Haruko tells Misuzu that she thinks everything that happened was a trial for her to become her real mother. It allowed them to do everything from the beginning. Misuzu begins to feel pain again. Haruko becomes worried and tries to help her. She asks her where it hurts and she says that it’s her wings. Haruko remembers what Yukito told her about Misuzu and tries to convince herself that it was all a lie. She tries to cheer Misuzu up by asking her if she’ll go to the festival. Misuzu says she wants to go to get a baby dinosaur. Haruko replies that there’s probably a store selling the chicks. She says they’ll go tomorrow and have a fun day while pleading for Misuzu to get better. On the morning of the festival she wakes Misuzu up. However, when she looks out the window she finds that it’s raining. She take Misuzu out anyway, even though she doubts they’ll be holding the festival. Still, she prays for a miracle. She gets frustrated because Misuzu didn’t do anything to deserve this and she waited patiently. As the two sit outside under a shrine roof, she remembers the last time she went to a fair with Misuzu. She couldn’t make her happy that time either. Misuzu asks where the dinosaur babie are. Yukito/Sora begins to chirp, getting Haruko’s attention. She sees some things sitting in the shrine including the blue dinosaur toy of Misuzu’s that she threw. She wonders why it’s there. She wakes Misuzu up and shows it to her, which gets her excited. Haruko tries to help Misuzu reach it, but she says she’s getting too tired. She tells Misuzu that her friend (Sora) is there as well and that they should all be happy together. She agrees to try harder and is able to get it. Haruko tells Misuzu that it’s a birthday present from her and asks if she’ll accept it. She does and really likes the present. Haruko thanks got for it. Later they go back home. Misuzu sees Haruko sleeping and realizes that she hasn’t slept in a while for her sake. When she wakes up, she apologizes, but Misuzu tells her that she can sleep. Haruko asks if Misuzu’s pain will get worse when she dreams. Misuzu says that doesn’t happen anymore. Haruko is pleased. Misuzu wants to sleep so she can recover. They both go back to sleep. When Misuzu wakes up later, she silently apologizes for lying because it was the only way to get her to rest. She thinks about Yukito and decides to write in her diary. When Haruko wakes up the next morning, she finds Misuzu asleep at her desk. She asks if she’s in any pain and if she remembers her. Misuzu replies with a good morning, relieving her. Haruko looks out the window and sees that it’s a nice day. Misuzu tells her that she had a dream. Haruko responds with the same question about her hurting in her dreams and Misuzu tells her again that its alright. She also says that it’s the last day of her dreams. After confirming Misuzu’s health, Haruko is incredibly relieved. She cries tears of joy. Misuzu tells her not to cry in a mock imitation of her. Haruko agrees since there’s nothing to be sad about. While Haruko does her hair Misuzu explains her dream. This time it’s about a dinosaur with wings. It was flying around saying “gao.” Misuzu was flying even higher then it with her pure white wings. Haruko is glad that she had a nice dream. But Misuzu says that it was the saddest dream in the world. She’s now happy that her dreams are over and she’ll be happily by her mother’s side forever. They go out for a walk (well Misuzu’s in her wheelchair) and take in the scents of summer. Misuzu says that it smells a lot like her mother. Haruko thinks that would be a bad thing. Haruko asks Misuzu if she wants her to guess what she’s thinking. Misuzu agrees to that. Haruko’s guess is that she wants juice, which is correct. She wants that Peach drink that she likes so Haruka buys it for her. She wants to get one for herself too so Misuzu recommends the Gel-lun juice. She buys it and attempts to suck it out, finding it to be pretty disgusting. Misuzu tells her to drink it by squeezing and she likes it a bit better that way. Misuzu then asks her to go on ahead by herself and to take Sora. She wonders why but goes anyway. Misuzu then tries to get out her wheelchair and walk to them, worrying them both. She says not to come no matter what because she’s going to do her best. She’s doing a good job. Misuzu asks if she’s done enough because she’s done her best. She’s starting to feel pain again. She still tells Haruko not to come. She’s busy freaking out, hoping Misuzu is lying and she’ll recover. Misuzu apologizes and says that she’ll end her goal today. Haruko doesn’t want their life together to end. Misuzu says it’s enpugh because they’ve done everything that she needs to be happy. Haruko won’t accept her answer because she still wants to do more with Misuzu. Misuzu says that her goal this summer was to be happy and she’s glad that she tried her hardest. She wanted to be happy and didn’t want to be alone. She says she’ll now go to her goal and looks up at the sky. Haruko refuses and Misuzu hugs her, saying that she reached it. Haruko starts to cry and thinks of all Misuzu taught her and all the things she could’ve done with Misuzu as Misuzu dies. She begins to temporarily live with Misuzu’s father and eventually runs out of tears to shed. She says she still lives with Misuzu but tells him that he probably doesn’t understand what she’s talking about. He says that he does. Haruko says that she has faith that she’s Misuzu’s mother even though she’s not a great one. She now works at a daycare center so that she can be surrounded by families. As summer ends, Misuzu’s father has to go back home. She sees a crow and asks if it’s Sora. She says if it is she’ll have to scold him. She tells him that he has to go to the sky because he has wings. She says that it’s an unreachable place for humans so he has to go there. She explains that people’s dreams and wishes go to the sky. She feels that people can live peacefully that way. She hopes that they’ll be able to meet again and wishes the crow luck as she leaves. It turns out that the crow is Sora/Yukito. He looks at the sky and notices that it’s always been filled with a sad blue color. Misuzu returned there and is still alone so he’s going to search for her and someday bring her back to welcome a new beginning. He takes off into the sky. The little boy on the beach remembers the story of the girl in the sky. They realize that the sun is setting and go to check what’s beyond the shoreline because the girl wanted to know for a long time. She doesn’t remember saying that, but the boy says that he had a felling that she was thinking it. She says that it’s true. Misuzu and Yukito are sitting on a ledge and Misuzu waves to them. The boy waves back. He thinks to himself that those two had cruel times but they can start a new beginning. He runs after the girl and takes her hand. That was a very good ending. It was rather sad, which was to be expected, but it was also quite helpful. Amazingly, I understood most of what was going on, but the one thing I didn’t get was the very ending. How exactly did the little boy know the story and read the girls voice. I presume he (and possibly the girl too) is some sort of supernatural being. I also don’t get why Misuzu and Yukito were there. Maybe the boy was just imagining them, as the girl didn’t seem to acknowledge them and he did say something about having a vision of the past. That’s something that we’ll probably never know unless a sequel is released.

