The Aria Business Empire
Many have wondered exactly how President Aria made his millions, but in his inimitable fashion, he has only answered “punyu!” to the many questions directed at him. Nonetheless, Tuesday Rumble wasn’t willing to leave it at that, and so we have decided to delve into the origin and growth of what we now know as one of the universe’s most successful business empires.
Like all the best entrepreneurs, President Aria built himself up from nothing, with his dream of hitting the big time beginning in his early years. Whilst roaming the back streets of Neo Venezia, Aria dreamed of the day when he would be able to afford his own hat, and resolved to find a business partner to help him achieve this mighty dream. After some consideration, he selected Akino, an undine from Himeya Company, and the pair set up their first and most enduring enterprise- Aria Company.
Although it was hard to break into a market already dominated by Himeya and Orange Planet, Aria’s business acumen and his talent for hiring the best people helped Aria Company build up a legendary reputation- and all the while a steady trickle of profits began accumulating in the president’s bank account. Even so, for an entrepreneur of Aria’s level, it was not enough- he knew he would have to branch out.
With the help of Aqua’s foremost feline power, Cait Sith, Aria began to branch out his enterprises, dealing with numerous companies and even, rumour has it, allying himself with the Neo Venezian mafia. With his charming manner and inimitable ‘punyu’, Aria became a household name, with the numerous products he endorsed gaining immense popularity.
These days, Aria has risen high enough that he likes to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labours where possible, but don’t be fooled by his laid back attitude- behind the scenes this feline heavyweight is always popping into company meetings and keeping up with the latest developments in the business pages, and if there’s a good investment to add to his impressive portfolio, he isn’t one to pass it up.
Shion no Ou 18
“I’ve had to make do with night after night of Hyper Self Pleasure!”
“HARD GAY is serious now!”
“The strength to Pleasure many lovers in one night!”
“Ayumi, don’t even try to run away- you’re my bitch now.”
“We can observe some naked men from there.”
“I’m no longer a trap- I’m openly HARD GAY.”
“I had to come out of the closet.”
“Could it be that mere generics weren’t meant to have wild nights of Pleasure?”
Yasuoka’s wife catches him watching adult videos on his laptop.
Welcome to our regular feature based on the TV program of the same name, in which anime characters try to market their great idea to five fat cats of anime! President Aria made his fortune in the gondola industry of Neo Venezia, and is now CEO of a well-known company. Mikoto started her business in the capital of Wind Bloom, and is now a trusted advisor to the queen, with business partners scattered across the world. The Admiral’s first business venture was to invest in a Chinese restaurant, but a meteor threat to Earth saw her buy shares in ground and space based defence technology, which she currently administers with her protégé “The General” (aka Shogun). Mr Tibbs started his career as a tea cat for the bank, but his sound grasp of finance saw him rise up the ranks until he became one of their most prominent managers. Finally, The Cardinal is the world’s most powerful fat cat, with a wide range of business interests that ensure that he has a paw in every pie (often literally, depending on his appetite). These five cats represent some heavyweight investment clout in every sense of the word, but is any deal attractive enough to get them to roll off their backsides and shake paws with a budding entrepreneur?
This week two brand new entrepreneurs have dared to brave the Den- merchant Lawrence Craft and his business partner Horo. Can they win over the Dragons with their confident sales pitch?
Lawrence: Hello Dragons, my name is Lawrence, a freelance merchant looking for a fast investment of some fifty-odd Rumione in my company. We are traders who travel across the country dealing in everything from furs and pepper to armour and even, of late, gold smuggling.
Cardinal: Gold, eh- I like the sound of that- but why do you need such a swift investment?
Lawrence: Er, well, the thing is- we’re in a bit of debt at the moment.
Mr Tibbs: Debt? Do you think the Dragons are your personal bank? I’m out!
Horo: Ah, but they do say that an entrepreneur who is in debt is also in business, don’t they?
Cardinal: Hahaha, I like your spunk!
Aria: Punyu? [Do you deliver to Neo Venezia?]
Lawrence: Not at the moment…
Horo: …but it will be easy enough to alter our trade routes.
Mikoto: What about Windbloom?
Horo: We can deliver anywhere you need.
The Admiral: Do you deal in spaceship parts?
Lawrence: I can’t say we even know what a spaceship is, but we have this armour here.
Admiral: Nice try, but I know that armour is worthless at the moment, so I’m out.
Cardinal: If I give you the money, what exactly are you going to do with it?
