Guess there's no need to review this show... since it should be famous by now. Not many series get 3 seperate (as opposed to continuous, like... *cough cough*) seasons and cover the entire manga storyline, that's what I heard.
The third season... while I originally once thought near the end of the first season and somewhere near the start of the second season, that the show will reach the limit of creation* and should just stop at around the 13th episode of The Natural season, or 26 total episodes, which is just about nice for many series. In the end... wrong. I previously thought that there was only 13 eps for Natural. Turned out there was 26. Yes I was tricked by some unreliable source. But by the end of the first half, I already changed my mind, and even at the end of The Natural, I was craving for more. It was right around then I read news of an OVA and the final season. It felt good, but kinda sad too, when I realize that the series, including the manga, will come to a definite end.
*Limit of creation - Another term I coined, to describe the scenario in a story when there's nothing more to add on without being redundant, long-winded, loopy, or make the story worse in general. All storylines will eventually reach this point and should stop, else it will feel very draggy, off the story, and stupid in general. Take a look around you, how many series should have stopped while ahead but didn't?
But the most important thing about the final season, is how it really differed from normal slice-of-life way of ending, as well as many other storys' way of ending. It actually has an ending, a definite one such that after this, any possible continuation will be in a different scenario. Plus, although this is a slice-of-life, the ending part (which was 5 episode long actually) was really climatic even though... it's a slice-of-life. I know I used two thoughs in the previous sentence but that's just to emphasize something. Something that's so common and we experience so many times in our lives and yet we feel nothing about, can be almost tear-jerking in this series. Ok, maybe I felt nothing, but the girls sure were crying rivers. Yes, it's the parting. To be specific, the inevitable parting that came as the result of progress and completion of a part of our journey in life. This marked the definite end of this story. And is something that happens to everyone, more often than living happily every after. After watching The Origination, it feels wierd that other stories don't extend all the way to this stage. But that's ok, since it would've been boring. However, ARIA made it all good. And that's what's so good about this series, and hence makes it the best slice-of-life series, ever.
I'll definitely be looking forward to the next work by Amano Kozue.
More afterthoughts... perhaps the best addition to the manga storyline in the Anime is the first part of the Arietta OVA plus the additional ending part of the Anime, which is essentially the same thing. Yes, the previous journey has ended, a new journey has began, and the cycle repeats again. Eventually, there will be another parting, but new fun times and precious memories will be created before that. Also, without a parting, there won't be a new encounter, right?
But... one big complaint about the Anime ending, is that AKARI'S NEW HAIRSTYLE SUCKS. While it is supposed to make her look more mature (since she is now the senior), they could have just used long flowing hair or tie it near the bottom. But they just had to keep the pigtails. Fringes I mean, pigtails are from Marimite (hope you get what I mean '',). Didn't anybody tell them that long fringes without long flowing hair is still a kiddish hairstyle?
W A R N I N G !
W A R N I N G !
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