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

Aria the Natural: Episode 4 Commentary

That Neo-Venezia-Colored Heart...

While waiting for someone, I took to looking at the DVD cover artwork. I looked over all the lines that went into drawing Akari and Alicia, something which always amazes me as I have no sense of length or proportion. I tried to determine the light source, as I have trouble comprehending the source of light in most artworks. It looked to be to the right and to the left, but I decided it must be the sun directly up above. I also took notice of something I should have caught in series one, episode three: Alicia doesn’t wear a glove.

I simply never considered before that the top Undines do not wear gloves. It’s good to see that all the gondola companies take part in what is likely a tradition, from the single-operated Aria Company to the large-scale Orange Company. Perhaps wearing gloves makes it easier to handle the oar, and removing the glove from the non-dominant glove weans them off this as they get better at gripping and controlling the oar, which would make sense as all the gondola companies use this method. However, considering the shared status of Alicia, Akira, and Athena, I find it a better fit to conisder it a tradition kept going, a rite of passage from being a Double to being a Single, and ultimately to going without gloves.

It’s that same tradition that will not allow Akari to take the mailman out because she’s still an apprentice. Alicia is certainly bending things a little to suggest the mailman act as “instructor”, but it’s with the most good of intentions.

〒 signs in the post office.

Looking again at languages, Neo-Venevia uses the 〒 kanji in the post office. Is this a carryover from Japan on Manhome? The 〒 has always been visible on the mailman’s hat, but I didn’t notice it until now. It’s such a background thing, easy to miss, much like Akari never realizing there were so many mailboxes around Neo Venezia.

Akari looks over at the elder mailman.

When I looked at the A☱ on Akari’s hat on the DVD artwork, I figured it must actually read “Aria”, which is confirmed in this episode. Maybe also in a prior episode and I missed it?

Ayano and Sora. It’s plain to see which is seen as the more important character here. Poor not-an-A-name Sora.

The elder mailman lifts his hat as he walks away.

When Ayano thanks the mailman, and he lifts his hat without even looking back, how cool is that? I get the impression he’s done jobs like this before, delivering letters in person which didn’t go through the processing stage.

This had to be quite the day for Akari and Aika, especially the latter for being able to wear such a fancy outfit, and to get a day off from rowing.

A single mailbox.

I’m glad for Akari’s observation about having never noticed all the mailboxes before. It reminded me of back when I started in college. Prior to that time, I would walk a lot. I’d walk a good two to eight hours any given Saturday. And yet, no matter how many times I passed by them, there were things I not once ever noticed. Come college time, they suddenly were everywhere, including places I had walked by many times over the years. Bus stops. Both signs where a bus stops and actual benches. Now how could I have missed those benches for all those years? Simple. College marked my first time taking public transit (save for the extremely rare trolly ride), so I never took notice of bus stops until I was a passanger on a bus. Likewise, Akari never noticed all the mailboxs until she was on the mail route herself.

The new opening song has definitely grown on me as I don’t even remember the original opening theme. I still need to look for a CD collection for the three Aria series’ theme songs, and any other songs related to the series. This newer theme combines a soothing feeling and a powerful feeling together.

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