So last night I was ambushed by the long-awaited return of Hnk, which brought with it Episode 10 of Aria the Origination. Now, as some of you might know from reading my Aria posts on Dreams of the Quill, despite being the odious troll I am I have a soft spot (see: the 80% of my brain that’s feminine) for such awesome things as Aria. I know, I know, it’s hard to believe. I do, in fact, enjoy wimpy shit like Aria.
Today, upon returning home from Senior Day at school, I was ambushed with the day’s hot news: Aria has been licensed. All of it. Three series and an OVA, and the first series—Aria the Animation—is due out on September 30th in the form of a 50-dollar boxset entirely lacking in English dubs. I’ll be buying of course. I suggest that every other person in the states buy as well. Of course, this license (not so unfortunately) stopped HnK in its tracks. I’ll be watching the rest of The Origination in 2014 when RightStuf releases it I guess (of course, this is assuming that Google Eπc goes terribly terribly wrong and doesn’t actually destroy the world as we know it).
Anyway, now that I’ve covered the two mega-ambushes, let’s get to the meat of the post: how Aria rocks, and how I’m kind of disappointed with one aspect, and how Aria rocks.
The function f(x), which is continuous and differentiable for [0,13], models the greatness of Aria the Origination in Alicias/km. Pictured above is f’(x), Alicias/km/episode. f(1)=20 Alicias/km. You get the picture, hopefully.
Basically Aria the Origination gets better and better with every episode. I could make a similar graph for the greatness of Aria in general per rewatch. In fact, I think I will, someday. Anyway, the point here is that Aria the Origination never ceases to amaze me. This episode 10 business, what with Aika and Al and all that, was very, very cool. I mean, once you suspend disbelief and accept that Aika didn’t break her legs after that fall into the well…
I went into episode 10 expecting a disappointment. Episode 9 had blown me away—replacing episode 13 of the Natural as my second favorite episode of Aria—but the community response of almost unadulterated happiness had unsettled me greatly. I recalled Alice’s semi-depressed musings in the Animation episode 11 and I knew that Alice had been looking forward to her time training with Aika and Akari as fellow Singles. I knew that she was sensitive about time (in a sort of Hagu-esque manner) and the moment her second glove came off in episode 9 I was crying. Thinking, there went that time. They stole it from Alice. They stole it from her.
The reactions I saw in discussion were mostly “omg omg wooooooot go Alice!!!!!!!” and that clashed with my perception of her character. I wanted Aria to address some kind of depression from her, I wanted there to be more conflict, more resolution. Not because I wanted Alice to suffer, of course, but because I wanted the show to do her feelings justice.
I don’t think this is me projecting on the anime character (though feel free to jump in and tell me I’m insane, if you’re Mike).
Anyway, as was kind of expected, the show let me down.
Yeah, Alice was somewhat depressed in this episode, but mainly as a result of stress from her first day of work. The subject of being with her senpai-gata was not touched upon, and I believe the three water fairies didn’t make any appearances in this episode (at least, none of any note). As such the whole “peer” issue wasn’t addressed at all. So yeah, that was a let down of sorts. On the other hand, thought, what the episode did offer—a very interesting study of Aika’s character—was still Aria at its finest.
The thing that pleased simple old me about this episode the most, though, was probably how Hime got closer to Aria. He’s been trying so hard, and he’s such a good guy, and Hime always seemed a bit aloof to me… it was nice to see his efforts rewarded, even if he had to “tart [himself] up to get it,” to quote my English teacher on Grease. Maa’s inebriation (what else could that have been?) was cute.
Yeah, that’s right, I went Daijoubuon your asses.
I don’t have a whole lot to say about this episode’s good points—mostly, they were just enjoyable. There was nothing unfathomably deep about Aika and Al accepting each other like there was with episode 4 and the motivation question. The physics tie-ins, while suteki, were definitely not ground-breaking metaphor. I was really surprised by Al reciprocating (I was sure that Aika was setting herself up the bomb) and that surprise was a good and happy surprise. Yeah, this episode gave me the warm-fuzzies. It was great.
So yes, I’m disappointed about the lack of emphasis on Alice’s inner turmoil (I know it’s there!!). But on that topic, I’m pleased that Aika still calls her “kouhai-chan.” And the show continues to amaze with other good things. It doesn’t revolve around every detail of how much attention Alice gets. I respect that. She’s not even my favorite character.
And now, back to Aria in general:
It’s amazing stuff, this show. Jeff said, in a post about the license announcement, that “there’s an Aria fan born every minute.” There’s another part to that, I think. Aria fans are reborn. Almost every episode of the Animation and the Natural that I’ve rewatched has reduced my to tears with combined suteki factor and nostalgia. This is truly a show to be reckoned with.
Your regularly hateful, raging lolikit will return soon.
I apologize for this debacle of a break from the usual.
it is moist & delicious meta
and it's not even a lie!