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Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta – 08 »« Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta – 06

Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta – 07

「散華」 (Sange)
“A Glorious Death”

Coming off of last week’s episode, it was all but confirmed that something bad was going to happen, and it did. Mitty meets his unfortunate demise as expected, but everything else ends up generally contrary to expectations—especially the manner in which he gets taken down and the developments that end up occurring as a result.

Indeed, one of the things I didn’t consider was the fact that one of them would actually survive, and it’s a nice touch that changes the dynamics a bit. Because in the end, Chiharu surviving means that Mitty’ll still be alive in her memories, and she’ll be able to tell the main cast the sacrifice he made in order to protect both her and Isla. Compared to the alternative where our cast merely hears of their death from someone else, it’s a completely different ballgame, and it’s something that plays quite well into Wolfgang’s quote about resolve—an intangible element vital for combat situations like this. That extra resolve and the added adrenaline rush it can give you could make all the difference—even if it looks like the enemy may be in possession of technology even more advanced than yours.

Still, the odds still seem largely against our cast. Despite Mitty’s sacrifice, it looks like the worst is yet to come, and it seems that Sky Fleet has their own darn floating island to play with. Clearly, the Sky Fleet was clearly underestimated in a variety of ways, and considering that this was a battle that’s already yielded losses, it reasons that the future only holds more in this regard. No one seems immune to biting the dust in the future—except Kal-el, whose narration of previous episodes seem to hint at him surviving to the very end—and the pressing question thus becomes who ends up surviving with him—if anyone—and if not, who’ll end up dying first and how their death influences the development of this conflict.

Ultimately though—to backtrack a bit—I have to say that this episode felt not so much about the escalation of the conflict or Mitty’s death as it was just a demonstration of resolve and the necessity of harnessing it if you really want to make a difference. Considering what they both know, it’s quite clear that Claire and Ignacio are key figures within this story, but they seem content just doing what they’re being told to do at this point in time. There’s a clear lack of resolve from them despite the fact they can clearly make a difference in this conflict, and it’s something that will have to give way to an actual decision before it’s all said and done. I just hope for their sake that they make it before it’s too late—that is, they don’t end up postponing their respective decisions until the situation is so dire that they can only win if one (or both) of them sacrifice themselves (Claire, I’m looking at you especially). Sadly, it looks like things could end up happening exactly as anticipated, because that’s just the kind of vibe this series gives off. I’ll be damned if I ain’t wishing for it to turn out differently regardless, though.

Guess we’ll just have to see. For now, we got Kal-el and Ariel fighting their first official battle—fittingly together once again—and it looks like Ariel in particular will learn the pain that comes with combat first hand. Doesn’t look like they’re going to let that get in their way though, because gosh darn, their faces tell the whole story there.

 

Preview

February 18, 2014 at 10:09 am
55 comments »
  • February 18, 2014 at 10:13 amSilentCid

    Mitty was cool to his girlfriend all the way to the very end. I still think he could of survived if they went into the clouds or hugged the ocean.

    • February 18, 2014 at 12:02 pmdaikama

      Agree. Frankly I wondered why it was necessary to keep firing the flare gun after the enemy airships opened fire with who knows how many MG all using tracer rounds. I would think that would be more than sufficient to mark their position without the need for additional flares. The two could then use cloud cover to retreat from the battle. With so many death flags, I suppose Mitty’s end was inevitable.

      • February 18, 2014 at 2:03 pmc2710

        I think it’s because they’re not using parachute flares and also by shooting more flares, it might throw the Sky Clan into more confusion

    • February 18, 2014 at 6:15 pmSaburau

      I believe he thought if he escaped and disappeared, they will go after his girl’s parachute instead.

  • February 18, 2014 at 10:16 amThe Story You Don’t Know

    There goes Mitty. TBH I kind of expected Chiharu to die and Mitty to survive turning him into an emotional madman in the battlefield.

  • February 18, 2014 at 10:33 amTrippwire

    It’s unfortunate because there were so many obvious death flags leading up to this point. It really hindered the impact of Mitsuo’s death, imo. Then again, maybe it wasn’t intended to be a huge emotional moment, and rather a show of resolve, as Zephyr said. Though killing off one of the supporting cast members was the most logical option at the halfway point through the series, I do think Toaru Hikuushi no Koiuta suffers a bit when it focuses away from its main characters.

