Girly Air Force is one of those series that take an overused premise just for the sake of waifus, or at least that's what one could think after watching the first episodes. In this anime, an alien force is invading the planet and the only hope for mankind are a group of aircraft called Daughters, piloted by artificial girls known as Anima. After a casual encounter with one of these beautiful pilots, in which both of them saved each other's lives, Kei Narutani starts thinking about joining the Air Force, and so he becomes really, really close to the Anima. OK, so it was a pretty generic premise after all…
There's obviously enough harem content to keep you interested in the girls, but there's also a lot of room for awesome air battles. So now you know what we're talking about, are there any other anime with enough common points to recommend? Sure thing!
Similar Anime to Girly Air Force
1. Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (The Magnificent Kotobuki)
- Episodes: unknown
- Aired: January 2019 - Ongoing
Do you think 3 beautiful girls are not enough for you? Alright, then let’s take a look at Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai, which has not 3 but 6 gorgeous pilots doing incredible things in the air. This anime revolves around the Kotobuki squadron, a highly trained organization that acts as guns for hire whether it's to protect or to attack. Would you rather see spectacular maneuvers and classic combat aircraft? Then look no further!
Kirie, Reona, Kate, Chika, Emma, and Zara all have different ambitions and personalities, much like Gripen, Eagle, and Phantom if we look back at Girly Air Force. However, in this case we have a more down-to-earth plot with no romance or aliens involved, and we must say the animation style is more serious too. What makes these two series so similar are the fabulous aerial battles, playing a major role in each episode and surprising us with each new story/mission.
2. Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2013 - December 2013
So let’s say you love the battles in Girly Air Force but you prefer the sea, what anime would you be watching instead? A great recommendation would be Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova, a futuristic show that takes the action to the seas, but still has a lot in common with Girly Air Force. In this story, the world is about to collapse after an alien attack and to make things worse, the mysterious Fleet of Fog is attacking again. That’s when the heart of one of the enemy ships, represented by a non-human girl named Iona, appears as the key to defeat the evil arising.
The relationship between Iona and Gunzou Chihaya, a boy who enrolls the Marine Academy in hope of someday fighting against the Fleet of Fog, is pretty much the same as the one between Kei and the Anima. Both Kei and Gunzou have a special connection to these artificial women too, who in turn are the only hope against the invasion. The major differences between these anime are the lack of harem elements in Ars Nova and, as we already stated, that it focuses on fighting vessels and submarines rather than aircraft.
3. Darling in the FranXX
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: January 2018 - July 2018
Oh, human extinction… here we go again. As you can tell, now we have another anime about defending the world against the aliens, and yet another story where the key to salvation relies on special pilots. While Girly Air Force is all about the girls, Darling in the FranXX is more about the couples, mechas... and a lot of drama. As if there wasn't any drama in Girly Air Force!
Zero Two, Darling in the FranXX's female protagonist, is a pink-haired, flawed, extremely talented pilot. And do you know who's another pink-haired, flawed, extremely talented pilot? Yeah, our little Gripen from Girly Air Force. In fact, you can feel the FranXX vibes from the moment that Kei realizes he can pilot a Daughter next to Gripen, and that's when the other girls start feeling jealous... something similar to what happens with Ichigo. Sure, you also have enough ecchi-esque scenes here and there in both shows to please your eyes, so there's that too!
Any Anime Like Girly Air Force?
4. Sky Girls
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: July 2007 - December 2007
Konami's Sky Girls has a lot in common with Girly Air Force, but it adds the loli factor too. A few decades into the future, the world is invaded by some creatures known as the WORMs, and humanity is on the verge of extinction. The only solution is recurring to the Sonic Diver Unit, a squad made up of teenage girls (this time real girls) with the potential to finally bring peace to the world.
Just like in Girly Air Force, here we have Otoha, Eika, and Elise, the main trio that is later joined by other 2 girls, Karen and Aisha. Although we definitely have a bunch of fight scenes, Sky Girls is not that fast-paced and it takes its time to develop the story, but you still have that day-by-day approach. Then again, if you prefer mechas over airships and lolis over more developed teenagers, Sky Girls' war against the WORMs is something not to miss!
5. Last Exile
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2003 - September 2003
Remember when we said that this "special girls vs aliens" plot is kind of overused? Well, there's another anime series that perfectly captures the highs and lows of battling in the air while also adding a fairly deep background to it all. We're talking about Last Exile, a saga that has not only beautiful animation but also a lot of episodes and 2 seasons for you to enjoy.
Comparing Girly Air Force to Last Exile may seem like a stretch given the nature of these shows, but now we're only referring to the essence of both series: a mostly female cast and a lot of aerial combat scenes. If you're in love with that but at the same time, you keep smashing your head against the walls every time the harem scenes come into play, just go watch Last Exile.
6. Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2012 - December 2012
Going back to aliens invading our world, our sixth recommendation is none other than Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, a story that happens in an alternate version of our current time, where Martian creatures known as BETA have greatly decreased Earth's population. The Earth's response to the attacks is the Tactical Surface Fighters program, with Yui Takamura and Yuuya Bridges as the most important pilots in the Japan-US coalition.
This is the perfect recommendation if you like playing visual novels since Muv-Luv is a fairly known VN franchise. In addition to that, you can also go for the uncensored version of the anime, just in case you want to fully enjoy the girls in the show. Instead of aircraft fights, Muv-Luv Alternative offers you frantic mecha battles and a large cast of sexy girls to please your eyes, with Yuuya as the center of the harem. Did you think Girly Air Force’s romantic drama was too much? Now try Muv-Luv!
Girly Air Force is an anime that feeds on several plots you've already seen, so even if there's no other show that feels 100% the same, it's easy to find a lot of similarities in different styles and genres.
Be it by having a large cast of female protagonists, giving us amazing battles in the sky, or because of its romance and drama between pilots, any of these 6 recommended animes can serve as a guide when you want to see something similar to Girly Air Force. In the end, it is better if you have this level of variety between one and the other, because that increases the chances of wanting to see them all!