The Aria anime is set in the future on the oceanic planet of Aqua. In the 24th century, mankind has succeeded in terraforming Mars into a habitable planet. Most of the planet is now covered with water, and Mars has been renamed to Aqua. Aqua has become an increasingly popular tourist destination for travelers from Man-Home (Earth). A popular destination is the picturesque city of Neo-Venezia, a place heavily influenced by the real city of Venice, Itlay.
The story in Aria follows Akari Mizunashi, a new arrival to Aqua from Man-Home. Akari’s goal was to become an undine (gondolier guide) and was fortunate to be accepted as an apprentice in Aria Company, a small undine business in Neo-Venezia. Despite being small, Aria Company is very famous because it is operated by the beautiful Alicia Florence, the most popular undine in Neo-Venezia. While the other two gondolier companies in Neo-Venezia, Himeya and Orange Planet, employ hundreds of undines, Aria Company’s roster consists of only of Alicia, Akari, and their mascot – a cat with the title of 'President of Aria'.
Akari not only wants to be a professional undine, but also to one day become one of the three Water Fairies, a title given only to the three best undines on Neo-Venezia (Alicia is currently one of them). But Akari is prone to make clumsy mistakes and has trouble memorizing landmark information when guiding her customers around the city. She becomes close friends with fellow undines-in-training, Aika Granzchesta and Alice Carroll. Each has their own faults and strengths, so they practice together to become better undines.
Aria is a slower paced anime that is not plot driven. Episodes usually involve Akari doing daily activities while discovering the beauty and charms of Neo-Venezia. The stories are generally light hearted with nostalgic and comedic elements. Aria is the perfect anime for those seeking a series that isn’t high action and drama orientated. Just relax and let the undines of Aria take you on a gondola ride through Aqua.