BY: SUMAIYYA AJAZ, M.B.B.S., BATCH XXI
Aria by Kozue Amano.
While there are many different anime out there, each with its own story to tell and a wide selection of genre, the anime that truly hits home is the slice-of-life genre and Aria, by Kozue Amano is the quintessential slice-of-life anime. The story takes place in the 24thcentury, on a planet known as Aqua (formerly called Mars) that was inhabited by humans 150 years prior to the story. By the art of terraforming the desolate, barren land was converted into a beautiful utopia covered by oceans and blanketed by star crossed skies. As futuristic as it may sound, the paradox of this world is that even with technological advancements, the inhabitants of the planet live in a city called ‘Neo Venezia’ [or New Venice] which flourishes in a slow moving time and a slight inconvenience in a fast paced century. The city relies on gondolas as a means of travel around the city, especially for tourists that are often around for vacation. A fun twist in the story is that the gondolas are guided by young women that are talented enough to become professional gondoliers or ‘Prima Undine’. This is where our characters come in. Aria revolves around the story of three girls in their teenage that belong to three different well known tourism companies and aspire to become full-fledged Professional Gondoliers. The friendship shared by them is undoubtedly pure and heartwarming. Each episode explores the beauty of new encounters, trying something new for the first time, experiencing new things through serendipity and creating lasting bonds with the people around you. It appreciates how the small things in life greatly enrich it and make every day enjoyable.
Neo Venezia prides itself upon its alluring sceneries, styled after Venice in the anime, the aesthetics bring out its rustic charm. With the combination of a beautiful pastel palette and a calming soundtrack the anime brings out the best of the city that lies afloat on clear cerulean waters. Aria captures the best places in Venice beautifully, from the narrow water ways to the Grand Canal. The busy Piazza san Marco is a common setting in the anime and the bell tower, the Campanile stands gracefully in the background looking down at the Piazza, teeming with life.
Another motif in Amano’s masterpiece is the gradual change in the characters presented in the anime. They slowly let go of their past selves, their fears and insecurities, in their ascent towards becoming ever-radiant Prima and entering the world of professionalism. Aria seamlessly integrates this into the framework and breathes life into something almost other-worldly.
So after reading this article why not give Aria a try? Maybe it’ll be your escape from the real world as well.
Links to the anime: http://www.animenova.org/category/aria-the-animation, http://www.animenova.org/category/aria-the-natural, http://www.animenova.org/category/aria-the-origination
Anime is something Sumaiyya grew up with and whenever she goes to re-watch some of the old anime, it takes her back to those amazing days that are still fresh in her memory. One of the best feelings any anime fan can relate to.