Daring Daughters Take to the Skies!
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Action, Si-Fi
- Airing Date : January 2019 – March 2019
- Producers : Satelight
Girly Air Force Introduction and Story
Kei Narutani and his childhood friend are forced out of their home in China following a devastating attack by the strange flying beings known as Zai. While escaping, they are saved by a mysterious flying craft and Kei has an encounter with the pilot, a girl named Gripen. Upon making it to their safe haven in Japan, Kei is brought into the employ of the JDSF, as it seems he has bonded with Gripen. Gripen is not actually a girl, but a “Daughter,” one of the military’s intelligent fighter ships known as Anima. Kei has wanted to fight the Zai in some way, and now he is able to do so together with Gripen and the other Anima.
Girly Air Force starts off rather slowly, introducing each Daughter and their individual personalities. The final fight to retake a position in the East China Sea sees Kei and the Daughters finally working together, only to have he and Gripen split off, forced to survive against the Zai on their own. The series introduced plenty of interesting questions in its final moments, but ended rather simply, with Kei and Gripen promising to fly together again.
1. Unique Action
Though the action is not consistent in this series, the premise of fights with fighter pilots is unique in itself! The fact that the pilots are connected to their vehicles makes it even more exciting, especially since Kei is just an average human trying to help. Not many anime focus on fighter jets as their main source of action, even in mecha. Girly Air Force stands out purely for this reason.
2. Bright and Beautiful Animation
In Girly Air Force, each of the Daughters is vibrant and colorful, with gorgeous character design. Though some of the other characters in the military can be bland, the Anima are the focus of the series, and they bring a brightness to the series as a whole. This even ties in with their lore, as they are derived from Zai technology, which is rather bright also. Each possessing a different color, the Daughters’ personalities go along with their plane/hair color—Gripen as a subdued and sweet pink, Eagle as a loud and attention-grabbing yellow, and Phantom as the more mature and darker green.
3. The Last Few Episodes
Though it starts out slowly, the final few episodes introduce a depth to this anime that we only saw hints of at the start. More connections are made between the Anima and the Zai, leading Rhino to be engulfed and swallowed by the Zai during their time at the airport. Gripen is threatened to be consumed by it as well, as we hear indications of what the Zai’s intentions might actually be. The final fight between Rhino and Gripen/Kei has a much more mature feel, as Gripen wrestles between wanting to help her friend and having to destroy her.
1. Wastes a Lot of Time
For a series whose high points are the action and deep exposition, Girly Air Force spends far too long on simple everyday tasks and Kei’s development. While small moments of calm or humor can break up a heavy series, this anime starts out so slowly that it doesn’t need to focus on our characters’ everyday life. And while the series revolves around Kei and spends a long time focusing on his struggles, he never really gets anywhere in his character development. By the end of the series, he is the same, just as uninteresting as he was in the beginning despite an intentional backstory and conflict to try to make him otherwise.
2. Plot is Jarring and Uneven
As we’ve mentioned before, Girly Air Force begins slowly with the promise of an interesting story and unique characters. However, the plot seems as though it changes several times over the course of the episodes, never making up its mind about the story it wants to tell. The series’ focus begins with Kei and Gripen seemingly exploring why Gripen is attached to Kei and has problems with flying. It does not resolve that, simply moving on to introducing new Daughters and their conflict with one another; then, pushing that plotline aside, it converges into a story about Kei and Gripen once more, together discovering why the Zai are attacking and fighting against them.
3. Presents Too Many Questions, Not Enough Answers
In the end, Girly Air Force presents some interesting topics of humanity and our expansion of the world. Yet with the story it covers, it never resolves many of its plots, simply throwing them to the side when they are less convenient. With no second season promised, it seems likely we will never find out why the Zai are there, nor the answers to any of the other questions this series gives us.
Girly Air Force has a unique premise, endearing characters, and gets much better toward the end, but rushed storytelling and a habit of dropping plots when convenient make it feel too sporadic and jilted.
Let us know what you thought of Girly Air Force in the comments!