Yukito Kunisaki is on a journey in search of the Winged Maiden who was bound to the sky centuries ago, after hearing an old childhood tale from his mother. As Yukito shows his puppet show to people in an attempt to make some money, he finds himself in a small town in which he did not expect to stay very long. However, when he meets an unusual girl named Misuzu, things take a drastic turn as he is invited to stay with her.
By staying in the quaint town, Yukito soon becomes friends with the locals. As he gets to know them better, he learns of their problems and decides to help, putting his search for the Winged Maiden on hold. With his search on hold, and his growing attachment to Misuzu and the small town, will Yukito ever find the Winged Maiden, or is she closer than he thought?
Air the story of Yukito Kunisaki, a young man carrying on his family's journey to find the "girl in the sky" and free her from a curse. Stumbling upon a sleepy coastal town, he meets three girls: Misuzu Kamio, Kana Kirishima, and Minagi Tohno. He comes to spend more and more time in the town, living at the Kamio residence with Misuzu and her adopted mother.
Some may know, others may not, but Air is based off an ero visual novel by KEY. Thus, each of the main heroines (Misuzu, Kana, and Minagi) each have different scenarios to explore. The short anime tries its best to explore each scenario, but since it was so short, it felt somewhat rushed and the arcs of Kana and Minagi felt somewhat detached. Thus why the story only gets a 9/10.
However, I still rated it so high because the main story (the one of Misuzu) is simply beautiful. It's original, fresh, tear-jerking, and just beautifully done. I'll admit it, I cried at the end.
Most consider Air to be confusing when they watch and don't understand the Kanna arc. I myself got it the first time, but if you don't, just watch it over -- you won't regret it. Most understand it the second time and come to appreciate the series much more.
Kyoto Animation, the company that animated Air, did a stunning job as always. The scenery felt alive like I could just step in, everything flowed smoothly and they're weren't any inconsistencies. Air is set in the summer, and like to watch parts of it in winter when I feel cold -- that's how real it feels. The clouds and skies in particular were stunning, and kudos to them for that, since the sky and flying are important symbols of Air.
I love, love, love the opening theme to Air ("Tori no Uta" [The Bird's Song] by Lia). It's beautiful and the mood and lyrics reflects all the emotions and events in the series. The ending theme ("Farewell Song" also done by Lia) as well complimented the story and plot wonderfully. The BGM was nicely done, giving off the perfect aura for whatever was going on when it was played. Kudos to the voice actors, also -- they did terrific work on their roles. The character's emotions were conveyed convincingly and they spoke with such emotion it could tear your heart out.
The characters in Air were all alive and I felt for each and every one's issues. The designs on them were varied and I never was annoyed by any character in particular (a nice change for once). However, the reason this rating isn't higher, is because since the anime was so short most characters did not receive the development they were in need of.
I loved Air every moment, from beginning to end. If you're looking for a nice romance with a touch of supernatural fantasy and great characters, I highly recommend Air.