Sunday, September 7, 2008

Aria the Animation Ep. 1-5

I've been on a slice-of-life kick lately, it's like I'm allergic to plot all of a sudden. The newest I've added to my long currently watching list is Aria the Animation. The first thing that caught me was the color pallete. I know, odd right? As an ex-fine art major I'm very into color theory and I know which shades appeal to me personally. Lucky Star does, Sketchbook ~fullcolor'S~ does, and so does Aria. It's also a bit of fun color theory that all three of those series share an easy going slice of life theme as well.

The setting is certainly unique. Hundreds of year in the future a girl chases her dream of being a gondolier ... on Mars. It took me two episiodes to get that Aqua = Mars, which I think is delightful. Any sort of typical sci-fi esque voice over explaining where mankind currently stands wouldn't fit with the mood. And mood is one thing Aria has. It starts with the color pallete of soft almost sun faded colors throught out and extends to many wide panning shots of water and city scape of the sort that you'd expect in a French indy film rather than an anime. The animation is top notch. The show is just down right -pretty-. There's an almost fantasy like theme throughout, the combination of sci-fi and fantasy that the Japanese excel at and which sadly there is not nearly enough of, with different professions in Aqua taking on mythological names. The gondoliers go by the term Undine with the three best being known as the Water Faeries to the Sylph who deliver mail via airbike. 

It's much less character driven than other slice of lifes like Lucky Star or Azumanga, unless you count the abundance of adorable scenes centered around the cat President Aria. The characters are much more low key than most anime and very believable. Humor is present, I've gotten plenty of giggles thus far, but it's less slap stick and usually contained in odd facial expressions or the adventures of Aria-sato. 

If you don't like the slice of life genre chances are pretty good that you won't like Aria the Animation. If you do, or if you've previously enjoyed artsy foreign films, you'll probably like it. I'm very quickly becoming a fan. 

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