Synonyms: Air TV
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 7, 2005 to Apr 1, 2005
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.721 (scored by 64359 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsdrama romance slice of life supernatural
Jul 24, 2008
~ The 1000th Summer...~
Air the story of Yukito Kunisaki, a young man carrying on his family's journey to find the "girl in the sky" and free her from a curse. Stumbling upon a sleepy coastal town, he meets three girls: Misuzu Kamio, Kana Kirishima, and Minagi Tohno. He comes to spend more and more time in the town, living at the Kamio residence with Misuzu and her adopted mother.
Some may know, others may not, but Air is based off an ero visual novel by KEY. Thus, each of the main heroines (Misuzu, Kana, and Minagi) each have different scenarios to explore. The short anime tries its best to explore each scenario, but since it was so short, it felt somewhat rushed and the arcs of Kana and Minagi felt somewhat detached. Thus why the story only gets a 9/10.
However, I still rated it so high because the main story (the one of Misuzu) is simply beautiful. It's original, fresh, tear-jerking, and just beautifully done. I'll admit it, I cried at at the end.
Most consider Air to be confusing when they watch and don't understand the Kanna arc. I myself got it the first time, but if you don't, just watch it over -- you won't regret it. Most understand it the second time and come to appreciate the series much more.
Kyoto Animation, the company that animated Air, did a stunning job as always. The scenery felt alive like I could just step in, everything flowed smoothly and they're weren't any inconsistencies. Air is set in the summer, and like to watch parts of it in winter when I feel cold -- that's how real it feels. The clouds and skies in particular were stunning, and kudos to them for that, since the sky and flying are important symbols of Air.
I love, love, love the opening theme to Air ("Tori no Uta" [The Bird's Song] by Lia). It's beautiful and the mood and lyrics reflects all the emotions and events in the series. The ending theme ("Farewell Song" also done by Lia) as well complimented the story and plot wonderfully. The BGM was nicely done, giving off the perfect aura for whatever was going on when it was played. Kudos to the voice actors, also -- they did terrific work on their roles. The character's emotions were conveyed convincingly and they spoke with such emotion it could tear your heart out.
The characters in Air were all alive and I felt for each and every one's issues. The designs on them were varied and I never was annoyed by any character in particular (a nice change for once). However, the reason this rating isn't higher, is because since the anime was so short most characters did not receive the development they were in need of.
I gave Air an "enjoyment" rating of 10. I don't let this affect my score, however, since it's really a personal thing -- someone who isn't a romance, drama, supernatural sort of thing probably won't like this. However, I loved Air every moment, from beginning to end. If you're looking for a nice romance with a touch of supernatural fantasy and great characters, I highly recommend Air. read more
May 15, 2013
The story is about a dude named Yukito and how helps out a bunch of stray animals...er I mean girls. In addition to Yukito's new animal rescue center, he is looking for "the girl in the sky." Makes about as much sense as it sounds.
Key's animes are usually really formulaic. You have this one guy with absolutely no testosterone (unless you play the visual novel) surrounded by a bunch of girls who are either dying, or have some sort problem only the guy can solve.
Air is no exception, and just like Clannad and Kanon, Air has some supernatural elements as well. But unlike Clannad and Kanon, the"magic" in Air is very poorly explained. In fact, the supernatural aspect of Air is so poorly explained that the last five episodes made absolutely no sense. I seriously wonder what the main conflict of the story was, because the ending did not make it clear whether whatever the conflict was was resolved or not. It just...ended.
Air also suffered from one of Key's problems which I call, "the abandonment of little girls." No, Yukito doesn't abandon them, the story does. Once each girl's arc is finished, that's the end of her. She will not appear for the rest of the anime, in fact, It'll be like she never existed at all! In conclusion, Air's predictable and confusing storyline made the show less enjoyable.
There's nothing really to say about this. The background is animated well, but the characters look kind of weird to me. Like they have squashed faces. Of course this is extremely subjective.
The opening and closing were perfect for the tone of the anime itself. I have no complains with the voice acting itself, I watched nine episodes subbed and one dubbed. The dub sounds fine, not annoying at all.
This is were the shortness of air really affects it. Like I said previously, each of the characters were introduced, became friends with Yukito, Yukito would solve their problem, and then...they would disappear. This was due to the thirteen episode limit, so there wasn't a satisfying amount of character development. The personalities of the characters themselves were very bland.
Yukito: This guy pretty much has no personality. He adopts the cliched "nice guy" personality that is were uninteresting. Yukito was more of a plot device than a character.
Misuzu: She reminds me of Sakura from Naruto. Basically she doesn't want to burden anyone and has minimal social skills. On the other hand, she is a very interesting character and is concerned about people. So I guess I can't hate her.
Kano: I barely remember anything about her because she was the first arc. It would have been nice if she appeared even once after her arc ended, at least I'd know she was alive.
Minagi: Probably my favorite character in the series, her story is truly sad and she has an interesting personality.
i was really enjoying this at the first half of the series, but the other half ruined it for me. It was just too confusing and I couldn't focus on the episodes properly because I was wondering, "What the hell is going on?" Unlike most of Key's other works, Air didn't really pull on my heartstrings and I was constantly bored towards the end.
A six is fair and that is what Air is. The anime did have it's moments, but it really wasn't that good. I think people should only watch Air if they have very good comprehensive abilities, or they are really big fans of Key.
