Strange alien forces known as Xi appear out of nowhere, putting humanity in the fight of their lives. Kei Narutani just manages to escape from his homeland in China, thanks to the efforts of a mysterious pilot. He is brought onto the military base in Japan to work with that same pilot, a “Daughter” or Anima plane named Gripen. The Anima are the next step in the fighting force against the Xi, created to both be a weapon and to take the shape of human girls! In their journey together, Kei and Gripen will learn much about the nature of humanity, but will they be able to fly together in the sky freely one day?
We were introduced to a few interesting characters in Girly Air Force, so we thought we would take a moment to talk about some of our favorites! These characters develop quite a bit over the course of the anime, and are some of the most entertaining or loveable characters, not only due to their personalities but also thanks to the impact they had on the story as a whole.
5. Viper Zero
We rarely see much of Viper Zero, except in battle and in the singular episode where Kei mistakes her for his friend Minghua Song. However, she poses a lot of questions, ones that we are still asking ourselves… Why does her empathic reflector cause her to look like whoever the spectator is thinking of? What is her true form? She seems quite powerful, defending the coast all on her own, and she even offers Kei some good advice when he first meets her. We would have loved to learn more about her, but since a second season doesn’t seem likely, Viper Zero may remain a permanent mystery.
Rhino is an outsider to the main group, being the only American-made Anima in existence. She was so restricted and secluded in her life that she was excited to be working alongside the other Anima, even throwing them a party to welcome them for their mission. However, when she is taken over by the Xi while stranded with Kei and Gripen, she finds a freedom too enticing to pass up and turns against them, forcing the two to destroy her. While she also does not have much screen time in the series, her story is rather tragic and sticks with you even after the show has ended. With someone to stand by her from the beginning, she might have even been saved…
3. Kei Narutani
In many ways, Kei is our typical lone male protagonist. He builds his own harem of women, albeit unknowingly, and never fully commits to any one of them. However, Kei does have a bit more depth found in his backstory and character development. His mother was killed by Xi, and he wants to fly against them in order to avenge her. When he discovers that Gripen and the Anima are made out of parts of Xi, he struggles with it at first. Yet he does overcome his hatred in the end, fighting alongside Gripen because of who she is, rather than where she comes from. Despite being an average boy, Kei is surprisingly strong when it comes to endurance, and is able to fly with Gripen thanks to his determination and will to fight.
Phantom was one of the original Anima, back when they thought they might not be able to create any more. Under the increasing pressure to be the only savior for humanity, she has become very self-reliant, appearing condescending to the other Anima when she first meets them. She does come to respect Kei and his flying instinct over time, though she remains superior in this regard. Phantom may have appeared abrasive and unlikable when she first joined the team, but after a bit of explanation, she quickly became one of the best characters in the series. Using her tactical abilities to mess with the enemy and her incredible focus and leadership to direct the others, Phantom is someone everyone needs by their side in a battle!
The true main heroine of the series, Gripen starts out a timid girl afraid to fly, but she quickly overcomes obstacles in her way with the help of Kei. She discovers what it means to be human through time spent with him, and some of the most meaningful moments of the series happen as a result of their deepening relationship. She also continues to grow throughout Girly Air Force, eventually coming to question her past and why she cannot seem to remember anything from before she met Kei. She struggles with her image of herself, as well as a sort of physical illness, and comes out at the other end able to fly confidently with Kei by her side. Gripen is an adorable inspiration to us all!
These are some of the most interesting and loveable characters from Girly Air Force, the ones who struggle and are able to come out better from the experience. When all is said and done, characters are what hold an anime together, and these five are among the best of examples for this!
Who is your favorite character from Girly Air Force? Let us know what you think in the comments below!