Air TV

Title:Air TV
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: CANNA Nobutoshi
INOUE Kikuko
Music - MAEDA Jun
ONO Daisuke
Original Concept - KEY
R1 License - ADV (Renamed)

Kunisaki Yukito is a traveler, ever seeking the 'girl in the sky' from a legend passed down in his family. His journey takes him to a small seaside town, where he meets Misuzu, a girl who seems eager to become his friend. A story spanning a thousand years begins to unfold against the background of their peculiar relationship.

[TV series, 2005, 12 episodes + 1 recap ep, 24 min; based on the Dreamcast/PC/PS2 adventure game Air; Produced by Toei Animation. See also: Gekijouban Air (movie) and Air in Summer]

1:35min Series Opening - YouTube Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 9 8 9 10 9 Dreamer [series:940#2279]
I had watched this a while back and thoroughly enjoyed it and decided to re-watch it for the sake of adding my review. As before, I thought this was a breathtaking piece of work.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
The art and animation was really good. The colors were rich and details were really high. Some of the artwork with the clouds was really good. Character designs were pretty good as well. The overall feel to this series can be described as artistic in both visual and melodic qeueus.

The OP was really good! It was a pop-alternative piece with female vocals that wasn't child-like... as found in a lot of jpop when it comes to anime. Good enough to pick up the OST. There was some really nice piano pieces.... breathtaking.... breathtaking..... wow! I'm a big fan of the piano. The scene in episode 1, where Yukito wakes up at the ocean and looks up to see Misuzu. Wow, what an amazing scene! What made it so amazing was the piano piece playing strongly in the background while the camera pans up to her and a beautifully vibrant blue sky and clouds. Very artistic. The ED was equally as good. Okay, so I'm getting the OST for sure!

Series and Episode Story
Being able to take an oh-so common storyline with stereotypical characters and settings, and making it 100 times better, is worth looking at at least once. Well, Air TV made me watch it 3 times. Yes, that's how good it is. I absolutely fell in love with Misuzu... so innocent, naive and uber kawaii. Despite some of the noticeable plot holes, it still made for a involving storyline that kept you watching and entertained. The emotional aspects of the plot drew you into the emotions of each character... and ultimately made you come to love each character. The last few episodes is what really brought out and answered the questions you might have had earlier about some of the things in the series. Nearing the end of the series, you're left with a rollercoaster of emotions, everything from sorrow to joy to bittersweet satisfaction.

Overall, this was an excellent, emotionally charged series that had you sitting with a box of tissues and awed at the beautiful soundtrack. A must watch!

Last updated Sunday, May 10 2009. Created Sunday, May 10 2009.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 9 Xenoknight [series:940#2967]
final review soon...

My package finally came in yesterday and I ripped it open like a little boy during Christmas. I'm very excited to have this title and I'll be watching it with crowds of people for those who have no clue that such a story could be in an anime (let alone written at all). I'm sure to spin a few heads with this one. There will be plenty of tissue boxes with me. Let the good times roll...

If by some miracle, your reading about this title and have no idea what's the big deal all about, perhaps this video will spark some interest. The music and animation might be all it takes. All final thanks go out to AKUALU.

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

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Thursday, May 07 2009. Created Monday, December 08 2008.
Rent 9 8 7 9 7 8 Ggultra2764 [series:940#1552]
The Pros: Being based on a storybook game, Air follows the same pattern of storytelling that Kanon does where a young man must help several teenage girls with their personal problems affected by either realistic problems or some magical presence. In this case, the young man (Yukito) is a cynical vagabond on a journey to find a winged-girl and stumbles upon a trio of girls with problems influenced through magical occurences. Like Kanon, Air is split into several arcs where the first half of the series is devoted to solving the problems of the two secondary female characters. This is where Yukito learns of the problems facing Kano and Minagi. The second half of totally focused on Misuzu's problems and the origins of what led up to them. All of these problems are focused around the theme of parent-child relationships as each problem with the girls is related to some kind of strain in their relationship with their parental figures. The use of this theme for Air's storyline is effective and allows viewers to sympathize with the hardships of the girls.

