last episode before the finale as The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 23 takes us through the ends of a few journeys. Was it a pleasant experience? Let’s find out in this review!
The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 23 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. 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 twenty-second episode of the season, or if you want to catch up on it, check out my review of it here. In original Japanese, this episode is also known as Shiroi Suna no Aquatope Episode 23.
– The Aquatope of White Sand Episode 23 Review does not contain spoilers –
The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 23 Review- The Penultimate outing
It is the second to last episode of the show, and we finally know the meaning of the word “Aquatope”. Well, no. That’s a lie. We still don’t know the exact meaning of that completely meaningless word. We do know what it is about, though. It is simultaneously what we all thought and not at all what we thought. I don’t believe this constitutes a spoiler, so here goes- it is the name of a new facility that the director of Gama Gama wants to build to preserve marine life.
It is predictable in the sense that it was obvious that it would be something related to an aquarium and marine animals. However, it is still unexpected because the environmental, marine loving stance is somewhat new to the story. While there were always some elements in Kukuru’s and other workers’ efforts to help the creatures, the last episode was the first time it was as explicit and in your face as it is.
While one can’t help but feel that it was introduced to tie up a few loose ends of the show, including a major one of Fuuka, it makes sense with the tone and feel of the show and is a perfectly logical direction to take the show in. It would have been better if we knew Fuuka had an inclination towards it a few episodes before we knew, but what we got still makes enough sense not to insult our intelligence.
Another hamfisted storyline in The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 23 was Kukuru being confused between her marketing and attendant positions. This bit did insult our intelligence because I don’t get how being a marketing paper-pusher would ever be better than being an attendant who works directly to help animals under a better boss, I might add. To think that Kukuru even had a choice is preposterous, which is even more baffling by the end of the episode.
However, despite some moments that didn’t make much sense and others that felt rushed, The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 23 still felt magical. There was an air of finality about everything that made every moment much heavier than it would have otherwise been, and the swimming hallucinations that Gama Gama was famous for even made a special return. All the moments that made one fall in love with the show in the first place were present here, which was fantastic to see.
The relationship between Kukuru and Fuuka was explored again and formed the backbone of The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 23. While there was some definite Yuri-baiting going around at the start of the show and in the promotional material, towards the end we reached a very happy equilibrium with those two. Their bond was lovely to see, and the way they cared for each other and helped each other grow was a highlight of the show.
The music and animation of The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 23 was also phenomenal, cementing this episode as one of the best of the series. The beautiful starry nights, the amazingly detailed water bodies and creatures, and the ethereal soundtrack backing it all was fantastic. I’ll be sad to see this show go, for it provided a lot of people a lot of comfort with its serenity and simplicity. Let’s say a proper goodbye next week and enjoy the final episode as much as we can!
The Aquatope on White Sand Episode 23 was magical and wonderful despite being slightly flawed. That sentence might also describe the show perfectly, but we can only know that once we watch the final episode next week.
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