Saturday, March 01, 2008

ARIA Manga Finale

Goodbye ARIA, I gonna miss you!!!

Thank you Kozue Amano sensei for this beautiful work!

ARIA Navigation 60 「水の妖精」

In the morning, Mr. Postman arrived at Aria Company and Akari asked if he was Mr. Anno Namihira (庵野波平) who made a reservation. Mr. Postman replied yes and Akari learnt to know his real name. During the tour, Akari asked if Anno didnt have to distribute the letters. Anno replied that his leg wasn't what it used to be so he stayed at the post office and worked on the administration. Anno then asked how's Akari and whether she has regained her composure. Akari asked if Anno was worried for her and made the reseravtion. Akari thanked Anno and he was speechless. Akari admitted that things have been different with the time when Alicia was around but the number of reservation has gradually increased. She aadded that she went to the town to search for customer when she was free and she consider herself quite lucky at that. However, Akari admitted that she was lying if she said she wasn't feeling lonely. Anno remarked that summer would end soon. He complimented Akari and said that Akari was still an ace in creating wonderful things in daily normal lifesyle. Anno told Akari that she would be fine and remarked that Akari was an expert in creating happiness. There wont be any unhappy customer if they were with someone like Akari. Anno added that he had said so when he first met her that Akari would be an outstanding undine. Akari blushed and thanked Anno.

The next morning, Akari prepared for the day and she sensed someone. She went to the living room and saw Alicia sitting there. Aika and Alice ran down the stairs. Akira and Atena greeted Alicia. Akari then realized that it was the shadow or the nostalgia of the happy moments at Aria company. It was her job to open the shutter first thing in the morning. She knew that once she opened the door, the nostagic shadows will disappear with the air. She hesistated but then remembered that it's not "It was happy at that time" but "It was also happy at that time". She rememebred what Atena and Alicia had said that the happiness at the present is felt at that moment. Thus, it was important to cherish the present. Akari saw Aria sachou and happily greeted it. Then she prepared for the day. Akari emailed her penpal and told her friend that it was getting busier and she had less time for emails. She then updated her penpal with an update of her friends.

Woody sent eggs to Akari every morning before he left for work. He has started rearing chicken at his home. Everday he soared the air with happiness.

Aika started her committment at the new branch and was busy everyday. She started to have more poise but she was still a cry-baby when they met together. Al has been promoted and seemed to grow taller. His relationship with Aika still good as before.

Akatsuki was also promoted. Sometime, he appeared at Aria company for no reason. Unawared, Akari was scared by his out-of-the-blue appearance. She felt that that's how Akatsuki showed his concern on Akari.

Alice became the legend who has promotion to Prima from Pair. She received a lot of attention in the undine industry. Alice has set "Let's have a holiday together" as her rule. However, due to the busy schedule of all three undines, it was pretty impossible.

Atena had her firt debut in the opera. It affected her undine job slightly and Alice was angry. However, on the day of the debut, Alice was touched to tears when she watched Atena's performacance.

Akira became the No.1 undine in Aqua. Aika remarked her as a threat but everyone knew Aika was very happy deep down in her heart.

Alicia worked for the gondola association and was active in all variety of events. Recently, she saw Grandma and Alicia as special lectures in a gathering. Akari felt proud to be the junior of two great people. Sometimes, Alicia and Grandma went to Aria company and visited Akari. Alicia still bestowed Akari with her unchanged beautiful smile.

Akari told her penpal that she lived a happy life even though many things were different from before. She then sent the email and said that she believed she would meet the penpal one day. Akari's penpal was revealed to be Cait Sith.

Aqua 0076, 16th month, the 20th, Akari resumed emailing Cait Sith and said something happy has happened. Aria sachou ran down the stairs followed by a girl in Aria Company uniform. Ai, in the uniform, greeted Akari. Starting then, Aria company has two employees. Ai asked of her uniform and Akari complimented it fit her nicely. Akari and Ai enjoyed the breakfast together. Akari then looked at Ai just like the time Alicia looked at her on the 2nd day morning. Ai asked Akari and Akari replied that it just that she felt slightly happy. The series ended with a pair of oars numbered 2 and 4, and two pairs of boots.