  • February 18, 2014 at 10:36 amPtolemaios00

    Mitty definitely made the most of his death flag. His piloting skills, instructions and strategy were awesome. He protected the girl he likes. This was probably the manliest moment in this series so far. What more can you ask for…

  • February 18, 2014 at 10:47 amthedarktower

    so far so good. Toaru Hikuushi finally bring out its potential. not all at once, but definitely they are moving forward.
    after 6 eps established the foundations, Toaru Hikuushi gives us what we sought to.

    first, aerial combat. it was satisfying enough after so long wait. we had battle in the big picture and with some thought behind it. also focused on individual level – Mitty who performed so well as pilot be it in recon mission or anything. sure, there is still a way to go for this to be really fabulous (and I doubt it will be). but I think for Toaru Hikuushi it was decent and good performance. at least for now.

    second, story progress which consisted of the beginning of the drama along with this cruel world/journey.
    as they said, in a battle/war people die. that’s how it is. and as last week gave us the death flag, Mitty didn’t make it. I thought maybe Chiharu won’t make it too, but it’s better and interesting that way. her tears in the end were a genuine feeling toward the audience. I didn’t feel it as pushy or something. I definitely felt her pain and agony. I am not saying it was that touching, but I think they conveyed the right touch of feeling.
    and obviously it won’t end here. her friends are still fighting (some of them will start to defend Isla next week) and she is going to return to them afterwards. this will definitely gonna affect the moral. how much this group is united (as we’ve seen Mitty and Chiharu guessing what their friends will think)..it’s going to be a blow for them…
    that’s the beginning of what Kal said in the end of episode one (“we still hadn’t learned how cruel the world could be”).

    no surprises with Ignacio. I think it was quite clear that he is watching Claire (Nina). and we know he is one of the few to know about Kal-el being Karl.
    I didn’t think he knew Claire is powerless. but if he knows..fine. not a big change.

    all in all, a good episode. starting to pull out what I wanted from Toaru Hikuushi.
    there is still a way to go in the remaining 5 eps. for now it’s in the right direction and pace, which has increased this time (that’s good), though they must increase it a bit even more next weeks. but not too much. I feel like they know what they are doing.

  • February 18, 2014 at 12:22 pmoliviaven

    2 death flags, one hit one missed.

  • February 18, 2014 at 12:35 pmSeedStriker

    The choice was made: two lives for the survival of their friends and the rest of Isla. Now, that’s resolution, even if Mitty and Chiharu were too scared about it. Mitty’s sacrifice was truly heroic: he accomplished his mission, delay a coulpe of escorts and saved his woman. Respect for the fallen pilot. The fact that the Sky Clan not only have more advanced tech, but skill, will be a heavy burden against Kal and his friends, specially since they’re still flying trainers against full fledged fighters. With most of the noble-house trainees going right into slaughter house, Kal and his squad will have to fight against all odds, but if I’m not mistaken, they will receive help from an old, forgotten hero…

  • February 18, 2014 at 1:15 pmDvalinn

    As obvious as it was that Mitty was going to be the first to die, he still manages to make the most of his heroic death. He even saved Chiharu, and here I was sure she’d bite the dust too. Well, saved for now, anyway. So yeah, props to him.

    Considering that they’re immediately going to battle again, with their enemy having a veritable doom fortress, you might as well start betting on who’s going to live and who isn’t. I hope that blonde noble kid snuffs it, anyway.

  • February 18, 2014 at 2:11 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    For Mitty, please excuse me while I put on my shocked face; -_- (seriously, RIP, Mitty, if only all guys could be as kind and cool)

    Anyway, the underestimation of the Sky Clan goes back to, well, ancient times, but more recently, times like how the Germans underestimated the Soviet Union (seeing them as sub-human and inferior, yet the T-34 and KV-1 owned every tank they currently had, leading to them making the Panther and Tiger tanks) or the US with Japan (which allowed Pearl Harbor to happen) and vice-versa (leading to the atomic bombings).

    Basically, when one side starts calling the other “inferior” or “barbarians” and such, chances are, they’ll have something far superior to your side.

    • February 18, 2014 at 4:27 pmEliteF22

      Every side underestimates the other. The Soviets didn’t think the Germans would actually invade or that they’d actually make it to the outskirts of Moscow. Stalin cleaned house and the competent commanders got promoted. The Japanese thought their bushido could overcome the weak and lazy Americans.

