When they first announced a new Aria anime I assumed we might be getting a sequel to the original Hidan no Aria, Granted the original was by no means a great show but it was at least half decent. However instead of a sequel we got something called Hidan no Aria AA a spin off series that takes place around the same time.
Spin off's are normally an outcome of a surge in popularity for the main or parent show, From my viewpoint I don't really think the original Hidan no Aria was popular or even good enough to adapt a spin off but nevertheless we got one. Rarely do spin off's tend to surpass the original and Hidan no Aria AA is no exception to it.
For starters Hidan no Aria AA can pretty much be watched even without seeing the original as it has no ties with it(As far as the anime is concerned), Previous knowledge of the series just gives you a little more insight into Aria's character and you'll recognize some of the older characters who make cameo appearances and of course knowledge of the Hidan no Aria world which they do explain in the beginning of AA as well.
The story is literally meh and is almost non existent for three quarters of the show, Most of the episodes are nothing but episodic Yuri fan service with most of the characters fawning over each other, When the story does get serious however it's not really anything special and to be honest it just feels like some forced plot so that the spin off can try to capture a little of the serious overtone of the original. So as far as plot goes it's nothing great honestly and it just so happens to be there for the sake of it and thus makes it very predictable as to what will happen.
Finally the fight scenes that do occur are very mediocre and some are just downright bad, By bad I mean honestly really bad.
There is a small cast of relevant characters, Akari is your main protagonist who idolizes and dreams of becoming Aria's (Original series protagonist ) apprentice shall I say, We then have her group of friends which include two girls who fawn over Akari and is the show's main yuri fan service element and a more onee-sama type character. We then have Akari's sister, Aria of course and last but not least the characters from the original that make cameo appearances.
Character Development- Weak/Stagnant
Due to Episodic/Yuri of nature of possibly the first 9 episodes none of the characters have any real development and even the little that does occur towards the end of the show is weak and dosen't really change anything or make any major difference, Predictable.
The art is excellent and may be a major point to watch this show, The characters look really cute and the animation and backgrounds look good as well. Aria especially looks way cuter than in the original series.
The OP is awesome, The OST suits the series but nothing really stood out as exceptional.
My enjoyment of the show was very limited, You could say I just dragged myself to watch it just for the sake of seeing the characters from the original series The Yuri fan service gets tedious at one point and the supposedly serious stuff that finally came I couldn't take seriously at all. None of the chracters(AA exclusive) appealed to me. The fight scenes were a joke(literally). It's funny occasionally and that's about it.
So should you watch Hidan no Aria AA?
Perhaps, If you like yuri fan service then by all means this show is for you but don't expect anything extreme. If you don't mind a weak plot/characters and just wanna watch something for boredom then you could give this try, You might enjoy it more than me but I would still recommend something else.
If you're expecting cool action/plot please look elsewhere as none of that is present here. If you're interested in seeing the Aria world/characters again then this could be worth it for you. Apart from that I don't see any other reason to recommend this to you.
Overall - 4
Hidan no Aria AA is to be honest is not worth your time and you're better off watching something else.