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Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta – 09 »« Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta – 07

Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta – 08

「鳥の名前」 (Tori no Namae)
“The Name of the Bird”

The enemy’s here, the trainees are officially forced into combat, and it doesn’t end well. A vast majority of the Van Whyl class (including Fausto) and others including Wolfgang are killed—making this a brutal demonstration of what war is and the harsh realities it brings with it. Last week’s quote about the “loss in combat” ends up ringing true—the person who said it was killed too—making this week a fulfillment of expectations in a variety of ways. All things considered though, it didn’t feel like this episode was so much about the battle as it was about the realizations that came from it.

Because although the combat was fairly thrilling to watch—it was quite reminiscent of Last Exile’s style and had some great music accompanying it—the main focus wasn’t actually about the combat. After all, it was quite clear that when Isla’s main forces returned, they’d end up winning the battle—at least this one—which makes the biggest thing here the fact that this battle forced our cast’s true colors to come out. Ignacio in particular ends up getting a fair amount of this character spotlight, and this episode seizes on the opportunity to finally give us something more regarding his feelings.

There’s a trick to it.

There was. The thing is, I don’t think Ignacio was only talking about the vehicle. Rather, it felt like he was saying there’s a trick to staying calm despite the strong feelings he seems to have regarding Kal-el and it’s something that further cements his (and Claire’s) importance in the story overall. Indeed, the actions of the two proved vital to the survival of various cast members this week already, and considering the fact that there’s less of them now just further highlights the aforementioned.

Moving forward, it’s interesting to note that the Sky Fleet may not be the ultimate/final enemy obstacle at all. If the message tube’s anything to consider, there may be other obstacles ahead for everyone involved here considering the “secrets” that are hinted at within… but for now, let’s just say there may be more pressing matters at hand. and one wonders just how the surviving members of our cast may react if they do end up working together with the same guys that shot down many of their friends. It’d be ironic—and somewhat fitting considering the fickle nature of war—to say the least, but for now it looks like there are more pressing matters at hand.
It’s been bought to my attention that I mistakenly associated the Sky Fleet with the Holy Levamme Empire. Thanks for the correction!

Because if the preview’s any indication, it looks like next week may finally be the time where Kal-el realizes who Claire really is, and it’s intriguing to note that the reception could be drastically different depending on how and when it ends up being revealed. With circumstances the way they are now, the timing of this revelation could very well ruin or cement their relationship for the rest of the series.

Ultimately, it’s another solid episode of Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta. The aerial combat ended up a hit/miss depending on your personal preference and prior experience with similar series, but I think it can be said that the episode packed enough drama and development to make it generally enjoyable regardless. Gosh darn it though, the trainees are caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of their supplied armaments and skills, and it could be said Isla’s in a similar situation too. Considering there’s no way to resupply at this point, it’s only a matter of time before the island’s done for if they keep fighting, and things look quite grim—especially since they’re going to have to deal with the post-battle realities that came from this fight too. When it rains, it sure pours… though this did notably give us some nice development regarding Ariel and Kal-el too. Here’s looking forward to next week!

 

Preview

February 25, 2014 at 6:04 pm
80 comments »
  • February 25, 2014 at 6:12 pmbrajt

    My guess (didn’t read the novels) is that Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 25, 2014 at 6:14 pmbrajt

    So we start with BL scenes between Kal-el and Fausto… then Fausto is suddenly out and we enter the incest route. Isn’t it obvious that Fausto was killed by imouto?

    • February 25, 2014 at 6:57 pmKF

      It’s not incest. Kal-el x Ariel is a perfectly valid ship since they are not blood-related. I’m a fan of Kal-el x Nina but despite that there are things that just need to be made clear.

      • February 25, 2014 at 9:22 pmbrajt

        I don’t have anything against that ship, they look very cute together. All three sisters are beautiful. But… that doesn’t change the fact that it was Ariel who killed Fausto!

        Also, to be honest when I watch anime or read anime, I don’t care if the couple is incest or not. If it’s not the real world, it’s perfectly valid for me.

      • February 25, 2014 at 9:55 pmKF

        Ariel killed Fausto? When?

    • February 25, 2014 at 9:22 pmcm_01

      Ah, Karl so happy to be called “Onii-Chan” by his not-blood-related Imouto, while huddling together in a Hospital bed under the same blanket…

    • February 26, 2014 at 2:49 amc2710

      If they’re not related by blood, it ain’t incest

      • February 26, 2014 at 9:05 pmhaseo0408

        To be perfectly honest I like Kal-ElxClaire romance but there is so much history between them that he might be able to forgive her but to be a couple? I find it hard at this poit, Kal might learn from this first love to feel good about his current life and find peace and after that I think he has more chimestry with Ariel, I can realy see together at the end.

  • February 25, 2014 at 6:17 pmSilentCid

    I going go on a limb here and say Wolf didn’t die. He’s plane didn’t explode like the rest of them. Maybe he’ll show up late in the game and save someone who is able to pelleted by bullets.

    • February 25, 2014 at 6:18 pmSilentCid

      ^ able I don’t know what I was writing there. I mean going to get pelleted by bullets.

    • February 25, 2014 at 9:25 pmcm_01

      Nah, I’d say he died. At least he died with dignity – He died carrying a Lewis Machinegun, Smart guy…unlike other not-so-bright cadets that died only carried Bolt Action Rifle…

  • February 25, 2014 at 6:22 pmjustin

    this episode’s title should : an even bigger glorious death or that escalated quickly…

  • February 25, 2014 at 6:28 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    So it seems we’re starting to get more WWII-ish with a bunch of the planes; first the Me-109s and Stukas, and now a Supermarine Spitfire saves Kal and Ari.