Lawrence: Pay off my debt, and then continue trading as normal. Of course, you’ll get a share of any future profits I make.
Mikoto: And if you go out of business?
Lawrence: I’m a main character- I can’t go out of business!
Cardinal: I have a good feeling about you two- especially the girl with the ears and tail. Please accept my investment, and may we do good business from now on.
Horo and Lawrence have managed to entice the Cardinal into investing, but will he appear in a future episode of Spice and Wolf? Tune in to find out!
This Week in Anime
Apples continue their takeover of SaiMono.
Dango and Go in the same screencap- this is just too much!
World’s largest fruit cocktail spotted.
“No apple is going to get the better of me!”
“Take heart, Shuurei- we can fight the apple invasion with the aid of these peaches!”
Shannon has a particularly disappointing HORSE session.
“Oh my god, he’s been killed by apples.”
“Here, little girl, take this delicious apple and join the revolution!”
“Now, let’s play Yu-Gi-Oh!”
“Gun may beat Knife, but Fork is the deadliest of all!”
Annual vegetable conference begins.
Tangerines are always watching us.
I have a Sony Vaio, er, I mean Avio.
Flash Game Review: The Big Red Button
All of us possess that innate desire to press the Big Red Button, and now you can do so- repeatedly. Less of a game than a clicking exercise, the idea of the Big Red Button is simply to ignore repeated warnings not to press said button, and keep on clicking it just to see what happens next. According to the game, there is also a hidden white button, but the truth of this statement has yet to be revealed.
Mini-editorial: Sticking with the formula?
When a series reaches a certain length, it gets thrust into a catch-22 situation- should it stick with the formula that got it this far, or should it try to evolve and update, possibly losing the very qualities that made it great in the first place? In order to fully examine this question, we will be delving not only into the world of anime, but also that of American TV shows, asking whether it would be better to simply cut things off in their prime.
Be it Keroro Gunso, School Rumble, Stargate SG-1 or even The Simpsons, there comes a time when you’ve used the same old format so often that the audience cannot help but tire of it. Even so, that won’t deter some of these old stalwarts; they have their setup and it’ll be a cold day in hell before they part with it. Used that joke before? Don’t worry, it was five years ago- no one will remember. Still stuck in the same old love triangle? Oh well, you can throw in a bit of development and then reset it.
Unfortunately, no matter how great something is to start with, the more you have of it, the less appealing it tastes, and indeed, those series that stick with the formula generally suffer for it, alienating their core fanbase and often turning into a tired parody of its former self. We’ve all seen it happen, but is the alternative any better?
If the static model is to be avoided, then can a series avoid death by trying to evolve and update? Old characters may be replaced with new, relationships may be developed and longstanding feuds resolved, but what are we, the viewer, left with? Gone are the very character and story dynamics that drew us to the series in the first place- instead, we have a bunch of new (and usually not very likable) characters, new adversaries and probably a few continuity errors to go with them. Did the Lead really have a previously unmentioned mother, father and brother? Was the former greatest power in the universe really a minor force compared to the new enemy? Why are we even watching this series anymore?
It seems, then, that the only answer to retaining quality is for a series to end on a high, choosing a “less is more” route. Sadly, in these days of commercialism, as long as there is money to be made, a series is more likely to simply be spun out for as long as it is profitable- regardless of the inevitable loss in quality.
Harem of the week: Samatarou (Kamisama Kazoku)
It’s hard being the son of God, and even more so when numerous women are after you- each of them possessing powers of their own.
Tenko: Samatarou’s guardian angel and main girl- has a typical on/off relationship with him.
Kumiko: The other woman at school, with more to her than meets the eye.
Meme: Samatarou’s little sister and token loli.
Misa: The sexy and troublesome older sister.
Venus: Despite being his mother, the high fanservice content of the series still qualifies her for the harem.
Osamu: The old man still wants all the girls for himself.
The making of Azure Flame: Weekly Round-Up
In an ideal world, the Weekly Round-Up evolves naturally during the week- anime is watched when it is released, and then written about, building up an article that can be published without effort come Friday. Of course, as one can imagine, it often doesn’t work that way, with much of the viewing and writing about anime somehow accumulating until it must all be tackled on Thursday night (or, where time allows, Friday itself). Even so, once everything is finally viewed and written about (or put off until next week), the next stage is to pick out one screencap from the archives for the introduction, and then insert any amusing screencaps from the episodes themselves within the actual article.