Hidan no Aria AA – 04

Yeah, I LOL’D

You ever have that dream where you’re part of an idol group and they split up right at the moment of glory, where one of the idols is a dude in drag, and the whole audience laughs at you? No? Just the one where show up to work naked…Well, then let us pause and give Akari’s dream some thought.

All about the the Bees and the Spiders

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This week’s BUTEI Idol crosses over with The Weakest Link…

So, after four episodes of cold-open dreams, I think the show is trying to tell us something. Fortunately, these dreams aren’t drenched in SHAFT like symbols, nor are they really that deep. They just reveal the character’s hope, dreams, ambitions, and more importantly, their fears. That maybe the price of getting what you want, is getting what you once wanted. At the very least those fears inform your reach. But Akari’s idol dream was also a good set up for how she is going to go from our POV character to, more or less, a side character in her own story. In that they’ve got a big line up of characters for the upcoming battle, so our new members have to be introduced, along with a story building up the pre-existing ones of her nakama.

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Shima is a honeypot….hoooooly crap….

For all intents and purposes, this is a set up episode, and goes by a fairly standard book. It’s a battle-school configuration that is the basis for the Quartet tourney, so we have: the forming of the team, meeting the enemy, getting beat early/intimated by the enemy showing how outclassed they are, get charged up to fight the enemy, and train in a suspiciously short period of time with an equally suspicious trainer. But that’s not really a let down for this show, as they managed to build up the characters in such a complete fashion, that the tropes went by seamlessly. All with some custom grudges built in from the start; many of them converging on jealousy and Aria in particular.

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Don’t you just hate them already?

So who do we have as our opposition? Well you can’t get a better hate-on than a trumped up Ojou-sama and her hired lackeys can you? Urara Takachiho is cut from that exact cloth. She looks down upon the lower ranks with gusto, so you just cannot help but want to see her get beat. While she has the money, influence, and good looks to go far, you just cannot help but mistrust her Quartet members. Yaya and Yuyu are so robotic and cold, and Fuma is pretty much a hired ninja-thug, who would do any job for a package of noodle-bread.

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Actually, this looks kinda fun…

But we get a small touch of world building in addition to grudge building. Both Urara and Shima (along with Riko) are members of the CVR (Civetta Research), and they specialize in honeypot operations. With Shima even adding that her’s is even more specialized. This was dropped in just so Urara could taunt the team with how useless a skill set such as that would be in a 4 on 4 match. Which is silly taunt for her to make as it comes right back at her. We later learn that this skill set didn’t do her much good in trying to entice Aria to become her Amica partner. This becomes the backbone of the jealousy Urara has for Akari. The ojou-sama also has it in for Shino as they have that fighting family background going on between them. So we have a bad girl with a family that invests heavily in BUTEI, and is stuck up about it? Who doesn’t want that to lose? Also, something tells me this was Chekhov’s Honeypot…

I wonder if Yuyu and Yaya stream better than Funimatation?

But, that cannot stack up against the team built from friendship and heart. So now we enter training mode. But not before we break down the style of play we are going into. This is a poison style capture the flag game. They are confined to one area, and may use what they find in that area as resources. They are limited to non-leathal methods, but that doesn’t mean things won’t get dicey. I do like the wrinkle the poison aspect adds, as switching who has the attack flag can make things interesting; especially if it let’s Akari make a surprise come-back in the process.

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“…you have a long way to go grasshopper…”

——————————————————————————————

Well the rest of the program was mostly broken down into a sort of training mode. They didn’t so much train, as take the time to find each other and themselves. It was pretty much a confidence booster, and the realization that they can do it, provided they can get over the fear and anger, and learn to trust each other. Shima was able to close some of the distance between herself and Raika, and Shino went full Shinto to work out whatever crazy she has to work out. And of course Aria is there to remind Akari not to be shaken so easily.

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It’s not easy being Pink…

That’s not a bad way to go for a show that has a tiny foot in the SoL turf as well as the combat-school grounds. I’m a bit taken aback about Akari’s sister being in the mix, but I’m thinking she’ll be important to the plot later on; maybe a kidnapping victim? As it stands things are kinda weird as well with Riko heading up their training, and both Shirayuki and Shino going into full on crazy mode when it comes to the Aria jealousy. But all in all this was a nice set up for the combat and drama to come.

