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.
If you’re into drama and supernatural anime, then Air is for you. I actually quite liked it, in fact, I like it better than Kanon 2006. There were similarities between the two, like for example, I though the two series had similar characters. Yukito was a lot like Yuichi and Misuzu’s story and predicament was a lot like Makoto’s. Air’s story is also made up of character arcs. I think Air has 3 or 4 character arcs and each arc focuses on one major character at a time.
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.
Air is an anime series, with a great batch of characters to go with a beautiful and heart-breaking story however it can be a difficult story for some to follow. ^_^
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.
Air is a rather peculiar and unique anime to say the least, it’s indubitably one of Kyoto Animation’s most inventive and ingenious series to date. This evidently should come as no surprise since this is an adaptation of a prized and cherished visual novel made by the adept and adroit studio known as Key, a subsidiary of Visual Art’s.
Air is an anime that pertains to a select breed of anime that strive to relay a considerably greater amount of occurrences and revelations to the viewer than one would reasonably anticipate out of a mere half season series. It’s exceptionally high compared to what one of
its banal kindred would habitually consist of. Unfortunately, due to this ambitious and perilous tactic, the series suffers some notable as well as essential drawbacks, and it conspicuously shows it.
Yet despite the overwhelming plethora of considerable limitations that certainly should have been excluded from the very beginning regardless of the reasoning, this series still astonishingly manages to attain greatness, albeit to a certain degree.
Though I obliged to address the concept to my fellow viewers that contradictory and disparate to the bulk of anime in existence, this particular series is very special in regard to that, based on what your own personal preferences are for what you seek in anime, will determine your individual impressions of the quality of Air.
For those of you who are compelled and oblige only specific aspects within a series to be adequate and efficient, then Air will absolutely satisfy you to the fullest extent, since after all this is indeed a very captivating anime.
One unrecognized and unsigned theme that is extant in Air is undeniably mystery, though this is inadvertent rather than actually deliberate, and is very detrimental to the development of the plot. The constant sense of aggravating bewilderment significantly hinders your level of cognition, but fortunately isn’t quite to the unbearable extent of being imperious though.
Nevertheless it still wistfully manages to prevail over and detract from the strong points of the series, resulting in an inadvertently jumbled and convoluted conclusion that leaves you somewhat perplexed, making you wonder what the main point(s) genuinely were.
The romance was rather subtle though providentially not quite tenuous, it was very heartwarming and rousing, without incorporating any sense of archetypical sensuality (aka fan service). It’s verily admirable how the romance was quite effectively and flawlessly executed in such a manner, considering Air was twain an adult visual novel as well as an eroge.
The slice of life is prevalent throughout the entire series, though predominantly integrated into the introduction and opening episodes. Despite the profusion of chaos, pandemonium and tragedy, as well as melancholy ambiance that prevails throughout the entire duration, slice of life still acquires a fitting place in Air, and deserves admiration for accomplishing such a feat.
Every Key adaptation acquires their impressive and majestic artistic, as well as imaginative excellence from the supernatural aspects that are incorporated into them, and Air is indubitably no exception to this inclination. However ironically this element of Air is what delivers the gradual and continuous sense of befuddlement, especially nearing the bizarre conclusion. If only the supernatural elements would have been utilized adequately and appropriately.
That’s what happens when you consolidate a rather comprehensive and intricate novel into only an incompatible half season adaptation, the inept result is merely an insufficient and convoluted anime.
Unlike the supernatural elements, Air’s drama is virtually impeccable, no imperative flaws exist whatsoever. There is a bountiful variety of absolute awe-inspiring and defining heartbreaking as well as heartwarming moments that you will remember forever. No matter the magnitude of any particular predicament or occurrence, it’s repeatedly presented in a glamorous and charismatic style.
Once again there is yet another theme is extant within Air that is queerly unrecognized for obscure reasoning, comedy. The comedy is tenuous throughout, but is very mollifying and is effective at alleviating, in addition to counteracting the gradual escalating climatic revelations being discerned by the protagonist(s).
Main Points/Messages: 6
Constructing an adequate review for Air’s vague and indeterminate main points is a rather onerous challenge to confront, though I will do my utmost to reach that feat since I feel this anime deserves it.
