Japanese: アリア ジ・オリジネーション
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 7, 2008 to Apr 1, 2008
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: G - All AgesL represents licensing company
Score: 8.761 (scored by 7845 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagscomedy sci-fi slice of life
Mar 24, 2009
The story continues in much the same fashion as the first two series, dealing as it does with the daily lives of Akari, Aika and Alice and their efforts to become Prima Undines, however the biggest difference is that the characters are not only developed more in Origination, but developed well.
One of the main strengths of the Aria series as a whole is the effortless manner in which it tells its various stories, and Origination is the pinnacle of this. The plot in each episode is far more fluid than in the previous two series, and as the show progresses the story moves into a barely unnoticeable higher gear as the bittersweet climax approaches.
There are two things which make the story in Origination noticeably different from the first two series. The first, and most obvious difference, is the fact that Origination has a goal in mind, and unlike the previous two offerings, doesn't simply peter out towards the end but actually gains momentum. The second difference is surprisingly (and somewhat unfortunately), unrealised by many, however it is key to appreciating the franchise in its entirety.
As I stated in my review of the second series, The Animation was simply an introduction to the characters and Neo Venezia, whilst The Natural was an introduction to the world of Aqua. This is important to know as many people misjudge the first two series and believe they have no real focus. In fact they do, and without that focus Origination would never have been as good as it is. If one keeps in mind that the whole point of The Animation is not to develop the characters, but simply to introduce them, then it makes things a little clearer as to why it was structured in such a way. The same goes for The Natural, as the focus there was to familiarise the viewer with the world of Aqua, and its wonders and oddities. The characters receive some measure of development in the second series, however this is not the main focus of the show, as it is essential for the viewer, when watching the final series, to have more than a passing familiarity with the characters and their environs.
This is where Origination steps in. From the outset the assumption is that one is familiar with the characters, Neo Venezia, and the world of Aqua, and because of this Origination can proceed with the story proper without the need for introductions, supernatural events, exploration, etc. Everything up until that point was simply preparation, which at first may seem wasteful, but watching the first and second season is a pleasant experience so one could fairly state that the effort was justified to a degree.
The art and animation in Origination is much the same as the first two outings. There isn't any real change to the design of the characters, or to Neo Venezia and Aqua, although it should be pointed out that Origination has more in common with the first season in terms of art and backgrounds as it is mainly centred in Neo Venezia as well. The quality of animation remains superb, with no real noticeable flaws, whilst the level of detail in both the animation and the artwork is once again excellent.
One of the strongest areas for the series as a whole is in the quality of its sound and music, and whilst the first two series were excellent in this department, Origination represents a step up. The subtlety and detail of some of the effects are truly phenomenal, and although the thematic music may be the same as the previous two series, the score actually feels fresh in Origination (more on this in a bit). The voice actors are, once more, excellent, however there is a very subtle difference with their portrayals in Origination in that the characters seem more self-assured than in either of the previous two series.
Characters are as adorable as ever, but once again there is a difference to them. The feeling of self assurance one receives from the voice actors is carried through with the actions of the characters themselves, and this is one of the ways in which they receive some of their phenomenal development. This doesn't simply apply to Akari, Aika and Alice either, but is also extended to Alicia, Akira, Athena, Akatsuki, Al, and even Grandma Akino.
The surprising thing about Origination's characters is that, in comparison to The Natural, they possess and air that is fresh and new. This feeling is also inherent in the score (as I mentioned earlier), in the settings, and in the voices too. There is a very simple reason for this though. Whilst it may (or may not), be true that the viewers are already familiar with the series before watching Origination, it is a certainty that everyone who has worked on it will know the characters, Neo Venezia and Aqua, pretty much inside out. This, together with the fact that Origination actually has a focus and a definite end, means that everything was already defined before the series even began. It is because of this that Origination is able to achieve its remarkable feat of plot and character development, something it could never have done had everything been told over the course of one season.
In terms of enjoyment, Origination is something I would recommend to everyone, however it should be remembered that the first two series should be watched prior to this. The show is as relaxing as The Animation, whilst retaining the same adventurous quality of The Natural. The characters actually become more endearing as the show progresses, especially if one has watched seasons 1 and 2, and whilst the format may still be episodic, it doesn't suffer from the same ambiguity that affected the previous two series.
Origination is an excellent show that successfully retains the essence of the series whilst at the same time developing the characters and advancing the plot. Because of the definite focus of the show, things that may have seemed stale in The Natural have been given a new lease of life and, whilst this may not seem like a difficult thing to achieve, it is actually one of the hardest things to do in any medium. read more
Apr 3, 2008
All good things must end.
Man, I hate that saying. I hate it for how true it is. Kozue Amano, why couldn't you keep it going? Did you run out of ideas? Was five and a half years enough? Did you already plan this out? Wait, what am I saying? Of course you planned it out. Month after month, you crafted chapter after chapter of this masterpiece.
Jyunichi Sato, thank you for taking this work and running with it. For three separate seasons, each one improving on the last, you dealt the manga justice. You even added a new character that Kozue retconned into the story. And she was fabulous.
I should probably stop the ranting and the gratitude-giving and get to the review. Although this is under Aria the Origination, this will be a review of all three seasons plus the OAV.
Aria is a bloody masterpiece.
Yes, you heard me right. "All 10's will make you untrustworthy and prejudiced, and people won't pay attention to your reviews anymore!" Blah blah blah, whatever. I don't care if no one ever reads my reviews again. ARIA is that good. I savored each and every episode of the anime, along with each and every chapter of the manga. Whenever I watch ARIA, I have this stupid grin on my face. I can't help it.
So why is Aria that good?
One, the magic of the characters. You start off with Akari, the cheery protagonist, arriving on Aqua (used to be Mars) to fulfill her dream of becoming a master gondolier, an Undine. There, she meets her mentor, the perfect Alicia, who teachs Akari the ins and outs of the trade. Along the way, Akari befriends Aika, the heir to one of the biggest gondolier companies on the planet, Himeya. She also befriends Alice, the genius gondolier from Orange Planet. Aika also has a mentor, the ever-so-awesome Akira. Alice's mentor is the ever-so-clumsy Athena. Akari also meets Akatsuki, the apprentice Salamander who controls Aqua's climate, Albert, the Gnome who controls Aqua's gravity, and Woody, the Sylph who makes deliveries by aircraft. Akari also meets Akino, the mentor of Alicia, and Ai, a girl from Manhome (Earth). Yes, all of the characters have names that start with A with the exception of Woody, but there is never a time when you are confused between who's who. Character introductions and development are handled impeccably well.
