Legend tells of a winged beauty who was so feared that she was confined to a palace, never to leave its gates alive. She lived a life of solitude until one day love entered her life; but as cruel fate would have it, the more the young woman loved, the closer she came to her death. For young Misuzu, researching the tragic tale of the winged one was only the beginning of her summer’s journey; a journey that would be filled with the discovery of love, the pain of loss, and the exploration of the human heart.
I'm going to be the discordant voice here and the odd one out, but I didn't like Air the movie. Obviously this is AFTER I've already seen the series a couple of times, so I'm afraid I cannot objectively judge the movie on its own value without comparing it to the anime series. And Air is a series I really love. So I felt extremely let down by this movie. Nothing to complain about the music, the OP is the same as the anime series. I didn't like the animation. If compared to the series; I'm sorry I'm going to say this a lot. In the series the characters were drawn better. I did like the light in some scenes (in others the sunlight was honestly excessive) and also the sea. But to me it felt a lot worse than the series. Story and characters. So it's yet another alternative version of the same story. There's a legend about a winged girl trapped in the sky. Misuzu suffers from an unknown sickness and turns out to be the reincarnation of the winged girl. Yukito is a travelling puppeteer and arrives in the town where Misuzu lives because he hopes to make some money with his puppet show at the summer festival that will be held there. And this is basically the same as the series. The movie focuses only on Yukito and Misuzu. Her school summer assignment is on the town where she lives and she decides to look into the local folklore, so she gets acquainted with the legend of the winged girl in the sky and starts gathering information on it, while Yukito helps her. So parallel to Misuzu and Yukito's story you have this other storyline about Kanna (the winged girl) and Ryura, one of the guards of the shrine where she was confined. The only other character worth mentioning is Misuzu's mother, while all the other characters that were present in the series are gone. Plotwise the movie deviates from the series as it gives you a romantic take on both stories, Misuzu's and Kanna's. In the anime it was never about romance between the characters. Ryura was actually more like a father figure and even if Kanna seemed infatuated, they were always stressing that she was still just a child. As for Misuzu and Yukito, in the series it was presented as an innocent kind of love. I understand that the romantic point of view wasn't developed in the main series so it's good material for a movie - and it isn't this that bothers me. Ok, so why aren't I so keen on this movie? I guess because I don't like how they made light of it, the characters are the same but different, as in more comedic, they lack the depth they had in the series so I found them a lot less touching. Haruko, Misuzu's mother, in the series is one great character, here they exasperated the "funny" aspect; which was present also in the series, also there she was constantly crashing in the shed and getting drunk, but I really feel that in the series she was described a lot better while in the movie they all kind of become caricatures; there's even a scene where she flings herself practically naked on Yukito - come on!!! Yukito seems to be more developed in this movie, however I still think that he lacks consistency. Same goes for Misuzu. My main objection is that they turned unforgettable characters and a heart-breaking story in something superficial and bland. In my opinion, the movie is just a waste of time. You're better off watching the series.
I don't even know if I have the words to describe how beautiful this movie is. It is a sweet love story paralleling a legendary romance. Your heart will break for the characters of the past as well as the characters of the present. There are moments that will make you laugh and moments that will make you cry but I assure you that it will have you believing in love! You will want to hold tight everyone that is special to you. (At least it had this effect on me.)
