This is a list of characters from the Japanese visual novel, manga, and anime series Air. The main protagonist of the story is Yukito Kunisaki, a wandering showman traveling across Japan in order to find the "girl in the sky". He has a straightforward attitude about life, and is determined to finish the journey he and his mother traveled together before she died. There are three heroines in the story, starting with Misuzu Kamio, who is the main heroine. Misuzu is an immature high school girl who approaches Yukito after they first meet and asked him to be her friend so they could play together. She often has dreams about flying in the sky, and loves to gaze into the sky at sunset at the beach. The second heroine is Kano Kirishima, a girl Misuzu's age who goes to the same school, but is in a different class. She has a yellow ribbon tied to her right wrist and was told when she was younger that after she grows up, she will be able to remove the ribbon and will have to power to use magic. The third heroine is a quiet girl named Minagi Tohno, who is in the same class as Misuzu. She loves astronomy, and hangs out with her younger friend Michiru constantly.
Supporting characters in the story help to further along the plot of the three heroines. They include Haruko Kamio, Misuzu's aunt and legal guardian, who Misuzu refers to as her mother despite Haruko actually being the sister of Misuzu's real mother. She has found it difficult raising Misuzu, and tends to distance herself from Misuzu for personal reasons. Hijiri Kirishima is Kano's supporting character, and is her older sister. Hijiri runs the local medical clinic in town and looks after her sister like a mother after their parents died. The last supporting character is Michiru, a playful girl younger than Minagi who plays with her often. Michiru usually gets in disagreements with Yukito, often involving playful violence, and follows Minagi around like a younger sister.
When the story enters the Summer arc in the story, three more characters are introduced that live in the feudal era in Japan, one thousand years before Air's story begins. The first is Kannabi no Mikoto, or simply Kanna, who is a young female winged being, and is believed to be the last of her kind. Due to humans fearing her powers, she has remained in captivity all her life, though has been cared for like a princess. One of Kanna's samurai guards is named Ryūya who eventually enables Kanna to escape her captors in order to go on a journey to find her mother. Kanna and Ryūya are accompanied by Uraha, one of Kanna's servants, who is also skilled in magical arts.
There are two other minor characters who are animals. The first is Potato, an odd stray dog who is usually seen around Kano, and Kano considers the dog her friend. The other animal is a crow named Sora who Misuzu meets and takes in as a pet during the Air arc in the story.
- Yukito Kunisaki
- Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa (Japanese - game, movie), Daisuke Ono (Japanese - anime), Vic Mignogna (English)
- Yukito is a wanderer traveling across the country in order to find the 'girl in the sky', a goal each generation of his family has passed on for a thousand years. Yukito lives off his trade, a special form of stringless puppeteering that was taught to him by his mother before she died. He is a successor and descendant of Ryūya and Uraha, and is implied to be Ryūya's reincarnation.
- During his time in the town where Air is set, Yukito meets several young girls and the strange events that befall them, including his temporarily becoming a member of Minagi Tohno's astronomy club and doing odd jobs for Kano Kirishima's older sister Hijiri. He forms a deep relationship with Misuzu Kamio in the time they spend together, but after Misuzu falls ill during his stay he decides to leave after learning that her "illness" grows worse whenever she begins to become friends with someone. After having a change of heart and recognizing his concern for the girl, he begs for another chance to watch over her.
- He is initially annoyed at Misuzu's attempts to be around him, glaring at her bringing him juice because of the heat. After helping Misuzu with her summer project (for which his reward was to have her buy him a bowl of ramen since he had not eaten well in days), he gradually warms up to the girl and her eccentric aunt Haruko Kamio after being invited to stay at the Kamio residence.
