A quick note before my review: I haven’t watched Aria the Scarlet Ammo, and have no intention of doing so. With that done, it’s time for a review.
Aria the Scarlet Ammo AA, or Hidan no Aria AA, is a side story of Aria the Scarlet Ammo which focuses on E-ranked Butei Akari Mamiya.
It was produced by the studio Doga Kobo, directed by Takashi Kawabata and written by Fumihiko Shimo.
In Aria the Scarlet Ammo, ‘Butei’, or armed detectives, are trained in school in order to combat a worldwide increasing crime rate.
This side story focuses on Akari Mamiya, who is amongst the lowest rank of Butei. She idolises Aria Kanzaki, and aims to be just like her.
A big part of the plot of Aria the Scarlet Ammo AA is Akari’s desire to become Aria’s Amica – basically, a senior student providing guidance to junior on a one-to-one basis for a year.
Akari and her fellow pupils are in the spotlight for this spin-off, with plenty of screentime for Aria as well. Characters from the main series make appearances too.
Despite Akari’s desire to be a Butei, she has trouble when it comes to hurting people – not a good trait to have in that particular line of work.
As far as characters go, Akari isn’t really much to write home about. Fortunately, her friends happen to be more interesting.
First is Shino Sasaki, who has very strong feelings for Akari – this does lead to some jealousy and a couple of confrontations because she is very possessive. Later on she becomes a little more relaxed about it, though she does gain a rival for Akari’s affections which does lead to some funny situations.
Next is Raika Hino, a tall girl who is concerned about her image – she doesn’t think of herself as very feminine. Her relationship with Akari is as a friend, though she does gain her own group of admirers – all of which are young girls.
Another character of some importance is Aria Holmes Kanzaki. She claims to prefer to fight alone, but she always seems to have some form of backup with her… There isn’t really much else to say about Aria.
Other characters join Akari’s group over the course of the series, with one of the best starting out as something of a jerk – though events transpire which makes her a much better character, who wants to do… uh, various ‘things’ with Akari.
Aria the Scarlet Ammo AA has some action scenes, but they aren’t exactly high octane. A few are more slow-paced and methodical, but overall the action just feels lacking.
Character interaction is arguably one of this series’ main strengths. As mentioned before, there are some funny situations that arise due to Akari’s all-female harem (it’s never directly acknowledged, but that’s pretty much what this show is), and this is one of the cases where the supporting cast are much better than the main characters.
There are some dark moments, but this series would probably be better off without them – there’s a lot of light-hearted fare here, and that’s fine.
Not for everyone – character interaction is fun to watch, but action scenes are lacking. Oh, and some yuri thrown into the mix, too.