Jun 24, 2009
Well, before I get into that, I should probably praise all the things Air does right that make it by far my favorite moe title. Don’t get too excited, that’s like looking in a dirt pail for me and picking out a “favorite” worm to use as bass bait.
Air is emotionally a rewarding experience. Unlike in most moe shows, the other characters actually express Misuzu’s trademark moe quirks: the mental retardation, animal noises, strange tastes, and clumsiness, to be really weird and cause for real concern instead of just finding them charming. This makes her character more accessible, and on the whole the characters in Air are relatable enough to make the emotional gut-busters of the conclusion truly gut-busting. The story is emotionally honest, raw and unflinching, and will have many individuals clawing for their Kleenex when they least expect it. I was genuinely touched by Air’s conclusion, and my heart is a dried brown potpourri ball fit only to spice up the lavatories of a state penitentiary.
On the technical side of things, Air is smashingly well-animated, something enthusiasts of Kyo-Ani have come to expect, as they produced the famous Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya among other girl-aimed shows with the budget and finesse usually reserved for boy-aimed shows.
The music is oddly intricate, usually light, feathery orchestral ballads that never overtake the action onscreen, but flow underneath it subtly enough to work well, and the same can be said of the fluffy opener and closer.
The voice acting in both languages is sufficient, with moments of greatness. The three main roles are cast nigh perfectly in the dub, with Luci Christian making an incredible star turn as Haruko, as if I didn’t like her enough as an actress, her work here is phenomenal and as I said, Vic Mignogna and Monica Rial sound born to play Yukito and Misuzu respectively, never missing a beat. The rest of the cast is fairly average to melodramato-bad, but you know what, they aren’t important.
How could I possibly say the other characters aren’t important?
I must, for I must bring out the ugly stick now. Yeah, I was moved by this story, but that’s because Air basically planted its petite well-animated foot up my backside and shoved me on my face, which of course just watered up from the abuse. You MUST turn your brain off to think this is a good story. It would be vile enough with the number of badly written platitudes that pop up now and again, but the plot, no matter how you slice it, is CONTRIVED and MANIPULATIVE, and therefore, so is the emotion that you feel when you watch it. The other girls never serve any purpose to the main conflict, in fact, I want someone to messagel me and tell me WHAT purpose they honestly served at ALL except to serve the schoolgirl fetish population.
Yes, I went there, because moe is Freudian. It is created innocent so the male viewers won’t feel bad fantasizing about the nonexistent fanservice that is fed to us through arbitrary tragedy rather than panty shots. I know there are women that enjoy it and also men that enjoy it in a non-dirty fashion, but that’s not what it was created for, you bet your sweet potatoes.
All of these characters have an inexplicable tragic past or terminal disease that is usually tied to the supernatural and rarely has anything to do with the main idea of the story, if there even was one to begin with. Air tries to have a point, but only obtains one in the relationship between Haruko and Misuzu in the very end that I sorely wish had been the focus of the entire show instead of the typical boring boy learning about helpless girls in town pattern that proved pointless when all was said and done. That’s also a staple of the hentai games these shows came from...
In the end, all Air really does is exploit your tear ducts without giving you a reason as to why anything happens, besides the words “magic,” “gods,” and “destiny,” which I will follow with the words “deus ex machina.” And also the words “screw that.” If I’m weepy at the end of something, I want it to be because the story meant something to me, because I learned something about the characters, maybe even about life, if that’s not too heavy to consider. I don’t want it to be because, yes, I was sucker-punched by pretty art, pretty music, and good acting pasted on a plot with all the finesse of a bad fanfiction written by that fetish guy I mentioned earlier. You know who you are. Go ahead, give me a good reason WHY there are so many girls near death or madness in this show, so I can stop beating this poor dead horse and let it gallop back to its home on the set of Days of our Lives! I recommend this to moe fans, really I do. After that, I recommend you click off this review and scan your TV for Lifetime channel where you will find live-action versions of the well-written drama presented in Air.
All in all, a beautiful title where the tears and angst really are only ink-deep. Still, the pretty exterior and tenderness did trick me. It held my interest every step of the way until I stepped back and saw how silly it really was, so I’ll be kinder to that favorable result.
*THIS IS A PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT OF MY VIDEO REVIEW THAT CAN BE SEEN HERE:
Thanks for reading! read more
Dec 30, 2011
Well, I think you can immediately tell what I thought about this and downvoted me respectively. Cool, whatevs. But I really did not like this series...mostly. Haven't seen anything else from this series, I believe it's based on some visual novels or whatever. I don't know, but these 13 episodes were ulitmately not a good experience by themselves at least.
There is technically an overall story to all of this. It's a shame it's far too vague and pointlessly cionfusing in an attempt to be deep. I mostly get what they were going for but it just didn't work. It was just boring and with some painfully obvious sky, above the clouds, birds etc. metaphors all about the same general idea.
The characters are a different story. Normally I complain in a series that the secondary characters aren't used enough. This series has the opposite problem. Those 3 other girls that aren't Misuzu I honestly can't stand. It is the perfect mix of the most generic and boring comedy from them, followed by some poorly written tragedy. The 2 "sisters" story is honestly one of the best examples ever of making tragic events combined with magic and suicide symbolism...and being boring. It's just dialogue not said by any human being and I can't stand it. I just feel somewhat depressed watching it, yet at the same time bored. And it really feels like it's trying way too hard to be deep and annoys me. So by episode 6, I was hating this series (and while previous episodes were better, they weren't that much better). And I came into this series expecting it to at least be good, so I was truly dissappointed.