    • February 25, 2014 at 9:46 pmcm_01

      It resembles more like Hawker Tempest with smaller chin intake but having upper nose intake to compensate. The tail follows Hawker Sea Fury design, however it have some strange fins in its lower parts. The gun placement are totally different though – 2 synchronized Cannons in the nose, and 2 cannons in the wings.

      Last week I mistaken it with FW 190′s nose – but this episode shows it have Inline Liquid-Cooled Engine rather than Radial Aircooled one.

      • February 25, 2014 at 9:53 pmcm_01

        …after a second look the tail doesn’t really look like Sea Fury…

    • February 26, 2014 at 1:21 amdaikama

      @HalfDemonInuyasha: Agree with your take on the aircraft. Posted my thoughts on the WWII stuff below in my reply to Bear (currently “awaiting moderation” – too many wiki links I guess :<). Along with aircraft, also some WII infantry weaponry. The planes are not exact copies, but the infantry weapons for the most part are pretty spot on IMO. Same goes for the Type 92 MG/Lewis Gun.

      —————-

      @cm_01: Hawker Tempest wings are different. Same goes for the Hawker Sea Fury which also used a radial engine.

      • February 26, 2014 at 2:51 amc2710

        I’m of the opinion that the ace’s plane is more of FW190 crossed with Hawker Hurricane.

  • February 25, 2014 at 6:30 pmricz

    Seeing that seagull plane and the named “fana” makes me want to watch the movie again :C

    And oh another solid episode <3 <3

  • February 25, 2014 at 6:31 pmtsukioniisan

    People dying here and there. I… I’m sick of it! (I just finished Romeo x Juliet, and yes, I’m bitter).

    ps: that cap’n of Luna Barco should be sacked. Who the hell sends his entire elite force outside of their base?

    • February 25, 2014 at 9:28 pmcm_01

      Should Captain Leopold Melze be proud his son Fidel Fausto died while ordering the same Bird-Brained Idiotic Attack, just like himself?

    • February 26, 2014 at 3:02 amc2710

      Well…….

      One must understand how military works and/or blunders.

      When one severely underestimates the enemy, one would throw the bulk or the entire force at the enemy. Often it may be successful or in this case, ends falling into a trap. Last week, one of the commentators mentioned about Bull Halsey chasing after Kurita when the actual target was the landing force at Leyte (correct me if I’m wrong.)

      It was only the tenaciousness and audacity of the CVEs (Combustible Vulnerable Expandable) from Taffy 3 that saved the entire landing force.

      You can view it this way:

      Decrepit enemy fleet = Kurita’s force
      Isla’s main force = Halseys fleet
      Trainer fleet = Taffy 3
      Isla = Landing at Leyte
      Main enemy force = Main Japanese fleet

    • February 26, 2014 at 8:59 pmhaseo0408

      Captain Crunch would make a better fleet commander thsn that idiot; MY GOD, I´ve never even fired a gun and I know more about military tactics than that idiot!.

  • February 25, 2014 at 6:31 pmkabayongtao

    PLEINS

    • February 26, 2014 at 9:07 pmBraveSong

      Where did this running joke come from? I see it on Commie’s nyaatorrent links all the time

  • February 25, 2014 at 6:35 pmmagoiichi

  • February 25, 2014 at 6:44 pmKuma Kuma

    I though the message tube are actually from the unknown fighter in the blue plane with Seagull logo which saved Kal-el in the end?

  • February 25, 2014 at 7:03 pmNikki

    The skill Ignacio showed with the rifle in this episode takes on a greater meaning when you remember Ariel saying in episode 3 that he didn’t really care for the stuff. Has he been hiding his abilities this whole time?

  • February 25, 2014 at 7:06 pmseltzermx

    Can anyone refresh me on the Princess and the Pilot?

    I know these stories take place in the same world, especially now that Fana’s name has come up. I was always under the impression that the people from this story were either from Fana’s past or future. But now it seems they exist at the same time, but are from different continents/parts of the world that had not met each other yet (or in yet unknown ways, since their planes/tech is very similar).

    I wish there were a world map of this place (kind of like George R.R. Martin’s maps) to see where everyone is from.

    • February 25, 2014 at 11:17 pmcm_01

      The Great Waterfall is between, and forms the border between The Levamme Empire in the West and The Amatsukami Empire in the East(Except San Martillo, where del Moral family and Charles Karino came from. Its in the Eastern side of the waterfall)

      From the Letter, we can say that Fana already become a High Consul of Levamme, meaning Koiuta is set after Tsuioku.

      It is interesting though, the fact that both Balesteros and Levamme share the same Spanish-based culture and Legend of Santa Aldista…Even though both Nations are separated very far away…

    • February 26, 2014 at 6:25 amMike

      I wish there were a world map of this place (kind of like George R.R. Martin’s maps) to see where everyone is from.

      There actually is, it’s in one of the LN… I think vol. 5?

      Can’t really go into much detail without potential spoilers, but the surface area of the world in Toaru is huge – as in you can fit multiple Earths in it. I’ll have to double check later, but IIRC we’re talking about at least half a dozen here – probably more.

      It is interesting though, the fact that both Balesteros and Levamme share the same Spanish-based culture and Legend of Santa Aldista…Even though both Nations are separated very far away

      I think the reason why is easily deduced once the true nature of the world is revealed.

