Tag: 2005

Aria the Animation

Aria the Animation

Aria the Animation anime series cover art
Aria the Animation

Planet Aqua

Aria the Animation is the first season of the Aria (アリア) anime series. This is a fantasy, sci-fi, slice of life anime about gondoliers in the city of Neo Venezia on the planet Aqua. And as you may have guessed, Neo Venezia is based on Venice.

Now, I don’t remember this ever being explicitly stated. But, it’s implied that Aqua is the planet Mars. And Manhome, the home of mankind, is pretty obviously Earth. I don’t know if the names of these planets changed at some point in time or if this is an alternate universe.

Something you’ll notice right away about Aqua, though, is that it’s nothing like Mars. Mars is a giant desert of rock and dirt. Aqua, on the other hand, is a water planet with a few islands scattered about. So, how is it that this is the same planet?

Akari Mizunashi using a computer from the anime series Aria the Animation
Akari Mizunashi using a computer

One of the cool things about Aria the Animation is that it explains how humans terraformed Aqua. The explanations are vague and seem magical. But, they’re explanations nonetheless. And the explanation for where all the water came from is that it came from underground. They had to drill for it to bring it to the surface.

But, that’s not all. You see, Aqua needed more than just some surface water to be habitable. It also needed things like an atmosphere. We don’t know exactly how this works. But, we know people called Salamanders — who live on a floating island — are responsible for maintaining it.

There are also others, known as Gnomes, who work underground and maintain the gravity. Again, we don’t know how this works. And Aqua would have gravity even without the Gnomes. But, the gravity of Aqua (Mars) is only 38% that of Manhome’s (Earth’s).

The Undines

So, the Salamanders maintain the atmosphere. And the Gnomes maintain the gravity. Well, those aren’t the only jobs on Aqua. There are also the Sylphs, who deliver packages on flying bikes. And, finally, there are the Undines, who serve as Aqua’s famous gondoliers.

There are 3 ranks within the Undines. Those in the lowest rank are the Pairs — denoted by the pair of gloves they wear. Above the pairs are the Singles, who only wear a single glove. And at the top of the pecking order are the Primas. Only Primas can take customers out in their gondolas alone.

Akari Mizunashi is the protagonist of the series. She’s a pair who works at the titular Aria Company. The only other employee at the Aria Company is Alicia, a Prima and one of the top Undines on Aqua. In a lot of ways, Akari is your typical female protagonist — not very smart and with pink hair.

Alice, Akari, and Aika from the anime series Aria the Animation
Alice, Akari, and Aika

Aika Granzchesta is the next apprentice Undine we meet. Like Akari, she’s a pair. But, she works at Himeya Company. Despite these two working for rival companies, they’re friends and often practice together. It also helps that Akira, the top Prima at Himeya, is friends with Alicia.

The final apprentice Undine is Alice Carroll of Orange Planet (another Undine company). Alice is only a Pair. But, she’s a bit of a prodigy when it comes to sculling a gondola. She, too, eventually joins Akari and Aika in their training.

I’ve already mentioned Alicia of Aria Company and Akira of Himeya Company. But, there’s a third member of their trio, too. That’s Athena of Orange Planet. Like Akari, Aika, and Alice, Alicia, Akira, and Athena trained together as apprentices. And, as you’ve undoubtedly noticed, every Undine’s name starts with A.

Starts and Ends Slow

Aria the Animation is a pretty good anime. But, it can be slow at times. Specifically, I thought the first episode and the last 2 or 3 episodes were slow. And after the first episode, I had some concerns regarding the pace.

If the entire series was as slow as the first episode is, that would be a problem. But, the good news is that’s not the case. So, if you try watching Aria the Animation, give it more than 1 episode before you decide to drop it. It does get better, especially once there are more characters.

I also initially thought the series was only going to follow Akari. The problem with that is that Akari on her own isn’t all that interesting. As I said earlier, she’s kind of a generic female protagonist. Generic male protagonists eat a lot and are loud. Generic female protagonists are airheads.