Two, the complete lack of an overarching plot. Yep. Every episode is basically a one-shot, providing a glimpse at the utopian society of Neo-Venezia. Some episodes are character driven, while others are setting-driven. There are no antagonists, no final boss fight, and no conflicts. Therein lies the terms "healing anime" and "slice-of-life," which both describe this show perfectly. Now, that does not mean that ARIA fails to invoke emotion. Some episodes will make you cry manly tears. Some episodes will make you laugh out loud. ARIA is a show that you can sit back and watch every night before you go to bed. It improves the quality of your sleep. I guarantee it.
Three, the progression of the animation throughout seasons improves leaps and bounds. I'll admit that some scenes were full of QUALITY, but by Origination, there is none of that. Origination is even in widescreen, giving everything a more epic sense. I loved the water animation, the chibi faces, the epic gondolier rowing, everything.
ARIA has something for everyone. Lesbian tendencies? Oh yes. Epic boat rowing? Even more yes. Heartwarming just to the point of sappiness? Triple yes. And there are much, much more: a soothing soundtrack, amazing vocal insert songs, fabulous opening and endings. The sound production is just perfect. The openings are different for each episode too, allowing you to immerse yourself into each episode seamlessly.
I cannot pinpoint a favorite episode, but I loved the 11th episode of the first season, when Akari waves to Aika and Alice from the bridge. I also loved the snowball episode, the four-leaf clover episode, and the well episode. My favorite character is Akira, by far. Her spunkiness and her awesome chibi-face won me over.
But alas, all good things do come to an end. As I sit and watch the final episode of Origination again, I cannot help but close my eyes and feel them tearing up. I'll miss each and every character immensely.
Good work, Kozue Amano. Good job, Jyunichi Sato. I salute you for making me sleep better at night these last five and a half years.
Sit back and enjoy.
A.D. 2301 - The Voyage from Neo-Venezia. read more
Aug 7, 2008
In this review, I will answer the question: “Why is Aria so goddamn perfect?” and to start things off, there’s a saying that goes something like this:
"All good things must come to an end."
And this is certainly one of those good things. I'll miss the voyages to Neo-Venezia, the great characters, the soothing music, the entertaining stories and the beautiful art. Yeah, I'm going to miss this series. Yet I think to myself, "Why? Why must Kozue Amano stop writing this excellent series?" Perhaps 5 years of one series was too much, who knows. All I know is that I’ll be rewatching this series for years to come, and I won’t care if it’s going to be my eighth time watching all three seasons, it’s seriously that good.
Overall, it took me a while to get through all three seasons. The reason behind that is because I wanted to savor this series, watching a maximum of two to three episodes a day. Some of the better series I’ve watched just made me go right through them, from first episode to last in about a week, which is fairly fast for me. However, with the case of Aria, I watched about an episode a day, which stretched out to a few months.
For the short amount of time that took me to watch this series, I felt completely renewed/refreshed/uplifted/happy (I could seriously think of at least fifty more adjectives, but I’m not going to). The atmosphere really defined this anime for me. Every little detail in this anime was stunning, absolutely stunning. Sometimes I thought to myself: “How does Kozue Amano do it?” Honestly, I can’t figure out how one person could craft such an extraordinary world, let alone keep it entertaining. But there it is, Aria, such a goddamn masterpiece.
Somebody out there must be thinking to himself or herself: “How does a slice of life series get 10 for story? Don’t all slice of life series basically have no story and automatically deserve a crap score?” Well, if you’re one of those people, let me tell you all about it. In place of an ongoing theme or plotline, Aria delivers many stories, one per episode to be exact. The stories from episode to episode aren’t “connected,” so to say. Instead, each episode is unique, in terms of story, characters, and setting. Sometimes, the episodes will focus on certain characters, other times on settings, and later on, the plot. If I’m right, any kind of ongoing plotline in this series should be something like Akari, Aika, and Alice becoming Primas and going along with their daily lives (it’s a slice of life, duh). A few of these stories really got to me because they have meaning, which, I’m afraid to say, you don’t see everywhere nowadays. From there on out, Kozue Amano takes it away, immersing viewers into a wonderful world of magic, no, not Disneyland, Neo-Venezia.
With the countless stories that take place in this series, they are also accompanied by some spectacular visuals. They really did keep the original Venice backdrop, but threw in some sci-fi here and there. I must say that the animation of the water throughout the series was quite well done in my opinion. Each and every setting gives a little finishing touch to each episode, pretty much making them perfect. From the first episode of Aria the Animation to the last of Aria the Origination, the quality of animation has elevated quite a degree. Aria the Origination is even in widescreen, which I thought was a nice little touch to the end of the series.
If I had to choose a word to describe the music that was worked into this series, well, I couldn’t. Each soundtrack is beyond words. I have each soundtrack and I have listened to each and every one of them contently. Well, what I’m really trying to say here is that the soundtrack for Aria is so relaxing it’ll make you forget that you’re baking a cake thus burning down your house. You get my point, it’s just subtle and calm, but never overpowered or overpowering throughout the series. The soundtrack could not have been more perfectly fitted for Aria. To Choro Club, Takeshi Senoo, Kawai Eri (You will certainly be missed by all of us fans. May you rest in peace.), Makino Yui, and even Round Table ft. Nino, bravo, this was honestly a job well done.
Characters, man, I really don’t know where to start. The characters in this series were perfect; I don’t know how to put it into words. This section should deserve an eleven out of ten, seriously. Each character is so unique, the freakishly optimistic Akari, sweet and experienced Alicia, childish youngster Alice, clumsy Athena with the voice of an angel, straight to the point Aika, and strict and spunky Akira. You can connect to each character, and by the end of the series, you’ll feel for each and every one of them. The episodes and plot are completely driven by the characters, so yes, this is a character driven series, but there’s so much more to it than that. The characters just make up a sizeable chunk of this series (almost all of it if you’d ask me), but don’t take it in a bad way, all other elements are in perfect harmony which is what I thought is the most defining feature of this series.
Enjoyment. How can you not enjoy this series? What I experienced on this joyride certainly could not be put down into words. You’ll just have to experience it for yourself (much like every other thing I have said in this review so far). Every episode is filled with kindness, love, passion, and thought. This series was crafted in such a way that, yet again, you must witness with your own eyes and ears. As you can tell, this is an innocent series. No guns, no big swords swinging around, no blood spewing in every corner (Elfen Lied, dear God…), no death, no rape, no racism, no wars, no sexual puns, no ecchi; none of that unneeded crap you get from the usual series. This is pure, unadulterated anime at it’s finest.