      • February 26, 2014 at 5:51 pmseltzermx

        Gah! Thanks for the teasers!!
        :)
        I hope they address some of these in the series. I am really intrigued just by the nature of the world itself.

  • February 25, 2014 at 7:08 pmSadifn

    If its really what Zephyr said, I wonder will this show get a second season.

  • February 25, 2014 at 7:32 pmVsAllGaming

    I think the message this series wants to send is “Don’t care about the characters because we’ll just kill them off.” I will admit Fausto was a piece of shit so I’m sure no one cared about him but then we have Wolf death as well but I will say that I was really worried about Ari. I’m glad she didn’t die but this series almost had me thinking she did.

  • February 25, 2014 at 8:24 pmSadamitsu

    I am glad that Ariel took a 20mm cannon to the shoulder and just shrug it off like a man.

    • February 25, 2014 at 8:27 pmcelebrinen

      I don’t always wear armour, but when I do it’s plot armour.

      • February 26, 2014 at 1:22 amdaikama

        @celebrinen: LOL – nice one! +1

  • February 25, 2014 at 8:26 pmcelebrinen

    The formation used by the flying coffins really ticked me off. If Faust’s defensive circle was taught to them then I think the training regime needs to be reviewed and the instructors charged for such a waste of lives. Hovering stationary above the clouds while shooting bolt actions against an enemy with an altitude, speed and armament advantage was just dumb, dumb, dumb.
    Or lets all fly line abreast, limit our ability to maneuver and cover each other and present a great target for a strafing attack.
    The enemy formations and tactics were well thought out (use altitude, flights of three’s etc, slashing attacks). It would have been less annoying if the rookies fought and died while using logical techniques.

    The enemy fighters were high altitude escorts for the troop carriers so either send some rookies to shoot up the transports and draw the escorts down within range of the AAA batteries or just leave the them alone (they aren’t actually doing anything above the clouds) or better still, keep the rookies in the trenches to fight off the paras.

    Another point, why don’t they have conventional single seat monoplane fighters? If they can build a flying warship and a tilt-rotor they should be able to build something effective instead of a “shoot at me” orange coffin little better than Fairy Battles or Boulton-Paul Defiants.

    • February 26, 2014 at 7:45 amIncognito

      To be fair:

      1. They ARE cadets/trainees, so their knowledge of flying really is still limited to what was taught to them by their instructors–a long way from the skills of a more experienced pilot. And Faust probably got into the academy thanks to his connections (i.e.: his aristrocrat family) and not due to actual military skill. The fact that he “Leeroy Jenkins’d” his fellow cadets into fighting the Sky Clan was one big death flag for him, but if the alternative is having your home destroyed…there’s really no choice.

      2. Save for Wolf (who has a machine gun), the rest are armed with just bolt-action rifles. Those armed with bolt-action rifles need a more stable base (read: the tilt-rotor aircraft they are in) in order to aim properly and accurately hit their targets (something that’s rather hard to do if they kept moving–even if the rifles had scopes). They had to make their shots count even if they risked getting strafed in the process.

      3. Remember that Isla’s forces and the Sky Clan operate under different military doctrines (as mentioned by Chiharu during her fateful recon flight with Mitsuo in the previous episode), hence why Isla’s forces don’t use single-seat monoplane fighters like the Sky Clan do. A nation’s military doctrine can influence (to some extent) the designs and requirements of an armed force’s weaponry. Isla is more of an exploration expedition* while the Sky Clan is more geared for war.

      (* – I won’t deny that “exploration expedition” is just a cover story fabricated by the Balsteros Republic in order to get rid of their “undesirables.”)

      In any case, this episode serves to illustrate that war really is hell. Also, I haven’t watched Toaru Hikuushi e no Tsuioku, but I’m gonna guess that the events in Koiuta happen after the events of Tsuioku.

      • February 26, 2014 at 10:14 amcelebrinen

        All fair points and I appreciate your response. I can’t fully respond without turning this into a wall of tl;dr. To keep it brief:
        1. If they weren’t capable of fighting competently in the air they should have all been grounded and in the trenches. The main threat would be invasion, not fighter aircraft, so the rookies would be more useful as infantry. If that order was given even Faust wouldn’t disobey.
        2. You are 100% correct on this. It beggars belief, bolt actions in a plane?
        3. My impression was that they knew they were heading for trouble before the island set off. Exploration or not, at least give the poor buggers a few decent fighters.

  • February 25, 2014 at 8:32 pmBear

    Sorry, that was the worst aerial combat I’ve ever watched. The Sky Clan should have finished those poor kids off in about 30 seconds and, at most (if they were bad shots), in two passes. What were the Sky Clans planes made of? Nitrocellulose? Shot down by pop guns? Single hits when the Isla planes were taking multiple shots from MG and canon fire before going down? And who ever taught those tactics to the kids should resign his commission and jump off of the island. Hover in a circle? Fly single file while bunched up? Were they training them to be targets in a shooting gallery?

    • February 25, 2014 at 8:56 pmGinobi47

      That is the oh so sad truth of Plot Armor

    • February 26, 2014 at 12:42 amdaikama

      Agree Completely. Worst…aerial combat…ever (trope). Rather than nitrocellulose I thought the Sky Clan used a nitroglycerin based paint for their planes. One glancing rifle bullet and metal planes burst into flames. Get two or three hits and they explode in two seconds. 4 hits might knock off a wing. >_> Quintessential “Stormtrooper Marksmanship” (trope) by the Sky Clan pilots (I’d also add that for the paratroopers as well if not to the same degree). Meh.

