Colorful, fighter aircrafts known as “Daughters.” Hawt Japanese women. And a young boy, Kei Narutani, who arouses the “Anima” (young girls who are specifically designed to pilot the “Daughters”) because he’s the chosen MC for Girly Air Force. What else could you ask for?
“Anything but this garbage.” — Random MAL user
The world is under attack from a mysterious entity known as Zai (evil, advanced aircrafts), who have surpassed human technology and are considered, relatively, unstoppable. Except when the government employs “Anima” to combat the “invulnerable” foe. Because one of the “Anima” is defective, Kei is requested to spend time
— “awaken the sleeping beauty,” if you will — with Gripen (the defective “Anima” in question) and hang out around town; thus, changing the series from a tedious action-adventure to a banal slice-of-life.
Gripen exhibits the blank slate anime trope, where, besides her food preferences, she doesn’t have any thoughts, opinions, or knowledge of any societal norms. Hence her inane dialogue from time to time. Kei is your typical, prosaic main character, who holds an affinity to Gripen because it’s quite obvious the writers are laying the seeds for a possible romance. And with the “Race for Your Love” scene in episode three, where Kei furiously rode his bicycle toward Gripen after finding out she was made out of Xi parts. The affection between the two is, effectively, written on the wall. Making the series extremely dull, contrived, and a waste of time; unless you enjoy vibrant aircrafts and tired tropes.
Nothing better than girls with big guns! But it's nice to see them occasionally wield big firearms, too. Heh made a funny.
Girly Air Force is much like Girls Und Panzer on planes except not as good, its lacking the sports side of things and there are men in the story line too. By men, I mean Kei because he is the self-insert of this series and therefore perfect human being because this is based on a light novel.
As for the female casting, they are practically pure waifugame, but it's strong no doubt. Minghua cleans Kei's house like a good housewife, Gripen kisses our man before
even knowing his name, Eagle is blonde so everything is going well for her and Phantom is the biggest claim of this season. Or would be if anyone was watching this show. The girls are cute and that's undoubtedly one of the selling points of this show. Their names are obviously flawless and I shouldn't even have to point out why.
The OST is pretty fresh. Practically Darude feat. Code Speed Anime Trance. Sick beats you typically would only hear in an underground rave bar that's been concurred by weebs. Really enjoying the musics.
Outside the good female character design, the art is pretty neato. Plains wreck shit and the explosions are of ridiculous magnitude.
Watch this thing only if you like stupid anime because this is pretty stupid but it's the entertaining type of stupid.
From my first viewing of Girly Air Force, it felt like I’ve seen this somewhere before. And no, before anyone mentions “Arpeggio of Blue Steel”, it’s actually not that. What I mean is that I’ve seen similar anime like this before with the ideas of objects translated into cute girls. Kantai Collection, Frame Arms Girl, and Strike Witches are a few that comes to mind. Yet, a voice is telling me that Girly Air Force really felt lacking in terms of execution. And with regret, I didn’t really get this show.
To be fair, the light novels aren’t very popular. Before this got announced as an
anime adaptation, I had no idea it even existed. But since it’s been publishing for more than 4 years since September 2014, there’s bound to be enough to make this into a fluid story right? As an anime only viewer, watching Girly Air Force felt like a challenge because of its themes. The concept of an alien invasion (entities known as “Zai” in this show) attacking a country is a copy-paste formula I’ve seen in many sci-fi shows before. Girly Air Force doesn’t exactly think outside the box with this formula as we are shown that humanity have their own weapons of defense. The advanced aircraft fighters known as “Daughters” are employed in this show. The pilots consists of the main characters known as “Anima” that resembles young women.
First impressions are important and unfortunately, Girly Air Force takes several strikes from the start. We meet protagonist Kei who encounters a mysterious girl. Oh and did I forget to mention that they kiss already? It doesn’t take long for this mysterious girl named Gripen to build a relationship with Kei. Throughout the story, they come to understand each other but it’s clear there’s a lack of chemistry between the two. Between the awkward humor, cheap dialogues, and weak emotional connection, there’s little reason to actually care about them. When I mentioned that I didn’t get this show, this was part of the reason. Why should I care about Kei and Gripen’s relationship when there’s little character development between either one of them? To make matters worse, Kei has the personality of a potato while Gripen exhibits borderline android-like behavior. The show also think it’s clever to pull out “cute” moments for Gripen to make her look more human. But honestly, it’s embarrassing to watch. How many times are going to get to see Gripen eat like a little kid at the candy store before it gets old?
Upon joining Japanese military, Kei also meets other Anima such as Eagle and Phantom. While they show more personality than our android girl Gripen, neither of them are developed enough. Eagle has a child-like personality who adores her “papa” while also being overly friendly. Yet, she can also show an irregular way of expressing herself when irritated. On the other hand, Phantom displays a superiority complex while not getting along with nearly anyone. While this show is not a harem, it has tendency to make characters be more dependent on others than they should. Gripen is a clear example of this as she begins to show way too much attachment to Kei. Eagle also trusts Kei because her papa has faith in him. Oh and of course, we can’t have a show without a childhood crush so Song Minghua is there for that role. It’s too bad Kei is laughably dense about her feelings which result in many awkward moments. Someone with a face like Kei drags down this show even more with its already degenerate cast.
When I first decided to actually watch Girly Air Force, my hopes were that somewhere along the way, the storytelling would be able to at least draw enough interest. What kind of story did we get instead? It’s a poorly made one with tongue-tied sci-fi ideas. In fact, many of the episodes hardly connects the show together such as kidnapping angle, washed down invasion plot, or even some of its slice of life content. That’s right, this anime at times feels unintentionally like a slice of life with the character interactions. Between the three main Anima, there’s also a rivalry developed between them but should we even bother to care? The main premise of the show is for humanity to survive and explore ways for them to defeat the Zai, right? Perhaps, there’s something more that I’m not seeing here. Maybe it’s a show that tries to get viewers to experience the behavior of these abnormal girls. Nonetheless, I really don’t get this show.
Who would have guessed that Satelight would be animating this? They’ve been known to be attached to projects with sci-fi themes such as Macross, Aquarion Evol, Muv-Luv Alternative, Symphogear, etc. Their experiments have shown plenty of flaws over the years and Girly Air Force is another to add to the list. In essence, the visual quality of the show only stands out the most when it gets to the action. I will admit that the aerial combat is top-tier when the momentum gets going. But when the characters aren’t in the sky, everything feels radically plain. This isn’t much of a criticism but more as the truth. Characters look too light novel fashioned with little distinction. The show also seems to love making Gripen and Eagle as cute as possible whenever they are with Kei. It doesn’t also help that Kei falls for certain suggestive scenes and dialogues like a typical anime healthy boy would. Abandon hope for a likable protagonist because Kei is at the bottom of the barrel.
After 12 weeks of mindless Girly Air Force adventure, this felt like a book that needed to be put down. Maybe I’ll give the light novel a chance in the future but for the anime adaptation, this was nothing short than a thumbs down. I was bored for the plot, felt almost no emotional attachment to the characters, and nearly zero connection to the show’s ideas. Trusting in this show makes me wonder if we even need more anime about cute girls doing…sci-fi things?
This review will be super biased because Im writing this as a military stuff, jet fighter fan (I have an F18 keyring lol). I think you need to be a fan of these stuff to really enjoy this one. Apart from the ending which gets kinda interesting and some other interesting concepts too is a pretty avarage good-bad guys history, but I really enjoyed it! The art is kinda flashy with all those colors, I wished the "daughters" had more realistic colours and also the enemy designs felt kinda poor, they also felt like if they were just there to fit in the battle escenes,
but it kinda makes sense after you get to the end. The dogfights were entertaining but also felt like they lack something else and the interactions with the other military stuff like the fleets and normal jet fighters I think they could've been developed further. But like I said I super enjoyed it and never got bored! I hope it gets a 2nd season.