Air is very similar and akin to my previous anime review in regard to that, the main points are addressed in an evasive and indirect manner. It requires a considerable amount of attentiveness to notice them all, since their conferred abruptly and rather erratically. The reasoning for utilizing them in such an outlandish and audacious manner is enigmatic to me, and is anyone’s guess. Likely the origin of this predicament is that numerous impolitic and imprudent alterations were required in order to adapt Air into only a half season, and quite frankly, Kyoto Animation definitely dropped the ball in that regard.
Though a profusion of avid fans of this adaptation and Kyoto Animation will indubitably loathe me intensely for stating this and will try their utmost to dispute and disprove this, there is absolutely no motive or even purpose for this faulty as well as negligent execution of addressing the main points/messages of the plot. Surely KyoAni could’ve done more if they truly aspired to make this series greater, why they seemingly chose to neglect this notion and not give this exceptional adaptation the diligence it merited, we’ll never know.
Putting the flaws aside, the essential messages addressed through the dialogue occurring adjacent to climatic scenes are exceptional and extraordinary, regardless of the execution. The supernatural elements incorporated into the main points make it all the more glamorous and elegant, not to mention fascinating as long as you can tolerate a lack of thorough understanding and attentive constantly.
I’d be delighted to discuss in extensive detail each individual main point presented but I will refrain from revealing spoilers if possible, in accordance with the site’s updated rules.
The plot itself as I’ve previously stated is excessively variegated and convoluted, you simply won’t wholly comprehend everything that transpires throughout its duration. Still the exiguous story somehow administers a sense of adequate uniformity and superb elegance, it’s as if the series itself was unwilling and reluctant to allow itself to fall to the depths of ruin. Air is truly superlative and inspirational considering that this anime still managed to retain a compelling as well as distinguished story, despite the plethora of unjust limitations enacted upon its inception.
It’s meritorious and quite impressive how the voice actors implemented such a gratifying and exquisite performance with the script they were constrained to work with. Each individual character was very pragmatic and unique, absolutely no archetypes extant in Air whatsoever. They all are first-class examples of exemplary characters, vibrant, astute, and dynamic, they virtually resemble real homo sapiens. Overall the pristine quality of the characters is on par with other notable Key anime adaptations.
Considering Air was released in 2005, it’s very alluring and angelic to say the least. The landscapes portrayed were ordinary yet hypnagogic, and very radiant. The character animations were aberrant without being disproportionate to be more appealing or to conform to a particular viewer type.
The voice actor’s well, voices themselves were adapted to absolute perfection for the characters they represented, truly magnificent performances executed throughout the entire cast. The general sound effects were adequate and alluring, in addition to being very well balanced. Another opulent as well as sumptuous aspect about Air was the imaginative and absolute breathtaking music present within every individual episode. It’s quintessential for delivering the tone for the series, and does so flawlessly. The OST for Air is certainly one of the best I’ve heard, it’s a true personal treasure to possess.
Despite the abundance of ridicule and bantering I’ve bestowed upon this anime, it still was a very outstanding and accomplished series, despite how much it unfortunately simply couldn’t achieve due to its design limitations. The auxiliary and subsidiary aspects are genuinely what sustained the quality and more importantly are what luckily sustained Air’s virtue in addition to sophisticated excellence that its novel consisted of. This is certainly a distinguishing and adept anime, especially considering the unjust alterations enacted upon it, with a very imaginative, inventive, as well as ingenious plot that any anime fan should watch regardless of its aggravating drawbacks.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, will gladly and readily listen to any comments and opinions of my reviews as to better future reviews. These reviews are designed to assist the viewer, not to merely state my impressions of it just for fun, thanks!
To say the least, Air is definitely one of the more unique anime made by Kyoto Animation. Air is based off one of Key’s better known visual novels. However, compared to the other Key adaptations made by KyoAni, Air strives to do a lot more, in quite a few ways.
Like I’ve said, even with its limited half-season length, Air certainly doesn’t lack content, with quite a complex plot. And seriously, the bare-bones ideas behind Air are fantastic – extremely thought-provoking and intriguing. In all honesty, Air certainly could have become a masterpiece, in all dimensions.
Unfortunately, Air strives to achieve a little bit too much.
And what I mean by this is the vast amount of content that really doesn’t assist in developing the story in the slightest. The overall focus of the story seems too unclear, as relatively unimportant information is given way too much significance. With quite a few other minor issues, Air suffers from quite a few obvious flaws, and some less notable problems. I’d like to say that it’s a ‘minor train wreck’, but that would be slightly too harsh. (Do note that I have not seen the movie or the visual novel at the time of writing this.)