      ————————————-

      My take on the WWI/WWII stuff:

      ISLA:

      - Isla MGs used by Wolf and the “normal” Isla fighters appear to be based on either the Interwar IJ Type 92 machine gun or WWI Lewis Gun with the barrel shroud removed/altered. The type 92 was a copy of the Lewis Gun any way so pretty much same thing.

      - Isla bolt action rifles: Pretty sure based off the Carbine version of the IJ Arisaka rifle. Both are bolt-action with a 5 round magazine, use stripper clips, and have similar overall appearance.

      Semi-automatic hand gun taken by Ignacio… no clue. Relatively compact size and almost 90 degree perpendicular handle to slide/barrel barrel make it too dissimilar to be a Colt Model 1911 knock off. External hammer rules out WWII IJ Sugiura and Hamada type pistols. Wood grip and external oval hammer grip with a hole remind me of a Browning “High Power” semi-auto so maybe loosely based upon that.
      ——-
      Sky Clan: Now almost certain their stuff is based off of WWII Germany.

      - Fighters are based on, but not identical, to Messerschmitt Bf 109e model as noted previously.

      - Dive bombers looked like “Stuka” Junkers Ju 87 given fixed landing gear, inverted gull wings and elevator support struts.

      - Paratroopers used MP 40 submachine guns
      ——-
      Mysterious “Seagull” (aka “Gary Stu”) fighter:

      Modified Supermarine Spitfire. No mistaking the Spitfire’s trademark elliptical wing design. Inline engine as well. There are some differences of course: Added “fins”(?)/extensions(?) on the fuselage and rudder. Air intake is pushed forward and enlarged a bit compared to RL Spitfire. Armament – RL Spitfire didn’t have the two engine cowl mounted MGs. The two wing “bubble” mounted MGs/auto-cannons are also different that RL Spitfire (really any WWII fighter I can recall). Not sure why the anime planes don’t have the barrels centered in the wings. Landing gear retraction is opposite (RL Spitfire retracted towards wing tips). Even so, for me the wing, elevator and rudder shapes are decisive on this.

      • February 26, 2014 at 2:32 amcelebrinen

        Not sure about the Seagull. It takes some design inspiration from the Spitfire but the engine looks a bit Germanic (guns in the cowling, low position of the exhaust). The wings, though elliptical, are quite reduced in area like a custom racer and the whole thing is much more compact like a Yak-3.

      • February 26, 2014 at 3:06 amc2710

        Looks more like Fw190 x Hawker Hurricane

      • February 26, 2014 at 3:12 amcelebrinen

        @c2710

        Not with those wings, bubble canopy and inline engine.
        On a second look the wings are a bit like the Sea Fury but with the radiators moved to keep the leading edge clean.

      • February 26, 2014 at 8:10 amdaikama

        @celebrinen & c2710: I agree it’s not an exact replica by any means, but IMO it’s closer to a Spitfire than anything else I can think of at the moment. I rule out the FW 190 and Sea Fury due to radial engines among other things such as wing shape etc. That leaves the Hurricane and Spitfire, and IMO, the Spitfire matches better.

        I’ve uploaded some pictures and design drawings for the planes mentioned (including anime fighter in question). Here’s the gallery link for all of them (note image size varies considerably). They are all labeled, and should be in alphabetical order: anime (“mystery”) fighter, FW 190, Hawker Hurricane, Hawker Sea Fury, Supermarine Spitfire.

      • February 26, 2014 at 5:55 pmWild Goose

        Actually, a note on the Seagull fighter – the bubble-like canopy resembles that of the P-51 Mustang, as does the tail. Spitfires had straight canopies, IIRC.

  • February 25, 2014 at 9:17 pmTheMoondoggie

    Meh, I wasn’t expecting the blonde a-hole to die, along with the huge dude. I guess I’m a bit surprised.

    And wow. Ari X Kal pairing isn’t so bad. If you think about it it’s more natural than Claire x Kal.

  • February 25, 2014 at 9:18 pmcm_01

    Zephyr,
    The Sky Clan are not from The Levamme Empire – After all, The Message from High Consul Fana Levamme was dropped by The Blue Seagull Ace who shot down the Sky Clan’s White Fox unit

    • February 25, 2014 at 11:03 pmcm_01

      And I don’t really need to slam my keyboard all over again about the Air Battle. Other Comments will do the job just fine shooting down the inaccuracies.

      Seriously, Is there any line in the L Novel that says The Cadets only brought Bolt Action Rifles to combat, and only Wolfgang carried Machine Gun? Is this adaptational fault or not?
      Why don’t they equipped with proper Autocannons just like what Ignacio shown firing in the OP?

      I understand this is made on a Shoestring Budget, and thats why I’m not having problem with Ep7…but this Ep are well-animated, meaning it is something with the direction of the show…

    • February 26, 2014 at 6:00 pmZephyr

      Thanks for the correction! Edited.

  • February 25, 2014 at 9:29 pmT.K.

    I believe there is a misinterpretation in Zephyr’s post in that it is not the Sky Clan who left the message but the Blue Seagull insignia plane that saved Kal-El. I think the Sky Clan and The Holy Levamme Empire are from completely different allegiances.

    Technology wise, seems like Isla is at a huge disadvantage (unless Nina Viento gets her powers back). We’ve seen the Sky Clan’s fleet of bombers and carriers, if not for last episode’s sacrifices, Isla would have been decimated. For those who watched the Tsuioku movie, have already seen the Levamme Empire’s forces and another country that’s significantly superior than anyone else shown in this series.