It's first time I watched an airplane-themed anime series, so I was interested in making a review of this anime.
This series starts with a kiss from a princess captured inside a plane, joking maybe. Well, "Girly Air Force" tells the story that when the earth was attacked by an enemy who was not stalked Anima, this story focused on Narutani Kei who was on a boat trip there was an enemy attack when there was armed contact, a mysterious plane appeared, the plane turned out to be on the earth's side he was the Grippen girl from Anima.
This series has a story that is funny
and not too complicated, the graphic design and animation they offer are also good. The sound quality is also very good especially from the part of their voices that matches the characters they play, the opening and closing themes that they stretch too very good.
From the whole series it has a unique and convoluted storyline (like my review, joking) not all works are as good as what we expect sometimes what we imagine is not as good as expectations.
I am astounded and stunned to fathom what's so good about this show, except that it is built on cliches and tropes, one after another. That's what is obvious from the get-go, and unless you're a fan of these irregularities, it doesn't help that this show gives off bad vibes from the start.
The story (and worldbuilding) is that mankind/humanity is under attack from extraterrestrial entities only known as Xi, large colourful bird-ish planes who have surpassed human technology and are considered unstoppable. One fateful day, the dull MC, Narutani Kei, stumbles among one of the Xi's many attacks, and is caught in the crossfire between
the Zai and the JASDF's way of quantitative and qualitive control: Colourful fighter planes known as "Daughters", powered by autonomous units called "Anima", android-like human girls made from scrap Xi parts, and engineered to only serve one purpose: to repel the Xi in whatever shape and way possible technologically, that mission failures are not tolerated. And then...the storytelling collapses on its feet, HARD, as plot is basically non-existent and non-progressive.
And here...is the first problem: Inserting cliches and tropes where it doesn't really make total sense to the current (and future) situation(s). While Kei notices the first of the "Daughter" planes, which houses Gripen (the dull, naive pink-haired girl), he attempts to save her like any other righteous human would...and *kisses* him for absolutely NO reason. (Shit, that weird scene still irks so much in my mind.) Naturally, with the big effect of the Xi's attack for killing his mother, and wanting to know more about the power of the Daughters, he joins the JASDF and joins the staff responsible for the exclusive program in hopes of getting his sweet, sweet (and naive teenage) revenge against the Xi. And then, as luck would have it, Yashirodoori, the scientist behind the reverse-engineering of the Xi's weaponry and developer of the Anima system, notices Gripen's *strange* emotional dependency on Kei, and decides to "pair" them up together (ooh that "pairing romance" troupe).
The second problem is with the characters, both mains and sides. Gripen, as blank as she looks, is actually for a reason. Suffering from an inherent emotional defect which leaves her scatterbrained and lacking a sense of purpose, that's the answer to her fragile affinity with Kei (like seriously, can you believe this???). Eagle, the blonde-haired loud-talking girl, she's at best a talking parrot based on her perky and capricious personality, aside from being talented (which naturally is the case). What irks me is that on their first impressions, Eagle takes interest in Kei, but never crosses that line, as saying that the writers initally wanted a harem of sorts. (Oh God, please kill me now.) And last but not least (of the Daughters), Phantom, the green-haired original JASDF Anima that is first to be developed and built, takes a drastic step on her prideful superiority both on ground and in the skies, manipulating information as and when she likes it to gain any tactical advantage firsthand, causing frictions within the team (and I kinda hated her at first but understood her intentions well soon after).
Even more patronizing, are both Kei and his childhood friend Song Minghua. Watching Kei stumble and grow is as worrying as his character development built in the process as not only Gripen's "beck and call" backup (his MC appeal), but also the "instant training" troupe that's the cause of his revenge, that beckons to always question his purpose in helping the Daughters fend off the Xi, being 1 step forward and 10 steps back. Even worse, is his childhood friend-cum-"random sibling romance" Minghua. Strapped within the same devastating situation as Kei, she "swore" to protect him...like a girlfriend would (but really never displays "subtle" affections), with Kei sister-zoning her. Wow this is getting great...or so it hoped.
I'm not at all surpised when Satelight is involved in anything that is mech-related, as the studio's past experiences have all held up in bits and pieces, whether good or bad, and Girly Air Force is no different. The art styles have all held up decently well, and along with the frantic animation which is both clean and stylish. And of course, the Xi and planes have that artifical CGI feel to them, and is honestly not that bad and is not repulsive either.
For a show all about planes and sci-fi action, you would expect a good OST to follow-up on this piece, but what came out of it are all generic tunes, both OP/ED and the BGM. Not impressive, but decently held up.
If I can fall flat on this show, it means that this show has failed. Not in terms of expectation, but pure enjoyment. Sure, I'd like some things to at least spice up the action, but episode after episode, even the enjoyment wanes substantially to the point where I can wave my byes away in the moonlight. If you like this show, good for you, but it just isn't for me.
Girly Air Force was not a "must watch" anime but a decent one for those who like air fights, jets and colorful haired girls.
At first, let's cover the negative points that contributed to GAF's low popularity. Hum, the thema itself was quite basic, with aliens named Zai coming on Earth with their very high technology which totally outmatched humanity's current one. Forced to fight, every national armies & research (at least Japanese, American & Russian as we know) managed to create their own weapons, based on alien's jets they somehow destroyed.
These researches lead to the creation of Animas, aka girls with very colorful & non-conventional
hairs (a shiny blue, pink, a shiny green, purple and a shiny yellow : you could not miss them in the street). They actually are the only ones able to pilot "Daughters", aka modern fight jets which are efficient against Zai. However, one Anima is unable to pilot alone, until she discovers a human named Kei with whom she suddenly became able to. Yes, the plot totally looks like Darling in the Franxx, before you ask.
However, contrary to DitF, GAF had in my opinion a huge lack of background, everything seemed blank or empty behind the main characters and the airport. You could think that they gave every part of their budget in huge and spectacular air battles but... not really. In fact, there were not many battles, I think 3 that were decently noticeable. Quite sad for an anime that has no real or strong plot and a small number of characters (count ... 9 characters who are named in the show, plus other unnamed extras).
I think this point was the one which displeased most viewers. Indeed, if you don't really like planes in anime or if you don't really feel attracted by these colorful girls, then you couldn't appreciate Girly Air Force.
To be honest, I appreciated these girls who all aren't humans and have a different vision of humanity. They are fighters in their "blood" (or should I say in their components ?) with a programmed personality. The whole anime is basically telling the story of Gripen, a curious, childly, naive and cute Anima who discovers human nature and human mores with Kei. Ah talking about this guy... saying he is a bit dumb and quite irritating sometimes seems right.
Instead of presenting a Michael Bay's vision of aliens vs cute girls piloting jets, Girly Air Force showed a semi-romance semi-drama anime with a pinch of battle, a bunch of attractive girls you'd desire to meet (not gonna say why you'd desire such thing) and a fund of technology. It wasn't very popular this season and probably won't become later. It's either you appreciate it or either you hate it, since the background / plot is very weak and most battles aren't memorable.
The worst point of this anime was enlightened by Kei himself during last episode. Who are Zai & why do you they fight ? I hereby present you the main question that remains unsolved yet. During 12 episodes we learned how Zai was powerful and it conquered many parts of the world : appearently it was THE enemy for humanity. But as we noticed, this enemy, despite its destructive technology, wasn't such a threat since it left national armies finding a way to counter its plans (if it ever had some). Kei himself wonders why it fought for all this time.
