"Taking To The Skies" – Air (anime) – 8/10 Leprechauns


Love is stronger than death even though it can’t stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can’t separate people from love. It can’t take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death. ~Anonymous

Genre: Drama/Romance/Supernatural

Review Status: Complete (1 Movie/1 Movie)

Licensed
: This anime is licensed in the US

Art/Animation: Very nice, though perhaps a little strong on the CG effects. But the movement is fluid and the colors are bright. There is also a fondness for contrasting overly bright scenes with darkness and shadows. The one thing that got rather annoying/frustrating was the use of split-screen and various other techniques, which in some places was constant and unnecessary. It’s mostly very nice to look at- after all, it is KEY!

Summary: Young Misuzu, despite her innocent cheerfulness, is a very sick little girl; a victim of a curse. She befriends Yukito, a traveler on a journey in search of the legendary Girl With Wings. As a school assignment, Misuzu decides to study the heart-wrenching story of Princes Kanna, a prisoner who longs to find her lost mother.

In this cinematic retelling of the award-winning television series, past and present become inexorably linked, while Misuzu and Yukito discover how the struggles of history have shaped their individual journeys of today. (Back of DVD cover)

Review: “If you know where you came from and where you’re headed,you are not on a true journey. When you’re on a true journey, you’ve long forgotten where you came from, and you have no idea where you’re going.” Everything is coincidence, according to Yukito, our protagonist. But when he meets a young High School girl, things start changing in his life.

This story makes use of parallel storytelling to give the past and present of the romance that’s happening. Long ago, a young maiden and a guard fell in love. Due to her curse, she ends up dying. It seems that Yukito and Mizusu’s relationship is going the same way. It switches between the stories to show where they are similar and how they develope.

The stories themselves are very beautiful and tragic. The lovers from history who were forced to stay on the grounds of the castle, with the winged woman trapped, plays out like a fairytale. There is gentle laughter and small joys, even with their tragedy. The present one feels more like a modern love story, but contains elements from the other that tie them together and make it more emotional than I suspect it would otherwise be.

The storytelling isn’t as refined as it could be. You’re given brief glimpses of Mizusu’s personality- childish antics, a happy face, but very little depth is given to her other than she is trying to put a brave face on despite her tragic illness. Yukito and the others are much the same, with superficial personalities. Any side characters are glossed over.

The music is very nice- some very nice orchestral music is used in it, The VA’s did a wonderful job in the Japanese version. And I have to say that the English dub was also very nice. Honestly, you couldn’t go wrong listening to either version.

Overall, this is a very beautiful love story that will leave you with a bit of a bittersweet feeling.

Recommended: Sure. 16+, for a little play one the puppet going poo, and a mother that walks around for a bit in some underwear and a see-through negligee. Without a bra. This mother drinks and drives. No one gets hurt from it, thankfully. 2 or 3 use of the d-word, and some slight non-sexual nudity, that is for the most part covered up by light effects. There is also a brief scene of two characters becoming intimate, and you do see some of the girl’s chest in the scene. It shows up twice. There’s also a little more language in the dub, the worst of it being a ‘son-of-a-b*word’. There are two fight scene where soldiers are obviously dying, but there’s no blood- just holes and light flashes where gore would otherwise be.

Other titles you might enjoy:
Air (anime)
Kanon (2006) (anime)
Clannad and Clannad Afterstory (anime)
Romeo x Juliet (anime)
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (anime)
Watashitachi ni Shiiwase na Jikan (manga)
The Music of Marie (manga)

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