    • February 18, 2014 at 4:43 pmBear

      The German/Soviet Union conflict is much more complex than Hitler’s distain for the Slavs and the Germans ran roughshod over the Soviets in the first part of the war. if anything I think the reverse is true of the Japanese/American situation. Japan believed that the Americans did not have the stomach for a war and would sue for peace if the fleet were destroyed. Yamamoto was well aware of the American character and industrial capacity, but couldn’t convince his superiors.

    • February 19, 2014 at 3:46 amdaikama

      Have to agree with Bear on this one – the European Eastern Front in WWII was much more complex than simple racial and national bias. Germany had great success initially during Operation Barbarossa despite the Soviet’s better T-34 tank (which was the best tank in the world in June 1941). Germany’s initial success was so great that the IJA explored contingency plans for operations “once Germany defeated the Soviets”. Still, Hitler’s disdain for the Soviets and rivalry with Stalin did play a major role in the outcome. Stalingrad wasn’t a premier military target, but Hitler ordered it captured because it was named after the Soviet leader.

      As for the US/IJ, BOTH sides held less than complimentary views of the other though the US view soon swung 180 degrees within the first few months of 1942 after string of defeat with no victories. The IJA is “invincible” when it came to jungle warfare was not an uncommon US view by that time. The IJN/IJA, however, were slow, if ever, to gain much respect for their US foe, and certainly always looked heavily down upon the Chinese.

      What happened at Pearl Harbor was first and foremost a military intelligence failure combined with leadership failure – both, IMO, by US HC in Washington DC and at Pearl Harbor. By late November 1941, if not earlier, the US EXPECTED the IJN to attack. They just never expected an attack on Pearl Harbor as the opening strike. When “Air Raid Pearl Harbor. This Not Drill.” was received by Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, he exclaimed “My God! This can’t be true, this must mean the Philippines.”

      The US view point was based upon the fact that such an operation was incredibly ambitious and risky. The US military HC viewed the IJ HC as more prudent and conservative than to be willing to take said risk. In fact, it wasn’t just the US who viewed an attack on Pearl Harbor as overly ambitious and too risky (and it was risky). There was considerable opposition to Yamamoto’s PH plan within the IJN itself, and only after he threatened to resign was the Pearl Harbor operation officially adopted. Yamamoto was a gambler at heart (loved to play poker and Shogi) who subscribed heavily to the “Decisive Battle” doctrine, and he planned operations accordingly.

      In fairness to Yamamoto, as Bear noted, he strongly and repeatedly advised IJ leaders NOT to go to war with the US. He warned that IJ could not win a protracted war with the US due to US industrial might and abundant natural resources. He was correct on those counts though he along with the rest of IJ HC severely underestimated US resolve (ties in w/ the anime :P). He stated that he could guarantee IJN free reign in the Pacific for six months, but nothing after that. In reality, Yamamoto fell exactly one month short of his promise: Dec. 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor attack. May 7, 1942 – first major US offensive against the IJN (the Battle of Coral Sea).

  • February 18, 2014 at 2:16 pmc2710

    A minute of silence for Mitty’s gallantry.

    ——————————————

    This certainly was the episode that I’ve been waiting and it really delivered.

    While watching this, it brought back the emotions that I had when I was watching Midway. Heck, even the way Isla and Sky Clan’s tactics resemble to those shown in Midway.

    Watching the overconfidence and initial skirmish (with those “Fritz X” passing through the hull and detonating well below the vessels) made my mind scream “IT’S A TRAP” like a mad man.

    Just like Midway, Mitty-Chiharu’s finding the enemy fleet was purely by chance. It was great that they shadowed the fleet and one thing that surprises me is that the enemy fleet didn’t pick up their radio transmission. Even their evasive maneuvers seems like a throw back to Midway.

    Zeph…… I’d like to correct you on this”…the enemy may be in possession of technology even more advanced than yours.” It’s not they may be in possession of superior technology… They ARE USING those secret Nazi “paper”planes and weapons. So far, I say that they have Junkers, Horten, Messerschmidt and Focke Wulf companies supplying them with planes. Even their old decrepit planes resemble like a Nazi “paper”plane.

