Gekijouban Air

Title:Gekijouban Air
Air The Movie
劇場版 AIR
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: CANNA Nobutoshi
INOUE Kikuko
Music - MAEDA Jun
Original Concept - KEY
R1 License - FUNimation
Kamio Misuzu is a female high school student who's missed many classes, so many that's she's thought of by her classmates as a delinquent. Yet she volunteers to do fieldwork on the local history of the town she lives in, and chooses to do the legend story of a miko named Uraha, a palace guard named Ryuuya, and the princess held captive at that palace named Kannabi no Mikoto (Kanna). At the same time, a drifter named Kunisaki Yukito-san comes to town with his small puppet, with which he can make it magically move. Drawn by fate, Yukito-san ends up assisting Misuzu with her fieldwork and the two fall in love, following a similar patter as Ryuuya and Kanna did many centuries before.
[Movie, 2005, 91 min; this is an alternate retelling of Air TV.]
On July 4th ’08, it was announced that this title has been picked up by FUNimation.

1:59min Movie Opening - YouTube Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 10 10 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:1169#1393]
This film was beautiful and awesome.It is an amazing piece of animation. I couldn't stop watching it to the end once I got started. You can find it on Veoh and oh yes have a kleenex box handy.

Last updated Sunday, June 14 2009. Created Sunday, June 14 2009.
Rent 9 9 8 9 8 8 Dreamer [series:1169#2279]
Having watched and thoroughly enjoyed the series, I had to watch this one.

For a full review of Air, see my review here. There you will get a better understanding of how I feel about this movie.

However, to add to it, this one didn't really live up to the series. When you try to cram something as good as the series into an hour and a half slot, the end result might be convoluted. This is not to say it was a complete mess, rather, I had higher expectations. But, on the bright side, the artwork and animation was extraordinary! It was even better than the series and by a long shot. Colors were so vibrant and details so high, I actually had paused it a few times just staring at the artwork. Wow!

Last updated Monday, May 11 2009. Created Sunday, May 10 2009.
Watch Xenoknight [series:1169#2967]
review coming after I rewatch the anime...

Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Monday, December 08 2008. Created Monday, December 08 2008.
Watch 9 6 7 9 5 Ggultra2764 [series:1169#1552]
The Japanese seem to have a trend going in creating movie adaptations of their TV anime counterparts. Some of these versions like the Revolutionary Girl Utena movie are decent adaptations of the original series. Others like RahXephon - Tagen Hensoukyoku can be mediocre or lacking in contrast to the TV series. In the case of the Air movie, some glaring flaws in its plotting and artwork make it worst than the TV series.

The movie puts a greater focus on Yukito and Misuzu's relationship and trying to make it parallel the past relationship between Kanna and Ryuuya. By doing this, the side story arcs from the TV series are now gone thus reducing Kano and Minagi to cameo roles. I have no complaints with this since Misuzu and Yukito's bonding was the main storyline of the series. Not to mention that both of their characters have different personalities than from the TV series making their characters seem more likeable as Yukito is more withdrawn with himself and Misuzu being more of a normal teenager instead of having her childish naivette of the TV series (which means no moe overdose of her catch phrase 'gao').

But with the limited amount of time for the movie format, plot progression is given priority over character development thus giving little time for depth to be given with the characters. Events with the progression of Yukito and Misuzu's relationship look rushed and with the lack of character development, it is hard to believe that an attraction between the two would take place in such a short period of time. The stronger emphasis on romance was a turn-off for me with this movie since I enjoyed the improvements in Misuzu and Haruko's parent-child relationship of the TV series. Since their relationship wasn't so strained for the movie, the main theme of the series seemed lost. Also, the connections between Ryuuya/ Kanna and Yukito/ Misuzu aren't explored in great detail thus making Yukito and Misuzu's relationship just a meeting of 'fate.'

The stronger romantic emphasis was also put into the flashbacks of Ryuuya and Kanna which also disappointed me. There was no journey to search for Kanna's mother shown. Uraha, whose magic was handed down to Yukito for his puppet magic, was also reduced to a cameo role.

The artwork for the Air movie is more vivid and detailed than the TV series. But, excessive use of sunlight effects kills some of the delight in watching the scenery. Character designs and music are the same as they were from the TV series so there is no need for me to go into detail on them.

Overall, the Air movie will be a treat for those who wanted a more romantic focus on Yukito and Misuzu's relationship. Those who hate excessive use of romantic elements in an anime will be disappointed with this adaptation of Air.

