Great, now every time I look up at the sky, I'm gonna start crying...
Today had an Air of times past, watching an anime from start to finish in one day. Yes that was a pun. Thank you for the applause... Anyway, Air is a brilliant and tremendously depressing series. When it comes to sad series, there's a fine line between depressing and touching. As I've said, this series is outright depressing. And I'll put it out there right off the bat, that's why (for the most part) I didn't give this series a 10. It was too sad. I was praying for a happy ending, but sadly it did not come. That wasn't so much intended to be a pun. Seriously, the only anime that's allowed to be this sad and get away with it is Voices of a Distant Star. But in parts, this series is tremendous. For example, if the first 4 episodes were a separate OVA series, I'd probably give it a 10. This also is true of another 3/4 episode sequence. In pieces, this series may have been a bit more memorable. This leads perhaps to one of the problems I had with the series (other than the sadness). It peaks too early and then relies too much on what has already occurred in order to keep you attached till the end. Granted, this series does without a doubt keep you emotionally connected until the end, but it did so in a manner that lacked grace and complexity. The timeline of series is actually very short when you consider that the majority of the last 4 episodes or so just repeat events that already occurred from different perspectives. So you could say that this series lacks an overall amount of content. But the content is certainly powerful, in other words no additional content was needed. Again, this is a complaint against presentation, not the series as a whole. Also, and I've alluded to this already, although the series is emotionally powerful, there aren't really any scenes that stick in your mind as memorable in the end. This is because most of these moments are very cliché and as such are not particularly compelling. All things said, this review has so far been in defense of my stance that this series is not a perfect 10. Air is a very good series, I just prefer in this case not to be too exhaustive to avoid spoilers. But needless to say, almost any anime viewer will surely enjoy this series greatly. Going to the mechanical side of the review, the story is interesting and I think pretty original. Also most of the flashback and replay moments are effective which is saying a lot because that is often not the case. What I particularly liked with regards to the animation design was the intelligent use of light, really nice job. The music for the most part is quite lovely, particularly the song from the last episode. I'm a huge fan of songs with an A Capella part. Then the characters, are to me very strong. Particularly Yukito (the male lead). I don't comment with particular verve on male characters usually because most are either pervs or other cliché archetypes. But Yukito is a cut above. While on the outside he is cleverly outfitted as a puppeteer (which would give you the impression of a happy-go-lucky personality), on the inside he's a noble and complex individual. So in conclusion, Air is one of the best sad anime out there if not a bit too sad for my taste, 8 out of 10.
overall score: 8.5/10
overall score: 8/10
overall score: 8.5/10
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