「きみのいる空へ」 (Kimi no Iru Sora e)
“The Sky Wherre You Are”

With the finale of Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta finally here, it’s quite clear that the pilot’s love song ended up being more of a bittersweet melody. Because if there’s one thing this episode highlighted, it was the fact that although we got to see the relationship between Claire and Kal-el work out (one assumes this was the case), it came at the expense of a lot of the series’ lore and world. There was clearly a lot more here than we ever got to see, and it’s a pity because I did quite like some of the things this series did (and tried to do).

That said, I liked what they did with the ending here. It far from ideal in many respects, but considering how much was clearly omitted, it was a satisfactory finale in my book. There’s something about a character coming full circle and doing something that would’ve seemed completely out of character at the beginning of the series, and Kal-el’s whole speech was quite nice to see from a developmental standpoint. Admittedly, I may be a bit biased here—I’m a sucker for characters that say things like “I want to take back the girl I love”—but there’s a rather simplistic beauty to the story here that makes Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta kind of charming, and this ending really hammered this bit in.

Indeed, Ariel’s comment of how “some love songs can’t be sung” further echos this sentiment—sometimes you just have to accept that some things won’t ever end the way you want them to—even if one could say this phrase could be applied to the series in general. Sadly, the overall song for the series just never quite reached the heights it could’ve, and there really isn’t much else to say here aside from that.

**Final impressions at the end.

 

ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「azurite」 by petit milady

 

Final Impressions:

Looking back to the start of the season, Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta was one of the shows that I felt had quite a bit of promise. Sadly however, many obvious omissions prevented the series from ever really taking off, and it’s a pity because there clearly was grand universe with a rich lore here, and we just never got to see it in its entirety. What we got instead was just a majority of the grand puzzle that was The Pilot’s Love Song, and it’s a notion that makes this season as a whole quite troubling. Because although the effect wasn’t as pronounced with other series as it was with this one, there was a clear trend in that multiple adaptations clearly omitted a fair amount from their respective source materials—Tokyo Ravens and Strike the Blood are just a few series that come to mind—and it’s just not something you like to see considering the time invested. That’s not to say I regretted watching this series or any of the aforementioned series (I actually quite enjoyed TR and STB), but all of this just leaves me wondering about what could have been, especially for this series.

Alas, there’s no use crying over split milk, so I guess I’ll just have to accept it and move on—perhaps by giving Toaru Hikuushi e no Tsuioku a try. Looking forward, another season approaches, and I’d just like to end things here by thanking all of you reading this for joining me on this journey to The End of the Sky. Here’s hoping you’ll continue accompany me and the fellow authors on this site next season, and until then, I bid all of you reading this a fond farewell. May your love songs sing a vibrant melody.

52 Comments

    1. He does … well he did in LN1 and LN3 anyway. He seemed to have forgotten all of it when he wrote this one(LN2). Tilt rotor and bolt action rifle has no place in air combat.

      Unfortunately 3xCube doesn’t, and managed to make the weak air combat in LN2 even worse. If they ever animate LN3, they need to bring back the Madhouse team that did the movie for LN1.

      fatflightlesspenguin
  1. What LN events did the anime omit leading up to the final battle scene? Because it seems strange that everyone’s fighting the Sky Clan again, and rushed.
    And do LN readers know if Kalel ever gets Claire back?

    zztop
      1. If you mean the open ending, then yes, the LN2 ended the same way. However there was no battle, just a massive fleet. The Sky Clan’s second prince (whom Isla exchanged for Claire, then brainwashed with Ariel food) advised them that the combined air force is enough to force a peaceful negotiation.

        LN3 – Oath of a Certain Pilot is an almost direct sequel to LN1 ‘Princess and the pilot’ but from the perspective of Amatsukami Empire’s ace pilot, Takeo Chijiwa. The main story take place after he was almost shot down by Fana in LN1. The air combat in LN3 is MUCH better than LN2. The story was more mature and overall a much better read. LN3 takes place before LN2, so there’s nothing on the current story.

