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Air: The Motion Picture
Air The Motion Picture
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
NR     2009     1hr 31min

Although blessed with a cheerful spirit radiating youthful innocence, the fragile beauty Misuzu is cursed with a mysterious illness. Compelled to understand the history of her people, she delves into the heartbreaking tale...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Funimation Prod
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/21/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 31min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Japanese, English
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

A Rare Motion Picture That Actually Improves Upon The Source
ONENEO | Buffalo, NY | 04/20/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I had the very unique opportunity to view Air the Motion Picture literally directly after having finished watching The Complete Series. As such, the emotions left behind from the original telling of this tale were yet burning bright.

The Motion Picture, for those who don't know, is essentially the retelling of the Complete TV series in condensed form. Now as a general rule, I usually shy away from motion picture adaptations of beloved series due to their tendency to omit critical details of the story to meet strict time restrictions.

I am very pleased to report that Air the Motion Picture is perhaps the first time in history where I actually appreciated the condensed story over the original. Die-hard fans of the Air mythos may disagree, but in my opinion the original television series seemed muddled after having viewed the Motion Picture.

The core of the story retains all of the important attributes that make the television incarnation so well respected: A mysterious traveler arrives to a small coastal village in modern-day Japan and meets up with a slightly abnormal (but adorably innocent) young girl.

His personal haunting prophecy, it turns out, is intertwined with the sickly girl's dreams and their love perseveres throughout space and time. However, where the original fails with poor transitions and way too many irrelevant characters along the way, the Motion Picture puts the prose on an extreme and very appreciated diet.

Let me begin this review by taking a moment to discuss the surface differences between the two incarnations of the shows. Where the television series used anime character models so intense that they bordered on caricatures, the Motion Picture presents character art that is a bit more realistically proportioned. The backgrounds, however, are definitely more impressive in the television version. Additionally, where the television version made it a habit to keep its animation quality consistent, the Motion Picture features prevalent manga-panel style freeze frames.

Beyond the superfluous differences, the beauty of the Motion Picture is that it isn't afraid to make several much-needed commitments between the lead characters. Not only is Yukito and Misuzu's meeting more realistic, it simply feels more "chance". Additionally (and much to the viewer's delight), they are portrayed as being closer to the same age this time around. Misuzu's illness is much better fleshed out in the Motion Picture as is her lack of social contact (since, after all, she misses a lot of school).

The Motion Picture moves away from the supernatural overtones that the television series constantly flirted with (but never fully explained) in favor of a more fluid flashback sequence based on Misuzu's reading of a history book. In other words, here we are given the tale of a haunted traveler, a terminally ill girl, and their love for one another. Shallow viewers can take the story at face value and still feel fulfilled. For those seeking a bit more prolific prose, the Motion Picture presents a much cleaner flashback-driven back-story that draws many parallels with the lead characters. However, it is not nearly as forced or as muddled as it is in the television version.

About the only complaint I can find in the Motion Picture is that those who haven't seen the television version first will not understand the significance of many of the smaller references made throughout (namely the black crow and little dog that appears on Misuzu's own television). These are small references that pay homage to the source material but are not openly explained.

In all, I am simply blown away by Air the Motion Picture. Perhaps because I had just concluded the Complete (television) Series literally minutes prior and it had left me feeling like there was a lot of potential within the prose that never came into fruition. The Motion Picture felt almost as if someone had said "look, let's cut out all of the fluff and keep only the elements that contribute toward the ultimate goal." Unnecessary side characters and their odd little tangents are axed and in their place is a much stronger connection between the lead cast.

Of course there always will be those that feel like a story as rich and deep as Air cannot be condensed down to 85 minutes and retain all of its charm. I agree that there is some logic here, however the Motion Picture ends up feeling like a breath of fresh air given the circumstances. The true beauty of the Motion Picture is that it is a must for fans of the show whether they own the Complete Series or not. I'm quite grateful to have discovered this gem as it did a wonderful job of increasing my appreciation for the franchise as a whole rather than take away from the well regarded source material (as I needlessly feared it might)."
Excellent Story--Better than the TV Series
Daniel H. | VA | 08/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Note: This is more of a comparison to the TV Series than an actual review. It's mainly meant for those wondering if the Air movie is worth a purchase after having seen the series. Spoiler-free.

I liked the story of the Air movie a LOT more than the series. All the plot elements that I thought were silly and/or convoluted in the TV series were removed in the movie. Everything was explained clearly, and the story just made more sense. To me, it was a lot more believable and much more touching. I'm glad I didn't just dismiss it just because I wasn't crazy about the series.

If you enjoyed the series, however, I see no reason why you wouldn't also enjoy the movie. It's a completely new story, but the characters' personalities are left more or less in tact."
Among the Saddest Anime Movies Ever Made
Mizuki | MA USA | 05/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Air the TV series was a contained characters which represented various aspects of human emotion and explored the relationship between mother and daughter. Air the Movie explores similar concepts, but significantly diverges from the traditional Air storyline. Focusing on only Haruko, Yukito, and Misuzu, Air the Movie describes a mothers struggle to save her daughter's life, a wanderer's restless spirit being captured by the power of love, and a young girl's loss of innocence as she learns her life is coming to an end.

Unlike the television series, which tends to jump between two to three stories and leaves viewers somewhat confused at the end, the movie is able to incorperate the ancient tale of Kanna and Misuzu's daily life together to create a coherent, flowing work. Audiences, however, may not like the rushed feel of the movie (all events take place during the course of a week)or the lack of the other traditional characters which were an important part of Air the TV series. Misuzu's character in the movie also lacks some of the childish charm which the television series hilighted. She is instead a young woman who is aware of the graveness of her condition and wants to experience the joys of existance before she dies, among them being love.

The ending of the movie is just as sad as the television series. However, instead of focusing on Haurko's reaction after the tragety, Yukio, who remains a human, describes how Misuzu has impacted his life as he travels through the countryside the following autumn. He is a young man learning from his past and moving ahead towards the unpredictable future. The movie is a must-see for all anime fans, just make sure to bring a box of tissues."