There’s no point in doing these ‘no anime is dropped forever’ posts if I don’t actually watch any of the anime featured. I’m waiting until I get out of university so I can torrent Macross Frontier so I can’t watch that yet. Instead, I decided to take a look back at the earlier posts, before I started implementing polls, and pick up something from there. So I picked up Air (which also came up in JP’s ‘what I was forced to watch this week’ post this week, whose post format slightly inspired me to start these posts).
Picked up on: Episode 7
Why I picked it up again: The main reason behind picking up Air again was because picking up Clannad After Story again turned out to be a good decision. Why not try recreate that feeling again by picking up yet another Key/Kyo Ani series? Not only that, but I’ve been mightily impressed entertained by Angel Beats. Jun Maeda seemed to be on a bit of a roll with me recently. The other reason was because I only had a few episodes left to watch anyway. Nobody was exactly falling over to recommend it to me when it showed up in the first of these styled posts, although maybe that was because they were too busy talking about this new post format of mine…
Review: …or maybe it was because they knew I wouldn’t like it.
The problem with critiquing Air is that the many reasons I have for not liking it are also reasons why others do like it. A small example of this would be the extent this show went to show how immature Misuzu was. It went to quite ridiculous extremes. The summer diary, the teddy dinosaurs, the ‘will you play with me’, right up to the point when she cut her hair, she could have just as easily been 6 years old and I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. But that’s not really criticism, is it. It’s just something I didn’t like. It’s like criticizing Hanamaru Kindergarden because no real child has the depth of knowledge Hiiragi has. It’s like “so? that’s what makes her awesome!”.
The entire second half of the show was basically one huge sob drama story. Everything was tossed in to make this story even more sob-inducing than before. I’ll keep away from spoiling anything but making the lead female character sicker with every passing episode and making the mother feel even more attached to her with each episode felt way too manipulative. Not that there’s exactly anything wrong with being manipulative. Often it’s the sign of a good story teller. But never once did I give a fuck what happened to anyone in that show. Some people get sucked in incredibly easily into sob stories and for them, Air constantly throws them moments to feast upon. I suppose you could say that Air needed more episodes to make me care about these characters but I don’t buy that. Double the episode count and all I can see happening is doubling the amount heartbreaking situations involving Misuzu.
I don’t care. I just don’t care and fail to ever care about these manipulative sob stories. I liked Clannad for the double blow of excellent storytelling and the character of Tomoya, but rarely cared that much about the sob stories beyond how they fitted into the story. Air never felt like it was composing a coherent, well structured story. It was just flinging these bloody baawwww situations at the screen over and over and never once did I care. In fact, I can only think of one time I did care. That was when that winged girl was trying to juggle for her mother. As someone who’s quite good at juggling myself, I know the pain of having to constantly pick up those blasted things, although I get the feeling that wasn’t what I was meant to be sad about.
I suppose it didn’t help that there was a year break between watching the first half of the series to the second, followed by a mini-break of watching Berserk where I was incapable of thinking about anything else afterwards. The first half of the series wasn’t exactly that bad either. At least it created the atmosphere of summer well and I quite liked the lead male character. If the second half of the story had continued the formula of ‘guy spending two episodes chatting, two episodes solving magical problems for these girls’ I might have made some unenthusiastic review where I said it was a rather average anime. But the second half wasn’t that at all (they turned my favourite character into a fucking crow!). The baawww heaping is what made me severely dislike the series, which is also why others love the series. Hence it’s not really criticism of what it did wrong. Just what I didn’t like about it.
Was it worth picking up again: No, my opinion of it plummeted upon completing it. Jun Maeda is better when getting chance and maybe some luck as well.