Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Anime — Aria the Natural

For me, a Man-home year has passed; for Akari-chan, a whole Aqua year, from Carnivale to another New Year. Apart from the slow wheeling of the seasons, little changes. Akari and Aika are both Singles, still, and Alice a Pair, President Maa is still a scarcely weaned kitten -- though Aika's crush on Al the Gnome makes slow headway, and Aria Company gets a new mooring post and a new gondola.

Neo-Venezia is still the best anime world to live in, with nice people leading happy and unpressured lives. Most episodes are a little parable of living life to the full (though the two episodes -- the only two-parter -- spent decommissioning an old gondola somewhat pushed the limit) Except...

In the first season, Akari wandered into time out of joint on a couple of occasions. This time, she is an far more frequent weirdness magnet -- from her encounter with Cait Sith at Carnevale, through the other odd doings of Aqua's cats in old and abandoned quarters, or riding the Galaxy Railroad; summer markets where the clock stands at just past two; fox-weddings in sun-showery spring weather to ghostly passengers making night-time journeys to a cemetery isle, and more besides, when President Aria goes wandering off into the weird, like genderbent parallel worlds.

If you liked the first season, then this will continue to charm.

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