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.