Story: I became really confused at a lot of the story for AIR. Some of it I didn’t accept and other parts were just downright confusing. For starters, I do not accept the whole Michiru part at all. I’m not going to spoil but, unlike the Fuka-chan arc in Clannad, I wasn’t ok with it. However, it is a deep story. The plot is profound and original. It is slow-paced but does have random bits of humor to downplay the seriousness. It has much more drama than comedy but it isn’t too dark. Don’t expect a happily ever after but the ending isn't completely depressing either. I don’t really know whether or not I liked the plot. I’m still ambivalent towards it. Also, despite the fact that it only had 12 episodes, it felt really long.
Animation: Like Kyoto’s Animations other works, the animation was impeccable. I’m not a fan of the droopy eyes that all the females had but that was my only flaw. Emotions were done amazingly and the scenery was just breathtaking. Characters were very pretty and the little details really made them stand apart from each other. I loved this animation and I don’t have a lot bad to say about it.
Sound: To start off, I watched this in English. It was free and legal on Funimation so I can’t say much about the seiyuu’s performance. I’m not a fan of the female English dubbed voices. I listened to a little (and I mean very little) of the original and the voices were fitting. However, the soundtrack, OMG, the soundtrack! It was phenomenal. One of the best soundtracks I have heard. It goes up par with Tsubasa’s soundtrack and that happens to be my favorite. I would go out and buy it. It’s one of the reasons I picked it up. I mean it’s honestly one of the best parts of this show.
Characters: The characters were far from shallow and 2-D. They had a lot of depth and emotion to them. You had a group of real characters even if the things that happened to them were unrealistic (which is granted knowing that this show is essentially about the girl in the sky). There relationships were also deep. All of them were even given the short time frame that they needed.
Overall: Amazing animation and sound. The characters and plot, I’m not sure about. AIR isn’t bad but I had trouble finishing it. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. I think it was just a little too out there for me. I would definitely recommend you trying it out though and, at the very least, you’ll come out listening to an amazing soundtrack with animation to match.