「その 暖かなさよならは…」 (Sono Atataka na Sayonara wa…)
“That Warm Goodbye…”

Firstly, an apology. The month of April was a hectic one for me, even pushing its way into May, and I totally missed the second episode of ARIA The Avvenire getting subbed. Completely mea culpa on that one. But, I thought, better late than never, and decided to write something for it anyway, if only for completeness’ sake. Somebody poke me in June so that I will cover the last episode in a timely fashion.

Like with To You Whom I Wanted to Meet, That Warm Goodbye… is a tale of two halves, featuring both the old guard and the new, though I think that there’s more time devoted to the newbies compared to the first episode—as it should be, as the next generation needs time to come into their own, or at least get a proper introduction. Meet Azusa B. McLaren (Nakahara Mai) and Anya Dostoyevskaya (Kayano Ai), both of whom have too much name to actually remember (‘Aino Ai’ is much better). At least their names follow the proud tradition of also starting with ‘A’ (which probably actually makes things harder to remember). That’s not the only trend they continue, too; I enjoyed how they obviously take certain traits from their senpai, but also have small bits of their own characters, including their own set of super-deformed faces. And, of course, the most common trait between all ARIA characters is that they’re unfailingly friendly. It’s good to see the positivity continue.

While it’s great to see more of the new Singles after just a glimpse of them last time, since it lets us pretend that there’s a new ARIA sequel going on, the main attraction of the episode and the thing I really wanted to talk about was Cait Sith. Cait Sith is interpreted slightly differently in the anime compared to the manga. For starters, in the manga he was (spoiler warning) revealed to be Akari’s pen pal, while that role was fulfilled by Ai in the anime, so the relationship between the two is a bit less personal here. I’m not going to discuss the difference too much though, because director Satou Junichi has been excellent and I stand by all his adaptation decisions, and because I think Cait Sith in either version was, above all, about magic.

In the post about the first episode of The AVVENIRE I talked about how one of the abiding qualities of ARIA was nostalgia. I would say that ‘magic’ is another one. I often describe ARIA as ‘magical’ as a form of superlative, but this time I refer to a different matter, to a certain level of fantasy that is woven into its setting. Since That Warm Goodbye… is the ‘NATURAL‘ edition of The AVVENIRE (bundled with The NATURAL, uses Euphoria as its OP), it’s quite appropriate for it to send off Cait Sith (adapting one of the later manga chapters), since The NATURAL probably deals with the supernatural (get it?) of Aqua as one of its primary foci. The magic ties well with the nostalgia in ARIA, because they come from the same source—childhood. Only children can see faeries, and Akari had held on to her inner child longer than most. It’s not just about being able to see the mythical king of cats, but also in being able to see the magic in everything. The magic of Aqua is interwoven into the city itself, where the narrow alleys are not dangers, but explorations, where there are no strangers, only new friends, where there are cats everywhere. It’s a fairy tale, sure, but it feels real because this is how the world should be. It’s the childlike sense of wonder that seems to be lost as one gets older and more cautious, cynical, and busy. Even Akari must bid farewell to Cait Sith. It’s not only the world that changes, but also worldview. We are not Peter Pan, but Wendy. But that doesn’t mean we can’t hold onto a fragment of that joy and wonder, or else what are we passing to the next generation?

I think this magic is why ARIA is so special to me as an anime fan. To me, ARIA is anime. As a child, I watched anime. As an adult, I watch anime. One can never be too old for a bit of magic in their lives. It’s never too late for ARIA.

Full length images: 09, 10.


ED1.02 Sequence

ED: 「ピアチェーレ」 (Placere) by 西沢幸奏 (Nishizawa Shiena)


  1. First off, the first half was pure bliss. It was everything that made Aria great with new characters.

    As for the second half of the episode, I’m mixed on it. It was taken from the manga in which I was happy to see it finally animated but they kinda missed out giving tribute to the blu rays it was sold along with. In the manga, Alice runs down the previous mysteries which Akari experienced and the stone was the last one for for her to experience. It’s a shame they couldn’t do a refresher of the previous mysteries. Instead we get a montage of the some of the mysteries of Aqua mixed in with other scenes scenes from the series.

    On the montage in the ED, I recognize every scene except for the the 8th one, the one right before the graveyard. Is that where Grandma meets Aria?

    1. I think I can understand the changes. For one, there’s time constraint, but Akari has definitely experienced more than seven mysteries in the anime. I don’t think there’s a strict need to be too specific. Wanting to see Cait Sith was enough.

      (I didn’t recognise that ED picture either. I don’t think it’s where Grandma met Aria, since I’m assuming the ED’s all scenes from The NATURAL.)

      1. I can see your point on time constrains. The thing is each of the seven mysteries, actually I need to correct myself it’s actually seven wonders, all have to deal with Cait Sith.
        1. Secret meeting of cats
        2. The cafe on the extremely hot day
        3. The festival where Cait Sith appears in costume.
        4. The graveyard
        5. The cat train ride
        6. The unfortunate stone.
        7. According to Athena explaining to Alice in the manga, meeting Cait Sith is the 7th wonder.

