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Air (Episodes 11-13) PDF Print E-mail
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Now in Japan
Tuesday, 06 September 2005 01:00
Air - Title CardAnd so Air finally comes to an end.  And then gets quickly rerun and ends again - among other things, this series gets an award for the strangest positioning of a recap episode I've ever seen, but that's probably one of the less confusing aspects to these episodes.  If you hadn't lost track of what was going on before now, you will here...

11 - Sea
Misuzu's mother returns home from her trip - rather than having been away at the hotsprings, she's been to Misuzu's real family to ask for permission to adopt her.  She hadn't been aware of Misuzu's worsening health while she was away, but is determined to make up for it now that she's back - although she doesn't buy Misuzu's story about being ill because of the girl in the sky.  Haruko's plans for a happily family life soon fall to pieces, though - first when Misuzu loses her memories, and then when Misuzu's father appears to reclaim his daughter, but the trauma of being taken away from Haruko proves too much for Misuzu to bear...

Air - Not co-operatingAir - Wanting to go home

12 - Air
It's the day of the Summer Festival, and Haruko's determined to take Misuzu to have some fun - although the gods and the weather seem to have other ideas, as a heavy storm leads to most of the events being cancelled.  To Haruko, it's another indication that someone, somewhere, is determined that Misuzu shouldn't find happiness - all she wants are some happy memories with her daughter, but the fates seems to be conspiring against them, and all they have together is one more day...

Air - Unhappy dayAir - ..with a happy ending

13 - Recap
As the title suggests, it's Air in a 25-minute bite-sized chunk, with the emphasis heavily on the second part of the series and Misuzu's deterioration.  Which should really be all you need to know about it. :)

Air - Recap & reviewAir - Familiar? Yup..

The further I got into these episodes, the more confused I became.  The story is still being told through the eyes of Sora the crow (aka Yukito?  That's still ambiguous), and with almost no references to the Summer arc or Yukito's search for the girl with the wings I'm wondering what the first two-thirds of the series was there for - we're suddenly pitched into the story of Misuzu's final days without any explanation of why, or how it's connected to Yukito's visit.

The award for most blatantly shameless pulling of the heartstrings gets handed out here, for Misuzu's final scenes.  Her demise was pretty well telegraphed over the final few episodes so it was no surprise when it came, but the emotions were laid on amazingly heavily in the final scenes with the sole purpose of turning the viewer into a blubbering idiot.  I really hate being manipulated like that, and I'm ashamed to admit they got me - but being quite so open about going for the emotional reaction has coloured my view of the show in a not-so-good way.

Air started off really well, and made sense up through to then end of the Summer arc.  At that point they just lost me.  How much of that is down to deficiencies in the anime & how much can be blamed on not having played the game, I don't know, but from a great start the series has ended up as something of a damp squib.  If you haven't seen it yet and feel the need to give Air a try, be aware of the issues with the ending before you start as it's not particularly satisfying.