Anime of Tomorrow
Hidan no Aria (last thoughts)
Final Impression – Not for everyone 6/10
Spring 2011 (Alternate title – Aria the Scarlet Ammo)
Kinji is a student at a butei high school in Tokyo – a training and licensing center for worldly bounty hunters. He used to be top of his class, but circumstances changed and as his second year starts he’s thinking of calling it quits as a butei. However, this isn’t his lucky day. When his bike gets rigged with a bomb, he needs the help of the butei genious Aria Kanzaki to save him from a grisly death. After witnessing his courage in a life or death situation, Aria wants to know why Kinji’s butei rank has dropped so low in such a short period of time. As it turns out, Kinji has a secret he’s not proud of. When he gets aroused by a girl, he goes into hysteria mode and gains superhuman reflexes and a gentleman’s demeanor.
Aria is working as a butei to clear her mother’s good name of a false criminal record, so she’s been searching for an appropriate partner to help her fulfill that goal. Kinji might be able to fill that role if his childhood friend and fellow butei, Shirayuki doesn’t kill Aria for trying to steal her crush. But Aria’s biggest threat comes from the EU, the very criminal organization that framed her mother. She needs to be more careful than she realizes, because an agent of the EU has entered the butei academy and is much closer to her than she suspects.
Aria the Scarlet Ammo is one of those anime that you really want to like, but when you’re honest with yourself, you just have to admit that it really wasn’t that good. The amazing opening music by May’n sends you in on a high note and the equally captivating ending lets you down easy, but there’s just no excuse for the content to be this mediocre. While I was a little sad to see Rie Kugimiya relocated to an anime unbefitting of her talent, in the end there’s probably no other voice actress who could have pulled off the necessary tsundere of Aria’s character. Ironically enough, the voice acting is probably Hidan no Aria’s most redeeming feature. With a bizarrely arranged cast all claiming to be the descendants of legendary or literary characters, superpowers we’re expected to accept without explanation, and copious amounts of misplaced fan service, everything about the anime is pretty weak. The fight sequences occasionally have a bit of cleverness to them, but all in all J.C. Staff came out with something just barely above average.