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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Anybody who has seen the first series of Aria, titled 'Aria: The Animation' will know what to expect as this follows on in the same gentle style. For those who are new to the series; Aria follows apprentice gondolier Akari and her friends Aika and Alice as they train and go about their daily lives in the city of Neo-Venezia on the planet Aqua. The fact that it isn't set on Earth shouldn't deter people who aren't keen on science fiction as the setting is not a typical sci-fi setting and there are only a few minor indications that this isn't set on present day Earth. The stories are all very gentle; I don't think I saw anything that could offend anybody. Over the course of the series we see them training, meeting the locals who all seem friendly and generally exploring the city... it is hard to really describe as so little really happens. There is the occasional strange occurrence; usually related to Akari's encounters with the mythical Cat Sith; the giant king of the cats!

    Aria is probably the gentlest anime I've seen and that includes the works of Studio Ghibli; strangely the fact that nothing much happens doesn't make the series boring. This is because the characters are fun to spend time with and are frequently amusing; not constantly laugh out loud hilarious but the sort of amusing that made me chuckle and kept a smile on my face most of the time I was watching. The mix of realistic and fantastical elements is about right with the latter adding a degree of mystery without overwhelming the believability of the characters. The setting is beautiful and the animation is top notch; it is almost worth watching just because of how pretty everything is! I'd certainly recommend checking this out if you want something gentle and inoffensive.

    These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles.