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Air (Episodes 6-8) PDF Print E-mail
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Now in Japan
Thursday, 18 August 2005 02:00
Air - Title CardAnother happy ending (sort of), continued sadness for Misuzu, and a lengthy detour into the distant past for reasons as-yet unknown.  Air continues, and continues to confuse me a little while still managing to be compelling viewing.  As soon as I can figure out why, I'll let you know...

6 - Star
Yukito and Tohno are living the outdoor life, after both finding themselves homeless - Yukito because of Misuzu's inability to deal with his presence for too long at a stretch, and Tohno as her mother no longer recognises her.  Misuzu's still able to talk to Yukito at least, while there are signs that Tohno's mother is beginning to regain her memories - all that's needed is the right sort of push.  Yukito maneuvers Tohno into deciding to go home, where for the first time in a long while her mother calls her by her name.  Later, Yukito learns that young Michiru is nothing more than the spirit of Tohno's younger sister, who was never born - and her time in this world is almost up...

Air - Early morning with TohnoAir - Saying goodbye

7 - Dream
When Yukito comes to pick Misuzu up for school, he finds her collapsed on the floor.  It doesn't appear to be anything serious - nothing a day's rest won't cure - but Yukito decides to stay with her, just in case.  His mood turns worse when her mother returns home drunk, and apparently not really caring about the condition her daughter is in - even going so far as to leave Misuzu in his care while she visits a hot spring.  Yukito has remembered a story his mother told him, of a girl whose dreams eventually killed her - and he's now convinced that's what's happening to Misuzu.  She seems to have realised what's happening to her, too - and her illness continues to get worse...

Air - The girl with the wingsAir - Gift

8 - Summer
A shift in focus to the distant past - over 1,000 years before the other episodes of Air, during the medieval period.  Kanna is a winged woman, living trapped in a palace as those without wings have come to fear her ability.  Ryuuya is a warrior who has been assigned to watch over Kanna and her servant, Uraha, and he soon learns that Kanna's certainly nothing to be afraid of - they even form something of a friendship.  Come midsummer, though, Kanna's keepers decide to move her to a new location, and that he and Uraha are to be kept behind.  Believing that Kanna's being used and mistreated, Uraha decides that she should leave with Kanna as soon as possible, and turns to Ryuuya for help in making their escape...

Air - Kanna and RyuuyaAir - Pursuers

/me looks back at the last Air review I wrote...
Hmm.  Tohno's story ended with a feather involved.  Definitely something going on here - if this town doesn't lead Yukito to the 'girl with wings' he's been searching for, then it's not for lack of pointers from the inhabitants.  Where Kano's story had a happy ending, though, Tohno's is more bittersweet.  Following the trend, I'd bet Misuzu's being led towards even more unhappiness than she already suffers, but with four more episodes to go anything could happen.

The big surprise for me (as someone who knew nothing of Air before seeing the anime) was the shift in setting in episode 8.  Kanna's wings are the obvious clue that this little diversion does have some relevance to what's happening in the present, but while the story is interesting and adds something different to the series, it's not entirely clear yet how the past and present are going to be tied together.  However it goes, I'm looking forward to finding out.

In general, the underlying tone of Air seems to be getting darker as the story goes on - another pointer that there isn't a happy ending in sight.  The journey there is one of those stories you can't put down, though - highly recommended.