Arietta: Inspiring Others

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In the past few days before the holidays I have been taking a trip down memory lane by re-watching much of Aria. Though I’ve seen the series several times, the simplicity and sentimentalism of the stories have not lost their magic. The series is full of strong episodes, but one that I’m particularly fond of is the OVA that takes place between The Natural and The Origination.

The OVA starts off with Akari dreaming of when she is promoted to prima. It is the position that she has been working towards the entire series, but with Alicia gone and a new pair for her to teach, Akari feels afraid for when that day finally arrives. There’s a large responsibility that will come with being promoted to Prima, and Akari’s worries are something that many (if not all) of us can relate to that come from the big steps in our own lives.

I found out that I still have a long way to go to become like you”

It is easy to view the three water faeries, Alicia, Akira, and Athena, as seemingly flawless characters in their own ways. Alicia especially, who is Akari’s mentor, appears to represent this perfect ideal of kindness, confidence, and patience. We see Alicia through Akari’s eyes as this radiant figure that is high above her, but that is, in fact, only one side of her character. Aria the OVA: Arrieta treats viewers to a different image of Alicia’s character by taking a trip into the past to catch a glimpse of an Alicia who is insecure. It seems completely contrary to Alicia’s character, but what makes Arietta especially good is that it adds a layer of depth to Alicia’s character underneath her seemingly perfect facade.

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Akari’s concern is that she will not be able to handle everything by herself as well as Alicia can, but Alicia confides in her about the time when she took over Aria Company and her own insecurities at the time. It was something that Akari possibly never considered, that Alicia could have the same concerns that she has now. But it was true, even the most talented Undine in Neo-Venizia has her worries like everyone else. She, after all, is just human.

Aria the OVA: Arietta is ultimately about the passing down from generation to generation, but there is also a gentle reminder that even the seemingly perfect have their insecurities, and of the way we can help them. Though she did not even realize it, Akari was supporting Alicia the whole time. Even while she is the student in the relationship, Akari’s open-hearted love for the people around her and for life in general inspired the confidence in Alicia that makes her seem so perfect.

You always stuck right behind me. With your pure heart, you found many wonders I hadn’t noticed. You gave me my confidence.”

The most beautiful thing about the way Akari supports Alicia, though, is that it is done completely indirectly. Akari’s enjoyment of life affects all those around her (including the audience) and I’m sure she has inspired many others aside from Alicia. In a series full of simple, but impactful, messages, Aria The OVA: Arietta has one of my favorites.

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9 thoughts on “Arietta: Inspiring Others

  1. It seems like quite a few people have been marathoning the series this holiday, myself included 🙂 The Natural is my favorite of the three, but I absolutely love all 3 + Arietta. It truly is a show that soothes and heals the heart.

    • I think the Rightstuf sale had something to do with that, but in all fairness, this is a great series to watch during the holiday because of just how soothing it is. The Origination is my favorite, but that is to be expected as it has my favorite episode (Alice’s promotion). There’s a ton of great episodes in The Natural, especially the Cait Sith epiosdes, which makes it really hard for me to really favor one season over another. Probably why I opted for watching the entire series! ^ ^

  2. “You know… if President Aria were trying to split a watermelon blindfolded, I wouldn’t shout “Not that way! Not that way!”. I’d keep shouting “This way! This way!”

    If I kept saying “not that way”, President Aria would become afraid of making mistakes. Eventually, I don’t think he’d be able to move.

    That’s my way of doing things.”

    Alicia is indeed a wonderful character.

    For me the OVA is the weakest part, though. But maybe I was just shocked over how gorgeous it looked compared to the two first season 😛
    Origination is my favorite season (the emotional payoff), with Natural close behind (the meat of the whole series).

    Aria ❤

    Fun to see you writing again!

    • Alicia is a marvelous character. Easily one of my all time favorites.

      The Origination is my favorite as well, but I am also very fond of what was done with the OVA. Being an OVA, it was as long as it needed to be, which allowed it to do exactly what it wanted to do. I’ll admit, the tone is different, Arietta starts off more melancholy than your average episode of Aria, but I think that works in its favor because the emotional payoff at the end is much greater. ^ ^

  3. Personally, Natural is still my favorite out of all three. It expanded the world of Aria, and reinforces the beauty of it. Both the OVA and Origination are more about the characters it seem, and they are concluded well too. Though what I like best about Aria is still the world and it’s settings, so in this case, Natural’s still my favorite.

    • Yeah, that’s a good way of differentiating between The Origination and The Natural. For me the highlight of the series was Akari, Aika, and Alice, but if Neo-Venezia itself was your favorite part, then The Natural makes sense as a favorite pick. ^ ^

  4. You make me remember my Journey to Neo-Venesia. Sob. It was beautiful. This anime/manga will always be in my heart. Make me want to watch it again.

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