Aria the Animation
Length: 13 Episodes
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy
Plot: come and observe the life of Akari, an undine working for the Aria Company in Neo Venezia, on the planet aqua. Aqua is what’s formerly known as Mars, after humans managed to pull up water from the surface and make the planet one that of water. Earth, known as Man-Home, has become an almost impossible place to live.
Akari came to Aqua a year and a half ago and started working as an undine, or someone who steers gondolas. Join her as the makes new friends and learns more about Aqua. That’s really it. It’s the ultimate slice of life anime. There’s no suspenseful plot, you watch it to observe the lives of those in it.
So that you don’t get confused by what’s going on sometimes, I’ll explain a bit about Aqua.
There are four key jobs that are essential to Aqua. They are the Undines, Sylphs, Moles, and Salamanders. Undines are responsible for piloting gondolas, and there are three main companies – Aria Company, Himeya, and Orange Planet. They transport many people from place to place, and also serve a s a major source of tourist income. There are three levels to being an undine – the two apprentice levels, which are Pair and Single, and Primas, who are the professionals. You can differentiate between the ranks by the gloves on their hands – a pair has two gloves, a single one, and a prima none. It is the want of all Pairs and Singles to become a Prima, because they can then take around customers on their own and mentor other pairs and singles.
Sylphs are the package deliverers. While there still is a ‘traditional’ mail system, most of the mail is done through the sylphs, who ride around on hover-bikes transporting the goods.
Moles and Salamanders make Aqua inhabitable however. Moles live underground, and they control the planet’s gravity. Its very important to do so, because the strength of gravity is about 1/3 that of earth, which would make things very uncomfortable for humans to live on. Salamanders all live in the sky, in a hovering system known as Wikijima. They are responsible for controlling Aqua’s climate, and making it habitable. The reason that they are called salamanders is that Mars’ nature by default is to be very cold – therefore, the salamanders main job is to make sure that there is enough heat in the atmosphere to survive. That being said, there are still the four traditional seasons.
Analysis- Contrary to what you might think, its actually a good anime. When I first heard of it, I thought ‘this is going to be really stupid. It’s a show about gondolas for crying out loud.’ after being prodded by a friend, I decided to watch it.
Whats great about this anime is that, as I said before, it truly is a slice of life anime. Its very calming to watch this and become immersed in the characters lives. The characters are instantly lovable, and each have distinct personalities just like many people in the real world have, not just the cookie cutter personalities that you find in many anime and manga. These characters are all real people. I think that that is what make this anime so great.
My only downside to it is that it is slow paced. Because theres no plot from episode to episode, there isn’t a lot of suspense contained there. Sometimes it was a force of will to watch them when I was bored, when I could have gone for something with a little more action. This anime you probably should watch when you’re content with everything and you’re not just watching anime because you’re bored and have nothing else to do.
Akari: She is a very loving girl, and also very innocent. She takes everything sentimentally, and feels obligated to help others at most chances. However, she is prone to panic if something starts to go wrong. She is a single for the Aria Company.
Trademark Phrase: Ehh??
Aika: Heir to Himeya she takes everything seriously. She isn't one for touchy-touchy feelings, but if theres someone that she really likes, then she becomes pseudo-obsessive. She treats everything as though it were a contest, and as such mimics her instructor, Akira. She has a crush on Alicia She is a single for Himeya.
Trademark Phrase: Hazukashi serufu kinshi! [Embarrassing remarks aren't allowed!]
Alice: A prodigy undine at Orange Planet, she is a naïve, closed off girl. She treats everything apathetically, and first time that we see her, she doesn't know how to smile. Because she is a prodigy, she was treated differently by the girls in her school class. She is the only pair of the group, yet she is as talented.
Trademark Phrase: adding Dekkai to everything [which means something along the lines of big, extreme, very]
Their mentors are the Three Water Fairies, or those who are said to be the greatest undines that are currently working.
Alicia: She is a very light natured girl, much like Akari. She loves people, and she never sees the bad side to anyone. She's best at her social skills, and as such is much wanted by the tourists. She is a prima for the Aria Company
Trademark Phrase: Ara Ara, *giggle [Ara means My, so she's saying My My]
Akari: Much like her apprentice, she deals with everything seriously. However, beneath it all, she's really nice – the rough exterior is her way of trying to properly train whoever is underneath her. However, even with that, she still has a mean streak, which is apparent whenever someone insults her, however jokingly she meant it. She's best at controlling the gondola out of anyone. She is a prima for Himeya.
Trademark Phrase: Unfortunately, I can't find one.
Athena: She is a big ditz head. She is clumsy, silent, and prone to making mistakes. However, she is remarkably perceptive, and helps usually from the shadows. She doesn't make much of an appearance, so I can't say much more. Her best skill is that of canzone, or singing [which, is quite frankly, quite amazing]
Trademark Phrase: Again, can't find one.
Ai: A little girl from Man-Home, she became friends with Aria in the first episode, after which they became pen pals. Every episode starts off with a conversation between the two, which foreshadows/concludes the episode in some way or another. In the two episodes that she appears in person, I really don't like her. I can't really explain why though.
Now, before you all yell at me for this next part, let me explain. On Aqua, blue eyed cats are considered to be lucky, for they embody the water goddess. Because of that, all gondola companies have a blue eyed cat as their president.
Aria: A big, fat, Martian cat, he is my favorite character. He can understand human speech, and loves having fun. He is curious, as all cats are, and he likes to help out other people.
Trademark Phrase: Pyun nyan nyan nya! [Ok, its basically the only thing he says. He's a cat. But i love his voice].
Hime: A Persian cat [I think], like her name suggests, she has a very regal manner to her [Hime means Princess in Japanese]. She is president of Himeya.
Maa: A ... weird ... cat ... who loves to bite Aria's stomach. He is president of Orange Company.
Music: The music in this anime is very calm, very relaxing. Something thats unique is that there is no opening sequence - rather, the song is played in the background while we watch the characters do stuff.
Akari, who is the Main Main Character of the show.
The three main characters from right to left - Aika, Akari, and Alice
Akari, Aika, and Alice, all with their 'reaction' face on, which they make whenever they're having a reaction to something or talking in a certain way. I rather like these faces.
Aika steering the Gondola, with Ai and Akari as the passengers.
The three water fairies, from right to left - Athena, Akira, and Alicia
Aria, the martian cat and president of the Aria Company. He is rather intelligent for a cat. On his head, beneath his sailors hat is another cat, Pete, who only appears for one episode.
Aria attempting to help out with an injury that Alice inflicted on herself during the 'Left Hand Punishment' episode.
A landscape shot. There are a couple every episode, and they're all done really well. The three apprentices are all in the gondola, taking their practice together as they usually do.
Now, let me make note that this is the first of 3 series. The total episodes number of episodes is 52. Because they're all called different things, I decided to do each of them as I watch them.
There were a few characters I skipped over, like Woody, because even though I could tell you their personalities on the spot, they don't play a major role in the show. Their names are, so that you don't yell at me, Al, Akatsuki, Woody, the Mailman.
I just barely made it this week. I'm probably not going to be able to post next week, but when I next post its probably going to be a manga.