Don't read if you haven't watched any episode yet!
Nothing like an anime with a Rainbow air force, and to add to that, the colorful airplanes are girls, or humanoids if you put it, made from "Zai" parts.
The world is under attack and under grave danger as we know it. The PLAAF, People's Liberation Army Air Force, despite being one of the biggest Air Force in the world, were no match for the evil enemies, those enemies are advanced aircraft known as Zai. They are "evil" and know nothing but to bring about destruction. Beijing is taken and/or destroyed and several stragglers who survived
the initial onslaught were evacuating towards Japan. Then the convoy was ambushed and then a Brightly colored aircraft appeared out of nowhere, beat the Zai, and crashed for some reason. Our male protagonist here, let's call him Anon, jumps to save the "pilot" inside the brightly colored aircraft, the canopy opened and Anon-kun was kissed by the "Pilot". And so it begins.....
Art is Good, sound is good, characters, well, not so much, but if you don't mind the common tropes that we see in anime, then be my guess. But some of the character designs are fine though.
Don't judge, let me explain. I enjoy this anime 'cause somehow I found several moments funny, like for when the Zai beat the 7th Fleet in battle.(Not shown). If you don't take the plot, if there's any, seriously, then you might actually enjoy watching this show.
Overall, I'd say it's a 7/10
If you want to watch a love story between anon-kun and the airplane, then watch this anime! :)
I like "simple plot" animes like Girls und Panzer, Strike Witches, Jojo, Nichijou, Konosuba, Gate, Angel Beatsand Girly Air Force, even though I can go deep inside awesome animes like Hellsing or Uchuu Kyoudai.
Anyway, when I watch some Girly Air Force episodes, I want to chill and have fun, watching waifus defying aerodynamics and physics, developing some random love interest, but also having epix 3D dogfight with electronic happy music.
Why this anime ? Why do I review it with such a good note ?
Because when I watch animes, it's really when chilling. Girly Air Force : cool music, cute characters, epic moments, beautiful
3D animations and EXPLOSIONS Guren Lagann like : if I want to smile and just have fun, Girly Air Force is great !
Lot of people told me that I'm watching shitty anime, but first of all, I know this is NOT the best anime for everyone. But as a pilot, a gamer, a waifu lover and a musician, this anime is my little moment of smile through the weeks.
And YES, fucking "planes" if they are pink haired and cute isn't a problem, no FBI call she is a plane.
(Yes I'm kind with the marks. for me , 10/10 isn't unaccessible, if I love it, I put 10/10 without worrying.)
This is a review of the entire show and is filled with spoilers, and I repeat everything twice (most likely). With that said, we're diving right in.
I gave this show an overall of 5, which is probably way more than it deserves if I'm being honest.
The show goes off the basis that something called Xi (Or Zai) has invaded China and has begun attacking the rest of the world, and blah blah blah. I'm Sorry, if you were looking for a synopsis please refer to the anime's page.
There a couple of main points that for Character review seems to be quite off. We have
Kei, who has a rather shallow character backstory, as he only gets to refer to being from China and something about XI with nothing else. He has a very close female friend-note- not sister- who follows him around with literally no development other than she (You ready for this?) basically would follow him anywhere blah blah blah for some reason I'm sure that they explained somewhere but it was quite forgettable as she is literally nowhere to be seen after the first few episodes with a few minutes here and there until a random ass anima pops up (We'll get to that in a second) almost like they didn't care about her after Kei met his new wife to be (literally). She has this annoying trope of basically only seeing her at home and for some decent 'supporting' roles at the start but the suddenly disappears towards the end of the anime as previously mentioned due to Kei being busy with his 'part time job'. (Two side notes for him: A) He's quite fluent in Japanese for someone who just ran away from China and B: Never actually tells his childhood friend ((I think?)) that he's actually in the military)
And Now to the Anima, who unless plot foreshadowing call for it, get no backstory. Gripen, who is basically so monotone I might have thought she was teaching my science class for a hot second. A failure until she is paired up with him and they never bother getting around to explaining it with other than we're still looking into it like your Comcast customer service provider. Pretty much all the anima can get away with no backstory and development due to the excuse of 'machines'. I won't touch on them too much except for Rhino who you'll have to watch the series itself to understand
Purple Anima-- I don't even remember her name due to being perhaps the biggest mishap of this series- randomly interduces a new anima into the show, promptly makes her Minghua to cause confusion- and disappears. We get some BS explanation for why she looks like her blah blah blah.
Eagle- Stays the same throughout the entire anime (no joke)
Phantom--Ummmmmmmmmm ok then
Jokes aside, she seems like the most interesting character (I did say jokes aside so I'm not joking :^) due her abilities and willingness-- however is quickly thrown away due to a cliche for Kei (Hahaha that does the word sounding the same thing I think but you'll understand when you watch it)
Animation---Animation was decent, however, OST and CGI were a big out of places and will most likely cause this show to age badly.
The sound was average, neither bad nor fantastic.
AHhahaha, the plot, where we rip on that and tear it to shreds.
My First major problem is the pacing of events. I mean, think about it. You go from struggling to not get scrapped to full-on operations in just a few episodes. Characters are done weirdly with a purple girl and Mrs. Song, who is ditched constantly and only appears outside of the first 2 episodes whenever the producers decided Kei needs, um, love problems? Purple girl gets a quiccc appearance with no explanation except for her appearance and thennnnn never see her again ahahaa.
We get this weird sort of Kei in a dream vibe around episode 9 that plays no effect onto the ending of this story what so ever.
This could have been a half decent show had the producers decided to dedicate a first half of a 24 epi show to character development and there training, rather than saying Kei knows how to fly, stick him in an airplane, and say good luck and send him into missions and operations with an anima thy quite literally were almost going to scrape a few episodes or so ago.
They keep throwing wrenches into their plot which don't help at all, and with bad character development with a half-assed almost harem basically, I gave this show a 5.
With all that said, this is my first review so all feedback is wonderfully accepted. I feel bad for you, the reader, as I mainly focused on Characters due to them pretty much being the focal point of this show with a few airplanes mixed in. Again, thanks for reading my shitty ass review.
Well, it's a simple anime with a different proposition, but it fell into that cliche of harem, with ecchi and in that old story of something wanting to dominate the world, in this case they are the ZAI, a type of technology still quite mysterious. It could have been better, if they had developed better the characters, nothing happens between them, it seems that the winding that is seen in an end of harem anime, an example of this was the friend of the protagonist having no relevance, she existed only to have more girls on the screen.Overall, it's an anime that is minimally watchable
LA was expecting Girly Air Force to be the Kantai Collection of Jet Fighters type anime, yet nope, we have full blown harem with our main protagonist Kei Narutani voiced by Ryouta Osaka being separated from his family in China and forced to live in Japan due to an attack by mysterious beings called the Xi, fornately his childhood friend Minghua Song voiced by Lynn is with him. but with a chance encounter of an "Anima", a human manifestation of a jet fighter, he gets dragged along into defeating the Xi so that he can return home, but of course,
more Anima comes in the battle and in lies the harem.
Girly Air Force does develop both it's characters and the world for such a harem anime.