But before I delve too far into the story, I’ll admit that the production values (animation, art, sound) absolutely amazing. Not surprisingly (considering the title Air), the sky and the overall landscape are fantastically done. The story itself takes place in a relatively quiet, rural area, and the scenery normally not seen in urban cities are beautifully drawn and animated. These vibrant backgrounds give Air a sense of elegance not quite present in other anime. Combined with the concept of angel-like winged beings, it provides Air with a very suitable atmosphere to develop the story on. Character motion, for the most part, is also very fluid and realistic. Of course, the characters also come with KyoAni’s typical ‘huge chins’. Fortunately, this isn’t as exemplified to make the character anatomy look disproportional, compared to for example Toei’s Kanon 2002. Considering this was released in 2005, in this sense it’s certainly a great work of art.
The sounds, for the most part, also supplement the overall atmosphere for the story. To say the least, both the opening and the ending are beautiful songs fitting for an ‘angel-like’ (I’ll probably be using this term a lot) anime like Air. Particularly the ending – titled Farewell Song, it brings a nice, calm sense of closure. Similar things can be said about the background music throughout the episodes. The voice actors also voiced their respective characters amazingly; each different voice was easily distinguishable, and brought out the character’s personality in an intriguing way.
But despite its high production values, the story of Air suffers from a lot of inherent issues. To start off, the side characters’ arcs. This may be slightly subjective, but in all honesty, the two character arcs (Minagi and Kano) serve no inherent purpose to the plot. I never particularly liked this ‘arc-oriented’ style of storytelling, but the problems of that sort of writing are much too prominent to overlook here. I don’t think Minagi or Kano made a single appearance after the first seven episodes (aside from the recap episode). Now, I probably could have disregarded this if the other two characters’ interactions actually assisted in developing the main arc. But they dont. The first two arcs contribute too little to no meaningful purpose. Although the main arc (Misuzu) is somewhat developed in the first seven episodes, upon careful inspection you’ll realize that almost all of the development with Misuzu and Yukito occurs when they’re alone. Practically, most of episodes two through seven could be removed, and the story would be still comprehendible as it is now. I haven’t watched the movie yet, but since it doesn’t focus on other character arcs, I would probably prefer the movie.
Similarly, the last recap episode serves little to no purpose in the story. Following up from before, it almost seems as if they included the last episode to deceive the watcher from thinking the other characters were sidelined. And if there were a choice (as there is here), logistically speaking it would make much more sense to recap over the main arc instead, since much of the important content appeared in the main arc (not to mention it was somewhat confusing and puzzling to understand).
This brings me back to my main point of Air putting too much emphasis on the wrong things. If the producers had enough of a budget to even include a recap episode, why not spend an extra episode for the main arc? Similar things can be said about the side arcs. With the main arc already cramped as it is, it would make sense to do so. Compared to Kanon and Clannad, the visual novel for Air is significantly shorter, so the producers certainly could have fit Air into a 13-episode season and have it become a masterpiece, if it weren’t for the wrong emphases.
Fortunately, Air isn’t all just a train-wreck. At the very least, for the most part the drama is pretty well done, despite a slightly dysfunctional plot; the drama is quite realistic. The slice-of-life portion of the anime is also quite good (not considering the first two character arcs), with sensible development and a decent introduction to the main characters. Also, considering that the visual novel was an eroge, there’s almost no fanservice or anything of the sort. There’s also surprisingly little romance, which actually helps the plot.
However, the most controversial part of Air is certainly the writing. The writers of Air took “Show, don’t tell” to a completely new level. There are so many subtle references that the watcher may even become overwhelmed. From what I can tell, many people dislike Air because it’s confusing. Indeed, it’s definitely confusing, especially if it’s the first time watching it. It’s highly recommended to watch the main arc multiple times, just to catch all the plot references you may have missed. Like many others, I found it quite confusing the first time through. But it’s very intriguing. Again, it’s very elegant how all the plot elements are introduced. Unfortunately, with the limited amount of time (due to improper emphases), it turned out more like a train wreck instead of a masterpiece.
As for the characters (disregarding the fact that I find no purpose in the first half of the show), they’re quite varied and interesting. The stereotypical characters don’t exist in Air, each character with a unique personality. The characters also have realistic emotions, and their actions have meaningful purpose.
