kawaiiguy's Aria Tv Review

Aria Aria Screenshot Neo Venezia from above Aria Screenshot President Aria, SD Akari, and Alicia enjoy a moment Aria Screenshot The real San Marco Square Aria Screenshot San Marco Square in Aria

Aria tv Review

In the future, mankind has colonized the other planets of our solar system. Today's Mars is know as Aqua. After terraforming, the planet became covered in water. Our story takes place in one city on Aqua, known as Neo Venezia. Mizunashi Akari is a carefree girl journeyed to Neo Venezia from Manhome to become an undine (gondola rower and tour guide). Base on the manga by Kozue Amano, Aria seeks to uncover the simple life in an age where technology has made everything possible.

Credits: kawaiiguy

Story & Characters

In the future, mankind has colonized the other planets of our solar system. Today's Mars is know as Aqua. After terraforming, the planet became covered in water. Our story takes place in one city on Aqua, known as Neo Venezia. Mizunashi Akari is a carefree girl journeyed to Neo Venezia from Manhome to become an undine (gondola rower and tour guide). Base on the manga by Kozue Amano, Aria seeks to uncover the simple life in an age where technology has made everything possible.

The best thing about Aria is how amazingly simple it is. Like other series dubbed as slice of life, Aria lacks a distinct continuing story. While this upsets most viewers, I find it has a certain charm. Each episode is freestanding and largely unrelated to the others. The characters are all introduced with care and are explored over the course of the series. Akari is extremely innocent and pure hearted, much like a child from the city seeing the ocean for the first time. Aika is her counterpart, growing up on Aqua and trivializing all the things Akari finds amazing. Alice rounds out the trio as the youngest member. Her "I-can't-believe-I'm-hanging-out-with-you" attitude works well, especially while Akari shows her how to appreciate the little things in life.

Aria plays into its genre very well. It's lack of coherance doesn't take away from its message; it adds to the overall beauty and grace. Aria is the story of finding happiness in the simplest things in life. Although everything can be done by modern inventions, there's still a certian joy from doing it by hand.

Rating: 8


The transfer between paper and screen is very well done for Aria. The original artwork was very fluid and graceful and much of that made it into the anime. There are occasions when SD designs come into play, usually when the main characters are arguing. I find the use of SD amazingly cute and a good break from the usually beautiful visuals.

The visuals play very well into the charm of the series. Neo Venezia is modeled after today's Venice, with replicas of many well known landmarks. These are all very well done, giving the city a very realistic and nostalgic feel (especially if one has visited Venice). The gentle use of watercolor completes the image, making the whole thing feel calming and peaceful.

Overall, Aria is just beautiful to watch and enjoy, as well as easy to absorb.

Rating: 7


A gentle series requires a gentle soundtrack. Choro Club (feat. Senoo) easily steps into this role with soothing piano and flowing strings. The music is peaceful and serves as a wonderful complement to everything else Aria has to offer. The opening song is performed by Makino Yui, which does a great job setting the stage for each episode. The ending theme is performed by ROUND TABLE Feat. Nino. I would like to point out that this is one of the only songs by Round Table that I don't find overly annoying. The instrumentals are simple with an overlay of easy flowing lyrics.

Voice acting is well done. The voice for each character matches very well with the perceived personality. Signature phrases are done well, like Alicia's "Ara ara," which, much to my surprise, sounds exactly how I imagined it while reading the manga. The only complaint I have with the voice acting is that some characters sound entirely too flat. Alice's voice is a bit monotonic, with very little emotional inflection. While this fits her personality, it feels too overpowering.

Rating: 8


Of the many series I was anxious for, Aria stood out as one of my favorite. I was already a big fan of the manga, which made me wonder how an animated version would turn out. Unlike Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, Aria made an extremely good transition between print and screen. The anime does well in capturing the simplicity and charm of the manga, while preserving the message of the simple life. In today's wide range of magical girls, giant robots, sorcery, and in-your-face comedy, Aria stands out as a break from the norm. Less is more, or so they say.

As a testiment to the quality of the show, it is the only anime where I watch each episode from beginning to end without skipping. Each opening sequence is different and the ending theme brings the story to a close. On occasion, the ending is tweaked to match the feel of the episode, be it using an acoustic version or taking out a section. There is even one episode divided into two half episodes, where an instrumental version of the ending is played halfway through.

I find Aria the perfect series to curl up and watch on a snowy day. Each episode really does make you feel warm and fuzzy afterwards. Find a blanket, hot chocolate (or good glass of Port, if you're over 21), turn up the sound, and fully immerse yourself in the future that feels like the past.

Rating: 9

Final Verdict

8.17 (good)

Reviewed by kawaiiguy, Jan 24, 2006


  1. Al21Tweety Jan 25, 2006

    Overall I agree with your rating. I love Aria. The story is simple, comical, and at first seemed boring until I grew accustomed with everything, than after the first few ep. I was in love with it. The music is well-fitted (I love the OP) and I think there are very few casual anime's (not action oriented) that are well done and I think this is one of them. Spread the Aria love...

