I am a marathon viewer; I prefer to watch anime in a single viewing session. There have been many lazy nights-in dominated by a show and its accompanying 4 to 5-hour runtime (assuming there are no food or bathroom breaks).
Although I enjoy them, marathons are time-consuming affairs, especially if the series in question ends up being horrible. Hence, short-form anime have a place in my heart; they are perfect ways to kill a few minutes.
The entirety of Aiura barely scrapes the 48-minute mark, and that is assuming you are sitting through the opening and end credits. I powered through the whole show in the time between me waking up in the morning and when I had to walk out my door. I didn’t even have to rush to eat breakfast, brush my teeth, or get dressed (heck, I got to my train earlier than usual).
An anime to start the day; I can think of worse things. Of course, that is assuming the anime is any good. Short-form series might not ask for much of your time, but they can still waste it.
So how did this one fair?
The following are my impressions of Aiura.
To sum Aiura up in as few words as possible, I would say this:
To go a bit further, I would, instead, say:
This series is about three friends living out their every day, no-thrills, totally average lives while having some fun along the way.
Right off the bat, I can tell you how surprised I am that Aiura wasn’t a full-length series. I have seen plenty of other slice-of-life stories with similar premises fill twelve episodes at twenty-plus minutes a pop; why not this one?
Aiura could have thrived had its runtime been tripled. The four-minute-an-episode presentation felt like an unnecessary anchor.
Do I think Aiura could have been significantly better had it been longer? No. When you get right down to it, this show was a run-of-the-mill slice-of-life comedy. Still, it was a relaxing and enjoyable slice-of-life comedy that had plenty of energy to spare.
I liked this series quite a lot.
Aiura’s strength was in its three main characters:
- Ayuko Uehara (voiced by Nao Tamura)
- Kanaka Amaya (voiced by Yui Nakajima)
- Saki Iwasawa (voiced by Yuuko Iida)
As was the case with the rest of this show, these three weren’t extraordinary. On the contrary, they were everything you might expect from this type of show. They each had characteristics that felt familiar.
For instance, Kanaka was the loud, energetic one who usually put more effort into not doing work. She went at her own pace, and most needed to get on her level, or there was no stopping her. This is where Saki came in.
Unlike most everyone else, Saki was the only person who could counteract Kanaka’s unbridled enthusiasm. Then again, Saki wasn’t above letting her childhood friend focus on someone else if it meant a quick bit of amusement. But the moment Kanaka’s actions got on her nerves, Saki was quick to shut things down.
Needless to say, I have seen characters like Kanak and Saki before. However, Ayuko was something of a shock.
In many trios, there is the happy one (Kanaka), the stern one (Saki), and the easily flustered one. This latter role is what I expected out of Ayuko, but that was not the case. On the contrary, Ayuko, though soft-spoken, rarely went with the flow without some flair of her own. She was more than willing to play along with Kanaka’s antics and served a similar function to Saki, albeit with a far friendlier personality.
Despite being the new girl, when compared to Kanaka and Saki’s long-standing friendship, Ayuko fit right in. These three made for a good team.
To tell you the truth, thanks to how well Ayuko, Kanaka, and Saki worked together, I kept forgetting Aiura was a short-form anime. Without fail, the end of an episode would sneak up on me. Even by the time this series reached episode twelve, I was always ready for more.
I do mean this in the most positive way possible, but I can’t help be a tad disappointed with Aiura. There could have been more. Scratch that; there could have been a lot more. Or, at the very least, a second season should be a thing.
Sadly, Aiura came out back in 2013, eight years before this post. I won’t act as if a sequel is impossible; a continuation can always come. Still, I have my doubts, and that is a real shame.
Aiura was solid and did not get the chance to reach its full potential.
Single-season, excellent short-form anime are always bitter-sweet affairs. On the one hand, I am glad they exist and that I got to see them. On the other hand, you can’t help wanting more.
This series didn’t get a proper review because it would have taken me longer to write one than it would be for you to watch this series yourself. And the latter option is far more enjoyable anyway; I have no qualms admitting that.
At only the cost of an hour of your time, you get a show that is relaxing, charming, and unquestionably fun. I won’t promise this series will blow you away, but while it is happening, Aiura is quite enjoyable.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? What were your impressions of Aiura? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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