As for my enjoyment, I honestly was ready to drop the show around seven episodes in, just because the first two character arcs were that dull and uninteresting. But fortunately, it does become more thought-provoking and intriguing further in. It’s very imaginative, and the supernatural elements and elegant atmosphere certainly assist in that sense.
So basically, KyoAni had a great foundation for Air, but unfortunately, through emphasis on the wrong things, the initially superb ideas became a minor train-wreck. Depending on your preferences, you may or may not find Air to be intriguing. Here’s the breakdown of the scores:
When I was told by one of my friends that everybody should see Air at least once in their lifetimes because it was so good, how could I refuse. This was a person I trusted and who introduced me to Ghost In The Shell. WOW.. Wasn't he wrong. A lot of people have given Air rave reviews, but I found it to be boring and at times, down right annoying.
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.
Let me start off by saying that I can be known for despising moe with the pure unbridled passion of a thousand blazing suns. BUT! I thought it only fair to explain why I hate it with a review of possibly the best show that moe has to offer up. “So, why the bile, JesuOtaku, what’s wrong with the heartwarming moe story?” you may ask. You may not have asked that nicely, but whatever.
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:
Air was the first of the Key / Kyoto Animation series and in my opinion, it's the one that has left the most indelible mark. Running on an ethereal kind of magical realism and raw human emotion, it is a roller coaster for the heart that, even three years later, I can't bear to forget.
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.
Air was the very first anime from the amazing due Key/Kyoto Animation, and it was definitely one of the best romance/drama animes that you can find out there.
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
Oh boy, I'm not gonna be popular after this, meethinks. I saw the japanese version, btw.
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.
The problem with critiquing Air is that the many reasons I have for not liking it are also reasons why others do like it. A small example of this would be the extent this show went to show how immature Misuzu was. It went to quite ridiculous extremes. The summer diary, the teddy dinosaurs, the ‘will you play with me’, right up to the point when she cut her hair, she could have just as easily been 6 years old and I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. But that’s not really criticism, is it. It’s just something I didn’t like. It’s like criticizing Hanamaru Kindergarden
because no real child has the depth of knowledge Hiiragi has. It’s like “so? that’s what makes her awesome!”.
The entire second half of the show was basically one huge sob drama story. Everything was tossed in to make this story even more sob-inducing than before. I’ll keep away from spoiling anything but making the lead female character sicker with every passing episode and making the mother feel even more attached to her with each episode felt way too manipulative. Not that there’s exactly anything wrong with being manipulative. Often it’s the sign of a good story teller. But never once did I give a fuck what happened to anyone in that show. Some people get sucked in incredibly easily into sob stories and for them, Air constantly throws them moments to feast upon. I suppose you could say that Air needed more episodes to make me care about these characters but I don’t buy that. Double the episode count and all I can see happening is doubling the amount heartbreaking situations involving Misuzu.
I don’t care. I just don’t care and fail to ever care about these manipulative sob stories. I liked Clannad for the double blow of excellent storytelling and the character of Tomoya, but rarely cared that much about the sob stories beyond how they fitted into the story. Air never felt like it was composing a coherent, well structured story. It was just flinging these bloody baawwww situations at the screen over and over and never once did I care. In fact, I can only think of one time I did care. That was when that winged girl was trying to juggle for her mother. As someone who’s quite good at juggling myself, I know the pain of having to constantly pick up those blasted things, although I get the feeling that wasn’t what I was meant to be sad about.
The first half of the series wasn’t exactly that bad either. At least it created the atmosphere of summer well and I quite liked the lead male character. If the second half of the story had continued the formula of ‘guy spending two episodes chatting, two episodes solving magical problems for these girls’ I might have made some unenthusiastic review where I said it was a rather average anime. But the second half wasn’t that at all (they turned my favourite character into a fucking crow!). The baawww heaping is what made me severely dislike the series, which is also why others love the series. Hence it’s not really criticism of what it did wrong. Just what I didn’t like about it.
Depending on what stage you are in your life or what epiphanies or experiences you have gone through, I think affects the way you understand and view things. And from where I stand today, I have to say, I really liked Air.
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
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!
Going into this anime at first, I wasn't really sure as to what to expect. Upon first look this may seem like your typical "boy meets a bunch of women---perverseness ensues." Trust me though, this anime is far from that.
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!
