Story: This is a story about a young man in search of the girl in the sky with wings whom his mother told him about. It has some comedy but is more heavy on the drama and whimisical aspects.There were a lot of confusing arcs and histories told that left me baffled and I had to go research the episode to try to figure out what had just happened. The fantasy element is high on this anime. Characters are reincarnations or figments of someone's imagination or there is a spirit in multiple forms in one period of time. I felt it was too confusing and implausible to relate to and was therefore not fully able to empathize with the characters. I don't mind fantasy elements like a girl with wings who is meant to live in the sky but I did not accept Michiru's storyline because frankly it just made no sense nor did I fully accept Yukito's role at the end either. Those who are willing to accept any form of fantasy no matter how far-fetched it may be will probably love this anime. However, it was way too unrealistic for me to able to relate to so I was therefore left feeling detached and somewhat bored through the episodes even though there were only 12 episodes.
Animation: Absolutely stunning. The colors were rich, detailed, and beautiful. They captured the emotions of the scene and magnified the aura of the background so wonderfully. Nothing was carelessly animated. Everything was meticulous and carefully thought out from the animals flitting about to the grass billowing in the breeze to the little ripples flowing through the sea to the reflection of the sun during the sunset to the drifting clouds. Everything is just so vibrantly animated with rich colors and textures. The one problem I had was with the characters eyes which I considered too droopy so they always look tired even though they clearly are awake and full of energy and most of the eyes blend and look too similar. Otherwise the character animations was beautifully done with extreme care to detail and movement. This is one of the breathtaking parts of the anime so I have little to complain about in this section.
Sound: Again, absolutely stunning. This soundtrack is highly memorable and wonderfully captures the mood and enhances it such a high level. It fit the scenes so perfectly with its instrumentals. I am comtemplating getting this soundtrack because it just so amazing. Even the little sounds of the crickets or the hum of a fan or the sounds of summer resonated so realistically throughout the anime. They sounded so natural that they almost blend into the background yet immerse you deeper into the anime so you can experience the feeling of summer as well. The opening is just lovely and I can't help but sing along though the ending felt a little more forgettable though it was not bad by any means.
Characters: I'm a little on the fence on how I feel about the characters. They all have depth and exude so much personality. There is no one who feels flat. Despite there only being 12 episodes, everyone got the chace to have their personilities shine through. The main flaw I felt with the characters were the fantasy elements involved with a few of them. It felt to unnatural and near impossible that I had trouble empathisizing with a few so I was left not relating to their emotional breakthroughs and parts that were supposed to be moving and tear worthy fell flat to me. So though the character's personalities were great, their past history just did not resonate with me so I sympathized with some but did not care for the others.
Overall: Air has a fairly unique plot that totters on whimsical but tries to tell it with a semi-realistic background but the farther the plot gets, the less realistic the tale becomes and the more convuluted and fantasy-like it becomes. Not too say that that is bad but the realistic parts were rather cliche and somewhat predictable especially the ending which I saw coming and the older sister's monologue at the end seemed a little too cheesy. If you're into a lot of fantasy, you'll probably like this. If you don't, I would probably not recommend this since their isn't enough humor to balance the amount of drama and fantasy and there is the level of its predictability so I was not compelled to keep watching. However, I would recommend watching it for animation and sound because they took the anime to a whole new level and were the main reason for me watching till the end.