And then those characters were basically never seen again, focused on characters that mattered and it got better real quick. I was actually enjoying it after that. Flashback episodes with character names I can't remember had characters that were fun and kinda funny and enjoyable to be around and not depressionly boring. My god, that was fun. They have an adventure and find her mother. I liked those characters for what they were. It wasn't like amazing but I liked it, and I do admit I like any sudden increase of action in a series that at first has none. The ending of that story was silly but ok.
And then we spend the rest of the series focusing on Misuzu and her mother. Again, some weirdness, but the sad parts work. I can see why her mother acted as she did and her struggle with her relationship with Misuzu felt genuinely touching. Not to mention the twists, while kinda dumb, made you sad but not bored this time. You wanted to see both characters are ok, which is always important, I think especially for a series like this. I was not exactly in tears but it was really sad, a good story, I enjoyed it.
And of course the big final episode is a recap...wait what? Really? Couldn't let the show end on a high note I guess or it was used to advertise some sequel OVA or I don't know. The point is that I hated the first half but kinda liked the 2nd half for the most part.
The art was ok. I don't know, the faces I didn't exactly like but...the art was ok. It was too bright at times but it still looked decent. Sound was mostly ok, although the voice acting could get annoying for those secondary characters I don't like. But that's made up by the performances of Aya Hisakawa and the late Tomoko Kawakami. Misuzu's aunt is the best character and the voice acting helped...or maybe vice versa. But I did buy from her voice the drama of those last few episodes. Misuzu herself was also good, a role that could have been annoying is made genuinely sweet yet tragic. Most of the rest are just ok, not worth mentioning at all really. Same with the music, but that being said, I really like the OP. Good stuff.
Yeah, maybe this series isn't one made for me. But one of my favorite series is the fairly depressing Welcome to the NHK!, which was written infinitely better and got how to make characters act and talk like real people more than almost any fiction I've ever seen. This show, rarely got remotely close sadly. And I know a decent amount of people who agree so at least I know I'm not alone. It isn't an awful series if you can get past episode 6, and in fact if you ignore episodes 2-6 I would likely call it a good series. But those episodes were awful, could not enjoy it at all, and the rest of the series was unable to make me fully forgive that. And I've kinda not interested in other series that I at least assume are similar anymore. read more
Apr 8, 2013
Story and Characters:
The story is good enough starting out. Yukito is a wandering puppeteer who carries on his family's tradition of seeking the legendary "Girl in the Sky". He stops at a quaint seaside town where he meets three girls, Kano Kirishima, Minagi Tohno, and Misuzu Kamio. Sounds like your typical Key anime right? Well, it is, but the only problem is that none of the characters are any good! Yukito is like Tomoya from Clannad without the likability. He's cynical and makes snide remarks much like early Clannad Tomoya. But he really never gets any better. Not to mention the frustrating turn his character takes late in the anime that is not only confusing but just stupid. The girls are all cardboard and uninteresting, with Kano and Minagi getting 2 episodes each for charecter development and their arcs. Not a lot of time to really make them any more interesting. And Misuzu, who is the deurotagonist of Air along with Yukito, is your standard Moe charecter, and is rather uninteresting, even by Key standards. The story tries to hard to be complex to the point where it's confusing and stupid. I refer once again to the change Yukito goes through late in the series. It's explained at the very end of an episode and very poorly at that. The story was interesting at first but got derailed by stupid plot choices and twists.
Overall for Story/Charecters: 5/10
Art and Sound:
Now comes what Air does well. The animation and art are solid, coming from KyoAni, who is one of the best studios to call when you want a high quality looking anime. The soundtrack is gorgeous and very fitting to the moods the anime sets up. I watched the dub, which is pretty good, but I can't speak for the sub, but I assume it is good as well. Not really much to say here, I never had a problem with the animation or the soundtrack/voices. All solid.
Overall for Art/Sound: 9/10
As I watched Air, I kept pausing to do something else and got back to
watching it 10 minutes later. That should sum up how much I enjoyed the series. It was decent and even good is some parts, but the rest just sucks. It drags and drags until I'm barely even watching it any more, I just looking at the moving picture on the screen. In short, I didn't like it.
Overall for Enjoyment: 4/10
Air could have been great. Honestly if it were 26 episodes long, it would have the time to make me actually care about the characters and develop them more. But it's 12 episodes, with 1 summary episode. Not enough time to make me care about otherwise bland characters. I was disappointed in this anime, as it's gotten really good reviews and the considered by some to be Key's best offering. But, sadly, I did not like it. Now don't let my opinion get in your way of watching it. Maybe you'll get something out of it that I didn't. But overall, I never liked Air, and I probably never will.
Overall Score: 5/10
Jul 28, 2007
It was a sad anime. The scene when Misuzu was crying out “mama!” has been embedded into my anime memories. While it was sad sometimes, there were a lot of funny scenes too. In fact, compared to Kanon 2006, I think Air is the funnier one. Air had a more supernatural theme compared to Kanon as well. Just wait and see what happens in episode 8.
