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Headscratchers: ARIA
  • Why does Alicia import a girl from Manhome to be her apprentice? There have to be lots of girls in Neo-Venezia who know how to row a gondola, with intricate knowledge of the complicated canal system to boot. Yet she chooses Akari, who has to spend a lot of time just to learn how to row in the proper direction. Sure, Alicia might have a thing for cute girls, but the undine companies seem to be loaded with those.
    • Because then she wouldn't need to have things explained to her.
    • It's probably more interesting to do so. As a piano tutor, if there's a chance, I'll pick someone who comes from England to teach rather than someone from nearby.
    • Another logical reason... well Aria is SMALL company despite of its prestigious reputation. Their junior lived in small attic when other companies undine have their own room with kitchen (in himeya) and Orange Planet's dormitory looks like a mansion.
  • Where the heck are all the other Prima undines? With the amount of tourists they have to serve, you'd expect at least a few dozens of them to be around, but the only ones we ever see are Alicia, Akira and Athena. Don't they have any interaction with other Primas at all? On the rare occasion another Prima shows up in the manga, Amano doesn't even bother with drawing her face. Are the other Primas just mindless robots or what?
    • Quite a few go by in the background of the Anime, if you look closely. Presumably Amano gave preferential treatment to the Scenery Porn than to the background characters.
      • Every undine you see on a white boat in the manga and anime are Primas
  • For that matter: why are there only female undines?
    • IIRC, in the manga they say something about the men doing all the more important jobs.
    • In a early anime episode male employees of Himeya are seen, perhaps male undines exist.
    • Male gondoliers are shown to exist, working as freight haulers. It may simply be a matter of putting the pretty face forward to the tourists.
      • Well, the entry was about undines. And Venice does pretty well with handsome male gondoliers, if I recall correctly.
    • Take a package-tour around any Japanese city, the odds are heavily weighted toward you having female guide. It's pretty much the standard in Japan, and "Undines" are tour guides.
  • Why is Ai the only person from Manhome Akari has any contact with? What happened to her parents or other family? Why does, apart from Ai, nobody from Manhome ever visit her?
  • Why does Aika fall for Al-kun? Her crush on Alicia was understandable, since Alicia is way cool. But a guy with the physique of a gnome who talks like an old man? C'mon.
  • Why do we never learn who Alicia gets married to? You'd expect that Alicia would introduce her fiancÚ to Akari at the very least, so Akari would know who she got dumped for.
    • That's so the fanboys don't rage and probably because Amano wanted to leave it to our imagination. Namely, so we could imagine ourselves as her husband.
      • Hmm.. I would certainly want to be her wife—if Akari wouldn't get to me first ;)
  • So, the gnomes regulate Mars' gravitational field by having a lot of very dense pebbles circulate around the core of the planet at insanely high speeds, thus increasing the mass of the pebbles up to ridiculous levels. But where the heck do they get the energy to do that, especially in a low-tech setting such as Aqua? And also, you most definitely don't want to control pebbles moving at that kind of velocities with some kind of organ - I can deal with huge immortal cats every day, but that is just too strange for me.
    • In case you didn't realize ARIA is an extremely soft SF setting
      • I also take it that the commenter didn't notice the flying vehicles apparently using antigravity to get around, the holographic technology which made Akari's shuttle look transparent in the first episode, the casual approach to genetic engineering which produced the Mars cats with human-level intelligence, or the ease of interplanetary travel given that Neo-Venezia is a tourist destination for people from Earth, which all point to a high-tech society for whom gravitic manipulation is practical and energy-generation is not an issue. Oh, that and those huge floating islands of rock in the sky which also act as weather-control stations....
      • Well, for the holographic thing in shuttle can be considered as active camouflage, just more advanced version.
    • Soft as the SF of ARIA may be, it still takes a pretty good understanding of physics to realize that giving the pebbles near the Mars core more energy will actually increase their gravitational pull. Is the relativistic-pebbles idea canon?
  • How long does it take to become a Prima anyway? All the girls have to do is row (which should at most take a few months to learn) and remember data about the sights.
    • Looks like it depends on instructors and how well did the trainees do on exam, so probably no fixed schedule. Also, other than that, there's also guide training, it seems, so it's also about personality training so that they will have good communication skills. If you want my opinion, the job of Undine is more like combination of tour guide and Miss Universe; you know, about their outward behavior, skill, all those combinations. If you consider that being Undine is quite a prestigious position in the city (and it shows a few times that they are probably Neo-Venezia's icon) it wouldn't be surprising that it's not easy (and going to take a while) to become Prima.
    • Learning to row a gondolier doesn't take a long time, but learning to row it gracefully like the Primas do isn't easy. It's a bit like dancing. Sure, you can learn to dance through taking a three-month course or something, but to dance like a professional dancer, 5-10 years of practice aren't that uncommon. From what I've seen in ARIA, rowing is almost an art, and so it probably takes a bit of time to reach good form. There is also the canzone thing, which apparently is a requirement as well. They also demand from primas top-notch communication skills and behaviour. If it's just normal tour guiding, a single can do it well enough, and it obviously doesn't take long to be a single. Being a prima is seen on Neo-Venice as nearly being perfect in form, and they are supposed to be the icons of Neo-Venezia. I'm not surprised if the whole process takes 3 or more years.

  • If the goal of rebuilding old Earth's cities on Mars is to conserve cultural heritage, why does Neo Venezia differ so much from IRL Venice? It looks like the had the buildings, they restored them and placed them as they wanted to (and probably adding many new ones in the middle). The sea around the city doesn't look like the lagoon either, probably even less (Caribbean-like islands at some hours of rowing distance?). Not that result isn't pretty and probably prettier than the real thing, but it kinda misses the point.
    • Probably because IRL Venice is gone due to catastrophe and has been for a couple centuries. They have some (low-tech) photographs and maps, but that's all. Maybe they didn't want to modify the layout of the land they put it on too much, so the recreation wouldn't /quite/ be the same.
    • Pragmatic Adaptation.
  • Well, in one episode, when Akari took off in Hoverbike (was that it?) and Aika said that she was showing her underwear. Can you really upskirt anyone with that long skirt?
    • Probably. If you look at the design of the dress, an upwards wind will do the trick.


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