Aria #1 - ARIA volume 1

is a manga book published by Tokyopop that was released on 01/08/2008

Plot Summary


It is autumn, 12 months since Akari's arrival on Aqua. She is emailing her friend about how all the girls have changed to their winter uniforms. Later, Alicia and President Aria join Akari for one of her aquatic practices. Along the way they meet an old man, a tourist from Manhome, who says that he has lost his daughter and her husband, and Akari offers to help find them. The man accepts, but keeps complaining about how his time is being wasted by the trouble of it. Akari tries to entertain him during the search, even making a quick stop to buy everyone baked potatoes. The man is hesitant at first to accept but soon begins to enjoy the gracious meal. After Akari pours him a cup of tea, his disposition softens even further. He still complains about the "inconveniences" of Neo-Venezia. Akari explains how she herself prefers such over the "conveniences" of Manhome. Her attitude surprises the man, who then requests another cup of tea. The four of them are then mesmerized by a sudden shower of leaves falling all around them. The man's daughter finally catches up, and he bids the three companions farewell. As he is leaving though, he informs Akari that she has won him over and that he will hire her as a guide on his next visit. This compliment makes her realize why she came to Aqua in the first place.


This is the day for performing the scheduled maintenance on the gondolas. Aika arrives with Hime to help out, but being a big fan of Alicia, she is rather anxious about her appearance in her winter uniform. Yet, upon hearing Alicia's glowing compliments, Aika is suddenly ecstatic. When the gondolas have been hauled from the water to land, Alicia leaves Akari and Aika in charge of their cleaning; however, it seems that Akari is having more fun at it then Aika can stand. After finishing the work, the two girls and HIme fall asleep, only to awaken later to see Alicia already giving President Aria a ride in her freshly cleaned gondola. So, Akari and Aika shove theirs into the water, and everyone enjoys rowing together until sunset.


Akari and President Aria take her gondola out to meet Aika near the famous Bridge of Sighs. But she is met there instead by Akatsuki who is also waiting to meet someone. And since he has been waiting so long, he insists that Akari give him a tour in her gondola, as a "friend," of course. She obliges and shows him several sights, including the statue of a lion holding open a Bible, which serves to protect the peace of the city. Akatsuki then boasts that his job as a Salamander on the floating island, helping to maintain Aqua's environment, is like that statue's, also protecting the peace. They return to their meeting spot, but find that neither one's friend has appeared. Akari's further attempts to keep Akatsuki company only result in irritating him. As the two continue to wait, Akari tells the story of the nearby Bridge of Sighs, a replica of the one in old Venice on Manhome, where prisoners once crossed, peered out and sighed. She says that anyone who comes there now can't help but do the same. Suddenly, Akatsuki's older brother, the person he was waiting for, shows up. The two brothers argue briefly then say goodbye to Akari, leaving her to head home, as well. Later, she phones Aika, who reminds her that they were not suppose to meet till the following week.


Akari, President Aria and Alicia take a gondola out to visit an island styled after a Japanese village. Upon arrival, they buy some inari sushi. The old lady behind the counter tells them about the fox deity to whom the nearby shrine is dedicated; however, she warns them not to follow him if they should see him. While they are passing through the shrine's tall red torii gates, marveling at their immense beauty, Akari keeps sensing that someone is following them. A rain begins to fall, which Alicia refers to as a sun shower, rain mixed with sunlight. They run for shelter, but Akari loses sight of Alicia. While she and President Aria search for their missing companion, Akari once more senses the presence of someone behind them. She then turns and sees a procession of foxes coming up the path. When it stops beside them, a boy in a fox mask steps forward and extends his hand to Akari. Not knowing what to do, she hands him her box of inari sushi. He takes it, bows, then disappears with the procession. Akari now notices that the rain has stopped, so the two head back to the sushi shop, where they find Alicia waiting for them. Akari tells of seeing the procession of foxes and how the fox boy had taken her inari sushi. The old lady says that the fox showed himself, because the inari sushi is his favorite. Akari then promptly orders more for herself, and the three take the gondola back to Neo-Venezia.


It is near the close of Autumn, and Akari notices that a large number of gondolas have begun to gather in the streets of the city. Upon returning to Aria Company, she finds Alicia posting an advertisement for the Vogare Longa, an annual marathon for gondoliers. Alicia notes that the large gathering of gondolas means that everyone is practicing for the race, which she assures Akari is not for competition. Aika, on the other hand, believes that it is actually a test for Singles to become full-fledged Undine, and she is determined that she and Akari must win. On the day of the race, she keeps insisting that Akari remain focused. Yet, though her greatest wish is to become an Undine, Akari can't help but have fun rowing her gondola through the streets. Along the way, she sees a crate of oranges fall into the water and stops to gather them up. The owner thanks her, but encourages her to get back into the race. Akari's kind gesture has caused her to fall behind the others, and she takes all day to reach the finish. There Aika scolds her for lagging behind; but in the end, Akari decides that, even though the race may not have been a test, it was still much more fun to take her time and so become an Undine in her own way.

ALSO INCLUDES: Ennui Club, in which Kozue Amano draws herself in a Neko costume giving background info on the actual Japanese shrine that served as a model for Chapter 4.


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About this Manga Cover
Added by: gia
Date Added: Nov. 17, 2008
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