Aria The Animation (Season 1) DVD Collection (S)
Michael O'Brien - May 30 2008
A love poem to Venice
Some anime series diverge widely from the plot of the manga on which they are based. Some especially long-running series develop what are called "filler" arcs which have nothing to do with the manga, while waiting for the manga to catch up.
"Aria" is neither of those. This is as exact a rendering as possible of the original manga to the screen. And in this case, that's much, much harder than it looks.
"Aria" the manga is a love poem to the city of Venice, Italy. This is an unreal, idealized Venice, located on the planet Aqua in the year 2301. Aqua is a terraformed Mars, one on which the engineers overshot, and created a watery planet of islands. "Aria" tells the story of Neo-Venezia, the lovingly reconstructed tourist destination of Venice, whose original has sunk into the Adriatic. The story is told from the point of view of Mizunashi Akari, a trainee "undine", or female gondolier. This is only one of several things that the real Venice not only doesn't have, but is strenuously working to avoid in the real world - one reason why this series will never be picked up by the Venice Tourist Board.
The real star of this series is the city of Neo-Venezia, which is almost identical to the real Venice. And while the manga is a series of still paintings, the anime must show a moving, living, vibrant city of Venice. There have been three seasons of this anime, and the director traveled to Venice before making each season to gather his own material, filling in what the manga-ka did not paint in still life. The result is a series which anyone who has been to Venice will watch with a strong feeling of recognition: "I've been there! I know that market! Yes, that's the real Burano, all right!"
(This one's worth a word. The "Burano" of the first season is not the real Burano. The Burano of the third season definitely is, so the director seems to have finally made it over there in the interim.)
Strangely enough, when I was in Venice, the gentleman at the next table was a dead ringer for one of the characters in the manga and the anime. I have to wonder if he wasn't a frequent visitor whom the manga-ka found interesting enough to sketch while she was at dinner herself. Stranger things have happened.
This is not a series of set-pieces. This is a living portrait of a living city, idealized. The only other anime even remotely in this category is "Emma"...which, surprise surprise, Nozomi is also producing.
JOEL J. PEREZ - Oct 2 2008 PEREZ7095@BELLSOUTH.NET
ARIA THE ANIMATION
ARIA THE ANIMATION I LOVE AKARI MIZUNASHI JOEL PEREZ I GIVE ARIA THE ANIMATION THANKS YOU BYE
John C. Meyer - Oct 6 2008
This is a brilliant title and is easily one of the best releases in recent years!
The series takes place 150 years after Mars (now called Aqua) in a town called Neo-Venezia, a replica of Venice. The plot follows the life and times of Akari Mizunashi an Undine (Gondolier) working in Neo-Venezia and also follows her many friends in Neo-Venezia.
The animation is superb and the writing is equally outstanding. If you are a fan of the original manga, you will not be disappointed as the series is very faithful to its source material. The enivironment of Neo-Venezia is brilliantly realized. All the backgrounds are expertly drawn and you get the sense of actually living in there. Unlike so many other series, you feel as if Neo-Venezia has a heart and a soul.
The series moves at a nice relaxed pace but keeps the viewer's attention throughout the entire series. Once you finish one episode, you want to see the next and after each DVD you want to put the next DVD in your player right away. And the end leaves you waiting for season 2 (when is that coming Nozomi?).
This is one of the best anime around! If you like quality animation and storytelling then you owe it to yourself to add Aria to your collection.
Stephanie J. Bishop - Nov 12 2008 email@example.com
Very pretty anima with a nice peacefull story. I loved it and I can't wait for season 2 to come out.
Max P. Sterling - Jan 31 2009
Slow.. But very nice
I saw the first few eps at a friends house and at first i didn't think i would like this one at all. it seemed boring to me. but once you start getting to know the characters and getting into the jokes it becomes fun. I found myself buying this before i really knew that much about it. this is a treasure in it's self. it isn't rare to find animations like this Emma is also a good one. in any case this is a fun animation with very nice graphics. if your not into Subtitles i still suggest this one. it is a little slow but it will draw you in give it a chance you will see what i mean