Sun, 30 March 2008
Air TV Volume 4. Directed by Tatsuya Ishihara. Series Composition by Fumihiko Shimo. ADV Films, $29.98.
The true finale of Air TV, which took place on Volume 3 as Misuzu fell dead into the arms of her adopted mother was pretty painful to watch. This last volume opens with a recap episode of her short life and ends, again, with her death. The other two episodes on the disc go back to the middle story arc in which the winged girl, Kanna, along with her handmaiden, Uraha, and her warrior guard, Ryuya, are trying to make their way to Kanna's mother while being pursued by soldiers from the temple where Kanna was confined. These two episodes are entirely new and fill out the relationships and adventures the three have, focusing more on the comedic side of things.
While the first episode was a waste of space, as are all recap episodes unless you haven't watched a series for a while (does anyone remember the one ripoff volume of Wolf's Rain which was entirely FILLED with recap episodes?!), the last two episodes were really enjoyable. Air TV was always a series that took itself too seriously, suffering from the bipolarity of being a moe comedy at one point, then shifting to a magical girl historical drama, then to a pathological torture session of Misuzu intended to make an otaku weep. The two episodes that close Volume 4 injected something much needed by the series as a whole: a little lightheartedness, a little more comedy, to take the edge off of the tragic hardships most of the characters go through. The final arc focusing on Misuzu's slow decay was especially hard to watch and seemed to have no point. In fact, Air TV had one of the worst endings that I've seen in a long time, even though it doesn't reach the depths of the aforementioned Wolf's Rain in terms of "Uh, what just happened so you're telling me this whole show was for nothing and that the characters are just going to have to repeat their struggles till infinity over and over..." but it comes pretty close. The landscapes of the Japanese countryside and the town are beautiful even though the female characters with their plate sized luminescent blue eyes seem a bit creepy at times. Overall, this series is worth watching, but don't expect to get a satisfactory conclusion. I'll probably be watching the movie version sometime soon.
My Volume 4 Rating: B+
My Overall Series Rating: C