    • February 18, 2014 at 3:03 pmewok40k

      The way they found the enemy main fleet clearly mirrors the Catalina at Midway, though their final sacrifice is contrary to the fate of the lucky US crew (they dove into clouds immediately after dispatching position of enemy fleet by radio – there was not much need to keep close to enemy because with excellent visibility that day US bomberes were bound to spot Japanese fleet once they knew general position). I am not sure about the sources right now, but remember hearing a story about IJN scout plane joining the strike on Yorktown to direct the final attack, and being shot down, though.

      And gosh enemy seems to have some real advanced stuff, from superheavy bmbers to modern monoplane fighters that make our students training machines look cumbersome and slow.

      And above all, salute to the Mitty, brave pilot and loving boyfriend.

      • February 18, 2014 at 3:33 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        In ways, the Isla forces are more stuck in WWI to just before WWII (given their knights seem to have metal planes and machine guns at least, but other stuff is still made out of wood) whereas the Sky Clan is much more WWII (multiple engine metal bombers, single seat monoplanes, machine guns on more of their craft, etc).

      • February 18, 2014 at 11:52 pmewok40k

        The Sky Clan bombers seem like mix between Amerika-bomber and Northrop YB-35. Fighters look almost exactly like Me-109!

      • February 18, 2014 at 11:58 pmewok40k

        …damn this comments system needs an edit option:
        -and the light bombers look exactly like Ju-87 Stuka

      • February 19, 2014 at 1:56 amc2710

        O yes…. The Catalina in Midway dove into the clouds…. That was what Mit-haru did as well.

        Oh and just like GuP…. Let the military talk start again (for when they show the aerial combat)

      • February 19, 2014 at 2:13 amc2710

        They still look like Horten Amerika bombers

      • February 19, 2014 at 2:31 amcm_1

        Did you realize in Next Episode Preview there is a Sky-Blue Focke-Wulf FW190? Is it The Sky Clans’ Ace?

      • February 19, 2014 at 3:24 amc2710

        So it IS AN FW109…..

        I wasn’t sure if it was a P51 or an FW109

      • February 19, 2014 at 4:10 amewok40k

        it looks like Hawker Sea Fury to me:
        http://www.warbirdregistry.org/furyregistry/images/fury-wj288-main.jpg
        but yeah FW-190 with radial engine and bubble canopy is not far off
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1d/FW_190_A8_1.jpg

      • February 19, 2014 at 5:37 amdaikama

        There are some similarities to the Battle of Midway, but scouting with flying boats (aircraft scouting in general really) was standard operating procedure (SOP) during WWII for any navy. Same goes for use of cloud cover while spotting. SOP for any scout plane – really any type of aircraft. Fighter pilots used cloud cover to escape attack while torpedo and dive bombers (especially) ducked in and out of clouds to dog enemy fighter screens while working towards final positioning for their runs.

        Keep in mind that “scout plane” doesn’t necessarily mean a plane designed and built for that purpose. The USN, for example, routinely used SBD Dauntless dive bombers as scouts. In fact, during the Battle of Midway, Yorktown had launched 10 SBD Dauntless dive bombers as scouts early that morning and had to recover them before launching an all-out attack against the four IJN carriers.

        ——————————

        @ewok40k: I am not sure about the sources right now, but remember hearing a story about IJN scout plane joining the strike on Yorktown to direct the final attack, and being shot down, though.

        O.o. I hope you find that source because AFAIK, that’s not correct. According to one source, what launched from Hiryu for that last strike was six Zero fighters (4 from Hiryu and two Kaga survivors) to escort 10 Nakajima B5N “Kate” torpedo bombers split into two squadrons. 5 of the 10 “Kates” survived the US fighter screen and support vessel AA fire to launch 4 torpedoes against Yorktown of which two hit. An “unidentified” IJN scout plane was in the area and radioed the message “Friendly attack units are attacking the enemy carriers. There are three carriers”. No mention is made of this unidentified scout plane taking any part in the actual attack against Yorktown.

        - …contrary to the fate of the lucky US crew (they dove into clouds immediately after dispatching position of enemy fleet by radio – there was not much need to keep close to enemy because with excellent visibility that day US bomberes were bound to spot Japanese fleet once they knew general position).