P/S: After 6-7 years of Aqua and Aria, it finally ended. I'm going to miss it very much. I was right that Ai joined Aria company ^^.

ARIA Popularity Rankings:
1. Akari
2. Alice
3. Atena
4. Alicia
5. Aria Sachou
6. Akira
7. Aika
8. Maa Sachou
9. Akitsuki
10. Al
P/S: There are 32 characters involved but I only disclose the top 10. Kozue Amano at no.22

Interview with Kozue Amano sensei:
Q: The last navigation has ended. How do you feel now?
A: Thanks. I feels smooth sense of achievement.

Q: The finale has left people with deep impression, when did you first thought of the finale?
A: I have thought of the scene ever since Aqua and then to Aria. It is the chapter which I wanted to draw most.

Q: Since featuring in Blade 6 years ago, this is Amano sensei's longest serialization. Is there any hardship throughout the years?
A: It was surprising that there wasn't any complication in the content. There are contents for each week and never lack of resources. The drawing is hard and it tortured me each month (smile). And since the animation of Aria, beside the normal serialization routine, additional drawing has also increased. The last 3 years, the slow speed in drawing was hell-like.

Q: With a popular animation with 3 seasons and one OVA, are there any changes with your surrounding and lfesytple before and after the animation?
A: There's no changes to the feelings, peacefully draw the series as before. However, thanks to the animation, I gained more optimistic perspective in creating Aria. I learnt a lot and felt that the scope expanded as well.

Q: After the production of the animation, a diversity of merchandises was produced as well. Which gives you the most impession?
A: Of course it's the Aria sachou merchadises.

Q: Which chapter in Aria and Aqua gives the most impression?
A: It should be the last 2 chapters which I dedicated all my effort into.

Q: Which of the episode in the animation gives you the most impression?
A: I have only watch half od season III when I have this interview. Considering just the first two seasons, Season I Episode 11 (On Those Orange Days) leaves me with the most impression.

Q: Fans have given tremendous support for a sequel. Is that a possibility?
A: Er, how to say, I'm not sure at the moment.

Q: From now on, it's your 6 years long awaiting holiday. What's your plan?
A: I'm considering a holiday. Recharge myself with a relaxed lifestyle. However, half of the resting period will be taken by the preparation of a new series.

Q: Have you thought of the scope for the next series?
A: Sort of...A little bit.

Q: Lastly, any message for the readers?
A: Since the serialization of Aqua and continuation of 7 years, It has been an long experience that I haven't had before, It was because of the reader's support that I can finish the series successfully. I would like to express my gratitude to them.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Random Thoughts

Tsubasa 183: I wish I didnt complain on too much conversation before. Now we have more than 5 pages without any conversation. Yuko sent Syaoran, Yui, Kurogane and Mokona to Clow country. Not much drama, except Yuko got intercepted and Yuko wont be able to interrupt as well. The gang would be on their own. Suspense! (P/S: Excellent cover art on Syaoran & Sakura and C.Syaron & C. Sakura)
Hatsukoi Limited 21: Kei reprimanded Koyoi and Ayumi for their selfishness. Nao met the sempai who painted her favourite drawing that was hung in the art room. They teamed up for a painting. Sogabe saw that.
Prince of Tennis 379: That's it?? The Finale???? Ryoma won by 6-4. Seigaku gained the championship. Tetsuka smiled and was recorded by Inui. Kaidoh became the new captain. Ryoma went to US and helped a tennis kid who was being bullied. (Wish there's more aftermath for those 3rd years who graduated.)
Cross Game 115: Aoba was hurt by Azuma's hit accidentally.


Pre-ordered them for early-bird price of 5415 yen each. Hobby Search has shipped the items through EMS and the shipping cost 2400 yen. I realized that the figures are not as heavy as I thought, robably due to the fact that the clothes are fabrics.

Akari figure is both sold out at HobbySearch and HLJ.
Alice is low stock at HLJ (time of check) but sold out at HobbySearch.

Next in line is Alicia and Aika scheduled for April release.