Why is this anime rated a 4 by me? Did it have an interesting plot? Did it even have a plot to begin with? Air is an anime that has recieved much praise from many people and I just have to say; it must be me who is in the wrong in thinking this anime is below mediocre, it must be me right?
When I first started watching Air I had rather high expectations and you know what? They were shattered right off the bat. The first episode did not deliver the way I had thought it would, the only thing it delievered was good animation
and art yet characters that were so unbearable that if it hadn't been for all that praise by so many people, I'd dropped the anime after the first episode. In retrospective I should have.
I fundamentally like anime, I like almost all genres when they are executed well with some redeeming points as a good storyboard (or even a storyboard at all), good screenplay and/or good characters and character development. But you see, when an anime fail in delivering any of these the way you expected them to be delivered you start to wonder. I can agree that some of the issues this anime address are interesting, or would have been if the two main characters hadn't been such drags. Seriously where did they find the two main characters? I am absolutely certain there must be some factory that produces mediocre bland characters that you can just copy and paste into your story-lacking anime. In a word you can describe this anime as boring.
Many people like this anime though, many see it as one of the best ever made, many find deep meanings and important themes and issues being addressed in a wonderfully executed manner, but you know what; you're wrong.
The 1000th Summer sure was one of dramatic events, intriguing people and gorgeous landscapes.
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.
In a short summary, Air tries to do too much in it's limited time and flops. Air forces a complex plot on the viewer that doesn't fit well, which leads to its downfall.
Air's story starts out pretty simple, but soon takes some emotional turns with characters we've barely met. The logical choice would be for our MC to leave or ignore these girls who need help, but he becomes ever so close into figuring out his mother's tale. 1 cour was not enough to fill even 1 route from the VN and in turn, leaves the anime viewer
confused as to what's happening. 3/10
The art and sound are excellent for the time, and still hold up today. The animation would still be considered nice to look at now, and the music is very emotional and works in favor of the writers wishes. 7/10 art and 6/10 sound.
The characters aren't anything amazing. Right at the start, we meet almost an entire harem for our MC, each with stereotypical traits and problems to be solved. This creates a predictable sense I don't like to have while watching a show for the first time. MC on the other hand is interesting and fun to watch; if only he found his way into a better plot. 4/10
I did not enjoy this as much as similar pieces (Kanon 2006 and Clannad). It was simply a bunch of sentimentality for characters that haven't been fully developed. The anime was boring after a while and confusing at that. 2/10 for enjoyment.
Overall, this is an average anime for our time. It did not excel enough to stand out, and is left in the dust by better SoL drama romances that came out after it. Not bad, but not worth the watch. The VN is a better option here if you want to enjoy the story to its fullest. 4.4/10
Air, unfortunatly, was the worst anime I've ever watched. It had alot of potential, but in the end it took a severe swerve onto the wtf-highway.
Air is about Yukito Kunisaki, a young man who travels looking for a woman his mother had told him about in a story. On his travels, he meets Misuzu Kamio. The two become good friends, but a disease bed-rids Misuzu and leaves her fighting for her life.
Now, up until that part, everything in the anime had been good, all the makings for a great ending. Until of course, as you'll see, it turned for the worst. As Misuzu
is on her last legs, Yukito comes in and sacrifices himself to save her (it was a very hard-to-explain turn of events, and even if I told you it would spoil it).
You are then sent on a long and boring arch of the life of a group of three living in Feudal Japan, and as before, its hard to explain and would spoil the anime.
So now back to the main story, what do you find? A crow. Thats right, we are now following the life of a freaking crow. Yukito reincarnate, yea, but still a freakin crow. We go into this screwed up kind of recap where we see what we already watched, but now through a crow's eyes. Except now Yukito (who is not in crow form) runs away instead of helping Misuzu.
Now we watch a few, final episodes watching Misuzu's condition decay and eventually have her *spoiler here* die. Then thats it, aside from a part where Yukito (in crow form) sets out on a journey to find the flying woman, again. But this time as a crow. Yea, a crow. This is how they end the anime.
Air had good potential and its episodes leading up to that giant wtf-moment of an ending, heck it was a great anime up until then. Yet the ending totally washed any good feeling I had for this anime out, and all around was a really bad ending.
I personally would not suggest watching this anime unless you like watching good episodes only to be given a horrid excuse for an end, but then again is up to you.