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Next Time: Kicking some haughty ass…

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All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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12 Responses to “Hidan no Aria AA – 04”

  1. Wanderer says:

    Shima is a honeypot….hoooooly crap….

    Please use the term Honeytrap that the series uses, I beg you. While one definition of honeypot is the same as that, another definition, which I have heard more often, is… significantly less appropriate for public conversation.

    So, my takeaway from this episode is that Shirayuki is the role model that Shino should never have been allowed to have, some bitches need to have their butts kicked, and Akari’s sister Nonka is tripping some disturbing flags that I really hope aren’t death flags.

    • skylion says:

      I find it interesting that you’re uncomfortable with the term honeypot, as it can and is used for a number of things, but you dislike one connotation claiming that it is less appropriate for public conversation.

      Yet, in the next paragraph you refer to a young woman as a bitch, another word with many uses that has a less appropriate one for public conversation.

      I would find it more interesting if you have a tertiary standard you’d like to introduce…

      • Wanderer says:

        O_o I wasn’t trying to offend you. However, I had never even heard the term used as anything other than a reference to female genitalia: I had to look it up, because what you were saying came across with a massively different meaning when I first read the post. Also, “honeytrap” is the term used in the episode: Kirin actually said the word in English. While the confusion was due to a lack of knowledge of alternate definitions on my part, it could have been avoided simply by using the term the series itself used, so it seemed reasonable to me to say something.

        That was my thought process. I was not trying to insult you in any way.

        Yes, I did call the opposing Ojou-sama a bitch. No, it is not a polite term. However, it has actually become a fairly common term used to describe someone with with her kind of stuck-up, snobby, hateful attitude, and the attitude of her pair of worshippers. To explain my standard (I was not thinking this out consciously when I posted, by the way), I believe it would attract significantly less attention and warrant less censure if I were to call someone who acted like Takachiho a bitch, than if I were to call Kirin what I originally interpreted honeypot to mean. That does not necessarily mean I am right to do so, but that is likely the logic by which my mind was working.

        …This post has gotten long enough that spammy is probably going to kill it. Time to find out.

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Ojou-sama is the only one wearing a skirt of a decent length… The wind would flip the others easily and show the no-pan.

  2. Wanderer says:

    In other news, the single for the OP is out. Possibly the ED as well, but I care less about that (it’s nice and all, but nowhere near as catchy). The full song is… good. Quite good, I think. Time to play it on repeat on my iPod until I’m sick of it! 😉

    • skylion says:

      I will have to check them out…I will give a conditional “like them both equally” until I can listen to them…

  3. Highway says:

    This felt like the worst training ever. It was just random and felt focused on the wrong things, non-Butei things, and I worry that when the battle happens, and they have something that is exactly the same as this random training, it will feel entirely contrived. Plus, at this point, it’s hard to trust *anyone* in this series, even Akari the mystery girl.

    As for Nonoka, I’m starting to wonder if she’s Akari’s handler, and Akari is some brainwashed sleeper agent whose ultimate goal is to kill Aria in some ridiculous plot.

    • skylion says:

      I would agree with you, but you’ve seen one training montage you’ve seen them all. A collection of still images…But they went for the personal angle, which is something I appreciate more. This group already has the level of training they need (well, Akari….) except for teamwork, and that means trust at some level. You can trust Fuma so long as you keep the noodlebread coming.

      That is a good theory for Nonoka, Her feinting spell could be a feint of a different sort…it seems like it was laser guided to infiltrate Shino’s house.

      • Highway says:

        While I kind of agree about training montages, I’d disagree with the idea that this group already has a base level of training they need. Shima and maaaaaaybe Raika, who is better than Akari and Shino, but hasn’t been shown to be particularly competent. But neither Akari nor Shino have been shown to be any more than clown-like. Akari has been shown to be terrible, and she beat Shino. Either that history gets handwaved away, or there’s a big incongruity. And on top of that, Riko’s training for Akari seemed like it was wholly designed to keep her out of the way, which is why it will seem completely contrived when staying on a mechanical horse or somesuch is all of a sudden super relevant.

  4. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Wait… is Butei White in drag??!!

    *supports Butei Red!*

Leave a Reply to Di Gi Kazune