Hi everyone (´∀｀)♡ This is my second anime review.
I’ll be tackling an anime called “Aiura”, a Slice Of Life/Comedy about the daily lives of the three main characters. Yup, it’s another one of those moe slice of life’s featuring uber-desu girls.
The show has a runtime of four minutes, including the OP and ED. The studio that animated it is Liden Films.
The story centers around Saki, Kanaka and Ayuko—three “annoying, spirited high school girls with zero motivation”—and their classmates. Their daily life is “what happens when there is nothing happening.”
Ah yes, the ubiquitous “normal life of adorable girls” anime. The designs and personalities of the characters are indeed adorable, but they seem like the type of generic characters that get boring and dull quickly. It may seem like that at first glance, but after watching Aiura, you’ll find that there’s a bit more to it.
From the genre’s name itself, one can easily conclude that Slice Of Life shows are based on the daily happenings and activities of the average Joe. But most of the released Slice Of Life animes take a more ‘dreamy’ approach and put in aspects that are unlikely to happen to most people (take Nichijou for example). Not that that’s bad, but these kinds of anime lean towards the Comedy genre more than Slice of Life.
Aiura, on the other hand, is deeply rooted to real life. The events are relatable and heart-warming to watch, and the interactions between the characters is something we can easily find in our own lives. The scenarios feel extremely natural and casual, and the jokes and antics are well-executed. The characters also occasionally pause before responding to certain things, which just adds to the charm and realism of the show. The wonderful balance in the show keeps everything interesting despite how average the occurrences are.
The main characters are pretty great but not that outstanding by themselves since the concept has been done to death. We have the holy trinity of slice of life animes: the serious one, the hyperactive one and the one that just plays along. It’s their interactions that really keep the show alive.
From left to right:
Kanaka Amaya is the energetic and happy-go-lucky one, and majority of the comedy in the show emerges from her random actions.
Ayuko Uehara is the reserved one in the group, and she usually just goes with the flow. She’s a pretty cute character, but she doesn’t stand out much compared to the other two.
Saki Iwasawa is a bit serious and cold but she has a hidden playful attitude. She’s usually the one to react to Amaya’s antics. These two easily make the show sparkle.
The characters are a bit flawed: Amaya can be annoying sometimes, Ayuko’s passiveness can make her seem like a dull and uninteresting character, while Saki’s cold attitude can occasionally be a bit antagonistic. Of course, I think their flaws make the show more relatable and even better.
There is also a colourful cast of side characters which both have their pros and cons.
We have Amaya’s little brother and their classmates, who all jump into the show with little warning without disrupting the flow of the anime or making it seem abrupt. They all nicely fit into place and still keep that natural feel.
The teachers are all quite interesting and varied – we have the lazy “who cares” kind of teacher, the adorable thirty-year-old teacher that appears to be ten years old, and a a strict teacher. They all have their moments and great gags, but they can also be a bit of a backdrop – after all, the realism is what makes Aiura a charming show, and their far fetched personalities bring the show down a bit.
The character design just tugs at my heartstrings. It may not be unique, but it’s enough to make you want to go “Awwwww” (｡・//ε//・｡) The art style is more close to adorable than moe. I love their expressive faces, too.
The animation is fantastic. Although most of the scenes were just the characters talking, the studio didn’t hold back and really did a great job. I love their mesmerizing hand and body movements, the way their hair bounces, and their interactions with each other and their environment. Even in moments without dialogue, the anime was able to establish a pleasing mood by making the characters fidget and make simple gestures.
The backgrounds are delightful to look at. Although they could use a bit more cleaning up, I love the painterly feel of the backgrounds, combined with a pleasing colour pallete and an outstanding level of detail. I can’t even emphasize how much I love the way everything is coloured ( ；▽ ；) Talk about a visual feast ♡
The anime’s opening is entitled “Kani☆Do-Luck!” and it’s really weird. It’s an upbeat and hyper song sung by the main characters and it’s about crabs. The OP sequence is even weirder. There are a bunch of split-second cutscenes and bizarre shots. There’s even a picture of Steve Jobs holding a crab. Why Steve Jobs? Why crabs? Is there a hidden meaning to it all? The world may never know. The song is still adorable, and I really love the girls’ voices.
The anime’s ending is “Ichigo Ichie”. Contrast to the OP, this song has a slow and relaxed feel to it. The voices of the girls blend nicely together. It’s basically about having an average and mundane life that still manages to be great.
They were pointless conversations
But they were fun nonetheless
There were flowers blooming
In even the most mundane of days
This is a really cute anime with plenty of gags and relatable moments. Despite having an overly cliché and done-to-death concept, it was able to deliver a satisfying experience for viewers. The skits were executed well, and the story is told beautifully in the span of just four minutes.
tl;dr A high quality and extremely relatable anime. If you like cute girls doing cute things, you’ll like this show (・∀・) The anime has a slow and relaxed pace which may not appeal to all viewers, though (〜￣▽￣)〜