Air in Summer was essentially the extension of the Summer arc which covered parts in the Air Visual Novel that was abridged in the main TV series. The difference with Air in Summer that it is actually more lighthearted than the whole TV series.
This special mainly focuses on a more detailed escape from the temple at night, the relationship between Kanna and Ryuya more in depth (in the first part) and also the scene where Kanna lowers her Kimono to show her love towards him after hearing his story as Uraha instructed, but ended up as a failure (in the second part).
Well, as you expect, Air in Summer looks out of place compared to the Air TV series since there isn’t really a whole lot of melodrama in the special. You might find that the two episodes to be rather enjoyable, to the fact that there is a lot of comedy, mainly in part of Kanna, who qualities almost resemble a tsundere.
As you expect, Air in Summer is a continuation of the Summer Arc with parts that were not covered in the TV series. Air in Summer pretty much clears up the ambiguity or the feeling that something is missing or rushed from the Summer Arc in the TV series. The special mainly put focus on the relationship between Kanna and Ryuya and Kanna learning about things in the outside world. Although, Kanna may be conceited and irritated easily (such as water being poured on her head and herself fighting with a chicken), she eventually warms up to Ryuya,
Like already presented, there are three characters in this arc:
Kanna, or Kannabi no Mikoto is a young girl which have wings on her back. She pretty much stays at the temple and believed to be the last winged being. She wanted to see her mother again so the three decided to escape the temple to go on a journey to find her mother. Kanna, being at the temple most of her life, have not experienced the outside world and learns from the other two.
Kanna, in my experiences of watching is a tsundere which vasty resembles Makoto Sawatari from Kanon since you know that Kanna seems to be naive and does not have enough knowledge of the outside world. She also irritated at Ryuya the most, although she eventually warms up to him, in contrast of Makoto warming up to Yuuichi after the 7th episode.
Then, you have Ryuya, which is a low-ranked, but skilled samurai which he protects Kanna. Like suggested, Ryuya resembles Yukito, obviously, but like with male leads, they sometimes are sarcastic which probably is why Kanna gets irritated with him most of the time.
Lastly, you have Uraha, which is a servent at the temple and also a friend of Kanna. The last thing you want to do is to get her upset by burning those ancient poems and say breakfast was tasty after burning the poems. Also, she tells embarrassing stories regarding Kanna.
Like with Air TV, Air in Summer Animation and Art style pretty much remained the same, since the special was aired several months after Air TV have finish airing.
Like with Kyoto Animation, the animation was great, considering it was 2005… but sure, the animation will surpass some of Kyoto Animation’s not so great art style to the likes of Lucky Star, K-ON! and Suzumiya Haruhi Second Season.
Music sounded great, although, I don’t quite understand why they use the same exact OP and ED… although they change some of the OP animation for the special.
Air in Summer is a great way to ending Air’s bittersweet ending… since it’s just too lighthearted… The animation, story and the characters are great as expected with Key… The lightheartedness of Air in Summer may make some people prefer this over the main series. Overall, this is a recommended watch if you have finish watching Episode 8 of Air or already completed it.