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DVD Review

DVD cover

Aria: The Scarlet Ammo


Starring (voice): Junji Majima, Rie Kugimiya Ayako Kawasumi and Kaori Ishihara
Distributor: Manga Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 08 July 2013

Kinji Tōyama is a disenchanted student at a high school for armed detectives, better known as Butei. He dreams of nothing more than leaving. This all changes when he is saved from assassination by Aria, who swoops out of the sky to rescue him from an armed uzi automaton and a bomb on his bike. During the rescue his face is pressed into Aria’s breasts, unleashing his inner power, which turns him from a geek to a smooth and lethal operator...

Aria: The Scarlet Ammo (2011) is a thirteen episode action/comedy anime series, directed by Takashi Watanabe (Slayers series) and written by Hideki Shirane, who adapted Chūgaku Akamatsu original light novel. The thirteenth episode is the OVA.

This is a show designed to appeal to fourteen year old males, with slapstick comedy and wall to wall titillation. It’s not really as bad as some shows and only contains some mild nods to fan service, nearly, but not quite shots of panties and dressed cleavage. Aria is a pint sized bundle of energy, carrying two guns and two swords, the perfect foil for the mostly repressed Kenji.

Once the story gets into its stride then things often become predictable, worst still some of the ideas are not original, especially the one about a bomb on a bus which will explode if it slows down - sure I’ve seen that somewhere else. The Idea even opens the story with Kinji stuck on a bike which, as you’ve guessed, will explode if he slows down.

The show settles down into a combination of loads of shooting mixed with high school stories. There have been many similar shows, some worse, some better. It’s not a bad show and the detailed animation is on the higher side. On the bad side, there is little here to raise the show above the competition. There is an overarching plot with Aria enlisting Kenji in an effort to catch the Butei killer and clear her mother’s name.

You get the first seven episodes on disc one with disc two holding the remaining six. The extras on the first disc consist of a full length commentary for both episodes four and six. Disc two has the Promotional Video (1 min, 45 sec), a set of six Original Commercials (1 min, 48 sec), the English language trailer (1 min, 06 sec) and the textless opening and closing sequences.

The show looks good and is a bit of light fluffy fun, which is unlikely to offend anyone. Audio options are provided for English 5.1 or Japanese 2.0 with English subtitles.


Charles Packer

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