Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Overall Review

The Pilots Love Song
Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta
(Also known as: Love Song of a Certain Pilot / The Pilots Love Song)
Animation Company: TMS Entertainment
Website: http://koiuta.tv/
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Romance
Number of Episode: 13
Trailers: PV 1
Summary: This is a tale of a prince who lost everything leaves for a journey with no guarantee of returning to his hometown safely. With hatred and revenge in his mind, he met several people that taught him about friendship…and love.

Story/Plot: 8/10

Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Ep 1 Img 0001The story is fantastic. This is what makes Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta so amazing and is my top three favorite shows of the Winter 2014 Season. Ever sine the Princess and the Pilot, I fell in love stories that involve aerial combat. The story is very powerful, intriguing and captivating. All the (main) characters have very interesting back-stories that had shaped them into who they are in the present of the series. I have to confess that I found the romance aspect with the main couple of the story was too cheesy (for my liking) with a dose of melodrama that I am pretty sure people aren’t going to take it too seriously, but nevertheless still solid (and that’s all what matters right?). That said, I think that the cheesy element of the storyline is what intensifies the drama that occurs later on because it only raises the stakes for all the characters. I felt that the production team a great job handling the tone of the entire storyline and nailed the shock-factor without doing something over the top. One of the elements that I enjoyed was that you never knew when or if certain characters were going to live or die. While some had some obvious death flags on them, others delivered a nerve-wracking experience where they are fighting for their lives.

Characters & Development: 8/10

Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Ep 3 Img 0002I loved all the characters, (except for Faustos because he’s a douche). Even the ones with considerably minor roles that ended up affecting me like how a main character in a pinch would. While they were far from a unique far (pretty plain and straight-forward if you at me), I truly felt that the majority of the cast had great character development and they really shined when their lives were at stake.The only main character I felt didn’t have any particular development was Ariel (Airi). Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing because Airi had a different kind of role than the other characters. Yes she was a pilot like the rest of them, but her character served more as Kal-El’s anchor and support when he goes through rough times. That said, it doesn’t make her any less of a valuable character than anyone else. However much to my dismay, Ignacio (and I will tell you this now) hardly speaks. The only episode he probably had the most lines was Episode 10! Every other episode, this guy either says one or two lines and that’s it. Which is really a shame because despite that, he is my favorite character! As for Claire and Kal-El, they were definitely the two characters (no surprise there because they are the key players) who had the most development.

Animation Quality: 6/10

Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Ep 8 Img 0011It is such a shame that this show was obviously low budgeted. In fact, when you compare the quality to MADHOUSE’s film of Princess and the Pilot, it is quite a sad comparison. There were many times throughout the series that I had wished that it was MADHOUSE who was the one in charge of the animation. But you know what, while, the animation quality for most part was far from spectacular, the quality did soar, it was during the crucial and most dramatic scenes (specifically during combats). Nevertheless, it was still quite frustrating to see that while we were able to see glimpses of the fine quality but it was so brief that it only lasted ten seconds at most. WE COULD HAVE HAD IT ALLLLLLLL!!!!
But at the same time, they were somewhat able to make up for it because you come to appreciate the quality for the more important scenes, which is why I am giving this a six instead of a five.

Original Soundtrack: 7/10

While the Original Soundtrack was forgettable at times, I appreciated the great tracks that were featured in the dogfights. The OP and ED however… ah, I can’t say I was a fan of either. The ED in particular hurt my ears because of that horrid screech or whatever kind of effect they were using in the song, so I avoided it at all cost. The OP song on the other-hand, being lighthearted and everything just didn’t feel like it had fit very well.

Overall Score: 8/10

I was this close to giving this show a nine, but alas I can’t because of the unsatisfying wrap up that tells you there is still so much story to tell and makes crave for more. As I have mentioned in my final impression, I am skeptical of whether this show will ever get a second season, but I will cross my fingers and hope for the best because it certainly does deserve to finish telling the story.

Despite its unfulfilled ending, Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta is still without the doubt one of the hidden gems that made it into my top (and only) three favorites of the Winter 2014 Season. It both saddens and disappoints me so much to hear people say how they outright hate the show right off the bat, thinking it’s crap because both the animation quality and the characters designs are well below average compared to other titles this season. For most part, based on my discussions with others, it appears the majority of those who were skeptical and didn’t want to bother giving this show a chance never watched the Princess and the Pilot (the animated film released by MADHOUSE in 2011). Most people like myself who have seen the film and enjoyed it knew right off the bat this show was going to be good. Summer is coming up so I HIGHLY recommend you add this (and Princess and the Pilot Movie) show to your Summer Marathon list because it’s something that everyone should watch. It has everything- your corny romance, heart-wrenching and the cruel reality of the aerial battlefield. Yes the animation is quite a lackluster, but don’t let that discourage you from giving this show a chance. I promise you, the plot makes up for it.

