Air Review

“The 1000th Summer”

I was visiting MAL one day, and saw that in my blogging club, one of them opened up a contest. Basically, it’s a contest where everyone had to watch an anime (Air, in this regard) and make a review out of it. Whoever wrote the best review will win and obtain the spoils. I jumped on the opportunity almost immediately, though it’s still kind of dead at the moment. I hope I’m not the only one joining this >_>

Not including the 2003 Kanon, Air is probably one of oldest animated works by Key, being adapted into anime from the visual novel by early 2005. Air stars Yukito Kunisaki, a young traveler whose only source of money making is his puppeting skills. His objective is to look for the “Winged Maiden”, after hearing an old childhood tale from his mother. As he arrived at a quiet town, his journey was put on hold for a quick while and stayed there temporarily. However, his search for the “Winged Maiden” may inches much more closer then he thinks..

Air presents it’s storytelling with great pacing in just 13 episodes. Key uses their signature non fanservice-y humors at the beginning, and at the same time, it doesn’t waste any time and uses the chance to introduce and set up the characters. Later on, the anime breaks up into 3 “story arcs,” and show the more dramatic part of Air. The first arc deals with Kano, the second one dealing with Minagi and the last one dealing with Misuzu. The anime may be be short but as whole, the anime doesn’t feel rushed at all. Each arc ended splendidly and while they may seem like they didn’t relate to each other much, their subtle relations to each other works perfectly nice, since it sets and build up the final arc pretty well.

As Yukito began solving the problems of the final heroine, Misuzu, this is when the anime begins unveiling the secrets and truths behind the characters, in which they are connected even throughout the eras. While the former two arc is great in their own rights, it doesn’t take rocket science to know that Misuzu’s arc is the canon arc, as more then half the anime is concentrated just on her. At this time, there are scenes which showed perspectives from different characters, which is nice. I also like how they uses a lot of time to develop Misuzu’s mother/aunt, and her change in character is positive to the series.

Speaking of characters, Air had one great cast, as expected of Key, who is known to create many likable characters. Yukito, is Air’s main protagonist and is at times cool, always putting his hands into his pockets, and at times goofy, always messing around with Michiru. He is also compassionate and had no problem lending a helping hands to those in need, even when he still has his own mission of searching for the Winged Maiden.

The other heroines are quite likeable as well, the outgoing girl Kano, the reserved girl, Minagi and the dojikko, Misuzu. I also like how some of the supporting characters relate to the main plot more so then you think, from the dude who brings a cake out of nowhere, to the housewife who carries multitude sacks of rice, and from her to the kids. There is no way of telling just what character will be the main focal point of the series, one character who showed up all of a sudden, might have a major involvement in one of the arcs. The only flaw I can find for the characters is that in the later part of the series, the heroines for the previous arcs are hardly ever shown anymore.

As for the visuals, it’s not bad. Yukito’s character designs look pretty stylish. As for the other character designs, specially the girls, are a reminiscence of old typical Key-style designs, round face and big eyes, and looks slightly unoriginal. I can’t help but feel the designs of the character faces look quite disproportional at times too. Some of the backgrounds are a feast to the eyes though, and the vibrant colors used in the anime is eye-pleasing, especially dat beautiful sunsets.

Likewise, the audio department isn’t the greatest, especially if we are talking about the background music. Although they sound calm and soothing, most of them are bland and doesn’t sound quite much attractive. Most of the tracks use almost the same instruments and tones throughout, without a hint of diversity. This is actually a recurring problem within most of Key’s works, and I can say they are improving slowly over the years. The seiyuu’s voice acting is great and natural, not much problems I can find generally. Ono Daisuke, is ironically my favorite seiyuu in the anime, probably because I was so used to his calm demeanor in his portrayal with Koizuki (Haruhi) and Sebastian (Kuroshitsuji) so much that I can’t help but admires how he can use his calm voice for loud retorts as well, shown countlessly with Yukito.

Air is a great piece of work, and showed just what Key is capable in. Though in my opinion, it is easily overshadowed by Kanon and Clannad, Air has a lot of great elements too; The soothing atmospheres, the fairy-tale romances, the lovely characters, all these make Air a force to be reckon with in it’s own rights. Air is definitely an anime worth your time watching.

Rating
Story: A
Character: A-
Art: B-
Animation: C+
Sound: C+

Final Score
8/10

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14 thoughts on “Air Review

  1. I remember when I heard that AIR was going to be animated way back when and getting all excited. Since I was an avid fan of Kanon 2002, I couldn’t wait for another Key adaptation. I really enjoyed it, the series lived up to all of my expectations.

    I’m surprised that you didn’t think much of the visuals though. When it came out, AIR was far and beyond the most visually stunning anime of its time.

    • Air is indeed great. I for one, never watched the Kanon 2002 though lol, I only watched the Kanon 2006.

      It’s probably because I was kinda late in watching Air and by that moment, visuals in anime had already improved so much I didn’t think much of Air’s

  2. I write my reviews to encourage, not to win competitions. Now that my schedule has opened up again, it’s time for me to get back to work. I’ve been neglecting my G-View duties for far too long.

    On to Air, 1 name sums up how emotionally invested I was watching this one:
    MICHIRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!! “Cries”.

    • I wasn’t really thinking of winning either, I join because it is fun when it involves other bloggers as well. And I’m probably going to have to watch some anime and marathon some old unwatched ones too..

      You’re quick to be impressed :D

  3. Ah, Air. How I remember you so Then afterwards played the visual novel and almost went into social withdrawal. Good times, good times. Just kidding about the last part, but it is pretty darn emotional. Would write a review for it myself, but there is no way in Hades I can ever get my point across as valid for the series in many peoples limited mindscope – so it will not be happening any time soon.

    • And I almost believed the last part, lol. It is pretty damn emotional, especially the mother-daughter part. Seems like you’re obsessed over Air :D It is a darn good anime, but I feel more impact at Clannad D:

  4. Key really does some great work. I finished Clannad recently and it’ll be some time before I can collect myself after that emotional ride. Until then, I probably shouldn’t watch this for fear of completely going to pieces and socially withdrawing…

    That said, thanks for the review! I do want to check it out eventually! :D

    • There’s still Kanon you should probably check out^^ It’s not as epic as Clannad but it’s quite an awesome show as well. I’m always in constant fear of social withdrawal 24/7 so you probably shouldn’t have any problem :D

  5. I’ve seen all the key’s anime except for this one. I just can’t find a decent video that is HD. If you know where I can find one let me know. And I wanna know why the anime gets a C in sound. I though Key is awesome when it comes to sound and music.

    • I forgot where I found mine, lol. And it’s not even HD, it’s BD (I only watched it recently) Do you really want it? I will give you the links somehow somewhere :3 I just think it’s not that impressive and memorable. Key is good for sure.. but not totally great in sound department. But of cause Air is quite an old anime, nowadays, I do agree that Key is awesome with music.

  6. Wow, you completed your review for the contest already! I better get a move on, I’ve been so busy with school lately!

    Just to be fair, I’m going to hold off reading your’s until I finish writing mine so I don’t unconsciously steal any points from you. Anyways, best of luck to you with the contest and blog. Hope you’ll continue to check mine out from time to time :D

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