Last updated Thursday, March 06 2008. Created Thursday, March 06 2008.
Watch 10 4 7 9 5 8 Devil Doll [series:1169#752]
[Score: 68% = Watch]

Normally I don't have problems to rate visual aspects of an anime, perhaps because they're of minor importance to me anyway. This time I have to start with these because they're a major issue.
Most of the scenes provide beautiful Art and good Animation, certainly way above the Art of the TV series. On the other hand, this movie uses two elements that destroy the positive impression very soon: One is the excessive use of stills looking like amateurish drafts, obviously meant to give the movie an "artsy touch" (telling the audience "we don't need decent animation for this story, we're great anyway"); the other is that all scenes of the Kannabi no Mikoto part of the story looks blurred (probably hinting at these having taken place in a distant past but unnerving me who wants to see the characters) plus anything even remotely similar to a sunny scene drowns in sparkles. Therefore I rated Art for what the movie could have looked like if they had spared me from this rubbish and Animation for what it actually looks like.

With the Music being taken fron the series (same songs as there plus a couple of great tunes for crucial scenes), let's focus on the important aspects. Compared to the TV series I see two noteworthy differences: First, the whole Story is more streamlined. No loosely attached side arcs, no jumping around through the centuries, no fanservice interludes, just the two stories of Misuzu and Kanna resp. their male counterparts being interwoven. You see the parallels early on; you see the true attitude of Misuzu's mother early on. No guessing game, just a tragedy with an almost linear development, and as such easier to follow than the series, yet with enough depth to unfold the story of a tragedy beyond the borders of space and time.

Then again, the movie has only a third of the TV series' time and is therefore even more packed, if not overloaded, with story - at the expense of Character development. Not a single one of the characters gets enough time for the audience really attaching to her or him. And that's a pity because by avoiding the awkward SD elements for Kanna during the series and by not showing Yukito as a fool early on, the characters are much more consistent in their behavior here... it's just that there's not enough time to allow the audience to get to know them well enough as to be surprised by any of their decisions later. Most notably, the connection between Yukito and Misuzu remains completely unexplained in the movie - while the series made it clear how Misuzu and Kanna are related (and how Yukito knows about this) they're like two random people in the movie who just happen to run into each other by "fate".
All of this results in the characters being more or less irrelevant and the story being the only remaining focus of interest for the audience... and that's not much, given the complexity of the story vs. the time to show it: Telling two thirds of the series in one third of the time doesn't make the job any easier. Most of what actually happened a thousand years ago and how this actually effects Misuzu and Yukito got lost in the process; Uraha has little more than a cameo role, for example (while in the TV series she had been the driving force of the link between both millennia!).

But perhaps the biggest flaw of this movie is that they turned the Kanna part of the story into a Romance, as to forcibly create another parallel between both girls' arcs. This idea backfires horribly at the end of Kanna's arc where she completely forgets about her lover (who sealed her fate after all!) and instead tries to pursuit a different goal (the one of the series), making her decision as implausible as all of Yukito's three main decisions in the present time part.

So in the end nothing of this movie really works, which is quite a pity because the idea of interweaving both stories was a good one and could have created an improved version of the series.

Last updated Saturday, June 14 2008. Created Thursday, February 28 2008.
Rent 7 7 7 8 8 AstroNerdBoy [series:1169#436]

One of the most frustrating things about this movie is the pretentious feel of the art/animation throughout. Gah! I wanted to scream and scream everytime the sun came out, because the director felt that we had to have the sun glaring into the "camera" causing all sort of sun distortion effects. Plus, there is this feeling among a growing portion of Japanese directors for the soft, pastel feel to anime art which I absolutely despise! And don't get me started on the pretensious way the director at times went split-screen or decided to pan-and-scan a still image for "effect" or some such nonesense. Gah! So blasted pompus and ostentatious! Sadly, the above rant took away much of my enjoyment of this retelling of AIR TV. The fact that at times the director went with some "normal" art at times (which did look good) kept me from dropping the art score lower.

As to the story, the movie drops all of the other girls from the TV series in favor of only developing Misuzu and Yukito-san. The other girls do get cameos, primarily at the summer festival at the end of the movie. Hijiri-sensei (the doctor) does have a speaking role since she's actively involved in Misuzu's condition this time. Misuzu's aunt/mother Haruko sounds WAY to much like Kero-chan from Cardcaptor Sakura, more so than she did in AIR TV. I swear, I kept expecting Haruko to start talking about "Clow no ca-do" and say "Sakura" a lot. So yeah, that was another distraction and a sad one considering HISAKAWA Aya has done so many roles from Yuki-kun in Furuba to Skuld in the various AMS titles.

Still, fans of AIR TV should appreciate the tigher focus on Misuzu and Yukito-san and the parallel love story of Ryuuya-sama and Kanna-sama. I did like the fact that the romance angle was much stronger with Misuzu and Yukito-san in the movie than it was in the TV series. That certainly made up for several of the things that annoyed the crap out of me with the director.

Bottom line: Fans of AIR TV will certainly want to see this. I think the fans will be pleased with the story. As to my other complaints, that all depends on your tastes in art.

Last updated Sunday, August 28 2005. Created Sunday, August 28 2005.

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