        However the author based much LN3 on WW2 but then went into revisionist mode. It portrayed Levamme Kingdom (USA) as some evil racist conqueror that invaded the peaceful Amatsukami Empire (Japan) for no apparent reason. This may not go down well with people who know WW2 history. If you can ignore that, then LN3 is can be an enjoyable read.

        fatflightlesspenguin
      2. @fatflightlesspenguin

        Thanks for all the explanation! It’s really nice to hear what we missed from the people who’ve read it. Would you mind pointing out what the implications of the dorm lady’s mysterious conversation were? And also if the fourth novel has anything concerning the fate of this novels characters in it? (Particularly Kal and Claire?)

        Thanks =D

        Fulluphigh
    1. What LN events did the anime omit leading up to the final battle scene? Because it seems strange that everyone’s fighting the Sky Clan again, and rushed.
      And do LN readers know if Kalel ever gets Claire back?

      Not a whole lot, the anime did not go over the details of on the second Isla expedition was formed, but the LN didn’t go into too much details anyway. What the anime did was actually adding stuff – the battle at the end did not take place in the LN – the goal of the second Isla expedition was to force the Sky Clan to the negotiating table by threat of a much larger and powerful force, not to engage in open war again.

      As for Karl and Claire, what you see in the anime is more or less what’s in the LN, though the convo in the LN was also much shorter.

      Mike
  2. Sadly, when source material isn’t finished and/or you try to keep the 10-13 episode formula trend most series’ have been going for since little more than the past decade and/or the studio doesn’t have as much money, it’s no surprise that a bunch of things end up omitted to save time and/or money. I only wish that when stuff is omitted, it’s the “right” stuff that’s omitted and not stuff that, when omitted, ends up leaving holes and/or make things have much less of an impact than they could’ve had if they had remained.

    I constantly miss the past formulas of 24-26 episodes and 40+ episodes before that (in 1 season no less). These days, I feel REALLY lucky if a series is 24+ episodes much less 40+ (in 1 cour). Tends to come down to studios, the source material, and money though. Obviously I don’t expect every series to be long and/or high quality.

    Like you, I don’t regret watching the series or think it’s bad at all the way it is. I just feel that there was a lot of potential that was missed out on that could’ve been met if it were longer and such.

    HalfDemonInuyasha
  3. Called Kal using his true identity to try and rouse support and to make a formal claim on Clair/Nina.

    Unfortunately, a lot of world building was left out, and all you get is that short exposition on their world. In addition, it left hanging the implications of what the camerawoman said about trying to warn certain someones about Kal and his plan. It also left out the ambassador that the Sky Clan had sent over and who ended up talking about a number of their plans due to Ariel’s good food in the previous episode.

    Here’s to hoping the other two LNs are adapted, and adapted faithfully at that.

    TheUnknown
  4. IF there are no season , I’ll just pretend ep 12 is the end thats it. Hoping Ari x Igna happen but meh as expected step sister always prefer their step bother than other guy…

    Kinji
  5. In terms of the final episode, my favorite part was when Chiharu brought Mitsuo’s medal back to his parents. I was glad to see that at least Mitty wasn’t forgotten in all of the celebration. Would have liked to see something similar for Wolf. :<

    Sadly however, many obvious omissions prevented the series from ever really taking off, and it’s a pity because there clearly was grand universe with a rich lore here, and we just never got to see it in its entirety. What we got instead was just a majority of the grand puzzle that was The Pilot’s Love Song, and it’s a notion that makes this season as a whole quite troubling.

    ^ This. While I’ve been critical of the show at times, there IS an underlying part which I find intriguing, and dare I say even original. Zephyr makes a good analogy here IMO. Watching this show felt like putting together a puzzle in which I only have 1/2 of the pieces. While some loose ends were tied up, after 13 episodes I’m left with more questions than I had at the start. Not good.

    I’m still not sure exactly what was the point of the whole trip. I get that it fulfills some prophecy/legend, but what was so important about that (e.g. what effect does fulfilling that prophecy/legend have on the Toaru H world), and what would have happened if they didn’t fulfill it? Why was this supposedly a “one way trip” when… they returned home… to a heroes welcome? O.o What happened there? Sadly, these are just some of the questions I have left unanswered.

    While this show definitely needed more time, IMO it also didn’t use the time it had to best effect. The ramen episode could have been shorter with those precious saved minutes used to provide much needed background information. Pacing early on seemed leisurely compared to the second half or so. Also, Too many death flags for me! Such obvious foreshadowing killed most, if not all, of the emotional impact when those scenes occurred. TBH, I was glad when later flags proved to be false. And yeah, sorry, but I agree completely with what Tarage posted above. The author and/or director needed to hire a military adviser or at least do some research on aerial combat planes, tactics and weaponry.