- In the Air movie, along with a re-worked version of the story focusing on the relationship between Yukito and Misuzu, Yukito's personality takes on a more cynical edge as well as a slightly older appearance. He came to Kami in order to perform at the upcoming festival, and at one point claims that he doesn't want to perform for families only pretending to be happy, implying that his own family life may have been difficult. In the movie's version of the story, Yukito is more obviously stated to be the reincarnation of Ryūya. Thus, Yukito recalls his past life, and the guilt he feels for what happened to Kanna, who was his lover in the movie. His relationship with Misuzu is much more overtly romantic, and he confesses his love for her near the end of the film, even sharing a kiss twice.
- Misuzu Kamio
- Voiced by: Tomoko Kawakami (Japanese), Monica Rial (English)
- Misuzu is the first of the three girls featured in Air that meets Yukito Kunisaki. She becomes friends with Yukito and invites him to stay over at her house. Her foster mother is Haruko Kamio who is actually her aunt as her biological mother died while she was still young and her father gave her to Haruko. She is a cheerful, slightly clumsy girl, and often mentions the pseudo-dinosauric phrase "Gao" whenever she feels troubled or is about to cry. Since a young age, Misuzu has had a great love of dinosaurs, going so far as to believe baby chicks were young dinosaurs for a time.
- After several weeks of staying in Misuzu's hometown, Yukito discovers that Misuzu suffers from a mysterious illness that makes her cry whenever she thinks she has made a friend, thus explaining why she is shunned in school. Later (when she is already in love with Yukito) her condition worsens and it is revealed that she is actually the reincarnation of the last winged being, Kannabi no Mikoto, who was cursed by Buddhist monks before her death. As the soul of a winged being is too much for a normal human body to contain, Misuzu is fated to die young. Misuzu dies at the beach soon after beginning to accept and love her aunt Haruko like a true mother. Misuzu's good ending in the game is as she dies, she is successful in breaking free from Kannabi no Mikoto's curse, due to the literally life-taking efforts of Yukito and herself. It is implied that both souls are now free from their chains to the Earth. In the finale of the manga, however, Misuzu recovers after the last dream thanks to Yukito's efforts.
- Kano Kirishima
- Voiced by: Asami Okamoto (Japanese), Stephanie Wittels (English)
- Kano is the second of the three girls featured in Air and the younger sister of Hijiri Kirishima. Kano is a wily and energetic girl with a cute side, and is always seen with her small dog, Potato. Like Misuzu, Kano has a curse related to the past. Her mother died in childbirth, and her sister is the only family that she has.
- Kano is the third hint of a supernatural side to this world, the first two being Yukito's magical puppeteering powers and the mentions of the winged woman Yukito is searching for. She wears a yellow scarf around her wrist all the time, which, Hijiri claims, will enable her to use magic. Also, she, like the other girls, has dreamed for years about flying in the sky, which causes Yukito to suspect that she may be Kanna. Kano has always wanted to fly because Hijiri told her that their mother was now in the sky, watching over them.
- Yukito later stumbles upon Kano twice while she is acting very strangely; once, Hijiri is giving her a check-up and her words do not make sense, and once, she is at the town shrine and attempts to choke Yukito to death before collapsing. It turns out that Kano is possessed by the soul of Shiraho, an estranged mother from the Feudal Era who committed suicide in order to protect her child, Yakumo, from being sacrificed. Just before the mother had done so, she tried to force herself to kill the child by choking him to death, but could not do it, just like with Yukito.
- Kano first began showing signs of the curse when she was very young. It was at the summer festival, where Kano ran into the shrine and she and Hijiri found a feather. Hijiri took it from its place and Kano touched it. Since that time, she acted strangely, muttering to herself and talking about flying. Hijiri does not believe in magic or anything supernatural, but did note that whatever was happening to Kano, her life was in danger. Because of this, she tied the yellow scarf around Kano's wrist, made up the story about becoming a mage, and made her sister promise never to remove the scarf, hoping to use it as an emotional trigger to prevent Kano's suicide.
