Aria GN 6

by dm00

There's something about Alicia....

14 months after volume five, TokyoPop has brought out the sixth volume of the Aria manga.

Akari is spending her second winter on Aqua. Life has settled into a pattern of daily practice with her friends Aika and Alice.

This volume contains stories familiar to fans of the anime, and, I’m afraid the manga suffers a bit in comparison. The stories here are: Alice discovering Maa; Akari considering a ride on the Galactic Express; the Three Water Fairies reminiscing about their apprentice days (and how rarely they are able to take time to sit together over cocoa these days — a prospect that’s a bit daunting to their three apprentices); President Aria’s adventures in a gender-swapped alternate universe; Akari transports a gondola full of Neo-Venetian glass; and “What Makes Alicia So Magical?”.

Kozue Amano’s art is clean, and her principal characters are as lovely as ever. Still, the anime managed to bring more magic to most of these stories. Here in the manga, the Night on the Galactic Railroad story is a bit goofy (or perhaps I should say akary) the anime managed to make it just a little creepy (you give a little sigh in relief when Akari gives her train ticket to a cat forlorn at being forced to say farewell to its friends as they board the train).

The printing is okay — Amano’s lines come through crisply and clearly. There appear to be some monochrome reproductions of what were probably color plates in the Japanese editions, and these look a bit disappointing. Plus TokyoPop uses an ugly modernist font for the title of the book.

There is a preview of volume seven at the back of the book. Hopefully it will come out before 2013.

5 Responses to “Aria GN 6”

  1. 1 SlashZero February 1, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Ah, I’m glad someone still keeps up with TokyoPop’s ever so periodic releases of Aria.

    I’ve already given up, honestly. While in Japan I purchased all of Aqua and Aria at a used book store for 350 yen a volume, which means I got the entire series for, at today’s poor exchange rate, 60 dollars, which is about the cost of 6 volumes from TokyoPop. I may go back once the series is finished for the sake of having loanable copies, when I have a more stable income. It’s kind of scary to think that if they keep to about 1 volume/year I could have a PhD before this series finishes.

    Ah, rest assured most of the color pages were limited to their serialization releases only. The only color pages in the Japanese volumes are usually the title illustration and the table of contents. I guess that means there’s STILL a reason for me to download scanlations.

    I find that some stories in the manga turned out better on the small screen, although some of them unexpectedly had more impact when I read them again in the manga. For instance, Maa’s introduction was my favorite chapter out of volume 6. It certainly didn’t strike me as emotionally in the anime. It probably helped that Alice is just such an adorable and sympathetic character to me.

    I was surprised to see the gender-swapped story was an actual chapter. That was honestly half an episode I could have done without while watching Aria the Natural… but now it makes sense why they did it at least!

  2. 2 dm00 February 1, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Thanks for reading!

    After posting, I dug out my Japanese v6 (I’d gotten a few volumes when ADV stopped publishing the series, I think), and saw that there were only the two color plates.

    I keep buying the TokyoPop volumes, though, to encourage them. If we don’t buy them, they have no reason to publish them.

    (I have to admit three-quarters of the reason I posted the review was to have an excuse to post the opening image of chapter 28.)

  3. 3 hellohelloanime February 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    I recently bought the sixth volume of Aria not to long ago and I must agree, the picture for chapter 28 nearly warrants a post all on it’s own. Alicia is magical.

    On another note, I’m guessing tokyopop’s Aria sales aren’t really that great (which makes me depressed since it is an amazing story) because it’s difficult to find volume three anywhere, unless you want to buy from secondhand vendors. I really do hope that Tokyopop continues to release this series, I’m willing to wait until 2013 if I have to, though I won’t be happy about it.

    • 4 dm00 February 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm

      Thanks, I’m glad you agree with my feelings about the portrait of Alicia.

      I’d despaired of seeing more volumes of Aria, so when volume 6 was announced, it was a very pleasant surprise. The series is on its second publisher.

      The problem of lack of back-numbers for manga is a well-known. Shawn Kleckner of RightStuf was complaining about it on a recent ANNCast — “who is going to buy volume 12 of a series when they can’t get volume 3?” Publishers can’t afford to have stock lying around, but customers aren’t about to start a new series if they can’t read it from the beginning.

      I’ve resorted to used vendors a number of times for older manga. Indeed, if I’m ordering on-line, I’ll prefer a used volume in a dealer’s hand to a promise that new volumes will be arriving soon.

  1. 1 Aria MMF: Sunday Links and Closing Remarks « animemiz’s scribblings.. Trackback on March 27, 2011 at 10:54 pm

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