Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Overall Review
Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta
(Also known as: Love Song of a Certain Pilot / The Pilots Love Song)
Animation Company: TMS Entertainment
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.
The 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
I 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
It 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.