Remembering Love: Aria And The Importance Of Relaxation
Modern times have the tendency to crush us under the burden of work and expectations. I myself am only two months away from moving to another country and opening my first business. Every day is a nerve wrecking race to have everything ready in time, a race that I can never win. Because of this I decided that my first entry in the “Remembering Love” series suggested by Trzr23 should be on Aria – a series that is an antithesis to my lifestyle. In a nutshell “Remembering Love” is all about returning to your three or four favorite series, rewatching them (or parts of them) and writing about their emotional effect on you and how they shaped you personality. Rather than being reviews of the anime series themselves these are reviews of what those series meant to you as a viewer long ago (or not so long ago).
I first watched Aria in 2008. During that time I was studying in an advanced Japanese language studies program in Soka Universiy, Tokyo, and was busy as hell. It’s easy to give in to the frantic pace of life when you are busy, so it was very hard for me to watch the first couple of episodes of Aria. This is a slow slow anime, with very little happening on screen. Luckily for me the only time I had left to watch anime was during my lunch breaks and Aria proved to be perfect for a carefree lunch time anime. I didn’t have to constantly look at the screen and the soothing music magically relieved my stress. Aria was my first “Iyashikei” (healing type) anime, and to this day I believe it is the best.
The most charming aspect about Aria for me was Mizunashi Akari, or rather Akari’s personality. Her biggest flaw, which in retrospective is also her best trait, is her utter lack of self-reprimentation – she doesn’t hate herself even if she does very little on a daily basis. Don’t act all surprised now, I know for a fact that the most ambitious people curse themselves if they don’t accomplish what they planned on a daily basis. I’m also that sort of person so I found it refreshing that Akari continues her daily routines despite the seemingly never-changing world that surrounds her. She has faith in her way and retains a positive look on life. She is satisfied with her abilities and isn’t disgruntled if her competitors are better than her.
Another intriguing aspect of Aria is friendship. A lot of anime nowadays promote friendship to the point of disgust. Shounen manga will teach you that making friends is the most important thing in life, and that the world revolves are friendship. I disagree with that notion (but this is a subject for a different article). In Aria characters interact on a semi-friendly manner. They will help you if they can and they are always happy to chit-chat. They are defined by these simple traits, nothing more nothing less. They are not the paragons of good will or heroic demigods waiting to support you in every possible way. They will not hang around you all day just because you’re there. Akari’s daily talks with the townspeople felt genuine to me. The coffee shop owner, the mailman, a woman she happened to help on the street. They reminded me of real people that I meet every day. Watching Aria every lunch break made me more relaxed for the entire day. Moreover it made me appear relaxed and as a result more people around my neighborhood approached me and I got to know some interesting characters. If you relax people will be relaxed around you. It’s a self-fulfilling wish.
Oh, I forgot to mention that I totally adore President Aria. He’s the cutest “cat-like thingy” I’ve seen in an anime. Trying to incorporate a small and charming animal into a stiff company is one way to give workers a moment of tranquility in their busy life. The most important thing I learned from Aria is that always rushing towards goals can hurt you in the end. If you don’t take the time to appreciate the little things and don’t spend some time every day just slacking around you will not be satisfied in the long run. Following this logic, by the way, is much harder than it sounds. I’m still struggling to be more like Akari, and am actually losing as of now.
Continue to the next entry
Other participants in the Remember Love Series (week 1):
Chikorita157: Clannad After Story Part I
Deluscar: Gintama and The Art of Randomness
Foomafoo: Kare Kano – Obsession to Popularity
Justin: Reliving Daikichi and Rin Once More Part I
Marina: Uchuu no Stellvia: Heading Home to Space
Trzr23: Clannad – Beauty in Negativity