    I’m really excited now that seemingly both series (movie and anime) have begun to bridge together. Show Spoiler ▼

    • February 26, 2014 at 6:00 pmZephyr

      Yeah, thanks for the correction. Edited!

  • February 25, 2014 at 10:39 pmTarage

    My god what the fuck happened to this series? In what world is it okay to sit in a circle and not move while dog fighters are shooting at you. One of the characters even says “We’re sitting ducks”. YES. SITTING IN ONE SPOT IS THE TEXT BOOK DEFINITION OF BEING A SITTING DUCK.

    I tried to like this series. I really did. The characters were interesting, the plane designs were neat, but the author clearly knows NOTHING about aviation combat.

    And don’t even get me started on the quality. This series has half a budget.

    • February 26, 2014 at 1:15 amDop

      You’re blaming the author?
      It’s been pretty clear that the military leaders on Isla are stupid. They’re so convinced of their superiority that they send their entire force against a decoy, leaving their base defended by a bunch of trainees with rifles using an insane strategy.
      That’s the military being stupid. That’s “cavalry charge at machinegun nest” levels of stupid. That’s “fly in tight formation so you can’t look for the enemy” stupid (and that was actual RAF practice at the start of WWII).

      The author then shows how stupid Isla’s military leaders are by having all but the main characters massacred and a major bombing raid on the island.

      The author knows what they’re doing.

      • February 26, 2014 at 2:26 amdaikama

        The problem is that the author purposefully made the Isla commanders and tactics this incredibly stupid. Also, it’s not just Isla’s idiotic tactics, but things like the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship of the Sky Clan fighter pilots (and paratroopers IMO).

        BTW, flying in tight formation isn’t just the prerogative of the RAF at the START of WWII (the RAF did improve that). IJN bombers often flew in strict formation even when under attack for a good part of the Pacific War. Much more importantly, FLYING in formation is a massively different from HOVERING in the same spot in concentrated formation.

        While there are stupid military commanders throughout RL history, there are smart ones as well. This is a story created by the author, and when you combine the ridiculously bad aerial combat tactics along with other things such as bolt-action rifles shooting down fast moving, supposedly metal constructed aircraft with a single shot (WTF!?), it all strains credibility too much as indicated by many of the comments here. If the author truly understands WWII aircraft and aerial combat tactics, then I would think he would well realize that he’s pushed in-setting credibility much too far at this point.

        Sorry, but unless the anime severely deviated from the source here (always a possibility), I have to agree with Tarage on this one.

      • February 26, 2014 at 3:46 amewok40k

        -the poor trainers are similar in their helplessness to the:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boulton_Paul_Defiant
        arguably worst fighter of WW2
        -the “closing the circle” tactic actually was good attempt at maximizing what meager firepower they had, their planes were anyway outmatched in speed and maneuvrability by enemy fighters
        -if there was a tactical blunder in this fight it was enemy fighters diving from above while they should have attacked the circle formation from below where there was no fire coverage at all

      • February 26, 2014 at 5:54 amdaikama

        @ewok40k: The Boulton Paul Defiant is probably the best “kind of similar, but not really” RL example you can find, though quad mounted .30 MGs on a power turret each firing 600 rounds/min (2400 rounds/min total) is a far, far cry from one .30 cal (reasonable assumption IMO) bolt-action rifle. Anyway, I digress.

        - if there was a tactical blunder in this fight it was enemy fighters diving from above while they should have attacked the circle formation from below where there was no fire coverage at all.

        I disagree, by far the biggest blunder was done by the trainees. The trainees DID fail, and fail BIG in that they remained STATIONARY. It’s a LOT harder to hit a moving target than a stationary one (regardless of what the anime might lead one to believe). Using the Luftbery Circle formation was the correct tactic by the trainees… if they had continued flying their planes and thus presented a moving target. Instead, they might as well have parked the planes on a runway in a circle given what they did. Actually, given their armament (outside of Wolf, but even that’s a stretch), staying on the ground and operating AA guns would be the best tactic, but again I digress.

        Furthermore, the Lufbery Circle was not a strong defense against late WWI/WWII type aircraft, but rather one of last resort. From Wiki:

        … even by the end of World War I it was considered flawed and obsolete. The Lufbery circle, while generally effective against horizontal attacks by faster aircraft, was very vulnerable to attacks from fighters diving from above [emphasis added], providing targets on a slow, predictable course. As the performance and armament of fighter aircraft improved during the First World War they became capable of high-speed hit-and-run attacks in the vertical; a Lufbery would put the defenders at a gross disadvantage. [emphasis added]

        In World War II the Lufbery was still used by many countries, generally as a last resort measure for poorly trained pilots of less progressive air forces, for instance Japanese kamikaze pilots.

        As noted by the wiki quote, the “boom and zoom” tactics used by the Sky Clan WERE the correct tactical response to the trainees (Baka) Luftbery Circle defense (one thing the anime did right). If the Sky Clan pilots (other than the “silver wolf”) could actually hit something, ALL the trainees would have perished in minutes.

        If there’s fault to be found with the Sky Clan’s tactics, IMO it’s the lack of overall coordination. A couple of planes break off to attack, miraculously get shot down, then another 2-3 break off to attack, etc. Furthermore, IMO the Sky Clan pilots should have used rudder/elevator controls to “waggle” their planes back and forth a little to effectively spray lead across the Isla planes while diving since BOTH rear gunner AND pilot are in OPEN cockpits (one more reason to use diving attacks). Taking out either one effectively neutralizes the Isla planes.