        Lucky, or just smart tactics (again, really SOP) to take advantage of known available cover? Most likely, a combination of the two. The PBY crew’s survival wasn’t solely due to Providence. Piloting skill and smart tactics played played a large part.

        Your mistaken as to “bound to spot the Japanese fleet”. While the US first strike was airborne, Nagumo ordered his carriers to change direction in order to close with and engage the US carrier fleet. One squadron of SBDs from Hornet never even found the IJN carrier strike force. They turned back and landed on Hornet, thus missing the entire US first strike.

        Wade McClusky, who lead a group of SBDs from Enterprise, at 0920 hours arrived over the anticipated interception point to find nothing but open water. He was faced with a difficult decision – circle around thinking he arrived ahead of the IJN carriers, turn back and land at Midway or Enterprise (the group was low on fuel), or continue flying at the risk of losing planes and pilots who might not have enough fuel to make it back?

        He chose the last one (specifically maintain a course of 240 degrees then turn NW parallel to the anticipated IJN route) which ultimately put him in position to spot the Arashi (IJN DD) which was moving at flank speed to catch up with Nagumo’s carriers. Following the Arashi in turn led to discovering the IJN carriers. Enterprise captain Murray called McClusky’s decision “the most important decision of the entire action”, while CINPAC Admr. Nimitz said it was “one of the most important decisions of the battle and one that had decisive results.”

        The US knew the IJN was coming, but it’s a very big ocean out there. Finding exactly where those four carriers would be at any given time was anything but a forgone conclusion that was “bound to happen” regardless of how clear the sky was on June 4, 1942.

      • February 19, 2014 at 6:07 amdaikama

        @c2710 & ewok40k: Forgot to add this to my previous post.

        Regarding the Sky Clan fighter, I agree that it’s based off of an ME 109 – specifically an ME 109e model (posted that in the first episode review comments). Along with some of the above noted differences. the engine cowling is much more blocky/squarish (not very aerodynamic) and armament is different. There are two MG “bubbles” (not sure what else to call it & not sure why those aren’t fully integrated into the wing) close to where the wing joins the fuselage. The ME 109 didn’t have those (later versions had 20mm cannon pods under the wings). It also seems to be missing the nose cannon the ME typically had.

        Overall, I think it’s a decent mock up of a WWII type inline engine fighter. Certainly afforded the pilot better visibility than the ME109 did. ;)

      • February 19, 2014 at 7:44 amewok40k

        Okay, so one thing at a time,
        -The excellent visibility on 4th of June 1942 allowed the 2 of 3 dive bomber flights and all the torpedo bombers to find the Kido Butai. Yes, Mc Clusky had to follow the destroyer a bit, but still the situation would be far different with fully overcast skies – or at night.
        - the pilot I’ve mentioned was actually not a scout plane pilot, but leader of the flight of Val’s that damaged the Yorktown before torpedo bombers arrived, Michio Kobayashi – he was first to spot the carrier and shot down by US fighters – sources vary to exact pilot who did it
        sources:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Yorktown_(CV-5)
        http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/midway/mid-8b.htm
        http://ww2db.com/person_bio.php?person_id=12

      • February 19, 2014 at 9:20 amdaikama

        @ewok40k The excellent visibility on 4th of June 1942 allowed the 2 of 3 dive bomber flights and all the torpedo bombers to find the Kido Butai. Yes, Mc Clusky had to follow the destroyer a bit, but still the situation would be far different with fully overcast skies – or at night

        I agree that good visibility (there was broken cloud cover so I wouldn’t consider it truly “excellent”) aided BOTH sides during the Battle of Midway. During the first Battle of the Coral Sea, Admr. Fletcher was fortuitously saved when bad weather obscured his carriers from IJN attack planes. The IJN enjoyed fortuitous weather as well when cloud cover over Pearl Harbor broke at just the right time for the IJN bombers to make their initial attack. However, saying that McClusky “had to follow the destroyer a bit” IMO unfairly dismisses his battle turning decision (not to mention courage & dedication to his mission) to continue in the first place. BTW, that “bit” was enough to make some US pilots run out of fuel before returning to Enterprise…ever. IMO your comments oversimplify what actually happened.

