Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Full Title: Air
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Supernatural
Episodes: 13
Uploaded By: ShadowBane
My Age Rating: PG-13 (Language, Violence, Adult Situations)

Although there are fifteen episodes available, the series really only has twelve episodes. Thirteen is a recap, and fourteen and fifteen offer a more in depth view of the happenings between the 8th and 9th episodes.

Yukito Kunisaki is a traveling puppeteer trying to make his living performing on the streets of various towns and cities across Japan. Despite his incredible skill, he is always broke and hungry. Although he struggles to survive, he continues to live the way he does for the sake of ulterior motives. His mother spent her entire life looking for a girl with wings who flies in the sky, and Yukito is determined to carry out her wish for him to follow in her footsteps. During his travels, he stops in a small town hoping for some business. After a day of hard luck and no food, he settles down on an ocean wall to sleep. He awakes to find an odd girl standing over him. Introducing herself as Misuzu, she quickly befriends him, and, upon learning that he is homeless, she invites him stay at her house with her and her mother (who forces him to sleep in the shed). Intrigued by the girl and the town, Yukito decides to stay awhile to see if he can't find what he's looking for...

The first few episodes of this anime are slow to say the least. Characters are introduced at a snails pace and all the pieces are placed in position. Then, the series goes off the deep end, not speed wise, but depth wise. It basically chucks you in and hopes you want to swim because I had no clue what was going on for a good while, and just as everything started to make sense, it throws another wave at you. Enough with the analogies, this anime is confusing to say the least. Finally around the 7th or 8th episode ideas start to clear up quite nicely, and they stay pretty conceivable for the rest of the time. What I'm trying to say is, this show takes patience to watch. The story is entirely understandable at the end, but don't start watching this expecting breezy entertainment. (Because the storyline leans heavily on eastern ideas of reincarnation and reconciliation for the sins of past lives, the concepts this anime presents may seem a tad foreign to you.)

Production-wise, this series is top notch. It boasts excellent animation sequences and beautiful art styles. The voice acting won't leave you disappointed either. The opening sequence is good; the ending sequence watchable, if incredibly boring. The music for this show is great. Some of the dialog is pretty cheesy, but for most of the really dramatic scenes, it's very well written (the "crossing the finish line" word exchange is heartbreaking to say the least...). The storyline is probably the best thing this series has to offer. All the positive production aside, I really don't know who this anime would appeal to. It's not quite a romance, comedy, action, or even drama for that matter. Although it transitions flavors beautifully and does each one well, it ends up being a jack of all trades, master of none. I guess the best I can say is this show should appeal to any patient person who enjoys deep stories. I enjoyed my run through it at least.

My Rating: 7.7/10 (Very Good)

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