Key is famous for creating lovable characters that you come to like, and then ripping your heart with feels. If you know anything about Key than you probably have heard of Clannad, Kanon and Air. Each of them are harems (one guy goes after several different girls and eventually ends up with one of them), and usually each heroine is given their own subplot. What makes Key better than 90% of these type of narratives is all of them usually amount to something; whether it is an overarching theme (Kanon) or an effective way to lead into something more (like Clannad After
Story). Air however... is disjointed and isn't as clear in its direction as the other two, but it had the potential to be something really amazing.
Story: 6/10 (above average)
Clannad was more grounded. Kanon is a mix between reality and supernatural. Air takes the slice of life genre and attempts to go more to the supernatural side. The first half of the story is your typical harem, and is in my opinion pretty mediocre. Air tries to give each of its 4-5 heroines a sub plot in the span of 6 episodes... and the result is a hit and miss. There was one potentially interesting story about a girl who may have had some real psychological issue, only to disappoint me by turning it into a "supernatural phenomenon", which ended up being surprisingly dull. This isn't to say that supernatural elements can't be interesting. In fact one arc at the end of the first half was well done, and just when I was starting to get used to it... they change the direction of the series completely. One of the biggest problems I have with Air is that the first half barely amount to anything, and the characters that were built up are completely forgotten in the second half! This results into 2 disjointed halves that don't mesh well. This sudden awkward change in pace and direction leads to a cluttered and somewhat unfocused experience. Fantasy is thrown in, the core relationship focus changes, and... a really strange transformation occurs (???). This may sound like Air fell off the rails and became a train wreck. But when the last few episodes came together, it blew me away. These last three episodes are fantastic, packing a really powerful emotional punch, and even reaching heights that can compare with their best work. It explores a complicated mother-daughter relationship, that I really don't see a lot in this medium of story telling. It also culminates in what is, in my opinion, a really powerful bittersweet open ended ending.
Characters: 7/10 (good characters overall, but a little mismanaged)
The "main character" is a weird looking hobo named Yukito that goes around trying to get money as a puppeteer and fails miserably. While he sounds interesting, he doesn't have much character development. In fact, in the second half he is... shall I say... ignored. The side characters are also not very memorable and don't have much relevance in the big picture. However, the cast really shines with Misuzu and Haruko. Misuzu is a kind, clumsy girl who finds Yukito and helps him out by letting him stay at her place with Haruko. Initially, she seems to be a stereotypical not-so-bright naive blond girl, but when you find out something about her and follow her development in the second half... you will be surprised when she becomes a character you admire and really care about. Haruko is the mother that adopts Misuzu and isn't the motherly type. She doesn't seem to care much about Misuzu and appears to be incredibly irresponsible, and this creates an interesting dynamic that is explored brilliantly in the third act.
Sound: 10/10 (masterpiece)
Some of Key's best music. Uses violin :) one of my favorite instruments. Complements the setting perfectly, and delivers well on the dramatic front. Also has a core theme that is very memorable and that I listen to regularly!
Art/Animation: 9/10 (excellent)
Really impressive for a 2005 anime, but the real reason this scores high is not how good it looks but how it is used. It creates a fantastic setting full of mystery and wonder that perfectly complements the story they are trying to tell.
Enjoyment: 5/10 (mixed)
For everything I liked there was something I didn't like, resulting in a mixed bag. Overall, I admire Key for trying something new and attempt something outside what this genre usually presents. If you enjoy their other works, I think you will enjoy it, but be ready for an unexpected turn in the second half. While many people felt this is where it went downhill, try to give it a chance, because while it is a little clumsy, the vision they tried to reach was really admirable.
If you'd like to see my full review than leave a comment on my profile.
Storyline: I tried so hard to follow the story and where it was trying to take me. Maybe if I was familiar with the game, but I'm not and the same could be said for many of the viewers out there. The story was simple enough and quite beautifully laid out for about the first half of the series, then it took a spiraling nose-dive into complete confusion. There was a side story set in feudal times that seemed very interesting but didn't fully connect with main storyline, as did a
few other side stories. This series was just way too short for what it was trying to accomplish.
I believe to be the most "pure" anime out there. It has such a softness to it, that when you watch it you can almost feel the softest silk sliding across your fingers. It's very gentle, but yet not a really cutesy anime. All of the characters are very sweet and loveable, making it very hard to find a favorite character. It's got a very touching storyline, although it is quite sad. It's a very beautiful sadness though. One that everyone would cry at, but yet it's so gorgeous.
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.