In terms of characters, well..they are kinda boilerplate unfortunately. from Kei being the typical dense main male protagonist who can't take a hint, Gripen voiced by Yuuka Morishima being the aloof shy type but also having problems in flying (thus needing Kei's help), Minghua is your typical "childhood friend" stereotype, but also an annoying one to say the least with her berating and clinginess of Kei, though due to a running gag of Kei getting dragged off before she and Kei can spend time together, LA can see her annoyance, but it doesn't outweigh LA's annoyance to her either way. Eagle voiced by Hitomi Ohwada is your typical genki but with the hint of superiority inferiority complex and finally Phantom voiced by Shiori Izawa, the pessimistic stoic one but in a ways one of the voices of reason of the Anima outside of Kei for the humans. Gripen of all the characters gets the most screentime and development as a character due to her also growing with Kei in the battlefield as a result but Eagle and Phantom are interesting additions to the harem, but still cliche to some extent.
World building is the more interesting aspect of Girly Air Force, such as what is the Xi's motives and what's their goals?, we also find out more about the technology of the Anima and the mechanics of the Daughters, the jet fighters that inhabit the Anima and their namesakes. We get little doses of world building that makes the world much more fleshed out and believably in an alternative world kind of way, but of course the main reasoning LA says this is why the Xi are attacking humanity in the first place.
The animation done by Satelight was decent enough, with some decent character designs, vibrant to say the least but expected from Satelight with their animation, the CGI use on the dog fighting was decent enough being quick, flashy and explosive to some extent. but it's the level of being "decent", nothing that exactly wows LA and coming from Satelight, ohhh well they must be saving their budget for Symphogear XV is LA's guess for the mediocre animation.
Voice acting was fine overall. Yuuka Morishima as Gripen was great though, like she nailed her shy demeanor yet stoic at the same time, while Shori Izawa went smug all the way as Phantom while Hitomi Ohwada as Eagle was almost childlike yet hyper genki to say the least. Not bad voice cast but not much to write home about.
Girly Air Force is intriguing with it's world building but man does it suffer with it's boilerplate characters, mediocre animation and the harem aspect and that is really the best LA can put Girly Air Force. Not horrible, not great either, just mediocre.
Please note this review is intended to be read by those that have finished watching Girly Air force and while has been taken to minimize story related spoilers there may still be spoilers within character analysis. You have been warned.
Based off a popular light novel of the same name Girly Air force is a military, action and sci-fi genre anime that gives us the opportunity to see what will happen if one day during our lives in the modern age that humanity instead of expressing joy after coming into contact with a mysterious new faction that had discovered their planet instead finds itself
in a desperate and grim battle for survival as the enemy now known as the Zai begin their campaign of terror against humanity. Despite the fierce resistance put up by the countries of Earth that is unleashed in their defence of the cities the Zai’s technological prowess and ability to perform maneuvers that will kill a human pilot has made this pride of theirs moot and make a mockery out of the determination and bravery of countless servicemen that fought to protect the people. In the midst of all this carnage during the evacuation of the city of Shanghai a teenage boy whose parents were killed by the Zai has an unusual and some could say a destined encounter with a mysterious Japanese fighter jet that had after narrowly repelling an attack by a marauding pack of Zai fighters on his evacuation fleet had crashed into the sea’s nearby. The boy after much struggle manages to not just get to the cockpit of the fighter but also manage to free the pilot who to his surprise was a young girl that was similar to his age. As the girl manages to regain consciousness and locks eyes with the boy she unexpectedly as if in trance steps forward and kisses him which while giving him an unforgivable memory also serves to create the foundations of a bond and destiny that will soon see both take to the skies together to fight against the Zai.
The subject of alien invasions is a subject that has long been a staple of sci-fi and action genre media whether they are films, games or in this case anime and in most cases they often see humanity pushed to the brink due to the large tech difference that lies between the two races. However what sets Girly Air force apart from this concept is the fact that while humanity was indeed on the back foot rather than merely make use of cheap concepts like use the enemy’s own weapons against them it goes further by not just reverse engineering shot down Zai aircraft but also create an entirely new being that’s capable of piloting the planes that were made specifically to battle the Zai on even terms. While these highly advanced beings known as Anima were widely seen as the last hopes of humanity their unique origins ensured that while they fight hard to protect the human race that with few exceptions those around them that the anima should be calling allies instead see them as nothing more than freaks due to the simple explanation that anima are not human. But the question is what is a human being and what defines a being as a human ?. Is it the human shape that makes a being human or is it the feelings and emotions that make it one?. This concept and theme of trying to not just understand what the anima is but also trying to make people realize that the anima are not just weapons that are to be used in war but living things of their own right by teaching them about not just the joys of being a human being but also of the many positive feelings and emotions that can come from it I felt was one of the reasons that ultimately drew me to the series and got me invested in not just the characters but the story as well. The first episode of the series I felt did an excellent job at not just introducing the characters of Kei, Gripen and Minghua but also of the grim reality of how outmatched the militaries of Earth is when faced with the Zai’s ever-increasing attacks. It also put into perspective just how much of a game changer the anima and the daughters are in this war.
The overall story for Girly Air force takes place within the modern age in a modern-day Japan that’s not too much different to ours and follows the life of Kei Narutani a teenage boy from China who was evacuated to the nearby nation of Japan after the city that was his birthplace Shanghai was sacked by the Zai’s sudden attack. During the evacuation of the city Kei had not just suffered a heavy emotional blow but also saw first hand just how lacking humanity’s tech level was when compared against the prowess that was shown by the Zai. Despite this to his amazement when things looked set to end for the Zai to end his life in a blaze of fiery death an unusual savior not just appears but also manages to miraculously drive off the attacking Zai fighters before crashing into the sea. Eager to repay the debt by rescuing the pilot Kei despite the risks swims out and manages to pry the cockpit canopy open but to his surprise, the pilot of the plane far from being a grizzled fighter pilot is instead a young girl that looked to be his age. Before he could even react however the girl not only regains consciousness but also as if in a trance plants a kiss on his lips. A kiss that would soon serve to be the spark that started Kei’s hunt for the plane that was capable of fighting the Zai on equal terms and reunite him with not just the girl who he finds out is named Gripen but also with the anima project a project that can be seen to be humanity’s last hope. Kei eager to both get revenge for his dead parents and to get back at the Zai for destroying all that he considered dear eagerly accepts the invitation to join the anima project and fight alongside Gripen and the other anima in the fierce battles high within the sky as they fight to protect humanity on the Zai’s home turf.
But even as Kei and Gripen and the other anima fight together, and forge bonds of friendship together how will Kei react when he discovers the truth about the Anima’s origins. Will his strong bonds of friendship and a desire to help the anima learn what it is like to be human enable him to see them in a better light and make the important distinction or will he like so many others around him start viewing them as nothing more than weapons that are disposable?
Kei Narutani portrayed by veteran voice actor Ryota Osaka of Tales of Zestiria the X and Yamada Kun and the Seven Witches fame is one of the main characters of the series and is the main protagonist of the series. A teenage male from China that was evacuated from his home of the city of Shanghai in the midst of its destruction by the Zai Kei in the beginning of the series was shown to be a brave, determined and selfless person that was shown to be capable of putting aside interests of national pride and scorn and act with his with his own initiative to rescue those in need unlike his fellow countrymen as shown in ep1 when he rescued Gripen despite the great personal risk to himself. Despite being turned into refugees and being deposited in an unfamiliar country Kei was seen to retain his trademarked calmness and work hard at trying to ensure that both he and his childhood friend and fellow evacuee’s lives were stable showing his hardworking and earnest nature. While a quiet person by nature that is seen to prefer to just work hard at his assigned role Kei was not someone that was not sociable and instead was someone that was friendly, caring and kind to others and was shown to be very loyal to them qualities that soon allowed him to forge many new friendships in this new land. Due largely to his desire to get back at the Zai in the beginning of the series Kei was shown to be a tad hot-headed at times which while useful at times also had the effect of often putting him in precarious situations which is shown well during his initial investigation of Gripen’s hanger in order to determine who she was and how she was able to fight against the Zai on even terms. This trait though often seen as a negative one can also be seen as a positive one as well as in this case it means that Kei isn’t someone that’s restricted to regulations and indeed he is someone that can be seen to be more open-minded than most that’s on the base. This open-minded nature of Kei also gives him the unique advantage of being able to show a deeper sense of consideration to others as his open-minded nature allows him to see events and situations from their points of view as well which when used within the realm of the military is an essential skill as it will allow him to pick up issues that may be impacting on his squad mates that could have unintentional consequences on the field. This particular aspect of Kei’s personality is seen well in his initial attempts to understand Gripen as a person and also in his attempts to integrate Eagle and Phantom’s unique personalities into the squad so as to allow the squadron to perform at optimal levels of readiness which for a military unit is especially vital.