Story 8.5/10 (Since this movie has a corresponding series, in favour of comparisons, spoilers will be contained in the following text) There are plenty of reviews concerning the series, yet I feel that the homonymous movie created for the game of Key, doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Taking into consideration the variety of different opinions surrounding the main series, I would expect a similarly controversial movie. Thankfully, I was wrong. To begin with, I feel that the story is quite fair. Honestly, I wasn’t too excited by the series’ approach. Yet, although the movie keeps pace with the basics of the “official” plot, the focus that’s been made on the main story by Toei animation has somehow eliminated all the unnecessary elements that kept Air - the series - in mediocrity (always regarding my personal belief). It also gives the chance for a deeper and smoother approach on the finale which has a few differences as well. The story begins with a travelling puppeteer that arrives in a small town in his lifetime journey in search of a flying girl above the clouds. There he meets and befriends (well, actually he is befriended by) Misuzu, a beautiful but lonely young teenager. Just like in the series, it turns out that she is the reincarnation of the flying legend he was pursuing, yet as legend unfolds, it turns out that she will die if she ever admits to be in true love with a person. And guess what… she falls in love with Yukito (the puppet master)! Throughout the film, various flashbacks of a story a 1000-years-old gradually explain the mystical relations that have been formed between the two of them either by fate or common circumstances. A beautiful but pretty sad story with much potential to catch the viewer’s attention and fascinate his or her emotions, that’s what Air the movie is all about. For anyone who has already seen the series, this animated film has still much to offer: a non-identical retelling of the tale – highlighting the main arc, the addition of an actual romance part between the girl and the traveller, a happier ending and many more aspects that aren’t ruined just by watching the 13-episode series. To conclude this chapter, I want to clarify my statement regarding the “happier ending” (big spoiler alert). First of all, the girl dies. In both editions she has to leave this ugly and miserable world in order for the drama to reach its climax and its expurgation through the protagonist’s doleful finale. On the other hand, this time she has by her side both her mother and her friend, who hasn’t just turned into a crow meaninglessly wandering in the sky… and to whom she has acknowledged a true love. A nicely done improvement, don’t you think? Animation 7.5/10 Despite having in mind that Toei animation is one of the best in its sector, it would be too difficult to give Air a better score, since I didn’t truly like the direction. The drawing of the characters is far too beautiful and flawless not to take any credit, with comely sceneries at every background neatly bordering a seemingly realistic movement of each person. The fact that irritated my eyes was the overuse of the sunlight falling at almost every scene for the first 40 minutes and another dark effect taking place during the other 40 minutes. Of course both effects were very nice and well designed, but after a while it gets a bit annoying. Moreover, the production team chose to lend a very dramatic tone to the movie, by adding some mistimed black captions and still drawings in order to frame narrations and intense scenes. Sound 9.5/10 Generally, there is nothing wrong with the sound and music part. Both the opening and the ending theme are very beautiful and pleasant to hear, with matching lyrics to the spirit of the movie. Also, during the movie, the rhythm of the songs and the music help maintain the pace throughout the end. Since strong emotions must be expressed in many occasions, choosing good performers is essential for a series or a movie to succeed. In the English version of the film, the actors’ voices were more than descent. I did see the Japanese version of the series only and I felt that it was pretty good as well. Hence, I reckon that the same actors participated in the film, giving a similar performance. The english casting was astonishingly good as well. Characters 8.5/10 Between a 13-episode tv series and a 90-minutes-long animated movie, which one do you think would stand a more appropriate chance of deepening into its characters and their perspective of life? Yeah, sure, the obvious answer is the former, yet I truly believe that the film stood its ground on this part as well as did the series. The analysis mostly concerned Yukito, Misuzu, her mother and Ryūya and Kanna, since the other characters only made a cameo appearance. The general approach to the protagonists’ characters is somewhat more mature than that of the series, focusing on reactions that could be corresponded more to an actual event. For example, Misuzu’s mother has a better relationship with her daughter despite keeping some distance from her, while the girl’s attitude towards her classmates and the isolation she remains into seems more natural the way it is displayed. Overall 8.5/10 Air the movie is a must see for anyone who adores drama and good animation, accompanied by an ear-pleasing music. If you wish to delve more closely to some elements of the myth, try watching the series as well. My only protest is held against the movie’s direction and their constant persistence to those sunlight and dark effects – no big deal other than that. Air is an enjoyable 90 minutes film that will make you feel both sad and happy, wonder about the importance of life, seek the redemption for the wicked soul and witness the clarity of pure love.
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