Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Aria Volume 1 (Aria (Tokyopop)) (v. 1)
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Customer Reviews

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Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on June 12, 2004
After 150 years of terraforming, the barren planet of Mars has been turned into a new water-covered planet named Aqua. Akari Mizunashi, parentless and alone, has come to the city of Neo Venezia (modeled on Venice) to become an undine (gondolier) on the labyrinthine water boulevards. She's made a couple of friends after 11 months, such as her mentor Alicia and fellow co-worker for the Aria corporation. She also has a strange overweight cat/dog named President Aria that serves as her good luck mascot on her travels as a sort of wholesome taxi driver.
You can't just become a full-fledged gondolier without meeting some prerequisites, which are not made very clear in this first volume. Akari loves her work, if you can call it that, since she loves to introduce tourists, or anyone for that matter, to the charms and beauty of her new home. Along the way she brings some light into people's lives, meets ancient spirits, and competes in a race.
Aria has a gentle beauty to it. It's not an action manga. It's more like a haiku with words and pictures. Sometimes a couple of panels will take up the subject of the motion of the boat through the water as leaves twirl in the air around it. What we're really dealing with here is the daily life of a person who just happens to be an undine on Aqua. Whether you find joy in simplicity should be the gauge for this manga. The characters are a little sketchy yet and you wonder how long the story can survive on charm alone. There's a great gem of a story in this volume about Akari and a friend visiting a shrine and encountering a spirit that bodes well on the storytelling aspects that need to equal the visuals. I'm curious as to how volume 2 will turn out.
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on January 18, 2008
Not to be a nitpicker, but compared to the first US release by ADV, this cover is UGLY. The creator doesn't just slap some random font for the sake of font. She thought through to use the font that reflects the series the most. And not too surprisingly (as evidenced by Aqua), Tokyopop just goes on and mangle perfectly tasteful cover art by replacing the title fonts with something done by whom has absolutely no idea about the series itself. Well done, I guess this hideous thing is what we will be seeing for the next 10+ volumes. That, and cheap-changing on color pages that no longer exists in US release. Very disappointing.
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