When I finally realized this series was over, with the final episode, I was at the verge of tears. But me, being a man, kept them deep inside as I endured the final episode, being tremendously sad that this spectacular series is coming to a close. No more new adventures from the world that is Neo-Venezia, no more characters that I have grown to love and adore, no more blissful music that enticed me from the first episode, no more spectacular visuals of Aqua, no more Aria. This was by far one of the best series I have ever watched, so why the hell are you still reading this review? Go watch it, and if you already have, rewatch it again and again until your eyes bleed, because I know I will.
Well, there you have it, rate it up, rate it down, quite frankly, I don’t give a damn except that I’ve finally finished this review and I need to go rewatch more Aria, get better at Photoshop, then go along with my life and go shopping and whatever I do during the summer. Yeah, I could never have written all of this in one sitting, especially during summer.
EDIT: Rewatched all three seasons recently, my thoughts have not changed at all. read more
Jun 18, 2009
As stated by pretty much every reviewer, to fully appreiate the masterpiece that is Aria The Origination you should first watch Aria the Animation, Aria the Natural and the other OVAs/Picture Dramas. When you start with Aria the Origination, you're already familiar with boh Neo-Venezia, its citizes, the cats and Akari and her circle of friends.
The storytelling is high art. It always starts with Akari writing to her friend, Ai-Chan about the weather, and what is happening today. It's like watching some old friends go about their lives. It feels good and familiar, then there's the realization/lesson/moral of that episode, and a conclusion.
Everything is so well done that although I swore I wouldn't, somehow, sometime during each episode my emotions would get the better of me and then tears would fall from my eyes. Something would set it off, a line of dialogue, the scenery, the music with meaningful lyrics. Most of the time it's not even tears of sadness, but tears of gladness, or joy, or I'm crying because something is so beautiful.
OK, I cried every single episode, with major crying on the last episode when I realized there would be no more Aria after this. Still, even though I want this wonderful anime to continue forever, I am glad it ended perfectly.
Everyone should watch Aria. At the least it's an entertaining slice of life anime. But it has a much deeper meaning and is able to speak directly to the watcher's heart an mind if the watcher is receptive.
So please, please, watch this wonderful anime! Watch it slowly, savor it, think and reflect on the messages embedded in the wonderful story. Aria has changed me. What I've learned:-
* Stop and smell the roses
* You can find beauty in everyday things - I realized I never looked before but one stretch of woodland road on the way to work is spectacular when the sunlight is streaming through the leaves.
* Do not fall into despair! Be optimistic, look on the bright side, things will get better
* You have some control over your happiness
* Ask for help, but be willing to teach others. I wish I had a teacher like Alicia.
* You can do more than you think you can but you need to try AND believe in yourself
* It's the little things in life that matter
* Think of what is truly important to you.
* I had really good friends, I should have appreciated my time with them more
* Things come up, Life/people may change/leave. What's important is to cherish what you currently have and live in the now. In the end memories are all you keep.
I will be re-watching the entire series whenever I feel down. But in the future I have resolved to stop just working, doing household chores and worrying about the future. Instead I'm going to slow down, tell my family I love and appreciate them being with me and spend more time making happy memories with them. read more
Nov 9, 2008
And that would be so incredibly sad.
Once again we return to Aqua, the planet which prior to human terraforming went by the name of Mars. Upon the surface of this ocean-clad planet, we find the city of Neo-Venezia, an almost perfect replica of the presently (Aria takes place in the 24th century) submerged Venice on Earth. In this old, yet new, city, the gondoliers are without exeptions female, are called Undines and work for one out of three companies: Aria, Himeya or Orange Planet. The Aria series revolve around the daily lives of the Undines Akari, Aika and Alice -- them practicing rowing the gondola, the people they meet, the places they visit, but most importanly their hopes and dreams, of which the wish to become a Prima Undine, the very elite amongst the Undine, is the ultimate goal.
The main plot moved along at a leisurely pace during the first two seasons. They were more or less episodic series, and while the seasons changed from spring to winter and from winter to spring, the characters didn't develop that much and you couldn't really feel that the main story was actually moving forward. Don't get me wrong now -- I really liked both the Animation and the Natural -- but when juxtapositioned with the Origination, the lack of character development becomes quite evident.
Luckily enough, the things the previous seasons lacked are abundant and overflowing in the Origination.
The absolutely most impressive thing story-wise is that nothing unpredictable happens. Despite this - or maybe thanks to this - the directors have polished the unfolding events to perfection. While the first few episodes aren't that exceptional (hence the 9 to the story), what comes afterwards makes up for that thousandfold. From episode 5 onwards, this is the single most emotional anime - or any production, for that matter - I've ever watched. I was almost constantly crying until I found it astounding that my tear glands could even produce any more liquid.
Yes, for almost three hours.
Apart from seeing the three main characters finally making their dreams come true, we also get to witness the birth of Aria company, a beautiful story in its own right. As if that wasn't enough, we are also provided with tear-jerking flashbacks to the times when the Undine trio first met their senpais/seniors. The "Origination" in the title is not there just for show.
HAL Film Maker - and of course the manga's original creator - deserve enormous amounts of credit for making the setting trustworthy. I have yet to visit Venice myself (will change this fact next year), but judging from the footage I've seen, they've really paid attention to detail when creating Neo-Venezia -- buildings, islands, shops and traditions from Earth's Venice are all present, something that gives Aria its own, unique atmosphere. The use of colours is also skillfully handled, making the city and it's inhabitants - and of course the water - feel full of life. I was particularily impressed by how the animators made all the strong emotions show on the characters' faces so realistically... with such purity. Aria the Origination might not be an example of cutting-edge animation technology, but on the other hand -- it proves that an anime doesn't have to boast with tons of flashy effects to excel in this department. And it does look considerably better than it's predecessors.
Musically, we have the mandatory slow, comforting opening song that may not be as great as the previous ones, but it's definitely anything but bad. The ending theme, Kin no Nami Sen no Nami, is a much more powerful ballad that fits perfectly with the ebullient emotions the characters - and most likely the viewer - go through during the episodes. Background music was not memorable for me (it almost never is), but I have a hard time imagining that it was anything but stellar during the crucial scenes, considering the impact they left on me. Sound effects were also deftly handled -- the gentle splash of an oar cutting through the water, the cries of the seagulls, the bustling sounds of a crowded marketplace. It was all great. Voice acting? Phenomenal. You can really feel that the voice actresses have captured the essence of their characters perfectly after sticking with them for 50+ episodes.
That aside, Aria's greatest strength has always been it's wonderful cast of characters and the interactions between them. We have the happy-go-lucky Akari, around whom miracles always seem to occur. She loves Aqua more than anyone else and always describes the beauty of nature and life with exquisite words. Words which are more often than not interrupted with the more down-to-earth Aika's trademark line, "Embarrassing remarks are NOT allowed!", which in turn is countered by a "You're very nosy." from the youngest of the three, Alice.
