Aria GN 2
One of my favorites of last year, Aria is a beautifully done little treasure that I think is one of the overlooked reads that should be picked up without hesistation.
So I was overjoyed to finally get ahold of the second volume of this short series, continuing this engrossing story where I left off last year.
Last time it was the Fall, and it introduced us to Akari Mizunashi. She, who once resided on the technologically overdeveloped (I.e. sterile) world of Earth (Manís Home) now lives in the lively and energetic world of Aqua (the world formerly known as Mars). She has made friends, including Aika (who works for a rival company) and Alicia (her senior at the company she works for, Aria, as a Undine in training, the Aqua version of a Gondolier).
Now winter has come to Neo-Venezia, and as we look in we see our heroine Akari is beginning to try and adjust to the new (and unfamiliar) season set before her on Aqua.
As winter starts she sees her first snowbugs, and adopts one as her own for a short time.
But being a resident of Manís Home (Earth) she isnít very used to cold weather (since the planet is relentlessly weather controlled to the point of being boring) so sheíll take a trip to her first hot spring (complete with lots of bathing women done most tastefully).
After that sheíll meet her first GnomeÖ as in the people who maintain the inner workings of this pristine water world, which looks quaint and old fashioned on the outside but has a strange technological twist on the inside. Finally she celebrates her first Aqua New Year, and goes to the carnival celebrating the end of winter, but ends up pursuing the mysterious robed Casanova.
Oh, and President Aria (the strange ďcatĒ mascot of the Aria company) gets his own section this time out!
Another batch of beautifully done stories that entertain splendidly. A fine book that is a little gem of a treasure worth seeking out at your local manga shoppe.
Aria Breakdown the 2nd
Whatís Hot? - Itís a beautiful series. The stories are just brimming with this delightful innocence and whimsy that captivates the readers, and sticks with you after you read it. Itís artwork is wonderous, and sometimes captivating in itís wide visuals of the beautiful city of Neo Venezia (both above and below ground). A often overlooked little gem of a read that deserves so much more attention that will be well worth your time and effort to find, one of my favorites of ADVManga.
Whatís Not? - Sadly, however, the series isnít catching on very well. It, like Viewtiful Joe 1 and 2, isnít getting the exposure it needs to really get an audience. However unlike Viewtiful Joe, which is hard hard hard, this is easier on you than the aforementioned GameCube/PS2 video game.
Another sad point is the lack of an anime tie-in. I donít know if anyone even thought of making an anime from this series, but I find it disappointing that none was made (let alone brought over to America).
Still, considering how I panned the Princess Tutu anime because it strayed way too far from the manga source it came from, thus making the anime less than what it should have been, I probably would have been highly critical of the Aria anime if it also strayed too far from the manga (in a bad way).
This is a beautiful title, and itís splendid writing/artwork doesnít need any ďfixingĒ through an anime adaptation that disrespects itís manga inspiration. So, in retrospect, I guess no anime is better than one that forsakes the perfection of the manga for a less-than-ideal vision that doesnít do the title justice.
Moments to Remember?
Itís all memorable. Really. The book is not loud, exciting, ground pounding or controversal. But, that being said, itís a marvelous little soft spoken treasure that reads well and is worth having as something for your nightstand for abit of quiet joyful reading.
What to Ignore?
Nothing. Itís all good.
One of my personal favorites, and hopefully one of yourís too once you get to know the title better, Aria is a joy to read and one of my favorites of ADV. Pick it up, youíll enjoy it.
And, next time we review Aria, it should be Spring on Aqua, which means more adventures and more fun.
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