        - the pilot I’ve mentioned was actually not a scout plane pilot, but leader of the flight of Val’s that damaged the Yorktown before torpedo bombers arrived, Michio Kobayashi – he was first to spot the carrier and shot down by US fighters – sources vary to exact pilot who did it

        O.o… so even though you wrote “…a story about IJN scout plane joining the strike on Yorktown to direct the final attack, and being shot down, though.” – you actually meant Hiryu’s first strike against Yorktown consisting of 18 “Val” dive bombers and six “Zero” fighters all of which were led by Lt. Kobayashi – who, as you now note, was neither a scout pilot nor piloted a scout plane (by design or by mission). That is hardly the same thing as what you posted initially.

        As revised and corrected, your example is markedly different than what occurred with US PBY Catalina patrols during the Battle of Midway, or (more on topic) what occurred in the anime – a single trainer plane piloted by two rookies armed with nothing more than a bolt action rifle (AFA I can tell) on a designated scouting mission vs. a skilled combat veteran leading a 24 plane squadron of heavily armed combat aircraft flown by highly trained, mostly veteran pilots on a designated attack mission to destroy a previously located enemy ship.

  • February 18, 2014 at 2:43 pmAnnyms

    I like how they handled Mitty’s death. It wasn’t too emotional, but it was emotional enough to feel an impact in the story. Like everyone’s been saying, the death flags have been abundant, but at least his death felt “glorious”. He probably wouldn’t have survived if he made it back with that wound anyways.

    Anyhow. Does everyone else feel like they’ve been really bad at ending episodes? There’s never really any finality that you feel to end the episode, and they always end with a bad cut (both picture and sound wise). It just feels like they made a movie and just cut it into 22 minute snippets and added abrupt fades to the music.

  • February 18, 2014 at 3:11 pmMgMaster

    Ah,a heroic death – an easy way to make ANY character,no matter how irrelevant he was up till now,be remembered(well,at least to a degree). It just had to be well-executed and thankfully,it was.

    Although I enjoyed this episode,I’m still glad we’re done with it so we can move on to the juicier parts of the show. At least that’s what I’m hoping…

  • February 18, 2014 at 4:28 pmTheMoondoggie

    Called it. Fatty’s dead and it looks like more newbie pilots will die next week. I feel it would be like this from now on: each week more pilots will die until Claire, Ignacio, Karl and Ariel are all that’s left.

    I wonder when will Karl learns that Nina is actually Claire?

  • February 18, 2014 at 4:44 pmhaseo0408

    One down, many more to go. This may sound cruel but Ari´s chances are not looking so good for the next episode.

    • February 18, 2014 at 7:49 pmFlayvorOfEvil

      No way, Ari’s gotta get some touching scenes with Ignacio first.

  • February 18, 2014 at 7:38 pmricz

    Can’t wait to see the next episode
    I guessed it’s gonna be awesome starting from now on

  • February 18, 2014 at 7:48 pmFlayvorOfEvil

    Stuff like this touches me deeply. I remember when I first joined USAF, the instructor told us to look to our left and right and said that there’s a pretty high chance one of us is going to be dead within the next 10 years.

  • February 18, 2014 at 8:12 pmRiktol

    1) High Command is utter crap. It’s like the writers spent a whole episode talking about ramen and accidentally turned their brains into water and carbohydrate, rather than quickly throwing something together and spending the time they saved meticulously planning out the strategic situation in this episode so that it was awesome and made sense. (more of this below)

    2) RIP Mitty, we knew you just for a short while and it was only to give this episode drama and tension but damn, I liked you til the end. Bonus points for turning on the lights once the gf was out, shame it didn’t work but the teachers needed something to do. Also, a mid-air pickup must be pretty hard to pull off like that, I was expecting her to be pulled from the water.

    3) Kal-el: “Damn our orders, we need to fight!” Yeah like that’ll go well, still shows some balls to do it considering they seem to be armed with rifles and don’t have much in terms of ammo. High Command should relegate them all to recon and non combat duties or is HC actively TRYING to lose the battle and/or war?

    4) So, with the whole torpedo run, what the hell made them think the Sky people were just going to sit there and glow so they could see where to shoot the torpedoes? Did no one think, “Gosh, maybe we should get a few planes to go on ahead and act as spotters or something?” instead they were all “NONONONO LETS LEAVE IT ALL TO CHANCE! OR THOSE CADETS WHO’RE TOTALLY GOING TO BE HEROS AND SAVE OUR SORRY ARSES!”

