Air, TV series, 13 episodes (13th episode as recap) + 2 summer specials. Produced by Key, VisualArt`s, Kyoto Animation.
Genre: Drama, romance, fantasy.
Long, long ago there was a princess with wings. The princess was all alone, with no mother, no father, and no friends… In the light of her palace, filled with blooming camellias, she was always waiting for someone to call upon her. She was waiting for someone’s voice to take her away in those endless summer days. She is still in the sky, waiting for you. Alone, crying. We all found her and came close to her, but … none of us could save her. Somewhere you two will meet… because it is our destiny...
It was summer. Kunizaki Yukito, a traveller, arrived at a small seaside town. He only took two things with him. The first was a small puppet, which moves without his touch. The other, given to those who possess the power, is a promise from a distant past…
Summer continues endlessly beneath the blue sky. In the air, where she awaits…
The story is divided into 3 arcs: the present (episodes 1-7), the past (several thousands (?) of years ago, ep. 7-9+summer specials) and the present repeated again (ep. 10-12). However, it is really difficult to define what is the 1st and the 3rd arcs and what really is important – you will see what I mean if you watch the show. The third arc is also the reason why I rated the story only above average.
The first arc is mostly about Kunizaki Yukito befriending a weird girl, Kamio Misuzu, finding a place to stay and getting to know a few other town residents (which, unsurprisingly, are women.) He is travelling because he wants to find a girl with wings, of whom he was told by his mother. In the process, some quite mysterious, magical events take place…
Up to the seventh episode, I thought that it was just a casual drama with some mystery elements, but by the end of the second arc I was really into it – the story got really interesting and touching. However, after seeing the last episode I was angry and felt like I have wasted the last 1,5 hours....
Read the spoiler only if you have seen the show and want to know why do I think so:
It could be said that all of characters were well developed, but the secondary characters were too emphasized. So emphasized that Misuzu became kinda…bland. In the last arc, character focus turned in an unexpected direction – I do not understand why. The main and some of the minor characters from the first arc became simply…….useless later on, except for Misuzu and… I won’t spoil more (but I love Potato XD.)
I have to say is that the animation is pretty stunning – not much of reused footage, if you cross out a few episodes, and great backgrounds. Art quality is quite consistent, too. Since it is not an action anime, the characters are detailed. I love the sunset scenes, and the colour choice in general ^_^
Voice acting, music (6/10)
The voice acting is just… there, kinda bland. Could be better <_< Background music was just okay, but I liked the opening theme, light as a feather, even though I dislike 95% of anime opening themes. I love one of the songs in the last episode, too.
I found only the 2nd arc good enough to justify watching the show – but your mileage may vary. See it for yourself, and sorry for the rant :/