Please observe that this evaluation comprises spoilers for Aria The Masterpiece Quantity 1!
Aria: The Masterpiece is a manga sequence by Kozue Amano which tells the story of Akari Mizunashi, a younger girl who’s coaching as an apprentice gondolier (known as Undines) within the metropolis of Neo-Venezia, on Planet Aqua which is roofed in huge oceans.
The narrative itself takes place within the twenty fourth century with Neo-Venezia being a metropolis on the Planet Aqua, previously often known as Mars. Neo-Venezia relies on Venice, as seen by the architectural fashion, being a harbour metropolis with slender canals aplenty and a reliance on gondolas for journey.
This primary quantity follows foremost protagonist Akari: a Pair (an apprentice gondolier) who’s working her approach in the direction of turning into a full-fledged gondolier (often known as a Prima) as she settles in to her new environment and turns into accustomed to her new employer, the Aria Firm.
It’s right here that we’re launched to Alicia Florence, an easy-going and supportive mentor determine for Aria, and the one different Undine at present working for the Aria Firm.
We additionally uncover that the corporate president is definitely a rotund cat often known as Aria Pokoteng, who additionally serves as the corporate’s mascot, feeding into the lore that each one Undine corporations on Aqua have a blue-eyed cat as their mascot.
Akari additionally turns into associates with a fellow trainee in Aika S. Granzchesta, a barely abrasive but passionate sort. Regardless of initially forming a friendship with Akari merely to get nearer to Alicia, whom she admires, the duo shortly turn out to be nearer, embarking on a quest to observe Aria into the Kingdom of Cats.
This varieties the primary chapter within the quantity that takes the fantastical nature of the story additional, additionally providing a touch of hazard as Akari and Aika discover themselves seemingly misplaced in a labyrinth of tight waterways and desolate deserted settlements with Akari noting how silent and nonetheless the world is. It provides a barely creepier aura to an in any other case extra tranquil storyline.
A theme that’s established on this first quantity is Akari’s progress in her Undine coaching. A notable sequence sees Akari being examined in secret by rowing her gondola up a troublesome and steep overland canal, succeeding with flying colors to the delight of Alicia and being promoted from a Pair to a Single (the subsequent step to turning into an Undine).
Part of this journey comes when Akari meets her first passenger Akatsuki Izumo, an impatient apprentice Salamander (those that assist preserve Aqua’s local weather through floating buildings tethered above Neo-Venezia) who teases her on occasion with the nickname “Sideburns”.
In direction of the tip of the quantity, we additionally get some perception into Aqua’s tradition as Alicia takes Akari to a three-day night-light Bell truthful, centred across the customized of hanging particular wind chimes that shine at midnight however solely final for a month. These are a specialty of Aqua because of a particular stone and are a logo of Summer time – one which lasts for much longer on Aqua due to a twice-rotation across the solar leading to a 24-month 12 months.
The customized of gathering collectively on the gondolas to bid farewell to those lights leads to some hanging imagery, as does a particular fireworks show that closes the quantity on a optimistic observe as Akari declares that her time on Aqua is simply starting.
By the artwork for Aria, mangaka Kozue Amano expertly crafts a world impressed little question by Venice and its canals and waterways, while providing hints of expertise that give the world its refined sci-fi parts. The characters are additionally given distinct designs and expressions which offer a appeal to the proceedings.
Translation for Aria The Masterpiece was carried out by Alethea & Athena Nibley who do a stable job of preserving each the primary character’s persona and the varied explanations of the story and its lore.
It’s also value noting that Aria The Masterpiece was just lately reprinted, doubtless for the ultimate time by Tokyopop, through a fee by Rightstuf based mostly on demand by those that have been both lacking volumes or wished to have your complete story of their library – that is how the quantity was obtained for evaluation.
General, Aria The Masterpiece Quantity 1 is a superb introduction to the story, establishing Akari as a likeable protagonist and the world of Aqua as a captivating setting filled with charming characters and thriller, melding collectively fantasy and sci-fi in an ingenious vogue. It definitely made me wish to learn extra!