    5) So the enemy attacks with a weak force, and they go straight for the sledgehammer ‘commit all our forces’ doctrine, despite the fact that they were winning, and it left their base/island pretty much undefended and then they were surprised that a 2nd enemy force appears and they are completely out of position. FACEPALM. And they already had recon pilots out in case other enemies DID appear. like they weren’t expecting it on the one hand and totally surprised on the other.

    6) Why are the trainees being given combat missions? Pretty much by definition they aren’t yet good enough for anything important and in a war EVERYTHING is important. Can’t afford to have some witless rube falling asleep on watch. Can’t have some clumsy oaf loading your artillery with the wrong shells or dropping them on his foot. Can’t have some rookie driving your planes into trees or your tanks into rivers while trying to show off to the girls/boys. Can’t have some idiot giving everyone stupid orders that make no sense and only show his lack of understanding of the strategic situation.

    7) Why are the (supposedly) scramble/intercept pilots and their aircraft sitting in the middle of a lake minutes away from new orders or their commander (if they even have one, they probably aren’t anywhere in the chain of command which is also stupid).

    8) I could go on but I think I’ve made my point. Also I need to sleep.

    9) Remind me why I’m watching this again?
    Oh right I keep hoping it’ll turn into Last Exile. Even Fam the Silver Wing kept me thinking there was going to be yuri. Or that it would make sense at the end. I guess Madoka gives me hope about the unlikeliest things.

    • February 18, 2014 at 11:48 pmewok40k

      In real wars, gross tactical errors DO happen too. Like at Leyte where Halsey went off in a wild chase after a decoy force with all of his carriers, and only bravery of Taffy forces and Kurita’s momentary lapse of reason has saved US transports full of troops and equipement from becoming natural reefas at Leyte Bay. Or at Midway where Nagumo waited for the Midway strike force to return instead of immediately launching counterstrike with his reserve planes after detecting US carriers.
      Also, in wars you mobilize every fighter you get, including trainees. In Battle of Britain some pilots went into battle with as little as 14 hours spent in the Hurricane.

      • February 19, 2014 at 2:10 amc2710

        Let me add on one more albeit from a different context –

        The GROSS STRATEGIC BLUNDER OF THE DUNKIRK HALT ORDER

    • February 19, 2014 at 2:05 amc2710

      Lets not forget the deteoriating quality of german training as the war progressed. Another example would be groups like the Volksstrum or Hitler Jungend getting thrown in front of the red tsunami (correct me if I’m wrong guys)

      I do understand your gripe with the High Command. But than again, history has shown that such blunders in the High Command existing.

      In war, the side that makes fewer mistakes could win

      • February 19, 2014 at 6:23 amdaikama

        @c2710: In war, the side that makes fewer mistakes could win

        I would go as far as to say that all things being relatively equal (i.e. no knives vs guns situations), the side which makes the least mistakes typically wins. The impression I have is that wars and battles are more often lost by one side than won by the other.

    • February 19, 2014 at 5:06 amMike

      8) I could go on but I think I’ve made my point. Also I need to sleep.

      Actually, the only point you’ve really made is that you don’t know much about military history or how real military acts (and screws up) IRL, both strategically and tactically, even today – Battle of Ganjgal for one.

  • February 18, 2014 at 10:39 pmKF

    Mitty was a nice guy and we all know what happen to nice guys. Also, what is up with the Sky clan? Why are they even fighting in the first place? I like to think Isla is the good side but they seem to shady for me…

    • February 18, 2014 at 11:55 pmewok40k

      Well, from the Sky Clan POV, Isla is invading their airspace with whole attendant fleet. No country takes it kindly to such transgression of borders. Plus, possibly there is religious angle at play, they apparently were “guardians” of the Spring.

  • February 18, 2014 at 10:39 pm.Mero

    To bad the “unpopular” guys never seem to be able to catch a break :/ he got himself an awesome girl and then has to bite the dust :(

  • February 19, 2014 at 1:27 aminanis

    mmm something that jumps at me is how Ignacio gets grouped with the main characters in the anime , even tho he is no where even close then in the LNs … maybe future sacrificial lamb?

  • February 19, 2014 at 2:23 amTarage

    I like this series, I really do, but I’ll be damned if the quality isn’t killing it for me. It’s like they have absolutely no budget for this anime. Even the intro is stuttery.

