Oh my, I am so delighted that I got the chance to also read the next Masterpiece of Aria. I have been hoping this one would appear on Netgalley since the day I saw the first volume. I just adore the Aria show, the characters, the world building. And the art. Both the manga and the anime have a gorgeous style of art. With the manga I can just soak up all the little details, the way the characters look and their expressions.
Welcome back to Aqua. Akari has been here for 12 months (!!) which means she finished her first half year on Mars. Yep, Mars has 24 months. Which must be a big change for Akari, used to the Manhome rotation of 12 months. At the start of the volume we have reached Fall season, leaves are falling, and I was desperately wishing for colours to see how Aqua looked again in fall colours. Thankfully we do get a part later on with colours! I just LOVED the colours and how everything popped out.
We have various stories again, as I read I will tell you about them + my feelings.
Warning, this part my be cluttered and long as there are quite a few chapters in this one (Navigation 10 – 20 are bundled in this one). The first one is about a grumpy old man who is looking for someone and Akari’s kindness as she shows him around while helping him. The ending was so sweet I cried a bit. Yep, I am still very emotional. The move to a new home is now done, but my wedding is coming up next month. Eep!
Then we also have gondola cleaning on a beautiful day, because of course you need to keep your gondolas beautiful and pristine if you want to guide people around. I loved to see this part though, it is a learning moment for Akari plus it shows that there is more to undine than just guiding and rowing. I am glad to see how her attitude is towards it though, she isn’t afraid to do hard work and even makes it fun. Poor president though, but what did he think would happen? 😛
Next up is a superhero story featuring our president. He is so silly, but I did think it was cute to see him dress up and try to fight crime or in this case bring something back to someone. The next story is about Akari and Aika going out, but instead Akatsuki pops up, I still think he is highly annoying and I wish he would be kinder, or should I say more honest with Akari. I did love seeing how much Akari knows about the city and I loved all the tidbits about the city. And that she loved sharing it with Akatsuki.
In Navigation 14 we are heading with Alicia and Akari to a gorgeous shrine with foxes. It was all quite mystical and mysterious, and I just adore how Akari seems to have a knack for meeting supernatural things or getting into supernatural stuff.
Up next is the gondola marathon: Vogare Longa! It was fun to see undine (full or trainee) and public go against each other in one big beautiful marathon. I was a bit sad that Aika took it as a race and even got angry at Akari when she tried to say hi to those she knows. She even took off when someone lost a bunch of fruits and Akari helped out. I hope that Aika will gain a bit more empathy and will learn to enjoy things, and also that she should be open to helping people.
Winter has arrived in our next and 16th story. Eeep, snow bugs are just too adorable, and I would love it if they were real. I was once again tearing up while reading this one because of the art, but also because of the story.
Story 17 makes it way and with it it is time for hot springs. I had a laugh at how Akari didn’t know what to expect and suddenly saw all the naked people. The look on her face! So precious, and also so relatable. I am sure I would also look the same way. 😛 Plus, I loved the hot spring, it is set in an old mansion, and it was just so gorgeous. I wish I could visit it. I had a laugh at how much Alicia was drinking. We begin with just one bottle and slowly there are more and more around her and on the table. The night bath scene was just utterly gorgeous.
We get a special navigation featuring the daily life of our president. Or well, his fight with a box.
Number 18 is here and we learn a bit more about how Aqua works. The Salamanders who control the climate, but there are also gnomes who maintain the gravity. I was very excited at the mention of the gnomes, because that meant we would meet Al! I love that little guy, and indeed he makes his appearance in this one. He is once again acting like an old man, just as Aika keeps reminding him. But that is part of his charm and I know that Aika fell for him, so she doesn’t mind it that much. 😛
More gorgeous colour pages in the next chapter, and I was just delighted! New Year’s Eve has arrived, and I was looking forward to seeing the party. The traditions on Aqua for New Year seem so much, and I wouldn’t mind incorporating it in my own life. Out with the old to start a whole new year fresh. It was just gorgeous to see all the little details, the hats going up in the air, the dancing people, the first sunset, the glow.
The last chapter and we have the carnival. Yep, the party continues! President Aria is off on his trip, to who knows where, but I am guessing the cats also have their version of Carnival to celebrate. Carnival happens and I had a big suspicion on who Casanova was. Of course, Akari supernatural skill finds his way in this story as she runs after one of the followers of Casanova. I love that she is able to experience these things though, it makes her extra special. I loved her facial expression when she found out about the identity of Casanova, and it is also a good thing that a certain someone was there to help her.
And so ends another fabulous big volume of Aria! I had tons and tons of fun reading this one, diving into the world of Aqua. We didn’t see Akari go up a rank nor did we see much of her training, but we can still see her grow. She is learning more about the planet, about the customs and the people, and she is able to do tours and make it interesting, fun, and also bring a happiness to people’s hearts (like with the old man at the beginning). I can’t wait for the next volume in this series, I want to know what Akari will experience the next time. Maybe until then I will ease the wait by watching the series again or finally get to watching Avvenire!
I would highly recommend this gorgeous and fun manga to everyone!