As the series goes on and as the stakes within the war gradually get higher Kei’s personality gradually starts to change. As noted previously Kei at the beginning of the series was shown to bear a considerable amount of hatred of the Zai due to them taking away both his homeland and his parents’ reasons that provided Kei with a solid motivation to join the military in their fight against the Zai. However, while certainly a powerful source of motivation this type of motivation also gave the sense that he was narrow-minded as he only saw the Zai as the enemy and made no attempt to see things from their view. As the story progresses however and Kei gets to understand not just Gripen but also Eagle and Phantom as individuals through the strong bonds that have been forged between them his sense of hatred towards the Zai soon began to conflict with his view of the Zai as to him the three girls while born from the fragments of Zai tech were not the soulless killing machines that they were fighting but was instead both comrades that he can count on and people that were fighting hard not just to protect the people around them but also trying hard to integrate themselves into the society that saw them as enemies. While still viewing the Zai as an enemy that had to be defeated it can be seen that Kei no longer approached his duty with the same amount of single-minded determination that he did previously due to his new desire of protecting the girls from harm.
This development of wanting to ensure that the girls are able to not just fight effectively as a team but also get along with each other is shown well in the many plans that Kei used to achieve this result. These plans while relatively simple ones also served to show how cunning and perceptive Kei can be not just in determining the unique personalities of each girl but also in using the identified personality flaws to beat the girls at their own games which are shown well in how Kei managed to get Phantom to work with the team. Kei’s bond with Gripen is without a doubt one of the more prominent aspects of Kei’s character as it served as the foundation that allowed Kei to not just let go of his single-minded determination to see the Zai as an enemy to vanquish but also allow him to realize that even if they borne from the Zai are not everything that’s connected with them is the same. Initially Kei’s relationship with Gripen was one that could be seen to be one of mutual needs as both needed each other to get what they needed in this war with the former being a means to fight the Zai and get back at them and the latter a means of stability and calmness that she had found lacking in herself.
However, as the series progressed and Kei and Gripen’s bond gradually began to improve this gradually began to change as Kei started to view Gripen as less of a tool but more of a person a development that can be said to come about due to the many dates that Kei takes her on in order to allow her to learn more about human society and how to act like one. While this development was certainly a sweet one it gave both Kei and to us an excellent opportunity to see Gripen act and show more emotions and feelings that are more akin to girls her age it also served to reinforce Kei’s belief that anima like Gripen should be treated fairly as people rather than as weapons. A belief that soon convinced Kei to take more care in the increasingly fierce battles that were to follow. While the revelation about the true nature of the Anima project proved to be a nasty shock to Kei the effects that it actually had on him was seen to be more subdued than one would expect. While evidently shocked at first Kei as a result of both seeing just how hard the anima were fighting in the skies and also as a result of getting to know them as individuals came to the realization that at the end of the day its one’s deeds that should be judged against them and not their origins and that even if the anima had originated from the Zai they were not in any way connected to them and should be treated not as weapons but as individuals a realization that I felt showed just how much Kei had grown as a person in both attitude and personality.
Gripen portrayed by new seiyuu Yuuka Morishima is one of the main characters of the series and is the main female lead of the series. A female anima that Kei had a fortunate encounter with at the start of the series when she intervened to drive off a Zai attack on their evacuation fleet Gripen from her initial appearances was seen to be a quiet, reserved and polite person in nature that had a curious aspect of speaking in a tone that could be seen to be a monotone one where she only stated the facts without adding any other kind of unnecessary information to it. While noted to be part of the military however it can be seen that Gripen was someone that was while earnest, calm and serious in her role was also seen to be somewhat forgetful and nervous and was seen to find it hard to open up to others whether it’s her fellow squad mates or members of the squadrons auxiliary staff. While this can be seen to be attributed to Gripen’s quiet and reserved nature it can be said that the opposite is true for before meeting Kei and engaging in that fated battle Gripen had never left the base itself and as such she not only knew very little about the outside world but also knew nothing about how to interact with others. This aspect of her I felt was an interesting one as it helped give the impression that Gripen was like a chick that had just hatched and was waiting for someone to help guide her and develop her personality. In line with this chick like analogy is the fact that due to the fact that Anima’s and the daughters in which they pilot are visually inseparable from each other Anima’s themselves will never get the chance to choose a name for themselves and as such they will be named after the daughter in which they fly hence the name Gripen. Though wary of strangers for obvious reasons beneath this guarded nature of hers it can be seen that Gripen’s core personality is more akin to a free spirit and while she approaches her duty as a member of the military with due reverence when off duty she becomes incredibly laid back and innocent a side of her that I felt suited more a girl her age more than anything. This contrast between Gripen’s serious and dutiful self that she shows when on duty and the innocent and laid-back girly self that she shows when off it I felt was interesting as it helped add more charm to her character and reinforce the concept that while these anima may be humanity’s last hope when off duty they are still akin to teenage girls both physically and mentally.
In the beginning of the series due to the fact that she was not only unable to fly for long periods of time in the sky but also liable to pass out when she pushes herself as demonstrated during her intervention to save Kei Gripen was seen to be in a widely depressed state and indeed this was to the point where she was openly questioning whether she was a defective product. Salvation for Gripen for her problems however soon arrived in the form of the boy that she had met back during her first actual battle who had been assigned as her new partner much to her initial shock and puzzlement. Though shown to be skeptical of Kei at first both in terms of how useful he will be and at the same time what help he can provide her this relationship gradually starts to improve as the series goes on. However this sense of doubt and scepticism of his abilities soon begins to gradually vanish as Gripen see’s first hand not just how amazing his skills at flying was but also see and appreciate the entire reason for this was because Kei like herself was of the same belief in that both are beings that yearn to fly in the sky where they have the freedom to do anything they wanted. As a result of seeing this impressive display of skills Gripen while still depressed to a degree was seen to awaken a sense of determination to not just improve herself to prove herself to Kei but also prove to the large number of detractors at the base that she too can fly and protect them as well. While this was certainly a tall order for her it wasn’t so when she was paired with Kei who had shown her that while flying was certainly hard it wasn’t impossible and that if she can master it then she too can gain the freedom that she yearned for. While it’s a common tactic within militaries to pair pilots up I feel that this particular aspect was used relatively well here as it enabled Gripen and Kei to act not just as a pair but also as a source of motivation for both as they both sought to improve their skills as pilots.