While the comedy moments admittedly are highly repetitive, I actually enjoyed them as well, knowing that I would miss them after finishing the series. Other than that, character interactions are simply beautiful. Over the course of the Aria series, the girls' friendship deepens considerably with all the happy and sad moments they go through together. They gradually realize that becoming a Prima Undine also means that their next to worryless days spent practicing together will come to and end -- that a full schedule means little time to spend with each other. Akari also has to come to terms with the fact that she alone will be shouldering the fate of the two-man Aria company, together with her future apprentice, and thereby say goodbye to the happy years spent with her beloved senior Alicia.
But life goes on and having less time to spend with the people you hold dear only makes you treasure and enjoy these precious moments even more.
I could go on writing forever, but I have to stop sometime, right?
Aria the Origination is undoubtedly the single most important anime I've ever watched. It made me cry rivers while smiling and actually provided me with a new outlook on life, neither of which any other man-made production ever has succeeded in doing.
I tried my best, but it was fruitless; words aren't enough for me to describe how much I love this incredible series. You just have to watch it yourself (unless you're a heartless bastard, of course).
My only 10 I've ever given without hesitating will be awarded Aria the Origination. read more
Mar 8, 2009
Story: Each episode we follow the various characters through their daily events in beautiful Neo-Venezia, and watch the three apprentice undines on their journeys to becoming professionals. When that moment inevitably arrives, it is definitely one of the most touching scenes I’ve ever experienced. However, the ending events do feel rather fast-paced compared to the slow and dreamy atmosphere of most other episodes. Nonetheless, the ending is deeply satisfying, with a message that time brings change to people and places, for better or worse. Though we will treasure memories dear to us, we must always progress towards tomorrow.
Art: The overall animation quality is topnotch, and sees improvements over the second season. The art style is what truly stands out though. From calm moonlit nights to romantic sunsets, stunning Italian architecture to fantastic natural landscapes, Aria is a gorgeous animated painting that will sweep you away.
Sound: The soundtrack is mostly composed of acoustic guitar, piano, and female vocals. The music helps set the mood perfectly, from serene to upbeat. I felt that the vocal tracks were not as strong as in previous seasons, which set the standard really high, but that did not hinder my enjoyment of the music. Voice acting remains superb, bringing out the distinct personality of each character.
Characters: If you have fallen in love with the art and music of Aria, then you will most certainly fall in love with the characters! They are all uniquely wonderful, and it doesn’t hurt that the lead females are very beautiful. Of special note is Akari, the pink-haired protagonist who narrates most of the story. Her romantic, optimistic outlook on life is extremely contagious, and will no doubt bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.
Enjoyment: Given its slow and gentle pacing, Aria is not an anime to be rushed through. Rather, take the time to relax and really enjoy the series. Watch an episode before bedtime and you’ll surely have sweet dreams, trust me on that! It has taken me over three months to watch the three seasons of Aria, and I have enjoyed it unlike any other anime, partly because Aria IS unlike any other anime!
The Aria series is truly a masterpiece. Never before have I fallen so in love with a fictional setting and its charming inhabitants. Through the eyes of Akari, I have come to gain even greater appreciation of the treasure that is life. Parting is such sweet sorrow. Though the journey ends here, in my memory it will remain. And what a journey it has been.
Apr 3, 2008
For those who have followed Aria from the beginning, be it with the “Aria” manga or the anime series “Aria The Animation” and “Aria The Natural”, this third season “Aria The Origination” will no doubt be the greatest of all.
If you haven't watched either “Aria The Animation” or “Aria The Natural” you might still enjoy “Aria The Origination” but you will not be able to enjoy all the depths and events this season has to offer without knowing the character's pasts.
Although the primary settings seems to be science fiction due to it's setting in the distant future on terraformed Mars (now named “Aqua” as the terraforming project covered the planet's surface with water) it actually is a slice-of-life series with an uncanny knack to make you see simple things as miraculous events full of joy and hope.
The entire series focuses more on the daily lives of Akari and her friends and does not really contain a specific plot, save for their goal to become prima undines, professional gondoliers that guide tourists through Neo-Venezia, a recreation of earth's Venice. Although this season does see that plot come to a conclusion in which all the characters evolve, like flowers blooming under the soothing springtime sun. Everything comes full circle and while one may wipe away a tear at the end, the series immediately makes you smile again at the beginning of the new voyage it sets off on.
“Aria The Origination” starts off with episodes much as the previous “Aria” seasons, more common daily events in which Akari, Aika and Alice find joy or unexpected small miracles, and one can be amazed at how Kozue Amano and the staff are able to bring such seemingly mundane events in such a way that they become heart-warming tales. If you had a bad day, an episode of Aria is guaranteed to cheer you up and give you renewed hope.
The latter half of the season sees all characters achieve their goals and even though their lives forever change the undines Akari, Aika, Alice, Alicia, Akira and Athena will forever treasure their time spent together, remaining close friends with a past they won't forget.
Although to the fans it may be sad to see Aria go, the series closes off with a wonderful sentiment, that even though the days of happiness as you knew them are now gone and that voyage is over, you mustn't be sad as another voyage filled with miraculous days is about to begin.
The animation in “Aria The Origination” was terrific, in most episodes the animation was up to par with that of the OVA, “Aria the OVA ~Arietta~” and the character drawing style leaned closer to that of the OVA instead of the more rounded off shapes from “Aria The Natural”. It did look like the gondolas were drawn significantly bigger than in previous seasons.
All the undines looked divine, a lot of attention off course went into making the main characters look superb, and their hilarious chibi modes were present each episode. The backgrounds of Neo-Venezia are rendered as such that you're immediately drawn into their world, the rich palette of bright blue waterways, warm orange sunsets, make you feel as if you're on Aqua.
Choro Club and Senoo again deliver a great soundtrack, with music that fits the scenery of Aqua, featuring soft piano melodies and calm ballads. A prime example of how a soundtrack can perfectly match a series and accentuate the emotions presented on-screen. The OP and ED songs too make a wonderful fit, the OP “Spirale” always accompanied by different scenes of Neo-Venezia.
I often experience that people either fall completely in love with “Aria” or totally do not appreciate the series. If you like the slice-of-life genre or want to see a unique series that soothes the soul, then I definitely recommend “Aria The Origination”.
