Yukito Kunisaki is on a journey, seeking a girl with wings who flies in the sky, as mentioned in a childhood tale. During this journey, he settles down in a small town, trying to make some money. There, he meets a strange girl named Misuzu. Misuzu quickly makes Yukito her friend and invites him to stay with her. Yukito decides to stay in the small town, and continue searching for the winged girl his mother had searched for in her life.
- Title: Air (Air)
- Series: Series
- Episodes: 13
- Status: Finished Airing
- Release Date: Jan 06, 2005 – Mar 31, 2005
- Producers:Kyoto Animation
- Genre: Drama, Tragedy, Romance
- Rating: PG-13
Today’s review is much like the one last week, with the reason being that I am covering yet another anime that has been adapted from a Visual Novel. This one is from Key as opposed to Age, however. Key Visual Novels tend to have supernatural aspects to them, and Air is no exception. They don’t usually involve fighting monsters or aliens though, so let’s see how exactly they put them to use.
But first, I should go over the technical aspects of the series. Air was produced by Kyoto Animation and this was their first time adapting a Key work. They would later also adapt Kanon, both CLANNAD series, and also Haruhi and Lucky Star. Since Air isn’t really an action heavy series, bar for a few scenes, the focus is more on the characters, settings, and how these things look. KyoAni, as they are usually called, do this very well as their animation looks very gorgeous to look at. The soundtrack is also very good, this going for the opening, closer, and background music. The series also has a dub in its US release if one would prefer to watch it like that. I found it to be passable, but then again, I’m a bit biased against dubs unless I think they are very well done.
Moving onto how the series uses its supernatural aspects, I should start off by saying that Air is kind of a romance series, but also isn’t. Yukito, while he cares for the girls he meets and Misuzu in particular, has a clear goal and it is rather obvious, without spoiling the whole story, that Misuzu does have some major role in things. That isn’t to say he is stone cold emotionless, as he is not, but he may not come off as particular warm as other Key protagonists do. Now, the supernatural aspects come in the form of Yukito visiting Japan’s feudal times, and I don’t mean the stock Warring States era that is overdone these days in anime. Lots of revelations are learned there, and what happened there affects many of the characters in the present day.
There are more themes to Air as well, then just the supernatural aspects. One of the big ones is the relationship between parents and family, the main relationship being between Mizusu and her mother, Haruko. This can also fit Yukito as well, since the whole reason he is looking for a girl with wings is due to his mother. This also extends to the other characters in the series, such as Kano and her sister and Minagi and the problems she faces with her mother. It is pretty heavy and I feel it is more moving then the supernatural reasons for things, though it is also necessary in the context of the story for the relationship between Misuzu and Haruko.
Other than what happens during the Heian period, the series doesn’t really have any “villains” per say, it is just more of the characters facing their own problems and their own mortality, at least in one character’s case. It is also because of these themes that the series tends more to tragedy than other visual novel adaptations, but that seems to be Key’s forte, as one will see if I decide to cover Kanon and CLANNAD eventually.
With this said, is Air a good series to check out? I believe it is, with the quality still holding up to today. As said before, the series is available in the states from Funimation and it should be relatively easy to come by, especially now that it is under Funi’s S.A.V.E. line, which makes it more accessible to those without much disposable income.