Alicia is probably the big star of this show. Her affectious “my my” and her mannerisms are close to perfect and I think she is probably the symbolisation of Aria as a show. Elegant and beautiful.
Finally, I have finished this beautiful series of the Undines in Aqua. There is still the second series, Aria the Natural that I will also faithfully cover (got all of them on my hdd, up to episode 11). I think the whole series have brought to me many lessons of life and it is probably why many others have found this series magnificent. It is probably one of the least viewed and under-rated series and I would urge you readers out there to get it somehow if you liked a slice-of-life genre series. Aria will be for you.
Without any further ado, on to the episode summary/thoughts of the final episode of this first season!
It was the 31st day of the 24th month of Aqua, which meant that the end of the year was approaching our characters rapidly. In Neo-Venezia, Christmas was often spent with the family while the New year eve’s was spent with everyone at the San Marco Square. Akatsuki was already waiting with Woody at the Square, waiting for Akari and Alicia to get there. As Akatsuki started to complain that pigtails (Akari) was being late and delaying Alicia, the two females appeared. Like a 180 degrees change of attitude, Akatsuki suddenly changed his character completely and was like enjoying the company of Alicia.
Ai-chan suddenly arrived to the scene. She was actually brought here with her sister and Ai-chan wanted to celebrate the birth of a new year with Akari and all. Akari and Ai had been exchanging emails for the past year or so. As Ai-chan talked to Akatsuki and his brother, the brother mysteriously appeared and gave Akatsuki a nice bang on the head. With the brother seeing Ai-chan, he passed her a bunch of beans made from glass. It was a customary thing to eat beans during the new year and it was seen as a symbol of wealth in Man-home and the tradition continued here. The glass beans however was just a tourist attraction.
As Akira and Aika reached, Ai-chan remarked that Akira was teh deomon instructor, eliciting a rather amusing response from Akira. It seemed like a great gathering, as grandma, Alice, Athena all arrived at the scene and it was a big gathering. It was then when Aria run away suddenly and Ai gave chase. As Akari was worried about Ai, she gave chase as well. They ran and went into a dark path and a cat suddenly passed through in the alleyway in front of them.
As they reached the end of the dark pathway, the cats (in the time message) appeared and it seemed that they were thanking her for sending the message last time. With that, the scene disappeared. Ai and Akari had once again went back to the olden Aqua. Akari then noticed that there were lights appearing on the floor, which was the glass beans that fell due to a hole in the bag that was holding it. As they used the bags to find their world back, it was time for the countdown. It was a tradition in which everyone threw something at the countdown, something that was used in the past, to usher it the new year. It was also customary that people say Auguri, Buen Anno (which meant Shout of good wishes, Happy new year). Ai decided to throw the ribbon on her head while the undines threw their hats.
As the countdown ended, they went on for fireworks as well as other activities. The scene changed as we see Akari just waking up from her sleep. They had gathered for the sunrise. The sun started to shine for the first time in the new year, as they quickly embraced the warmth of the sun as they welcomed in the new year. A soothing end to a beautiful series.
The whole series was episodic in nature, with great simple themes to boot with. For one, i think the clincher for this anime was the OP. Aria had a really beautiful OP song, one that suited the whole mood of the anime completely. It was probably why I had been really interested in this show, a possible slice of life genre that would delight watchers who loved Haibane renmei, Zettai Shounen, Kino’s travels and the likes. It is a light-hearted series by heart and there was nothing strong emotionally. No deaths, no serious angst, almost nothing really serious happens.
In a way, this is the charm of the show, because through little things in life, it explains stories of life that is displayed on a raw, beautiful face that lets you appreciate things in your own life better. The characters were also well developed, even though I have to say that the main character, Akari, was way too innocent, naive and silly for my liking. Alice, Aika and Akira were definitely well thought out characters and the thing I found interesting was that each of the girls had “A” as their name. Was there a special significance in the name? I do not know.
Alice in particular catches my eye as the character that had developed. She was just a silent, quiet type of character at the start and was in a way a very mild Tsundere (I am stretching the meaning but yea). However, with Akari, she was clearly portrayed as a very kind girl that just did not know how to express herself. Some of her remarks in the show, like “You’re sexy dynamite”, “You two are so nosy”, “You two are so loud” reeks of cuteness and that sharp edge about her that I liked.
Alicia, as i had already mentioned at the start, epitomizes how Aria was : elegant and a beautiful episodic-driven series. Athena’s cluelessness and blurness was a great charm and anyone who had watched episode 11 would understand why Athena was just so cute. Her zoned-out attitude toward all things was a marvel to watch. I particularly liked the shocked face on both Alicia and Akira when they saw her sing suddenly. It was an impressive built up. That said, episode 11 was probably the best episode among the 13 that i had seen.
Aika and Akira also were worth special mention, as the relationship between these two was probably the strongest among the senior-junior groups. Their vibrant character and the part where both of them were actually shy beneath that portrayed strong character was a nice complexity touch that I liked a lot. In fact, the relationship was clearly shown during the episode where Aika left the house. Both of them knew exactly what each other would do. Of course, the quote “Embarrassing thoughts are not allowed!” stuck to me like a nagging statement.
The themes of the show was the main draw in this series. Themes such as friendship, time, precious things, enjoyment, the past, future and messages of feelings were all covered at one point of the series. These themes were general parts of our life and it was probably showing us glimpses of our life and how to correct it somehow. I particularly liked one of the themes which was the part where things that have changed were precious, but things that have not changed were precious also. None of them were not precious. They all are.
In all, a very beautiful anime, with very beautiful scenery, which is like watching a travel commentary at times, with good characters, nice themes and wonderful seiyuus. Good stuff, can’t wait to watch the 2nd series.