Aria the OVA ~Arietta~
It’s surprising how a single OVA from a well known series can actually serve to improve the entire show and, whilst this is still very much a rarity for most anime, the Aria franchise is, happily, an exception to that rule.
The main reason for this is because episodic shows like Aria have an advantage over other series with continuous plots in that OVAs never seem out of place. However, whilst this may help additional special episodes be accepted as part of the greater story, it does not automatically mean that the OVA will actually be any good. Once more though, Aria delivers in it’s own pleasantly inimicable manner.
Arietta is essentially a story about Alicia, rather than Akari, and shows how she came to terms with being left alone with Aria Company after Grandmother Akino retired. Now, the story may seem at first to be an attempt at fleshing out Alicia’s character, however it also serves a deeper purpose by reminding the viewer that this situation is also something that Akari will eventually have to face as well.
The artwork, design and animation is exactly what one would expect from Aria, and it’s pleasing to see that the studio took the same care and effort with the OVA as they did with the main series.
Sound is also excellent, and whilst the OVA may not be as “busy” as the main series, it still possesses that clean quality that is representative of Aria, and the music is just as soothing as ever.
Character-wise, there isn’t really much to go into. The OVA does show that Akari and Alicia may be more alike than Akari first believes, and it also serves to strip away some of the “idol worship” view that Akari has of Alicia. As a stand alone episode it’s okay in terms of development, but when included as part of the main series it really shows how different it was from either of the first two series, and gives a hint as to what one can expect from Origination.
I thoroughly enjoyed this addition to the show, and I would advise any fan of the series to watch this (if they haven’t already) – you’re missing out otherwise.