The best way to describe “Aria” would be: 'a breath of fresh air'. read more
Mar 18, 2009
Story - 10
Origination masters the art of telling simplistic, straight forward stories while giving great insight into the characters and the setting. What were problems in length, use of time, the annoying cats, and introduction of character in Natural and Animation, become the third installment’s strengths. Every episode in Origination showcases something undiscovered in the series’ previous episodes, whether it be a new occupation, place or characters. Each episode serves as piece of development for one of the undines, and in the case of the single, even manages to give the viewer a better look at how they grew to become the women they are in flashbacks. Most importantly, the story manages to make use of all the development, leaving no moment squandered for emotional resonance.
Art - 9
Aria: The Origination is the reason why moving to widescreen is such a wonderful idea. The show was already known for its use of panorama and sprawling set-up shots, but moving into widescreen with the added quality of detail in the art made this show stunning visually. The art design is so original that the viewers instantly know what they are watching and where the action is set. Character design has improved a little because of the change in proportion from standard to widescreen, so the super sugary edges are rounded off a little bit. What I love most about the character design is the execution of everyone’s super deformed counterparts. They are quirky and a little childish, yet very expressive and kind of distill the quality of the character in one look.
Sound - 10
The music is just as wonderful in Origination as it has been in the Aria series. Incorporation of the music is always appropriate and the quality of the music achieves much of the same notes that the tone and presentation of the show have always tried to create: a calm, inviting sense of wonder in which something new can be found every time one listens. Athena’s songs are well done as always and Alice’s song was performed very well considering the constraints of her character’s abilities. The voice actors really dig deep to properly portray the gamut of emotions their characters go through. Nothing ever felt forced or contrived from their performances.
Characters - 9
The characters in Origination take the front seat in care much more so than in the first seasons. Because of the story, and the decided direction in creating closure for the series, Origination pulls no punches in characterization and development. Characters once thought of as clumsy and aloof are actually perceptive and doting. The harsher characters are softened by immaculately exploring their insecurities, and the almost woodenly perfect Alicia is given such a degree of well-executed characterization and development that the distance that Akira as the main character created for the viewer by placing her on a pedestal is slowly brought down making Alicia much more human than I had expected. Perhaps the only disappointment with the characters is that there is little growth with Akira. This is most likely because she is a girl so honest in her motives and accepting of all he faults and flaws that there just isn’t much to be done besides rattle her confidence a few times.
Enjoyment - 10
I loved it all. Everything just absolutely worked in Aria the Origination. This is definitely a show where the whole is vastly greater than the sum of its parts. What I especially loved is that somehow the show gave me everything that I wanted so succinctly and so beautifully. Also, for the first time in a show I think that I rooted for every character and didn’t want any of them to fail. This of course to me is a feat in and of itself, especially because I did not warm up to Akari at all until about halfway through this show. I just embraced all of the characters for what they were and enjoyed watching the growth of everyone by the shows end. For a brief moment, I wanted another series before I talked myself out of it.
Overall - 10
May 7, 2008
Even though it doesn't really have a linear plot, each episode shows a great deal of character development, which is the best aspect of Aria. Focusing on the three juniors, we see how they live their daily life and training to become a Prima, interact with each other and other characters, and overcome their own struggles.
HAL Film Maker easily becomes one of my favorite animation studio. Excellent color choices, smooth animation, beautiful scenery.. what else could you ask for? Definitely looking forward for the DVD releases, since season 1 has already available for pre-orders.
Seiyuu: Simply outstanding.
Ohara Sayaka's perfect and kind onee-san Alicia. Hazuki Erino who perfectly depicts Akari's innocent-ness. Chiwa Saito's adorable crybaby Aika. Hirohashi Ryou's lovely and extremely cute Alice. Minagawa Junko who shows Akira's toughness. Kawakami Tomoko's ultimate dojikko Athena. I can't imagine any other voice replacing any of them..
And honorable mention to Nishimura Chinami as Aria Shachou.
I'm not too fond of Makino Yui at first, but her songs grew into me the more I listened to them.. and I have to say that the original soundtracks are magnificent. Great job, Choro Club ft Senoo.
As I've stated before, Aria's strongest point is the character interaction and development. We learn more and more about them in each episode, slowly but sure we're emotionally attached to each one of them.. (which makes it really hard to part by the end of episode 13.. but a masterpiece should end to be one).
By this point, Aika would have shouted "hazukashii serifu kinshi!" countless times to me, but I just have to praise Aria more. ^^; It's too euphoric it's hard to describe 'the enjoyment' only by words.. It's heart-warming, soothing, and so peaceful it might as well end a war. I enjoyed every single second I spent in Neo-Venezia. Aria stays as the only anime that makes me weep out of happiness.
..because it simply is that awesome. read more
Aug 30, 2010
Story: 10/10 Aria is about three girls striving to become Prima Undine's in Neo-Venezia (formally know as Mars). Prima Undine's are basically tour guides on small two to four person boats. The series goes on to show the extreme beauty of Neo-Venezia in each episode with beautiful art and elegant music. While our three main characters Akari, Aika and Alice train to become Prima with the help of their tutors, Alicia, Athena and Akira. Every episode has many moments that leaves you with a sense of warmth and happiness. The series is incredibly relaxing and slow so if your a fan of fast paced shows, this may not be for you. But if your a fan of Slice-of-Life's slow paced shows, you will love this series. I often compare this series to Mushi-shi because they are both diamonds in the rough. You don't find a Anime series like this one often.
Art: 10/10 I don’t rate for art because it is not a deciding factor on how I watch Anime.
Sound: 10/10 The soundtracks for the entire series are golden. They are filled with slow ballads, acoustic guitar melody’s and great orchestral themes. I have gotten all of these soundtracks from Baka Bt and have not regretted it. Each track is beautiful and it makes you feel like you've stepped back into the beautiful Neo-Venezia. The same goes for the OP/ED's. I actually had most of the openings from the series and I didn’t even know it. My favorite out of all the OP's is probably the opening for the Natural “Euphoria” by Yui Makino and my favorite ending is, of course, Aria the Animation's “Rainbow” by Round Table Feat. Nino.
Character: 10/10 At first I thought this series would have little character development because it focused more on the beauty of the world, but boy I was wrong. The characters have amazing development, there were many times when the character struggled and grew from different experiences. It was an amazing thing to watch. For example, Akia at the beginning was obsessed with Alicia and just wanted to be like her and then later on she grew to be herself and not a shadow of Alicia. It was a lot of fun to watch the characters laugh, cry, and have fun together.
Season One "Aria the Animation": The series had a great begining, it felt like as if it was gradually showing Neo-Venezia and the mysterious power that it holds. (13 Episodes)
Season Two: "Aria the Natural" This one series came in with alot of character development and a sence of mystery and wonder. This part of the series is where my comparison to Mushi-shi comes into play. (26 episodes)
OVA ~Arietta~: This OVA was really special. It gave greater insight into the Aria Company. I was really blown away by this OVA. Its probably the highest rated OVA on my list. (1 episode)
Season 3 "Aria the Origination: The final season of Aria was just beautiful. It has superb character development and wrapped up the series. It ended so beautifully that it just left me in wonder. The we're alot of parts that I got teary eyed in. Characters achived thier dreams, some characters left and passed their torch onto the next generation. It was a beautiful masterpiece.
