Amaterasu Blog

4Aug/1219

AIR Review

Time for one of Key's ultra-famous nakige. This is the one that made ゴール "goal" the saddest word in the Japanese language (or so I've heard).

It's kinda tricky to pin down an opinion on this one since the quality seems to zig-zag on a pretty regular basis. For instance, Kano's route is pretty forgettable. Minagi's is nice and sad but then drags on at the end. On the other hand, the ultimate ending of the true route (arguably part 3 of Misuzu's route) is such an amazing tearjerker it seems as though it single-handedly makes the whole VN great. But you probably already knew that.

The most consistent part by far is the comedy. Though nothing phenomenal, it is always amusing, and sometimes even hilarious (my personal favorite was Sora's unintentionally silly narration in the true route). Plus, the slice-of-life/comedy portions of the VN never overstay their welcome.

Weirdly enough, the pacing is also very consistent and usually spot on (for some reason only sad scenes ever get padded out). Thus, even if you're underwhelmed by one of the early routes, it does virtually no harm to your desire to read the rest.

So the overall experience of reading AIR ended up something like this: the first half was constantly "nice" and not a lot else, but as I neared the end of Dream the story finally started to gain some kind of momentum, and it continued building it up very regularly until the final tearjerking climax, which is quite unforgettable. Though I never felt very much surprise or dramatic tension, I also never felt disappointed by their absence. And all the subplots did get their proper closure.

Score: 8/10

Polarization: (+1/-2)

If we ignore the side heroines, the entirety of AIR is building up to a single emotional moment at the very end. In other words, the destination is more important than the journey. No doubt many people will have some preference for or against this approach.

Routes/Endings Played: All routes, including both Minagi endings and several bad endings. I have 98% CG completion.

Comments (19) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Now, we are waiting for the patch, lol.

  2. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the art.

  3. Only in a couple of rare instances is AIR’s art actually objectively bad. Usually it’s just fine. There just happen to be a lot of insufferable people who care waaaay too much about what they perceive the art quality to be, and Key stuff is popular to hate anyway so the artfags tend to complain about it disproportionately hard.

  4. Isn’t there any news on Mahoyo translation with Cokesakto ? I’m looking really forward to it!

  5. Now we just need someone to finally translate it.
    *wink*

  6. At the moment it’s so slow there’s literally nothing to report.

  7. Is the true ending sad, bittersweet, or happy? I know you said it’s a tearjerker in general, but that doesn’t specifically say whether the actual end is sad or happy.

  8. I’m gonna go with bittersweet, but I can easily see someone disagreeing with that.

  9. Well, hai. Sheeta mentioned that he would be working with someone:

    “I’m working with Edger on the new AIR project now, so AIR fans can look forward to that!”

    Hope it’s still true thought, lol.

  10. The ending is kinda a happy one, but sad at the same time, but most people will just say it was sad because of Misuzu’s tragic end.

  11. I’m a she :<

  12. Also for those curious about how the AIR translation project is going, here’s an important update: http://bit.ly/MMFBXl

  13. Nice, and sorry lol.

  14. the whole Misuzu story gets even sadder after the death of her voice-actress last year…

  15. Huh, and I thought AIR wasn’t really good. The only tears that I shed come from me yawning. My opinion is based on its anime (or special OVA? I don’t really remember…), though.

    I will give it another shot with VN version, then. Maybe I just missed something that made Mizuki’s story is more confusing than tear-jerking…

  16. The OVA just adds some bits of the Summer arc that originally didn’t fit in the anime, so by itself it’s not tearjerking at all. If that was what you watched, then you haven’t seen AIR at all.

    Also, it’s “Misuzu”.

  17. As I thought, no wonder I was utterly confused with the story. Definitely waiting for the VN translation.

    And, oops, typo. I wonder why I often mistype characters’ name…

  18. I’ve been looking all over the net for a full translation of AIR…
    There’s a partial patch, but I only want to play it if it’s fully translated.
    It makes me sad :'(

  19. To save you some time, it’s never been translated, but as you can see in Sheeta’s comment above, she recently promised to translate it at some point.


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