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I'm on Episode 5, but so far with the exception of one character, all the other named characters start with あ, like Aika, Akari, Alice, Ai, Allan.

This seems to be done on purpose because the Undine who's training Aika in Himeya is named Akira when it could have been easier to give her a different name so as to not confuse her with Akari who Alicia trains.

It also seems to not be limited to Undine or their customers because Akatsuki is a Salamander.

So is it on purpose that all the characters are named starting with あ? If so, why? And why is the Sylph from Episode 4, Woody, the exception?

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    Somebody asked the exact same question on chiebukuro; the answer given was that there probably isn't any deep reason for it (just authorial preference). Also the real name of "Woody" is apparently "Ayanokoji", so that's an "a"-name too. (I don't know anything about Aria.) – senshin Jun 11 '17 at 3:36
  • Aika's mentor is named Akira, like the Katsuhiro Otomo manga. Kozue Amano, the manga-ka, may have named all the characters starting with a, but she wasn't quite perverse enough to start giving them the same names as each other. – Torisuda Jun 11 '17 at 4:35
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Aria and its precursor, Aqua, came about because the author, Amano Kozue, wanted to write a story about her experience in Venice and her favorite pet cat at the time, Aria (title drop!). In fact, according to the Japanese Wikipedia article, the manga was introduced as 「水と猫の物語」, a story about water (aqua) and cats, in its early serialization.

Because Amano loves cats so much, she incorporated many cat-related elements into her story: Cait Sith, Night on the Galactic Railroad and Alice Carroll as a homage to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland which features the Cheshire Cat. There, another character whose name doesn't start with あ; the cat mascot of Himeya also doesn't have a name that starts with あ (Hime happens to be the name of one of Amano's cats).

So yea, sharing the same initial with her favorite pet cat, as well as having Alice as a main character and aqua and acqua alta as an important theme, are probably enough to set the mangaka on a naming craze.

References

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