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Aqua    by Kozue Amano order for
by Kozue Amano
Order:  USA  Can
TOKYOPOP, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Kozue Amano's Aqua is the prequel to the manga series Aria. However, you do not have to be familiar with Aria to enjoy Aqua.

Akari Mizunashi moves to Aqua (formally Mars, now terraformed to be 90% water) to become one of the legendary Undines, hosts who row the gondolas in Neo-Venezia. Aqua is very beautiful, but she finds a few minor challenges to being an Undine mainly that it is more difficult than the simulations she had practiced on back on Manhome (Earth). Other surprises - such as that the president of the company is a giant Mars cat - await her too. However, Akari makes new friends through her training, and gets to know a little more about President Aria.

Aqua is not a manga to be read for the story. There is no major conflict, and all the chapters just sort of float along. The standout element to Aqua is the larger, establishing panels and the chapter title page art. These are beautiful works that have a watery feel to them, perfect for the theme of the manga. While there are some spots where the characters are inconsistently drawn, the backgrounds are always breathtaking.

If you like your manga to have a deep plot with lots of conflict, then I suggest you look elsewhere. However, if you enjoy manga with lovely art, Kozue Amano's Aqua is for you.

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