Honeymoon in Neo Venezia: Part 2


Read Part 1

The Martian Run

We’ve been to Hong Kong a few times, and let me tell you – even Douglas Adams/Dirk Gently will appreciate the Hong Kong International Airport.

Inthernet in Venice the Origination, makes an interesting observation about ARIA the Animation episode 4:

Ep04 is an anime-original episode and a very random name of “Kai Tak baseKaitaku Base [edited April 2009] was used as a destination for the Undeliverable Letter. “Kai Tak” is obviously not Italian, Esperanto, Japanese nor made-up language which fits in with the world of ARIA.

Someone at HAL Film Maker has an appreciation for aviation history as “Kai Tak” is the name of the old Hong Kong International Airport which was famous for it’s thrilling final approach. Again, a very random name to use for a terraforming base!

It is Kaitaku Base as an anonymous commenter had posted (thanks for the heads-up!) which means “Cultivation Base”. They were “cultivating” water on Mars.

(n,vs) (1) reclamation (of wasteland); cultivation; (2) pioneering; pathfinding; trail-blazing; (P)¹

I think it’s just as well that we depart from Neo Venezia from Hong Kong.


I think it has the size, the location, and utility to serve as the setting for our spaceport for Aqua. We arrive in our usual terminal, taking less than two hours to fly from Manila. As much as we’d enjoy going around the city again, Neo Venezia calls, and the NVTours spacecraft will be leaving soon enough.

While a trip to Aqua using conventional propulsion will still take about 2 years as recorded here on Man-home, Nergal Heavy Industries came from the future to bring chulips and fashioned them into hyperspace gates, allowing for near instant travel from one gate to another. There are gates connecting Man-home, Luna, and Aqua with the Jupiter gate already planned for construction.

sybilant: Oi, sweetie, Hayaku! Don’t be late!

ghostlightning: There’s no rush. Akira will be waiting for us.

sybilant: Who were you talking to anyway?

ghostlightning: Some serviceman headed to SALLA Base on Aqua.  Riber Fruhling, nice guy. He’s a bit down because he misses his girlfriend Misa who he says is somewhere near Pluto being chased by an alien race of giants. Imagine that!

sybilant: That’s nice sweetie, now leave the poor guy alone.


We filed into the aircraft. We’re flying coach so we didn’t expect a lot. However, it appears that Riber Fruhling is an emergency accomodation for the UN Spacy and would somehow displace us from our seats. Mai waifu wasn’t going to have any of this, but the flight attendants told us that they understood that we wanted to be seated together and offered to upgrade us to Business Class at no extra charge. Hell yes, of course we took it.

Upon finding our seats, I find myself seated beside an older gentleman with a bald pate and wearing spectacles. He wore a generous smile behind a full beard. I introduced myself and my wife. And he introduced himself as a representative from Nergal Heavy Industries, Aeolia Schenberg. He would prove to be very affable and he entertained us with conversation during our flight.


ghostlightning: Mr. Schenberg, I assume you’re on your way to Aqua on business…

aeolia shcenberg: Shhhh- I’m meeting my wife, who unfortunately had to get there ahead of me because my work did tie me up.

sybilant: On a “honeymoon” as well?

aeolia shcenberg: Ohohoho, you can say that. I’ve spent my life doing research on energy sources and whatnot. Important work to be sure, but sadly it has almost cost me my marriage.

sybilant: Well, consider yourself lucky that it’s an ‘almost.’ She hasn’t left you yet. ^_^

aeolia shcenberg: True. She is a marvelous woman.

ghostlightning: Waifus are awesome, yeah yeah. What kind of energy research do you do?

sybilant: #-_-

aeolia shcenberg: Ohohoho. She doesn’t know it, and unfortunately we may not realize its full potential in our lifetimes, but I daresay it’s a kind of energy that will connect us all – and help us all understand each other.

sybilant: That’s very interesting!

aeolia shcenberg: It’s an interesting time we’re living in. Normally historians and pundits call this time the CE or Common Era, in addition to calling it post-cold war, post-9/11, etc. However, none of these apellations are apt, and I would argue that these are even harmful.

ghostlightning: I’ve always related to the Philippine context as post-colonial.

aeolia schenberg: Right, but even that is a useless and inaccurate way of looking at contemporary history.

sybilant: What would you call it then?

aeolia schenberg: There’s no better way than to call our time as the “Energy-Climate Era”. Right now, the world is Hot, Flat, and Crowded. We as a species are nearly irreversibly altering planetary climate. There’s way too many of us consuming so much energy. Furthermore, the internet – this series of tubes – has allowed more people to have more power in producing – and consuming more things. Our dependence on fossil fuels, particularly the United States and (now frightfully) China, is going to make the planet much hotter; resulting not only in calamitous weather and climate, but also massive loss of biodiversity.

