The days which are wrapped in the scene of summer and to pass gently
An encounter with the girls repeated in the sunlight
Summer continues to where as well
She is waiting in the air…
One of the best bishoujo game based anime ever made. And for good reason.
Made by Key, which also made Kanon (a historical landmark in bishoujo games), Air continues on the tradition of a visual novel, where the player makes some game choices, and the rest is reading and enjoying the visuals and sound. Air is one of the most popular bishoujo game titles. In fact, it’s one of the longest during its time, and gamers are pulled into this world with magnificent settings, lovable characters and incredibly good storytelling. The original concept and story of this title is very dramatic. People who don’t know too much about bishoujo games would immediately classify them as adult-only games (because of certain content), but as I’ve said so many times, some of their stories can even rival those of actual literary novels. Air wins because of its intricate character development and storytelling. Basically, to see is to believe, so I won’t even spoil one bit of the story to you. Besides, you’ll probably be initially attracted to it anyway because of the incredible visuals.
And hell are the visuals so incredible. DVD format is seemingly not enough because the original HDTV broadcasts of this anime are really crisp and amazing. CG-like visuals, backgrounds, and character animation that pays attention to detail. And the simple beauty of all the characters really shine in this anime. It’s one of the best animations to come out on TV, that even OVAs and movies are having a hard time to compete with. What’s better is that there is no noticeable quality loss in any episode. This anime helped Kyoto Animation’s reputation as a powerful animation company in terms of having that wow-factor.
And not only the visuals, the direction of this anime is superb. Usually animators are having a hard time translating a game like this into anime. One reason is that some games have too many multiple paths and endings. Furthermore, to compress an entire visual novel into 13-26 episodes is a hard job. I guess it’s kinda lucky that Air’s story in the game takes a little bit more linear approach. The animators capitalized on that, and in effect, the anime stayed very true to its original game roots. It’s like having a direct manga-to-anime translation, only that it is a game-to-anime one. Fans are quite happy with that, especially when you have amazingly nice scenes to animate. Air has so many funny, happy and dramatic scenes that lifted all of human emotions.
The music is the same. This is quite a surprise, mostly because it wasn’t done before. Air the anime uses the original game soundtrack, and nothing else. It further recreates the feel of the game that way. The songs here, which are made by I’ve Sound, are some of the best I have heard from them, and it clearly complements the story through its lyrics. The seiyuu are composed of some prolific ones and some of my favorites. They make the characters come to life with their excellent voice acting.
The only thing bad about this is that it has to end someday, and seemingly 13 episodes (and 2 more upcoming in a few months) are not enough. But if you had watched it, it would be one of eternal memories. How good is Air? Well, let’s compare it to the real, actual air. It’s there, you breathe it, but you take it for granted. Like that, Air is one anime that may probably be ignored by some, but is actually something special.