Aja is the tomboy of the Holograms. Tinkering around with machinery is not
an uncommon occurance, particularly Synergy, in fact, since she is probably
the closest thing to a mechanic the Holograms have (Rio of course cant assist
with Synergy). She's also quite a personality. In Video Wars Jerrica labels
her 'stubborn and unreasonable', and it's true that she is very stubborn as
a character, but unreasonable she never is. She has an incredible amount of
perception, and is able to read deeper into people's characters than perhaps
Kimber or Raya can - an example of this is how she is not taken in by Riot
in Stingers Hit Town, while the other Holograms, including Jem, are more or
less captivated. Aja believes there is something 'odd' about Riot and in
the end she is proved right. Her hunches are usually spot on - she thinks
out the problems of having Clash (as Sarah) on board during Video Wars, but
she is big enough a character to concede when she makes a mistake.
Aja is the straight talking Hologram in many ways. Chinese-American of unknown
parentage, it becomes apparent when in China that Aja is bilingual, and able
to read the Chinese characters. She is probably just as hotheaded as Kimber,
but less quick to jump to conclusions, which is probably her extra years and
experience showing through. She is intensely loyal, but not afraid to speak
up against what Jerrica says if she doesn't agree with it. You get the feeling
the whole way that Aja's commitment to the Holograms can never be faulted
and she values her friendships highly - her concern for Jerrica in Midsummer
Night Madness and in One Jem Too Many is unmistakeable. However she can be
a little blunt on occasion and this leads to clashes with the emotional Kimber,
such as the offhand remark about being older in Bands Break Up which Kimber
takes to heart.
This said, Aja does have a lot of heart, and occasionally you see her cry.
In China she sheds tears when she thinks they aren't going to be able to perform
their concert - perhaps a secret desire to play at her family's homeland,
she is very keen to see as much as she can of Chinese culture while she's
there - and she also cries when she believes that Craig has betrayed her.
Despite her fairly strong outward appearance, she's pretty sensitive inside.
Another thing about Aja is her obvious ability for music. She is a natural
performer - in Beat This, Set Your Sails and Friend or Stranger she has important
roles in either the melody or the video or both, and you get the feeling she's
loving every minute. She's good on the guitar, though confesses to be 'hopeless
on drums' (despite early indications from Hasbro that push her in that direction
- see beginning of Truly Outrageous) and knows her own ability without being
swollen headed about it. If she makes a mistake she's willing to accept it
and make a joke out of it, such as the mis-played beginning of There's A
Melody Playin' in Search For The Stolen Album. Jerrica obviously trusts her
implicitly also, since she trusts her to meddle with Synergy's circuitry.
Aja is the only Hologram, interestingly enough, who never walks out on the
band. Kimber goes off and has her stint with Stormer in Bands Break Up, Raya
sneaks away believing she isn't wanted at the end of Talent Search and Shana
leaves to work for a designer in the same episode, but Aja never even hints
at quitting the group. This is another indication of her fierce loyalty and
commitment to both her music and her friends. Since she was brought up from
the age of eleven or twelve by the Bentons I also think she feels somewhere
that she has a debt to repay for their kindness. In the flashbacks to their
childhood it is Aja who begs Emmet not to send them away, and he tells her
of course he won't...this I think is a big deal to Aja who is determined to
repay that gesture with her loyalty. She also has a strong sense of right
and wrong, perhaps sometimes to the point of over-defining situations into
black and white.
Aja's relationships with other characters vary quite widely. She is closest
I think to either Shana or Kimber, but she also has a strong bond of loyalty
to Jerrica and although the two argue, they always make up. I tend to see
them as being on equal terms, as opposed to Jerrica really being in charge.
Aja's relationship with Kimber is more of a sister one in some ways than Jerrica's
is, even though the two girls are very different from each other, and since
Shana and Aja both became Starlight girls at the same kind of age I think
that bond is also irrefutable.
I don't believe she has much of a bond with Raya. It's not anything she
does say, more the things she doesn't say. There are very few exchanges between
Raya and Aja, and very little enthusiasm towards Raya from the Chinese-American
girl...this to me is telling. Perhaps Aja feels secretly that a stranger has
been permitted into what is to her a select family-type group. However she
is too goodhearted to turn on her new bandmate, even though occasionally she
seems frustrated, such as in Video Wars when Jerrica is convinced by Raya
to give Clash/Sarah a chance. It seems to me that maybe Raya and Aja face
life from such totally different viewpoints that they arent always compatible
with each other.
Aja's relationship with the Misfits is very clear cut - she wants nothing
to do with them. She resents Kimber becoming involved with Stormer as much
as the rest of the Holograms and does her bit to try and convince her to
come back to the group, but in the end is willing to accept that Stormer
is not as bad as she first thought. She dislikes Roxy from their first meeting
and Pizzazz and Jetta are not real popular with her either. I don't think
it's personal, more her loyalty to her group that makes her feel this way.
She also loathes the Stingers from the moment they meet and confronts them
for their bad behaviour in Stingers Hit Town, winding up drenched for her
Aja has a few moments with guys which hint at romance, such as with Mozart
in Journey Through Time, but her 'true love' from the series is Craig Phillips,
Stormer's brother. The depth of her feelings for him are exhibited on more
than one occasion - when she believes Stormer is Craig's wife she is distraught
and runs away in tears, when he tells he in Talent Search that he must go
back to Europe she does a wholly un-Aja like thing - a sentimental thing -
and gives him her scarf as a momento. The series did not continue to expand
on their relationship but I think it can be read as more serious than a casual
encounter. It is also interesting to note that, since Rio's ethnic origin
is still under fierce debate, Aja and Craig's relationship is the only on-show
partnering which crosses the boundary of race.