A place I saw in my dreams, to which my heart longs to return

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Writing in National Geographic, Cathy Newman once poetically described a certain Italian city as “neither land nor water, but shimmering somewhere in between”. A place where “time is measured by the breath of tides, and space bracketed by water”.

I’ve been to the real city, and I’ve been to its fictional counterpart. In the years that have passed since those visits, I’ve longed to return to both.

If one speaks of the city in our own world, it may be a while before I can once more glide through the canals and walk along the streets of that heart-achingly beautiful place…

…but where its imaginary sister is concerned, I may soon get my chance.

Diego’s day in Castello, Venice

I’ve always had the intention of blogging actively about my travels. As to why that noble intention hasn’t translated into a regular series of travel posts . . . well, I can name any number of excuses: work, acedia, bubonic plague, global warming, etc. (All right, scratch the third one, and I profess a contrarian’s views when it comes to the fourth. But we’ll let the first two stand.)

I haven’t given up entirely on the whole enterprise though, so let’s have another crack at it – this time with a brief account of my November 2011 walk through the back streets of Castello in Venice.

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Farewell, my Aquamarine

When our paths crossed, you offered me your hand.

When my mind was troubled, you offered me solace.

When I longed to flee from the world, you offered me a safe refuge.

Now we must part, and I surrender you with joy.

Awash in golden waves

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I’ve just finished watching episode 9 of Aria the Origination.

It’s a bit like watching the sunset. Elation at witnessing a scene of indescribable beauty, mingled with sorrow over such a painful reminder of how little of the day remains.

In this case, that precious remnant is measured in the length of four episodes.

But let us not speak of them now. There will be a time and a place to sate our thirst with the last drops of sunlight that precede the evening of the world.

This time and this place are reserved for this alone: to savour the warmth of the dying embers of a pivotal moment in the series that I no longer hesitate to rank amongst the very best I have had the pleasure of inviting into my company.

To Alice, my heartiest congratulations.

To Akari, my very best wishes.

To Aika, my desperate plea for mercy as she arranges a painful meeting between my head and her oar for filling this post with embarrassing remarks. (Which, as we all know, are forbidden.)

Cheerio.

Unboxing Aria the Origination

First of all, an apology to the readership: my long-delayed review of Evangelion 1.11 probably won’t see the light of day for quite some time. Things have been a little crazy around here, so much so that I’ve had to drastically limit the hours I fritter away on the internet. Until today I wasn’t even aware of the recent developments on Random Curiosity (one of my favourite places on the anime blogosphere). Sic transit gloria mundi.

In any case, I shall probably have a little time for a couple of brief posts this weekend, including a quick unboxing session for Right Stuf/Nozomi Entertainment’s DVD release of Aria the Origination.

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Final season of ARIA due out in March 2010

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This news is a little old, but worth giving a bump in eager anticipation of the upcoming release.

A couple of weeks ago, RightStuf announced on their official site that the third and final series of the ARIA franchise, ARIA the Origination, will hit store shelves on the 2nd of March 2010. The box set will include all thirteen episodes of the series AND the 2007 TV special Aria the OVA ~Arietta~.

For more information and updates, visit the official website.

Here’s a stocking stuffer for the dedicated ARIAphile (artbook review alert)

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We ARIA fans can be a picky lot. If you’re saddled (cursed?) with one of us on your shopping list, play it safe with a copy of ARIA the Illustration – Avvenire, a compilation of artwork related to the ARIA anime series.

Read the full text of my review on Wolf Hurricane.

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