In terms of animation, Air features vivid background scenery and a decent amount of detail put into the artwork. Character designs for female characters are the standard moe look to be expected with Key's animated works. The soundtrack is highly charged full of upbeat musical pieces that reflect the mood of the series very well, especially the opening and closing songs of Tori no Uta and Farewell Song.

The Cons: Air's biggest problem is that it has a number of issues with its consistency in plot. The viewer will see no more of Kano and Minagi once their character arcs are resolved which leaves one wondering how they are after their lives have become better. The transitioning to certain arcs throughout the second half of the series felt too sudden as well. Following an action committed by Yukito, the show suddenly switches gears to the past. Then after this, the perspective of the show is switched over to a crow throughout most of one later episode. The presence of the crow creates an inconsistent plot element given what the viewer will learn of the past events leading to Misuzu's situation between episodes 8 and 9. Viewers, however, might overlook the plotting problems being more in favor of supporting Yukito helping to overcome the hardships of the girls.

Facts on the Series:

-If you look carefully in episode 2 of the series during a scene where Yukito talks to three schoolgirls, you will notice that the schoolgirls are three characters from Kanon: Ayu, Nayuki, and Makoto.

Last updated Sunday, March 02 2008. Created Sunday, March 02 2008.
Rent 8 8 7 9 7 9 Devil Doll [series:940#752]
[Score: 78% = Rent. Recommended Romance/Fantasy Drama animes: Video Girl Ai, Kanon, Clannad (TV), Chobits, Shuffle!, To Heart]
  • Drama: Med (with "tragedy" being a category expect anything you can imagine, just not a story being based on character decisions)
  • Comedy: Low (a bit slapstick here and there)
  • Action: Low/Med (certain scenes during the "history" arc)
  • SciFi: High (high fantasy magic and supernatural beings as core of the story)
  • Ecchi: None/Low (some slightly teasing scenes during the middle section)
During the first pass I aborted watching this series after episode 8, both confused and disappointed. Having switched to a much better translation now, with literally tons of cultural footnotes and explanations (Koi, I owe you one), I watched this series in one session today... and it ends up being a high "Rent". What happened? Well... it was those final four episodes that made me significantly upgrade several attributes. But this series still isn't a "Buy" for me, unlike many similar stories.

With this series being based on another game by KEY and me having watched both Kanon variants before, it's almost inevitable for me to compare these two stories. They have a lot in common while being very different in certain aspects. Art and Animation are better than in Kanon 2002 despite the faces looking so similar; the Music contains lots of (slightly jazzy) melodic techno sounds some of which I like a lot (Mishiyoukyou 3), including both the OP Tori no Uta and the ED Farewell Song - not really outstanding but all in all very suitable for the mood.

While Kanon is a collection of five arcs developing in parallel, Air has a main story plus two loosely attached side arcs, one of which is related to the main story's background and the other to the main story's message (parent/children relations). Air has a lot more story to tell, so they hardly manage to give the main arc a decent completion; the first side arc has a certain "collateral damage" feeling to it (which you will understand only later in the show) while the second one feels irrelevant and even unresolved in the end. Both series do have a "long lasting suffering based on high level magical effects" element; while in Kanon this is a side arc it's much more central in Air, and as such much more frustrating.

What's best about Air is the narration style. A certain shift in time and location half-way through this show gives a different focus on this show; and with the appearance of "Sora" as character we learn about a number of things that we thought would not be explained in this show. As such, episodes 10 and 11 were the highlight for me as they gave me what I asked for in a guessing game like all "Key" games are. Episode 12 lets your emotions rule but I felt like the actual series had somehow vanished by this point and a different issue had taken over.

And that's not the only nitpicks I have about the Series Story: Yukito being so childish at first made it difficult to accept his later development; he got a home and a job too easily, the scenario never explains whether magic is something generally accepted in this society (we only have the doctor's opinion about this), too much of the scenario was based on magic (for example, Haruko's issue could have been handled completely without this premise), in both side arcs a certain character miraculously makes the right decision and we're never allowed to know why, and the second side arc was resolved by pure chance (the mother changing her attitude for no particular reason, thus causing an additional problem that was resolved only minutes later without any effort), halfway through the show three girls' arcs are already completed and little do we know about each of them except for their issue, most of which is just summed up by someone who happens to know the full story... Kanon gave us a lot more time for getting to know and like these girls (so that we took their issues serious when they were unraveled) and more opportunity to incrementally find out some of the secrets by ourselves. I also had problems with the slapstick elements during the "history" arc - I actually expected Skuld to appear on stage during episode 8. Is this a tragedy or what?