The characters are just great. Misuzu is just adorable. I love it when she goes “gao”. Her story is also the saddest out of all the characters. If you’re into cute anime animals like me, you’ll probably like Potato the dog. Don’t ask – just see for yourselves and you’ll know what I mean. Yukito is great too. He’s sarcastic, manly, witty and likable like all the other KyoAni leads. He is a lot like Kyon from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and Yuichi from Kanon 2006.
They were so much alike I thought Yukito was also played by Tomokazu Sugita, but in fact Yukito was played by Daisuke Ono, who was Koizumi Itsuki of another KyoAni series, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I recognized Tomoko Kawakami’s voice as Misuzu right away too, since I loved her work as Sayuri of Kanon 2006. She made Misuzu even more adorable.
And because it’s KyoAni, the animation was just stellar. There’s no arguing about that. Watching Air was pleasing to the eyes as well, because the scenes were very delicate and serene. The animation was also very smooth.
As for the music, I would have to say that it’s a lot similar to Kanon 2006 once again, especially the BGM. The difference is that I liked the music of Air more, because it was less dreary and it complimented Air perfectly.
I also have to note that I like the theme of Air TV, which is the importance of having a family. All of the characters are very close to their family members and you’ll realize that if you watch the series.
I have to say that this is one of the best KyoAni series I’ve seen so far. I recommend this to everyone, even to those who don’t watch a lot of dramatic/supernatural anime. If the story doesn’t work for you, the visuals will. read more
Aug 10, 2008
I found the story slow, repetitive and predictable. The major "Twists" could be seen from a mile away. The best parts of the story were the short and sweet subplots and flashbacks which I must admit, were quite entertaining. But the main story of Misuzu really just annoyed me.
I did think the overall art work in the series was good, it's not my normal taste in style but I thought it was cute and worked well, though some of the characters did seem a little underdrawn, even unfinished, but I liked it, it was a pleasurable change to the perfect well rounded style we tend to see everywhere else.
The characters overall were well presented and all had distinctive interesting personalities. Unfortunately Misuzu annoyed the hell out of me, her annoying voice, bad habbits, The fact that she had a mental age at least 7 years prior to her physical age, and overall demeanor were so bad that it overshadowed the rest of the good characters and made them unnoticeable.
The only other thing I feel I need to say about the characters is Potato, This quirky little puppy is reason alone to sit through the 13 episodes of crap. You are much better off just typing his name into a youtube search and watching the little clips they have of him.
From the 4th or 5th episode watching this Anime became more like work than a passtime, the only reason I watched it through was that my friend was so convinced that it was the greatest thing ever, I assumed that somewhere something happened that made things fall into place and I'd start to enjoy it. Unfortunately this was only a pipe dream.
Overall I wouldn't recomend this anime. Though to some people it must have more meaning or appeal than it did to me, as it has many many other rave reviews.
If you do decide to pursue this anime, I wish you luck. read more
Mar 1, 2008
Story: I'm not gonna lie, this story made no sense to me, I watched all the episodes and was left thinking WTF IM SO CONFUSED? but after rewatching it I slowly began to understand it more. The tragedy of Misuzu and the whole theme of flying and freedom and destiny was pretty cool and the story ended up being an enjoyable one despite the complexity behind it.
Art: OMG...Air has to be THE best looking anime I have ever seen, everything on this show was just stunning gorgeous and the colours were bright and alive. The sky and the water and the characters and the background were all just a feast to the eye and made the show VERY pretty to look at. The sky being a main theme looks so great you wish the real sky would look like that once in a while. Kyoto Animation never lets a show have less than perfect animation quality.
Sound: I dont really have much to say about this section since I was mostly just WATCHING the show than LISTENING to it. But the background songs really made the show enjoyable and sad to watch.
Character: Other than Yukito I never got attached to any character and its understandable since these type of shows focus on a certain girl for a set number of episodes and this being only a 12 episode series (ep 13 a recap) you just dont get the chance to truly get used to the characters since their airtime is relative short. But other than that it was still sad to watch their tragedies/problems unfold
Enjoyment: This was a great show to watch, I wish it wasnt so confusing otherwise I would've given it a higher score but Air is still a show I sometimes rewatch because of how pretty it is.
Overall this is one show that does not disappoint and is definitely STUNNING to look at, it was because of Air that I started to watch more Visual Novel adaptations, specially if they were from the dynamic duo Key/KyoAni read more
Oct 23, 2007
From the beginning it is pretty easy to tell that the show originated from an “eroge / visual novel”; with the ordinary guy coincidently meeting a girl that would change his life. Air is an anime with a very weird concept which can be pretty difficult to comprehend to begin with. The story basically follows Yukito, the male protagonist who gets to know three girls, each of them having something mysterious and peculiar about them and their past. It seems that they all are linked in some way to “the girl in the sky” and that’s something they eventually discover. The problem is that behind all the excellent drama lies a very confusing story that can leave anyone thinking “where the heck is this going?” Yet the show still remains great to watch throughout, plus the 2 amazing OAVs are a bit of an extra.
The quality of the animation is the best thing about this show as the story only comes alive with the spectacular visuals that are always on display. The character models are okay, with the cute girls having the typical “moe” look anime fans are used to. The environment is where the animation truly shines, with an incredible amount of detail put into every aspect and object.
On the other hand the music doesn’t really do much for the show and is barely even noticeable. At least it has a decent opening and ending theme song. Thanks to “Kyoto Animation” (the same company later responsible for Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kanon and Full Metal Panic!) the animation quality of the show remains the strongest aspect and can easily overshadow every other aspects, including the confusing storyline.
