On the planet Aqua lies the watery city of Neo Venezia, a tourist hub in which people travel around in gondolas. Professional gondoliers known as Undines are well-revered as they act as tour guides for the people. Akari Mizunashi is a gondolier in training and also an employee of Aria Company. She gets to meet all sorts of people as she takes them on the gondola rides, from friendly mentors to special individuals, all this amidst the beautiful scenic backdrop of the entire city.
We all like watching shows that are nice in general from time to time. Aria is one if the nicest shows mood wise ever created. Nothing terrible happens; there is no teenage angst to be found at all in the series. It just an optimistic slice of life show about a girl living on Aqua (formerly the planet Mars) who wants to become an Undine. Nothing really happens during the episodes, but this happens in a good way. Watching an episode feels like a spring day where you look at sky do not a damn thing and feel so good about it after it is all said and done. Those who like their anime with some pessimism in it will be disappointed to find that there is no pessimism at all in Aria. So leave your pessimism at the door.
Being that this is a slice of life show the episodes move at a slow, steady pace. Think of the pace like sipping whiskey or a glass of fine wine, you do not drink it gulp it down, but take it and enjoy it slowly and savor the moment. Because of the slow pace that Aria The Animation this is not a show that you can marathon in a day or so. The show is best watched by watching at least two or three episodes a day or to put it in another perspective on DVD a day.
The characters do not get any type of development through the show. The personalities of the cast members are simple, which there nothing is wrong with that, but nobody is developed past their standard personalities that we are introduced with when we meet the cast members.
Art and Animation:
The series looks great animation wise, though it is not the prettiest looking show out there. The colors for the buildings are bit a on the pale side however it fits the easygoing nature of the show. The character designs are fitting for the series but nothing really stands out with them. Some might be pleased to know that there is no fanservice to be found (if you count the characters wearing swimsuits than there is some).
Music and Audio:
The music is fitting for the easy-going nature of Aria. It just flows with the series and helps set each episode up. It is nothing intense but just easy listening and almost relaxing to listen when watching the series.
The Japanese Seiyū all do a wonderful job with their roles given to them. Erino Hazuki gives Akari her voice for the series and does a wonderful job with her role. Other Seiyū do a wonderful job with their roles as well. Some may find the repetitiveness of phrases to be of annoyance, but with such well-acted roles by everyone involved these annoyances are minimized.
Aria The Animation is a show that while despite some flaws in character development, and too optimistic for some anime fans is still an enjoyable and relaxing series to not only watch but to keep in your collection.
Pros: Optimistic, beautiful music and great voice acting
Cons: Too optimistic for some, needs character development.