- Kano wishes to see her mother and say that she was sorry for being born because her mother had died soon after giving birth to Kano. However, Yukito tells her that her mother would not want to see her daughter agonizing over her death. He says instead to tell her mother "Thank you" for giving birth to her. Later, as she is in a near-death experience, Kano tells her mother's spirit just that and is no longer in need of her yellow scarf. In the end of both versions where she plays a significant role, she gives it up voluntarily; in the game, she hands it over to Yukito, and in the anime, she lets it float away in the wind.
- Minagi Tohno
- Voiced by: Ryoka Yuzuki (Japanese), Kira Vincent-Davis (English)
- Minagi is the third of the three girls featured in Air. A top student in the school, Minagi is very quiet and shy. Though she does not hold a spirit from the past like Misuzu or Kano, she is still rather isolated from others. Until she met Yukito, her only friend was Michiru. Her father is frequently away on business and works as a train conductor.
- Minagi is the president of the astronomy club at school, though she is also the only member, until she makes Yukito a member later on. Like with the other girls, Yukito begins to suspect that she is 'the girl in the sky', but is proven wrong. Minagi has a secret, however, which Yukito comes to discover from Hijiri. Minagi's mother has a mental illness stemming from when she had a miscarriage with her second child, who was going to be named Michiru. Since Minagi had always been closer to her father, her mother was hoping that this second child would be close to her, but this did not happen, because the baby died. Now, Ms. Tohno thinks that Minagi is that child and adores her, but calls her Michiru instead of Minagi.
- Minagi is completely wiped from her mother's mind as the mental illness worsens. Now she is under the belief that she never had any daughters at all, and does not recognize Minagi, driving her out of the house. Yukito finds her in distress on the roof of the school, where Minagi describes her life as part of someone else's dream. Yukito strongly suspects that Minagi may be the girl he is looking for when she states that now she is like a person with wings that cannot fly. Yukito tells Minagi that he is leaving town, and he asks her to come with him so that she can learn about the world. At first Minagi accepts this offer, but then Yukito leads her back to her own house. As her mother sees her approaching, her memories of Minagi return, and the two embrace joyfully.
- All this time, Michiru has been avoiding Minagi's home. However, when Ms. Tohno calls Minagi "Minagi", Michiru agrees to eat with them. Ms. Tohno has a small pause when she learns that the little girl's name is Michiru, but gets over it and accepts Michiru as a friend of her daughter. Later, Minagi goes to the rooftop of the school with Yukito one last time, only to see Michiru, her ribbons untied, standing at the edge of the roof. Michiru reveals that Minagi's tie to the past is different from Kano's and Misuzu's, for she is not a being from the past; rather, she is connected through Michiru, who is actually a wandering spirit. Michiru saw 'the girl in the sky' and wanted to make her smile and free her of her curse, so she went down to Earth to cheer up another sad and lonely girl, Minagi. Now Minagi can exist without her. Minagi tries to stop Michiru from leaving, but can only watch sadly as her closest friend drifts away into the sky. However, at least now she has a friend in Yukito and her mother accepts her existence.
- Minagi receives a letter from her father, who has moved to another town and married another woman. Her father and his new wife have a baby daughter now, and they want Minagi to come and visit them. Minagi agrees to go see them, and as she is about to leave, Yukito suddenly calls out to her: "Even wings that can no longer fly have a reason to exist, because they still have a memory of the time when they could fly." Minagi goes to see her father, whose child is named Michiru and looks exactly like the Michiru that Minagi knew.
- Haruko Kamio (神尾 晴子 Kamio Haruko )
- Voiced by: Aya Hisakawa (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)
- Haruko is the foster mother and aunt of Misuzu. Haruko loves Misuzu as her own child, but tries to distance herself from Misuzu because she fears that one day Misuzu will be taken from her. However in the later part of the series, she becomes much closer and more affectionate towards Misuzu and hopes she can save her life. She is very outgoing and enjoys a drink after work as well as riding her motorcycle, which she parks by crashing into the garage nightly.
