Aria the Animation: 8.0/10
Aria the Natural: 7.5/10
Aria the OVA: Arietta 8.0/10
Aria The Origination: 9.0/10
The whole Aria series is a slice of life genre anime with some comedy, a bit of a drama, a very little of romance and close to zero plot development. If the genre alone isn't enough reason for you to stay away from this series, you should also consider that it goes for as long as 54 episodes (including the Special and the OVA). As for me, I became interested in the Aria series only due to the third season's (Aria the Origination) outstanding ratings. Of course, the first thing that came to my mind was "oh, it's probably because only the most stoic fans kept on watching that till the third season it has that good average score". But a simple research on the season's popularity showed that it's not the case. And so, one evening I caught the right mood and start watching the series.
|A floating islands and a spaceship above the city of Neo-Venezia|
|Mizunashi Akari, Aika S. Granzchesta and Alice Carroll in the only fleeting moment Aika had a nice haircut|
|Look at how the snow on the back side of the stair is depicted, what attention to the details!|
As for why does the third season have the best ratings, the answer is simple: because it concludes the story. While I can only see the Aria series as a whole, every season ends on some logical point and there are some "specialization" between seasons. Aria the Animation introduces the characters and the setting, then shows a bit of everything. Aria the Natural is the main body of the series and shows Akari's life on her third year on Aqua (note that years on Aqua are twice as long than years on Earth due to the planet orbit). Aria the Origination is more about coming of age and shows the most character and story development of the whole series. When I finished watching the Animation, I was pretty satisfied with the show, but I thought that it ended just at the right moment after those 13 episodes. I had huge doubts that I would appreciate watching the 26 episodes of the same thing in the Natural. Yet, somehow it went pretty smoothly. After the Natural I had no doubts at all that I would appreciate the Origination and that parting with favorite characters would be sad. OVA: the Arietta is just like another episode of the Natural, or rather like on of the best episodes.
Continue to the second part (spoilers)
|She might not look like it, but she is actually the number one apprentice of the one they call Siren|
|Not exactly what you expect of the sci-fi anime|
The romance in the series is dull. Aika's part are OK, but as for the boys, both Al-kun and Akatsuki-kun could serve only as some sort of comedic relief. I believe that the author just can't into romance. Then again, I read somewhere that Alicia's sudden marriage in the end of the show was introduced only because Amano Kozue couldn't think of any better plot-device to switch Akatsuki-kun from Alicia to Akari. Why did he need to be switched at all is a different question. Given all this, please consider what is written below complete nonsense.
|"I was afraid of losing this beloved time in which I can be with you" says Alicia|