Air (Movie) – Anime Review

The Essentials

AirName: Air: The Movie
Genre: Drama, Romance, Supernatural
Episodes: N/A
Released: February 5, 2005
Based On: Air dating sim by Key
Director: Osamu Dezaki
Produced By: Toei Animation, Frontier Works
US Distribution By: Funimation (originally ADV Films)

Major Japanese Cast

Misuzu Kamio: Tomoko Kawakami
Yukito Kunisaki: Hikaru Midorikawa
Haruko Kamio: Aya Hisakawa
Kannabi-no-Mikoto: Chinami Nishimura
Ryuya: Nobutoshi Canna
Uraha: Kikuko Inoue

Major English Cast

Misuzu Kamio: Monica Rial
Yukito Kunisaki: Vic Mignogna
Haruko Kamio: Luci Christian
Kannabi-no-Mikoto: Cynthia Martinez
Ryuya: Jay Hickman
Uraha: Allison Sumrall

Scores

Animation: 7/10 (x 4 = 28 pts)
Story: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Music: 8/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: N/A
English Dubs: 8/10 (x 1 = 8 pts)
Gut Score: 8/10 (x 5 = 40 pts)

Total: 144/180 (80%)

Review

Air: The Movie is about a traveling puppeteer, Yukito, who is looking for a “winged girl in the sky” of whom his ancestors have searched for, and a young girl, Misuzu, who has missed school for the entire year due to an illness.  Despite this, she asks to be able to do a summer project, and thus is assigned to do a report on the history of the town. This leads her to look into an old story about a winged woman, Yaobikuni, and her daughter, the Kannabi-no-Mikoto, who, legend holds it, used to be kept in the town in antiquity. In his desperation to be able to survive until he can make money at a summer festival that’s going on in the town in a week, Yukito helps Misuzu in her investigation in exchange for room and board at her house.

As the pair learns more about the Kannabi-no-Mikoto, and as Yukito learns that Misuzu suffers from an mysterious and apparently incurable disease, he starts to wonder if Misuzu is the girl that his mother told him about. Meanwhile, Yukito and Misuzu’s situation starts becoming more and more intertwined with the story of the Kannabi-no-Mikoto and her lover and protector Ryuya.

Air is story of both romance and mystery as Misuzu’s condition is slowly revealed over the course of her research into the story of the Kannabi-no-Mikoto and Ryuya, and the parallel stories seem to work well together as pieces of the old legend are often told to go along with what we learn about Misuzu’s continually deteriorating condition. While the story is fantastic overall, the ending seemed to come rather abruptly and didn’t seem to really resolve the core of the story which was whether Misuzu was the girl Yukito was looking for and whether he was really able to “save” her some how, and what the ultimate connection between Misuzu and the Kannabi-no-Mikoto was.

The more technical aspects, particularly the animation, could use some work as well. The movie is riddled with scenes with excessive ambient lighting and washed-out stills which were probably supposed to serve some stylistic purpose, but what that purpose was supposed to be, I’m not sure. In any case, the animation quality appeared to be quite a bit lower than one would expect from a theatrical film in today’s age. The background music is OK, but is bolstered by the fantastic opening and closing songs, and the dubs are probably overall above-average.

Overall, Air: The Movie is definitely a movie that many people could enjoy, if they’re willing to overlook some significant weaknesses along the way.

First Watched: January 2008
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Indifferent

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2 thoughts on “Air (Movie) – Anime Review

  1. I’ve watched 3 volumes of the TV show, and I’ve liked it a lot better than the movie.

    It’s not that the movie is necessarily bad (as the 9/10 story score shows), but I just didn’t like the style in which it was done. I think the style in the TV show was much better.

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