In many ways Amanchu marks a change in direction for Kozue Amano, yet paradoxically bears many similarities to Aria.
The semi futuristic Mars of Aria is replaced by a contemporary earth of this series as Kohinata Hikari, a part time scuba diver and newly starting high school student, meets and befriends Ooki Futaba, a quite and withdrawn newcomer to the coastal town of Ito [the setting for this series]who through her encounters [and experiences with]hikaru, begins to open her eyes to this fabulous new world, and at the time open her heart as well.
As to be expected Kosue’s artwork is the crowning feature for this series – everything, from the wetsuits hikaru and ooki wear to the town and the countryside, are lent an almost realistic nature, but without the telltale signs of being traced from a photograph – even his work on the underwater scenes make you feel that you are underwater with the girls.
With a great supporting cast, in the guise of teacher and scuba club instructor Katori Mato, and the two senior classmates, and fellow club members [and also brother and sister] Ai and Makoto, this series has animated adaptation written all over it.
Don’t be shy – dive on in!