Neo Venezia, the pride of planet Aqua, is a quaint city filled with canals and easy-going people. Many companies operate their gondolas on the canals, giving tours to tourists and locals alike, but the most famous of them is the Aria Company. Follow the adventures of Aria's young apprentice, Akari, as she learns the tricks of the trade from her beautiful senior, Alicia. Together with her friends Aika and Alice, apprentices of rival companies, and their seniors Akira and Athena, they train their skills as gondoliers, meeting new people and learning new things about the city each day.
One afternoon on her way home from school, Haru saves a cat from getting run over by a truck and promptly gets the shock of her life when it stands on its hind legs to thank her. That night, she is greeted by a parade of felines who inform Haru that her earlier heroics saved the prince of the Cat Kingdom. Haru suddenly finds herself inundated with gifts of mice and catnip as means of thanks, culminating in the announcement that she will be taken to their kingdom to marry the prince. With no desire to marry Prince Lune, Haru turns to The Baron and Muta from the Cat Bureau for help, but unable to stop them, Haru is swept away by a horde of cats. Can Haru prevent this marriage of inconvenience and return home before she becomes a cat herself?
Neko is essentially a long Aria episode: starts with an escape, goes nowhere, cats in the middle. It has sword fighting, but you're never afraid. Both are good for this lighthearted yet warm feeling.
Both Aria the Animation and the Cat Returns are very nice animes with very uplifting stories. Aria is more slow-paced, though that difference can be accounted for the short amount of time comparatively with a television show and a film. The stories will both have you smiling at the end.
A young woman quietly falls to the earth, escorted by a solitary crow. This sort of dream, as many other before have dreamed, comes just before being reborn as a Haibane, a charcoal-winged angel. On the outskirts of the walled-in city lies Old Home, a haven for Haibane to study, live, and learn, while waiting for their chance to ascend to the heavens and escape the confines of their new world. Rakka is the newest inhabitant of Old Home who wants nothing more than to remember her past and discover the secrets of her kind. Together with Reki, Kuu and plenty of other new friends, Rakka will laugh, explore, and search for the meaning of their existence in the process.
A recommendation with a little warning. While Haibane Renmei get's fairly heavy around the ending and Aria the Animation stays laid back at all times, I still see these two as the perfect recommendation for each other. Out of all the shows I've seen so far, these two shows are the only ones that have succeeded at presenting such an idyllic, tranquil setting and are excellent, soothing Slice of Life series. Perfectly fitting music, amazing enviroment- and clothing design and great ambiance. As long as you don't mind the difference between some drama towards the ending and a fully tranquil experience, these two are the perfect recommendation for each other!
On a day like any other, average middle-school-student Yurie Hitotsubashi got the surprise of a lifetime – she became a goddess! Unfortunately, even with her newfound powers, Yurie still can’t manage to find the courage to confess to Kenji, her crush. With Yurie’s fame comes others’ fortune; Matsuri, caretaker of the local shrine, names Yurie the shrine’s new goddess and becomes her manager – for yen and glory! Along with Yurie’s faithful best friend Mitsue, the trio set forth on an adventure to find out what it really means to become a goddess.
Kamichu and Aria are about atmosphere; they have a slow-paced, relaxing mood in which characters are trying to find out more about what they are supposed to do.
Despite being cats, the presidents in Aria also reminded me of the creatures in Kamichu. Another thing is that both could be looked at as slice of life anime. Needless to say, there are quite a few similarities here.
You may ask "what does anime about Shinto goddess have to do with anime about riding a gondola". And you are right - storywise they have absolutely nothing in common.
But in termes of light-hearted and heart-warming both are at the same level. They both focus strongly on the mood and entertains viewers with short stories about the daily lifes and growth of characters. And even though Kamichu have a bit more romance and comedy, while Aria shows some nute of nostalgy here and there I'm sure if you love the one you'll love the other.
Hazumu is a shy and quiet boy who loves flowers and is forced to rely on his tomboy childhood friend Tomari as a bodyguard. Yasuna is the prettiest girl in school but she avoids men like the plague… until she meets Hazumu. Encouraged, he confesses his love; heartbroken, he heads for the mountains to be with his flowers. As if Hazumu’s troubles aren’t enough, his day is further ruined when an alien ship accidentally kills him. Luckily, alien technology exists that can revive him, but not without a price: Hazumu returns from the dead, but in the form of… a cute girl?!
The cheery Kobato Hanato is on a mission to heal people’s damaged hearts and gather the resulting “konpeito”; she must collect one hundred of these candy-shaped trophies in order for her deepest wish to be granted: to go to a certain place. Along the way, she’s accompanied by an ever-disgruntled, talking stuffed animal of a guardian named Ioryogi who scores her efforts, attempts to keep her on-track, and reminds her of the rules governing her task: she only has one year to fulfill her goal and she must not, under any circumstance, fall in love with someone whose heart she heals.
Both these series overlay slice-of-life stories and artistically inspiring locales. They each have supernatural elements, but these elements aremore of a story telling and flavoring devices rather than a main focus. The true focus is on the heroines of each story, both of which share many traits - kind, warm-hearted, hard working, and people lovers - who do their very best to share the beauty they see all around them with others. In doing so, they attract and befriend the supernatural forces that silently watch over them.
Both are great watches for people who want to watch a series that makes you feel good. The women in the series are drawn beautifully without need of needless ecchi moments. Soundtracks are great and both series compliment each other.