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Aw crap, I got so into my personal project I forgot about this thread and to write something in advance.
I loved The Animation a lot. Like, a lot a lot. But it wasn't until a couple episodes into The Natural that I realized I was watching a masterpiece unfold in front of me. If you've been reading my longer comments, you'll see just how well connected the themes and philosophies of Kozue Amano's world truly is. It's a story of friendship and growth, and letting the past guide you without letting it bind you, of living in the here and now because nothing is more beautiful than the here and now, of warm hellos and bitter goodbyes, and of not letting the worries of the future weigh you down because even if today might be dark, the sun will rise again tomorrow.
We still have an OVA and one more season to go, so I hope you've all prepared tissues.
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I think over the course of the series we've seen a shift in what each episode is trying to do. During Aria the Animation and the first half of Aria the Natural, most of the episodes served a narrative to either introduce us to Neo-Venezia and its people, or to teach us (and the aspiring Undines) a valuable life-lesson, usually suggesting that everything is wonderful and will turn out great if you just try to enjoy yourself.
The series have went from these experiences we have been given, to the girls taking a more active role in creating them themselves. This task of being managers for the Redentore party was obviously still an assignment that was given to them, but they received only little instruction in how to execute it. Given this responsibility shows that our trio has gained a lot of independency, both by their own acquisition and as a 'gift' from their mentors, and it goes to show that they have matured.
Along with their maturity, the show itself has also evolved. Instead of actively showing us (and them) the wonders of the world, the girls are to a larger extent left to their own devices, and thus the show also has taken a much more character-driven narrative.
These last few episodes have provided some good examples of that.
Aika, who used to revere Alicia without limits, would let go of her hair, effectively ending her almost fanatical pursuit. She would never become Alicia, she had to become herself. That is not to say that she isn't still infatuated by Alicia, but that doesn't mean she hasn't learned her lesson rather that she has taken a more mature approach to her admiration.
She has also grown to be much more honest both with people she admire as well as herself. She used to be ever so serious, wanting to become the best as quickly as possible, refusing to get caught up in the moment and always looked toward the future. Now she can even handle saying some pretty embarassing stuff without blushing, and is able to accept that the future belongs with the future.
Alice, who used to be anti-social and struggled even forcing a smile, has learned to overcome her fear and weakness of meeting strangers and to enjoy herself and smile naturally. She has also went from not wanting to rely on anyone into realising that she can't always do everything by herself and that it is okay to rely on others.
Finally, with Akari I think her 'faults' are by far the least obvious. I think Akari, since the beginning, has mastered exactly the things both Aika and Alice needed to work on. However, one issue that she has struggled with is her lack of confidence, though it is obviously tied to the fact that her sculling skills are probably the weakest of the three.
She also sees herself as more of an observer and she is uncomfortable being given a lot of responsibility. These negative emotions were however quickly dispelled by the people around her who love her, granting her the realisation that she is as much a part of Neo-Venezia as everyone else.
She also has a tendency to get caught up in whatever catches her attention and easily grows attached to things, which makes saying goodbye much of a struggle. I'm not sure I would consider these 'faults' per se, nor necessarily something she has to correct. However, these attitudes still marks her as someone immature and if she isn't more careful then she might end up in a dangerous situation.
I do think she has finally learned to be able to take a step back and to think before acting. I also believe her succesfully painting the Palina and hosting the Redentore party would have given her some of a confidence boost, as she was largely on her own (or with her peers) in these situations.
What will the final step of the Aria series bring? It will be exciting to see!
|Aria the Animation||57||115||45||49||54|
|Aria the Natural Pt. 1||87||53||35||70||69|
|Aria the Natural Pt. 2||43||41||29||42||48|
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I missed one of my favourite episodes (episode three), but I made it in time for the one Aria episode that I'll forever treasure. My username on MyAnimeList is actually a reference to what the whole episode is about: Serendipity.
It's really easy to be caught thinking about what if's, longing for yesterday and waiting for tomorrow. But what is in front of us is always today and that is all that matters: taking it in one day at a time, one moment at a time.
I watched this episode shortly after changing programs in university. My mental health at the time wasn't in the best place, but I had resolved to focus on the things I could change and bringing positive change to my life a little at a time.
When Akari and Alicia took the wrong turn at the fork in the tracks, I couldn't help but smile at how it kind of felt like it mirrored what I was going through--a beautiful accident.
To some people, I may have lost a year of education and some of my happiness, but it was also a journey or discovery and appreciation of the things I knew and was going to learn about myself.
This episode still makes me really emotional, but in a strange nostalgic way, long after the feelings I had then have ebbed away into peace of mind.
"What day is it?", asked Pooh.
"It’s today", squeaked Piglet.
"My favorite day" (minor spoilers), said Pooh.”
