First Impressions – Hidan no Aria AA


Guns and LOLis!

Well, Funi may be streaming Aria AA a whole bloody week late but my gears have been buzzing for it for far to long. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. But there’s always the other point of view, right tag partner?
Prior to the season, skylion and I were coming at this show from different directions; he anticipating it, and me not so sure why it should even exist. So now that it’s started, which of us was right?

ariaaa 1-1

Two anibloggers square off…

Your Vibration Dispersal Will Not Effect Me!

skylion Yeah, I’m one of the few in the camp that loved the previous series, I make no bones about that. I won’t call it a guilty pleasure at all, because I know full well that I like self-aware trashy shows, and Aria was just that. I agree there were some dumb moments with Aria’s characterization some of the time, but I found that was more in line with poking holes in the ideas of Rankings and poking fun at idiotic tropes. It didn’t work out best all the time- but part of the time All that aside I thought the show came out fine in the wash. So with no apology whatsoever, I looked forward to the next installment of the franchise. EDIT : It’s very probable that you won’t need to see the previous series to enjoy this one. There are connections, and even with a cursory glance at the second episode RAW, it looks like it’s going to be Akari’s story. Since she’s new to Butei, more or less, introducing her to it that world will do the same for the audience…

ariaaa 1-2

She just needs some TLC…

In terms of time-line this one takes place at some further point after the original. Both Aria and Kinji have moved on, and her former partner has found a new talent to team up with. Aria is currently shopping around for hers. We’ve been introduced to a new character in Akari and she brings quite a bit to the table. If the cold open is to be acknowledged, then she will develop a super-power. No wonder Aria is suspicious of her later. But I like that Akrai is a diamond in the rough. The show’s cold open establishes that she isn’t the complete Maggie’s Drawers (I’ve used that twice in as many FIs now!) this premiere makes her out to be. She’s brave, expedient, and daring when she needs to be, it’s just a matter of finding the confidence. As for Aria herself, it’s good to see her in a back to her previous, high-flying action/self-assured demeanor. Maybe she got that man out of her hair for a good reason….

ariaaa 1-gif1

…right in the monitor!

Butei! You’re Under Arrest!

Highway The previous Hidan no Aria series was one of those that was almost a good idea. For me, the biggest problem was the total subsidence of the supposedly awesome S-rank Butei, Aria Kanzaki. She was supposed to be so great at using all these weapons, but after impressing in the first episode, in every scenario the show presented following that, she blew it and needed to be rescued by Kinji. Not only that, she was also completely outclassed by her nemesis, Riko. So it was with not a little trepidation that I watched as they introduced Aria this episode as, again, the hyper-competent S-rank Butei. And again, they did it with her performing a feat of derring-do. But unlike the first series, they actually followed it up with Aria doing well in a couple more situations. And a key difference in this show is that the setup has a built-in failure ready to take the brunt of all the screwups: Akari Mamiya.

ariaaa 1-gif3

This is the Aria I was looking for!

Akari’s lack of competence is maybe the double-edged sword of this series. While it might help let Aria rise to her due as someone great, it could also be a big problem. Not that anyone will get the reference, but my initial impression of Akari is that she’s like Lecty Eisenach from Wizard Bugs. But she does have resolve, and impresses Aria by being the first person who actually chases her, and doesn’t give up. So maybe these two will both be elevated by the setup here, rather than tearing one down to build the other one up like the earlier series.

ariaaa 1-gif2

…even a heroine needs a heroine sometimes…

…and the decision goes to?

The premiere episode of Aria AA was better than I anticipated, but I’m not going to get my hopes up too much yet. For one, the action sequences are as derpy as ever, with a boat chase down a narrow canal where somehow that mast on the one boat didn’t hit all the freakin’ bridges they kept showing. There’s a line between outrageous and idiotic, and the first series frequently crossed it, finally ending up just camping out on the “idiotic” side. For this series, I’m hoping that they get a little better feel for where that line is, and be a little more wary of going over it.

You know, I love Doga Kobo quite a bit, and they’ve done a great job translating the series from JC Staff’s style to their own. But, let’s just say they need to work a few bugs out of the action set pieces. The animation was great, fine sakuga work all around, but it’s composition? Not so much. that’s too close to the trashy, cliche-ridden romp the original was. But maybe emulation is out of the way?. This one features new writers and directors in addition to the visual/animation staff, and they haven’t just brought a different feel, but a greater touch…

Their penchant for light comedy/drama characterization looks appealing on this cast; previous and new alike. They mined tired old trope in the original, time for a fresh start. I was genuinely entertained watching Akari get into and out of her adventures, and am cheering her along. She’s a great character to “ground” Aria; who always descends from the skies to mete out justice. I like the potential interplay, and am waiting to see how they treat the rest of the cast. But…like my partner was asking with his introduction; looks like I’m on the positive end, and Highway is more neutral – Which one of us is right?

ariaaa 1-long

Actually, that’s a boring question….Which one of us is Akari and which one is Aria? – Hint: skylion is the cuter one!


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

7 Responses to “First Impressions – Hidan no Aria AA”

  1. Wanderer says:

    Any recommendations for someone who didn’t watch the first series? Is this functional on its own so far?

    • skylion says:

      Recommendations? Watch the first series! But I just asked Highway, and we both agree this is probably going to be fine on it’s own. But yeah, give the previous one a try if…mine and Highway’s recollections don’t confuse….

      EDIT: ANN has nice little write up about the Butei, if issues about that come up.

    • Highway says:

      My recommendation would be watch this one. Then see if you want to watch the previous one. I think we’ve already seen all of the tie-in with the first season we’re going to get when Kinji and Shirayuki showed up on the train. And if that didn’t mean anything to you, then it doesn’t matter.

      • Wanderer says:

        This made for an interesting premier, but I’m not sure it convinced me to try the previous season, particularly if a male character ended up having to rescue our female protagonist during a lot of it. I prefer shows about girls to be shows about girls: males need not apply.

        • skylion says:

          Yeah, just to get on Highway’s side of the fence; even Aria can’t even say why she wanted him to be his Amica (partner), only that she knew he had potential. We know why, but it was really tropey and dumb: he’s a normal Joe for all intents; but when he gets “turned on” he goes in Super Duper James Bond Mode. So, yeah, maybe just stick to this one.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    skylion is Aria. Uruchai! Uruchai! Uruchai!

  3. BlackBriar says:

    I tried this despite not watching the first season, even some of the second episode and my decision is not to continue following. Yeah, it just doesn’t do it for me in the slightest and I have far more interesting and pleasing shows already on my list this season to watch, so picking this up would be needless excess baggage. Have fun with this series, you guys. I’m out of this one.

Leave a Reply