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From ADV Manga:
On the planet Aqua, a world once known as Mars, Mizunashi Akari has just made her home in the town of Neo-VENEZIA, a futuristic imitation of the ancient city of Venice. The technology of "Man Home" (formerly Earth) has not entirely reached this planet, and Akari is alone, having no contact with family or friends. Nonetheless, the town, with its charming labyrinths of rivers and canals, becomes Akari's new infatuation, along with the dream of becoming a full-fledged gondolier. Reverting to a more "primitive" lifestyle and pursuing a new trade, the character of Akari becomes both adventurous and heartwarming all at once.
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After four years, I have finally finished this manga that has been sitting on my computer. I was waiting for the English license during that time, since I was saving the last two volumes to be read in the palm of my hands, but that wasn't going to happen anytime soon since TokyoPop went out of business.
An absolutely captivating, enrapturing series. A set of vignettes following the lives of undines, as they enjoy the small bits of happiness from daily activities and spending time with others. Never have I ever read a series so beautifully written. All the characters are ridiculously lovable, and really pulls you in to understand their feelings and thoughts. Just, wow. 10/10, and definitely something everyone should read at some point.
A Snow Pure Fantasy that will draw you in
I was never a big fan of slice of life with happy go lucky main lead. So, when I began reading it, I thought I would be bored at the end at beginning itself. But that wasn't the case. It is truly a unique masterpiece that I have ever read. This truly made me realize that being optimistic isn't as bad as I thought. Simply put, it changed my view. The Story I can't really say is enjoyable. How do I say it, this manga isn't a story centered one. This would be a major flaw in almost all the manga but here, it plays out beautifully. When I began reading it, it just pulled me in with the art and the characters. Many may say the characters are just 2 dimensional, and they are right but that fact is a strength in here. When the characters speak, you don't imagine them as a third person or a protagonist speaking, but you can actually connect with all the characters and resonate with their feelings and I think that's the feature unique to this manga only The story revolves around Akari and here friends as they mature. It packs all their experiences as they aim for their dream in the terraformed Mars.The author really is a genius as he takes this simple content and creates a masterpiece. Usually when you read Manga, you are happy when the Main character is happy and sad when the main character is sad right? Although this manga is same, this goes into the next level. It makes us happy alongside the characters themselves, you can beautifully enjoy the happiness of the characters as if they are your own and that too with daily and common things! I truly believe this manga should be read by everyone. Sure it doesn't contain violence, action, romance, change the world stuff but it will really make you glad to be born
A Rare Masterpiece
If I described anyone about this series, I'd say -
Simply put, the reason why I loved this is the way the story is told, the way the author describes the everyday and so called uneventful moments that grasps you into a completely different world. It makes you fall in love... in love with everything that is around you, no matter how small or insignificant. After reading this, you just won't hate... you'll have nothing left in you to hate. Such is the power of it's story telling that was exhibited upon me when I read this.
Confectionary Slice of Life
Really I do quite like slice of life, but I think that there a lot of aspects to Aria that are too artificial for it to be that successful an example of the genre.
Aria is set on future Mars in a city that is very Venice/Italian themed but in ways of culture and signage sometimes seems more Japanese than anything; and which has a number of seemingly arbitrary chosen fantasy elements... and where for some inexplicable reason *everyone* has a name that starts with "A"...
Also, if you drew out a map of character relationships it would seem overly column/grid-like. It's almost as if each character in the manga came in sets of three (or looking at it from another angle came from one of three sets): three main girls, three cats, three seniors and three boys. It almost feels like the characters are collected into the story... They even pretty much all come with set phrases that they say!
This is a story about a supposedly idyllic world, but I'm not sure how it can be idyllic when so much of it doesn't seem natural... And surely when suspension of disbelief is necessary enough for a reader to go along with the actual core premise of the story you don't need all these secondary obstacles added on top of that?
... Last updated on December 20th, 2009, 11:31pm
A little too moe
This is one of the first manga I ever read and I loved it. So sweet, simple, and serene. By volume 3, though, it had ventured dangerously far into the moe-moe category. Akari was starting to get more annoying than sweet. Volume 4 was straight fanservice for a whole chapter. It was starting to get a little disappointing.
Still, though, the important part of Aria is not the characters and their designs but the setting. And that is absolutely beautiful. Some chapters are almost Miyazakian. It's amazing how in love with Venice the author must be, and the author transfers that love to us.
Not the best slice of life out there (that would be YKK and its creator's other works), but comes close.
... Last updated on November 13th, 2009, 3:40pm
Excellent, and a small word about demographics
Aria is an excellent, laid-back work that gradually absorbs you into its lackadaisical pacing and fantastical environment. Aria in and of itself really isn't about the storyline, but about the atmosphere it evokes. While the characters do gradually develop and deepen in personality as time moves on, it's really a manga about the magic that the pseudo-utopia called Aqua contains.
The art is pretty high quality, and certainly suits the setting. Although some of the character designs come across as almost disappointingly generic, it's difficult to notice, and backgrounds gradually increase in artistic merit as the series progresses.
In short, this is the type of story that you want to read on a rainy day- it's warm, relaxing, and will almost certainly bring a smile to your face. I recommend it to fans of other uplifting slice of life works.
Now that that's out of the way, a quick word to the people who don't seem to quite understand what demographic Aria is. Aria is shounen. It was serialized is a monthly magazine that identifies itself as shounen. As such, it is a shounen manga, like it or not. I'm sorry if this comes across as abrasive, but a simple objective decision has been made by the author and its editors already. Changing it endlessly here is just silly.
Amazing isn;t it?
AMAZINGLY, when a person hears a discription of what kind of seris aria is, they would go like o wow what a boring seris. But when you read/watch it, you just want to keep watching it to the end. This seris has it's own uniqueness. And that is the mood of the manga, and the storyline.
It's as great as it's prequel, no, even better!
A touching story, that makes you feel relaxed-and sometimes a bit frustrated(Aika and Al). :-) You can see and feel how the characters grow, and at the same time you'll grow fond of them! :-) After watching the anime, I just had to get the mangas too!
Ah, This Is The One..
This is the great manga I've been looking for!!!! All these years, I'm 16 now, and it was several years ago that I read this in my local bookstore. I can't believe I'm seeing it now. It was a great manga and just the first 2 volumes are memorable!
It has terrific backgrounds, a simple yet sofisticated art style, and great characters! I suggest this as a MUST READ to everyone!!! This was one of the mangas that'll have you remembering it for a long time.
It's sense of mystery and adventure in a home-like place reminds me of xXXHOLiC (also a must read). So give this a shot, yeah! You'll be pleased!
I bought 6 volumes of this back in Taiwan and never regretted it. The art, the girls, and the fusion of east and west, along with the gentle telling of an utopian society in which the main plot are pretty girls rowing boats, completely blew me away. If you don't like this, you are a heartless being. [Edited for language]