    For me the show was entertaining at times, but also quite frustrating at times as well. IMO, it’s definitely not the worst show this season, but definitely not the best either. Ultimately, I’m primarily left with the impression of that the adaptation fell far short of its potential.

    daikama
    1. I think that it’s only due to the Levamme Empire’s help that they were able to return.

      Otherwise, I’d guess that they left expecting little to no chance of ever encountering anyone at all or at least no one as “advanced” as them that would’ve been able to get them home. Obviously, the encounter with the Sky Clan and the assistance from the Empire proved them wrong in that there were plenty others and they were all just as if not more advanced then they were.

      It also felt too rushed for their forces to end up right back fighting the Sky Clan again like that. I would’ve preferred Kal hearing Claire’s voice while leaving and still on the ground rather than in the middle of combat like that.

      HalfDemonInuyasha
      1. @HalfDemonInuyasha: Thanks for the info. I get the how they literally returned (i.e. method of transport = help from Empire), but I took the whole “one way trip” as “not allowed to return – period.” From previous comments, it seems that they tried this once before, but didn’t make and turned back. However, this time from what I understand, that was not an option. Not sure why that is. Anyway, I guess “one-way” = “Don’t come back unless you ‘returned’ Isla to the end of the world first.”

        All I can say is that for me, a lot of pieces to the puzzle are still missing. Shame there’s no English TL for the LN, at least not any that I’m aware of.

        daikama
  6. Omg Ariel came out of nowhere looking amazing (don’t get me wrong, she was cute anyways but damn she literally put her hair down for that bit) and it was so amazing I kinda started to lean more towards Ariel but we all know that ain’t happening. This was actually a great finisher though. Glad it was satisfying than a train wreck because the show didn’t need that.

    Jason Isenberg
    1. @KF: Can anyone tell me who they are fighting at the end?

      Pretty sure it’s the Sky Clan again in an attempt to take Claire back. LN readers, please correct if that’s not right.

      daikama
      1. From what I’ve read in other comments, the fighting is an anime-only add-on when it was originally their forces just there staring eachother down, the Isla/Levamme forces basically trying to put up a huge show of force to convince the Sky Clan to open relations and negotiate (with Claire’s release as an obvious bullet point).

        HalfDemonInuyasha
  7. Overall, a good series and a great watch.

    I wish they saved some animation budget for the last few episodes though. Some scenes were touching but eye cancer at the same time (ie. the graduation picture). However, “Wizard Barristers Cecil” was definitely much worse on this count.

  8. This was a woderful series and had a good ending, I seems the author is writing a squel and I hope someday we´ll see it animated to see how Kal-El´s story ends. Also, the whole revelation on how that world truly looks like reminds me a little of Arda from The Lord of the Rings.

    P.S.: I feel so bad for Ariel, I knew she loved Kal all along but never thought she would express it that way, I was holding back my tears as I wacth her saying goodbye to the the boy he loves.

    haseo0408
  9. And so it ends. Well, I can’t say I’ll miss it. I hesitate to call this show bad, and it’s certainly not the worst thing this season, but to me it’s utterly unremarkable in pretty much every single way.

    The world, the cannon fodder characters, the overall plot, all of them much needed polish to truly make this one stand out. It’s all a matter of just not enough. So instead we’re left with a giant ball of half-heartedly implemented cliché’s with every bit of potential generally getting squandered. It had a few good scénes and parts where the show did work, but just as much idiotic parts as well.

    So in the end, the show’s like a bland meal. It fills you up, but you can’t say you’ve really enjoyed nor remember the taste a day later.

    Dvalinn
    1. It’s not. No one is currently translating the books. They’re not really well known so expecting someone to pick it up for fan translation is really slim.

      TheMoondoggie
  10. Compared this to Recollections, Love Song has a happier ending simply because Kal still exists. As opposed to Recollections, Charles’s existence was erased. No records of him left. Even in the epilogue, his fate remained unknown even 50 years after.

