Animation: Fair
Depth: Excellent
Design: Fair
Characters: Excellent
Story: Excellent

Type: TV   (26 episodes)

Vintage: 2006


» slice of life
Verdict: Reviews @ Archen's Anime Page
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Aria the Natural

Summary: >

On the planet Aqua, time flows with leisurely pace at Aria Company.

Last season there was some excitement when Akari had to row her gondola really fast. Things really heat up in the second season when Akari almost drops a bag of mail into the water. Whew, that was intense!

Thoughts: >

I had my doubts about the second season. As each episode began I had this feeling it wouldn't be that good. This isn't because I have anything against Aria, it's because I always expected the magic of Aria to evaporate. I had a hard time believing a series could be so charming, a joy to watch, but not botch it sooner or later. Aria proves me wrong and is enchanting from start to finish.

The first season of Aria mainly focused on Akari. This time everyone else also gets some time in the spotlight. With such a big cast, it's remarkable that I like all of them (yes ALL of them). No mater who was featured, I knew I'd be interested in their story. I wouldn't say things get "biting" or "dramatic", but there are episodes that might bring a tear to your eye.

The depth score probably requires explaining. From outward appearances, Aria looks anything but deep. However if you pay attention there is an incredible amount of lore in this series. It's not conspicuous because Aria presents culture and history in a realistic way. When you travel to a foreign country, differences aren't explicitly pointed out. Instead you would bump into them as you encounter them. In Aria the many traditions, and customs are presented in a way which feels very natural. Customs and traditions stem from the original Venice, Neo Venzia, gondoliers guild, and even from Aria company itself. The environment quite complex with well thought out details.

With this season, Aria remains reigning champion in the girls with gondolas genre. The Natural is "more Aria", but if you liked the first season, you certainly didn't get enough! The good news is that not only is there more of it, everything is just as good or better. Exploration of the other characters adds a great mix for the show. It's not perfect and there are a few episodes I'd consider clunkers, but the ratio of good to meh episodes is very very high. Aria doesn't change, but you'll be very glad it doesn't.

Screen Caps: >

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reviewed by archen in 2012