Hidan no Aria AA – 02

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One of these days one of them is gonna be “too old for this sh!t”

What?! Two Aria AA posts in just two days?! Well, yes. You can put most of the blame on Funi for playing shenanigans with their streaming schedule. Then put some of that blame on me. See, one of my shows is kinda/sorta/maybe dropped from coverage, but more on that later….

The Secret Ingredient is Stalking Surveillance 

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Akari is a cute little grasshopper…

Well the real meat of the show is the showdown between Shino and Akari, but it doesn’t let us down in terms of advancing the rest of the plot. We defiantly know that there is more to Akari then what she seems. Aria has gone from a simple background check, to discovering that yes, there is a rabbit hole, and that Akari has gone down, and come back up. With help from one of her fellow Butei members, she’s able to suss out a few details. But along the way Aria still manages to hold that tantalizing stone in the palm of her hand….

There’s just enough evidence given to suggest a tragic past and hidden memories and techniques she might not be aware she even possesses. Her desperate-and failed-lunge for her gun last episode is really of a secret ninja technique; one that can pluck eyes from sockets, and her use of powers in last episodes cold open tells us even more is going on under the hood. Now much of this is only known to the audience, so Aria has a bunch more to track down. But the twin-tailed assault-princess does discover one hidden talent: intense sewing techniques cannot be ignored! Nice to see that Aria wants to improve her para-gliding. She was pretty boss the first episode of the previous series.

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The schools accepted currency for ninja is noodlebread….

I also thought they did a good job on introducing some of the terms of the Butei school into the dialog without it becoming a huge exposition dump. It was evocative, and stood it’s purpose. We know the school has Assault, Snipe, and Surveillance, in addition to a super-powers unit, and a group of tech units and the students get to specialize; that’s all we really need to get the story moving along. Even the Amica system is pretty easy to get a hold on, it’s just a very complex senpai-kouhai understanding. But that wrinkle at the end, was a nice exploit for Shino to work herself into. Who knew the intital contract had a deadline? A l33t hacker that’s who!

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But as I said the meat of the show is the showdown. Shino really doesn’t let up on the yandere vibes, and that stalker-with-a-crush attitude really doesn’t bring a bunch of sympathy to her character, especially when it’s strictly based on, “you weren’t a total bitch to me like the other girls that failed to understand that I’m both rich and shy”, “and you shared a pastry with me”. Shino has the poor little rich girl thing to tug on the heart strings, yes, but I don’t think it really counters her more aggressive tendencies that much.

Butei plays with hard-knocks school lessons, but yeah, her motivation is a bit too personal! In future I hope they can focus on Akari’s other friend, Raika, and that she isn’t more of the same type of crazy-pants. But still Shino has mad hacking and sword skills, that’s nothing to sneeze at. The combined effort of both Akari and Aria’s heads-up, sailor-suit-ties-up clue put the damper on the yandere rampage. So, with defeat comes real friendship, and Akari has her first official nakama member.

..really do wish they would call the uniforms damage-resistant, not bullet-proof….

Every breath you take…

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We had a rather nice second episode here. I quite enjoyed seeing some of the similar parallels play themselves out. With Aria poking around on Akari, and Shino poking around on Aria, that was a neat full circle. Also, both Akari and Shino worked the night through to get satisfaction, one on sewing the other on her hacking skills. So even though they started off in opposition, really the methods were similar, are they are looking out for each other, in odd ways yes, but still…

Well, it looks like I will settle into Aria AA as my “third show”. I have to admit that I’m a more than taken aback by Sample, so I’m on the fence about how I’m going to cover it in the future. But, all things considered, this is a good replacement. Being a fan of the older series helps quite a bit. I’m glad to see it’s not as wacky as that one, and they’re taking the time to build up the characters. By next episode we should have things nicely rounded out with Akari’s nakama members getting more story, and perhaps a glimpse of some of the future antagonists and/or fellow student competitors. Butei is an aggressive place and they’ve not really shown us that side of it in great detail. Besides, there has to be a group of wacky villains with super-powers in there somewhere! It’s expected!

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…so it is Raika next time! She’s here to help you cut the cake!


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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9 Responses to “Hidan no Aria AA – 02”

  1. Wanderer says:

    Wellp, I think this one’s a keeper. At least until my ADD causes me to lose interest. Still this has been fun, and the secret of Akari’s ninja training, which is presumably tied into her past and those traumatic flashbacks she keeps having, is intruiging enough to keep me going.

    BTW, I’m not sure if that power displayed in the opening of episode 1 should really count as legitimate, since the whole event was a dream. It may just be something Akari would have imagined herself having if she were ever a top-level butei like Aria. Or it could be something real, it’s hard to knwo for sure. I’m giving it 60-40 odds in favor of “just a dream.”


    I peeked at the manga chapter for that bit. It translates the term as “clothesline,” which kind of makes more sense to me, particularly if I work in the idea of “clotheslining” someone.

    • skylion says:

      It looks like a sword meant for someone on horseback…like an Oodachi or a “Horse Chopping Sword”. They missed that chance…

      I’m going with the cold open being a point in the future…

      • Wanderer says:

        Except she explicitly said it was a dream, due to which she kicked her sister in the face by accident. Unless you’re getting into the realm of prophetic dreams here…

        • skylion says:

          Ah, sometimes a detail like that does sneak by me. It is much more interesting as a dream, prophetic or otherwise.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

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    Urusai! Urusai! Urusai!!!

  3. Highway says:

    I’m actually surprised at how sane this production has been. They actually gave us an out for how the end of the fight would go, and something like that can make all the difference in whether a show is derpy or within your suspension of disbelief. Yeah, bulletproof school uniforms are fantastical, but if you accept them, then you can accept that Akari can use her tie to grab the sword. It wasn’t some amazing feat of luck or unknown skill, just thinking on her feet.

    And having Akari not just freak out when faced with fighting Shino was really good as well. Also Aria’s role is shaping up nicely: The show is about Akari, and her not just wanting to please Aria, but also be more like Aria. And I’ll admit that the parallels to Maria-sama ga Miteru sure don’t hurt it in my mind. They even seem to be following the words of Youko Mizuno: “The onee-sama protects, the imouto supports.”

    Of course, it could still go off the rails, but so far the first two episodes are about 100 times better than the first series.

    • skylion says:

      Memo to manga/LN/anime creators: put in a few Maria-sama ga Miteru references, and you’ll have at least one ardent fan.

      I have to agree, this is miles better than the original. Whereas I had to accept a great deal and move on (which isn’t really all that bad, but still), this one is using a bit more care in dolling out the characters and action.

      • Highway says:

        I don’t know about ardent, but I’ll say that they could do worse for sources to borrow from.

        It helps a lot that they’ve un-Mary Sue’d a lot of the characters. Aria seems like a competent upperclassman, not a hyped up prodigy. And even if they pushed up Akari’s clumsiness, they haven’t made her be useless.

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