I just finished this route earlier today.
Ryuuya, a samurai sent to protect a “winged one,” arrives at a shrine. He explores the general layout of the shrine and the land, when he comes across a girl. (Well, she fell on him, from the sky. Almost as if she had been up there. Nah, she’s not the winged one.) Later it turns out she’s the winged one he was sent to protect, Kannabi no Mikoto. (Or just Kanna ― a name which means “There is no God.”) Aside from Kanna we also see Kanna’s faithful servant, Uraha. Apparently neither really care too much about the rules of the shrine. It is likened to be closer to a prison.
Kanna’s about to be transferred to another shrine. This happens every year. (Even though she said that she had stayed at that shrine for as long as she could remember. Perhaps I just misread that section though, but it seemed to be in conflict with her earlier statement to me.) So, after having become good friends, Ryuuya, Kanna, and Uraha escape that shrine in order to find Kanna’s mother. This turns out to be a pretty good idea anyway since the shrine was set on fire. There are some pretty well written (IMO) action scenes that come up. (With a pretty kick-ass BGM we only get in this route too!)
Ryuuya is about to kill one of the guards when Kanna and Uraha show up. Kanna forces him to vow not to kill people. (Ryuuya accepts, and admits that if she had told him to kill the guy that he would’ve lectured her.) Instead of killing the guy, Ryuuya just beats him up a bit more, then ties him to a tree and gags him so he can’t yell. Later, Ryuuya steals some kimonos (he does pay for them though) on account of it being difficult for Kanna and Uraha to walk around. Plus it’s hot. It turns out there are beanbags in one of the kimonos. Sweet! Now Kanna can learn how to
play hacky sack juggle!
Ten days after they had escaped the shrine they reach a market on the side of the road. Uraha, being apparently very on top of things, was curious about why the market was setup at such an inconvenient location. She learns that a checkpoint had been established further down the road, with guards on the lookout for winged ones. Kanna learns what a chicken is. The two winged ones chat about trivial matters.
The spoils from the party’s visit to the market include: An assortment of random toys that I don’t remember. (Sorry. Thought I had notes on this.) Later on, Ryuuya sends Kanna to get firewood, and splits some walnuts like a bad-ass. Kanna found a festival though. Ryuuya, Kanna, and Uraha look at the festival from a short distance away. Kanna reveals that she had tried to fly in the past, but couldn’t.
They arrive at the mountain that Kanna’s mother is imprisoned. She’s feared to be a demon. Some warrior monks are not pleased by the presence of our beloved outsiders. Fighting happens. Ryuuya wins without killing anybody. However he is slashed in the back. (Yukito gets a random pain in his back after he was with Misuzu for long enough, by the way.) Eventually they make it to the mother. They set her free by breaking a mirror. (This seems to be a recurring theme whenever magic of any kind is involved. Not in AIR specifically, but in general.) They try to escape the mountain. Kanna’s mother is hit by two arrows (there’s that two again). Ryuuya reasons that this was on purpose. (It does not appear to be the case that he voiced his thoughts though.)
Kanna takes her mother’s memories, the memories of their ancestors, and their party’s dreams, and heads to the sky. (Holy crap, she can fly!) Unfortunately she’s shot with arrows and disappears within the sky, with her wing’s feathers scattering about. The game must’ve glitched because suddenly all of the text around this point was blurry…
After a few years Uraha has Ryuuya’s child and Ryuuya dies. (Ryuuya states that he’ll continue his journey in the sky. That was a cool line.) This part was also sad, but at the same time hopeful.
This arc (or route if you prefer) was done really well, in my opinion. Its strongest moments are its action scenes. The writing feels very well done, but there are moments that it’s lacking or seems to contradict itself. However these are usually minor points that aren’t really worth mentioning. The presentation is blatantly different in terms of graphics and music. There are no choices, so it’s a kinetic route, but it really wouldn’t work any other way IMO.
The almost H-scene with Kanna did not at all need to be there. The actual H-scene with Uraha was… Well we learn something about Uraha during the scene which can be used to better psychoanalyze her, but that’s not really… Yeah, how about no?
Kanna is presented as a child, for the most part. She is referred to as such continuously, even in her almost H-scene. (“Underdeveloped.”) Uraha is presented as though she’s a mother. In fact, she becomes one. Ryuuya’s relationship with Kanna suggests more of a father figure than anything else. Indeed, toward the end of their time together he even refers to them as a family.
Interestingly, Ryuuya suggests that living somewhere near where the Dream arc takes place would be pleasant. 【Ryuuya】「The warm seas to the west might be nice.」 (Although I’m not sure if my understanding is geographically accurate.)
There was already reasonable discussion about the curse and its effects. I have nothing of value to add to that. The current consensus seems right to me.
"It’s almost like" quotes:
- 【Uraha】「The three of us eating together like this is almost like-」
【Ryuuya】「Noblemen and women sent to a distant outpost as punishment, crying with shame and fustration over our meagre rations.」
- 【Uraha】「Sitting around a fire in the mountains like this is almost like-」
【Ryuuya】「Like a womaniser who kidnapped a princess and ran into the mountains but was so clueless he later regrets doing it.」
- 【Uraha】「Huddling together like this, it is almost like-」
【Ryuuya】「… We’re a happy family.」
Best sleepy face:
Just to expand the “in a way” part, she’d be more of a minor reincarnation. (Uraha states “It would be like putting an ocean in a vase.”) It’s kind-of an interesting concept. How much of Kanna do you suppose Misuzu is, I wonder? For example, we can see that Misuzu is very childlike, and Kanna herself was also very childlike. (She is likened to a child numerous times throughout this arc as well.)
Yeah, that plan felt very weak to me as well. It definitely didn’t seem like one of the better written parts of the story overall.
This romance was pretty weird, to me at least. IMO, their relationship was closer to father/daughter than anything else. Though that’s not entirely consistent either.
I completely agree with this. If you combine this route with Kano’s random thing it all starts to make a lot more sense. Although this requires some “leaps in logic” that are basically just stringing together assumptions, it still really helps to stitch the story together.
- Ryuuya states that it might have been better if he had understood what the monk who looked after him did. That way, he might have taken a different path. Kanna disagrees because then she would have never met Ryuuya. Considering the overall story so far do you think it may have actually been better? (It would imply that Kanna would have never suffered her curse either.)
- Is the feather that Kano touched one of the feathers that fell from Kanna, or was that a different feather? We know that Kanna inherited the memories of her mother as well, so it seems like this may be a possibility.