  • February 19, 2014 at 2:34 amcm_1

    Yeah, seems like the recruit will die one by one in coming episode as foreshadowed in the 1st episode…From the OP, it is likely that the recruits would find themselves crashing or bailing out into the Sky Clan Floating Island base, and have to survive in the ground.

    Ignacio have more things that haven’t been told yet. I feel he have more secrets that merely as Claire’s Bodyguard of some sorts.

    If Isla’s High Command sucks, I say its because…

    The Isla Holy Spring Expedition is an elaborate scheme to purge the Post-Wind Revolution Balesteros from possibly destabilizing elements within The Federation itself, presented as a Holy Voyage of Discovery.

    De Alarcon is a good Commander, and Banderas is an Ace Pilot; Both Heroes of The Revolution. However, they also somewhat of loose cannons, and know too much about the dark secrets, the truth behind the revolution.
    Its not told about Sonia and Amelia Cervantes, both seems to be professional and skilled, perhaps some scandal or accident landed them on Isla. These people, Claire included, seems know that this mission is a Grand Reassignment to Oblivion…

    But The Melze Family and the rest of The Blue-Blooded Recruits? They doesn’t even seem to realize this! Or are they willing Volunteers? Perhaps the the inner circle of The Republic just want to get rid of Hawkish, Old Knightly Balesteros’ Aristocrats that does not have help or would possibly hinder the post-revolution reforms…I mean, they look so gung-ho about this: The Senior Leopold charged directly at the so-called “Barbarian” Fleet, and The Junior Fidel led his buddies against a swarm of Light Bombers only with Bolt-Action Rifles…

    At least The Sky Knights are really good at their jobs and not just a bunch of Glory-Seeking Knight Wannabees…

    Perhaps its something like this: After the Boshin War the Samurai Class are abolished. Clan Higher-ups which supported The Emperor can position themselves into Influential places in the new Government; however most of the many lower-ranking Samurai lost their privileges in the society. In the aftermath of the Meiji Restoration, Samurai Rebellions sprang up out of dissatisfaction. One of the notable ideas that come out from this era from Former samurai cliques, is the plan for an Expeditionary War against Korea; merely In order to provide a place for many Samurai to get meaningful death in the new Imperial Armed Forces(!)

    Do The new Republican Government planned this far? To what extent do them know about The Sky Clans? Are they willing to sacrifice a Holy Flying Island that floats out of unknown technology for this? Is getting rid of possibly valuable assets in this is acceptable? Do they expect the expedition even suceeds?
    Man, my mind flew too far…

    • February 19, 2014 at 3:32 amc2710

      Well cm…. This was raised sometime back as well. Most of us here think it’s a way to eradicate the political undesirables. The rest are just volunteers that signed up for the expedition.

  • February 19, 2014 at 3:53 amSeedStriker

    C2710, the blue fighter is more like a hybrid of a Mustang and a Hurricane. As for who is him, let’s say that he knows the skies more than the whole cast

    • February 19, 2014 at 5:58 amc2710

      It looks more like an FW 109 and a Mustang

  • February 19, 2014 at 7:20 am7godeohs

    Before reading Zephyrs comments I never considered Claire sacrificing herself before this whole thing is over.

    The prospect of that would truly show where Kal-el stands as a character. The very first episode talked about the importance of forgiveness – which he ignored and made vengeance a driving force in his life. So what happens when the girl he swore with all his being to kill, who stole away everything he ever cared about, who is now the girl he loves (seemingly so), would choose to sacrifice herself to save him.

    Her dying would, in his mind bring a sense of justice and closure to all the horrible experiences from the past that made him the vengeful person he his, while at the same time destroying a possibly wonderful future (with Claire). Seems like an easy question for us, the audience to answer from a narrative perspective, but this show obviously has its own way of surprising the audience.

  • February 19, 2014 at 8:34 ammagoiichi

    I thought both of them would kick the bucket.

    Interesting new detail, Ignacio is Claire’s bodyguard. Something so obvious and the thought never really crossed my mind. I guess she’d need one if her powers really were gone so it makes sense now.

    I didn’t even notice that new floating island ;/

  • February 24, 2014 at 7:01 amSin1505

    I’ve been waiting impatiently for the next episode.

  • February 24, 2014 at 11:19 amewok40k