Anime shows with few minute episodes seem to be more popular than ever. In this review we look at Aiura, a slice of life show about three girls who enter high school.
It seems to be getting more popular, few minute episodes. I don’t know the exact reasons why a studio considers these short of shows, but I can guess it’s quite a lucrative business. You need less crew and create episodes in a shorter amount of time. This makes overall production values cheaper. Instead of publishing approximately three episodes per blu-ray, you can now publish the whole show in one go. Another cost reduction as a result.
When an anime series becomes short, the attention to story becomes less of a factor. As a studio you have to cut a lot of story to fit in the short time per episode. But you have a less chance of creating dull moments, you select the story elements that are best suited for the series.
Aiura made a right mixture within its run. It showed scenery and combined it with slow paced slice of life story elements. From moments in class, a visit to a shop or the walk towards school. All these elements were briefly portrayed in a few scenes. The scenes were short but powerful despite not all characters being present every time. Aiura explored its characters and gave them a place within the setting.
The series revolved around the life of three different high school girls. They all have different, yet stereotypical, characters that take the step to encounter high school life. Where the other one is more dominant, the other is fragile and shy. The last one has too much energy and is an extrovert. These are very typical character traits we’ve all seen too many times. But because Aiura was short, the viewer didn’t have time to get annoyed.
Despite the characters having stereotypical character types, they interacted on a natural level with each other. They are a normal friend group with recognizable traits. We all know somebody that resembles one of the characters in Aiura. Because they are relatable, Aiura feels familiar and trustworthy.
Yes, the characters were predictable. Yes, they were nothing special. They weren’t original in any way, but considering the genre Aiura was in, the characters fit perfectly. When watching a slice of life genre anime you don’t expect a series to be innovative, you don’t watch it for epic historical battles of biblical proportions. You watch a slice of life series because the characters won’t do anything out of the ordinary, they won’t save the world or travel to another planet. They just live their lives and you get a peek from what they encounter in their daily lives.
Aiura’s visual style resembles watercolor on a canvas. The colors aren’t overly bright and match the lightweight story. The visuals aren’t Kyoto Animation like, but still have their own unique atmosphere. There are no 3D-rendering images or other technical mumbo-jumbo. Aiura is peaceful in its story telling and is colorfully displayed to the audience.
From the perspective of a slice of life genre enthusiast, this show is a must watch. Its short, it’s simple and is a perfect snack between all the full fletched shows. This is four minutes of enjoyment with cuteness and lightweight story telling.
Aiura doesn’t try to do anything revolutionary. This show has landed down upon us, to entertain us and do nothing else beyond the set boundaries within its genre. When you are looking for a snack between all the other ‘hardcore’ anime, this will not disappoint. Unless you are a fan of mystery or action genre anime, this won’t be the anime for you. All things considered I give this show a 9 out of 10. Aiura was a series I enjoyed from start to end and hope this will get a second season.