「華麗なるアレシマ」 (Kareinaru Areshima)
“The Splendid Areshima”

Hey, these chumps are back! After they got shot down in the very first episode and we didn’t hear hide nor hair of them again I was sure they had died in woeful obscurity. Yet, here they are again, now with a 3D upgrade, even. That means that we can officially consider them significant characters who probably have a few flights in them yet. At least, they’re significant enough to do one moderately impressive thing before slinking back into their established mediocrity. Although they’re still really just glorified fodder, I’m rooting for them, and I hope that their ‘rebuild our decimated squadron’ subplot gets a happy ending. Or at least some acknowledgement.

But it’s not just the fodder-pilots; this episode was a side-characer bonanza. Not only do we have old faces popping up again, we also have some new ones, mainly this guy. And what an overloaded character he is. Wealthy CEO, politician, ace pilot, and a magician? Any two of those would be a character, three is indecisive, four is madness. He is actually unhinged but at least he’s fun, and considering how he’s probably going to be important (again, 3D) it’s good that he makes an impression. And perhaps it’s because he’s a politician that they need to go the extra mile to make him fun. Politicians, in their base form, are not fun in the slightest, they being masters of only one art: using a lot of words to say absolutely nothing. To be fair, in their profession saying the wrong thing can be career-ending so for them meaningless drivel is simply a survival mechanism, but it doesn’t exactly make for great television. Since Kotobuki seems to have a significant political component (which gets more attention than the fact that ALL THE OCEANS HAVE DISAPPEARED) I guess they need to spice up their politicians. Mainly by making them terrible politicians. I mean, I respect Councillor Julia’s iron will, but she can really do better a better job of hiding her crazy.

Which brings me to one of the notable weaknesses of Kotobuki: characterisation. Now, Kotobuki does a lot of things well and is in general a good show. The characterisation isn’t even all that bad. It’s got plenty of interesting characters with strong impressions. But in building these strong impressions over a short time frame it has sacrificed subtlety. Too much of characterisation, I feel, is done in dialogue, with characters being overeager to tell us things about themselves and people they know. It’s rather ham-fisted way to do things, and can even break suspension of disbelief, e.g. when Julia decides to blurt out all her motivations and relationships to a bunch of contractors at the first provocation. And it’s not even the most effective way to do things; information sinks in deeper when we’re allowed to work things out ourselves. We don’t need to be told that Reona takes debts very seriously, just showing her repaying even small debts obsessively was enough. ‘Show don’t tell’ is Writing 101. You just need a bit of faith in your audience and believe that they will spot the clues.

But again, Kotobuki is overall a good show and this is just a minor quibble. And indeed, Reona’s characterisation is hardly done. It seems that this arc will be continuing into next week, and I’m sure more will come out of it for her yet.

 

Preview

16 Comments

  1. Like i wrote in reddit. These “All the Oceans have disappeared” setting, reminds me of an old Anime called “Ozma/Ozuma”. Google for it, but you will not find many Videos, because they used long time ago the Take down. But there the settings was the same. But the main Hero was an “Sand Submarine”.. yes you read it right… with some kind of bubble they could use the Sand like Water and even use Sand Torpedo’s

    But this was not the main story of Ozma/Ozuma

    Worldwidedepp
    1. Also with Sea Water gone, they do not need Oil rigs, and can drill easier under the “sea bed” to seek Oil

      So, fuel is not an problem, and looks like drinking water no problem, too. Perhaps the Sea Water vaporized and an “ice Age” turned them into Ice on the North and South pole.. This World building setting could be very interesting

      But, i do not think they want to go that big. Just “WW2 Planes with their “mercenary” Pilots”

      Perhaps they banned the Jet Engines for some reasons.. Perhaps their “stratosphere air winds” are now chaotic. to risky to fly that high.. These propeller planes here have an altitude maximum.. even with turbo chargers

      So no B1 Spy Planes and such…or they did not invented the Jet Engines at all.. So even Rockets did not born

      Worldwidedepp
      1. Also, while not completely dead, dogfighting is definitely much rarer among jet fighters since Vietnam and the advent of missile technology, stealth coating, etc. Piston engine, prop-driven aircraft tended to have more close and intense dogfighting (with a much smaller combat area given the much tighter turns and such), and even the earlier jet aircraft like the MiG 15 and F86 Sabre saw dogfighting in Korea.