Overall this is a really interesting, short anime, which can be difficult to understand from the beginning but it improves as more is revealed later on. It always remains very emotional throughout, but the voice actors could have done a better job. So in the end, this can only be recommended to the most open minded romance anime fan or someone whose a fan of other KyoAni works, but I must warn you that this series will get fairly depressing.
^_^ read more
Nov 15, 2011
There's nothing wrong with the art, sound and story of Air. The story is an interesting concept and at first I was excited to watch this series. I hoped it would be like Clannad, and also, my boyfriend was telling me to watch this series and he normally has good tastes. It started to feel like a chore after only a few episodes.
My problem with Air is that it needed to be longer. If it was longer, I believe that would have fixed the major problems that I have with this series. The story centres around the main character helping three young girls with their troubles. Since this also created by those that made Clannad, expect drama and tragedy to be apart of these girls' lives.
Normally, I don't have a problem with tragedy as long as the character development is okay, as opposed to being melodramatic or manipulative into making you think you care about the character... Well, Air seems kind of like a mixture of the latter two things I said. Not enough time is given to develop the characters before their drama is introduced and absolutely no time at all is given afterwards to see how they changed after receiving help from the main character, with the exception of the main character, Misuzu. If the whole series focused on Misuzu from the start without needing to include the other side characters' stories, I think it would have been better. The sudden turn of events that affects Misuzu near the end seem rather sudden...
Also, the series has a few episodes devoted to back-story inserted right into the middle of it. It was a change of pace... but a slow, boring one. I think it would have been more bearable to watch if the back-story was chopped up into little snippets sprinkled throughout the first half of the season, but alas, it was not. Instead we are forced to watch some random characters that appear out of nowhere for a few episodes before returning to the true story of Misuzu.
Misuzu was truly the only thing I cared about in his anime. As a character she is interesting, and the most well developed, and pretty unique despite being a "cute, clumsy and childish" girl.
So, in the end I give it a 6/10. If you are a fan of Clannad you'll probably like this, despite it's failings. read more
Jul 20, 2011
first off, the story. well at first it was very straight forward and easy to understand with humor and a light hearted feel to it that even made me laugh and smile. it did start to become a bit more complex as it went on where i was a bit confused but after a bit of reading and re watching of it, i got the main idea. the whole main idea does stick through the whole time with some interesting subplots that leaves no character untouched. though a little confusing, it was a good story that could be understood by someone if they really wanted to figure it out. the art in this anime was one of the main reasons at first i wanted to watch it, it was so beautiful~! all the characters had their own designs that i found to be one of the most beautiful designs in anime i've seen yet. the setting too was a beautiful place that sure made me wish i could be there. the sound for this i thought was amazing in the music department, the soundtrack seemed to fit in perfectly with the anime..like they were one in the same, built to flow with each other. not only that, i watched the english bud version and i really liked the voice acting in it, i thought emotion was put very into the characters and matched very well to the personalities to the characters. speaking of characters, i loved them all! such a blend that put different types of people together to show that off. even characters that may seem one way just might have a whole different side you wouldn't see before. overall, i loved the blend of humor and deep emotion this anime put together. even though it was a tragedy, didn't have a happy ending and put me in tears many times, i loved the anime and would highly invite anyone to check it out! read more
Jun 29, 2010
That pretty much sums up the three greatest aspects of AIR, yet another anime that'd been on my personal to watch - list for years before I actually got down to it. Better late than never, as is once again proven in this case.
I was rather sceptical at first when I began watching the show, despite my initial belief I'd like it since, you know, I'd planned on watching it in the first place. My fears were reinforced as what I was bombarded with during the first few episodes were things I've grown to dislike very muchly in anime: moe characters, overcute faces, irresponsible parents and other lame cliches of Japanese cartoons. Thus my willingness to watch the show dimmed to the point I almost gave up, watching only an episode every now and then almost solely for the sake of finishing what I'd started. Ultimately I ended up marathoning the last seven episodes in one night; a feat which speaks for itself for someone who's used to watch that many episodes in as many weeks.
No, the irritating moe-ness of the characters didn't go anywhere. No, the über childish faces with gigantic eyes and tiny mouths didn't grow into tolerable proportions at any time. No, the careless parents didn't develop into Mr. and Mrs. guardian of the year overnight...quite. But the better qualities of the show which became more prominent as the series went on overrode almost completely any and all disgust I have for such superficial issues.
The gorgeous artwork of the anime is one of those qualities that is evident from the very beginning. Lush colors of the deep blue sea and sky, the green of the forests and the yellow of the fields all together reach the goal of showing us an ethereal summer at it's very peak. Something which surely comes in handy in a show where one of the main motifs is that sunny and warm season of the year. The show's highlighted summery atmosphere is not exclusively limited to the daytime sceneries either, for the brilliant sunsets where the world seems to be in fire and the hot nights alive with festivals are depicted so captivatingly one can almost feel the summer through the screen alone. No wonder so many have recommended this anime to be watched precisely in this time of year.
The plot, as many have become accustomed to with the combination of Key and Kyoto Animation, is filled with mysteries. On one hand it arouses interest to go on watching the anime and find out what's going on. On the other it evokes frustration and anger as not all of the storyline's oddities are so easily comprehended in stride (or at all). I for one had to go over all the MAL summaries and character profiles to be sure I'd gotten _most_ of it correctly. Patience is a virtue here.