sybilant: And what are you doing about it?

ghostlightning: Wait, let him finish.

aeolia schenberg: This is what I predict will happen…

  • The battle over green (energy) will define the first part of the 21st century, just like the battle over red (communism) defined the last half of the 20th century.
  • Everyone needs to accept that oil will never again be cheap…
  • Off-shore drilling may be a temporary fix, but it’s not the long-term solution.
  • The fossil-fuel age will end only when we invent our way out of it…
  • The last big innovation in energy production was nuclear power half a century ago, which is an important component to solving our energy problem, but we need additional solutions…

sybilant: Like the windmills in Aqua?

aeolia schenberg: Those are good, but aren’t enough.


sybilant: And what are you doing about it?

aeolia schenberg: Solar energy, only in ways far beyond what we’ve accomplished with it so far. I’m working on engines that process solar energy in a unique way. Nergal Heavy Industries is gung-ho about creating panels that will line the equator, but in space. That’s a fine idea, but I believe I can take it further.

Suddenly we feel the craft make a sudden stop. The calm voice of the captain tells us not to panic. The flight attendants scramble efficiently to pacify the passengers. It seems that some kind of problem has occured on the hyperspace gate, making it dangerous to enter. Of course none of us would want to get stuck in hyperspace, but we’re anxious about making our schedule with Himeya Company.

aeolia schenberg: Don’t worry, we won’t have to re-schedule. I worked with the Captain to allow me to test this new technology as an insurance for these kinds of situations. We will reach Aqua on schedule without having to use the hyperspace gate.

ghostlightning: Wait, what, how?

Schenberg stood up and made his way to the pilots’ cabin. Before long we were recieving instructions to fasten our seatbelts. An additional set of restraints emerged from our seats. I tell sybilant to hold fast and not to worry. Mr. Schenberg may seem a little fanatical, but he seems competent.

aeolia schenberg: Hold on, we’re going to go very fast.

We see the flight attendants assume emergency positions, also accessing atmospheric entry restraints. The lights are dimmed, and further calming instructions issue from the Captain. Then things go quiet, only the hum of the engines can be heard – though there’s a different ring to it. Then suddenly, from the Captain:



Everything turned into pink. And I looked to my left and saw after-images of Aeolia Shenberg, I look to my right and see after-images of mai waifu. I wish I could see my own after-images. I think I passed out, because when I came to, we’ve successfully made atmospheric entry. sybilant calls out to me, “Honey look!”


Buildings on the water. I feel like I remembering love.

¹ Strikeouts are corrections I made due to contributions of the author of the source post found in the comments below.

Recommended Reading

We focused on world-building in today’s post, in our own haphazard wild mashup. This post series is becoming like an Undine Champloo, with a lot of mecha anime science fiction fanboying.
I find Pontifus’ commentary on Aria’s world-building to be quite useful. An excerpt:
Let’s look at that term — “hand-made planet.” Akari seems pleased with the distinction when she mentions it at the bridge during the twelfth episode, but that may not say much; Akari is pleased with everything. In itself, it’s not a positive (or negative) value judgment. In fact, Aria provides two examples of planets impacted by humans: Aqua, the planet formerly known as Mars, made habitable and tranquil by force of human effort, and Earth…I mean, Manhome, which, by all reports, is polluted well beyond the point of unpleasantness. One might argue that Aqua is more hand-made than Manhome, which I suppose holds to scrutiny, but it isn’t really more hand-made by much; consider that, in the Aria-verse, water existed below the surface of Mars, simply waiting for enterprising humans to dig it up. The planet met its “makers” halfway.
For the non-familiar or barely-familiar with the series/franchise, I find lolikitsune’s commentary on what Aria is and isn’t about interesting.
ARIA is a show that is about nothing, really. No, it’s not about the gondoliers on Mars in 400 years. It’s not about a Terran girl coming to Mars and learning to love the rebuilt town of Venice. It’s not about fat dancing cats. If it’s about anything, it’s about people, and how they should appreciate each other and love the world around them. ARIA features a world of wind power, a world without cars, a world of gentle leisure and rewarding hard work.
Dr. lolikit’s post is also useful when one is faced with questions from people who have trouble ‘getting’ Aria. Read it by all means. And if people give you grief about Aria, let Lbrevis know, and she’ll settle things behind the bleachers after school hours the old-fashioned way.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in Dialogues, fanboy, how to remember love and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Honeymoon in Neo Venezia: Part 2

  1. bluemist says:

    Umm… where’s my Akira? LOL kidding.

