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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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:32 AM)
    @Ninja: no I met most of them at Burning Man.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:23 AM)
    @Bam I see I just figured that if you had a lot of friends in KY you must have lived in the region.
    @Friend Yeah or involved desserts like Palmiers or Croissants. I actually am pretty decent at making croissants from scratch but it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    And that’s … The More You Know ;)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:19 AM)
    “Iran” originally means “the land of the Aryans”. The European settlers of Aryan decent are correctly labeled Indo-European as they traveled from north of India across Iran and the Caucasus mountain range (hence the term Caucasian) and settled in pastural lands in Europe. Hence we are the original white people. Go figure.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:14 AM)
    @K-off: some good-looking corn there m8.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @Ninja: No I’m Persian since I was originally born and raised in Tehran/Iran. I am mostly of Parthian decent with a quarter of Kurd in me. I have moved around the globe since I was 16 and now live in Sacramento California.
  • Friend
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @ninja Some party foods like the brochette dijon flambe are too hard for me to prepare/mass produce at home, so it’s definitely worth eating out for things like that O.o
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:10 AM)
    I’m not sure what’s with me and demonyms tonight, but don’t be offended since, they’re more of a term of endearment for me. But if you really are offended then chances are that you deserved it in the 1st place.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:08 AM)
    @Bam lol, it never came up. Are you a Southerner/Midwesterner as well?
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:07 AM)
    @Friend Yeah cooking is definitely a better deal most of the time. Although for certain kinds of food, you can get a surprisingly good deal eating out. But it also just feels empowering to cook for yourself.

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