Aria Volume 1 by Kozue Amano

10/10 A truly exquisite piece, a perfect sequel to Aqua

Akari has travelled far from Manhome to become a gondolier (undine) and works with others before working her way up to journeyman status, yet this is a hard task to master and she will need all her bubbly spirit to get through the difficult days ahead. Her time there is not all doom and gloom though, as she has a few friends she can spend her spare time with.

Aika who works for the Himeya Gondola Company is too serious for her own good, Alicia an undine for Aria who thinks highly of Akari once they have known each other for a while, and lastly Aria himself, the president of the Gondolier company. a Martian cat who has taken to Akari since she came to work for the company.

The story starts with Akari's having spent twelve months working for Aria as an undine and she gets to see plenty of sights over those months where she meets one of her friends. Kozue Amano as a manga-ka takes the reader through Akari's routine day with a passenger in her gondola, acting as his tour guide even if he is a little offhand with her.

This is a feel-good manga with a lot of fun to offer lovers of sci-fi manga series. This first volume exists as a continuation of two other volumes called Aqua. A newly terraformed Mars 150 years into the future, this act causing a huge body of water to cover the island giving Mars the new title of Aqua while Earth is Manhome. In the port town of Neo Venezia named and recreated after Venice on Earth. Neo Venezia like its former place has a complex maze of water canals where gondolas ferry their customers.

I felt this was sci-fi twinned with an upbeat fantasy feel; Kozue Amano has brought us a truly exquisite piece, a perfect sequel to Aqua.

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