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.)
(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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please note that I wrote a rewiew for the animé-show as well and I'm going to compare both the show and the movie for a bit. The movie has been made by Toei-Animation, whereas the animé-show was created by Kyoto-Animation, hence an easily noticeable difference in animation-style. The soundtracks used for movie and show were at least similar if not the same. At least I didn't notice any differences and the quality was quite even.
The difference with the greatest impact is the storytelling. Side-stories and -characters are skipped entirely, the only exception being the origin-story-arc which is woven into the main story, as Misuzu gradually keeps on researching the local temples and their backstories. The way this has been done did really impress me, as the story gained rythm and pace, even urgence up until the final conclusion. We get to spend some time with the main cast characters, they gain depth as we get to know them better. That way many of their more rash and harsh reactions in the higher paced 2nd half of the movie feel much more natural and genuine.
Story 8 The story is focused on the main plot. The main cast is introduced well and gets some screen-time to gain some depth. The main backstory is added bit by bit as the main story unfolds which allows for some tension to be built up and the final conclusion just happens to feel more natural, as sad as it may be.
Animation 8 I consider both styles as equally well done and fitting, although I personally prefer the more simple style of the movie. But that's just me. (Moe doesn't compensate for blurry storytelling, at least not for me.)
Sound 8 More or less identical to the animé-show, job well done, fits the story well.
Caracters 8 Less side-characters equals more background for the main cast. Well at least here it obviously does.
Overall 8 Everything I wished, that the animé-show had done differently, seems to have been realized in this movie. And for me, this works just fine. I swear I didn't watch the movie before writing the rewiew for the animé-show. I can't help but feeling a bit of pride. But more than that, I'm happy. Because the movie really made me.
Maybe I'll watch the animé-show all over again, now that I've seen the movie... need I say more?
This review is based upon viewing the movie AFTER the seris (as it should be seen) and so i recomend watching the show first
The story of the movie following the main Misuzu arc from the origonal anime varies around alot. Anyway, the movie is actually quite decent. Really i wont deny i enjoyed the anime's more but this was a retelling were it only had 90 odd mins to get through it instead 12 episodes + OVA's but i think it does a good job at retelling the story plot. As said it follows the main story of Misuzu and so we dont really see any real appearances from the minors here. Misuzu's story is to a degree quite nice here non the less, she basically is in the same situation as the anime but with more time between her and Yukito. The story is told very well and nicely, it runs in at a nice pace, it doesnt feel to slow (meaning the end is usually rushed... a bit like the show) and it doesnt rush into things, with its average pace the story is told nice and smooth and you can truly feel for the events taking place.
In small terms the story is well told here again and you get a nice feeling from seeing it as its like seeing a extended version of the origonal anime. Some parts in the anime did feel a bit better like the scene on the beach at the end when misuzu is at her worst in condition but really the movie hit all the main points down and was still very good.
The animation is really so-so in here. By all means its nothing bad, infact its still quite nicely done (do take to mind this is meant to be watched as if in a dreamy view so it wont be perfect) but they really did do a great job here. The only let down in animation is really the fact the shows anime was exceptionally amazing, so here its great but you might feel a bit let down. Without seeing the anime its animation is still worth at least 8.5 but if you have seen the anime you might only feel its worth a 7 but i feel its a good 8 points being fair. It still is good and dont be off put as it by all means isnt bad in anyway what so ever.
The soundtrack changes here a bit from the origonal animes. Unfortunatly it did miss some my favorite tracks in the show like there wasnt the main Misuzu track "Natsukage" used as much in the film which was a shame seeming i love that bit of music, but the soundtrack is still quite good. Really theres not much to say about it, its still good, but to listen to it (if you purchase the tracks) you might get bored quickly so its a good soundtrack but might become a little plain quickly upon repetition. I think it still fits well into the show but i just was let down by lacking of my favorite tracks (also i was let down to see "Tori No Uta" wasnt used for the opening)
The voices are practicaly the same as the anime so there isnt much to say here, if you liked the anime's voices you wont be dissapointed, if you didnt like em then you will be let down but really... i think the voices work well so there as good as always =D
The characters are more minor in the movie. The show mainly only is about Yukito, Misuzu and Haruko (i guess we see alot more of misuzu's dad). Really i found them to be some what the same which was good, honestly Haruko was a little bit of a shame, she was more a drunk here and semt less like misuzu's mother, on the origonal seris she is honest to the fact she just wanted to keep a distance to misuzu because the fear of loosing her to her parents but here she just semt more a drunk although the situation is the same. Yukito made me laugh, though hes a traveler i always find it funny because he reminds me of a homeless guy but he lives more like one on here but really i found him more real in here than he was in the anime, i loved him in the anime as he was more kinder and sweet weres here he is still kinda at heart but he feels more real in the terms of being blunt but he is still great, otherwise besides misuzu seems to be inlove with yukito shes every bit as sweet as she was in the anime seris, i love her on here though, shes very playful and acts more like her age and her interest in the winged people legend is realy ironic but cool, so she is probberly just as good as the show ^^
Really the characters are done well here, i think misuzu plays out the best from the moment you meet her and her personailty and how she develops is just great so i think the characters are great. the only reason i didnt score characters a 9 or 10 was because its only about such a limited amount which isnt bad considering its a re-telling but the fact we done really see Tohno or Kono was a shame (Kono does make a small appearance but its so minor its not worth mentioning, and Tohno only is seen in one scene which she doesnt really say anything. But still the characters are well done.
Overall i say Air movie is worth watching if you have seen the anime, Its deffinetly a great watch through. The story is retold and its retolold very well if i might add that. The story feels well done and the movie indeffinetly doesnt let down from seeing the anime, its really good and well worth the watch through for any fan of Air so dont give it a miss is my advise