October 03, 2008

Aria the experiment

Those among my fellow bloggers who have watched parts of the Aria series seem universally enchanted by it. I haven't seen anything of it except frame grabs, but I'm willing to give it a try.

I just noticed that the first 13 episodes have become available. I also need to buy a copy of as a gift, so I think I'll probably put in a supplemental appropriation, a "bailout" if you will, on Sunday.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 04:48 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
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1 I think it's risky. I could not stay with Sketchbook (survived 4 episodes), Hidamari (8 episodes), or Hidamari x365 (8 episodes survived). I am going to rent it first from Netflix, and only buy if that goes well.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 03, 2008 04:51 PM (/ppBw)

2 I'm a huge ARIA fan, as is well known, and to be honest, I'm not sure how you'll react to the first season.  I think it's the weakest of the three seasons, which makes it merely "very good." 

It's very much an atmosphere piece.  No action to speak of, and no particular plot other than "growing up".  It's an anime about gondoliers, for heaven's sake. 

For all that, I adore the show.  My copy of the Season 1 box arrived at the Duck U. Bookstore earlier today.  I haven't watched any of it, so I can't speak to the job Nozomi did on it (yet), but I WILL say that the "Neo-Venezia Guidebook" that's packaged with it is pretty cool.

It's a very gentle show. 

Posted by: Wonderduck at October 03, 2008 05:41 PM (AW3EJ)


(Crap, I posted this on the wrong thread.)

I generally don't do well with "lots of personality but nothing happens" kinds of shows, myself, but people whose opinions I respect (for instance, The Duck) seem to love this one and say it's quite a lot better than most "lots of personality but nothing happens" shows.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 03, 2008 05:44 PM (+rSRq)

4 I preordered Aria and my copy is still in the mail.  I've watched all of the first two seasons and nearly all of the third on fansubs.  I'm extremely fond of it, it is my favorite slice of life story in anime/manga (with the possible exception of the Yokohama Shopping Log manga), but I will be surprised if you enjoy it (you've surprised me before, though).  I find the characters to be appealing and extremely likable, but the pace is very slow.  High on pretty, low on food for the engineer brain.

When I was showing it to some friends, I used to sandwich one episode of Aria between episodes of two other higher-energy series as a sort of cooldown, and it worked very well that way.

Posted by: pflorian at October 03, 2008 07:33 PM (HSiGw)

5 As I was watching Disc 1 of the box set, I remembered that at one time I referenced ARIA and Yokohama Shopping Trip together.  In both cases, Earth (or "Manhome" as it's called in ARIA) have had a catastrophe where the water has risen... and I wistfully suggested that they're the same "universe." 

(In fact, it's in the same post that Steven references above... I had forgotten just exactly where I had said it.)

I don't think that you'll hate ARIA, Steven, but I don't know that you're going to be thrilled beyond belief by it.  I eat "slice-of-life" shows like they're going out of style... and ARIA is more like the whole pie.  It was a given I'd love it.

It'll certainly be worth the $35 (or whatever it is; I paid without blinking), but you might not go beyond Season 1. *shrug*  We'll see!

Posted by: Wonderduck at October 03, 2008 09:46 PM (AW3EJ)


Different people like different things. There are no guarantees.

But given that Aria is best-of-breed of whatever breed it is, it behooves me to at least give it a chance.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 03, 2008 10:21 PM (+rSRq)

7 I like Aria a lot, though it doesn't grab me.  I'll dip in for a couple of episodes, and then leave it alone for months.  I'd say it's definitely worth taking a look.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 03, 2008 11:53 PM (PiXy!)

8 I think you watched the Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō OVAs awhile back? Aria kind of reminds me of that just a bit. Interesting people in an interesting place experiencing interesting thing. Except that I'd like to live in Neo-Venezia a lot more than the post-apocalyptic world of YKK, though admittedly Alpha improved the place tremendously.

Posted by: mparker762 at October 04, 2008 07:24 AM (ycK01)

9 I read a scanlation of the manga for that. I didn't even know that there were OVAs done from the series.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 04, 2008 09:26 AM (+rSRq)

10 YKK OVA was overcompressed, although perhaps not in a bad way. For example, the green light part was omitted entirely and so the only time we see Alpha's gun is when she's drinking the coffee one day and someone calls upon the door. In addition, especially at the beginning, it looked like the creators were afraid to do the job, out of excessive respect to the manga. So they only started to deliver the original feel by the end.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 04, 2008 09:52 AM (/ppBw)

11 The OVAs of YKK is how I found the scanalations.  Even did a post about 'em.

I liked the OVAs, but even as I watched them, I knew there must have been a lot of story left out, and it suffered from that.  I'd love for a 24-ep series to be made of YKK.

Probably won't ever occur, but stranger things have happened...

Posted by: Wonderduck at October 04, 2008 09:24 PM (AW3EJ)

12 "I'd love for a 24-ep series to be made of YKK."

With a total of like 14 volumes out, I would think you could do more with it. I did like the OVA, as it was relaxing, yet thoughtful in a way. I would definitely say check out the manga if you wanted more than what's there.

I'm biased like Wonderduck to ARIA as well, and so I agree with most of what he says, though I do feel that you could say that Season 2 is the weakest of the three.

One thing that does work about the show is the fact that you don't have to watch it all at once, and as Pixy Misa said, it's a type of show where you can take long breaks between watching episodes, and still enjoy it coming back (if you like it in the first place). It took me around two years to finish the second season (26 eps), if I recall correctly.

Posted by: TheBigN at October 09, 2008 08:07 AM (1QHcI)

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