Company: Hal Film Maker
Format: 1 OVA
Apprentice undine Akari wakes from a dream where she is herself the Prima undine of Aria Company, with an apprentice of her own. Her self-confidence shaken at the thought of no longer having her sempai to guide her, she confides in Alicia-san, who tells how she once had to bid farewell to Grandma, her own sempai. After some time with her friends and a special sightseeing tour with Alicia-san, Akari finds the strength and confidence she needs.
summary by Papa-san
Reviewed: 10/5/14 by
Highs: Beautiful artwork; a couple of good laughs; a bit of insight into Alicia
Lows: Distracting wild takes; too long for what was accomplished
Arietta is Italian for “short aria,” appropriately enough. This is a half-hour episode, clocking up just a few more minutes than the regular Aria episodes. Not to sound unkind, but for the story which was told here, it could have been rolled into one of those regular episodes, with at least one other story along with it.
None of which is to say I didn’t like this; I did. It was just nothing special and added little to what we know of the Aqua girls. And an important caveat there, this will be utterly meaningless if you don’t know the girls already. Suffice it to say, expanding on the summary, the three apprentice undines all realize that different teachers have different styles of teaching, and decide they have the sempai ideally suited to themselves.
In accordance with the theme of continuity and generations, Alicia-san reveals not only her own past self-doubts, but just why she chose Akari as her apprentice.
But the best part of Aria isn’t the story at all, it’s the art, and this OVA is even more stunning than the series. Colors are vibrant, CGI blends flawlessly with drawn artwork, many scenes are almost 3D. The way light pours over many scenes would make Thomas Kinkade jealous.
If you are an Aria fan, watch this. If you have no idea what Aria is, watch this just to see how gorgeous animation can be — and maybe be intrigued enough to watch Aria The Animation. Now there’s a real treat for both eyes and heart.
All in all, this is a worthwhile addition to the Aria saga – just not to the storyline itself.
Aria the OVA ~Arietta~ can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.