Yuri Manga: Aria, Volume 10

May 9th, 2007

The days pass pleasantly in Neo-Venezia. There’s always a lot to learn for Akari and the other gondoliers-in-training. In Aria, Volume 10, we get a little taste of past and present with, perhaps, a glimpse into the future; the whole volume feels as if we’re being led by the hand around the city along with Akari, Alice and Aika.

Alice gets a lot of screen time this volume. It allows us to see the more vulnerable, childish side of her – the chapter where Athena makes her Epiphany wish come true was very lovely. We learn a little more about Alicia, when Alice asks her why she never scolds or punishes Akari. And we get to see Akari develop her skills by working as a ferry gondolier, which makes me think that this series is moving a little further towards Akari’s eventual graduation to Prima status.

But as nice as all those chapters are, the one that wins is the first chapter of the volume, in which Athena and Akira stop by Aria Company to give Alicia a birthday present. Alicia, who was expected back shortly, calls to say that the is unavoidably delayed by an important job. Athena says she must return to her company, but Akira, who was really looking forward to the three of them getting together, stays. She tells Akari about the days when they three of them spent all their time together as trainees. Now that they are the “three fairies” they have so little free time and she had really hoped to get together today. Akari, in a characteristic move, asks Akira to accompany her for some practice – and they can, you know, look for Alicia as they tool around.

The day is ending and they decide to return to Aria Company, when they run into Athena. As she greets them, Akari cries out and points – there, miraculously, is Alicia looking very much like something out of a fairytale. And the next panels make the whole volume worth reading. No one, no one, no one, can tell me that the look on Akira’s face doesn’t say it all. She has that “stricken by a sudden vision of the person I love” look. Ah-HAH! we all cry happily. Knew it all along, we chortle. Three friends, sure, but Akira’s feelings for Alicia are more than friendship.

The next panel, drawn from below the water line, would make a brilliant poster. Akira wings the present across the rio and into Alicia’s surprised hands. And, so, all three friends are together for the present giving, after all. Metadashi, metadashi. Great chapter.

The only downside? The already repulsive Aria-shachou has now begun wearing “cute” hats with other animals on them. If you think this kind of thing is cute, you absolutely NEED to visit this site. Me, I side with the cats there, who are looking hate at their owners and plotting to suffocate them in their sleep. Poor little bastards.

Aside from this volume’s subtle fragrance of lilies, it’s mostly more of the same pleasant time spent with pleasant people pleasantly. It’d kill me in real life, but for the time it takes to read a volume of manga, it’s perfect. ^_^

Ratings:

Art – 9 (I seriously think it’s getting more and more lovely)
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 4
Service – 1

Overall – 8

Now I know that the author sees the same thing between Akira and Alicia I do – and it makes me happy. ^_^

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5 Responses

  1. Adam says:

    So… any chance of a quick scan of the expression in question? Those of us waiting for the English translations are likely to be rather aged by the time volume 10 comes around…

  2. Probably not. In between traveling to ACen and starting a new job, I have to wrap up the old one, work on YM5 and have a life.

  3. Joseph Wilk says:

    Hi! I tried e-mailing you the following messages based on the address you have on the site, but they were returned to me as undeliverable. If you wouldn’t mind e-mailing me back at wilkj@carnegielibrary.org, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

    Dear Erica,

    I’m writing a guide to all things featuring sexual and gender diversity for America teen librarians, and I want to feature review sources for Yuri. I noticed that your site is largely Japanese-language Yuri, with occasional nods to titles which have been translated. I was wondering if you would consider tagging those with a category of “English” or something similar (perhaps “translated”?). I know you mark it as “English” in the title. If we had a clickable tag, it would make it much easier for those of us trying to buy and support Yuri for our American libraries. Thank you for all the work you do!

    Best wishes,
    Joseph

    Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh — Teen
    4400 Forbes Ave.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    412-622-3121
    wilkj@carnegielibrary.org

    http://clpteens.blogspot.com
    http://www.myspace.com/clpteens

    Hello again,

    Sorry for another e-mail, but I had another question I wanted to ask. I’m a little confused about the rating system can you clarify a little for me? Art, story, and characters are all self-explanatory. I’m confused about “Yuri” and “loser fanboy.” Would you mind explaining them for me? I’m just trying to clear things up for when I tell librarians about the site. Thanks again!

    Best wishes,
    Joseph

    Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh — Teen
    4400 Forbes Ave.
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
    412-622-3121
    wilkj@carnegielibrary.org

    http://clpteens.blogspot.com
    http://www.myspace.com/clpteens

  4. neo_hrtgdv says:

    I suppose we can always look around imageboards for it, I remember seeing some manga scans of Yuri-ish moments in Aria on iichan (I got there from Lililicious links). Also, I think I remember reading Tokyopop got the rights for Aria, isn’t that so?

  5. just reading that makes me wanna cry…i’m afraid what i’ll do when i actually get to reading it

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