Aria, The Scarlet Ninny

You know, I think I saw part of this when I was reading the manga. And it was so utterly drenched in stupid, that I failed to comprehend it.

I must have lost some brain cells, because this time, I got it. Ok, I’m not sticking this in spoilers because the show is too stupid to respect it enough. It’s below the fold and that will have to do. Read on if you wish to have your senses assaulted.

For those of you who had managed to delete this series from your consciousness (teach me how!), we’ve got Aria, the title character and pushy pettanko half-British butei. The butei are like private eyes, only with police powers. They even let kids (teens) in training have guns and stuff. And I thought Academy City was a bit crazy, setting up Judgement…

Oh. right. Well, we’ve also got Riko, the equally small but busty classmate who seems sweet on the guy who’s really at the center of the story, Shinji Ikarii. Uh, sorry. Tohyama Kinji. So far, we’ve gone three episodes of mostly mediocre action, with a schtick borrowed from the movie Speed. Mind you, the author liked it so much, the used it not once, not twice, but three times in the first three episodes — starting with a bicycle And the only interesting thing about Shin– Kinji is his hysteria mode, in which he can dodge bullets and shoot with uncanny precision. But he’d rather mope around and claim he hates it.

The writing doesn’t get any better in the fourth episode. Take a deep breath, we’re going for a massive one-episode info-dump……a few years ago The Notorious Butei Killer offed Kinji’s brother and then pinned all of his crimes except that one on Aria’s Japanese mother, who is now sentenced to 864 years in prison, but Aria has sworn to prove her innocent so her sentence will be reduced to only 742 years; fortunately, a copycat butei killer has now cropped up, except Aria’s certain it’s the real one, since her mom’s innocent, which is why she came to Japan to recruit Shinji, uh, Kinji to be her partner, because, as her mother says, all the family detectives need partners just like her great-grandfather and grandfather, and father, and oh well, Aria is mad at Kinji so she leaves Japan on a chartered flight, only thanks to some prodding from friends, plus some information and a little seduction strategy from Riko that seemingly backfires, Kinji’s hysteria mode triggers and he leaves her in the kareoke room as he races to the airport, barely managing to jump on the plane just before it takes off… with the butei killer is on board, targeting Aria, Shin- er Kinji is sure. /gasp/ deeeeeeep breath again…. Never mind logic — the killer is indeed on board, and hijacks the airplane as Aria suffers crying fits due to severe astraphobia, which she instantly is cured the moment the butei killer invites them to come to the bar (very nice chartered plane by the way), and take him on, except they find the stewardess that let Kinji on the plane awaiting them…but it’s really a disguise that she throws off to reveal …. Riko, the amazingly fast girl (in more ways than one, if you know what I mean) from the karaoke room has somehow reached the plane ahead of Kinji and donned her disguise — yes, Riko, classmate of Kinji and Aria is the butei killer, and has been manipulating them all along–but whywhywhywhywhywhyyyyyyyyyyyy???? Because she’s pissed off at being known as “the 4th” all her life! The fourth! The fourth! Never Riko!

The 4th what?

Why Lupin the 4th, of course!


The fourth.

What the fuzzbucket?

All I have to say is that she’s a damn sight better looking than the 3rd, if somewhat more evil. That’s it. No more. I mean, any attempt of mine to address the ridiculousness of her assertion is destined to sink in failure upon the unskilled shores of my plebeian writing talent. No prose so purple as to do this concept justice could possibly flow from my pen. Or keyboard, for that matter.

So why has Riko decided to get Aria together with Kinji and defeat them both? Why because every Holmes had a partner, it’s tradition! Yes, Holmes. You know, Sherlock? Aria’s great-grandfather? Lupin’s greatest enemy and the man who captured him? And now we have Aria Holmes the 4th, on whom Riko Lupin the 4th shall avenge herself and force her family to acknowledge her first name! Her entire criminal career (short as it is) has been centered on destroying Aria!

After which discourse, the two of them engage in a clip-emptying point-blank exchange of gunfire, (hitting each other several times, always in the chest or abdomen where their bulletproof vests stop the bullets cold, even at that range) — until Kinji gets the drop on Riko (Lupin the 4th!) with a knife to the throat. At which point, it turns out that she has her own bizarre ability; like Aria, she’s known as “the Quadra.” Another play on the “fourth” theme, except in Aria’s case it’s because she carries two guns and two swords, but in Riko (Lupin the 4th!)’s case, she’s fully quad-dexterous — her hair is prehensile and can dual wield blades.

Yes, you actually read that.

I just thought gun-wielding teenagers with police powers was hard to swallow.

May God have mercy on the writer’s soul, for he is an incompetent hack, pulling the most inane concepts out of his ass in a futile effort to keep this train — er, plane-wreck interesting. And in a sick way, it is. I have to wonder what’s coming next — a cameo by Poirot the 4th? Sun Tzu the 68th? Shiwan Khan, the last descendant of Genghis Khan? (Wasn’t that a bad omen by which to name oneself?)

So Riko whips out a long blade, gains the advantage on her more follicle-ly challenged foes, and gets off a solid shot to Aria’s shoulder — which unlike all the other hits so far, actually knocks her down… fade to black as Shinji, uh, Kinji screams Aria’s name — instead of doing something useful. Like stabbing Riko vigorously while she’s distracted by her moment of triumph. Or the writer. I’m ok with either.

You know, despite the ridicule, I think I’m going to keep watching this series. It’s actually down there in the “so bad, it’s almost good” territory. Almost. I think they were trying to go all the way with this episode, but alas, such a victory — if you can call it that — will likely be denied to them.

Update: Needs more hysteria mode. That’s what I said about the manga, too.

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2 Responses to Aria, The Scarlet Ninny

  1. Pingback: Still a Scarlet Ninny | Mahou Meido Meganekko

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