There’s just something special about all of the ARIA anime. There aren’t many words that can quite captivate the entire experience. Perhaps relaxing? Warm & fuzzy? Happiness?
So there’s the first series, “ARIA the Animation“. Then the sequel, “ARIA The Natural” and “ARIA the Origination” as the (current) final series. “ARIA the Avvenire” is due out end of September of 2015, which I don’t know anything about yet. However, it will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the first anime.
If you’re looking for an anime with tons of action and major plot points, look elsewhere… trust me. This anime is very slow and has a mix of slice-of-life with a pinch of sci-fi. There are also a bit of mystery rolled into there.
ARIA takes place on the planet called “Aqua”, which was once known as Mars. It takes place in the future when people are able to fly between “Manhome” (aka Earth) and Aqua. They reside in a location called Neo-Venezia, which is a replica of Venice, Italy. Right down to traveling with gondolas! Lots of references to Manhome being ruined to the point where you cannot grow food in the soil or swim in the oceans. If you think about it, that’s kinda depressing… however I feel like that is inevitable with how we treat our world. Anyhoo, I digress. This show even uses a lot of Italian words and phrases and enjoy pizza! The sequel that’s due out in September even uses an Italian word: “avvenire” which translates to “future”. The locations they mention in the show actually exist in Venice! Apparently the author of the manga is a huge fan of Italy.
They also worship cats! The cats that have blue eyes are able to be chosen as presidents for gondola companies. There are 3 (known) companies and various “undine” who guide gondolas around Neo-Venezia, which is the base of this story.
Aria Company (blue uniform) has Aria-shacho (president) and only 2 undine: Alicia and Akari. Ai joins later (with Akari becoming her senpai) in the future; I hope to see more of Ai in the “Avvenire” series! The main character of this show is Akari, who is pretty much an airhead, but she’s super sweet and easy-going. She emails Ai about her various journeys throughout Aqua. Akari is known for tacking on “hahi~” to her sentences when she’s shocked or flustered. Alicia likes to say “araa-araa” and giggle a lot.
Himeya Company (red uniform) has Hime-shacho as the president. Aria has a huge crush on her! The undines featured here is Akira and Aika. Their catch phrase is “kinshi!” which basically translates to “not allowed!” such as “Hazukashii serifu kinshi” (Embarrassing remarks are not allowed!”). They’re both known to be very strict and a bit rough. I’m not entirely too fond of either character, but it wouldn’t be the same without them!
Orange Company (yellow uniform) consists of Maa-shacho, Athena and Alice. Maa is a tiny little kitten that loves to nom on Aria-shacho’s big puffy belly! Alice found Maa while she was homeless and took her in, despite it being against the rules of their company to have animals in their dorms. Since their previous president just recently passed away and because Maa possesses blue eyes (albeit very tiny), Athena convinced the company leaders to make Maa into their president. Out of all the characters, Alice is my favorite character. She has a habit of tacking on “dekai” (big/huge/very) to most of the stuff she declares. If I were to ever cosplay, I’d love to dress up as Alice. Her senpai is Athena, one of the 3 water fairies (the other 2 being Alicia and Akira, respectively). Athena’s known for her beautiful singing voice. I wonder what the creators will do about this upcoming sequel since her seiyuu passed away a few years ago…
If you would like to just sit back and relax to an easy-going anime that has a lot of interesting tidbits about Italy injected into it, I highly recommend checking out Aria. I have to admit that the first time I watched this show back when it was first being released, I was so relaxed I sincerely fell asleep while watching it! Not because I was bored, but because it was THAT relaxing.