Aika is just so cute when she’s blushing. Of course, she can’t beat the lovely Alice when it comes to uber sweetness but she is definitely a very close second. I love this episode a lot because it was a beautiful adaptation of Valentine’s day. It really feels a lot of love in the air and we not only see the improving relationship between Athena and Alice, but also a small but significant romance factor in Aika and Al.
Al seems rather thick-skulled and oblivious to Aika’s interest in him though. It is really sad, poor Aika, liking such an insensitive guy. Still, you go, Aika!
It was the time of summer and Acqua Alta (the flooding) was here again, hence the Undines were taking a little break from their usual routine. Alicia was going to the Gondola Society meeting once again. With that, the day they called Bocolo was coming. A beautiful meeting awaited all the Undines.
Episode summary + thoughts ahead
As Alicia left the area, the phone rang and it was Akatsuki who had called. Without giving Akari the time to reply, he simply asked her to come over and help him to carry some stuff. She then went over, realising that everyone had a red rose around them. It was Bocolo Day and the single rose was a symbolisation of the little holiday.
Akatsuki in fact had a huge basket of roses for Alicia and the rose symbolises the love that the man had to the girl. Hence, with a huge basket, it was to represent his great love for Alicia (don’t we know that already). As Alicia had her trolley-like equipment, Akatsuki took over and placed the roses in the trolley, helping her pull as it was rather heavy. It was there that they met Alice and it seemed that Alice had a courtesy rose from the old baker. However, she did say that Athena got a lot of roses from her juniors and fans.
Akari asked if Alice had given any roses to Athena but she said she did not give courtesy flowers and it made no difference whether she gave one or not. However, Akari said that it was not that and urged her to give Athena at least a flower. They then parted as Akari and Akatsuki continued on their journey to pass Alicia the flowers. As Akari dropped her boot in the water, she decided to remove the other pair, feeling the cold chilling floor on her feet.
As they walked, Akari reflected that the sky was reflected from the water, as though there was a different world. She felt that it was really beautiful. It was then that a booming “Embarrassing remarks are not allowed” came from who else but Aika. However, once Aika and Akatsuki met, they started to call each other names. Aika in fact had a rose in her hand, and Akari asked if it was Al who gave her that rose. She said it was not and it was in fact for Alicia as she went over to the Gondola meeting to find Alicia.
Woody then flew down from the sky, with a huge bunch of flowers all around him. It seemed that Woody was in fact sending a lot of flowers that were addressed to Akira, who was very popular as well. He then passed a huge basket of roses to Akatsuki and asked for the fee. However, Akatsuki used a threat that had something to do with their childhood, something to the extent that he gave something to Woody when he was very young to prevent young Woody from crying. He hence said that he would not mind reaccounting the story to Akari.
With that threat, Woody could not reply and flew off with great sadness since the loan was going to be piling up once again. Akatsuki was clearly a person that had difficulties returning any form of money. They finally got to a marketplace where there were many roses waiting to be sold. As Akatsuki was bargaining about the price, a lady was standing with her basket of flowers, explaining the history of Bocolo day.
It was a story that was in Man-home, where a lower-status young man fell in love with a girl that was of rich status. Due to the fact that he wanted to prove his worth, he went on to the battlefield but he was seriously hurt until he was no longer able to come back. It was said that he fell in a thicket of white roses and he passed to his comrade one of the roses and asked him to give it to the girl. As the battle ended, the comrade gave the girl the white rose that was dyed red by the blood of the young man. It was then that the girl realised that the man she loved had died in the field. It was hence representing the red rose as a fulfillment of promise to the girl that loved the man a lot. It was then that a red rose was given by a man to the girl that he loved.
We changed scenes and saw Aika trying to find Alicia at the Gondola society meeting but realised that she had left already. As she was about to walk back to Aria company to find Aria there, she met up with Al. Al was asking about flowers and Aika said it was not a gift from someone but she was in fact giving the rose to Alicia. In her mind though, she wondered how Al would feel if she said it was a gift from a guy. Al then took out an uncut eye of the rose and gave it to Aika.
Aika was wondering what it meant as it was a symbolisation of a rose. Did that mean that Al actually was professing his love or simply giving it as a gift? She did not know and she wanted to ask Al about it. It was then that Akari came over with Akatsuki and Aika was not paying attention at all to whatever Akari was saying to her. Aika was clearly still thinking about the gift. Akari then left when she was chased by Akatsuki.
Al then mentioned that Aika’s cheeks were very red and was worried that she might have a fever (man, is he really that thick). She was wanting to ask him about the gift again but she was way too shy and said nothing at all. The scene changed as we see Akari and Akatsuki rehearsing about how Akatsuki was going to present the flowers to Alicia. Akari really was amusing as she made a really good impersonation of Alicia (the my my!) and Akatsuki was way too nervous. As they continued to rehearse, Alicia passed by and heard it. Akatsuki, of course, was way too nervous and started stammering. However, Alicia got the wrong idea, thinking that Akatsuki was giving the flowers to Akari and moved away, not wanting to disturb the “couple”.
As Akatsuki was disappointed, he tripped and fell, with all the roses starting to float in the river surface. Akari said that his feelings would somehow be sent to Alicia as the feelings of him as the roses spread in the water would bring that message to Alicia as well. Even though sometimes, a message was tender and painful, the rose was something that would always bring a smile to someone.
A few scenes changed as we first see Alice giving a rose to Athena. Then we saw Al and Aika and he said that the gem when cut would look very beautiful on her. She blushed instanteously until Al made another horrible pun. Lastly, we see Akatsuki picking up a single rose from the water and gave it to Akari for helping him the whole day.
It was the first time that Akari had ever received a rose from a man and she smiled beautifully, with the Bocolo Day coming to a close.
What can i say? I have Akari, Aika and Alice all three blushing in this episode. Any normal heterosexual male will go all swooning at the cute girls. In fact, I must say that Aika was extremely cute with her interactions with Al. It was definitely much more than a crush now, and the fact that the two seemed to be rather compatible made it even more interesting. I really hope that they have more chances of blossoming, even though this series’s focus does not seem to be on romantic relationships.
After watching an episode with Akatsuki, I must say that he is like the glue to this series. The fact that he brought out the prime characteristics of the main characters meant that he was really good at small dosages. It was probably why it seemed that the characters interacted much more beautifully. He was perhaps the refreshing change from all the pretty, cute and lovely ladies who were Undines, making the anime even more beautiful in color than it already was.
The whole story of Bocolo was also really beautiful. I liked the scenery of the shots, as it really gave that romantic feeling, especially when the roses started to spread along the water. It was a really beautiful scene and one that might be in my head for quite a while.
Anyway, this is really a nice episode, up with the standards of Aria was one of the best feel-good/slice of life anime for the past few years. Woohoo~