Jirou Horikoshi has been dreaming of flying since he was a young boy living in rural Japan. While his acute myopia prevents him from becoming a pilot, he continues to chase his dreams by aspiring to become an aeronautics engineer. He borrows an English aviation magazine and reads it thoroughly using an English dictionary, then dreams of meeting Caproni, a famed Italian aeronautic engineer who proceed to inspire him to realise his dreams by creating beautiful aircraft despite the possibility that they'll be used as tools of war and destruction.
After his graduation, Jirou and his friend and fellow engineer Honjo are hired by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and sent to their aviation division in Nagoya. What follows are a series of vignettes that detail his journey to realise his dream of building the beautiful aircraft he envisioned despite looming instability and inevitable war, as well as his reunion and eventual marriage to Naoko during a low point in life.