Sunday, November 20, 2005

Aria 5

Akari gets a mysterious invitation to "Neverland" (no, it's not from Jacko) and she and her friends go to deserted island with a beautiful beach, that's just a gondola ride away but remote enough that no one else has discovered it. But just when they think they'll get a day to play on an island paradise, Alicia and Akira arrive--Akira promptly gets into S&M training mode and turns their island adventure into boot camp.

Sure, you might think being an undine is all fun and games, but Akira seems to think undines need to go through Navy SEAL boot camp or their candy-asses won't cut it in the real world. I guess she has a point--when you're an undine you might be rowing down a placid canal one second, then the next a neo-Venezian shark jumps in the boat and you have to beat it to death with your bare hands. Or you get some 500 pound tourist who falls overboard, and you need to pull his SuperSized ass back up in the boat before he drowns. So there's a method to Akira's hard-ass training madness, even if it does give Akari and her friends blisters.

After training, they get cut some slack, have barbecue, and Akari thinks the island is so beautiful she cries. I wonder if Akira has *ever* cried, by the way. I'm guessing no.

Another quiet, relaxing episode, and it gets bonus points from me for having the cast in swimsuits. Although the world Aria's set in continues to be baffling in some ways. Manhome (that name always cracks me up) is so polluted you can't swim in the ocean AT ALL, but Aqua is so empty you can ride a gondola to a deserted island? In real life, there'd be a Grand Hyatt Suite Resort Centre on that island as fast as you can say "aloha, and welcome to your $700-a-night room." And if Manhome's so bad, wouldn't everyone from Manhome emigrate from there to Aqua, and Aqua would end up looking more like a wet version of Los Angeles than Venice? Or do they just have a really strong no-growth lobby on Aqua?

But that's not the point of Aria, so I shouldn't nitpick. It's still fun to watch, and next episode we get a new cast member, the "star" of Orange Planet, who's apparently also a dojiko.

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