Aria Anime, Volume 2 (English)

December 12th, 2008

You know *that* moment? That one second when you’re watching an anime and something makes you grin lopsidedly and nod to no one in particular, saying sagely to yourself, “I knew it.”

Volume 2 of Aria has one of those moments. ^_^

The days pass gently in Neo-Venezia, full of stories of challenges and friendship and of course, backed by beautiful scenery.

In Volume 2, we’ve been introduced to all of the journeyman Undine, and we’re getting to know their mentors a little better. Five seconds of Akira’s no-nonsense, in-your-face competence and your gaydar is through the roof. You know it. She’s “one of us.” ^_^

And then there’s *that* moment. Akira, having been described as being popular with female customers, blatantly turns her overwhelming otokoyaku charm on a client, subtlely making her husband appear a clod, and yet, being nothing but attentive. Akira, according to the book that accompanies this box set, “is one of the few Undines that can always provide a superior level of service to her clients.” Especially, we think, wearing a lopsided grin, her female clients. The story is about tough love and living in the now. And about how gosh-darn sexy Akira is when she’s angry.

Aside from that, this volume provides an unusual opportunity to wallow in the company of the Three Faries of the Water and even hear Athena sing – all very, very good reasons to watch this anime. But the number one reason is to watch any of Aria is the beautiful scenery, both architectural and human. This, more than just about any other series I have ever seen, is all about bishoujo appeal.

And, at least for this one female client, the best of the Three Fairies is the Crimson Rose. I would totally agree that she provides superior service. lol

Ratings:

Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 7
Yuri – 3
Service – 1

Overall – 8

Once again, thanks to Okazu superhero Dan P for sponsoring today’s review! (And, btw, if you are considering sponsoring a review, by buying something off the Yuri Wishlist, consider getting a “used” copy – especially of the older, and more obscure items. And thanks!)

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10 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Since it’s a whole set, why don’t you review the whole set rather than volume-by-volume? Maybe that way you could have time for more reviews?

  2. I have written 322 posts already this year…out of 346 days!

    With an average of 6 posts (4-5 reviews and 1 news post) a week. How much more time do you think I should spend on Okazu?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for talking about Aria, one of my most loved titles. Akira is without question, the single most awesome character of the franchise, and I always particularly enjoyed episodes featuring her. Cheers. ^_^

  4. shanejayell says:

    For a moment I thought you were talking about Season 2… *lol*

    Yeah, I like Akira. I almost wish there was a bit more Aliciz/Akira subtext, they’d make a good couple.

    What did you think of the flashback in Vol 4?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Erica-
    I realize that this comment is kind of late, but I just wanted to thank you for “pushing me over the top” to watch this anime. I was hesitant at first because like you stated in your post, all the reviews, while positive, also agree that “nothing happens.” I realize that this work won’t be to everyone’s taste, but to my mind, this is a work of art.

    P.S. Were you surprised that such a gentle, sensitive story was hatched from the mind of a dude?

  6. @Anonymous – You’re very welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    No, not really. Many series that are pretty girls do nothing in particular are created by men. Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou and practically everything by Fujieda Miyabi also fall into that category. :-)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Erica-

    I’ve always thought that Alicia, at age 19, was a little young to retire and get married at the end of the series. Then I read on a fan forum that Alicia is 19 in Mars years and thus, she is actually in her mid-thirties in earth years. He also mentioned that there are scenes in The Natural (which I haven’t seen yet) where Alicia definitely looks older. Fact or theory? Not to kiss ass, but I consider you to be the English-speaking authority on this series and I’d love to hear what you have to say.

  8. @Anonymous – Totally plausible. We are told that Mars years are two Earth years.

    That being said, I don’t think 19 is all *that* early to get married. Lots of people do. I moved out with my wife when I was barely 18. :-)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the response. I guess I was thinking that compared “Grandma,” Alicia would be retiring awfully early if she was 19, earth-age. Again, appreciate the reply!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hey Erica-
    Just wanted to make a correction to an earlier post- Kozue Amano is, in fact, a woman. I thought Amano was a masculine name and just couldn’t fathom that a dude could come up with all the little feminine touches that make Aria so uniquely amazing (I’m a dude, by the way, so I have a pretty good feel for the limits of my gender’s capacity for sensitivity). Not a fan of Yuri but I think you have an interesting voice- I look forward to reading your blog each week.

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