Characterization was one aspect of AIR which I was pleasantly surprised with later on. On some occasions I truly felt like the show was taking distance from some of the most typical character cliches seen in anime: Haruko, though a single-parent female, ain't your typical loving and all-can-do big sister for Misuzu, instead exercising in behavior both jerk-ish, cowardly, and cruel at times. Misuzu's father, though having "abandoned" his daughter a long time ago, isn't presented as an all-around dickhead with no compassion or other redeeming qualities whatsoever. For what little he's got screen time anyway.
As for the main couple, Misuzu and Yukito, I can easily recognize their charm as well, even though they weren't quite my favorites. Misuzu is this very young, sweet, and lonely girl who's desperate to make friends yet is unable to do so for the special conditions she has. I suspect there are very few anime fans who cannot identify with her in that regard. Yukito on the other hand is a fine specimen of the relatively small group of tsundere males seen in anime, though I confess I didn't feel any connection with him at times - I couldn't have declined Misuzu's pleas to play with her the way he did at all. ;-; The more minor characters Minagi, Michiru, and Dr. Kirishima had their own, well-done story-arcs, but the characters themselves remained rather thin and generic to me. Props for Kanna, Ryuuya, and Uraha, though, their own small story was very warm and touching.
Drama is something you can never count out when dealing with KyoAni's adaptation of a Key-work, and drama is aplenty in AIR as well. On some points the show truly clutched at my heart nastily as I watched the characters struggling in their personal affairs - whether it was about them stewing in their own stupidity or desperately trying to do what they knew to be the right thing. Many a time I found myself staring at the screen mouth open, my mind either screaming of cheering at the characters. This level of viewer's emotional involvement with the story is always a merit in its favor.
AIR has also some powerful messages about life in general to deliver, ranging from the value of family to the art of appreciating what you're given. For the sake of keeping away from spoilers I won't go into great detail in this area, but there's one fitting quote that stuck in my mind which surmises quite well one of the show's themes.
"I wonder how many years it took us to get here. We had so many opportunities to see this beautiful scenery. What the hell were we doing?"
The musical efforts invested into AIR deserve an honorable mention as well. I recall no scene which would've lacked the proper background tunes to help it reach its full potential, and both the opening and ending songs are memorable with their soaring vocals, atmospheric lyrics and catchy melodies. Admittedly I'm personally in the habit of nearly always skipping both credits, but this time I felt a bit bad for doing so. Which speaks volumes of the series' musical score in its own way.
All in all, I believe AIR is a very good choice for the next short anime-series you might want to watch. It asks only for your patience and observation. In return you get a wonderfully animated show with candy for your eyes, touching emotions on your heart, and another memory for your summer. read more
Sep 25, 2008
The story revolves around the legend of "the girl in the sky," who is said to carry the entire world's burdens. Enter Misuzu Kamio, a typical little girl that likes dinosaurs and lives with her mom in a quiet little town, but who may also have some sort of connection to the legend. She lives mostly a solitude life in her town, that is until one day when a stranger happens to visit the small sea side residents. Who finds out that their meeting is not just a mere coincidence.
The character design and art style is smooth, sharp and just purely detailed! I especially liked the character's eyes in this series. That along with a memorable soundtrack and surprising plot twists, this is definitely a series you should pick up. Only downside I could think of was, its short and the story and ending can be a bit on the confusing side.
All in all though,if you found what I said interesting, then you can't go wrong with this title. Check it out! read more
Sep 17, 2008
Air is about a young girl named Misuzu Kamio, who meets a drifter named Yukito on the first day of summer. Misuzu wants to make Yukito her friend and so she offers to let him stay at her place with her and her mother, Haruko. Yukito reluctantly takes advantage of her hospitality, and in doing so, learns that Misuzu may be a clue to something he's been looking for.
From there, the story progresses gradually, focusing on the characters, including other girls Yukito meets. Each girl brings another piece of the puzzle to the story. What's so wonderful about the story is how multi-faceted and multi-layered the story is. Because it is so densely packed with vital information, some of it gets lost along the way. This gives the series a massive amount of rewatch value until you can gather all the pieces and understand the entire story yourself. Of course, this doesn't mean you have to watch the series repeatedly to enjoy it. It's just a good idea to watch it more than once if you want to understand everything.
Though the players in this magical tragedy are moe cliches, each is given certain aspects to their personality that set them apart. In most cases, each character comes with a backstory with the intention of ripping out your heartstrings. This may seem overdramatic for some viewers, but I think it works. Especially as it makes some not-so-enjoyable characters early on pretty darn amazing in terms of characterization.
Though it was Haruhi that put Kyoto Animation on the map, Air offers the same lush fluid animation that the studio is now revered for. The character designs are quite wonky, especially regarding the eyes, which are abnormally huge even by anime standards. A blending of Key's design and KyoAni's style, the character look won't appeal to everyone, but you can't fault the quality of the rest of the production.
The animation is accompanied by a grand soundtrack. This is one thing that really sets Air apart from other game adaptations in that the anime keeps the soundtrack of the original game rather than create it's own. This was a brilliant move as the many pieces of accompaniment are epic on an emotional scale, from the OP music, to the background pieces, and especially the unforgettable insert, "Aozora", from the final episode. The soundtrack works perfectly every time, every scene.
