Straightforward and innocent Hisone Amakasu is a Self-Defense Force rookie stationed at the Air Self-Defense Force's Gifu Base. She was struggling with the fact that she sometimes hurts people unintentionally by her innocent words and decided to join the Air Self-Defense Force, hoping to maintain a certain distance from people. This decision led her to a fateful encounter which profoundly changed her life. It was the "OTF" dragon hidden in the base and it chose Hisone as his pilot. When it soared into the sky with Hisone, her fate as a dragon pilot was decided. It is said that dragons have a key to the future of the world...
Originally conceptualized by BONES, Mari Okada, and Shinji Higuchi. Hisone to Masotan was announced at the 2017 Tokyo Comic Con. It premiered on April 13th, 2018 at 00:00 JST (effectively April 14th) on Tokyo MX. It has been licensed by Netflix for Domestic and International streaming.
#1: "Le temps de la rentrée〜恋の家路（新学期）〜 (Le temps de la rentrée~Koi no Shingakki~)" by D Pai #2: "Le temps de la rentrée〜恋の家路（新学期）〜 (Le temps de la rentrée~Koi no Shingakki~)" by Ririko Kinutsugai (Satomi Arai) (ep 7) [Hisone Amakazu (Misaki Kuno), Nao Kaizaki (Tomoyo Kurosawa), Eru Hoshino (Maki Kawase), Ririko Kinutsugai (Satomi Arai), Mayumi Hitomi (Kaori Nazuka)] (eps 1-6)
Dragon Pilot: Hisone to Masotan is quite literally the season's quiet-springer, seeing it as the less popular, lesser well-known series against many heavy hitters, the sleeper surprise hit. And surprise (more) surprise, it's studio Bones leading the production, an original one at that.
Hisone to Masotan tells the story of young girls, D-Pilots to be precise, having the speciality to pilot OTF dragons that can shapeshift into normal jet fighters for military use. And as usual, you have the underdog, Amakasu, who can't seem to do anything right, and is fearful and insecure of her weaknesses, and is harsh on her words (even when she doesn't
mean it). Enter Masotan (the TAC name for the fighter-dragon jet), the dragon with the ability to morph into a fighter jet at the pilot's will. At first, it doesn't seem that both human and dragon will get along, but eventually they make up and trust each other enough to be useful to one another.
The characters are interesting. SPOILER ALERT (as for this review which is after watching Ep 4): Each D-pilot, representing their airbases, has their OTF categorized by the skills and maneuvers of the pilot that is well suited for them. Amakasu Hisone has not only a rival-turned-friend Nao Kaizaki (which her ambition is to fly an OTF), but the introduction of the other characters (shown in the PV) make up the 5-woman OTF team, knowing their different traits and working together amidst their struggles. Every character has their fine taste, so there's no need for deep expository, and it's really appreciated here.
The art and animation is simply beautiful, gorgeous and striking. Bones incorporated a hand-drawn finesse art style on the background, characters and overall setting, and it looks quite the production: pleasant views of the world that's around it, and overall is an enjoyable from start to end, and it's sad that (IMO) no other anime could look quite like this, it's well done and outstanding.
The music is also an interesting one. On one hand, you have the traditional OP that is always telling the story, the worldbuilding of the show, and it does that to a T. When it comes to the ED, OH HOLY COW does it get stuck to your head! Basically it's a trade of the same French song in terms of feel and musicality, but redone for the show to alleviate its characters. Honestly, there's not much OST like this, and it's quite good-sounding too.
As mentioned, the sleeper hit of the season, no sorry change that, the SURPRISE of the season. Not many people know about this series, so it's a must recommended to catch up now.
I think this show is a real breath of fresh air, and as it goes on I really hope it develops into something quite special.
The first episode honestly does a perfect job of introducing you to the show, I fell in love with it right away. It gives you just enough information to let you know what’s going on, but understands that it’s ideas are extremely weird and it completely rolls with that. The following episodes thus far have mostly dealth with the strangeness of the situation and fleshed it out, to make it feel more believable in a real world setting. It completely revels
in it’s strange high-concept premise. It really doesn’t care if you think it’s too weird, as if no idea is too weird or dumb to write a story around.
As of now, not much of a plot has been introduced, and it’s mostly running off of the strength of it’s main cast. The main character, Amakasu, has an extremely strong personality. She’s a social dimwit, and the writers at no point feel the need to make her look cool or to make her social ineptitude something cutesy; it is a legitimate problem the main character has to overcome. Even so, her inability to communicate at all is extremely funny and relatable. It’s a really nice change of pace in my opinion to have a main character not be the coolest or most tragic character.
The art and animation are fantastic. The style and character design are dumb and goofy but rendered in wonderful colors, and the whole look of the show has a soft warmness to it that looks really pleasing. The designs of the dragons are really fun as well, blobby and organic but mixed with really detailed plane parts. It creates a really interesting visual contrast.
Sound wise there’s not much to report on, it’s a simple orchestral soundtrack. It serves its purpose and doesn’t get in the way, but i really don’t care for the opening song. Good thing the ending song is catchy as hell.
I believe that HisoMaso represents a coming-of-age story of the same flavor as "March Comes Like a Lion", and with an excellent team backing it up. It speaks to me of identity and self-worth. The OTFs (dragons) are great and cool, and their transformations are epic, but at this point, they are a creative vehicle (get it? vehicles?) for their pilots to learn about themselves.
The best part of HisoMaso is, without a doubt, the colorful cast. I can't express how easy it is to enter the story alongside the characters, empathizing with their relational struggles and cheering for their successes. Each seiyuu is obviously
deeply invested into her character, and it's a pleasure to listen to their banter.
At the time of this posting, HisoMaso is *criminally* underrated here on MAL. It's sitting halfway down the popularity list for this season, and is resting at 7.5*, which is a misrepresentation of the quality of this production.
I'd like to take a moment to mention that yes, I understand why many users aren't as drawn to this show. The art style is simple, and lacks the sharpness of the current shounen meta, cutesy flairs of a typical slice-of-life, and the artsy vibe of some seinen shows. The story is slow, if even present at all. The OP isn't as loud and hyped as fans are used to, so it doesn't draw them in the same way. There's no contrived romance, no great evil, and no tragic backstory.
Hisone to Maso-tan is an extremely unique anime so I won't cover what has already been covered in other reviews around this. Story: While unique, it isn't very creative at all, the main character is rather generic with her only defining characteristic being she is to honest in an unrealistic way. Art: It's special. Sound: The ED is really nice sung to a french song and while not visually stimulating, it is rather good. Music played during the show is rather ordinary. Character: This is for my fellow vets and people who have some interest in the military, the way people are shown make sense
for an anime but make the very least sense in a remote understanding how military information works. Enjoyment: Its alright. which is rather low for this kind of show. The art may be unique and the the story might not have been told several times over but it isn't the god send of this season.