        Of course when your pilots can’t hit a large, orange colored stationary object while firing 4xMG/auto-cannons, it doesn’t matter what tactics you employ – except the “tactic” of having competent fighter pilots in the first place. >_>

      • February 26, 2014 at 6:04 amewok40k

        @ Daikama – anyway out of 20 or so trainers only one survived and only due to the intervention of Blue Ace… but yes our enemies could have done this with less casualties (again until Marty Stu gets into action)

      • February 27, 2014 at 11:48 pmfatflightlesspenguin

        LN2 has the weakest and least realistic aerial combats in the first three novels, but the anime adaptation made it worse. Tilt rotor fighter was a mistake, but the worst was those overpowered bolt action rifles and vulnerability of the enemy planes. Sky Clan’s planes must be cladded in Hindenburg’s skin instead of metal…

        WW1 Pilots quickly found single shot weapons useless and immediately abandoned them in favor of machine gun. There was no way the trainees could hit the Sky Clan fighters with rifles when they struggled against massive stationary blimps in training. The author should have let the trainees get slaughtered without a single kill. May be let Wolf hit one or two with his machine gun and let Ariel score one lucky hit in the cockpit during the pursuit.

        The concept of outdated Isla tactics was fine, but the trainees were far too effective. The the trainee vs Sky Clan kill rate was almost 1:1 on screen.

        Seagull’s combat scene was well written in the LN, but was badly adapted in the anime. It was supposed to be an aerial dance (watch the LN1 movie), but ended up just an ordinary overpowered ace, who lacked the elegance and grace of his LN counterpart.

        Also, in the LN:
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • February 28, 2014 at 12:53 amewok40k

        I’ve taken a deeper look at the combat scenes…
        1. first contact, line abreast, 13 trainers start, 2 lost for 2 fighters
        2. forming circle, still 13 trainers WTF?
        3. second pass, 1-1 kill ratio, and by ramming by damaged fighter of all things… total tally 3-3
        4. when we get back from airfield combat scene, another trainer goes down bringing their number down to 6 – total tally 7-3
        5.short stop: Wolf that was the biggest, brightest death flag I’ve seen since Valvrave.
        “I’ll keep them off us, even if it costs memy life!”
        6.next pass, 2 trainers go down to no fighters total tally 9-3
        7.only to have shoot 3 fighters in next pass to no casualties… with Kal/Ari being 1/4 of the team plot armor kicks in! total tally 9-6
        8.A wild Silver Fox appears! and promptly shoots down Fausto. total tally 10-6
        9. and then Wolfgang cashes in his death flag, kill tally 11-6
        10. one trainer is seemingly MIA and from this point it is all about Kal/Ari plot armor
        and Gary Stu Seagull…
        Final kill tally before the plot takes over:
        11-6, with 1 probable kill
        Still waaay too high for shooting WW2 era fighters with bolt action rifles. Although I presume Wolfgang was responsible for at least half of the kills – he had more effective firepower than rest of the squadron combined.

  • February 25, 2014 at 10:51 pmMoburo

    Ariel : “Onii-chan”

    Taketatsu imouto power ON.

    • February 26, 2014 at 2:58 amewok40k

      the imouto power is strong with this one!

  • February 26, 2014 at 12:14 amewok40k

    OK, this episode was just Tora! tora! Tora!
    Enemy has struck the Isla itself, and in big force. There is something visceral about dive bombers screaming down from the skies like vengeful hawks…
    “There is a trick to it.” Notice how the one girl that was already in combat stayed calm, and rallied others around her. This is what veterans do.
    Ignacio definitely has been trained for combat as a bodyguard for Nina Viento. He stayed calm because of training.
    Others had to rely on own innate strength of character.
    Fausto died a honorable death, truly in a spirit of Noblesse Oblige. Wolfgang was giant not only in physical size.

    Eventually, most dire words fall at the end from the teacher’s lips: the Isla is alone, and in enemy territory. There will be no reinforcements, no people to replace lost ones. The expedition is basically doomed…
    Unless they find some allies in those strange skies. The Blue Ace was definitely impressive in combat but it was his message that bears the only glimmer of hope for the Isla.

    On the romantic front, we see a nice “non-really blood related” brother-sister “lifeboat” being constructed that can sail away if the main ship with Claire will crash upon the rocks of “true identity”.

    Last: for the warplane otakus’s: while Sky Clan’s planes are definitely “WW2 Germans rehashed” (Me-109E, with amybe a splash of P-40, Ju-87) the mysterious Blue Ace’s plane looks like bastard child of Sea Fury and FW-190D (long-nose) – or maybe something along the lines of
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8d/Spiteful_XVI_RB518.jpg
    Supermarine Spiteful, a follow on to the Spitfire.

    • February 26, 2014 at 12:44 amcm_01

      Levamme Planes as I see from Tsuioku are rather inspired from British Warplanes.

      However, the tail and the back part of the fuselage of this plane that doesn’t look like British Fighter Planes that I know of. So does the upper nose with air intake and guns.

      Its not Radial Engined though like Sea Fury nor using ring radiators for liquid cooled Inline engine like FW190D and Ta-152. More like Tempest with different radiator intake placement.

    • February 26, 2014 at 1:52 amdaikama

      @ewok40k OK, this episode was just Tora! tora! Tora!

      Sorry, but No! No! No! I don’t understand why you want to make this into a Pearl Harbor analogy.

