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Air (Episodes 1-2) PDF Print E-mail
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Now in Japan
Thursday, 03 February 2005 13:11
AirLet me count the number of bishoujo-game-to-anime series I've watched and loathed over the past few years....  Nope, too many of 'em.  Air is the latest example of a genre of show that's been increasingly common this past few years, and that some love and some loathe - me, I'm sitting on the fence, although the good examples are definitely in the minority.  Air joins the list of good ones, so far at least...

1 - Breeze
There's a strange new man in town, Yukito Kunisaki, and all he can seem to think of are ramen sets.  Go figure.  The first group of kids he meets aren't very helpful in his quest, but it's not long before he meets someone who may be more useful - a young girl, Misuzu Kamio.  A bit strange and definitely lonely, but since the offer of food is too good to pass up, Yukito goes home with her, and somehow manages to end up as the new lodger.  Very trusting of strangers, this family..  Later, there's trouble when Yukito's 'magic' puppet is nabbed by a strange-looking dog.  A long chase leads to the dog's owner, Kano Kirishima, and more girls appear later (Minagi Tohno, quiet head of the school astronomy club, and Michiru, annoying hyper kid).  Yukito's quickly reaching the conclusion that this town's full of weirdos...

Air - Yukito and Misuzu's first meetingAir - Kano & Potato

2 - Town

Yukito's 'puppet' routine doesn't seem to be going down too well in this town - kids just don't seem to appreciate magic these days - but a chance encounter with Kano's big sister (the town doctor, and seemingly with a slight psychotic streak) leads to a part-time job, so at least he's finally earning some money.  If only his daily run-in with the rest of the girls was as productive.  Seems Misuzu's been keeping a secret, too - it's her birthday, and her mom doesn't appear to have remembered.  Yukito at least spends some time with her, but while they're out, they spot Kano - and something very strange is happening to her...

Air - Kano & her sisterAir - Kano's 'transformation'

Talk about new-character-overload - given that the usual routine for introducing the girls in a show like this is to cover one or two an episode for a while, getting them all in one go left me decidedly lost as to who was who.  The lesson from that experience: pay attention during episode one.  It kind of spoils that episode, too, as it feels extremely rushed, and nothing else really happens in it.  Quite why I carried on watching into episode two after that, I'm not too sure, but I'm glad I did...

Episode two takes on a much more relaxed feel.  While again it seems it's being used more for character development than anything really significant, things start to happen that point to the show's darker, less 'everyday life' feel.  You're left with the distinct impression that there's something about the town & the people in it that's not normal - guess where Air's main story is going to come from.

A lot of the time, this type of show is aimed squarely at fans of the game - it's a treat for them, an opportunity to see the characters come to life in a way, but with very little appeal for people who don't know the background.  That doesn't seem to be the case here - I know very little about Air's origins and background, but the 'feel' of the show grabbed my attention very quickly, even with its faults.  There's just 'something' about it, and I'm looking forward to seeing more,