"Fabulous mini story for all Air fans to enjoy."
Have you ever wondered about what happened between episode 8 and 9 of the TV series when Kanna, Uraha, and Ryūya were traveling together in search of Kanna's mother? Air in Summer is a short 2 episodes side story about just that. It also act as a puzzle filler to all those incoherent missing pieces of episode 8 in the TV series. It is highly recommended to have the TV series completed (or at least up to episode 8 completed) before watching Air in Summer.
The story as stated above is simply focusing on the journey (the happy
times) the three have together before the events that happened in episode 9. While it did not provide any significant plot development, it did however shed some light on the background story of the Air TV series. Unlike the TV series, Air in Summer contain largely humorous moments to lighten up the mood (for those who have been watching the TV series). One perfect example was what Ryūya thought Kanna was dreaming about when they were in the forest.
Kyoto Animation was responsible for both the TV series and this mini side story. Anyone who are familiar with Kanon (2006), Clannad, Full Metal Panic, Lucky Star, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, or Kiddy Grade (just to name a few) should know that the animation quality will be nothing but spectacular. It should also be noted that the animation quality is the same as the TV series, from the simple scenery to the most detailed character expressions.
The same OP and ED were used for Air in Summer as in the TV series though some images were changed to make it fit with the summer arc of the story. Other than that, nothing really changed from its parent story at all.
The TV series always felt like a bit in a rush while covering episode 8 and 9. Thus it was very fortunate that 2 additional full length episodes were made to let us learn more about the three characters that ultimately led to the events in Air TV series. For instance, Ryūya's past was revealed and we know what kind of world he once used to live in. It was also interesting to know that Kanna can be very bold at times too!
Enjoyment + Final Impression:
It was definitely worth my time watching these 2 episodes that seemingly lacking in terms of story development. However, once they are watched along with episode 8 and 9 of the TV series, you will appreciate just how much more you'll come to know about kanna and Ryūya (not so much on Uraha).
One final note: Misuzu and Yukito (and everyone in that era) are NOT in here. So don't expect the story to somehow jump to the present time or what-have-you. Air in Summer strictly happened during the Heian era!
Air in Summer is a 2 episode special that shows more of what happened during episode 8 of the anime series Air.
The really is no beginning and there really is no end. If you want a beginning and an end watch Air. You should watch Air before this, because if you don't you will be pretty confused.
Just like the series, the art is fantastic. Flawless animation. Another spectacular job done by KyoAni.
The opening theme, "Tori no Uta, and the ending theme, "Farewell Song", stay. I love that =3 The background score stays but the background score has a select number of songs that are
played for the Summer arc, and those songs are mostly played here, so we don't get to hear the full score as we do in the anime series.
Kanna, Ryuuya, and Uraha are the main characters. There are a few side characters, but not too many. Each character gets developed further, particularly Ryuuya, and you get to learn more and more about their past.
I completely enjoyed the anime so I had high expectations of this, and they exceeded my expectations. =3
If you have seen Air I highly suggest you watch this. If you have seen the Air Movie then you still might be a little confused while watching this, so watch the anime series first.
For this review, I'm considering that you've already watched the main series (Air). However if you're not familiar with the story and/or the names Uraha, Ryuuya and Kanna sounds strange, I'd recomend you to watch the main series first.
Why review a 2 episodes special?
To be honest, because in my opinion this special is as good as a full 24ep series. But of course this is not the reason why YOU should watch it.
Air in the Summer is about the 'Imperial Japan' arc of the anime. A lot of people misjudge it and say it was boring and didn't made sense or didn't blend well with
the rest of the storyline. This is a frequent mistake. In fact Ryuuya, Kanna and Uraha stories are the core of the entire series. Air wouldn't be Air without them.
Being it a 2 episodes extras, you can't expect a whole new plot for it. Basically what you have is a elaboration of the loose-ends from episode 8 and a little bit of fanservice and gags from situations that happened before episode 9. You get to see a little more of how Kanna and Ryuuya relationship was progressing, which is realy interesting because they clearly loved each other (as shown before) but both knew somehow it wouldn't work out. I mentioned fanservice, but it's not "explicit" fanservice. Just like other KyoAni's adaptations from Key's visual novels, you can't tell it was based in a adult-VN if you didn't knew about it. What you have in this special is a little more of ecchi, insinuations and actions that were not presented in Air.