      -Pearl Harbor: SURPRISE attack on naval base with NO troop invasion. VERY FEW US planes (defenders) got off the ground, and the vast majority of those destroyed/damaged to the point of being inoperable were ON the ground.

      -Toaru H anime: Isla was WELL aware of the Sky Clan attack and launched almost all, if not every, available aircraft before the Sky Clan air raid. The Sky clan dropped paratroopers for invasion. Completely different, and for the record, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” was the code phrase to be used if the IJN first wave achieved complete surprise on Pearl Harbor which is exactly the opposite case here.

      As for the mysterious Gary Stu fighter, I’m with HalfDemonInuyasha. Eliptical wings = Spitfire knock off (or Spitful, but that essentially is a Spitfire v2). It’s not an exact replica as I noted in my post above (whenever it gets approved :<), but neither is the stock Sky Clan fighter a exact copy of any WWII aircraft I know of. I do give the anime credit for adding the elevator support struts to the Sky Clan's mock "Stuka" dive bombers.

      • February 26, 2014 at 2:34 amewok40k

        Of course that was not direct copy of PH attack – but it was definitely a TACTICAL surprise that has caught Isla defenders with main forces away, and sending rookies in training planes to defend the sky, (they didnt seem to impair dive bombers at their task at all…) and wrought much devastation on the island’s facilities. To add myself to the number of differences, PH aftermath was US getting into high gear wartime production to replace losses while Isla is basically alone and bereft of any industrial support from homeland.
        Still in the broad definition of surprise and deadly air raid it fits the trope “All of your base are belong to us” to the T!

  • February 26, 2014 at 1:07 amCrunchie

    This show became so suddenly violent, it really threw me in a loop (I don’t normally watch violent anime, and the title really didn’t make me think of violence) but I’m happy with how it’s progressing. It’ll be interesting to see how these adolescent children deal with such heavy things no adolescent should be dealing with.

  • February 26, 2014 at 3:19 amc2710

    I am willing and ready to suspend all notions of realism espicially with the weapons used by Isla.

    That aside, I would have to say that the producers toned down the violence since they did not do the blood splatter and all. Though, that did brought about an unsettling feeling in me.

    I won’t so much talk about the hardware or the tactics. But what I’m more interested in is the involvement of the Levamme Empire. The closing scene sealed it for me. This story line is set after the Recollections of a Certain Pilot. Sad and bittersweet it maybe, Fana married to the Levamme prince and her pilot fades into oblivion.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 26, 2014 at 3:59 amSeedStriker

    Well, this episode bring in the harsh reality of war, and the fact that almost all the nobles children died, has left the future of Isla in the hands of the common, if there’s a future from them. Aside from the skies, Sharon became Band of Brother’s LT Ronald Speirs of the dorm!
    From the actual translation of the letter (surprisingly in a readable english), the Exploration Air Fleet of the Holy Spring is Levamme’s own attempt to unveil what’s beyond the Great Fall and the Spring, and that most countries, empires, republics of this world follow the same religión and venerate the same god. Following the epilogue of Recollections (the novel), Fana’s fleet is made by a coalition of Levamme and Amatsukami, and the fact that Seagull not only is painted blue, but have the Holy Empire markings, it’s obvious that Charles Karino is flying it. BTW, his fighter have the weapons config of the Amatsukami’s fighters from Recollection (2 MG’s in the nose, 2 cannons on the wings), and hell, he shows that he OWNS the skies!

    That’s what i like from the “Certain Pilot” novels. The endings may be left open, but their sequels put you on perspective of what happened after. This is the closer that we will from an actual Ace Combat novel/anime.

    • February 26, 2014 at 4:20 amc2710

      What are the ofds that she’s also the protoge of Lt. Winters?

      Seriously, this show suffers from the lack of budget. Unlike Recollections.

  • February 26, 2014 at 11:19 amJason Isenberg

    Every character that died added water to the feel tank. Honestly this is a war, this happens and you can’t guarantee no scratches. They literally scratched the crap out of this and it was sad of course but man, just seeing them die really shows they’re not scared to kill them off.

    Btw that Brother/Sister moment? NNNNGGGGHHHH

  • February 26, 2014 at 11:37 amGuren

    Sunrise, please use those trainee planes armour for the next Gundam. They’ll be invincible

    • February 26, 2014 at 9:07 pmhaseo0408

      Valvrave could have used that armor so bad.

  • February 27, 2014 at 10:18 amHochmeister

    And to think that I started watching for the aerial combat and expected to hate the characters…

    The very first thought that popped into my mind when I saw those ridiculous fixed landing gear, twin engined, tilt rotor, turret gunned, flying boats was “sitting duck.” Those monstrosities make my inner aviation nut scream in agony as there’s no way they’d be halfway competent in an aerial dogfight against anything more advanced than WWI biplanes. The only possible use for a plane like that would be close air support, not dogfighting. Props to the creators for actually showing the trainees get slaughtered, but realistically they shouldn’t even have gotten a single kill against the sky clan. There’s a darn good reason the “gunner in back” concept was abandoned ASAP in fighters; even with hovering the plane is too unstable for Ari to make those crack shots she did. Bolt action rifles are about as useful as a spitball in a plane.

    On a more meta note, the island’s main forces should have been slaughtered by the sky clan too. As the Luftwaffe found out over Britain, twin engined planes don’t stand up well at all against single engined monoplanes. And don’t even get me started on those “aerial torpedoes” from the last episode; it took almost 50 years and computers for air to air ordinance to achieve a better than 50% hit rate. No way in hell would those slow unguided things be able to hit even those big lumbering bombers. The lack of a capable fighter plane should realistically lead to Isla’s defender’s getting totally obliterated by those ME-109 lookalikes; piloting skill and turn radius don’t mean jack when the other plane can literally fly circles around you.

