Centuries ago, Kanna, a princess and the last of a winged race, was held prisoner in a castle as she was feared by the rest of the world. However, when she met a soldier named Ryuuya, she fell in love with him and told him of her wishes to see the outside world and to find her mother. Ryuuya attempted to fulfill these wishes. However, his efforts were in vain as Kanna was sealed in the sky through magic and cursed to be in pain for all eternity.
Hundreds of years later, Yukito, a decendant of Ryuuya, comes to a quiet town one week before their annual festival with hopes that he can make some money. However, when he meets an unusual girl called Misuzu, he is reminded of what his mother once told him—"When you go out on your journey, if you find the winged girl's re-incarnation, you must use your power to set her free."
Yukito and Misuzu's fates soon become intertwined with each other, with each developing feelings for the other. However when Yukito realizes Misuzu's connection to the past, he must decide on whether to leave, or to attempt to break the curse that has bound Kanna in centuries of pain.
"A condensed love story with significant differences from its TV counterpart."
Advice #1: Do NOT watch the movie right after finishing the TV series. It is very tempting to do so (for comparison) but you are bound to be disappointed if you do so (due to various reasons to be discussed below).
Advice #2: Forget what happened in the TV series about Kano and Minagi as they play no part in the movie so do not hope for much of their appearance in the movie. (same for PIKO PIKO!)
Advice #3: Do NOT view the movie as inferior to the TV series. You are comparing French to
English. The two are not even made by the same director!
It was a very good idea for Toei Animation to have both Kanna and Misuzu's story intertwined throughout the movie. This makes plot development much simpler to understand. For example, instead of the dreams that Misuzu often had in the TV series (as a way to link the past with present), she now uncovers the past through her field work. Two every different ways of presenting to the viewer "the story behind the story". There were also significantly more romance involved between Kanna-Ryūya pair and Misuzu-Yukito pair.
Since the movie was produced by Toei Animation, the animation quality will obviously be different from its TV counterpart. It is certainly not wise to compare the two (movie VS TV series) in terms of graphic (Kyoto Animation win by light years ahead). However, it is worth noting that the Movie does have some unique filming techniques that were quite impressive but those "still image" picture-book-like techniques were kind of overdone a little. In addition, for a 2005 production, the animation quality is really not that great (especially for a movie).
Soundtrack wise, the same OP/ED songs were used for the movie as the TV series. So it should make most viewers comfortable watching the movie (not sure if it were wise to do that as it'll just make viewers want to compare the movie with the TV series even more).
The major difference from the TV series is that Yukito in the movie is NOT voice acted by Daisuke Ono, instead Yukito's CV in the movie is Hikaru Midorikawa (Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing, Kaede Rukawa in Slam Dunk, and Yusuke Yoshino in Clannad).
While it was enjoyable to see more character development and more developed relationships between the main leads, it was also sad that major characters in the TV series like Kano, Minagi, Michiru, Uraha, and even POTATO did not have much of a role in the movie.
It is worth mentioning that some characters' personality are altered slightly. What does that mean? For instance, the "love" between Kanna and Ryūya in the TV series was very pure (Ryūya's love was more like out of respect), but the movie version have a totally different take on that. Much the same between Yukito and Misuzu.
I tried my best to not compare the TV series and the movie as much as possible (due to the simple fact that they were produced by different company), but I still find it hard to rate the movie as high as the TV production. However, the movie did give us some alternative paths that were not taken in the TV series (which was rather unique). It does not really matter which to watch first (TV or movie), but ultimately both have the same tragic ending (though the movie was less tragic due to Yukito being alive at the end ).
Air the movie was a different story compared to the TV series, but both started and ended the same way. There were a lot of differences, such as Misuzu and Yukito’s relationship, as well as Kanna and Ryuuya’s relationship. In fact, the story focused more on these relationships, removing the story arcs of Kano, Michiru and Tohno. I guess they wanted to give more light to Kanna and Ryuuya’s story (which is a good decision)
As for Misuzu and Yukito, their relationship was more boyfriend-girlfriend, whereas in the series, they were more like brother and sister. Kanna and Ryuuya were much closer too, and
Uruha’s role was minor in the movie. The same with Kano, Michiru and Tohno. Actually, the last 3 I mentioned didn’t even have a role – they were just extras. The biggest character-related disappointed was with Potato! Why would they take an absolutely adorable dog out of the story? On that note, I guess I like how the characters were on the TV series better.
The voice acting was OK, but I kinda wish Daisuke Ono came back for his role as Yukito. Daisuke Ono’s work made Yukito more sarcastic and funny. I am glad that Aya Hisakawa was back for Misuzu, because her voice was one of the elements that made Misuzu adorable. Other seiyuus that repeated their roles are Nobutoshi Canna (Ryuuya) and Chinami Nishimura, to name a few.
It almost looks the same, except KyoAni’s animation techniques were a lot better. Toei Animation’s work wasn’t that bad – in fact I like some of the techniques they used. I don’t know what it’s called, but I like it when they would divide one scene into many panels, sort of like what you would see in a manga. I also like the technique they used in telling Kanna and Ryuuya’s story, wherein there were always cherry blossoms. It makes an interesting screen play.
Most (if not all) of the music from the TV series were once again featured in the movie, except they were arranged differently. Personally, I like the original arrangements better, specially for the “Farewell Song” by Lia. The arrangement in the movie was a bit odd – it ended on a weird note. I do like the new song, “If Dreams Came True” by Eri Kawai. It was a really sweet song.