- In the movie Haruko has a close relationship with Misuzu and does not show the distancing behavior of her canon counterpart in the Dream arc in the game and anime. She frequently takes Misuzu's temperature to Hijiri Kirishima, the family doctor, to monitor Misuzu's "disease". After learning that her foster daughter's condition has worsened, she calls Misuzu's father asking him to take her away, as the emotional stress has become too much for her.
- On the day of the festival Haruko had promised to take Misuzu to, even after making a dinosaur printed yukata in preparation, her father shows up unexpectedly to take Misuzu away. In response to Misuzu's confusion, Haruko claims that watching Misuzu's health worsen has become too much for her to handle and watches the two drive away. When Misuzu disappears from her father's car, Haruko meets up with and begs an initially unwilling Yukito to help with the search, and carries Misuzu back home once she is found in the temple.
- In the anime, Misuzu's father is unsuccessful in trying to take away Misuzu and when the girl runs back, both aunt and niece embrace, accepting each other as mother and daughter. Both of them grow exceptionally close and Misuzu's dying wish and ultimate goal is revealed to be able to stand on her own feet and reach her mother in her weakest stage.
- Hijiri Kirishima (霧島 聖 Kirishima Hijiri )
- Voiced by: Yumi Tōma (Japanese), Christine Auten (English)
- As the town doctor, Hijiri has taken care of her younger sister, Kano, ever since their parents died. Believing Kano's curse to be some sort of disease, Hijiri trained as a doctor to try to cure her. Hijiri was the one who originally tied the ribbon around Kano's wrist after seeing her younger sister attempt to commit suicide. She is also Yukito's employer, who works at her clinic doing odd jobs. She has a habit of showing off a few scalpels whenever Yukito annoys her.
- Michiru (みちる)
- Voiced by: Yukari Tamura (Japanese), Serena Varghese (English)
- Michiru is a young girl who doesn't seem to have a place to live; Michiru is nevertheless a spirited, energetic young child. Having befriended Minagi at an early age, Michiru doesn't seem to have any other friends. She plays an important role in Minagi's storyline. She enjoys playfully attacking Yukito Kunisaki and has a fondness for bubbles.
- Michiru is a fragment of a dream created by Minagi; Michiru is the physical manifestation of the "second child" Minagi's mother wished to have. For this reason, Michiru acts strange when Minagi invites her home for dinner. When she is no longer needed by Minagi after the trauma of her mother's miscarriage is dealt with, Michiru disappears after a tearful goodbye on the roof of the school, leaving Minagi and Yukito to watch as a single feather is picked up by the wind and dissolves. Coincidentally, Minagi receives a letter from her father telling her that he has married another woman and that they have conceived a child called Michiru. Although this new Michiru is much younger than the dream Michiru, she bears the exact resemblance to her, albeit younger.
Feudal era characters
- Kanna (神奈)
- Voiced by: Chinami Nishimura (Japanese), Cynthia Martinez (English)
- Kanna is a young girl also known as Kannabi no Mikoto (神奈備命), since '-bi no mikoto' is the formal suffix given to all winged beings. She is one of the last winged beings in history. Kanna was deified out of fear for the awesome power inherent in all of her kind, so from birth, Kanna had been kept in isolated areas away from the general populace. Not long after meeting Ryūya and Uraha, she escaped with them in order to find her mother, known as Yaobikuni or Nun of Eight Hundred Years, the only other winged being left. While not knowing much about the outside world, Kanna adamantly took up learning how to juggle in the hope that she would one day be able to show her mother upon their reunion. As she traveled with her guardians, Kanna began to develop feelings for Ryūya, and when the party became surrounded by guards, she took to the sky as a diversion after surrounding Ryūya and Uraha with a protective shield. While in the air, Buddhist monks cast a spell that bound her into a cycle of eternal reincarnation and suffering that Ryūya fought to break with Uraha, leaving it up to his descendants to find a way to free Kanna, a cycle which culminated in his descendant, Yukito, and the girl, Misuzu.