But somehow the biggest downside of this series is the Characters. The architecture of the Air Game is that you play the three arcs covered by episodes 1-7 of the anime and once you have cleared all of them you are allowed to watch the remainder of the story without significant influence on the result. Consequently all the characters of the anime are puppets, not individuals: Yukito miraculously does something for the first girl (the "collateral damage") that is never fully explained (how could he know what to do with this feather even though he must have known the feather's origin?); the second girl's issue is resolved without any actual choice being made by anyone (the mother just so happens to remember); the third girl's 'issue' isn't actually resolved at all (but it just so turns out to be irrelevant in the end); for the fourth girl the choice by Yukito is plausible but the exact consequences of this choice are never fully explained. Compare this to Kanon where every girl has a significant choice to make by herself which will be essential for her own fate! I'm almost embarrassed to say that but Air actually reminds me a lot of Ikki Tousen which has a similar setting if you remove the whole fighting and fanservice layer and strip that series down to its fundamental story... which isn't exactly a praise for Air. The one character actually standing out by making a decision is the one you'd expect it the least - prepare for a big surprise during the final section.

While the game ending makes a lot of sense, the anime fails to deliver this message by providing a number of illogical elements:
The successful game ending appears to be that Yukito releases the collected wishes of his ancestors from his magical doll and thus makes Misuzu (being a reincarnation of Kanna's cursed soul) break free from her hex (having to be reborn over and over again and die in pain at the age of 15 when she falls in love for the first time) that the Buddhist priests have put on Kanna a thousand years ago with their prayers when she tried to escape into the sky. In the anime we see this release of energy from the doll but Yukito appears to have vanished (like his mother did when she put her life energy into the doll) despite his previous claim to "stay at Misuzu's side forever", and the crow Sora ("sky") takes over his role. But how can Sora be another reincarnation of Ryuuya/Yukito when this bird had been there throughout the whole show already? There can't be two instances of Ryuuya's soul at the same time, right? Did Yukito have to sacrifice his life for Misuzu? And if so, why aren't we told what exactly happened to him (which would have made his choice a lot more transparent)? We learned that Uraha's magical abilities have been handed down to her progeny but Sora can't possibly be one of these, right? And if Misuzu successfully manages to break the vicious circle in the end then who is that little boy in the closing scene who appeared to know so much about the two leads' story? He can't possibly be a descendant of Yukito either, and he probably shouldn't exist in the first place... it's all very strange. The whole concept of Uraha's and Ryuuya's offspring trying to remove the hex put on Kanna's soul to free the "sad girl in the sky" from eternal suffering is flawed by these elements; at this stage of the series many viewers will perhaps ignore these logical issues because of Misuzu's heroic attitude and the extremely emotional series ending but for me they severely damage the rewatchability of this series.

In the end, this show does have its moments (both side arcs during episode 3-6 plus the ending are quite emotional, and episodes 10+11 are quite informative) but the story as a whole is still so unconvincing (and overly packed with fantasy & history stuff) and the characters so helpless that I cannot share their pain. Compare Air to Kannazuki no Miko: Both have basically the same premise but where Kannazuki no Miko gives the audience an idea why their fight may actually have a purpose I didn't get that idea from Air. As such, Air isn't thrilling for me, unlike a number of similar animes; all that remains is the emotions and the suffering, good by themselves but not enough for a really great show.
Neither Story nor Characters getting a "Good" score from me kicked the series out of the "Buy" range; I don't see this anime playing in the same league as both Kanon variants, or Clannad (TV), or Kannazuki no Miko, or Uta Kata, or Interlude, or Silent Mobius.

