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ARIA The Origination Blu-ray Review • Anime UK News

Please note that this review contains some spoilers for ARIA the Origination!

ARIA the Origin is a 2008 13-episode anime series based on the manga series of the same name by mangaka Kozue Amano. It is a continuation of the second series. aria the naturaland tells the story of Akari Mizunashi, a young girl who is training as a gondolier apprentice (known as Undines) in the city of Neo-Venezia, which is covered by vast oceans.

Neo-Venezia is a city on Planet Aqua, formerly known as Mars. Although the story takes place in the 24th century, the city is based on Venice, drawing inspiration from architectural styles, and is a port city with many narrow canals and a reliance on gondolas for travel.

ARIA the Origin continues to build on the atmospheric charm of its predecessors, capturing the aesthetic appeal of Neo-Venezia, while building on the wonderful cast of characters, with some especially moving episodes building towards an emotional finale.

The season features more episodes where the characters look back on their past, whether it be their struggles to succeed and/or those that helped push them in the right direction. In an episode focusing on Akira, she reflects on how, starting with The Three Water Fairies (titles given to the best undines), she was the last to become a grown woman and felt inferior compared to Alice and Athena. , and hoped they would let her. behind.

This prompted Akira to search for a four-leaf clover, only to meet a girl who encourages her to find her own way and gives her a heart-shaped red rose petal, which she treasures to this day in the form of a heart. heart. marker. Back in the present, Akira returns the petal to Aika, revealing that she was the young woman who inspired her that day, and whose gift lent itself to Akira’s nickname of “the crimson rose”. It’s a good episode that reinforces the bond between Akira and Aika, and encourages the latter when she herself is disturbed by the prospect of birthed natural talents that she feels she doesn’t have.

Although this is the final season, we still have new characters, including Akari’s companions who work at Traghetto’s (a form of transportation where passengers stand, rather than sit, and it takes two to row). Akari volunteers to help and befriends Atora and Anzu from Orange Planet, and Ayumu from Himeya Company.

She learns that they are facing a strict tutorial and difficult exams, with Anzu in a bad mood having recently failed her Prima exam, though she soon cheers up and is determined to succeed next time after some self-reflection, like Akari., having become trapped in the new role, works with Anzu to convince a resigned Atora not to give up on her dreams and retake the exam. She reflects that there is no such thing as “too late”: it is a moving episode in which Akari once again provides a positive influence on others as she learns more each day about life in Neo-Venezia.

Other supporting characters like Al also get some time here, with one particular scenario where Al and Aika get trapped in a well during a moon-watching event and grow closer in the process.

Alice also gets a bit of character growth this season, as she graduates from high school and even becomes the first person to be promoted directly from a peer to a cousin, which gives her a lot of responsibility but also opportunities for her friends guide her on the right path. direction, due to her often rigid nature of hers.

Alicia has perhaps the biggest role to play this season, whether it’s an episode shedding light on Alicia’s calm demeanor as Akari and company wonder why she never raises her voice or gets angry, or whether she decides to push Akira into taking his Prima exam. after Aika and Alice’s promotions leave her feeling abandoned (perhaps paralleling Akira’s own situation in the past).

This plot forms the focal point of the final two episodes, as Akira takes everything he has learned and overcomes a challenging route, with a result that is emotionally satisfying, but also leads to a more poignant ending, as Alicia reveals that she retire to get married. and I work for the Gondola Association.

This revelation casts doubt on Akari as to her abilities, but when Alicia reveals that she knew Akari was skilled, but deliberately delayed the exam to give herself more time as her mentor, it’s a pretty powerful but restrained moment for the story. However, the finale ends on a positive and celebratory note, as Alicia’s retirement ceremony is well attended and we get a glimpse into the future of these characters and the paths they have chosen.

Junichi Satō’s animation and direction continue to impress here, bringing the world and stories of Neo-Venezia and its inhabitants to life in splendid fashion. The score by acoustic group choro club and Takeshi Senoo continues to please as well, providing a perfect accompaniment to the proceedings. For this season the OP”Spiral” is delivered by Yui Makino while the DA “Kin no Nami Sen no Nami” is provided by Akino Arai.

ARIA the origin It is presented in its original 16:9 presentation and includes both the original Japanese language and English dubs as options with 5.1 and 2.0 available for English. Once again, I stuck with the original Japanese audio as my preferred listening option and the disc offers yellow and white subtitles as options.

This season, like previous ones, offers a variety of on-disc extras including more cast and director discussions, English VA commentary, photo dramas, clean ED and a US release trailer.

In terms of picture quality, the series maintains its overall hazy and soft look, amidst the gorgeous Venetian-inspired backdrop, making for one of the most beautiful settings in anime. A technical note for the release is that the episodes are spread across three discs. It is also worth noting that all three episodes ARIA the AVVENIRE OVA which was produced to commemorate the 10th anniversary of ARIA’s broadcast is not included with this MVM release, although we do get ARIA the OVA: Arietta included on its own disc.

In conclusion: aria the origin provides a great ending to this unique, relaxing and heartwarming series that I didn’t want to see end: Aria It’s a unique series that I can’t recommend highly enough.


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