Like said before, a lot of people may not know or didn't notice that the focus of the entire plot is based in Kanna's story. This is the key of Air's story and in my opinion the best arc. You have all this development with historical basis, this was the period Japan's government was trying to unify the country under the same religion, buddhism. That's why they had to get rid of winged beings (older gods) but also interesting characters with so much to elaborate that they could have their own 13 eps anime. Also, if you didn't get the curse/reencarnation thing, this episodes will clarify that for you, pay attention to the ED, there's a minor change on it, but this little change have its own simbolism.
Now that I mentioned simbolism... Air have a lot of it. And it can get really boring and hard to follow if you're not in the mood for it. If you're watching this special before the 9~12 episodes, it is your brake from all this metaphores and simbolism, so you can breath and watch the characters enjoying themselves.
There isn't too much to talk about Sound and Artwork. Both follow the same settings as the main series (obviously) so I'll be brief into this topics.
KyoAni's artwork is easily distinguishable by any anime fan. The kind-of-moe drawing and lighting effect are for sure trademarks of the production. For Air, one could tell it's very similar to Kannon (the character design and scenario), of course they have their diferences but since both follow the same kind of storyline and have common elements in it, it isn't wrong to say it.
I can't complain about the soundtrack. All KyoAni's adaptations of Key's VNs had great music on it, this one isn't an exception. This kind of drama/romance always have great soundtrack and emotional OST. Great piano and acustic guitar scores with some pieces of violins and if I'm not mistaken there were even a flute.
I TRIED to keep this review short... Give it a shot! it's a wonderful special (yeah, realy emphasising) and it's just 2 more episodes to watch. Better lose 40min than regret it later. Lots of specials are filled with stupid and pointless stuff, with characters having random fun and some of them realy seems like a filler episode that was ripped from the TV series and then released later with a BD/DVD "premium" edition. This one is different, it adds info and clarify everything from the main series.
A must watch for everyone who followed Air and for all Kanna fans out there!
The numerical score (if you prefer this way) Full scale 0~10. The average been 5.
Story: 10/10 -- Characters: 8/10 -- Artwork: 8/10 -- Sound: 9/10 -- Enjoyment: 10/10 -- Arithmetic overall: 9/10 -- However, since it's just 2 episodes, I must discount a point as well. 8/10
Thx for reading ^^"
If you read until here BEFORE voting down (or up), thanks!! You made my day.
Pleeease talk with me! I don't bite! I'm a needy person, I need comments to improve my reviews! These heartless buttons are useless. There's nothing like interacting with humans :3
The AIR Summer special was just an excuse to show Kanna doing cute things and getting into fights with her protectors. It fails to add any extra character development, it just elongates the montage in the series of their travels. Timeline wise, it belongs in the series around Episode 9, however, it is rightly not part of the AIR TV series. It only exists to drag the story out. As much as I love Kanna and the AIR TV series, this didn't cut it for me. For fans, it's best to pick up another Kyoto Animation project instead.
The animation is as strong as the
original AIR TV series, nice colors, beautifully detailed backgrounds and fluid animation. I have no complaints in this department.
The Opening and ending songs are the same as the series, and so is the sub par BGM.
As I said, when you get to the part in the AIR TV series when they show the montage of Kanna traveling and practicing her juggling, this Summer Special elongates it, by filling it with lots of mildly entertaining, but pointless scenes. If it had enough story value, it would have been part of the series. Think of this as "AIR TV deleted scenes". They are entertaining but not essential.
The characters are just as likable as they originally were. No character development appears in these 2 episodes, though.
Little to no value. Even if you are an AIR TV fan, I would avoid this. AIR TV was at its greatest as the 12 episode series. Please don't try and make it longer. It was 12 episodes for a reason. If you want something similar to AIR, Kanon 2006 and Clannad have been getting rave reviews. Give those a try.