Overall, this is one of my favorite anime of all time. Extensive replay value, raw often brutal emotion, set against a rich animated tapestry and set to one of the most beautiful soundtracks known to anime.
Overall I give Air a 9 out of 10. read more
Aug 31, 2008
It's not hard to get attatched to everyone in it. They all have something about them that would remind you of anything that makes you happy.
Pure, heartwarming, enchanting, beautiful, each of these words can very much describe this amazing anime. The emotional impact this anime portrays is a most inspiring one, and one that will lift your heart up high into the Air. read more
Aug 13, 2007
The story was very good and it flowed at a continuous speed so that was good. The art was nice too although the characters did look very cartoonish at times because their eyes were like 3/4 of the size of their face and it did bother me a little bit that all these young girls had heaving chests. Minor details I guess.
Each character is so different yet so similar, drawn together by the town, the history and lonliness sprung from some misfortune. I thought it was ironic how such a beautifully drawn anime can bring to life the darkest of human experiences - pain, sadness and lonliness. A classic freeze frame that I always envision when I think of Air is Misuzu standing on the ocean dam reaching for the sky with the ocean breeze blowing past her.... she did her best.... so watch it! read more
Feb 16, 2009
In this review, I will be comparing AIR with the other Key Productions, Clannad and Kanon a lot. Honestly, I only watched AIR because I disliked Clannad and Kanon(2006), and didn't want to be biased when discussing these Key/Kyoani productions. So, basically I had a bad first impression of the series. But I finally decided to watch it in the end. and AIR is just Awesome!
Of course, the very essence of Key's harem animes are touching stories. and this theme is very similar in AIR as well, so fans of Clannad and Kanon would surely love the story too. However, there are a few big differences in AIR compared to Clannad and Kanon. Personally, Kanon and Clannad's stories, especially the goodbyes, are always sad, depressing and tear-jerking. a sad episode will leave you in a slump for days. On the other hand, in AIR, the goodbyes are so beautiful you can't help crying and smiling at the same time.
Another difference is in the miracles/supernatural part of the stories. For Clannad and Kanon, the miracles and supernatural things that happen are usually never explained and leave us in the dark, and most of the miracles are very separate/unconnected with each other. But in AIR, the whole story is connected, and there is also a side story which explains the miracles/supernatural things which happen perfectly and beautifully.
The plot twist for AIR is also very well done and leaves absolutely no room for any complain, although it would be very surprising at first. Well, a plot twist is supposed to be surprising, and it also shows how creative the plot is, because I really never would've seen it coming.
AIR has a tendency of stressing on dark lines, especially for the characters, which makes them look a bit out of place against the backgrounds sometimes. However, it does a very good job making the city come alive for audiences(the city in the setting exists in reality). the character design is also comparable to Kanon and Clannad imo. There are some ppl who might say it's old and those eyes are too BIG, but look at Kanon 2006 and Clannad. It hasn't changed much, and it's beautiful.
AIR's OPED are quite well done, and very heartwarming. the music and bgm is also very well used. It doesn't feel overdone, and is pretty much natural. The Voice Actors are not really the best. one of the characters' voice feels unnatural and forced. however, this isn't very apparent, so i'm not really complaining.
AIR doesn't have as many characters as Kanon and Clannad, but for a 13-episode anime, it's more than enough, and the character development feels so much deeper and more meaningful. The 3 main girls are very unique compared to each other, and are very amusing to watch. Not just the main characters, but the side characters grow so much. Unlike Clannad and Kanon, in which a girl disappears and life just goes on for everyone, AIR really shows the changes in the characters after the events.
The characters in the side story are also very interesting, unique, and loveable. Their character development is explained in more detail in the DVD specials.
In terms of popularity, AIR characters have very few fans when compared to Kanon and Clannad characters. I do not think this is due to the character design/development, but more to the publicity and fan distribution.
When watching animes, my enjoyment level usually depends on my mood and first impression of the anime. Hence, it is very amazing that AIR managed to really changed my mind about it even though I decided to watch it reluctantly. In a way, AIR is a miracle to me. The casual jokes made me laugh, the girls made my heart jump, and the goodbyes made me cry and smile at the same time. An anime I enjoy so much is very rare for me.
AIR is just so beautiful and so close to heart. It really makes the world seem brighter to you, when you remind yourself of the endless sky, sea, and AIR's 1000 Summers.
I really wish more people would watch AIR and realize the beauty and miracles in it, which I couldn't find in Kanon or Clannad. read more
Jul 5, 2009
Characters(8) - The characters were well-explained because of the character arc. Every arc focuses on one major character but that makes other characters feel like they're left behind. Their personalities were quite unique but not superior.
Music(7) - For a dramatic anime, the bgms fits every scene. The OP and ED matched the series, but they are not exceptional since the music of Air was somewhat similar to other Key/VisualArts project.
Art(8) - The places are realistic, the blending of the colors are good. I just don't like how they draw the eyes of the female characters because it's too big. Also, what's with that placement of the mouth?