Enjoyment & Overall: 15/10 This series was amazing. Again, I have never seen anything quite like it. The music, characters, environment and sound were all perfect. This is a series that I will watch over and over again and never get tired of. I constantly thought while I watched this series “I want to see the world through Akari's eyes”. Even now I still wish that, it would be so cool if Neo-Venezia was real, I would love to go there and live the rest of my life. read more
Aug 1, 2012
The Origination is the third part of manga adaptation which titled Aria too, and the Origination is one of the most conclusive last piece i've ever seen in my life as an entertainment enthusiast. Another most conclusive part is Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
The story develops more in the daily life of Mizunashi Akari reaching her dream becoming an Undine.
I suggest you who wanna watch Origination watch the Animation and Natural firstly, because Animation & Natural give a very strong story and emotional foundation to Origination.
The artwork and animation is not going to be questioned, superb as usual, as the sound is.
What's more developed here is the characterization, you'll see more emotion in Origination, more past revealed, and that gives you a warm feeling that the world is filled with wonderful things.
Seemed naive maybe, but i enjoy the conclusion of the series the most, it gives you a certain feeling of I-Don't-want-to-let-go with the series.
This is my shortest review on Aria series, because i can't describe how great and heart-warming this series is, and definitely one of the best i've ever watched. read more
May 14, 2009
aria the origination is the 3rd season of aria series, this series also
has the best music and everything on it composed very well, great singer
and seiyuu, the atmosphere is very calm not like the other.
well, this also describe that "old" world still be choose by the main chara,
including comedy, little romance and some great history about neo-venezia
which is ever exist on real life, for me, some of the story include history on it.
what can i say?? outstanding character, nice shape of building and background
makes this series have a great art i ever seen before
yui makino really fit's the theme music pretty well, as well one fact that
aria is the only series that makes me cry after 3 years. the music feel soft and
yui makino fit the theme of the story pretty good
each character have the perfect role, including the loli's
so you wanna think twice about watching this series?
ENJOYMENT & OVERALL:10
i really enjoy this series and it would be possible if i'm gonna rewatch it again,
i would say all of the aria series had a amazing story per episode,
and it would be to bad if you miss this great series, unfortunately,
this series have a less romance and more comedy and sometimes makes
you kinda bored, but all of the great things are most on here. read more
Mar 10, 2009
All good things come to an end, how sad and true this is. ARIA the ORIGINATION is the third and final season of the series adapted from Kozue Amano's ARIA manga series. And I must say, this season is just something else...its the end of the journey around Neo-Venezia and what an end this is.
Story: It is impossible to understand what an amazing story the series has had unless you have finished watching all the seasons, this season truly makes you appreciate the other seasons more. ARIA the ORIGINATION shows the conclusion of the journey for Akari and her friends in their goal to become full fledged undines. The beginning of the show retains the usual standard of storytelling and qualities that we can expect from the series. Presenting us once again with the daily lives of out undines and the events happening around them. But it is a bit past the halfway mark of this season that ARIA shifts gears and presents us with pure greatness. After being with these great characters for 39 episodes + 1 OVA ,the final set of episodes for ARIA the ORIGINATION presents us with such emotionally powerful scenes time and time again it is almost impossible not to get emotional while watching them. There isn't enough words to describe how incredible the ending for this anime was delivered. This series is just magnificent.
Art: Despite already being very pretty to look at, this final season looks even better, not only in terms of background graphics but there is also significant improvement in the character animations as well. It also helps that this season is presented in 16:9 resolution >_> Overall this is the best looking season hands down.
Sound: Although this season is IMO the weakest of the 3 in terms of soundtracks, it is still one of the best you can hear...the many different songs mixed with the great moments this anime delivers combine perfectly to deliver very powerful scenes. However this season is prob the best one of the 3 in terms of how well the voice actors played their parts. My hat goes off to all the seiyuus for doing such an amazing job (especially Hazuki Erino, marvelous).
Character: This is without a doubt where the anime shines the most. Over the course of series we are introduced and grouped with Akari and her friends Aika and Alice as they train to become professional undines. It is hard to not grow some kind of emotional attachment to these characters after two entire seasons of watching them train and have fun together. We are shown how the characters mature and grow up in order to adapt to the inevitable changes that happens in life. It is using this emotional attachment that ORIGINATION manages to reach into our heart by showing us the end of their journeys and the beginning of new ones to come in spectacular fashion.
Enjoyment: Words cannot describe how incredible this experience was, looking back at when I first started watching season 1 and now, it still feels weird that I have finished this series. You are left with a feeling of satisfaction yet at the same time you dont want it to end. Such is the greatness that I experienced watching this anime and this is the first time I have ever given a full set of 10s for an anime without hesitation.
Overall: ARIA the ORIGINATION is without a doubt one of the few masterpieces out there. It is a beautiful anime in every sense and even if my scores make me look like some kind of fanboy I don't care because this anime and this series as a whole IS THAT GOOD! To those out there who are looking for a relaxing anime that can make you smile at the end of each episode, it can make you laugh and cry as well...look no further, this anime will be a godsend for you. read more
Oct 12, 2008
I find ARIA to be a "love it or hate it" series. It's pretty obvious I loved it while on the other hand, action-mecha fans would find this the ultimate bore.
Unlike the previous seasons, The Origination starts rolling towards the climax of the series and progression starts to occur. While it is rather predictable that apprentices tend to get promoted, the way it was done was simply magnificent.
This is one of the very few animes which has actually outdone the source manga with appropriately dramatic and moving presentation of key events and lessons.
A mark get knocked off for an early-season hiccup and pacing issues which affected my experience.
It is pretty obvious that The Origination had a nice, fat budget. The characters are drawn well and are consistent. Alice especially is exceptionally cute. The scenery has an amazing level of detail and where it matters, is totally accurate to the real-life counterpart - having visited Venice just because of ARIA! A wide range of colours and shades were used and the CGI of the water was also a step-up from what was already excellent in previous seasons.
The clever use of angles, panning and differing drawing styles for specific moments served to totally enhance the story and created a far greater impact than the manga.
A mark knocked off nonetheless for the animation, where "framelagging" in some scenes were rather obvious.
Turn up the speakers and you'll hear the excellent background sounds of Venice. The sounds of the market, the gondola and the water are excellently inserted. It is this extra touch that makes me give full marks.
