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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
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
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
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.
A Futuristic Venice Full of Magic!
Seriously, this manga is magical. The setting, the characters, the feelings, and the atmosphere of this manga is amazing. The mangaka does a great job pulling you into the world of Aria, and the art shows this. Definitely a must read for those seeking something light yet wondrous.
... Last updated on August 29th, 2014, 6:04pm
Perhaps the best manga I've ever read
Recently, I've read a few of the big-name Slice of Life series (e.g. Yotsubato! and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou), and have found I really like it. So of course, I had extremely high hopes for this series. I started with the prequel, and even with those two volumes, I knew there was something special about this series, the same feeling I've gotten with all of my favourites.
I was excited to start this series and, apart from the first volume, it did not at all disappoint (the first volume did, not because of the plot or artwork or the like, but rather because the version I read was absolutely full of spelling and grammar mistakes, so many it legitimately made it difficult to read; luckily, this was (mostly) corrected in the future releases by the same group, and all but completely eradicated when the next group took over).
Perhaps the most powerful aspect of this series is the absolutely fantastic cast of characters. This is something which is basically a necessity for a really good manga; regardless of the plot or artwork, if the characters aren't relatable, it's hard to really enjoy it. Luckily, that wasn't a problem with this one. The characters, more so than in anything else I've read, really jump out of the page. Not only are they all extremely relatable, they really feel like actual people, all realistically flawed.
This review would not be complete without mentioning another one of the wonderful aspects, the artwork. It is polished and good, but I was never made to feel overwhelmed by all the things depicted on the page, as I have been with a few others (namely Kaze no Tani no Nausicaä). The scenery is fantastic; it, like the characters, jumps out of the page, making one feel as if (s)he is actually there. The characters are also drawn wonderfully; their appearances match their personalities to a tee.
Another thing I was glad about, but might not similarly delight others, was that they kept the romance to a minimum. There were some instances, but they were few and far between.
And last but not least, the story. Being slice of life, there is not much of an overarching plot (other than the main premise of the series, their journey to full-fledged undines). Instead, it simply follows their everyday lives. Not much to speak of there; the story is by no means the main draw for this series, but it fulfills its purpose quite nicely.
There is, however, one thing that I found pretty confusing was the time management. So as one could guess, on Aqua the years are longer, twice as long, in fact, meaning there are 24 months. They refer to this time period as a year. But then sometimes they refer to the Manhome (Earth) year as a year, which is a half of an Aqua year. So ages are confusing sometimes, and things are sometimes chronologically hard to place due to this. Additionally, though this series goes through multiple Aqua years, by the end, the characters seem not to have aged at all, even though as a manga which utilizes Mono no Aware (extremely well, might I add), it would make more sense for them to age, since a big deal is made of the time passing. But none of this is more than nitpicking, as it really doesn't matter in the slightest. It doesn't affect enjoyment of the series at all, it just raised a few questions at a few points, mostly toward the end. And I figured it would be remiss of me to write this long review giving the series glowing praise, and not mention the one thing about it that wasn't perfect, so I came back to add it in, to give at least some semblance of objectivity, though I feel that has failed.
All in all, it might just be because it's new to me, but as of right now, I'd say it's the best manga I've ever read. The entire time I was reading the final volume, I was crying, as I didn't want it to be over. I would 100% recommend this series to anyone who is currently thinking about reading it.
... Last updated on July 24th, 2016, 6:31am
I first know Aria from the anime and I have been a fan since the 1st episode. Although this series has nothing that a manga usually has (like super powers or super talented character), but I was still drawn in by it. I don't know what exactly kept me to keep watching and when I came to I was already at the last episode and I still wanted more. Maybe it was the peaceful pace and the beautiful scenery? Maybe it's the girls (not so much about the guys there). Well I don't know. All I can say is that this series has something to keep you going on reading it. I love the anime too, the peaceful pace and beautiful sceneries are well depicted and the music was top notch (the story line is pretty much the same). If you like the manga, you should watch the anime too.