Aria is the show that everyone loves to love… if they know about it and give it a shot, typically. There are some outliers, but most people who watch it seriously end up with it high on their lists of favorites. But Aria receives a weird kind of love, an austere love—few people who love it rave about it. Sure, you’ve seen posts here and there in the ‘sphere talking about it, but the going is sparse, and many of those posts boil down to “zomg I love it, it’s so beautiful, words can’t do it justice so I won’t try.”
If you’re a regular around here, and were before I “stopped being an anime blogger” (thanks, Scamp!), you’ll know I’m one of the few who talks about Aria a lot. But more likely, you’ve seen the name a few times, know the premise of the show, and little else.
I mean… in all honesty, there’s little else to Aria, save the experience of watching it. It’s slice of life at its most distilled consistency, meaning that outside the premise there’s very little to be said about its contents. They just kind of happen.
But wait—there’s probably one other thing you know about Aria. And that is that its titular character is an ugly, fat, noisy cat who does hideous semi-anthropomorphized dances and shakes his x-shaped bootyhole all over the place while shrieking noises formerly only ever heard in bad Kyoto Animation Key adaptation anime: “puinyuu,” &c..
Don’t get me wrong. I love President Aria to death.
But I didn’t use to.
And that’s actually a trend I’ve seen amongst lovers of Aria. Initially, they’ll say “it’s good, even though Aria (the cat) is horrendous.” Eventually they’ll be oohing and aahing at the sight of the lovable white blob. Did I just say blob?
Let me introduce another concept: moeblob.
You know the kind… the weaker of the two Hiiragi sisters from Lucky Star, Ayu from Kanon, Hideaki Anno, etc.
And you know them from K-on!: Yui, Mio, Azusa…
They make retarded noises, their maturity is about at the level of a sea urchin’s, they can’t perform basic problem solving, their presence alone makes you want to huggle them, and so on.
So what happened to Aria (the cat) as Aria (the show) progressed?
The blob became less of a blob and more of a, let’s say, friend. After fifty-three episodes and an OVA, he’s kinda just there, and we’re used to him, and we’re maybe even kind of interested in his struggles and tribulations. He operates much like the rest of Aria’s cast, albeit he starts out at a worse place. Would we care about the climax of the show if we hadn’t been watching Akari for fifty episodes? Would we care about Aria (the cat) if we hadn’t been watching him for fifty episodes?
There’s a saying: “I used to hate mushrooms; then they grew on me.”
Gross, but fitting.
Aria (the cat) is a mushroom.
The moeblobs of K-on! are mushrooms.
I’ll admit it was hard for me to get past the first few episodes of stupidity and retardation, but I forced myself to sit through it. Every episode it became more bearable. This isn’t just a case of the senses being dulled: I became more invested in the characters’, well, characters; in their daily lives and encounters and attempts and failures. And by the time I got to the episode in which they’re all failing at their various Sundays in “A Winter Day,” I cared.
They’d grown on me.
Is it a fault of K-on! that its cast is a bunch of foetuses with head problems?
Is it a fault of the viewer to dismiss the show at first brush due to said fault?
I wouldn’t say so, necessarily, though a scathing commenter such as Owen might unabashedly bash on the dismissive viewer.
But I would say it’s fairly rewarding to see a slice-of-life show through and really get in bed with the characters (I mean this in a nonsexual manner). I’m a few episodes into K-on!!, and I don’t know if it’s just better than the first season or if the phenomenon I’ve outlined in this post is simply working its wonders.
I’m having fun with those kagayake-ing girls and their growth.
[[ I felt the need to write this in defense of K-on! after declaiming against it quite vehemently to my friends less than a month ago. I felt that showing a similarity with Aria—my favorite show—would show my sincerity. I hope you all understand that I am not trolling. Cheers! ]]
these notes are like lelouch's head to the boot of this post's suzaku
it is moist & delicious meta
and it's not even a lie!