Alicia is available for pre-order at HLJ. Reservation closed for HobbySearch.
Aika is available for pre-order at HLJ and HobbySearch.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

ARIA Origination 8

Episode 8: 第08話 「その 大切な人の記憶に…」

Alice and Athena's fake amnesia, Navigation 37 of V8.

Alice was anticipating for her day out with Atena and she went to buy foods for her sandwiches. She also worked out a route for the trip. She then went for a bath while Atena came back. By the time Alice went back to her room, Atena has slept. Maa sachou also had a bunch of banana for the next day. Alice placed a note beside Atena's bed to remind her of the trip. The next morning, Alice was awaken by Atena's leaving for her work. She was surprised that Atena has left for work. Alice waited for Atena in her room while Maa sachou was having the bananas. Alice was sad that Atena had forgotten about their dayout. Suddenly, Atena rushed back with the note in her hand. She apologized and said that she had a busy day. She tried to make up with Alice but Alice told her that it's not necessary. Alice accidentally bursted and grabbed the note, causing it to tore and drop on the floor. Alice then left for the door and Atena tried to catch her. However, Atena stepped on the banana skin that Maa sachou threw on the ground and fell down flat. Soon, Akari received a call from Alice telling her something very very very serious SOS had happened.

Alicia and Akari went to Orange Planet and realized that Atena had lost her memory.Alice told them of the incident and that Atena had amnesia. Aria sachou was lying on the floor with its stomach upwards. Atena played with Aria sachou's stomach and mentioned its name. Akari then asked whether Atena remembered Aria sachou and she replied yes. Alice then asked if Atena remembered her but Atena replied she couldnt recognize Alice. Alicia then looked at Atena, smiled and said that she would come back later.

Akari, Alice and Atena went to a cafe and Alice ordered several ice-cream desert. Atena managed to picked up her favourite desert and this made Akari and Alice happy. Atena then called Maa sachou and fed it with the biscuit. Akari and Alice realized that Atena now remembered Maa sachou. However, she still couldn't remember Alice. Alice decided to bring Atena back to orange planet and asked her to pick out her oar. She picked the correct one and mentioned Akari's name. However, she still couldn't remember Alice and this made Alice very sad.

Akari mentioned that Alicia should be back soon and they all went to Aria company. Alice was getting sadder as Atena couldnt remember Alice. Atena approached Alice and asked her how she felt towards Atena. Alice replied that Atena was clumsy and can be a bother sometimes. Atena then asked if Alice hate her. Alice replied no and Atena asked if Alice liked her.Alice replied that it should be the later and told Atena how she really felt. Alice couldnt hold herself and cried. Alicia came back and told Atena that it's time to end her acting. Atena apologized to Alice and told her that she didnt have amnesia. Atena explained that what she had done before might have bothered Alice so she wanted to know Alice's true feeling on her. Alice told Atena that Atena should have just asked her directly if she wanted to know. She added that what she just did made her hate Atena very very very much (Literally, if you know what it meant). Atena and Alice then went back. Akari then asked Alicia if she had know from the beginning. Alicia replied yes and asked if Akari was surprised with Atena. Akari agreed and commented that even the three fairies had insecurity at times. Alicia replied that they were also normal people and they also anxious to know how their loved ones felt towards them. Alicia added that it was even so if it concerned the juniors that they loved. Akari then asked if Alicia would feel insecure as well because of her. Alicia blushed and answered that she wont tell her.

Note: This season is now 90% Finale because of the sneak preview next week. Next week episode is about Navigation 55. The chapter which we'll see the Orange Princess.

P/S: I liked how they animate this episode. The manga had Atena accidentally torn Maa sachou's cap instead of forgetting an appointment with Alice. I find breaking a promise has a lot more drama compared to clumsiness. The scene where Alice bursted and cried is very well animated. For these, I applaud the episode. It was abit disappointing that they didnt show the scene where Atena hold her oar numbered 36 with its meaning. I liked the last scene most where Alicia blushed when Akari asked her the question. And of course, what we'll lose if there wasnt any chibi moments. Kawaii!

My 3 favourite screenshots

Chibi moments are excluded from consideration.

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