Anime Review

Anime Hajime Review: Girly Air Force

Original Run: January 10, 2019 - March 28, 2019
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Action, Science Fiction
Based on the Series Created By: Kouji Natsumi and Asagi Toosaka

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Girly Air Force. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

Recently, humanity has been on the losing end of a laughably one-sided conflict with the mysterious Zai. The Zai employ highly advanced weaponry which completely outclasses all conventional Earth technologies. Most notably, the Zai have in their arsenal, countless ultra-maneuverable and insanely fast fighter-aircraft.

Faced with overwhelming firepower, the countries of the world are struggling to survive. And although the war has so far been contained to mainland China, Japan awaits for an imminent invasion.

While fleeing from the Zai, teenager Kei Narutani (voiced by Ryouta Osaka) witnesses a glimpse of humanity’s last hope.

The Japanese military has developed an aircraft capable of matching the Zai. To pilot these machines, commanders must rely on the artificially created Anima, and one of the newest is the mostly untested Gripen (voiced by Yuka Morishima).

Kei and Gripen have a fateful meeting. Due to unknown reasons, Gripen’s combat abilities greatly increase whenever in Kei’s presence. Thus, Kei and Gripen find themselves as the human race’s final line of defense.

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Series Positives

It is wrong to fault a series because of its title. What a show is called can never fully encompass the true weight of what is about to be watched. That said – as per my experience – the word “girly” in Girly Air Force didn’t fill me with much confidence.

A part of me had a feeling that the people behind this story – both the original source manga and the in-question anime – didn’t quite understand what that term implies or could imply. And although I can’t speak for the manga, the anime didn’t prove my gut feeling wrong.

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In an extremely roundabout way of expressing it, my expectations of Girly Air Force were already not great when I started it. Fortunately – and I suppose one can think of this as such – my fears of what could have been (i.e., fanservice and questionable boob physics galore) weren’t the reality. However, the actual reality of what this show was proved to be as frustrating to sit through.

Girly Air Force was pretty damn awful.

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Convoluted, boring, and occasionally infuriating: Those were the gist of this series. Even as I write this review, I am left with a bunch of unanswered questions concerning events that took place in this story, and I am missing the reason why I was expected to care about any of those events. But, since I didn’t care about them, I’m comforted by the thought that I will — hopefully — never have to worry myself with this show ever again.

I can’t imagine I need to explicitly say how much I disliked this series, but the next section of the review will take care of any lingering doubts. Be that as it may, I do want to take a second to dial back my criticism of Girly Air Force. After all, there was an aspect to series I found to be legitimately (not merely comparatively) outstanding. Air battles were not only frequent in this show, there actually exhilarating.

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Whenever the main cast of characters engaged in an aerial dog fight with the Zai, my god did it look cool. Everything was fast. Maneuvers were tight. The way everyone’s aircraft dodged, ducked, dipped, and dived, it was clear this was always meant to be the heart of this series. In this one area, Girly Air Force felt like a competent science fiction anime.

Too bad the downfall came when this show decided to tac on a story to this futuristic style of combat.

I am not saying narrative and thrilling action can’t exist together; that would be idiotic. What I am saying is, in Girly Air Force, that was not what happened.

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Series Negatives

Now, if you think I am going to focus all my energies into demolishing this series’ story, you would be wrong.

Don’t be mistaken, though. Girly Air Force’s story was complete crap, but it was the kind of complete crap that only came into full effect at the end. By that point, I had long stopped caring about anything this show was doing. Thus, when the narrative turned as south as it did, I hardly noticed.

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However, I should note that because of this show’s unnecessarily complicated nature, I am merely assuming the Zai – the villains (???) – were aliens. Then again, the Zai being a Chinese born rebel group with access to state of the art military technology does remain a possibility too.

Maybe it’s just me, but a little more clarification would have been appreciated, especially when a story decides to throw in a last-minute philosophy battle out of nowhere.

But, like I mentioned, by the time any of that became “important,” I had thoroughly checked out. And to give an exact moment, I checked out from Girly Air Force in episode three. That was when this series’ protagonist, Kei, became an irredeemable moron who I wanted to punch in the face every time he opened his mouth.

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I won’t pretend I ever liked Kei, but here was where the show tanked for me.

Essentially, Kei abandoned Gripen, even if only temporarily, because he was incapable of understanding how fundamental technological advancement works. I mean, come on.

Gripen flew like a Zai, fought like a Zai, and looked like a Zai. Was it really that big a shocked that she was made from the re-engineered pieces of a downed Zai craft? Also, how in the hell would that have automatically made Gripen a Zai when she was constructed by humans for the sake of humanity? And on top of that, Kei had no right to accuse Gripen of lying to him when he reacted exactly the way she feared he would if she told him what she was.

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And in case you are wondering, no, I’m not this upset because I thought Gripen was a good character. To tell you the truth, none of the people in Girly Air Force were compelling in the slightest. This series’ cast was, all-around, weak.

Instead, I’m upset because Kei was that unique brand of butt-hole that gets under my skin. Then when you add a boring story, poor dialogue, and atmospherically inappropriate slice-of-life style humor on top of him, then you might just begin to see why Girly Air Force was a heaping pile of BS I am thrilled to be done with.

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Final Thoughts

A gut feeling can end up being positive or negative. For this series, WOW, it could not have been more negative.

Yes, there were some super awesome fighter-jet-battle scenes; no one can take that away from this show. Sadly, that was nowhere near enough to save it from itself.

With an overinflated story, dull characters, and an utterly infuriating protagonist, this series, it would seem, never had a chance.

Girly Air Force is one you can skip.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Girly Air Force? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

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