Aria the Scarlet Ammo Review

ariathescarletammo

A spitfire, twin-tail gun packing girl and a combative genius locked away in some sort of split personality. Definitely not your typical action team, but certainly a team that can spell some downright chaotic fun.

ariathescarletammo10Story
At Tokyo Butei High, students train in the art of the Butei and gain permits to possess various weapons and capture criminals. However the life of a Butei isn’t all roses as a killer is on the loose and is seeking to kill Butei in a string of serial murders.

Kinji Youyama is a student at Tokyo Butei but seeks to quit before being pursued by a girl name Aria H Kanzaki who believes he is the perfect partner for her. She’s desperate to remove the sentence placed on her mother after being framed by criminals. Despite Kinji’s resolve to quit, Aria isn’t much of a quitter as well and will stop at nothing to persuade him.

I absolutely loved the characters in this show. Sure, it has quite a few harem elements that may or may not discourage some viewers. However having a bit of a short fuse when it comes to overused archetypes and tropes, I still managed to love the chemistry and characters the show presented me with.

ariathescarletammo09A lot of this has to do with both Kinji and Aria. Aria is voiced by the tsundere queen herself, Rie Kugimiya, and Kinji is not your typical male protagonist at the mercy of Kugimiya’s usual tsundere characters. This isn’t Louise beating the crap out of Saito (Familiar of Zero) or Taiga punching Ryouji (Toradora), instead Kinji loves standing up to Aria and Aria is often flustered.

It’s a great chemistry that lasts from beginning to end. I love them together and I especially get a kick out of Kinji’s odd “Hysteria Mode”, triggered by inappropriate thoughts, that leads him to some off the wall situations. Outside of them, the surrounding cast each adds their own flavor: Riko Mine adds a bit of sexual humor by tempting Kinji and is a vault of gossip and information; Shirayuki Hotogi is a rollercoaster of cute and yondere humor; and Reki is a very mellow but strange silent type.

Probably one of the more fascinating story elements in this series was the descendants. Taking a few icons of ariathescarletammo07history and playing off them in an interesting way. Then seeing it all tie up in the end was surprisingly good despite being placed in a harem-filled action comedy.

It’s unfortunate that a few elements of the story are either barely touched or never getting any sort of closure. Aiming at another season that may never arrive after 4 years of the first season being out. Despite this aspect, the show doesn’t seem hindered by this fact as the main plot and struggle in front of the characters are nicely wrapped up. In the end, it feels complete and only after thinking on it do I realize it could continue on.

Animation
While not the most detailed and amazing visual examples, Aria the Scarlet Ammo still manages to produce a very colorful and well put together show. Visually pleasing in many ways, more-so in its action scenes. Providing some well done scenes that hook you into the action.

Though the animation isn’t without some flaws.  On a few occasions, there is a use of CG that can feel a bit jarring to the rest of the show.  Mainly in its use with guns which are prevalent.  While that is easily overlooked, the overuse of face shots in some combat scenes was a bit disappointing.

Verdict
In the end, Aria the Scarlet Ammo was a surprisingly fun joyride from start to finish. Even in an age where harems and archetypes can drive a long-time anime fan crazy, this series still manages to pull off a fun and entertaining experience. Aria and Kinji are great leads that have a lovable chemistry, the pacing is well done, the comedy is spot on, and the action is great to watch.

Available through Funimation streaming, Blu-ray, and DVD, there’s no real excuse to not give this series a shot. You’ll easily know by the third episode exactly what you’re getting into.  A fun, action-packed comedy.

Good

REVIEW VERDICT:
Good

Goods:

  • Fun chemistry
  • Lots of laughs
  • Good plot design
  • Good action and battles

Bads:

  • CG weapons look weird
  • Few battles just stick to face close-ups
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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.