Last updated Thursday, August 28 2008. Created Thursday, February 07 2008.
Buy 9 9 9 9 9 9 AstroNerdBoy [series:940#436]

It seems that I have a weakness for these sad adaptations of video games (I noticed that this was declared an adventure game, but it felt like a non-hentai dating-sim game), so when I saw that this anime series looked a lot like Kanon in the character design department, I figured I'd certainly give it a chance. I'm glad I did.

From the start, there is such an air of sadness and loneliness despite the cheerfulness of the art/animation. It was an interesting contrast, as was the moments of stark humor which broke up the sadness with rays of sunshine. The first seven episodes deal with the usual things like introduction of characters. Yukito-san and Misuzu-chan are the main characters. Other female character such as Minagi, Michiru, & Kano are explored first with the theme being family. Their connection to Yukito-san and Misuzu-chan are not as clear as I'd like, though it is clear there's a connection. Usually what happens is that one has to own the game to get the full details and that may be the case here.

At the end of episode 7, we are taken back ~1000-years (if I understood correctly) with new characters -- Ryuuya (a warrior), Uraha (a miko who then learns magic), and Kanna. For two episodes, their story is told and it begins to become clear how the events that happened then relate to the events happening now. With episode 10, the point of focus goes to a new and unlikely character named Sora. Through Sora, we flash through the first seven episodes with a primary focus on Misuzu and her mother. Again, more things become clear with this, but with this clarity, the anime becomes even sadder.

And so I find myself hard pressed for words to descibe how beautiful I found this anime. Visually, it was very good. I love the OP theme and the incidental music is designed to help bring those tears. ^_^;;; The themes of family, loneliness, and depression are strong here. Through this, the characters are the final piece that really sell this. Gah! Misuzu is so loveable and I was immediately drawn into her and the events around her. She's such a tragic character.

Bottom line: Beautiful, sweet, sad, tragic, and at times, incredibly funny. This won't be for everyone, but if you liked Kanon, I think you'll enjoy this.

Last updated Tuesday, July 15 2008. Created Monday, July 04 2005.

Buy Jan-Chan [series:940#967]
My only comment is WOW! What a beautiful anime series, (but what might you expect from the anime team who created “Kanon”.) Would you be surprised at lots of girls with those classic Kanon-eyes, a lot of strangeness filled with magic and mystery all bundled in a slow moving story line, with absolutely incredible and exquisite animation? (Hummm...I did not think so….. )

And yes, we can expect some to complain that series just moves too slow and that it might be all filler, or perhaps that it is just too strange and that they don’t get it, but I don’t mind. Like the series Kanon, there has to be a bit of history and build up, and as Yukito is a stranger in this town, we get to watch along as he tries to relate to and befriend a number of different girls (and women) in this story. Lunar has released up to episode three and I am just waiting for the next episode!

A scruffy penniless drifter blows into a small beach town, where he hopes to use his simple puppet magic tricks to earn some pocket change and then move on. Against all luck, he is unable to even charm a few coins from a gaggle of school kids, and his tough talk-n-sour attitude even earn him the scorn of his potential audience. He finally resigns himself to being hungry and tries to catch some sleep on an empty seawall, at least until he is woken up by a very cute young lady. In a gesture of kindness, this young lady offers to take him home and she even wins her mother’s permission to let him stay with them for a while. Despite his first appearance, Kunishaki Yukito is on a singular quest to chase down a dream that was left him by his mother, that of finding a girl with wings who flies. His meeting with the kind-hearted Kamio Misuzu may more than just random chance, as he finds himself drawn into a circle of Kanon-girls who have a strange magic, that might have some bearing on his quest.

More later … I love the series Kanon ..and I think that I will enjoy this series just as much...

Last updated Friday, April 15 2005. Created Monday, January 24 2005.
Unevaluated 8 10 10 7 Alexander [series:940#416]
esp. 2 pretty funny. perhaps from the same creators of Kannon, as it seems to have the same plot. few of the characters, look/feel that same.
Not licensed.
2 esp. out right now, and i look forward to the next.

Last updated Friday, January 21 2005. Created Friday, January 21 2005.

Other Sites
Official Series Web Site

Community Anime Reviews

anime mikomi org