    Things like this which even the most amateur aviation enthusiast should know really make me wonder if the people making this did any background research whatsoever into aerial combat and detract from my enjoyment of the show.

    Sidenote: anyone else notice that the Sky clan’s flag is St. Andrew’s Cross? Scots flying Germanic planes FTW!

  • February 28, 2014 at 9:19 amRedWolff

    Like in previous comments, the episode’s story and characters were excellent.

    But the episode’s dogfights plus the various design flaws (especially the exposed gunner’s position and the lack of fixed forward-firing guns) of Isla’s tiltwing fighters/bombers were quite annoying. The various mistakes in the tactics used by the trainees plus the idea of them engaging in dogfights using bolt-action rifles (and gaining single-shot kills!) were equally annoying. The idea of dive bombers and torpedo bombers engaging aerial warships and ultra-large bombers have some merit (I just have to tolerate the idea of aerial torpedoes). The same goes for the idea of Isla’s planes performing the tiltwing equivalent of the Pugachev’s Cobra maneuver.

    But does anyone notice that most of the criticisms are aimed at teenaged trainees that are:
    (1.) flying smaller-sized tiltwing trainer planes which aren’t designed for combat, hence the fixed landing gear, the exposed pilot’s cockpit and the lack of a turret ring mount;
    (2.) they have only received crash course training in aerial combat in tiltwing trainers that are also noticeably smaller that the regular military tiltwing fighters/bombers;
    (3.) the regular military tiltwing fighters/bombers are noticeably larger, have a fully enclosed cockpit for the pilot, have a proper ring mount for weapons and have retractable landing wheels.

    Tiltwing technology and torpedo/dive bomber tactics aside, I think the fighter/bomber technologies and doctrines of the nations of Balsteros, Qi and Benares are somewhere between post-WW1 to the early-1930s. The Levamme and Fuso Empires and the Sky Clan are obviously using WW2-era technologies and tactics.

    What does everyone else think?

    • February 28, 2014 at 2:08 pmHochmeister

      I don’t blame the trainees for using idiot tactics and getting slaughtered, that’s only natural given their inexperience. The thing that really annoyed me was all those one shot kills with a bolt action rifle. Utterly impossible.

      I also thought that the Isla forces were almost pre ’40′s in tech and tactics, those radial engines, open cockpits, and lack of radio are giveaways. However, that leads to my bigger gripe that their main forces should have been annihilated too; even the slightly less sucky combat models in the regular military should be no match for the Me-109 lookalikes. I could have bought the “aerial torpedoes” if they were rockets, but those things were waaaay to slow to have a chance of hitting anything other than that giant carrier. Especially directly from the front when the enemy had been alerted by the flare; naval torpedoes only work because submarines have the element of surprise. The Germans tried similar techniques against allied bombers in WWII to less than stellar results.

      Nobody complains about the flying battleship because it’s clear that applied phlebotinum is at work and there’s no real world counterpart to it. Likewise, in giant robot shows nobody complains about their dogfights because the tech is strange enough that we expect the tactics to be different too. However, the technology and design of the planes in this show are close enough to the real world that people will compare them and get their suspension of disbelief shattered when wildly implausible stuff happens.

      • February 28, 2014 at 9:05 pmdaikama

        FWIW, I view Isla’s planes as a WWI-WWII+ hybrids. I would say interwar years, but things like voice tube communication, lack of forward firing MGs/designated gunner & pilot (Boulton Paul Defiant notwithstanding – that was designed specifically to target bombers from underneath) are all very WWI. Even when they DO use MGs, it’s a Lewis Gun knockoff so WWI – pre WWII at best. Fixed landing gear is WWI to interwar years, however, mono-wing design is definitely interwar years (Fairey Swordfish notwithstanding.)

        As for the “radial engines”, IMO that’s no more antiquated than a combustion inline design. The “Double Wasp” radial was one of the best aircraft engines of WWII. In general, radials were a bit more powerful (Allies at least) and were more rugged. No radiator weakness. They did make for poorer aerodynamics though. Give and take IMO, but certainly some of the best fighters of WWII used radial engines.

        The out of place thing is the tilt-rotor part. That’s very post WWII. The Germans worked on one (I mentioned it in a post a few eps back), but it wasn’t anything common for sure during WWII let alone earlier. It’s a strange assortment of tech for Isla. Kind of like having a jet powered bi-plane. You have this relatively modern feature on an otherwise antiquated design (excluding engines IMO). O.o

        I agree on the “aerial torpedoes”, but trying not to think about it. The previous episode has its issues as you suggest. WTF was the Sky Clan thinking? NO evasive maneuvering – break up the giant wing formation instead of just keep plodding straight ahead. Even WWII carriers, BBs, etc. took evasive action during air raids. Might not have always worked, but it did sometimes. Meh.

        I also agree about the bolt-action rifles as aircraft armament being the worst transgression. Taking down WWII era fighters in single shot!? No – just no. The “standard” Isla fighters use Lewis guns (or whatever) so WTF are you “training” future gunners with markedly different equipment? Was it really that necessary to go with bolt action rifles than give EVERY Isla gunner a MOUNTED WWI designed MG to go with your partially WWI designed aircraft? I just can’t understand why the author (or director) decided to go that route.

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