However, despite having a potent source of advice and calmness in the form of Kei it can be seen that one of the core reasons for Gripen’s low sense of confidence in her skills is motivation. As noted before Gripen due to her unique nature had not once set foot outside of the base and got to know the people that lived around it and appreciated the goodwill that human society brings to people. As a result, she can be said to lack any real form of motivation as she had nothing that she wanted to protect and fight hard for. However, this soon changed after Gripen and Kei’s first outing to the nearby town as for the first time Gripen was able to see first hand just how beautiful the area outside of the base was and at the same time just how kind and caring the people that lived there was compared to the simmering resentment that existed among the soldiers that they shared their base with. Largely due to this new experience Gripen while already determined to improve herself was seen to have found the hidden spark that she needed to really turn her life around for now she not only had a reason to fight but also people that she considers dear to her to protect as well. While Gripen’s interactions with Kei proved to be an excellent boon for her in solving her professional matters it can also be seen that this also had an effect on her personality as well. While still wary of strangers and being compared to others Gripen as a result of both her increasingly strong bond with Kei and her new appreciation of the world around her is shown to have become more talkative and friendly and willing to approach others and try to bond with them if given the chance to which is a far cry of how she was in the past. Arguably the most important change that came about for Gripen was the fact that she had learned to trust others which within a military unit can be said to be of paramount importance.
Minghua Song portrayed by veteran seiyuu Lynn of elDLIVE and Angolmois fame is one of the main supporting characters of the series and is one of Kei’s main allies within the series. A Chinese national and Kei’s childhood friend who was forced to flee Shanghai together Minghua on initial appearances is seen to be a kind, caring, honest and confident person by nature that cares greatly about Kei. While a kind and caring person by nature Minghua is also shown to have a somewhat stubborn side to her as well which is shown well when she disagrees with the actions that Kei is taking. However rather than being seen as a flaw as one would argue it can be seen that this side of her born out of the worry that she shows towards Kei due to both her own feelings towards him and the fact that he is the only person that she can rely on within the country. As the series goes on and Minghua’s personality is expanded upon it can be seen that while Minghua may appear to be confident, strong and rational and one that isn’t afraid of anything it can be seen that this is merely the surface personality that she’s projecting for beneath this it can be seen that Minghua was surprisingly someone that was mentally fragile and while she often argues about him about his role in the military rather than being displays of anger this can be interpreted as her desire to have him remain by her side so that she can protect him while at the same time functioning as a source of emotional support that serves to calm her mind. In a way unlike the rest of the cast Minghua can be seen to be quite the different character as she being a civilian can be seen to be a source of both emotional support and a source of motivation for Kei that reminds him of all the people that he’s fighting to protect a role in which I felt that she excelled in.
Eagle portrayed by new seiyuu Hitomi Ohwada is one of the main support characters of the series and is a fellow squadron member and anima that serves in the same squadron as Gripen and Phantom. From her initial appearances, Eagle whose namesake was from the F15 J fighter jet was shown to be a positive, cheerful and talkative person that approached each day with both cheerfulness and a smile on her face. While shown to be energetic and cheerful Eagle was also noted to be somewhat impatient which is especially apparent when she has nothing to do. Despite her physical appearance that can be seen to match that of a teenage girl however, Eagle true to her positive and cheerful nature was shown to be somewhat of a free spirit though in her case even more so that Gripen in that she literally acts like a kid and loves to hug others. This particular trait of hers while certainly unbecoming of a soldier I felt actually made her more endearing to me due to the fact that to Eagle this is seen to be her way of showing affection to those that she trusts in.
Though Eagle’s cheerful and energetic personality may give the impression that her skills as a fighter may be lacking it can be said that this is rather the opposite for despite her personality her intelligence, reaction speed and skill at piloting is shown to be relatively high and indeed before joining the squadron she was shown to be doing an excellent job at defending her assigned sector in Japan. While certainly impressive it can be seen that this level of skill also had the effect of creating within eagle a sense of pride within her that while not creating a sense of arrogance within her did have the effect of making her quite volatile a fact that’s easily exploited by others. Conversely, however this sense of pride in her skills as a fighter can also be used to motivate her and goad her into giving more effort in a fight as demonstrated well by Phantom during the difficult attack on the Zai airfield. The character of Eagle I felt was an interesting character as while she was an energetic and positive girl that approached each day with both cheers and smiles on the battlefield she was also shown to be a potent fighter in her own right as well that complemented well the abilities of her squadmates Gripen and Phantom. At the same time, I also liked the sense of balance that she provided within the squad as her cheerful nature helped contrast the quiet and reserved Gripen and the confident but arrogant Phantom.
Phantom portrayed by veteran seiyuu Shiori Izawa of Asterisk Wars and Citrus fame is one of the main support characters of the series and is one of Gripen’s fellow animas within the series and the last member of the squadron to which she is part of. In her initial appearance Phantom is shown to be a calm, friendly and polite person by nature that while appearing to be the very image of a polite young lady was shown to be not above teasing others to gauge their reactions. However, this aspect of hers is shown to be a mask of sorts as beneath this it can be seen that phantom while certainly not lacking in confidence is unlike her squadmate Eagle also an arrogant and malicious person by nature and isn’t above using this latter aspect of hers to come up with ways to punish those that have wronged her. Despite this difficult personality of hers however, it can be seen that Phantom is not merely just talk as her skills in combat are indeed of a level that’s certainly above Gripen and just slightly above Eagle. However, unlike those two Phantom is shown to be someone that is willing to use any means to secure victory being of the belief that as long as victory is won then everything that increases the chance of victory should be used to achieve it. This aspect of Phantom’s personality I felt was an interesting one as it not only contrasted with the traditional belief that battles should be fair but also with the personalities of her fellow squadmates as well both of which prefer to fight the enemy on even terms.
As the series goes on however and Phantom’s personality is expanded upon it can be seen that Phantom’s condescending attitude and her desire to use any tactic no matter how distasteful to win her battles rather than being a product that is borne out of her desire to prove to others of her superiority as one can expect is seen to be sourced from something that’s completely opposite. Due largely to the fact that Phantom is one of the oldest anima’s still in active service it can be inferred that as a result she not just had the opportunity to meet many people over her long career but also got to take part in many battles that pitted her and her fellow first gen anima in fierce battles that saw them take on the vanguard of the Zai in the early days of the war. While the series merely glosses over this fact it can be inferred that these battles were especially fierce ones that resulted not just in the loss of countless cities but also in the loss of countless lives as well some of which Phantom would undoubtedly have known personally. Given this sad past it’s certainly understandable as to why Phantom would rather than try and bond with others and learn to work well with others would instead adopt the opposite and would try to fight battles by herself and rely only on her own skills to win and protect humanity even if they won’t show her the gratitude that she would have been expecting. While often seen as a loner due to these personality traits and the fact that she kept most of her feelings bottled up inside her Phantom was also seen to have developed skills that had proven useful to her and which had enabled her to survive until now.
While a hardworking and determined person that shows a high degree of independence for an anima Phantom was also shown to be a perceptive, quick thinking and intelligent person by nature qualities that make her not just an excellent fighter but also a surprisingly good analyst as well. However, unlike the likes of Gripen and Eagle who prefer to stay positive about things Phantom due to her experience was shown to be a realist that made objective observations based on known data and wasn’t afraid of offering her assessment however negative it may be. At the same time, it's important to note that this doesn’t just extend to combat tactics but also in overall theoretical strategy as well as shown in her comments on national level strategy in which countries judged to be weak should be left out while defenses are strengthened elsewhere. This trait while doing well in contrasting Phantom’s attitude with that of her comrades also I felt served to show the kind of hard-earned experience that came about as a result of the many battles that she had been through.