Afterthoughts: Air was easily one of the greatest series ever made. I had heard a lot of hype about it for my Newtype magazines, but then again they tend to hype anything, so I passed it off as just another bishoujo game turned anime. I did find the artwork to be quite impressive though and saw that it was a rather short series, so I picked it up to blog. The first episode totally blew me away. The opening theme was incredible, the animation was great, the storyline was distinctly original, and Potato was impossibly cute. As I watched each week, the depressing yet hopeful plot moved me and constantly put more questions into my mind. Though in the end it still fully didn’t make sense, I’m very satisfied with what I got. As for favorite characters, mine was of course the ball of fluff Poatao. In the lines of actual human characters though I’d have to go with Haruko. She really interested me from the beginning. I didn’t really respect that her character would redeem herself, so I was really glad when it happened. As usual, I wind up growing attatched to the character who like the main character has to overcome an adversity within themselves yet their’s is overlooked because they’re not the main character. Haruko always truly wanted to be a good mother to Misuzu but was so scared that her father would return that she instead avoided her. She was hurt that she wasted so many years that the two could’ve spent together. I’m so glad that she was able to try and savor her time with Misuzu. Misuzu really needed it so it helped them both find happiness for a while. Of course the real key to Misuzu’s true happiness is Yukito. Hopefully some day he’ll find her, and possibly he already did. Once their life begins anew, Misuzu won’t have to worry about being alone ever again. Though Air’s ending was merely bittersweet, I greatly enjoyed it. This is a series that I recommend to anyone and everyone.

Haruko really does have issues. Misuzu had to teach her how to use a juicebox Misuzu heads for he goal To the sky! Searching for a new beginning

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