        Since all this takes place in the natural, it makes sense this story is for the natural box set. Perhaps the main reason they couldn’t do the scene and explanation is the seiyuu for Athena passed away?

      2. You could well be right (though I can imagine ways to do the reference even if they have no intention of replacing the talented Kawakami Tomoko, rest her soul). But I do think that there are far more than mysteries or wonders or what have you to Aqua beyond the seven listed; some Cait Sith show up for, some he does not. Of course, we’ll never know the actual reason why the scene was omitted; my only point is that there can be many.

  2. <blockquoteWhile it’s great to see more of the new Singles after just a glimpse of them last week
    Been a long week, there. 😉

    The idea that Akari has to “grow up,” to stop being able to see the magic in everything… I reject it. That is who she is. That is what has made her character, and frankly, the entire series of ARIA, so wonderful for so long. Akari’s ability to see the joy in all sorts of things that most people wouldn’t even think to stop and look at has been the biggest factor in making this series the wonderful, healing work that it has been for so long. If this OVA is saying she has to stop being that way in order to “grow up,” then this OVA does not exist as far as I’m concerned. It is. Not. ARIA.

    1. I believe the ability to see the magic in everything and the ability to see magical elements in Aqua is separated. The whole of Natural more like a transitory phase, she simply slowly grow up and as time passes, things will change. Afterall, the whole point of Origination is about the changes in a seemingly unchanging daily life.

      Akari did not lost the ability to see the “magic” in everything. It’s simply she and Cait Sith needs to part away, just like how every things in the world.

    2. Firstly, too much episodic blogging. I’m going insane. But it’s fixed.

      Secondly, I would second what zeroyuki92 is saying. If you recall, while Akari never stopped being the way that she is, in Origination the supernatural stopped happening entirely. Adults cannot see faeries, and one can’t stop time, but there’s still wonder in the world.

      1. You may be right. I’ve been having a very depressing last couple of days due to life stuff, so I’m quite likely inclined to jump to negative conclusions at the moment.

        Even when this episode first came out, I read about it, and then couldn’t bring myself to watch it. It just seemed too sad to me to have Akari have to say goodbye to that little glimpse she got into the magic of Aqua.

        I also admit that it took me months to watch the finale of Origination, because I don’t actually handle mono no aware very well. Even though that is often inextricably linked with slice of life series, and had clearly been referenced as part of ARIA, the series had clearly shown the passing of season after season without actual “time” apparently passing: Alice remained in school, Akari and Aika remained in their mid-teens rather than growing up, Ai was still a child, etc.

        But in Origination the passage of time was no longer stagnant. It had become undeniable that the girls had grown, and matured, and were growing up: becoming the prima undines they’d always said they wanted to be. And knowing that that meant an end to most of the things I had loved about the series, I couldn’t handle it very well. I still can’t handle it very well. Yes, that’s “life,” but as I indicated in the first paragraph of this post, there are some parts of life that I also cannot handle very well. Sometimes when those overwhelm me, I escape from them into books, or video games, or anime. Having my escape then feed me back some of the same melancholy that I came to it to avoid being depressed by in the real world is… not good for my state of mind, let me say.

        ..Sorry, I’m talking too much. It’s too late for me to be trying to make big posts. What was I trying to say again?

      2. Back then, I was also have the same sentiment as Wanderer.

        But as the time passes, and I became old myself (oh God way too old to cry every time I watch new Avvenire episode or when ‘Undine’ started playing), I realized that… well, it’s unavoidable.

        I can still see the little wonder in my grey, gloomy, adult world; but then again, as my most-respected-tazmania-whisperer author said above: “It’s not only the world that changes, but also worldview”, and if I may add, it’s also us, eventually.

        So, donmai, donmai, don’t worry about the changes in Akari, or this world. What we should worry is, if we change into something weird that makes Anya needs to take drastic measure and send you to the

      3. (Embarrassingly, I’ve never actually been to Tasmania.)

        There’s a great extra chapter of the ARIA manga, Aquaria, that deals with all of this quite well. It’s from the point of view of Alicia, and about wanting to stop time. In it, Akari expresses a neat little sentiment about treasuring the bittersweet feeling of goodbye as well. I recommend that you check it out, if you haven’t already; it should be on batoto, at least. If you’re having a tough time, hopefully a bit more ARIA will make it even a tiny bit better.

        I don’t think we’re supposed to come out of ORIGINATION feeling melancholic, though. Sure, ARIA ended, but it always made the point that a goodbye also leads to a new beginning (hence the name). With that said, Amanchu anime next season.

      4. I don’t think we’re supposed to come out of ORIGINATION feeling melancholic, though.

        I personally do not easily get past the “having to say goodbye to the people you know and love and the joyful times you’ve had together” part. That’s just not a message I handle well: it’s a personal weakness of mine. I know the series ultimately ends positively, and I was delighted to see Ai as Akari’s new Pair, but that positive bit wasn’t enough to drive away the melancholy of what had come before it.

        With that said, Amanchu anime next season.

        I’ve been waiting for that one ever since I first discovered Amanchu. When I heard they were finally making it… If it’s done well, and Junichi Sato being chief director is a good sign, then it could easily be the best thing since ARIA.


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