    That said, I came to Love Song with high expectations after watching Recollections. I got utterly disappointed in the graphics, story wise was rather alright albeit the omissions left me irked at times. Tactics and strategy of Isla’s High Command, is still forgivable as things don’t always go to plan and it’s not all the time that High Command makes plans that seem sound. (Let’s just end this here. We’ve all had discussed about their strategies to great lengths in previous episodes). I think beyond that, when it comes to the good and the not so good parts of the show, it’s been well discussed in the comments above.

    That said, when it comes to the pilots in the “mysterious planes” I think we all agree that Charles is the likely candidate for the Levamme forces. As for Silver Wolf…. I was inclined to think that it might be Illya Kleischmidt but seeing it getting shot down, I’m inclined to retract that guess. Though we do not know if the pilot had time to parachute out before it blew up though….

    c2710
  11. Will there be a second season for this series? I mean the ending kinda gives that impression. I’m very much in the dark about this series and there doesn’t seem to be much information anywhere. The most I know is the bits and pieces from the comments, reviews and after watching the series itself. Also everyone keeps on mentioning the omissions from the source material so i cant really help but be curious.

    Zarathos
      1. So true, that is how things work don’t they. Man I think I’m gonna have to start learning japanese at this rate. Too many series which will never be completed on time, or rather won’t be complted at all.

        Zarathos
  12. The sad part is that in just this one episode I felt that Ari became a more compelling love interest than Claire – or at least more interesting to be sure. I’m usually all for the OTP but watching her see him off in that cliche shot really got to me. (there is a reason that shot has become cliche, because it works)

    Not a terrible show overall, but my general rating for an anime is, after everything is said and done, was watching it from beginning to end worth my time. Unfortunately, after the last couple episodes my answer would be no.

    7godeohs
  13. Well it ended and lots of QUALITY too. But I guess that’s what to expect in a low production show. I hear there’s other books and I’d really like to see a sequel, but they should change studios. Either Silver Link or Kyoani or P.I.G. or Bones. If GONZO’s staff that worked on RomeoXJuliet cold only worked on that.

    Oh well, giving it an 8/10. Good show.

    TheMoondoggie
  14. Just wondering but could anyone tell me how much of the LN is adapted into the anime. Since there has been a lot of talk about how a lot has been omitted, and I also wanted to know if there is anymore to the series than the ending we saw.

    Ohm
  15. Not exactly what I wanted to see from the ending(which was Claire & Kal-el’s meeting and maybe them settling things with the Sky Clan) but it wasn’t too bad.

    6/10 overall. Can’t say I didn’t enjoy it to a degree but it had so much more potential…

    MgMaster
  16. I’m usually very forgiving to anime as a whole compared to source greater then anything people, but it’s animes like this you just can’t help feel like there is so much more. I haven’t read the LN but only seen the 2 anime versions of this franchise and I like what I see, and ultimately the Ln is where I’ll have to go. It’s sad because not every anime gets full metal alchemist treatment ie get to return and finish it the right way when everything is done. Now I see why originals are so much more appealing for anime.

    The upside is usually the source you can wize by compared to watching a show for set time. So it’s not bad in catching up and continuing from where show left off.

    All in all I’m glad I picked this show up for the season, it was definitely worth the watch for me. Hopefully more of this rich world is adapted and hopefully next time the world building will get to shine through.

    Sherylfan
  17. Going to save someone in a one-seat plane, darn Kal, do Ari has to do everything for you? Or do you think Claire will come back “riding the wind”…

    Anyway, I think that it was enjoyable, except most of the animation, it sucked most part of the show. There were some good deaths, and when I thought that all students would face a grand death flag, most of them survive. Nice one! The dogfights were pitiful, but this show ain’t about dogfights, so it’s ok.

    It is fun how, in the mid of the season, I had to watch Tsuioku to kinda try to understand what’s going on in Koiuta. Spoiler: It was to no avail, but Tsuioku is quite good 😀

    Guren
  18. This show was fairly decent. Not epic like ‘Beyond the Boundary’. But still it surprised me by being fairly consistent. It was refreshing to see them as grown characters. Would be partially interested in another season

    Rick Anime
  19. I don’t like cliffhangers, nor do I like waiting for what may or may not come.

    BUT

    I never knew about Toaru Hikuushi e Tsukioku, which came out 3 years ago, so I have something to look forward to, sucks for everyone else that already saw it >:D

    magoiichi

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