Greetings fellow Anime fans and pilots alike! I wanted to try something new and to review an awesome Anime movie about aviation. The Princess and The Pilot is a movie about a pilot who is tasked with escorting a princess from an island to the mainland in a new scout plane through dangerous enemy patrols.
Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers due to me reviewing the movie as a whole. Shall try to keep spoilers to a minimum; Skim past the images if curious.
(All images taken using Fraps. To view images full-screen simply click on them. Apologize if there are too many images.)
The Princess and The Pilot a.k.a To Aru Hikushi eno Tsuioku is a movie about a pilot namedCharles, a Princess named Fana, and a reconnaissance sea plane – Santa Cruz. Charles, A Levamme Empire Mercenary, was tasked to escort Princess Fana 12, 000 km to the mainlandÂ to re-unite her with her Prince by flying her past enemy blockades along the route which takes them over a large ocean.
Sadly, constant racial slurs and racism are plaguing Charle’s atmosphere due to him being mostly nonnative to the land. Regardless, his skills prove to be the best which causes a massive stir within military’s ranks, especially a few pilots. Due to his extraordinary skill he is thus tasked with flying the Princess across a and towards the Prince on a three day journey across the ocean. Even a blockade at a place called “The Grand Falls”.
I’m recommending this Anime because it feels unique; A breath of fresh air, along with the aviation heavy plot. Everything about it feels very unique. I would even go as far as comparing this anime with Last Exile, Allison & Lillia, and Zipang, though not completely. Hell, why not – 08th Team Gundam – Because of Aina and the Shiro in similar romantic situations. Fana’s father at times reminded me of Fana’s father.
The resemblance to those four Anime are very similar in various areas, yet necessarily very different and unique.
Last Exile for the steam-punkish airships; Allison & Lillia for aviation; Zipang for aviation combat; 08th Team for similar romantic pairing situations. Regardless, this movie stays fresh.
Levamme – The combined Allied forces combined made into their own nation for this movie. Their aviation designs are based of those used within WW2, yet altered all so slightly to make them feel unique in this universe.
Amatsukami – Where the movie starts off with both Charles and Fana’s mishaps. This area is often (or in the movie) threatened constantly by enemy air raids.
Amatsuvian – The Imperial Japanese forces made into their own unique nation within this movie. Fana noted “The way of the Samurai”. The feared Shinden also makes numerous appearances with a “modernized” upgrades – both appearances and technical – constantly harassing the Levamme Empire. Most of the planes have a fancyÂ roundelÂ design ontop of the Japanese Sun roundel on the wings.
It appears the Levamme are a bunch of arrogant individuals. Unsure what agitated them, but they’re always portrayed as angry, frustrated, rude, and highly demanding individuals. Sure, they mostly show royalty and the military. They also showed garden workers; normal individuals with little to no tolerance. They just don’t give a crap and go all out with their hatred. Is this a subtle insult to the North Americans, Europeans, and the British that we’re “barbarians” or angry individuals? Guess they’re just fed up that they keep being beaten back by the feared Shinden’s from the alter-world’s time-line with Japan..I mean Amatsuvian owning the sky with the upgraded Shinden design.
Also, wanted to point out the maids are quite ignorant of how war-birds operate. I’m not part of the military yet even I would know that the more crap you place within something the slower and heavier it would get. Fana’s father must of been lax, because those maids are quite…..I’ll simply say pushy-rude.
Bestados – When Levammians and an Amatsuvian give birth that child is called a Bestados within that world. Bestados are treated like the black and the Chinese in old-America – like trash and slaves.
– Reconnaissance Aircraft – Santa Cruz –
A Levamme Empire created a prototype reconnaissance plane meant for Aquatic missions. The plane is the fastest aircraft within the Levamme Empire, max speed at 620 km/h. The aircraft has no real way to defend itself, besides speed and the rear gun-mount. The aircraft can land at both land and sea at will without mounting or dismounting things.
