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Aria the Animation Season 1

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Sep 30, 2008)
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$23.90

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In the early 24th century, Mars has been terraformed by mankind into a sparkling planet covered in water. Akari Mizunashi, at the age of 15, has left everything behind to travel to that reborn world, now known as Aqua. More than anything, Akari wants to be an "undine" - a female gondolier who navigates the canals of the Aquan city of Neo-Venezia. As she begins her training with the prestigious Aria Company, will she be up to the challenges that await her on the path to achieve her dream? Contains the complete 13-episode first season. DVD Features: Scene access, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo audio for Japanese dialogue, English subtitles and English on-screen translations. PLUS: More features to be announced.

Amazon.com

The shojo (girl's) fantasy Aria (2005) takes places 150 years after Mars was "terraformed" into the watery planet Aqua. Fifteen-year-old Akari Mizunashi has come to Aqua to become an "Undine," a woman who steers a gondola through the canals of Neo Venezia, offering information about its landmarks to tourists. She and her friends Aika and Alice study with the three most celebrated Undines in the city. Although Akari can be a bit of a klutz at times, her existence is so tame and wholesome, it makes "The Bobsey Twins" feel like life in the fast lane. Some critics complained that the popular Azumanga Daioh, like Seinfeld, wasn't about anything. But the girls in that high school cast acted like real individuals; Akari and her friends behave so well they suggest throwbacks to a '50s juvenile novel. The idea of building a perfect replica of the city of Venice as a tourist attraction fits in with the Japanese predilection for creating theme restaurants and parks of all sizes. A pastel-colored Neverland inhabited exclusively by cute teenagers and cute (if strange-looking) cats may appeal to adolescent girls, but it will quickly bore their brothers and older viewers. Kozue Amano's Aria manga scored a big hit in Japan, and the animated series spawned two sequels and an OVA. In Japanese only, with English subtitles. (Rated 13 and older, but suitable for viewers two or three years younger: brief nudity, minor cartoon violence) --Charles Solomon

(1. That Lovely Miracle... 2. On That Special Day... 3. With That Transparent Girl... 4. That Undeliverable Letter... 5. To That Impossibly Existing Island... 6. Things That We Want to Protect... 7. That Wonderful Job... 8. That Dejected President... + That Cool Hero... 9. That Star-like Fairy... 10. During That Warm Holiday... 11. On Those Orange Days... 12. That Gentle Wish... 13. That White Morning...)


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Junichi Sato
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: RIGHT STUF
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2008
  • Run Time: 325 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BN4WA4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,516 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This Solomon Amazon reviewer is an idiot. First off, Aria is not a shoujo series. I can't say exactly what it is... it's not exactly seinen, but it is most definitely not shoujo. (I've read/watched hundreds of shoujo manga/anime... I know shoujo when I see it) This guy name-throws in Azumanga Daioh (is it the one other anime he's seen?) even though it has absolutely nothing in common with Aria. Azumanga isn't even slice-of-life. Yes, there is a genre name for this kind of show. It's "slice-of-life." There is no overarching plot or intense drama. It's a subtler form of escapism, and it's only boring for "older viewers" with zero attention span and no appreciation for this kind of anime. This isn't really a kids anime, either. I'd think most kids would be bored to death by Aria. Like Kokoro Toshokan (another slice-of-life anime--not as good as Aria, but worth a look nonetheless), it takes you to a very romanticized version of the world, and eases you into its pace for a while.

That said, I was not so -very- impressed when watching the first season for the first time. I thought it merely a fairly good show. It was during the second season that I really fell in love with Neo-Venezia and its characters. By the third season it was one of my favorite anime of all time.
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Format: DVD
The Amazon reviewer is completely out of it, as other reviewers have rightly said.

In fairness, it's not easy to describe this series in a way which conveys just how good it is, and why it creates that "just one more" feeling which makes you watch half the episodes at a sitting ...

There's no plot worth mentioning, the setting is about as close to paradise as you will ever see, and all the characters are just so ... nice. By rights it ought to be terminally dull and horribly twee. It isn't, but it's not so easy to explain why not.

I think what makes this special is that, strangely, there is always, somewhere in the background, a deep melancholy. The planet Aqua is a paradise, sure, but it wasn't always so; people suffered and died to make it the way it is, and in some way, the planet remembers. The Undines' life is blissful, but they know they will grow up and leave this life one day. The effect is a bit like remembering a very happy childhood, from a perspective of maturity; a happy time that it's delightful to remember, but which will never come again.

The reviewer has it quite wrong for this reason. The series is much more likely to appeal to older viewers than to small girls, who won't pick up on the sadness, or will just be mystified or bored.

"Aria" certainly isn't for everybody. It's just about the polar opposite of a Giant Mecha anime. But people on its wavelength will want to buy all three of the series, believe me.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I agree wholeheartedly with Nat. The Amazon reviewer seems very confused and inept. This is clearly one of the most beautifully plotted and executed anime series ever to come out of Japan. The American dubbing also does it full service. Apparently the reviewer is looking for another gundam or tenchi derivative, which this is most certainly not. Instead it is a gorgeous attempt to portray an idyllic lifestyle. One can argue, as the Amazon reviewer (Solomon) does at least implicitly, that Aria the Anime is not somehow not "real". Hello! What anime is?? Where has this reviewer been the past several years. (Hence, Nat's comment -- 'is it the one other anime he's seen?' now appears very appropriate.) Given that the Amazon reviewer is looking for "reality" in Japanese Anime, one has to, like Nat, wonder how much anime this fellow has actually really watched.
I actually am an older, and fairly sophisticated, viewer; and, contrary to the reviewers (unsupported) claims, I was anything but bored. Instead, I found myself increasingly entranced with the complex 'slice-of-life' (as Nat aptly puts it) Aria draws one into. In regard to classification, the reviewer again gets it wrong. The proof of the pudding so to speak is in how outlets classify anime. I went to several shoujo listings, like that at Anime-planet, and none of them appear list Aria as a shoujo release. Therefore, one inescapably concludes that the reviewer is both inept and mistaken in this also. I think the bottom line is that this Amazon reviewer came into the review process with preconceived notions of what this anime release was, or should be. But, because was not at all what he had envisioned, it led to some fairly miscued attempts to somehow pigeon-hole it with unrelated anime sub-classes. I am not sure how Amazon selects its reviewers, but this is definitely a case of a square peg in a round hole.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
ARIA is a beautifully crafted piece of anime, brought to life by Junichi Sato (Sailor Moon, Kaliedo Star and others). His optimistic characters shine through and this "slice of life" series about gondoliers on a foreign idyllic water planet called Aqua has life and substance. The stories are as light as air, and deal with three girls and their mentors as they train their hardest and most earnestly to become Prima Undines, gondaliers who scull boats through the water canals of a Neo-Venice.

The color and art design are breathtaking, water lapping, gorgeous blues and golds washing the screen to give a cool, soft feel. There are the typical episodes, such as the one where the girls go on a mission to train, but the training turns out to be different than they expect. A cat goes missing. There's a trip back into time to see the past in the present's eyes. There is the hot springs episode, the holiday episode... but its all well done and has a calm, uplifting feel to it all.

Those who enjoyed series such as Haibane Remnei, Somedays Dreamers and other slow moving, slice of life series will find themselves right at home here. It's calming, beautiful to watch and has a charming sense to it too.

All 13 episodes are represented from the first season/series. Japanese language with English subtitles (there is NO dub). An array of bonus features populate the four discs, including one that shows clips of the director in Venice (with commentary) by Sato, which is quite entertaining.
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