Squeezing Yuri from Aria the Natural, Part 2 is like making an essential oil from a rose petal. It’s a lot of work, takes a lot of petals and, in the end, what you have is a beautiful, but ephemeral scent.
Which is not to say that it’s not worth your time.
Like a rose, Aria the Natural, has a timeless beauty. And like the rose, Aria provides a lovely atmosphere. And…if you are a fan of Aria or Okazu, you’ve seen this coming since the first simile…it is ironically the Crimson Rose of Aria herself, Akira, that provides one of those essential moments. The little bit of Yuri, should you wish to don my super high-powered UBER-YURI Goggles (go ahead, the world looks lovely in lavender) is provided by the early butchiness of Akira who, as you know, I think is totally gay for Alicia. Because I *want* her to be. :-) Her badass tomboyishness makes my day every time. I’m also sure that, at the very end, the akogare Akari has for Alicia is laid on thickly enough for folks who want to see them as a couple to see them as a couple.
But, as I repeatedly stress, watching Aria is not about watching Yuri. It’s about watching a delicate world, made of glass and soap bubbles that look so much like one another that it’s terribly hard to distinguish the one from the other. Is this a fantasy of myth and history or a fantasy of a womans’ world, constructed with 9 parts beauty and 1 part reality. That’s the question no one asks themselves when watching Aria, because who *cares*? It’s another beautiful, relaxed day full of wonder with Akari, as we travel down the canals of Neo-Venenzia. That’s what Aria is always really about.
In this second part of the second season, the three Undine-in-training make significant progress towards their goal. So much so, in fact, that their eventual graduation is mentioned right out in the open several times by the people who have the most influence in that regard – their mentors.
Train rides with the Caith Sidhe, the marriage of the sea, couples old and young, and a parallel universe – if this kind of thing is the reason you’re watching Aria then there’s enough in this season to make you more than happy.
Speaking only for myself, Aria makes me happy.
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 2
Service – 1
Overall – 8
Once again, many 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!)