I can’t speak for everyone and say that it’s as good as the TV series, but it’s worth watching. It is an alternate retelling, actually, it’s more of a “dramatic” alternate retelling since it became more of a forbidden love story. My main motive for watching it was to compare it with the series (obviously I like the original more), but as a stand alone, I can say that it’s viable.
Hmmm... It's actually my first time writing any kind of review, but I'll try my best...
First of All let me say I enjoyed original series. It was touching, it was interesting, had great art...
With that being said, I personally don't see much similarities between this movie and original. First: the animation. I just couldn't get used to new art, it kept bugging me through whole series. In Original series characters actually looked cute, while in this movie just freaky. Animation itself was OK though I think.
Then the characters... I'm sorry but the idea of making someone say "A", "definately A", and then without any real
reasons say "B" out of the blue isn't really convincing. Besides the whole thing between the two was VERY streched idea IMO. Also Harukas character was completely changed, with the original showing through a few times, making whole thing confusing and irritating.
Story... Well the biggest thing bugging me is how they made exactly the same ending as in original, and different rest, making it stick out like a sore thumb. And that hair thing was just... Come on, who would do that in her situation... Also that "Misuzu in a Pinch" just irritated the hell out of me. It was idiotic if I am allowed to say that, and completely ruined the mood.
I don't have much to say about sound, it was pretty OK, except maybe that moment where Yukito start whistling. they COULD remove the BGM, at least you would be able to hear him better.
As for enjoyment... honestly saying the only moment i TRULY enjoyed was when Yukito punched [spoiler - you'll know what i'm talking about once you watch]. This was really well implemented, I could see it coming and I would do exactly the same. Other thing is how the mentioned person acted before and after he met Yuki, with the two completely different IMO, but it's a detail, isn't it?...
Overall. It could've been a good movie. But little details here and there, inconsistency in characters behaviour, some sticking out moments that completely didn't fit the story ruined it. Maybe it would be better if I haven't watched series before, but... no, I won't say "don't watch it", since it's your choice and what I wrote were just how I saw the movie, but personally i'd like that 1,5 h of my life back.
Once again we witness another shot from Toei Animation at one of Key's works, first from Kanon, and now a movie based on the eroge Air. Is it on the same level as the acclaimed Kyoto Animation anime or does it hide in the shadows once again, overwhelmed by Kyoto's masterpiece?
To put it rather bluntly, yes, it does. The movie is not that bad itself, but it just can't keep up with the series. But upon analyzing as an individual, without any type of comparisons, we can see that there are many good points worth mentioning, which could potentially place this movie under the "good
Story> It has the same foundation as the series, but differs greatly in terms of events and sequence. It could also seem rather shallow at first, since many things from the series were omitted, including characters and events, but is rather understandable, judging from the fact that the series has a duration of over 250 minutes, while the movie consists of approximately 100 minutes. The summer arc is squeezed between the main plot, which, in my opinion, is not that bad as other might make you think, since you can denote the similarities between Misuzu and Kanna much better and faster this way. Events differ greatly from the series too, meaning that if you previously watched the series you won't be witnessing a mutilated retelling of the story.
Art> It wasn't bad but definitely not a masterpiece. You will find moments where the animation is really awkward and sluggish, even to the point of mediocrity, but there are some parts as well that deserve their recognition, like the sakura filled screens when the story changes to Kanna's legend. I've also heard people talk about the character models being annoying, but frankly, I really think it's stupid to use that as an argument. It's true that at first it might be uncomfortable if you're used to Kyoto's designs, but the models are not bad at all; they're well drawn, and if someone argues that their faces change and are inconsistent, they have big eyes or deformed faces, then those people haven't watched Ichigo 100%, read the Ouran High School Host Club manga or watched Kanon 2002, respectively, and just because they don't look so "heavenly" or "cute" or whatever adjective that clearly shows affection towards the Kyoto version it doesn't mean that it can be discriminated. In conclusion, the animation is average and character models are well drawn.
Sound> Same as above, you'll find its ups and downs. Opening and ending themes, you already know them if you've seen the Air series, and if you haven't, then stop reading this review and go view it, since I highly recommend watching the series first. I have to admit, there were some moments where the BGM took the "feeling" out of some parts, like the moment where Yukito was whistling, or where the transition from silence to dramatic was so great that made me jump from my seat. So, as to the sound and music, a fair 6 is enough.
Character> Don't be thinking that there's going to be any Tohno or Urara, 'cause they're just minor appearances (not even characters). The movie centers on the Yukito-Misuzu and Kanna-Ryuuya relationships, which greatly differ form the ones in the series, in the sense that they convey a different type of love, if you can deduce what I mean. Under my point of view, it is the characters' actions and feelings and not their situations they're placed in that make the movie (and the series as well) roll into a tragedy, since calling it a drama is short, but explaining this would need an article of itself. And because of the slightly alternate personalities of the cast, the character development deserves an 8.
In conclusion, the Air movie is rather satisfactory at the end, just like any other movie you might go and watch to a theater nowadays. It does not, however, keep up with Kyoto's level and remains, without doubt, inferior. But don't let this disappoint you and try giving it an opportunity, since it proves to be a nice "alternative" to the events that happened in the series.