― A.A. Milne
Aria the Animation | January 21
Aria the Natural
|1||"That Encounter At The Carnival ..."||January 24|
|2||"Looking For That Treasure ..."||January 25|
|3||"The Night Of the Meteor Shower ..."||January 26|
|4||"That Neo-Venezia-Colored Heart ..."||January 27|
|5||"The Wonder Of That Rainy Day... / The Discoveries On That Spring Day ..."||January 28|
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So we got to the end of Aria the Natural. I do think it’s a bit better than the Animation, because we got so much more character development. Seeing them grow after they learned something new is something I really enjoy watching. Also the episodes focused on characters specific like the one of Alice going home from school or the one of Aika cutting her hair are great. The origination also has a couple of those episodes focused on one character, so I am really looking forward to seeing those again. Since the start of the rewatch I was really looking forward to the origination. Even though the Animation and The Natural are both great too, I still feel like the origination is a bit better or special for me at least.
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Sometimes we burden ourselves with excessive self-imposed rules, and I think Alice in this episode was an interesting representation of that.
Although it is necessary to impose ourselves some obligations and objectives in order to live responsibly, taking it easy sometimes and recognising that we can't possibly accomplish all of them every single time is also needed. But worry not! There will be surely plenty of time to try to retake them if we surely let go of the artificial restraints we were applying earlier and replace them with more realistic goals.
And of course, help from others should never be dismissed and accepting it should never be considered as something that lowers the value of ourselves. There is no shame in accomplishing our goals with an accompanying helping hand. Others may need so too at other times and that is when the favor should be returned. Isn't being helpful to others also a fulfilling personal life goal?
Total Karma:33 Attendancy:5comment reddit link>>
Episode 7 is another reminder why I love Aria’s OST. When Aika and Akari are following Aria, the tone of the episode gets slightly darker, and the track does a great job in expressing that. Akari describes the mood perfectly with this one line:
It’s like we’ve wandered into a labyrinth..
The track does a phenomenal job in getting us to feel as nervous as Aika and Akari in the current situation, and really does well to accompany the mysterious atmosphere the episode is giving off at this point.
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And now we sail into Origination...
I will say to everyone following this rewatch: The reason why many watchers give 10/10 to Aria, is because of the ending, the last couple of episode in Origination. The show in my opinion masterfully closes the story, and well... you will see soon enough :)
I await your comments with a smile on my face.
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The first season was already top-notch, but Natural is just superior in everything. I'm falling in love with this show, honestly.
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I'd like to share a story today, because this episode really hit me on a personal level.
So during my winter break, my cousin who was in college decided to come visit, and offered to take my family to the Reunion Tower in Dallas on Christmas Eve. I was pretty hesitant in doing so since I had an irrational fear of heights, and was mostly a lazy bastard. I ended up being convinced to come along anyway, and I got to go the top of the tower, and the sight of witnessing the city I lived in all my life was absolutely breathtaking. My cousin really drove home the fact that I had to appreciate things like this in life, because opportunities like these come every once in a lifetime. I gained a newfound appreciation of the world around me, and the me taking a chance to experience it.
This is what made this episode so wonderful. To find joy in the journey instead of the destination, and to appreciate many of the corners and detours in the world. That sight of Neo-Venezia was amazing, and just makes me fall in love with the show, and its capability of teaching you so many valuable lessons.
Great episode overall.
Total Karma:7 Attendancy:2comment reddit link>>
Although magic or obvious supernatural phenomena is never explicitly a major aspect of Aria, in some regards, you could nevertheless say that 'magic' has a role in the story, because there's certainly something intangibly special about Akari. Of course, I'm not saying the others aren't special, especially not of the Water Fairies themselves, but being granted a very rare audience with Cait Sith carries a bit of weight.
Speaking of, Cait Sith certainly heads up an eclectic array of companions, although as mentioned, it would definitely be fitting for one who is the heart/soul of Neo Venezia. That said, I don't think it's much of a spoiler to say that we're already quite familiar with the most notable individual of this cat clique.
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Wow wtf bros no one told me Akatsuki's mom was the best girl all along
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I should at some point finish this, watched the first few episodes of it :> Nice to see the dog/cat acting career before it got it's part in Amanchu :> One of the first things I thought seeing the first episode hehe.
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I'm just glad that after like 15 supernatural encounters, Akari has actually started telling people about them in a way that doesn't make it just sound like she's messing with them.
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Not related to this rewatch, but is this series episodic or does it have some sort of plot?
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anyone else pre order the masterpiece manga series? i haven't... but might. i think i want to see one printed before i buy it to see if it's as good of quality as the japanese version (which is off the charts for quality, as far as manga goes)
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I've uploaded the full version of the OP used in this episode (Euforia - Hikigatari) for anyone interested.
(Please let me know if link doesn't work)
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