- Alt. Name
- Release Date
- Spring 2013
- No. of Episodes
- LIDEN FILMS
Aiura is a 2013 Comedy, Slice of Life anime from studio LIDEN FILMS (Boarding School Juliet) that brings its viewers onto a pleasant and peaceful ride of friendship. Though this anime is a short episode series don’t expect it to have protection from series that are running at the standard length, especially in the comedy genre. While the episodes may be short the emotions and perhaps even a series with no action within it but at the same time entertain the viewer? Does Aiura stand a chance with comedy series or even the Slice of Life genre? The real truth of the series is not in the amount minutes per episode, but at the entire show as a whole.
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When a series is a short episode format there is one thing the viewer can anticipate, and that’s either a lack of story or nothing at all. Aiura is no different, but it does have a premise that is simplistic while at the same time potentially being entertaining towards the viewer. Kanako, Saki, and Ayuko are three girls who, as fate would have it, meet each other the day before they start high school. Together, the trio navigates high school life, including giving each other nicknames, racing one another to class, or just having fun. While its premise may be fundamental in any slice of life anime series, which it is to a certain degree, the one strange aspect of this series is that it works for the series.
Albeit the series is based on a 4-Koma manga (4-panel manga) and doesn’t have any “action” like other series could have usually brought down the entertainment. Which many potential viewers would be turned away from, but something with this story makes it work for it. The potential to have anything other than a fundamental, which surprisingly works very well with this type of episode. If this was a normal length episode this more likely would’ve been a complete failure due to its lack of story. The other great aspect of the comedy aspect of this series was that the comedy wasn’t about gags. When a series bases their entire comedy on gags more often than not two things happen: A) the gag comedy doesn’t translate well to others outside of Japan, and/or B) they’re just not funny.
The Art style of this series is truly excellent and a highlight of the show, not just for the show but for the Slice of Life genre. When a series is in this genre one’s expectation is of course events such as getting ready for the day, chores, hobbies and sometimes even cooking. Of course, this depends on the setting, but usually, these are expected in one form or another. So, having a more realistic body figure on the three main characters was truly remarkable, and downright encouraging especially when most anime girls are drawn very slim and almost unrealistically thin. Having that mixed with the pastel background shows a more slowed down way of life truly brings out the beauty of this show.
The animation of this show is pretty superb, but that shouldn’t be something to cheer about when every episode is four minutes long. However, when one series uses their short episode time limit to their advantage then that’s what’s great about the series. They not only have a hot opener, but also a soothing closing theme which when listened back-to-back gets the viewer pumped for the next episode. Which honestly every series should, an opening doesn’t always need to be upbeat or even catchy theme to make it wonderful, nor does it need a peaceful closer but it does help. The animation in this series is superb not just what was mentioned above, but because the animation wasn’t complex and when they needed an action scene, they sprinkled it sparingly.
Outside of the immense appreciation, this show gets for its blend of Art style and Animation, it does have some mistakes. For instance, the similarities with the character design between Aiura and K-On! are very noticeable, which could turn viewers off due to a lack of originality. Another aspect of this show that was apparent is that out of the four-minute timeslot, one-fourth of that amount is used solely on the opener which is no doubt a huge red flag for even the most spectacular series. Outside of those two main points I did notice some other but wouldn’t keep anyone from potentially enjoying this or any series.
The characters of this show were well kept and perhaps the right amount gave the time frame. First is Kanaka Amaya, the jokester of the group. While she is always looking to tease anyone within her surroundings, she is easily forgettable within her class. Saki Iwasawa, the Channing Tatum to Kanakas Jonah Hill comedy duo. She is a true high schooler whose only motivation to do work to be better than Kanaka, even if it’s insignificant. While Ayuko Uehara isn’t the tallest and is constantly teased for her height by Kanaka, she is the mesh that molds the trio together. While these three characters can’t do well or even halfway decently on a solo basis, but together these three are perfect and have the right amount of personality where the viewer will get bored.
The negative side of the characters in this show is that if they’re there in one episode and aren’t part of the trio, then don’t get attached to them. For a series that revolves around the school there is only one teacher, and she’s barely in there for two episodes. Outside of the lack of other characters shown in multiple episodes, it is important to say that while they lack this aspect that makes great world-building, they do create the perfect uniqueness between the trio. Although the show did use some cliché tropes, which is acceptable within reason, they are unique enough from a basic trio cast. Having that said, the series does use a little bit of sexuality between the characters which is either hit or miss but could potentially get viewers to stop watching.
While no show is perfect, and let’s be honest life isn’t perfect especially when you’re in high school. When it comes to any slice of life anime there is always a journey of caution waiting to be had with it, especially when it’s as short as this one. Perhaps this potentially forgettability aspect of this series best part about this show. It has an Iyashikei (sub-genre of Slice of Life that is designed to have a “healing” effect on the viewer) atmosphere and is a calm peaceful series that has no conflict nor uneasiness. If you have an afternoon or are inside on a rainy day, I highly recommend watching this series, especially if you enjoy a Slice of Life anime.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.