Amaya Kanaka, Iwasawa Saki and Uehara Ayuko are three high school girls who attend school and generally live relatively unexciting lives. That's... about it, really.
And that was also how it was advertized: The show where nothing happened.
Of course, Aiura is not the first show who's had the questionable distinction of "being about nothing", which is, more often than not, false advertising. Then again, by "nothing", most shows tend to mean "not going out on a grand, perilous adventure and living life to the fullest, at all times of the day". In which case, they're certainly right.
Aiura is also another participant in the ever increasing short web animation roster of shows where you barely have time to get the punchline in before the credits roll. While this can work in some cases depending on what you're going for; with some shows, it simply doesn't work quite as well. This show also proceeds to kick its own feet underneath itself by wasting nearly a full minute on its own opening theme; a weird number that seems to be centered around crabs for some unexplained reason. Not helping matters is the fact that said opening theme really isn't that pleasant to listen to, a point that will be driven home if you just watch this show in one sitting. (Which is easy - the whole thing will pass you by in little more than an hour.)
When it comes to the visuals, I have no complaints. The show has a lovely pastel-ish world of greenery and residental areas to display a cast that's generally very easy on the eyes, and then animate them quite efficiently. It's a slow-moving show, but there's a smooth sense of movement and playfulness to their everyday activities. If you're in this for the visuals, I would wager a lot on you being quite satisfied with it. Just don't come looking for anything particularly deep. The show's short runtime already prohibits this, so you're not going to learn anything by the time this show ends. Nor will the show impress you with its wit.
From a comedic standpoint, the show fare much better. Its annoying opening animation w/song aside, most of the comedy in Aiura subscribes to the comedy dialogue delivery, preferably the delivery of snark as a result to someone's lack of cranial capacity. See, Kanaka is an idiot of the lively kind, and Saki has to deal with this idiocy on a regular basis, which has given her plenty of opportunity to develop her sharp tongue. When they all start high-school, they also make a friend out of Ayuko, a short and fairly level-headed girl who immediately bonds with the two. Like I said, the characterisation is a bit shallow, but on the other hand, their actors do a good job of adding some ambiguity to them; you won't really know if Kanaka really is an idiot, or if she's just acting like one to amuse herself. There's also some pontification about Ayuko and how she's incredibly short... to the point where her high-school uniform doesn't fully fit her, and that she can't reach the upper shoe lockers. Thankfully, Aiura never resorts to repeated jokes, so this only gets brought up in the first couple of episodes, and then pretty much left by the wayside. On a more puzzling note, one of the jokes in this show is that there's a 30 year old woman who looks like a high school girl because she likes to dress in high school girl uniforms, and the jokes, along with her whole character, feels kind of meaningless in an otherwise relatively funny show. It's all they do with her: have her show up in uniforms for high school girls and confuse the male teacher.
There really isn't much more to be said about it. It's basically twelve episodes of comedy in three-minute chunks (after subtracting the one minute spent on bad opening sequences that has nothing to do with the main show) with a pretty attractive trio of girls. The show is pretty innocent on the wholesale level, but I can't say that it's completely free of fanservice. There is this odd focus on thighs and hips at random moments throughout the show, which, given how short the skirts are, will feature prominently throughout. Don't expect any panty shots, though, much less any kind of nudity.
Everything considered, Aiura's main flaw is that it's simply over too quickly. It never really establishes its characters beyond their most basic personality traits, so I ended pretty much every single episodes feeling there had to be more to it than this. There was some potential too, because I liked most of the comedy in it, and given how much comedy tend to be a crapshoot in anime, all the better for me. After all, some time after, I suffered through another show that went all out on the adorability scales, but kind of failed at the comedy. I would rather have seen this show get the 23 minute episode treatment instead.
Some pretty good potential, but too short to be of any particular use, which is especially egregious given the opening theme debacle. That said, it was a pretty sweet diversion, and I wouldn't mind seeing this get the full TV series treatment. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Some thigh and leg-based fanservice to be had, sure, but outside of that, there's nothing particularly offensive about this show. Technically, it's appropriate for anyone, but the jokes would probably go a bit above the heads of children.
Version(s) Viewed: Digital stream from Crunchyroll, Japanese with English subtitles.
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Aiura © 2013 Pony Canyon, TV Tokyo, Aiura Production Committee.
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