Posted by psgels on 1 January 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews



Many of the criticisms and praises I had for the Clannad Movie also go for the Toei version of air: their big disadvantage lies only in their length. They’re short, and therefore not as engaging as the Kyoani-versions. But they’re still excellent movies that did a great job of cutting up their stories in only ninety minutes. If Osamu Dezaki would have gotten the same amount of episodes as with the Kyoani series, then I’m sure that the end result would not have been inferior to them. Both Air and Clannad have wonderful story-lines, and both Toei and Kyoani did a wonderful job in adapting them.

The visuals: also pretty much the same story. In technical terms, Kyoani did a more fluid and consistent job, but on the other hand the Toei version loves to play with different camera angles, visual direction, filters and interesting screenplay, that makes it a visual feast in its own way, and yet it doesn’t get in the way of the storyline unlike some of Shaft’s productions.

The characters? The same can be said again: the side-characters are still wonderful, and the lead female is actually much more strong-headed than she was in the Kyoani-version, which gives a completely different dimension to her. In exchange, the male lead again just isn’t as interesting as he was in the Kyoani version: again, instead of the male lead helping the female lead amidst his own problems, this movie shows the female lead as she helps the male lead amidst her own problems. It actually works really well.

Air again cuts away all of the side-stories, to focus completely on the main storyline of Air. It’s much more of a straightforward romance story this way, instead of a strange pseudo-harem, and it works pretty well. But yeah, the climaxes just aren’t as emotional due to the small airtime. In any case though, Key really was lucky that its works were adopted twice, by people with great but completely different talents. At this point, I hope that Genji Monogatari wasn’t the last we’ve seen from Osamu Dezaki, because this guy is a truly unique director, and he shows it in this movie yet again.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Great cut and paste job to fit the story into 90 minutes.
Characters: 8/10 – Needed more time to flesh out characters, otherwise excellent in a different way from the TV-series.
Production-Values: 9/10 – A visual feast thanks to Osamu Dezaki’s visual direction.
Setting: 8/10 – Pretty nice, but not the main focus.

5 Responses

  1. thomas says:

    I remember hating this as much as I loved the series :)

  2. veee says:

    Hmmm.. I forgot why but I didn’t manage to finish Air in the end, after reading this review I feel like watching both the TV and movie versions :D

  3. nodbgp says:

    Personally i liked the movie more than the series, for the simple fact of cutting the side stories, didnt like any of then in the anime version.

    I remember this series pretty well, because this was the first anime that made me hold myself to not cry.

  4. Fred says:

    Based on your experience with anime, I was hoping you could answer this question: what are some other anime movies or series that I’d enjoy if I like the work of Miyazaki? Something magical, exciting, heartfelt, nostalgic, high quality. I’m sure you know what I mean.
    Thanks!

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Well, there is Satoshi Kon with Millennium Actress (a very charming homage to all sorts of movie genres) and Tokyo Godfathers (perhaps not magical in technical terms, but the christmas spirit is all over the movie).

    Then there’s Metropolis, a science fiction movie but with all the charms of Osamu Tezuka. Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo is also very good and down to earth.

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  • afgm
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 07:49 PM)
    @Aidan are you sure you aren’t looking back on DS1 with rose-tinted glasses?
  • Wicked
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 05:39 PM)
    Other wise I’d have recommended Life and Limit by Keiko Suenobu or maybe something like Mars. Although I don’t think Mars ages very well
  • Wicked
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 05:33 PM)
    @kaiser Shoujo don’t tend to be as twilight zone-y as Partner, plus it’s only 3 volumes. There are shoujo that deals with heavy subject matters like bullying or forbidden love, but i don’t know if that’s what the person is asking for
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 03:27 PM)
    @Wicked: That was a decent enough manga, that Partner series, I like a good dark shojo and it was well enough in that regard within what its genre/demographic could get away with and its story fit comfortably its three volume run.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 03:14 PM)
    @K-Off, DSII was a disappointment somewhat salvaged by the DLC. DSIII is much better but still doesn’t top DSI.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 03:05 PM)
    @K-off: sorry I’m actually in your (former) neck of the woods about 50 miles north of Orange, working at a music festival called lightning in a Bottle. You’ll love Dark Souls III if you’re patient enough. So much of it is a direct homage/copy of the original that it feels like a shelved fanfic at times, but there is polish and some ingenuity behind some of the deeper nuances of the game.
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 06:24 AM)
    @Bam Finally going to start DSIII this monday, I’ll have to see what’s so special about this one since I wasn’t the biggest fan of DSII.
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 06:17 AM)
    Pretty pleased with my Vita so far, finished Danganronpa 2 and completed 100% of Ray Gigant this week. June looks like a pretty good month for the Vita, currently deciding whether or not I should purchase Odin Sphere or Grand Kingdom when they release. Of course I really should repair my WiiU gamepad before Mirage Sessions comes out.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, May 28. 2016 08:11 PM)
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, May 28. 2016 08:10 PM)
    @Wicked: I might read that I liked Kodocha and parts of honey bitter.
    @Mario: I think shion sono made a live action movie of that.

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