Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Ep 1 [First Impression]
Eva’s First Impression
YES! FINALLY! NOW THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT! *EYES SPARKLES* Oh Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta, I knew I could count on you! They had all the ingredients to engage with the audience! Fourty-five seconds into this show, and I was already super pumped up! Why? BECAUSE OF THE BADASS AIVARY ACTION! There’s one thing that Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta will definitely excel one, and that’s going to be the aviation battles. We were only given the prologue of what is to come in the near future (perhaps potentially within three episodes since there will only have twelve episodes).
The premise of Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta is very fascinating. Kal-El and several other pilot trainees have left on a Journey to the Unknown on the sky island of Isla. However by the end of the episode we were told that Isla will never return, and in the beginning showed us Kal-El vowing to protect it. At the same time, Kal-El has his own personal goal of discovering “The End of the Sky”. It will be very interesting to see how the two classes, Class A (Nobles who get special benefits) and Class B (which Kal-El is in) will interact when the cruel reality befalls them. It appears they already have a superior complex, which is expected from most Noble Students. Of course they don’t want to have to work alongside with the peasants. There is also another story besides the Journey to the Unknown and that is a history between Kal-El and Nina Viention which I will discuss further below.
They really kicked off introducing the main cast on a high note. I am loving them despite the fact that even one of them haven’t even uttered a word. Why? Because they are intriguing characters and just based on their body-language and behaviour towards another character makes you want to know more, and why they resent them. One of the things I especially loved was how well they introduced Kal-El Albus. He is without doubt will be well rounded character. I can’t even put into words of how much I appreciated seeing the diversity of his emotions! It adds that layer of depth to his character that so many shows this season had been lacking thus far within the first episode. They also touched up on his inner turmoil and how he truly feels about the journey to the unknown, dealing with the pessimistic belief that they (the family he lives with) wanted to get rid of him. And if that wasn’t already good enough, they were quick to show us that he harbours a grudge against Nina Viento and was this close to sweeping down to attack her. The one thing that we know about Kal just from the show’s summary itself is that he’s a lost prince. So with that information in mind, Nina Viento may very well be the culprit or at least played a part in making him a lost prince in the first place.
We then have his “sister”, (not really though) Ariel Albus is very cool energetic character. Watching her interact with Kal-El is very fun to watch. She is full of life and adventure, and certainly cares for Kal-El. Too soon to say whether she will or already does harbor a crush towards him, but I am half expecting to see her be part of the love triangle if there is one, which brings me to Claire Cuz. She is a shy, quiet girl who has a difficult time communicating with others. She happens to be a Noble (so she’s in Class A), so there ought to be some major drama with her relationship with Kal-El.
Finally there is the white haired guy who’s name is Axis Ignacio. He appears to hold something against Kal-El, doesn’t like him a single bit and outright refuses to be his partner. It’s going to be a rocky ride between the two, but there’s one thing for sure that we know, and that Kal-El is very conscious of Ignacio’s opinion of him.
Although the character designs are admittedly quite flat and not particular special, it doesn’t bother me. What I do appreciate however is that they do upgrade the animation quality whenever it’s an important scene to enhance the experience. And I prefer it that way because that means they can pay more attention in the critical scenes. Frankly, I would be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me having wished that Madhouse did animate this, but I have no complaints with TMS Entertainment. They have done a spectacular job with the aviation battles, and the CG for most part have been blending into the background so well, you don’t notice it as much.
The Original Soundtrack once again really stuck out for me
(must be because of my new headphones), so I am definitely looking forward to that. On the other hand however, the OP Theme was not that impressive (which is too bad because the sequence was great). As for the ED Theme, I’m indifferent to it so I have much of an opinion on that.
Overall this is probably one of the best kickoffs of the season so far! There is no way I am not blogging this.
I AM IN LOVE!!!!
Possibility of Blogging: GUARANTEED
Sidekick’s First Impression
Alright, time for a series I actually signed up to blog for!
Pilot’s Love Song has probably one of the more intriguing premises for the season – aviation school, floating islands, this is definitely under the adventure category of anime, one we don’t see very often anymore. And I’m pretty glad it’s back! Pilot’s Love Song started out pretty well, with a nice battle in the sky (although I was too focused on trying to figure out what was going on to note the fight choreography), but here’s where my first problem with the premiere comes in – they introduce way too many things at one go. Right off the bat we get the war (?) plot thread, the love story between Claire and Kal El (that is definitely going to delve into social stratification issues between the nobles and the non-nobles AKA a forbidden romance), the rivalry between Kal El and that guy that looks like L-Elf (I ship them though), the plot thread about Kal El and his rage towards the lady that looks like a sorceress and the whole thing about his mother too. There’s probably gonna be less than that once things clear up, but this is really too much to take in the first episode alone. It’s clear that it’s a light novel and not an actual novel because of this tendency of introducing everything all in one shot.
