Monday, September 24, 2012

Aria the Scarlet Ammo Review: Death of a Genre?

If you've been hanging out in the anime fandom for at least a few years, there's a type of show that you've most definitely heard of (and have likely seen).  As the story begins, a standard-issue male high school student meets a girl.  This girl is short-statured, shorter-tempered, and has light-coloured hair (usually blonde, very light brown, or a gentle shade of pink).  Her chest is flat.  She comes from a rich family, leading her to treat most other people as if they were beneath her; as a result of this, she has few friends, if any.  Her elegant background is betrayed by her attitude towards others and her clumsiness/sloppiness.

Oh, and she's also voiced by Kugimiya Rie

At their first meeting, our Main Character will learn that the Girl is involved in some manner of fantastic occurrence.  Circumstances will reveal that the Main Character is now also tied to the abnormal events, forcing him and the Girl to live in close proximity.  Despite their initial inability to get along, the two will overcome their circumstances and eventually admit love for each other.

As one may have guessed from the title, I am describing Aria the Scarlet Ammo.  I am also describing Shakugan no Shana, Zero no Tsukaima, To aru Majutsu no Index, Lotte no Omocha, and to a lesser extent Hayate the Combat Butler and Toradora!.  There are likely many more anime that utilize this formula, as well as countless light novels and manga who are aiming to be the next smash-hit by using the same successful formula.

Actually, that assessment may not be completely right.  Maybe it would be better to include Aria the Scarlet Ammo in that final category...