Air has great animation but totally lacks in direction.
What I like most about Air was the art. The characters, scenery and the detail was just great. I especially loved the ocean in every scene it was shown. One thing that did bug me was that all the characters had bangs, don't know why it bugs me, just does. Anyway, all together the art was amazing.
I watched Air because I heard it was a good tear-jerker(granted, it did make me cry but only during the last couple episodes). The story didn't appeal to me at all. I spent most of the time wondering what was happening. There are a couple short stories that were okay but didn't have anything to do with the main story. There was a lot of short parts to the story that promised drama or romance but they tossed those out the window right away*. I did enjoy the last couple episodes when they focus on a certain relationship. Also, I thought there was going to be some romance but there wasn't. I found the story random and it wasn't easy to piece together.
The characters were okay. I found Haruka the most entertaining and I thought Yukito was alright. Aside from those two and Misuzu the other characters didn't contribute much. There was a short background story towards the end that I did enjoy and I like the characters.
Altogether I didn't really enjoy the show. I gave it a 4 because I was pretty impressed with the animation.
*Spoiler Alert* <- I think :P
-Yukito saying he would let her draw things to do in the book and he'd do them with her, but didn't
-Him saying he would leave then he didn't, again, and again
-Her father was going to take Misuzu away but didn't
-Yukito learning how to put on a good show with his puppet and then he doesn't really do anything with it