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August 5, 2012

Anime Review: Hidan no Aria

If you have watched Angel Beats!, Toaru Majutsu no Index or Gunslinger Girl, then you will definitely enjoy Hidan no Aria. With rather a straightforward story and plenty of fan service, the anime aims to achieve our attention in a different way than the rest.

Hidan no AriaSynopsis:

Kinji is a junior at a high school for mercenaries. He just wants to be normal, but his secret condition—he turns into an ace killer when he’s turned on by the female form—triggers a fiery transfer student’s unrelenting desire to make him her partner.

Review:

Hidan no Aria is more of a comedy action anime series that aims to achieve laughs and giggles from the audience and thus I recommend not taking it seriously. Sure enough the action is quite entertaining and there are plenty of plot twists that do happen; but in the end,the story doesn't really explain the overall setting of the anime. The story starts of with Kinji in a high school for mercenaries called 'Butei' and he has a secret condition that only triggers when he gets turned on by the female form. This already gives you pretty much an idea of what will happens in this anime. With due respect though, the anime is not intended to be ecchi or harem; so there are limits in place to how far is mentioned or shown on screen. Everything though is more left to the audience's imagination rather that implicitly shown on screen. Moving on, the story doesn't really explain any background information of the Butei, the various ranks of the students, the special abilities that some possess, and the purpose of the Butei. Rather, the anime just focuses on Kinji and Aria as they try to catch criminals to try and clear Aria's mother's name for false charges. Along the way they make new friends and encounter awkward, embarrassing, and hilarious moments.

The art was rather well animated and illustrated. The background and sceneries that this anime has to offer is quite well presented indeed. The girls all looked extremely cute and sometimes had pretty revealing clothes. The characters also had plenty of facial expressions and emotions that complement the situation quite well.

The theme songs were rather mediocre, they weren't particularly memorable or catchy to listen to and most of the time I just skipped the opening and closing theme songs. Voice acting though was perfect for the characters. I instantly recognise Aria's voice that suited her personality quite well. If you have watched Toradora! or Shakugan no Shana then you will know what I mean. Sound quality was no problem here.

Firstly, I would say Kinji is rather an average indecisive guy that seem to easily change his opinions and  thoughts about something. So most of the time, you are trying to guess what he actually is thinking about and what his decisions are. Of course though, he gets pushed around rather too easily by Aria and Shirayuki that constantly fights over him. In the end though, he does display some rather cool attitude that saves him the day. As for the other characters, they are all peppy and cute in their own way. I would consider this an accidental harem, but that may be an overstatement.

Overall, there is definitely plenty of fan service here. The story is really nothing major or interesting to look into and the execution was pretty average. However, the cute characters that seem to pop up in every scenes brightens the anime to make it appealing to the otaku crowd. There are plenty of awkward, hilarious, and embarrassing moments to enjoy here. So if you are a otaku guy that is into cute anime girls then this anime is definitely for you. As for everyone else, this may not be your type of anime to watch.

STORY: 7
It's really nothing majorly complex or interesting so don't bother reading up on it. Just enjoy the fan service.

ART: 9
The animation and illustrations were highly detailed and accurately portrayed. Characters looked cute.

SOUND: 8
Voice acting was perfect for their stereotypical representations of characters but theme songs were rather mediocre.

CHARACTER: 7
Loved the cute characters and never got bored with them, however not much background information is explained for any of them and that kind of ruined the understanding of the relationships they have.

ENJOYMENT: 9
Fan service throughout the whole series? Yes please!

OVERALL: 8
Is it worth it for the story? Probably not. Is it worth it for the overwhelming fan service? Totally.