This goes for the characters as well. Of course, because you introduce so many plot elements at once it means you’ll need to get acquainted to all relevant characters, so in the end I’m introduced to way too many characters all in the first episode. The pacing of the series itself doesn’t feel rushed, that’s not what I’m saying, there’s just way too much content put out there in 20 minutes.
With that out of the way, this was a decent premiere that shows a lot of potential. I just need them to clear up the big info dump problem soon and this could get way better. Still, it’s a pretty average adventure story from what I’ve seen. Characters are alright but there isn’t anyone particularly memorable yet (save for the dude that looks like L-Elf BECAUSE he looks like L-Elf), and while the premise is definitely intriguing I’ve seen better iterations elsewhere. The visuals look pretty alright, the CG on the planes blended in with the usual animation sequences well enough, but while I was watching this I don’t think I noticed the soundtrack at all. Was it even playing any BGM? (honest question, because i really don’t know)
Well, that’s about it. I’m definitely sticking around for more (once again, at least 3 episodes) but I do hope it makes better use of its setting later on. Right now all the plot threads seem to be things we’ve seen before (especially that boy-meets-girl thing, it’s pretty cliche) but if it’s well executed I don’t think it’ll be any problem at all finishing this series.
(Also, in case y’all think I’m hating on everything airing right not because I haven’t given very good first impressions for anything yet…I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode of Tonari No Seki-Kun (you guys should all check it out, it’s only like 10 minutes long), while Space Dandy, Noragami and the 2 Nobunaga series weren’t half-bad either. Just nothing that REALLY grabs my attention like in the Fall season. There’s still more series though, so we’ll see if I can take back what I said.)
Possibility of Blogging: Eva’s got this one.
Possibility of Watching: Moderate to High
Chris’ First Impression:
Honestly, I don’t quite know what to think about Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta… For the first 5-10 minutes, I’ll be honest, I was bored – I wasn’t captivated and the foreshadowing failed to draw me in. Call me superficial. As is the case with Log Horizon, the art style is rather bland. Perhaps most of TMS Entertainment’s budgets had been dedicated to Yowamushi Pedal? That said, those sky action scenes can be particularly pretty when they want to be…
Kal-el Albus… I’m sorry, did Superman and Dumbledore have a child? I can’t take this guy seriously! His personality doesn’t help either…At first I though, “Ugh, here we go again with some wimpy-ass wannabe hero trying to save the day”, but then he had to go all blood eyes on me and leave me thinking, “This guy…has issues.” Not only that, but he’s picking up chicks on his first day at the academy! You’re getting some man points from me, Kal-el! Honestly, I don’t know what to think about his character. Actually, no, scrap that, I don’t know what to think about any of the characters (a part from Ariel, she’s annoying). Take ‘Mysterious White Hair Boy’, for example. I have a feeling that he’s ‘not all bad‘ and, if that is the case…how cliche. I mean, hello Zuko! One of the main reasons I’m watching this is because the premise reminded me so much of Zuko’s story (which was handled excellently in Avatar: The Last Airbender) and, so far, his character definitely looks like prime anti-hero material. These characters…eh, what can I say? They’re alright. Not a single one of them really stands out, to be honest, and not once did I think, “Oh, this characters interesting!“, but we’ve still got a way to go yet, so who knows, eh?
Another one of the main reasons I’m watching this show is…romance! I do love me a good romance, I do. I was actually very happy to see the romance aspect of Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta manifest so quickly, the romance drawing me further into the plot and allowing for good character development. It also allowed for us to see some world building, the contrast between the treatment of Class A and B students astounding me with it’s extremity. Romance, tension and drama, all in one episode – yum.
I’m going to keep this short, mainly because a lot of the main points have been covered by Eva and Sidekick, so here’s my final opinion:
Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta is alright. Nothing stood out to me in this episode. In fact, I found the whole thing to be rather…bland. The story felt a bit…well, rushed, to be honest. It felt like the show was almost forcing myself into a state of immersion, something that left an odd taste in my mouth. It was audacious. You know the smart kid in class who knows they’re smart and acts like a
snob because they think it’s their ‘right‘? Yeah, that’s what this felt like to me. It felt as though the show was forcing itself onto me, “I’m dramatic, I’m action-packed, oh, and I have a whirlwind romance, wrought with emotion and strife.” The question is though, why should I care? Show me why I should care, and I’ll believe that you’re worthy the way you’re presenting yourself. That is all. Possibility of Blogging: Eva
Possibility of Watching: 3 Episode’s to win me over
Stay Tuned for Dan’s First Impressions