        Basically, we probably wouldn’t have nearly as enjoyable air battles if they were to use newer jet fighters (at least more realistically and not super-advanced tech like in Girly Air Force) rather than old WWII fighters.

        HalfDemonInuyasha
      2. Yep, even the fastest planes of WWI only hit up to around 180 mph (like the British SE5a) and dogfighting areas were even smaller. Barely a decade later and we have engines and bodies and whatnot allowing planes to go almost double that and then a further half by late WWII with the P-51 (in a dive and such, could reach almost 450 mph compared to other planes in either theater of war only being in the mid-300s or so), surpassed only by, of course, the earliest jets like the Me 262 and Gloster Meteor.

        HalfDemonInuyasha
  2. https://randomc.net/image/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2015.jpg
    Hey… Its better to remove all traces of the assassination and what better way to do that than to bomb the entire site to kingdom come. XD

    https://randomc.net/image/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2033.jpg
    You know, similar to GuP, all the planes here get a performance boost. I don’t ever thing a Ryuusei torpedo attack plane can hold its ground against A6M fighters in a 1 v 1 match… Though that trench run by the Ryuusei and A6M, brings back memories of 2 space opera movies and one WW2 flying pantu movie. I was grinning from ear to ear.

    https://randomc.net/image/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2007.jpg
    Councilor Julia… You’re such a bae. Seem like it was a really BIG matter that she had to handle. Than again… “It’s BIG” That’s what she said…

    Henrietta Brix
  3. https://randomc.net/image/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2001.jpg
    So are these Ki-61 Hiens as well? If not for the show’s focus on IJA/IJN aircraft, perhaps I’d have mistaken them for RAF Hawker Hurricanes.

    https://randomc.net/image/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2015.jpg
    The one Japanese World War II aircraft recognizable to average “normie” historians (the Mitsubishi A6M Zero) and another aircraft that only IJA/IJN aircraft enthusiasts–or diligent online researchers–can recognize, the Ki-67 twin-engine bomber. Funnily enough, my initial impression was that the bombers were Ki-21s (which served as the basis for the Ki-57 transport plane in the previous episode). However, there’s too many windows on the nose. Thank goodness they gave the nickname of the bomber craft, which helped narrow the search.

    – My first impression of the show’s setting was it being similar to a Western–with Japanese WWII aircraft. Though with this episode, it’s been inching closer to a “lighter and softer” version of the Mad Max film series’ Wasteland considering that there used to be oceans. Kinda explains the whole anachronism stew of episode 4–these people had skyscrapers, cars and vending machines before some unstated cataclysm caused a partial regression in technology. As for why there’s a lot of World War II-era warplanes, I’m guessing it’s like in the world of Strangereal (Ace Combat) where one military factory is enough to outfit an army–or rather, an air force (setting aside that those are automated, but the point still stands). And it’s implied that the world of Kotobuki has lots of those old military factories (or stockpiles) buried underground.
    – And finally, goofy rich magician running for politics turns out to be an ace–and one that saved Reona in a previous air war. (Aforementioned magician ace wouldn’t happen to be voiced by Kaito Ishikawa, is he? It would be hilarious if he is, considering that Reona is voiced by Asami Seto.)

    Incognito
  4. https://randomc.net/image/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2008.jpg
    https://randomc.net/image/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai/Kouya%20no%20Kotobuki%20Hikoutai%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2018.jpg

    You Know that “guy” over there…i was thinking that someone is going to point him with a gun or a sword with a bad staring at him and say “you are no funny and you’re displeasing “…

    Well…

    Namaewoinai
  5. Ep 06:

    This was an calm episode. Only the personal duel between these two was the action. But it feels (for me) like an Miso soup with much much water and nearly any ingredients

    Well, we can not have everywhere action packed episodes.

    Worldwidedepp

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