Hidan no Aria AA – 08-09

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Let’s take aim and fire!

…we go from the tasty pool episode and all the cute little antics it can bring, to an episode that has for more going for it than many of the previous episodes brought to the table….


Well, episode eight started us off with a pretty light touch as far as the cold-open dream sequences go. If we take dreams as prophecy, then Akari got the water part right, with diminishing returns for the value of that word. Well maybe it continues to show that Aria is the main pilot and Akari is along for the ride, but we’ve know that for quite some time.

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But as I said last time, this is the breather/goofy fun episode so really there isn’t much to talk about, nor much to go on save for the continuing story of yuri jealousy and the appeal of all the eye candy. It was a fairly predictable episode, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun. Doga Koba is pretty much in their wheel house with these sorts of antics and it really shows; the characteristics save it from being so much copypasta.

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Guns and Yuri…

Well despite the dour tone of the dream sequence, this time from Nonoka’s perspective, that painted the cold open, this one managed to go from the show’s typical cuteness, to a much darker place. Whomever little miss silence is or was, is heavily involved in the Mamiya’s past, and it looks like Nonoka’s goes deeper down the rabbit hole than thought. Besides that we did get one rather happy day for the gang, and with the previews for the next act, we can only hope they enjoyed the good time.

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Episode nine gives us a far more substance than previous efforts have shown thus far. Even if we aren’t aware of the precise elements that have gone into making Akari the Maggie’s drawers that she appears to be, or even if we can’t tell exactly what is plaguing Nonoka, we get a few narrative clues to act as road signs. To be honest, it’s much more interesting watching the show play with the emotional pieces than it is to have it all spelled out for us. We can understand on a much better level the amount of stress involved for both the Mamiya girls, and that the forces behind it wish to remain hidden, without devolving into over-used tropes and awkward melodrama.

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Which is a good place for the story to be because it sort of trains the viewer into accepting why Aria cannot take Akari in as an Amica, and what the whole process has been going on in the twin-tailed butei’s head for the entire time. Akari has been tested, but on more than one level, and she’s failed them all. I thought it was quite telling for the story for Aria to come out and point blank ask Akari why she wants to be butei. Akari doesn’t really know outside admiration for the organization in general, and for Aria to be very very specific. But Akari can’t be Aria, no matter how much she tries, or wants to be. Also, whatever abilities she has is so buried under stress, they are unreliable. Aria cut her down hard, but it was a necessary cut.

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It’s nice to see them adding some depth to the Mamiya girls and the mysterious past they both share. At this point I’m looking at the fire that haunted Nonoka’s nightmare to be part real life inspired, part something else. Fire has a big presence, and it brings with it plenty of smoke, which is great to obscure identity, insight, inclusion. I also feel that Nonoka has a much bigger part to play in the story to come. Why would such a mysterious force be after them, and Akari in specific? Is it that, unfettered from whatever is holding her down now, she’s unbeatable? That would be the likely approach, but we’ll wait and see…

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…looks like she can’t wait to unload…


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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2 Responses to “Hidan no Aria AA – 08-09”

  1. Wanderer says:

    Akari’s abilities appear to be the abilities of an assassin, not a butei. Butei are forbidden to kill, yet Akari has been… I would call it conditioned to kill her targets, brutally and swiftly. Her gun skills, her hidden martial-art, these are abilities she has on an instinct-deep level: what she resorts to when she no longer thinks, and just reacts instead. She has been rejecting those abilities this entire time, trying to train herself to fight in ways that won’t trigger those instnctive reactions. No wonder she’s been doing so poorly. Not only has she been starting from the ground up trying to train herself, but likely any time anything new she’s learned has reminded her of anything she used to know, she’s had to abandon it and start over.

    This goes deeper, I think than Akari simply hating killing, or than butei being forbidden to kill. Something happened that is making Akarai violently reject her past self. We’re getting pieces of the story here with Nonoka’s dream, but it’s fragmented: I can’t quite put all the pieces together yet for certain. However, it appears that Nonoka took some lasting harm from the last time that rainbow-fingered girl caught up with them. I’m very afraid that she’s dying.

    • skylion says:

      Ah, see, that’s the bit I was getting rather off during the whole second act of 09; that Butei are forbidden to kill. That’s why both she and Aria put a sharp point on not killing the perps. Which when you get down to it is right silly. They train these people with deadly weapons, and expect them to do the equivalent of swearing at the bad guys who can only say after so long, “Fools ain’t gonna kill us, that should work out in our favor”. But I’ll go with the spirit of the show; it’s silly, but it’s theirs.

      I fear for Nonoka’s life as well, she’s a sweet girl and doesn’t seem the type to have done anything to deserve her fate.

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