The soundtrack by Choro Club is outstanding like it was in the previous seasons and the way it was used was totally spot on. Even when it was sub-par (an attempt at Esperanto showed a glaring Japanese accent), the way it was combined with the story and art still made it excellent and I was simply blown away.
It took time for me to get used to the OP/ED but I find the tunes fit very well.
With the soundtracks being so soothing and relaxing, I ended up using it for dubious purposes, such as during exam revision!
ARIA's cast have an exceptionally good relationship with each other - and this close bonding was by no means created in a smooth manner. Each and every main character relationships have their own interesting stories which I found to be very interesting and they support each other in their own unique ways.
The relative maturity of the characters are built upon the foundations of the first 2 seasons and it is great to see them gradually becoming more mature and independent, while still maintaining their own unique personalities.
A mark knocked off for a rather bland anime-original character, which is also the cause of the hiccup in the story at the start of the series.
ARIA is totally uplifting and positive, and this is important especially when the real world is a rather negative place. I totally enjoyed the postiviness, the jokes and the teasings exchanged between the characters. It was also total eye-candy because of the excellent art and the music also added greatly.
Again, a mark knocked off because of that one episode, one particular character which simply killed my enjoyment for a week.
No series is perfect over an entire season but not many come as close to perfection as ARIA the Origination. A superbly produced work and it is indeed a bit of a pity all good things come to an end! read more
Feb 15, 2009
At the final minute of a perfect end to the series, I was overcome with both glee and sadness. Even now, as I think about how this series is actually over and I won't have anymore episodes to watch, it saddens me, because that's how good it was. It's inspired me to become an even better writer so that perhaps one day I can write something that will make people as sad - just because they love it that much.
Aria is about three young girls who are training to become gondoliers - gondola riders. They live in a city called Neo-Venizia, which is a future Venice. And the show is generally a slice-of-life tale of these girls growing into their own and becoming Primas, which are full-fledged gondoliers. Full of amazing music, charm, and heart-tugging little stories that could give you happy dreams the rest of your life, Aria is unique in its broad imagination and detail. The world of Neo-Venizia puts you at ease and then fills you with wonder, much like a ride on a gondola itself.
Akari, the main character, and her senior, Alicia, run Aria Company. Every day, Akari learns more and more about this wondrous city as she and her two new friends, Aika and Alice, practice together. They meet fascinating characters and discover secret places tucked away, all while learning about themselves and the ones they look up to. And surrounding these times are breathtaking landscapes and scenes drawn by the finest of animators.
And after three seasons, when the first part of Akari's story comes to a close, the author somehow turns the story full-circle in a masterful job of penmanship that ranks in the upper echelon of magnificent writing. Not only does it make your heart pound with overwhelming feeling and love, but it gives you hope for the new generation - a new story waiting on the horizon.
For anyone who loves a fantastic story that could end all ails with one cute "Ehhhh?" from Akari, I would recommend Aria. I guarantee you will be changed forever, even before Alicia can say, "Ada ada!" read more
Jun 5, 2011
Admittingly, the first half to this series isn’t really any different from the first two seasons of the anime. I could honestly just call the first half of the Origination as the “second season, part two” because of the inherent similarities.
However, it’s really the latter half of this season that really hits it home and brings everything together. The character development in the second half is the culmination of everything this series has come to represent, with the final moments we have with Akari, Alice, and Aika all the more endearing. Yet, at the same time, these endearing moments are saddening because you realize that the series is finally drawing to a close. In the end, though, the closure this season brings to the characters is just plain satisfying, and you truly do get the feeling that “life goes on” in the world of Aqua. The setting of Aqua has always felt very alive and vibrant, but this series also goes further to emphasize how this wondrous world lives on, no matter who may be the ones living there.
A great aspect to the character development here is that it isn’t limited to just the main trio of heroines. Almost every single significant side character, from Alicia to Akatsuki, from Akira to Athena, from Al to Grandma Akino, gets some rather well done proper closure. For a thirteen episode series, getting proper closure for a somewhat large cast of characters is a bit surprising, but I’m nevertheless glad it worked out so well.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the production values have improved here. The music remains a great complement to this series, with it’s rather vibrant, sometimes subtle, sometimes tainted in melancholy, musical pieces that adds a lot more feeling to the story. The animation really improved here as well, with quite a bit more detail added to the drawings and backdrops here. On a slightly unrelated side note, the added 16:9 widescreen aspect is a much welcomed change in my eyes.
Looking back, Aria as a franchise is a rather wonderful little slice of life series. Admittingly, the slow pacing is definitely not for everybody, but at the same time Aria is a great series to just sit down and relax to. I can easily see why people call Aria an “iyashiki-kei” (healing) anime. The atmospheric calmness to the setting, and the charms to the characters, all add together in a charming package that certainly took me by surprise. And finally, as a conclusion, I couldn’t have asked for the franchise to be closed off in any other way.
Overall Enjoyment: 8.7/10 (rounded up to a 9 on MAL) read more
Mar 14, 2008
Aria is set in a fictional city which is based off Venice, Italy. The story follows Arika who is a Undine trainee who is aiming to become a Prima. A Undine is someone who rows a gondola as their occupation, taking clients around the city of Neo Venezia, pretty much a tour guide that guides you on a gondola. A Prima is a top class Undine who is their company's best Undine and are very famous. Arika, along with her good friends Aika and Alice, are trainees under the 3 current Primas Alicia, Akira, and Athena.
The animation is pretty much the same as the previous seasons. The thing i like most is how they use so much color thats easy on the eyes and enjoyable to look at. You can tell the creators put in a lot of effort to make the city of Neo Venezia come to life and immerse the viewers into it's daily events which i think they accomplished very well. I especially enjoy how the creators use chibi-like faces to express the mood of the characters, even though it gets repetitive, i still don't get tired of it.
The music is sooooooo relaxing, most of the BGM has a happy melody. Sometimes you won't even notice the BGM because it is so subtle and soft sounding, but it fits right into the mood and setting that makes it enjoyable and not annoying to hear. The opening theme is a very good example of how the music sounds like throughout the series. The ending theme is pleasant in its own way also, but i still skip it to watch the next episode >_<
In this season you will definitely notice the differences in what the episodes are about compared the previous seasons. There are a lot more character developments going on. It expresses the bonds the characters share with each other and shows how they are important to them. And it finally shows more traits and personality growth with some of the characters which the previous seasons didn't show much of, for example Athena my fav! ^_^
I enjoyed this season as i have the previous seasons, after 2 seasons I am still watching it. So yea enjoyed it very much.