    While I am oblivious about the various robot/mecha references, I find your conversations with strangers a bit interesting, and really part of the appeal of ARIA. In the real world, one would rarely interact with strangers. But life is mundane and peaceful enough in a utopia that anyone can hit it off immediately with anyone else. Akari is a very prime example, although she’s just on an entirely different level. She’s IMO the most sociable character in the ARIA story, and possibly the whole of Neo Venezia itself.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Doesn’t Aeolia Schenberg remind you of anyone?

      Your comment made me think!

      I actually am close to being this outgoing. While I’m no Mizunashi Akari I do enjoy striking up conversations with just about anyone. It is as you said, the world of Aria is mundane and peaceful enough for this to happen naturally.

      However, try it. Chat people up. It’s not as difficult as it seems. I realize why I chat people up less is because I’ve an inflated opinion of the importance of my own time. I’m always intent on doing or thinking about something – whether it be business or writing.

      This actually gets in the way in experiencing people face-to-face. There used to be little difference between my internet and IRL personableness, but now I socialize more online. While I don’t see this as a problem. I do remember how it is to discover people in the flesh in real time.

  2. moritheil says:

    This neatly sets up the question: does anime have to be about something? Do works have to actually have focus?

    People generally cite the lack of development when criticizing shounen works, as there are only so many variations on fights one can take before a sense of repetition sets in. However, if an overarching story isn’t strictly necessary, then perhaps the limitation of the genre is not in fact lack of story progress but something else instead.

    • ghostlightning says:

      A concept like a limitation is almost entirely a function of viewer/reader expectation.

      If I expect Aria to be a parable of human terraforming and ecological (mis)management I may find myself shortchanged because there is very little direct textual evidence of that theme being present.

      But perhaps more importantly, what is the purpose of the necessity?

      Does anime have to about something? In order to be what?

      To be enjoyable? To be superior? To be a classic?

      You may find different answers depending on which specific question you’re answering.

      I enjoy Lucky Star a lot. I watch a random episode almost every day. However, I’m not going to say that it’s an epitome of animated works. I don’t see myself rewatching many of the shows I considered exemplary. Heck, I don’t even rewatch a good number of my favorites.

      So perhaps you may want to frame your inquiry in more specific terms, because the answers you get may be needlessly complicated and not very illuminating.

  3. Marmoset says:

    I’m a bit confused by what ‘about’ means in this situation. It’s certainly true that Aria never embraces any kind of ‘message’ even though it could very easily turn into an environmental lecture.

    For me Aria has always been about Aqua. Apart from a few landmarks, very few areas are recycled in the series, even though I imagine the undines would have to repeat routes as part of their jobs and training. So we are almost always presented with someplace new and I always feel we are supposed to be exploring Aqua and Neo Venezia in particular, I can’t really think of another series I’ve seen (Planetes maybe?) that spend so much time bringing the stories of the setting to the fore.

    This is where I think the genius of the original author lies (I should look up his/her name). There are many series that have episodic styles but as the setting isn’t strong enough they can descend very quickly into ‘monster/person of the week’, however in Aria, due to the odd environment (and also that these people aren’t trying to kill the main character), these people become part of the setting and add to it (I think Casshern Sins did a similar thing, with less success).

  4. Ho ho. Reading honeymoon posts give me diabetics. Too sweet.

  5. X10A_Freedom says:

    I was literally horrified when I saw this post, as I had been informed Kai Tak post was dubious. After seeing this, I simply had to search for Aria in China’s version of YouTube (YouKu) to check.

    The anonymous commenter was correct. I’ve deleted the said post, and put a note on the main page of my blog.

  6. X10A_Freedom says:

    Pasted from my blog:

    Edit 3rd April, 2009: Deleted Kai Tak entry. Managed to re-watch Aria the Animation Ep04 to check today and it’s definately not “Kai Tak”. It is Kaitaku Base as an anonymous commenter had posted (thanks for the heads-up!) which means “Cultivation Base”. They were “cultivating” water on Mars.

    (n,vs) (1) reclamation (of wasteland); cultivation; (2) pioneering; pathfinding; trail-blazing; (P)

  7. Rakuen says:

    Hey, ghost-san, this is like a trilogy post, right?

    Then the last part would most likely be the real honeymoon part?

    Man, goodluck!

    • ghostlightning says:

      There are two more posts. Watch out for them. ^_^

      We definitely took advantage of Akira-san’s availability.

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