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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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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.
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]
... Last updated on February 11th, 2007, 1:01am
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.
Do you know the concept of utopia?
Have you ever imagine the feeling of sleeping under the warmth of a tranquil and peaceful forest without any kinds of pollution, or relaxing your muscles and skin in a hot spa while leaves fallen and trees rustles by the gentle wind, or watching a waterfall, feeling cool water sprinkling on each inch of your skin? To forget every problems and the harshness of reality for a moment, just to relax, unconsciously wishing it to be eternity?
There's not much of slice-of-life, no painful or harsh plot, not much of a conflict, not much of a movement or growth, no harshness, no pain, no tempation nor sins, no deaths. But there's calmness, relaxation, feeling of static, and peace.
If you ever wanted that kind of feelings, Aria is the one you should read, for it's representing another theory of 'heaven' or 'paradise'.
... Last updated on October 14th, 2006, 7:38am
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
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.
This series just has an incredibly peaceful atmosphere. As you read it, it is as though you are there as well, on a gondola floating across the water, bathed in sunlight as enjoying the breeze across your face. Despite its futuristic setting, this series is actually all about enjoying the little things in life: the changing seasons, the little facts about the city you live in, the companionship of your dear friends.
With our world growing more and more hectic, this series beckons you to slow down, take a rest, take a look around and enjoy your present moments, as well as look forward to new moments to come. It's an incredibly relaxing read that melts away your stress and leaves you feeling calmer and happier.
Leaves an empty feeling
When you finish this manga, doesn't it leave an emptier feeling? The storytelling, the art, and the characters in this magical land of Neo-Venezia are moving on, and you're just looking for more manga. It's an embodiment of slice-of-life and fantasy manga all at once. A great read. Leaves a smile on your face after every chapter, but breaks your heart in the last because you won't get to read anymore. A solid 10/10. Would be higher if I could rate it past 10! xP
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!