- When Uraha found Kanna's strong feelings for Ryūya, who got seriously injured in a battle of protecting Kanna, Uraha instructed Kanna to show her love to Ryūya by lowering her kimono off her shoulders to her chest. However, considering Kanna is too innocent to know a lot about sex (Kanna did not even understand what will happen after taking off her kimono), Ryūya discovered Uraha was after this before anything happens.
- Ryūya (柳也 Ryūya )
- Voiced by: Nobutoshi Canna (Japanese), Jay Hickman (English)
- Ryūya is a skilled, yet low-ranked samurai in charge of Kanna's protection. Ryūya quickly befriended Kanna. Unfortunately, after creating a diversion for Ryūya and Uraha, Kanna was cursed by Buddhist monks to live an endless cycle of reincarnation, suffering, and death. Ryūya dedicated the remainder of his life to finding a way to lift the curse, and though he never did, he had a child with Uraha in the hopes that their kin would eventually find a way to break the curse. He also received a premonition from Uraha that he was fated to die within the same year as Kanna. His appearance greatly resembles Yukito.
- In the Air movie Ryūya is shown to actually be Kanna's lover and has no apparent romantic relationship with Uraha. He appears physically different from his game counterpart, with darker hair and a generally more reserved personality; changes similar to Yukito's own movie counterpart. After learning of the punishment imposed on Kanna for falling in love with him, he helps her escape captivity, though he dies from a spear wound from behind soon after she takes flight. He appears to be the source of Yukito's puppet controlling powers in the film (he is able to mix his powers with his actual swordplay, as he controlled tops to dance on his sword blade during the battle to help Kanna escape) while Uraha was the source in the game.
- Uraha (裏葉)
- Voiced by: Kikuko Inoue (Japanese), Allison Sumrall (English)
- Uraha is one of the many servants in charge of Kanna's care. She befriended Kanna and Ryūya and ended up escaping with them during their journey to find Kanna's mother. Though unknown to Kanna at the time, Uraha possessed powerful magical abilities that would come in handy later during their quest. After Kanna's sealing, Uraha honed these latent powers in an effort to lift Kanna's curse. Though eventually failing in this task, Uraha asks to bear a child with Ryūya who will help the future generations try to break Kanna's curse. Her powers are passed on to each descendant of her and Ryūya, granting Yukito his special talent of controlling puppets without physically manipulating them.
- Potato (ポテト Poteto )
- Voiced by: Hiromi Konno (Japanese), Tiffany Grant (English)
- Potato is the town's stray puppy that lives in town mostly with Kano. Potato seems to follow Kano a lot, and was the reason that Kano and Yukito met due to his interest in Yukito's puppet show. Potato makes frequent appearances throughout the series though he exists mostly as a minor character for comic relief in the visual novel and anime. Potato's only 'word' is "piko", though sometimes he will say the variations "pika" or "pikori". In the movie, Potato appears on an anime Misuzu is watching one morning. He does not appear as an actual character at any point however.
- Sora (そら)
- Voiced by: Daisuke Ono (Japanese), Vic Mignogna/Jay Hickman (voice), K.C. Jones (sound effects) (English)
- Sora or Sky is a wild crow Misuzu befriended a pet before she met Yukito Kunisaki on the same day. Sora mostly appeared as a minor character throughout most of the series while making important appearances, such as discovering Yukito's missing puppet or pulling Misuzu's toy dinosaur to the shrine. Sora's true nature is revealed at the very end of the series. He is the reincarnation of Yukito after his plea for a second chance to attempt to save Misuzu. In the movie, Sora appeared mostly as a background character and is a regular crow rather than Yukito's reincarnation. At one point in the movie, he humorously imitated Misuzu's "nihaha" laugh and "V" remark, irritating Yukito because he was trying to convince him to go back to her.