Aria the OVA: Arietta
Released Year : September 21, 2007 to ????
No of Episodes : 1
Genre : Sci-Fi,Slice of Life
Plot : The story of Aria company before the arrival of Akari.
Our Review : When I think of the "Aria" series as a whole (Animation, Natural, and Origination), there are certain things I've come to expect:
1. Outstanding Animation with scenes that take your breath away.
2. Memorable and quotable characters that you can't help but root for and can easily relate to.
3. A story that both entertains and satisfies the viewer without leaving a "what the heck" aftertaste in my mouth.
"Arietta" meets all these expectations and then some.
1. The animation as a whole was both familiar and shocking to me. The viewer is still treated to the outstanding visuals that have remained consistent throughout the whole series, with rich textures and attention to detail, but Arietta turned it up to 11, showing much MORE detail than even "Origination". I would be remiss if I didn't mention two particular scenes that took my breath away. The first was the opening sequence over the song "Nanairo no Sora o". The rich colors, the use of light and shadow, and the view of the buildings leading up to Aria Company was something that I can safely say I've NEVER seen in any anime of this genre. The second scene is during the practice session between Akari, Alice and Aika (A scene I will discuss later when I talk about the characters). While the previous three seasons did an outstanding job showing the rustic beauty of this city, the OVA once again outdid itself and made Neo-Venezia shine even brighter. Every single detail from the cracks in the building to the downright gorgeous reflections in the canal water make this particular scene one of my favorites. The attention to details with regard to shadows and shading also deserves special mention. Character designs remained pretty consistent and true to the earlier seasons, with subtle changes to Akari and Alicia.
2. While it's true that the story of "Arietta" mostly revolves around the relationship between Akari and Alicia, “Arietta” does an outstanding job of integrating the other characters that we’ve come to know and love. All the characters, even those that don’t have a lot of screen time, shine as brightly as they did during the series and pickup right where they left off. I have to admit, after watching the conclusion of “Aria: The Origination”, it was really heartwarming to see our three gondoliers-in-training practicing on the waters of Neo-Venezia again in that black gondola; Aika forbidding any and all sappy comments, Alice offering her cool commentary on the topic at hand, and President Aria…well…doing what he does best; laying around letting others cuddle him. It’s this, plus the earlier mentioned animation that makes this one of my favorite scenes in this episode with the Campanile scene at the end a very close second. Additionally, the flashback sequence, where we see Alicia, Akira and Athena as new young Primas was a very surprising and well done scene. Overall, it was as though the last couple episodes of “Origination” never happened, and this is just another heart-warming episode.
3. If there’s one thing “Aria” is good at, it’s weaving a good story that leaves the viewer satisfied; “Arietta” is no exception. The story is basically one of self-doubt, knowing when to hold on, when to let go, and finding the strength to carry on. It compliments the ending of “Origination” perfectly. I especially love how every character is integrated into the story, without taking away from the principal characters. Just like the planet Aqua, everyone is connected in some way, shape or form.
In conclusion, "Aria The OVA: Arietta" is the perfect companion to the "Aria" series, combining great visuals, the same interesting and intriguing characters, and a story that leaves you feeling satisfied.