Overall(7) - As a whole, Air is only an ordinary dramatic anime that didn't interest me that much(well, just a little). I'm just surprised how the story ended. Dramatic/supernatural/tragedy lovers will probably watch this. read more
Mar 3, 2008
Air was visually beautiful and has a wonderful storytelling setting. It was narrated in the viewpoint of the main character Yukito, and how his life was changed by one girl. Its a very good anime with an awesome storyline, but like I said confusing at first view. It may take a while to completely understand the story in detail. Its a sad story, but worthwhile to watch. Definitely watch it and see for yourself! read more
Jun 24, 2011
However, after I cut through all the aforementioned sap, there was hardly any meat for me to gorge myself on. It was like prying open a giant clam to get to a pearl, only to find it conveniently replaced by an I.O.U and a cinderblock.
In Air, a struggling puppeteer named Yukito Kunisaki has arrived in a small coastal town to ply his trade. He’s in search of a flying woman who his mother told him about, for reasons that are explained later. One day, while at the mercy of the harsh sun, a clumsy moeblob named Misuzu offers him a drink and a place to rest against all common sense.
From there a friendship is forged which lasts a few days, Misuzu’s dreams seem to take an adverse effect on her health, and Yukito acts as the catalyst for a lot of crazy shit. If you’ve played any dating sim at all, or watched any dating sim adaptation, the setup will be all too familiar.
I wish I could say that the plot is transparent and practically nonexistent, favoring instead the ‘Cute girls do cute things’ approach. It would’ve been easy to wrap things up with a witty quip like “The plot in Air is as visible and substantive as its namesake.” But no, this is Key Visual Arts; a company that has to shoehorn personal drama and supernatural occurrences in whenever possible to tug heartstrings, regardless of how well placed such plot devices are. And they’re stuffed into every available crevice that they can be stuffed in, severely diminishing the impact.
All 13 episodes are crammed so full of details and plot points that it’s almost suffocating. And for the first half, it even has the gall to not succeed with the drama, compounding the problems exponentially.
In the series’ defense though, the main plot isn’t bad. It’s actually even touching at points, especially in the last few episodes. Not even close to the point of making me cry, but the second half is a compelling drama that I can find little to complain about. I may not have liked it as much as I would’ve hoped, seeing as there was still so much crammed in that didn’t need to be, but there isn’t anything to really attack. No, for a number of reasons, the majority of my plot complaints are reserved for the first two thirds and the story arcs that comprise them.
Compared to the well laid out, well paced main arc that explains Misuzu’s general oddness in relation to her past and the dreams that she’s having, the first two are highly concentrated, irregularly paced messes that come off as more than a little sloppy.
If there is anything that I can deride plot-wise above everything else, it’s that things get resolved too easily, and just to get the message across that “LIFE’S A MIRACLE”, or “MEMORIES AND FAMILY ARE IMPORTANT.” Most of these people just need to talk about their problems and they seem to magically disappear. It doesn’t make Yukito look useful, even when it should.
Rather than being a direct part of what he sets into motion, he’s just a bystander like the audience, left gawking at what his presence has unleashed. Hell, in the last half he’s entirely relegated to bystander in an unlikely form. While he’s a decent enough character, certainly my favorite of the entire ordeal, it’s when he’s forced into stepping aside for Misuzu and her aunt to resolve their problems that the show really hits its stride.
Aesthetically, Air is gorgeous. The music is moving (Again, pointing anybody toward the opening who hasn’t heard it yet), the backdrops are beautiful, and the animation is mostly fluid. The one area where it starts to get a bit iffy is with the characters, which will be explained further later in the review.
The characters themselves run the spectrum from boring and trite to not quite boring, but far from Character of the Year material. Of special mention is Misuzu, who fits in one of my two criteria for acceptable moe in anime:
- The character has subtle traits that contribute to their personality as a whole, rather than remaining disjointed and just there to make them seem unique. Example: Akari Mizunashi from Aria.
- It’s explained to be the direct result of some kind of mental or physical impairment, and thus can’t be helped. Example: Misuzu
Misuzu does many, many annoying things: She trips over herself constantly, she has a verbal tic that makes her sound like a dying cat, she cries whenever she gets close to somebody, she acts way too childish for her own good and has the social grace of a nine year old, and she remains unfailingly nice despite her self-imposed isolation from the world at large.
However, none of this is directly her fault, so it’s infinitely more tolerable (Unlike Yui from K-ON, who I can only assume is more than a little touched in the head). Despite all this and her overall lack of usefulness, Misuzu remains difficult to hate as a whole. I even caught myself caring about her fate in the end, and that almost never happens with these kinds of shows.
I couldn’t help but laugh at some things that I don’t think I was meant to, or plugging in that Baywatch music during every instance of slow motion running, but my sympathy for her was true.
There were a few instances of conversation that were just laughable or not what any person, regardless of normality, would have. For instance, Yukito finally gives in to Misuzu’s incessant demands to play cards with her. When she lays out the cards, she has a freakout and starts breaking down.
Rather than getting help or asking if she’s alright while going over to comfort her, he sits there dumbfounded and asks if she’s crying. It ruined what could’ve been a jarring, yet heartrending scene.
Air TV is good. It isn’t great, but it’s far from mediocre. A rushed and cluttered first half isn’t made up for by a mostly excellent second half, but it almost comes close. Basically, if you liked Clannad or Kanon or pretty much anything that Jun Maeda has penned, yet you haven’t watched this anime for whatever reason, Air should be right up your alley. And if not… well, check it out anyway. If you noticed all my uses of the word moe in this review, that should clue you in. In the end, it’s a competent and memorable, if imperfect series. read more