Sometimes you do get what you wish for.
I’ve never been one to be always on the lookout for upcoming anime adaptations. I don’t read a lot of manga or light novels and the visual novels I read either already have anime adaptations or have little to no hope of getting one. Instead I let the announcements do what they may while I just check out the upcoming season a few weeks beforehand. I always have had an ample supply of romance anime and atmospheric slice of life about cute girls so I rarely have any reason to look beyond the next season or so. This year, however, turned out to be completely different in that regard.
First up we have the announcement that got the most fanfare, even if it’s the one that I’m only moderately excited for. Rewrite, Key’s most recent full length visual novel, is getting an anime adaptation. I’ve played through the visual novel and enjoyed it quite about even though it was pretty uneven. There are some really great moments but it has a tendency to drag a lot, something that could be cleaned up in an anime adaptation. I never thought this would actually get adapted though since the structure of the game doesn’t lend itself to an anime format. 8bit certainly has their work cut out for them with this one. But I’m mostly excited to see these characters animated. The game’s 2nd OP gives a taste of this (even though it’s by a different studio) and seeing the characters moving like that is enough to get me hyped regardless of what the end result is.
Second, we have two adaptations of manga about bicycling girls: Long Riders and Minami Kamakura Joshi Jitensha-bu. Jitensha-bu is a manga I’ve had my eye on for a long time. It was my go to answer for an adaptation I would fund myself if I had the money for it simply because it plays so well to my tastes and seemed so unlikely to get an adaptation. I guess I didn’t need to put my money forward after all. That said, Long Riders might actually be the more exciting of the two. It centers on a college girl who teams up with some friends to enter a long-distance riding event. I’m always happy to see shows about college students and long distance riding is something that’s always been an interest of mine. Getting not one, but two adaptations that combine my two favorite hobbies would have been enough to make this year very special.
But wait, there’s more, we’re also getting an adaptation of Amanchu, the scuba-diving manga by the same author as Aria. I took an interest in Amanchu after finishing Aria and made it one of the few manga I actually read that didn’t already have an anime. It has the same beautiful scenery and peaceful, idyllic feel of Aria. The director of Aria, Junichi Satou, will be involved although it seems his role will be more supervisory than being directly involved as series director. Still, the anime looks promising and it’s hard to complain when a manga like Amanchu gets adapted. I’ve always felt that an Amanchu adaptation would be the next best thing to more Aria.
But why settle for the next best thing when you can have the actual thing? Getting more Aria was always a sort of platonic ideal of the perfect anime announcement. (Yes, even better than more K-ON) But it seemed so unlikely a year ago. The anime and manga had both ended almost a decade ago. With no story left to tell and no new volumes of the manga to sell it seemed like there was no reason for a new Aria anime to exist. And yet, earlier this year they announced that we’d be getting 3 new OVA episodes with the blu-ray boxes. At the time it didn’t fully register with me that we were getting more of an anime I absolutely adore. It wasn’t until several months later when the 90 second trailer aired that it finally sunk in that we’re actually getting more Aria. Watching those characters I love, seeing those Neo Venezian streets I knew so well, and hearing that soundtrack that holds so many fond memories for me was too much. I never thought I’d find myself moved to tears by an anime trailer of all things but Aria is just that special to me. All in all, 2015 was a banner year for new anime announcements. Sometimes you don’t even have to wait for Christmas to get your gifts.