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 Post subject: ARIA the animation
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:56 pm 
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Yet another R1 import picked up at the expo, this time because I specifically wanted it rather than simply 'that could be interesting'.

The series is sub only, 13 eps and came in a 4 disc thinpack with a little booklet of artwork and background info on the series.

ARIA is set sometime in the future (2301AD according to wiki but I don't remeber it being mentioned in the series) on a terraformed Mars, now called 'Aqua' as they over-did the water somewhat. It is mentioned that Manhome (Earth) has become so polluted that you can barely go outside anymore. Those who know their basic planetary physics know that Mars has 1/3rd the gravity of earth and is rather cold, well this has been solved by the Gnomes (who regulate gravity from deep underground) and the Salamanders (who regulate the climate and live in floating towns teathered to the ground).

The residents of Aqua have ebraced their watery world and have built themselves a city called Neo-Venezia. Pretty much a direct copy of Venice complete with gondolas and floods. In the ARIA world the original Venice sank into the sea sometime in the 21st century.

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The story itself is set 150 years after the terraforming of Aqua. Akari Mizunashi (15) has moved from Manhome to fulfill her dream of becoming a Prima Undine, the highest rank of Gondolier on Aqua. She joins the Aria Company under the apprenticeship of Alicia, one of the finest of the Prima Undine, and the company president Aria, a rather overweight cat who can cook, clean and type. :scratch:

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The series skips quite bit of the manga story and picks up about half way into Akari's training. The storyline in this series follows Akari through almost a full year on Aqua and cronicles her adventures as she strives to become a Prima Undine and her relationships with her mentor and the friends she makes during her training.

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Left to right:
Alice (Orange company apprentice)
Aika (Himeya company apprentice)
Akari
Akira (Himeya company prima undine)
Athena (Orange company prima undine)
Alicia

To quote Ferris Beuller: 'Life moves pretty fast; and ya don't stop and look around once in a while, ya gonna miss it.'. This series fits that perfectly. It is a gentle break from the usual manicness of other anime (or the type I seem to watch) and you can just sit back and let the story carry you away to somewhere more peaceful.

The artwork is superb and the soundtrack equally good. If studio Ghibli made series they would look like this. DO NOT skip the openning titles, thats a big mistake as the sequence is different each time and contains dialogue.

I rate ARIA alongside Angelic Layer as good no-nonsense 'do your best' story. No ecchi, a teeny tiny bit of fan service and you could say the uniforms are a bit moe but thats it.

I give ARIA the animation 5 kitties :cat: :cat: :cat: :cat: :cat:

I can't wait to watch the second series and I wish they'd get on with the third.

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 Post subject: ARIA the animation
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:28 pm 
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Dr Postwhore
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One of my all time favourite series and I still can't believe that it actually got licensed in the first place. Aria is a charming, relaxing series and is perfect after a stressful day, or something to warm you up on a cold winter night. Not something people could marathon for any amount of time, but a great series to just dip into every now and then. The Rightstuff release is a really good quality set, and it feels like they actually care about the product they're releasing, which when compared to the likes of Bandai, Funimation, and Media Blasters, who have all stripped their titles to the bone, is a very pleasant surprise.


The Natural (or at least the first half) is a little disappointing, too much Cait Sith for my liking, but the latter half of the series is thoroughly enjoyable.


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 Post subject: ARIA the animation
PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:47 pm 
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Rightstuf do have some good titles. Now if only they would start a UK branch :)

My only gripe is the extra end credits they tack on to each ep as the audio level is somewhat higher than everything else.

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