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Aria: The Scarlet Ammo- The Complete Series Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Review

Aria-The Scarlet Ammo- The Complete Series- Blu-ray-DVD Combo Pack

“Aria: The Scarlet Ammo” starts out strong, but veers off into weird territories near the end.

At the start of this 12 episode anime, we see a gun toting teen girl named Aria saving an apparently normal, whiney teen boy (Kenji) from an armed Segway. Aria, as it turns out, is a high ranking student at the Butei High School (a school were students train to become armed freelance detectives essentially) and Kinji also happens to be attending the same school as well. While Kinji looks like he couldn’t harm a fly, we learn that he has a genetic disorder (AKA hysteria mode) that causes him to become crazy violent, protective, and confident when aroused (everything he is normally not). Anyway, the two are brought together as the Butei are apparently being targeted by a killer on the loose. Of course, that isn’t the ONLY plot in this series as there plenty of subplots and stories about Kinji’s friends Riko and Shirayuki (who has a crush on Kinji), Aria making Kenji her slave, Reki (a sniper), Kinji and Aria becoming partners, a kidnapper named Durandal, Aria training Kinji, a rosary heist, Sayonaki (a teacher who harbors a dark secret), wolves, Kinji’s brother, and an organization known as I-U. Note: There’s also a hot springs centric OVA following the 12 episodes.

After a surprisingly enjoyable and fast-paced first episode, I was hopeful that ‘Aria’ would be a series worth watching. Sure, the series recycled a lot of anime tropes such as the dopey teen humor and the sexual tension between the leads, but if you can look past the clichéd elements, the intense action and James Bond esque aspect of Kinji’s hysteria mode was appealing. Unfortunately, the series never quite lives up to that first episode.

Despite some rather interesting (and unexpected) character connection revelations to everyone from Lupin to Sherlock Holmes, ‘Aria’ quickly falls apart with each episode. To say the show’s tone veers wildly out of control would be an understatement as the supernatural aspects of the final few episodes feel like they are from another show entirely. I won’t go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the character of Vlad is the perfect example of the show spiraling out of control. While I’m always up for seeing show’s taking a unique and unpredictable route, the final few episodes just feel so out of place (not to mention poorly written) that I can’t get on board with what the writers are trying to accomplish.

Summary: “Aria: The Scarlet Ammo” is a messy show that has some rewarding aspects. It might be worth a rent to some, but I can’t quite recommend it myself.


The series, which is presented in widescreen 1080p, will certainly impress fans of the series. The gorgeous looking colors really pop in hi-def here.

The Blu-ray discs contain English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 tracks. Both tracks are equally likable in terms of the voice acting. Naturally, the English track has more depth in terms of audio quality as it’s of a higher quality.

* Trailers for “Shakugan No Shana: The Movie,” “Shakugan No Shana S: The OVA Series,” “Steins;Gate,” “A Certain Magical Index, “ ‘Kaze No Stigma,” “Sengoku Basara,” “C-Control,” “One Piece,” “Soul Eater,” “Serial Experiments Lain,” and Funimation.com
* DVD copies of all 13 episodes.
* Commentary on episode 4 by English voice actress Luci Christian and voice actor Todd Haberkorn. The two chat about trivial things and don’t have much to say.
* Commentary on episode 6 by Zach Bolton, Leah Clark, and Todd Haberkorn. Better than the above mentioned track. Expect to hear discussions about voice acting, working relationships, characters, etc.
* Textless opening and closing songs.
* U.S. trailer, promo video and original commercials for ‘Aria.’

December 27, 2012 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review |

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