Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai Review: Take to the skies


Kyrie is hard to understand

In a shocking twist, the Winter 2019 season gave us two different shows about girls flying airplanes as humanity struggles to survive a somewhat post-apocalyptic world. For today, I'll be talking about the one set in a desert world. The story follows the Kotobuki Squad, a team of six female pilots who act as mercenaries in a world where resources are scarce and people are plagued by air pirates.

The girls are getting cocky

To be honest, the story of this series tends to be fairly weak. The series starts out in an episodic fashion, typically devoting each episode to focusing on one of the six Kotobuki members. There are hints at a darker force lurking under the surface, but that doesn't really get developed until close to the end of the series. As a result, much of the series ends up seeming disjointed.

Vegetables are objectively healthier

And despite having character-focused episodes, I got the sense that most of the main characters never truly got a solid explanation. While I find them to be a charming cast with vibrant personalities, I never felt like I got a strong sense of what truly motivates them. The eventual villain of the series also seems somewhat forced as well. The final episodes make him out as a convenient focal point for the series, revealing that he's responsible for all of the problems in the girls' pasts.

Kate doesn't understand the point

That being said, I think the series tends to focus most of its time on its flight scenes. Unlike the other plane series of the season, I thought that a lot more detail was put into the dogfighting sequences for this series. As a viewer without much knowledge of airborne combat, you could get a strong sense of what was going on and what pilots were trying to accomplish.

The town definitely lost

I'm also a little bit sad about the setting of this series. It isn't really until the final episode that the series truly reveals its major world-establishing fact. When I heard it, I thought that it made the world a lot more interesting, so it's disappointing to see it used as an end-game twist. I guess the series was going for a bit of supernatural mystery, but I got the sense that the worldbuilding suffered as a result.

Trying to aim properly

Overall, this series was fun to watch. It's not often that you get to watch planes flying around and shooting at each other, so it was a cool concept. I would have liked to see more thought put into the story aspect, though. Barring that, I would have been perfectly fine if the series had stuck to a lighter tone, and just followed the girls episodically rather than trying to force an overarching plot. But maybe that's just me?

Overall Score: 7/10



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