>DVD Review: More relaxing in Neo-Venezia


It’s especially hard to keep up the momentum for “Aria,” an incredibly relaxing series with serene imagery and comforting character.

However, even “Aria” has some really unusual characters in Neo-Venezia to add some variety in season two.

The first part of season two brings back all the classic characters of “Aria” for a reunion at the Carnivale. All Akari’s buddies from season one, including little Ai, return to Aria to see the mysterious Casanova.

This sets up Akari and Ai’s new Totoro impersonation. The humongous, masked Casanova invites Akari and Ai to join in his dance. There’s nothing cuter than watching Akari and Ai sing “Zutto, zutto, zutton, pon!” while they are following the Casanova, who may be related to Cait Sith, king of the cats.

There’s plenty of new characters who arrive. Probably the best new addition, however, is the gnome Edward, who is also Aika’s love interest. Their new romance is one of the most touching parts of season two. There’s something charming when Aika says that Edward is so unfairly nice. She tries to look away, but the chemistry they have together is irresistable. Aika even comes up with a line to say to him whenever he gives weird elderly statements to Aika aloud.

The characters also take up more difficult changes to their attitudes in this series. Alice has a dramatic episode in which she turns down a warm invitation to have dinner with the other Pairs (gondola navigators) in her company, Orange Planet. She has a nervous fear that her coworkers are jealous of her and hate her. Thankfully, her teacher, Athena, is willing to help her open up.

Admittedly, the series makes me fall asleep, but not because it is boring. In fact, the beautiful images of water and the complex characters are just captivating. However, I often wondered just how long the anime director could keep this series of pure bliss intact. “Aria” ran for 39 episodes. It’s difficult to keep the tone consistent, yet allow room for the characters to evolve.

However, there’s plenty of things for the characters to say, because they always discover new things that are unique in Neo-Venezia. Whether they encounter the ruins of a neverending cat city, a bakery which serves bread made from buckwheat noodles, or a children’s puppeteer, there’s always something new in the city to find.

Most of all, Akari is friendlier than ever. The bubbly characters never lose their charm. I’m already itching to watch the second part of season two.

Image courtesy of aria.rightstuf.com


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Filed under Aria, kawaii, Right Stuf, season 2, shoujo

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