Hidan no Aria 01 – La Bambina
Now, I was really looking forward to this show based on the descriptions I’d been reading. I downplayed the claims that it was just “Shakugan no Shana with guns,” hoping for an interesting show. What I got was a fairly generic re-hash of over-used stereotypes. The show in itself isn’t bad; it’s just more of the same. I’ll try and be nice, but I was a bit disappointed.
「Scarlet Ballet」by May’n
This opening was rather blah-tastic, in my opinion, which surprised me, because I usually like May’n’s work. Sadly, this is an OP I won’t be picking up. The visuals were also rather lacking. For some reason, the intro shots are a church and a stained-glass picture of Jesus as a baby. If anyone can figure out what this has to do with the show, please share. We’re also treated to various shots of Aria in what I assume are supposed to be famous places, though I can’t really recognize most of them. Some of the (presumably) more important characters are introduced via a still picture that could have been taken from a promotional poster or something. Really lazy on JC Staff‘s part. Finish up with bullets turning into roses and a heap of shots of Aria moving around against a solid-color backdrop, and you have one of the least-impressive OPs I’ve ever seen. But hey, it can’t all be bad, right?
In the beginning, there was a chance…
We start with a generic-yet-well-delivered intro shot of our heroin standing on a gate overlooking the city. I’m giving you the image for emphasis. Keep this image in your head for the entire show, and it might not hurt as much.
Then, Ayumu from Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? asks us if we think girls fall from the sky. There’s an immediate cut-away to our protagonist riding a bicycle vigorously. I actually have to admit, he handles that bike like a BOSS, drifting around corners, popping wheelies, and generally making a spectacle of himself. He’s obviously running away from something, and it’s got him scared. So far, so good.
Until you see what’s chasing him. It’s literally a Segway with a machine gun on the handles. No. Really. I’m not kidding. I know I was scared. Aria, clad in school girl uniform drops from the sky with her ever-useful 2-part parachute and shoots the living daylights out of the Segway, which then… wobbles and falls over, shattering into pieces. Okay, we’ll move on. Our protag tells her to get away, as his bike has a bomb on it (Speed 4?). Aria pulls an Evil Kenevil and HANGS FROM HER PARACHUTE BY HER FEET. Alright. I thought this was pretty wicked. Although it was downplayed slightly by the fact that Rie Kugimiya was shouting at us using the same voice she always does, and her voice was coming from the same character archetype she always plays. Meh. Protag jumps off the bike, mooshes into Aria’s non-existant cleavage, and the bike skids to a halt on its side and promptly explodes.
INSERT OPENING HERE
The proverbial down-hill spiral…
We come back from the opening to find our protagonist asleep on his bed. Apparently, he also found the opening boring and unoriginal. We hear a doorbell going off as he grumbles and pulls himself out of bed, complaining about how crappy his life is. First, though, we see tons of bullet casings and a handgun on his bedside table. As he opens his door, Tooyama Kinji (as we now know he is called) runs into… an over-moe house-wife/childhood friend? Who quite annoyingly repeatedly calls him Kin-chan. I can feel my brain draining away. This girl, who is as-of-yet un-named, presents Kinji with a present, starting to cry before he accepts it. She’s made him breakfast-bento with all kinds of tasty-sounding food. Oh… I didn’t have breakfast yet…
After a continuation of this pointless interaction for a while, we (the audience) are bludgeoned over the head with fan-service. Unfortunately, the show also acknowledges this, further shoving our childhood friend’s cleavage in our faces. And now we get some semblance of a plot here. Apparently, the students of this particular high school are REQUIRED to carry firearms and knives. Kinji shows off his butterfly knife skills as well as his skills to hate this friend. He chooses to check his email before going to school instead of walking with his voluptuous companion and ends up late for the bus.
I’m late, I’m late, I’m late…!
Again, Kinji complains about his life, and suddenly the Segway from Hell politely informs Kinji that there is a bomb on his bike and that it will explode if he slows down, tries to call for help on his phone, or tries to disarm the bomb. And the action is conveniently interrupted with some explanation of the school’s rules and the group that runs the joint. This information is delivered to us by a teacher who sounds frighteningly like Hiroshi Kamiya, and yet isn’t Hiroshi Kamiya. The teacher also does his best to inform the audience that the staff doesn’t particularly care about it’s student body with a few choice words.
We get an abridged version of the introduction replayed for us, leading up to the bike exploding again (this just happend 8 minutes ago, do we really need the flashback already?). After the commercial break, our protagonist wakes up inside a box with Aria sprawled on top of him, at which point JC Stadd said “Let’s give them some more fan-service!” Aria ends up half-disrobed, and Kinji is freaking out about it. Several unnecessary shots later, Rie Kugimiya comes back into the picture and begins to beat Kinji in the head for his ecchi ways. But as the timeline progresses, we see that the Segwaynator wasn’t alone. His friends have come, and they shoot up the place mobster style. Aria for some reason finds it necessary to shove her breasts into Kinji’s face again, and after sending the Segway Squad into cover, she’s surprised by a very un-Kinji-like reaction. Apparently, he has a split-personality. And this alternate personality is a badass.
Essentially, Kinji kicks ass, shoots bullets directly into the chambers of the machine guns on our unprepared Segways, and they all explode and die, the end.
Oh, if only…
After a short tiff where Badass Kinji is arguing with Rie Kugimiya about how old she is, Kinji walks off into the sunset in cheesy desperado style. We cut to school, where Kinji explains that he has Hysteria Savant Mode, whatever that means. It’s just another name for his Badass mode, apparently. As Kinji is entering his classroom, we are all (NOT) shocked to see that Aria is transferring into his class. His classmates proceed to jump to conclusions, and we get parodies of just about every major anime cliche in the world here. We have the “Cool Story Bro” Friend, the Clueless Sensei, the Angel Beats-esque Gossip Girl, and there’s even an Itsuki Clone! Aria gets a wee bit crazy and shoots her guns off at everyone, reacting in typical Rie Kugimiya fashion to the accusations of love. At this point, we really could just fuse Taiga, Shana, and Louise Valliere all together and get Aria.
Kinji’s back at home later that evening, apparently brooding over the day’s events, and someone is abusing his doorbell. And who else could it be, but Aria! She’s got a suitcase. You all know what that means!
Thus ends our tragic first episode. I usually give every show 3 episodes to get it’s act together. I really hope this one can.
「カメリアの瞳」(Kameria no Hitomi) by Nakano Aiko
Oh, yeah. The ED. Um…. Meh. Some pretty pictures, I suppose. More fan-service and some interesting effects, but other than that, nothing really impressive. I don’t really have anything to say about it, I’m sorry.
Posted on April 18, 2011, in Anime, Hidan no Aria and tagged Aria the Scarlet Ammo, J.C.Staff, Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?, May Nakabayashi, Rie Kugimiya, Shakugan no Shana. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.