Manga Mondays: Aria the Masterpiece Vol. 1 + 2 Review

Aria the Masterpiece Volume 2 was provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

On the planet Aqua, a world once known as Mars, Akari Mizunashi has just made her home in the town of Neo-Venezia, a futuristic imitation of the ancient city of Venice. In pursuit of her dream to become an Undine — a gondolier who leads high-end tours around the city — Akari joins as a trainee with the Aria Company, one of the three most prestigious water-guide companies in Neo-Venezia. There, she explores the beauty of the city and the world along with other trainees from Aria and rival companies, working hard for her dreams and making new friends along the way.

Experience the world of Aqua like never before with Kozue Amano’s gorgeously detailed illustrations and full-color spreads in this deluxe edition featuring the full prequel series, Aqua! 

Aria is one of my favorite anime series ever. It’s a slice-of-life story mixed with a very unique sci-fi setting of Aqua, a terraformed Mars that was turned into a water planet and a culture based on Venice, Italy. It has this calming and soothing atmosphere about it, that feels like watching an ASMR video.

When I discovered that they were finally translating the rest of the manga series into English with new editions I immediately pre-ordered the first volume.


The first volume introduces us to Akari, the main protagonist of the series and her perspective living in Neo-Venezia on Aqua as she is from Manhome (the new name for Earth). Akari is a genuinely kind and bubbly person and is eager to become an undine. Having her as a main character is so much fun and enjoyable. She has her moments of being naive and clumsy, but its very endearing.

The other characters introduced are equally as charming. There’s Alicia, Akari’s mentor at Aria Company (the place where she works as an undine) and the number one Undine in all of Neo-Venezia is a relaxing person who is kind to Akari and is patient with her learning the ways of an undine. The first person Akari meets in Neo-Venezia is the Postman who delivers mail via gondola.Then she meets Aika, another trainee Undine who works for another Undine company called Himeya. She’s a little more sassy and always calls Akari out for using “sappy lines”. She also has a crush/admiration for Alicia.

Then there’s President Aria the cat (yes a cat is a president of a company) who is there mostly for comic relief and also adds an interesting factor to the story. Cats from Aqua are special because they have aquamarine eyes and represent the Goddess of the Ocean and that’s why they are considered special and are made presidents of the Undine companies.

The second volume includes even more characters that have various professions as well as showing Akari dealing and interacting with unique customers she takes on tours.


The world of Aqua is set in the year 2301 and is what used to be known as Mars. Neo-Venezia where most of the series takes place is based on mostly Italian culture, specificially that of Venice where everyone travels and works by using gondolas, except in the few spots where there isn’t water. There’s also a mix of Japanese influence and Scottish mythology (there’s the introduction of the Cat Kingdom and king of cats, Cait Sith.

The author takes the time to explain how the months work (there are 24 months on Aqua) and how the seasons and weather operates.

As I mentioned there are other professions on the planet Aqua. There are Salamanders, who work in the sky called Ukijima and maintain the climate and weather. The gnomes who work underground control the gravity of the planet.

Here’s tl;dr version of why you should read Aria the Masterpiece


  1. Unique Italian/Japanese inspired sci-fi setting.
  2. In-depth world-building without being overwhelming.
  3. Cute slice of stories with meaningful messages.
  4. Likeable and fun cast of characters.
  5. Gorgeous and calming art style.
  6. Because I said so.

Most Anticipated Manga Releases of 2019

Welcome to Manga Monday where I talk about various manga-related topics! Today I’m listing some of my most anticipated 2019 manga releases.


Witch Hat Atelier

This is compared to Studio Ghibli and Studio Ghibli is AMAZING. So I’m very hyped for this manga series dealing with magic.

Our Dreams at Dusk Vol. 1-4

This 4-volume series deals with the LGBTQIA+ community in Japan and I can’t wait because I’ve heard so many amazing things about this.


Mob Psycho 100 Vol 2, 3 + more

Mob Psycho 100 is not just a great anime series (seriously go watch it because its stunning, hilarious and charming) but its also a great manga series. Originally started as webcomic (much like ONE’s other manga series One-Punch Man) there’s now print editions. I got the first volume back in 2018 and its such a delight.

Yona of the Dawn Vol 16, 17 + more

Yona of the Dawn is one of my favorite manga series EVER and it stays consistently good and gets ever better with each volume.

The Ancient Magus Bride Vol 10 + more

Another favorite is The Ancient Magus Bride series. Volume 10 begins the start of a new arc: The College Arc. I can’t wait to see what new adventures comes for Chise and Elias in this brilliantly magical world.

Golden Kamuy Vol. 8, 9 + on

Golden Kamuy is such a fun and hilarious adventure manga and I’m excited to read more. I’m actually way behind on this one but I will catch up in 2019!

Ran and the Gray World Vol. 2

I also got the first volume of this one in 2018 and it definitely intrigued me with its weirdness. I still don’t know much about this series but I’m hoping it’ll be worth it especially because the art style is gorgeous and whimsical.


Fullmetal Alchemist: Fullmetal Edition Volume 4 + more

I’ve been collecting this edition of this series since last year and I can’t wait to actually sit down and read them all. This cover is a personal favorite because it has best girl Riza on it!

20th Century Boys Vol. 3 + more

This is another series I’ve started collecting in 2018 and its one that is a must-read for me. It involves a cult and I’m so into cults.

Urusei Yatsura

This is a classic manga series by Rumiko Takahashi (who is also known for Inuyasha; Ranma 1/2). I’ve always wanted to read a classic manga series such as this and now they’re putting out new editions with color.

Aria the Masterpiece Vol. 1, 2 + more

The anime adaptation is one of my personal favorites and I think its so underrated. I’ve always wanted to get my hands on the manga series but its one of those that is super rare and hard to find. But now they’re putting out re-releases and I can’t wait.