Misuzu offers Yukito a rock for lunch.
|Made By||Kyoto Animation|
|# of Episodes|| 13 (Regular season)|
2 (Air in Summer)
Sum it up in a Sentence
A guy winds up meeting girls and learns their life stories because THIS IS A SERIES BY KEY.
Yukito Kunisaki wanders into a peaceful seaside town in hopes of finding better luck in earning money through his roadside puppet show performances. He is soon noticed and followed by Misuzu Kamio, a friendly and klutzy girl who seems to simply want someone to play with. Enticed by promises of food and nowhere else to go, Yukito follows Misuzu home to meet her mother and is accepted to stay over to provide company. The story then follows Yukito's summer days as he sticks around Misuzu and meets various other girls around town. They include Kano Kirishima, a cheerful girl living with her older sister who is the established town doctor, and Minagi Tohno, a shy but polite girl with a tag-along little girl named Michiru. Yukito eventually discovers what really ails each girl as they live day-to-day and share dreams with a similar theme.
The latter half of the series takes the audience to a completely different setting from where the main characters are (the first arc is titled Dream), and the stage is set where the visions and glimpses they've seen throughout the series belong (this second arc is titled Summer). The setting then shifts back to the original setting for the conclusion of the series (the final arc is titled Air).
Air in Summer
A two-episode special aired during the summer of 2005 and after the end of the regular season expanding the events of the Summer arc.
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Other series by Key:
For me, Air was pretty difficult to endure in the beginning despite me having watched Key's other two most popular series, Kanon and Clannad, before this one. Maybe it's because I watched the other two first that I had higher expectations for Air, but I had to keep in mind that Air was made into an anime before the other two. Because of this, I think the director wasn't as experienced in handling such a series (Tatsuya Ishihara had directed for a long time, but mostly under shounen series or kiddier projects). Not to mention Air was only given the span of half a season to cram everything in, whereas Kanon was given a full season and Clannad two full seasons.
That said, I think there was plenty of good story that deserved fleshing out that Air simply just did not get the chance to due to the aforementioned constraints. Some parts seemed too abrupt or hard to follow because of it, and I wasn't really interested until the Summer arc and I kept watching because I knew Key series are worth watching through 'til the end for some serious emotional events. They do deliver it with the main girl, Misuzu, and I think the other two main girls' story could have been a lot better if they weren't squeezed out in the space of two episodes. In conclusion, you'll find what you're looking for if you liked Key's stories. Maybe it would be even more tolerable if this happened to be the first of the three famous Key series you start watching.
[EDIT:] I forgot to mention that in an ironic twist, the main girl's voice actress just recently succumbed to cancer (June 9th, 2011), which added an extra layer of sadness and further pushed me to watch this. --Willsun 09:59, 1 July 2011 (UTC)