Toaru Hikūshi e no Tsuioku

Title:Toaru Hikūshi e no Tsuioku
Recollections of a Certain Pilot (literal translation)
The Princess and the Pilot
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
KAMIKI Ryunosuke
R1 License - NIS America
R1 License - Subtitled Only
As a beautiful daughter of the noble family del Moral, Fana was proposed by Prince Carlo, who is the crown prince of their country Levamme. However, since Levamme is at war with Amatsuvian, the marriage had to wait until the war ends. Meanwhile, as a bestado, the lowest caste in Levamme, Charles had always dreamed of flying and eventually became the ace pilot of the air force. Although he was often mistreated, a glorious chance came about when the Amatsuvian bombarded del Moral's home in order to get rid of the future empress. Charles was then entrusted with the top secret mission of delivering the princess to the prince.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

99 minute film released on October 1, 2011.
Animated by Madhouse
Licensed by NIS America for Blu-Ray only American video release.
See also: Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta
"とある" ("to aru") = "a certain..."; "飛空士" ("hikuushi") = "airship samurai" = "pilot"; "追憶" ("tsuioku") = "recollection(s), reminiscence(s)".
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 10 9 8 7 8 Ggultra2764 [series:2269#1552]
Before I do my review, I'll get this out of the way and brag that this now marks my 1000th review here on Mikomi and being the first reviewer on this site to make it into four-digit territory for review count. Hooray! ^_^

With that bit of excitement off my hands, onto the review.

(Buy-/ Rent+)

There are occasions where simplicity can make for engaging entertainment for me, so long as dumbing down or sugarcoating aren't applied to the main premise of a title. The Princess and the Pilot offers up an engaging and simple tale focused on the mission of a young pilot who must escort a betrothed princess through hostile enemy territory with the two interacting with one another and trying to evade enemy aerial fleets. The film offers enough depth on the two where you know of their different upbringings and are rather likeable characters to bond with despite the great hardships both face due to their different upbringings, though it does take some time to connect with Fana due to her seemingly meek personality in scenes of the movie's first half.

What makes this title work even better for me is that it keeps itself grounded in reality with the storytelling it presents with Charles and Fana. While the two being together would have you think a full-blown romance develops between them, Charles is well aware of how much society views him due to his mixed birth and keeps himself from giving into Fana's advances toward him at a point during the middle of the film. While prejudice has been portrayed on occasion in anime, The Princess and the Pilot doesn't directly tackle the issue, nor Fana's cliched "caged bird" scenario, as it focuses instead on the journey that the two undergo against enemy threats to keep the plot simple, yet aware to a degree, on the complicated lives that the two leads have. Because of this, the movie does end on somewhat of a bittersweet mood when their journey concludes. But the final scene it concludes one is a beautiful sight to behold in terms of animation and showing off the bond that the two have with one another despite their parting. If you prefer more complex depth and developments in your anime though, then this film won't be for you.

Visually, Princess and the Pilot is a beautiful-looking film with vivid color and plenty of detail flowing through the beautiful scenery shots shown throughout Fana and Charles' flight, with character designs look just as pleasing on the eyes. Animation is just as impressive, with fluid movement coming from characters onscreen and even plane-flying scenes, with some aerial dog fights to demonstrate the title's fluid animation and adding some more excitement with this movie.

While it does have some cliched elements and isn't exactly the deepest title, Princess and the Pilot is still an engaging film thanks to the focus on the chemistry between the two leads and the suspense of their journey as they evade enemy fighters and deal with their personal problems. The film is worth a look if you're looking for something simple to marvel with your anime.

Last updated Wednesday, July 24 2013. Created Wednesday, July 24 2013.

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