Though largely seen as a loner in the beginning of the series due to both her attitude and her desire to not let emotions cloud her judgement this desire of hers soon began to change as Phantom got to see first hand the effects of not just Eagle but also the effects that Eagle, Gripen and Kei had on the missions in which they take part in for while they are still far from an effective team the results and the effects that they had on their missions soon began to pique her interest. An interest that soon changed to genuine respect largely as a result of Kei’s creative tactics that served to convince Phantom that maybe fighting alongside allies and learning to place your trust in them was no longer something that she should avoid. While still as perceptive and sharp both in tongue and wit and not afraid of challenging others plans with her questions Phantom’s attitude can be seen to have softened to a degree as she is seen capable of showing kindness, care and a willingness to help others if she can. At the same time while still shown to prefer basing her strategies on established facts and data it can be seen that she was also willing to place her trust in the skills and motivations of others as well which is shown well in her developing trust in Kei’s skills as a pilot.
In terms of animation, I felt that the character designs for the series main cast was both well designed and animated and served well to compliment each of the characters unique personalities. In particular I felt that the anima’s form of young teenage girls while doing well to relate to society and giving the people some degree of comfort over their defenders also served well to highlight the fact that the anima while certainly powerful weapons and potent defenders of humanity were also people that needed not just time to rest and unwind but also needed to find a reason to fight effectively on the battlefield as well. This within the series I felt was aided greatly by the variety of locations that were featured within the series overall story. While the series itself featured only a limited amount of locations I felt that while limited the locations that were featured showed not just a good variety but also provided many reasons for their feature within the story. While the various military bases are there in order to showcase the role that the girls cute as they are still soldiers that are seen as the last hope of humanity the other locations that are featured such as the town of Komatsu and Kei’s home can be seen to the opposite as they while doing well to expand upon the series main location setting also served to introduce the human side of the story to the viewer and allow us to see their inner thoughts, fears and desires as well feelings that all too often are kept hidden from even their closest friends and partners.
For the anima especially I felt that these locations were especially important as it gave them a unique opportunity to see not just the world that they were defending but know nothing about and the people that they defend but never get to see aspects that served well to create a sense of motivation in them that convinced them to fight ever harder in the skies. Combat animations wise I felt that the series main combat scenes were excellent ones that were both well designed and animated that were aided greatly not just by the variety of missions that the girls had to take on but also in the unique roles and attitudes that each girl possessed. At the same time, I also felt that these scenes also made great use of both the designs of the enemy craft and the design of the girls’ daughters as well as the bright vivid colors of both served to make the battles that much more entertaining to watch.
In terms of music, the series made use of one opening and ending theme which was Break the Blue by Run Girls Run and Colorful Wing that was sung by the seiyuu’s of the three girls which was Yuuka Morishima, Hitomi Ohwada and Shiori Izawa. The OP I felt while catchy was also one that did well in introducing a sense of tension within you as if you were going to fly into the sky and fight alongside the girls in their battles an impression that was reinforced significantly by the visuals that accompanied the opening. In direct contrast to the opening theme, the series ending theme I felt was much more different being not just more peaceful but also calmer as well both in terms of music tempo and the emotion that it conveys to the viewer. In this, to me this song gave the impression that the girls had just finished off a difficult mission and was now going to get some well-earned rest that will see them renew the bonds of friendship that they have with both each other and Kei. In terms of voice acting, I felt that the series voice cast did an excellent job at portraying their assigned characters whether they were main ones or support ones. In particular, I feel that Yuuka Morishima, Lynn, Hitomi Ohwada and Shiori Izawa all deserve special praise as I felt that they all did an excellent job at portraying their assigned characters of Gripen, Minghua, Eagle and Phantom respectively.
In overall Girly air force, I felt was an excellent anime that while featuring your standard military themed anime paired it well with not just an intriguing setting on account of the anima but also paired it with the human side of the story by allowing us to see not just how the girls see their duties as humanity’s last hope but also what kind of personal struggles that they have within them as well. I felt that Girly Air force’s main strong points was its interesting premise, story, well-designed characters and development, excellent combat scenes, strong voice acting and its unique look into whether the anima should be treated as disposable tools or life forms in their right.
The overall story for the series I felt was one of the series main strong points that did well to integrate the series two main components of human emotion that were represented by Kei and the desire to develop bonds of friendship, trust and understanding on the part of the anima and their respective allies. While the series main concept might be seen as your standard boy meets girl kind of troupe as some might suggest I feel that this is somewhat misguided as the developing bond that serves as the stories central focus and foundation is much more deeper than that. Due largely to the emotional baggage that Kei possessed within him at the start of the series and the extreme amount of hatred that he directed at those responsible which was the Zai the relationship that he forges with Gripen and the members of the anima team was seen as an interesting trial not just within the story itself but also by us the viewers as well. Though both parties possessed a great deal of problems that they had to overcome I felt that the overall story did well to show this as both Kei and the team rather than try and overcome them by themselves instead tried to do so by working together and gradually while doing so both develop a deeper understanding of each other and the struggles that they hid from others. While the deeper bonds of friendship and respect served to enhance the effectiveness of the team in combat it also served to create an excellent foundation of which to introduce the series unique concept which was whether the anima should be seen as weapons and tools or should they be treated as life forms. This particular concept I felt was an interesting one as it explored not just the theoretical concept of whether artificial life should be treated as life or should it be treated as a tool. In this I felt that this concept linked well not just with Kei’s emotional development but also with the gradual development of the anima team as well as both parties as a result of the deep bonds and respect that they had forged over the course of many battles had found that their views on each other was now drastically different from how they were in the past. To Kei the anima while certainly powerful weapons in their own right were also people that can both feel and show genuine emotions and feelings like fear, despair, happiness and at the same time learn to appreciate all the positive human feelings that human society can emit such as hope and use it as a source of motivation for their continued struggles in the skies above. While still far from human the anima themselves are definitely not tools but are life forms just like humans are.
As a final score, I would say that Girly Air force easily deserves a final score of 7/10.
Too bad the origin story of the two sides was never explained in the first cour. I suppose the studio was gunning for a second season, but I would be really surprised if they get one, so this anime will probably leave us hanging forever.
Also unfinished are at least three of the five possible harem routes. That means that most of the enjoyment of this anime must come from the battles because the world and the romances remain woefully incomplete.
I do like the battles, though, so I did watch all the way till the end. The ending song Colorful Wing is great too,
perhaps the only thing that will stick with me.
Welcome to my fourth review. This review is about Girly Air Force, an 12 episode anime animated by studio Satelight. Satelight is a studio that hasn't been in a focus for the anime community like in ever. Although, by just browsing through their anime you can spot some pretty big and great anime. So they certainly can pull off a great anime. Is Girly Air Force one? Well, first off the name is terrible. I don't know why the author chose that name but I do not approve. So let's talk this show.
Plot/Story: Right of the bat we have a quite common story point. Extraterrestrials
named Xi are attacking earth, but this time they are in form of planes, or more imaginatively resemble dragonflies. The story follows Narutani Kei who directly witnessed a Xi attack some time ago and began to hate them from his very heart from that day on. Perfectly natural. Hating aliens who attack and kill humans, nothing wrong here. Now the story starts with another Xi attack that Kei and his female companion Song Minghua are directly witnessing. During that attack Kei sees a pink glowing jet that shoots down a few Xi but then crashlands. Kei runs to the pilot to help him out (while not questioning that the jet is pink and glowing). The cockpit however opens itself and Kei finds a girl inside with glowing hair. It later turns out that the girl is called Gripen and with 2 other girls is part of a special unit of female 'young' pilots who have certain abilities that makes them able to shoot down the Xi. What, well that's a spoiler. Watch the show. While the plot isn't something outstanding, it is not bad per se and definitely can have room for a great plot and characters and all that.
