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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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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]
... Last updated on February 11th, 2007, 1:01am
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
Slice of Life?
I have no idea what "slice-of-life" means, but apparently that's the new category that manga like these are placed under. All I know is that it's a YKK rip-off... with cuter girls. And I'm a sucker for these type of things.