Recommendation: It makes it difficult for me to recommend this because it ultimately depends on the person. If you can suck up the fact that this show will have a relatively unsatisfying open-ending, then I will still highly recommend that you watch this series as I have thoroughly enjoyed it from start to… well, I will say up to Episode 11 just to be safe since the final two episodes are iffy.

Eva

Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog

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11 Responses

  1. Pablo says:

    Just want your opinion… was that blue plane a reference to Charles’ Karino plane from the Princess and the Pilot?

    • Eva says:

      Hmmm…. I would say no. The Princess and the Pilot was a spin-off, and I don’t think the time frame would have matched, but even so that aspect of details is too vague to say. But there is one concrete evidence that Charles’ Karino’s plane didn’t have, and that was the seagull as well as the same nationality flag. I’m sure if they were going to make it him, it would have been the same.

      • Pablo says:

        Didn’t the Princess and the Pilot happen ten years before? And i understand that the symbol is different but the plane is still blue like the sky which they reference a lot throughout the movie and the seagull is maybe a reference to the freedom they both wanted but could never get? And it would make sense that he changed his symbol so that no one would recognize him… So maybe he kept a secret relationship with the princess!!! (That last part is just me hoping for too much! XD )

        • Eva says:

          Unfortunately I don’t have a clue about the time frame between the two series. But who knows, there is definitely a possibility though since (if I remember correctly, pardon my hazy memory, it’s been three years since I’ve last watched it XD;) Charles’ Karino was Levamme citizen… It would be cool if it were though, that’s for sure, but I suppose it’s ultimately up to the fan’s headcanons at this point- one which I would gladly accept! XD

          • Pablo says:

            Exactly, and by the end of the series the Levamme and Bolsteros Empire become allies to fight off the sky clan! man we really need those light novels… do you know how many of the books the series covered?

            • Eva says:

              Sorry, I only know what I have been told, which is apparently they cut out a lot of stuff so I don’t know how far they went. In particular, I am curious to see if Ignacio had a bigger role in those bits that were cut out, and potentially the ending. But my god, it would be one heck of a slap in the face if the series really did end like this. *HEADESKS* I pray that it didn’t.

            • Pablo says:

              I am actually looking at my google chrome translation of the japanese amazon page and it looks like the first five volumes which are complete are completely covered by the anime because in the reviews you see people complaining about how little you see of Claire! XD
              Here is the summary (Doesn’t make much sense):

              [spoiler]
              Sky royal road Opera, imposing complete! Request of the family of the sky which stuck to the seat of the cease-fire negotiations with the Isla was the custody of the girl Nina Viento call of the wind. The day of departure, Karueru you have the opportunity by intercession of Ignacio, hit her the length of thought. Girl called wind regained the power of the past, saved the people should love – “Let’s run away as it is, two of us Claire to the end of the sky..”. Original prince to lose all by revolution, to obtain a raw irreplaceable the ends of the exile play. Way to choose The Two, …? Future Isla get to the “end of the sky” and. Mystery of all is Tokiakasa! Superdreadnought Sky Opera “Love Song”, the finale of the excitement!

              Then for the ongoing series it actually looks like it continues with the story but talks more about the sky clan and claire’s troubles ruling the land… I am guessing that will also finish soon… and the author will then probably start a new arc where they actually meet each other…
              Anyways here is a terrible translated summary of the fifth book of the ongoing series:

              I think …… the seven area of Dole, turbulent Uranus King Metropolitan Pleiades. While the throne problem has occurred between the Nina Viento and first Prince Demisutori, Mio is instructed to get along with Nina Viento from Urushira. And the cooperation in the youth Ignacio was not good impression too, to measure the proximity of the Nina. On the other hand, Kagura and KiyoshiAkira you’ve trapped in Gun警. The …… to be required to perjury as “a spy of the Federal Akitsu”. The liner has orchestrated that to locate where Kagura and KiyoshiAkira is being held captive, to close the mouth to kill with their own hands the KiyoshiAkira. Cecil St. Vault and Balthazar of Airship fortress also … is faced with the critical decision respectively. ……! “Seven of the area Dole” is while further complicate the thought, the story will be caught in the vortex of turbulent mercilessly to certain “Airship mechanic hottest animated be currently also link with the love song “of, development can not be overlooked and has intensified further waiting![/spoiler]

              • Eva says:

                Hm… that is interesting… Even more so if the author had decided to carry the story on through different storylines. So in a way, they are connected (if I understood it correctly- google translate can only do so much LOL! Lots of bits can be lost in translation!)

                • Pablo says:

                  Yeah they are kinda of connected… but yeah the translation is awful srry… I am going to try to read the novel for the movie on baka tsuki and send yen press 20 emails a day asking them to please translate the series… And i might also buy the japanese light novels myself and figure out a way to translate them myself…

                  • Eva says:

                    XD Don’t send them 20 emails a day- that will only annoy them! You could send one, but just suggesting it in their threads works well too, especially when people back you up saying they want it too. Twitter may be optional too.

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