  2. shoujoboy Jan 25, 2006

    From what I had read before I kind of imagined something else. I wanted to see it before but even moreso now. Great review and it gives me some actual clarity on what this show really is.

  3. kazurro Jan 25, 2006

    This anime really great. It's tottaly different from the other anime with high problems and high supressing. I love this anime

  4. Northy Jan 25, 2006

    The character art and the animation suffers a little in the middle episodes (but gets more stable again in the later ones.) I didn't see you mention this, but you rated the art and animation 7, so it's fair anyway. Also, the CG is... well, decent, but leaving out details like the gondolas making waves when they move.

    Outside of that, I have nothing to add to this. I'm currently (and anxiously) awaiting the last episode of the first season, which will feature one of my favorite manga stories; the Auguri buon anno celebration. A lovely conclusion to a great show.

  5. souji-sama Jan 25, 2006

    I agree, this anime is one of the very few I could sit back and enjoy. The pace is slow but thats one of the joys of these types of series.

  6. harakiri Jan 25, 2006

    I think the story is highly overrated. As already mentioned there is no plot development and the daily stories aren't complex at all so even if you enjoyed Aria you should try to rate the story how it actually was. 8 for story is way too many because you need to compare it to anime that have a well written plot and you will realize that Aria's plot is quite poor.
    The animation wasn't that good either. They saved money by leaving out a lot of movement. So far, that's the objective part.

    And now my opinion; I don't know why so many people love Aria. I was about to fall asleep while watching it and only this annyoing cat kept me alive as I imagined many ways to prepare it as a meal.

  7. SebastianvonKane Jan 26, 2006

    I agree with harakiri.
    I watched just two episodes and got really bored. Besides, the art is not what I expected.
    May be it's the fact we got only Aria's fans around here.

  8. Al21Tweety Jan 27, 2006

    To the last two replies, totally understand, especially with sebastianvonKane as my initial reaction. I actually watched the first two eps too and was like, bored... but months later I picked up where I left off just to see, and after the fourth really came to enjoy it more. It isn't high paced, but for a laid back anime with its comedic moments (which I didn't enjoy till later on as well) I think in the end it is great. Season 2 is coming anyway...

  9. Drake6 Jan 29, 2006

    I'm actually not an Aria fan especially that I haven't read the manga. But when I watched it out of curiosity...I really loved it! I think it's about your inclination when it comes to anime genre. I do like action,drama or sci-fi animes but as Aria comes to play, it gives me a feeling or a sense of belonging...a soothing effect not given by any other anime. Seems like others are bored with this title and I have to say, it's pretty laid-back...but even though it's like that, I fully enjoyed watching this series and the anime that I guess I can say that I watched it to the fullest..^^

  10. kitten1984 Jan 30, 2006

    i really LOVE this anime
    its sweet, calming, and i feel peaceful when i watch it
    maybe some ppl will find it boring ! but i think it a very great anime and i can`t wait for the new season ^.^

  11. arashidragon Feb 09, 2006

    I recently discovered the manga for Aria while browsing a bookstore a few weeks ago. Since then I have fallen for this adorable series. I am so happy to find out that there is an anime series for this endearing work. If the series is half as good as you say it is I am sure I will love it just as much as I love the manga.

  12. nenechan Feb 15, 2006

    This series is absolutely so sweet and precious. Working in a bookstore, I stumbled on Aria while I was taking a lunch break and needed something to read. I was instantly hooked, and so excited to see that the anime was being subbed! I've watched all but the last episode and read all 3 books (How I wish they'd release more in the US soon!) and I really enjoyed it. Makino Yui has since become my favorite music artist after watching this series, and the sweetness of her songs really flows with how simple and endearing the whole series is. I hope they do more with it. It's one of those stories you can watch just to relax, and it reminds you that the simplest things in life are often the best!

  13. mk2136 Feb 22, 2006

    Awesome ^^

  14. dav1d Apr 20, 2006

    I can understand that some people hate Aria because it doesn't have any real plot. But that's the beauty of it. Not everything has to have a plot. Cherish your surrounding, loving your life is what Aria wants you to think. That's why i can relate to Aria more than other manga about ninja's, pirate's or warriors from other planet. Don't get me wrong i also like the later manga, but with Aria I kind of have a real life connection to the story. ANyway it's a great manga, but the animation quality of the anime is not so great, i like the manga better.

  15. Suzume17 Feb 17, 2007

    A very nice anime with a slice of life feel, this really was one anime to sit down to and watch.

  16. YukariSendou May 17, 2010

    This is an excellent anime i've ever watch...
    I watched all the series of ARIA, from The Animation, The Natural, The Arieta and The Origination.
    All of the storylines are great and touched my heart....
    Akari really is an inspirating girl....
    I hope there's a continuation of ARIA....^^

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