Art: Art is pretty...standard. Nothing bad really. Of course the Xi and planes are in CGI because every vehicle has to be done in CGI, apparently. Luckily, the CGI isn't terrible and isn't repulsive like some CGI in other shows.
Sound: You would think that a show with planes should have plenty of good sound...I don't remember particularly impressive sound and BGM so it probably was standard as well. Opening and ending are also nothing special. What you would expect for such a show. A pop song for the op and a more calm ending song.
Characters: This is where I have the most to talk about. Starting off WITH Kei and Minghua. When I saw them the first time I thought we had to do with Chinese siblings which would be pretty cool and uncommon. However, I was disappointed in that regard. Minghua is obviously Chinese, if Kei is Chinese I already forgot. Most sadly though they are not siblings, they aren't even in any particular relationship. They just...live together. Kinda dull. Minghua strucked me as a character who could have had a very broad range of characteristics, but no. A bit love here, a bit jealousy there, sprinkled with some cutout-traits and voilà you have yourself a female character that is just one in thousands. And Kei? I also hoped for good things but he turned out even more generic than his not-sister. Everything you would imagine a generic Mc for such a show to be, he is it. Very uncreative and dull. The key selling point, apart from the planes are obviously the main girls, the pilots. Since I also watched the first 4 episodes I haven't seen the third pilot and only briefly the second, so I will be focusing only on the main pilot girl. The other 2 are probably just fill-ins anyway. So, Gripen. Since I can't go into spoilers and don't want to, I am going to keep it as short as I can. Gripen knows nothing of the world and any customs. She has a good appetite, but that is also a trope that has just been copy and pasted onto her. While I found her interesting at first she became boring and stagnant quite fast. There isn't much to her, now that might be because of her not going outside at all but that in itself is problem of the author for relying on this aspect of her just never going out. This is a problem of the character's writing and this happens much too often, especially in modern anime.
Overall: Girly Air Force is....an anime. It's an anime that I dropped and stopped watching. Why? I had better things to do, my time just wasn't worth spending on that series in my eyes. It's a painfully mediocre anime that falls flat on most things it does and just stays at one point. I do not recommend this anime because you can do much more productive things like eating or tidying up your room. And with that I will leave this anime.
I started flying about two years ago and I have loved it ever since. When I saw this show recommended to me, I was on board with it since I would be able to "fully" understand the terminology. I knew I was going to be in for an interesting show when the opening scene consisted of a C182 (a very slow and stable training aircraft) at an airshow literally doing aileron rolls at high speeds. Needless to say I was surprised and unable to stop watching due to that surprise.
If you are an aviation enthusiast, you will probably enjoy the
dogfights in this show. They were clearly designed by people who enjoy airplanes but never fly them. If you are a pilot, you will probably be intrigued by it once you find out the protagonist has over 150 flight hours in a "Cessna." (Not to be confused with the single Piper or Diamond aircraft that must exist in that universe)
Bottom line, this show was somewhat aggravating to watch but I couldn't stop.
7/10 never watching an aviation anime again.
I have control.......Or so as what original creator, Natsumi, Kouji, concepted, cu'z frankly using the concept of other worldly being out to invade planet earth and it's up to mankind to fight against these invaders was just too cliche to say the least, the worst part was that this anime has more to do with the relationship between a human Narutani, Kei and an anima Gripen. Now let's be honest around here, the way I look at this I kinda see this as more like a dream come true for the original creator Natsumi, Kouji, cu'z everything here was based from his novel of
the same name and quite frankly this is his only success, given that 3 of his works weren't doing well, why he used a SAAB JAS Gripen to be part of the JSDAF instead of the F-16 was mainly because he has a fascination with such plane from Sweden, that he can only fantasizes it in his novel, but IMAO that makes him and the publishing company ASCII Media Works a pair of stupids. Now I don't know about the Xi's, those invaders from another world, but not know much about them nor having a main antagonist that represent them as other cliche sci-fi thingy, was just another blow to this anime's story plot since it does add to the boredom of watching it, so what did studio staff of Satelight did?? Introduced an weak antagonist in another anima by the name of Rhino whose daughter is a F-18 Hornet that adds to the stupidity, another stupid around here was Phantom's analogy of pushing to on coming traffic Narutani, Kei as if she wants to kill him , but the flip flops into saying that she only wants to injury him..... So how do I see this?:
Story- Poor 3: It was simply loaded with a lotta weak analogies, that simply contradicts common logic where the premise of the excuse was that it is just
a work if fiction.
Art-Mediocre 5: As usual, we see girls not dress for the occasion, such as girls not dressed in proper military uniform given that they're part of the JSDAF, aircraft that were just too colorful as if it would be something that the armed service would frown about.
Sound- fair 6: Cu'z I just don't care as who did who with the character's voices, but I do like the opening theme "Break the Blue!!" by Run Girls, Run!
Let's go over each:
Kei Narutani- Basically he epitomize a typical cheater, where at one point he says to his childhood friend Minghua Song that she's is very important to him and in the next he says to Gripen that he would be with her.
Minghua Song- If I were that girl I would have left that guy, but not before punching him in the face or maybe put some poison on his food, since he cheats on her anyway.
Gripen- Basically I see her as this dojikko, who just can't do anything right without someone being on her side.
Eagle- Well to put it simply, she a whore, cu'z she acts love dovey with Haruka Yashirodōri her creator and on the next she flirts with Kei.
Phantom- To me either she is this murderous Undere or a deceptive Mayadere.
Rhino- Sad to say that she has to be the main antagonist, when they could have made a different one.
Viper- Because her character is simply that of a minor role, she is basically a big waste.
Enjoyment- Poor 3: I was waiting for a main antagonist to show up, but what we got was a weak one.
Overall-Dreadful 2: I kinda feel like wanting to go to Japan , look for the original creator and punch him in the face, afterwards go to studio Satelight and punch the studio director as well.
Girly Air Force, huh?! What kind of anime is this? Seems like military-harem with some fan service and mild nudity scenes. That's what I thought at first. I don't know why somebody somehow won't watch this one. It's not bad.
The story begins with one guy has been saved by a mysterious girl. The world has been attacked by a mysterious corps named Zai. The human is being in danger of extinction. What a plain story! But, guess what's interesting? Aircraft. Aviation. Sky War and Daughter.
Watching this anime will open your eyes. Skies are blue and spacious. Our MC has been tasked to a
Daughter named Gripen. Take off and take them down. Wars is so simple. There are no harem moments and no ecchi. When it comes to wars, put aside that thing. Even our MC is barely having a peaceful life there.
I intend on this being a completely spoiler free review. Girly Air Force is about the definition of mediocre. If it was to be personified, it would be the guy in the room no one remembers because he is so incredibly average.
The art is nicely done, and CG isn't obtrusively done like so many other action anime. That alone gains it points in my book.
The audio was nicely done, but not so much the music. The music only seemed to really hit a high note (forgive the pun) one time for me... and it was in episode 12.
This anime will not leave you humming any music from its intro, closing, battles, etc... it's just musically underwhelming.
The characters were pretty flimsy here as well, though I admit they were stronger than I'd have expected from something named "Girly Air Force"... so I guess that's a win?
Now the story was SUPER slow. And feels like it should have been a 24 episode season, that they cut in half. And all we got was the slow mood setting half of a season. The final episode is OBVIOUS it is now supposed to finally be entering the interesting story arc. Then... it ends. You get one episode of actually fairly fun enjoyable story, then you have to wait for what MIGHT be season 2 (or might never occur).
Anyway, TL:DR... mediocre, even by young girls personifying war machines standards. And it ends the moment it finally gets interesting.