If you ever get the chance to read this manga, I highly recommend that you do. There aren't many mediums where the story of a "kamikaze" pilot is described in such detail. Throughout the pages of this work, the author explores the emotional and social reasons behind the actions of the brave men who sacrificed their lives for their country.
The character design is remarkably awkward, but it is easy to get used to it. Backgrounds and airplanes are drawn with quite a bit of detail, and the art gives an overall unique feel to the manga.
As one would expect, the major focus of the author
is on character development. There are several characters introduced, with different mindsets and motivations. Some of the characters are women, and they seem strong-willed and independent. Characters were pulled off quite well, and I felt attached to the main character by the end of the manga.
Some themes explored by the author are the duty of men and women during times of war, the value of love and friendship, the importance of freedom and the fear and guilt associated with breaking away from the herd. What I found interesting was the fact that the author played with the idea that the men were sacrificing themselves in order to save their mothers or lovers, a sacrifice not at all met with happiness and contentment on the women's part. Hopelessness was touched upon, and the idea that the war was already lost and that the act of sacrifice was useless were ever-present in the story. Despite all that, the author did manage to end the manga with a note of hope, and it seemed that the main character had finally come at piece with himself and found his own answers.
Overall I found the manga an interesting read and was happy that it offered quite a bit of character complexity.