So if you are tired of the shounen or drama type of anime, this kind of slice of life is will be a relaxing change. I warn you though, if you are the type that loves plot driven animes with drama and lots of fight scenes, STEP AWAY FROM THIS ANIME.
Sep 28, 2011
That is what I would say if I could describe Aria in one word.
I first found out about this series while meandering through the Top Anime page on MAL here. "Hmm, look at that. Aria? Ranked #14. Right by Mushishi and Death Note. 15k members. Guess I'll check it out." I'm so glad I did.
I'm surprised at how little discussion there is for this series. Maybe it's like Legend of the Galactic Heroes or Hajime no Ippo wherein people who have completed the series know that it's simply amazing and having nothing more to say. Well, I disagree with that ideology and think that there is much to say. I wish people would spread the word about this magnificent thing...
Anyways, one of the best things about Aria is that every single episode contains two key elements: 1) PLOT PROGRESSION and 2) CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. Honestly, this surprised me at first for how consistently good it was since it has been such a long time I've seen a series do that. It's one of the reasons why I put Aria on my profile as the second of my "Favorite Anime" series; right alongside Code Geass.
Another great thing is that Aria keeps getting smoothly and consistently better as you keep watching. If I could use a metaphor: the first series (and the one you should start with), Aria the Animation is a cupcake with delicate frosting and a lovely lit candle in the center. It's such a treat. Aria the Natural is a birthday cake, maybe with some strawberries in the middle. It's a celebration. Aria the Origination is a full blown wedding cake. It's a momentous, life-changing event. I hope you feel the same way.
Fun fact: Aria is the highest-ranked G-rated series. That's right; you don't need blood, tits, and coarse language to make an awesome show.
~Feedback is appreciated, blah blah blah... enough text already. read more
Dec 30, 2009
Story: While the structure is still very much episodic, this time you can really feel like the show is heading somewhere instead of taking us on a ride to different places like the first two seasons did (and of course, like the characters do...but I digress). It's also fair to say that Aria the Animation and Aria the Natural were sort of like introductions to both the characters and the world of Aqua, preparing us for this season's wrap-up of the series, and it wraps up very nicely.
Art: Overall not much different from the first two seasons except for a few parts that show a notable step-up in the animation quality, which is a good thing since the first two seasons had top-notch art. I also liked a lot of the new character designs in this season better than in the previous seasons.
Sound: Again like the previous two seasons, the music fits the mood of the moment perfectly in the series. From the calm and relaxing opening theme to the inserted songs, heart-lifting tunes at perfect moments and the wonderful ending theme, the music in this season is definitely a treat and very memorable. And of course, you just can't help but fall in love with the singing abilities of Athena and Alice.
Character: This season likely has the most character development of the three, helped by the fact that the viewer should already know the characters and their personalities when watching it. Character always was one of, if not the greatest part of this series. All of them are cute and lovable with their different ideas, personalities, and problems. In fact, I don't know if it's possible to actually dislike any of this show's characters. I know I loved them all.
Enjoyment: I laughed. I cried. I couldn't help but smile at least 3/4 of the time. I haven't enjoyed a series like I did with this one since earlier this year. I loved Aria the Origination. The only thing about I didn't love was the fact that it ended, though the ending itself was as wonderful as the rest of the series.
Overall: I was surprised. Seasons 1 and 2, while good, weren't exactly spectacular, and I was expecting most of the same from this season. I was blown away. The music seemed to fit better, the happy moments felt happier, the characters grew even more on me, and the bittersweet moments were executed perfectly. If you're a fan of slice-of-life, you will love this series. If you're not, give it a try anyway (starting, of course, with Aria the Animation). You may be pleasantly surprised just like I was. read more
Apr 21, 2011
The ARIA series as a whole carries a truly magnificent treasure. It confines itself to showing us only positive things by filtering out everything that is potentially able to arouse negative feelings. I'll talk about this later.
-- Introduction to ARIA --
ARIA's plot takes part in a replica of Venice called Neo-Venecia on the planet Aqua we know as Mars after a terraforming process has been executed. After this terraforming, the planet's surface changed and got covered with water what enabled people to build a Venice-like city. Within this city there are gondoliers working as tourist guides and carriers. The story revolves around three female apprentices of three different gondolier companies and their training to become a A-rank gondolier, called Prima. Although all three of them work at competing companies, they are good friends to one another and cherish their relationship.
-- What you get to see --
Within the three seasons you get to know not only the beautiful scenery of Neo-Venecia together with its diverse people, wonderful miracles and exciting mysteries, that are all developed beautifully and give us a calm and satisfied feeling, but also the three undines (gondoliers in this story) and the people around them. Among them are the three seniors with a distinct character and a very important role in this story.
-- Atmosphere --
All characters in this story are full of life and enjoy every day in Neo-Venecia. They share their happiness with the people around them and never show us a depressed look. The music is soothing and fits perfectly into the Italian atmosphere and into the story. The art is quite good, there aren't any special effects or such due to missing action but everything that is shown is developed very well. Also the fact that you get to see (and get to listen to) the beautiful water in every episode supports the creation of this really calm and friendly atmosphere.
-- Not a single negative occurrence --
Yes. Neo-Venecia is like utopia to us. All things that might cause stress and fear like accidents, illness, anger, arguments and conflicts, etc. are completely ignored in this piece of art. Instead we get confronted with friendship, a beautiful city filled with warmhearted people, gorgeous arts, bright feelings, love and cuteness. A perfect place to release one's mind and to get away from it all. This is why 'slice of life' works in this show perfectly.
-- Inspiring content --
It's inspiring yes. You can take a lot of things with you after watching ARIA. This show might change your view on certain things because it shows you the bright side of everything. Not everything in life is always bright, but ARIA might give us motivation to change our way of approaching issues and it's giving us back the dream of a perfect world in the case it has been lost. Outstanding enjoyment!
-- Animation, Natural and Origination.. the differences --
While Animation is a brief introduction into the world of Aqua and Neo-Venecia, Natural focusses on occurences and mysteries in Neo-Venecia aswell as on its people. Origination ultimately takes all this and drives forward. The first half of Origination doesn't give us a feeling of an approaching plot, but the second half covers everything there needs to be covered.. in a wonderful way.
-- Rating --
Story: 6 (doesn't matter anyway since there's no need for a real story)
Art / Sound: 8
-- Recommendation --
ARIA is a show worth watching. Whenever you feel depressed or stressed, ARIA is like medicine. Whenever you feel happy, complete and satisfied, ARIA is like a drug. Everyone who is interested in watching a completely peaceful and calm anime has made an excellent choice considering ARIA. Let yourself get enchanted by its beautiful scenery, interesting and funny characters, a story that you don't have to think about very much, and a lot of moments that actually show you what the pain of joy is about. read more