Alice and Akari visiting Ukijima from the anime series Aria the Animation
Alice and Akari visiting Ukijima

Instead of only following Akari, Aria the Animation follows Akari, Aika, and Alice. And I don’t mean it follows them each individually. I mean it follows them as a group as they practice together. That’s good because we get their distinct personalities bouncing off each other.

Akari often says sappy lines. Aika reprimands her for doing this. And then Alice comes in with some monotone comeback to Aika. They’re a fun trio, and I’m glad there are 2 more seasons and multiple OVAs to follow them through.

If you’re a fan of slow slice of life anime, Aria the Animation is for you. There’s no drama or conflict. It’s all cute girls learning how to scull gondolas. Well, that and there’s an emotional episode or two thrown in. I can think of one in particular that has to do with delivering a letter Violet Evergarden style.


Overall, I gave Aria the Animation a 6/10. On one hand, I feel like that might be a bit harsh. But, on the other, I didn’t think the series did anything exceptionally well. It was good enough. However, I generally like series with a bit more going on.

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Eureka Seven

Eureka Seven

Eureka Seven Cover Art featuring Eureka, Renton, and the Nirvash
Eureka Seven Cover Art


As you may be able to tell from the cover art, Eureka Seven is a mecha anime which, as you may know, is not my normal genre. Despite this, I did manage to make it through the entire first series, but I did not watch the sequel series Eureka Seven AO which I hear is much worse.

In the world of Eureka Seven, mechs ride boards through the air in the same way as someone might ride the waves on a surf board. Because of this, the pilots of Gekkostate, an anti-government organization, are basically the futuristic equivalent of “surfer dudes.” And it’s no surprise that these guys who ride the waves for fun are better at piloting the mechs than their military counterparts.

To me, the major themes of this anime appeared to be anti-war and anti-establishment, which make sense when you realize the main cast is a group “chill surfer dudes” who left the military to form a resistance.

The Nirvash type ZERO
The Nirvash type ZERO


The main character is Renton Thurston. He’s a kid who loves to lift, the air equivalent of surf, and he dreams to one day be part of Gekkostate because they’re known as the best lifters around. His father also died saving the world when Renton was younger so now he lives with his grandfather who doesn’t want to lose him to and so he disapproves of his lifting lifestyle.

Eureka is the titular character and the main pilot of the first mech, the Nirvash type ZERO. She’s also a child, but has grown up in an entirely different world from Renton. Eureka is also Renton’s love interest even though she’s nowhere near best girl.

Next we have the leader of Gekkostate, Holland Novak. He’s was originally a friend of Renton’s father, but has grown to forget why he loves lifting in the first place. Because of this, Renton reminds him of himself when he was younger, which angers him and he tends to take out his frustration on Renton.

Talho Yuki is Holland’s girlfriend, although their relationship is strained at times. Like Holland, Talho is also a founding member of Gekkostate and serves as the pilot for their flagship, the Gekko. Her physical appearance changes over time to highlight her character development which is something that also happens with Eureka.

While there are other good characters such as Matthieu and Hilda, I’m going to skip over them since they’re supporting characters and move onto the primary antagonist of the show, Anemone.

Anemone is the military counterpart to Eureka and is the sole pilot of the Nirvash type TheEND. She’s crazy, she’s violent, and if there’s one thing I like other than tsundere, it’s yandere. Anenome also has an overweight badger as a pet named Gulliver because why not?


Mecha anime aren’t really for me so I’m sorry in advance to any fans of the genre, but Eureka Seven is a 5/10 for me. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. I didn’t really like most of the main cast with the exception of Matthieu, Hilda, and Anemone, although I guess that’s because they were kind of meant to be unlikable in some situations.

I also didn’t care much about the plot. It was just about a whiny kid who wants to pilot a mech with the girl he’s obsessed with because he’s never seen a girl before or something. The music and animation were fine though so at least there’s that.