This is a episode commentary. It is intended for someone who has seen this episode, and will contain episode spoilers.

Aria the Animation: Episode 6

That Which You Want to Protect

With Athena, it’s hard to tell whether she’s extremely spacy, or autistic. If she’s always spaced out, does this mean she really has a lot on her mind all the time, so much so that she often fails to notice things going on around her?

The theme of the episode resolved around the spacy Athena being the one to notice things, and the attent Alice being the one who misses the little things. This is easily a reflection on real life, which surely makes it something viewers can empathise with, probably from both Athena’s side and Alice’s side. So often, people do little things to help out their friends and family, and it goes unnoticed. Notice isn’t the reason for the actions, so there’s no mind for it. At the same time as we’re helping those around us behind the scenes, we’re likely to miss others doing the same for us.

Athena cleans up spilled water.

Still, Athena’s spaciness does go a bit far. I can understand her going to the wrong island. (I’ve mistakenly gone to the wrong location a number of times before). I can understand her overfilling a cup of drink. (I’ve done the same while spaced out, my mind on other things. Here’s a tip for fellow daydreamers: place your forefinger in the cup with the knuckle at the top of the cup. When the drink hits your fingertip, that’ll alert you in time to stop pouring!) I can understand her tripping on a flat surface. (I’ve been known to do the same from time to time. How? Here’s a hint: if you have two feet, no surface is too flat to trip over.) With Athena, however, it’s repeated, again and again. Add in her softspoken nature, her presumed ability with an oar (considering her status as a Fairy), her developed singing, and her attention and notice of little things, and she could easily be diagnosed with autism. (The merits and consequences of labelling someone as “autistic” or “higher level autistic” just because of how they think and do things is another topic altogether.)

Early on, things looked a bit rough between Alice and Aika, but that seemed to go away by the next episode. Alice knows Aika and Akari enough that if she has a problem, she’ll go to Aika to discuss it. Akari’s the one to have an easygoing or fun afternoon with. Aika’s the one to depend on for things, the one more knowledged for problem solving.

Maa smiles to see Alice again.

It’s convenient how Orange Company lost its prior president, and now Alice’s new cat will be their next one. Alice never articulates what about Maa reminds her of President Orange, so my guess would be that it’s in the eyes, even if Alice failed to realize it. Failing to notice the little details is a theme of this episode, after all. (I’ll refrain from comment on how creepy Maa looks.)

The ban on pets makes sense for Orange Company. It’s a large business. Akari and Aika may live at their respective companies as well, but it seems Alicia does not stay the night at Aria Company (even though she goes there early enough for breakfast, even during the Acqua Alta). This suggests to me that any member of Orange Company is perfectly free to own whatever pet they want to, just so long as they do so living off campus. Being a student limits Alice’s options.

Akari blends in with Orange Company.

The sheer size of Orange Company is expanded upon as Alice tells Akari to wear an Orange Company uniform. If someone put on a Himeya uniform and entered Himeya Company, everyone at Himeya would be asking, “Who are you? What are you doing here? Are you a new hire?” In Orange Company, all Akari has to do is wear an Orange uniform (well, technically it’s yellow on white), and no one will question her being there. Being seen alongside Alice Carroll certainly doesn’t hurt, but apparently it’s not enough to be with her if Akari is wearing the Aria Company uniform. Note to self: When performing espionage against Orange Company, be sure to wear an Orange uniform, and no one will suspect you. Actually, I imagine it was mostly aesthetic and wanting to show off Akari in a different outfit, whether there was necessity for it or not.

Considering how well the Orange Company uniform fit Akari, does this mean Alice has already been given outfits to wear when she’s older, or did Alice give her one of Athena’s, even though she herself asks Athena to knock before entering the room? When in uniform, is it all right for Akari to wear a single glove? She is a Single, no question about that, but is it really right to just put on the Orange Company uniform, and wear a single glove, simply because Aria Company has designated Akari to have the skill of a Single? Isn’t this presumptuous of what Orange Company expects from, and qualifies as, a Single’s quality when moving on the water? Or do the companies have a compromise where a qualified Single in any company would be qulified as a Single if they switched over to another company? (Probably Alice and Akari simply didn’t consider this, or if it was Athena’s uniform, then there would likely be no second glove to begin with!)

Why, yes, I do tend to look too deeply into the little things. Consider it noticing the possibly oft-missed tidbits. You know, right up there with not realizing that the ketchup wasn’t there all along, and with not seeing that the funny-faced cat’s eyes are blue.

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