The aircraft may also recharge it’s power-source via sea-water. Sounds like submarine technology to me. Unsure what current machine or vehicle uses such to power itself via sea water.
I tried to find a real-world counterpart – Aichi E13A & the Dauntless.
Such an aircraft itself would be treated as a trainer within our world. It can’t defend itself……well. I also don’t know of any recon plane having a cargo hold as well. Specially crafted for her royalty’s transport.
I have to note that the voice acting on this is actually quite awesome. Sure, there are faults when Charles and Fana cry, laugh, or when Fana acts all so innocent during the beginning. Regardless, the voice acting is something to praise even when things get bad. Sure, I was able to fall out of immersion all so slightly, yet I was still able to watch the movie without feeling like a spectator.
Seika Taketomi voices Fana in her adult form. She only has one role yet she was able to pull off an innocent personality, sing and re-sing songs, and even even show authority later on. I praise her for. She may need to work on laughing and crying though. At times I could compare her Fana’s voicing innocence to Last Exile’s innocence.
I may have to note the same for Charle’s voice actor – Ryunosuke Kamiki– The laughing sounded force. Regardless, awesome overall.
The voice acting for all the characters is as to be expected for an anime – top quality.
I’m betting those that scrolled down this far noticed loads of images placed within this article. Can you guess why? I’ll tell you why – The level of detailing on everything. Scenery porn as people would say. The world within this Anime is absolutely stunning to the point if I kept images out it would feel like an insult to the Anime itself. I could of posted with less images with a “less is more” philosophy but ya….too damn beautiful not to share. Next time I may purposely rush myself if it becomes bothersome.
The attention to detailing, the level of detailing, the animation, the quality, the plane designs, the environment, and the world is beautiful in more ways than one. This movie alone proves why I enjoy watching Anime with the way I watch it; The freedom of it all and the ability to express without restraints.
The amount of detailing in this movie is perfectly over-done at times. Everything has a purpose and the world actually feels alive.
Now comes the point of the whole movie:
Would you do your duty or run away with the one you love?
(The following poll is for those that watched.)
Charles is a person who wants to be loyal to his nation and to do the duty to fly. He dislikes killing missions yet he wants to prove something by delivering Fana to the awaiting airship. However, Fana desires that they both flee so they can live in peace (08th Team style for those that watched). Simply doing his duty will gain him nothing but hard-earned cash, yet at the cost of seeing a loved one perish into the sands of time.
If I think I know what Charles thought then – He wanted to complete his duty to prove he isn’t some “sewer rat”. He wants to personally prove he isn’t as inferior as people make him out to be and that they themselves are are far more inferior due to their behavior of belittling others by calling “Bestados” “sewer rats”.
If anything, his thoughts may simply be clashing with the thought of him stealing a Prince’s bride. A “sewer rat” stealing a royal bride by flying off into the far-off land.
If Charles did do as Fana requested by running away he would of been either A) Labeled as inferior by simply being MIA or KIA or B) Giving up on a mission he could of completed with ease. He would of gained love from Fana and hate from those that sacrificed themselves along with Levamme’s inhabitants.
If things truly got out of hand, both sides – Levamme & Amatsuvian – might end up hunting Charles at a cottage, village, or a boat-house out in the middle of nowhere. Nobody knows with the little we have been introduced with in the movie.
Its a tough choice when you think deeply, and an easy one if going by impulsive nature.
AAINNA!~ Whoops! Wrong series…My bad. Fana here looks similar to how Aina does in 08th Team Gundam show. Sure, not fully or 100% but at a glance. The aura is there. When hunting for the OST I came across a Japanese thread that backed me up with an image of Aina and Shiro at a cottage.
When I started watching the first time around I noticed Fana’s father looked like Norris, Fana as Aina, and Charles as Shiro. However, I noticed Fana and Charles being Aina and Shiro at the island part of the movie. Agree with me? I’m curious if the movie was made by those that made or were influenced by 08th Team Gundam.
One of the best movies I seen from the Anime side. Beautiful! If somebody wanted something unique and fresh then I would recommend this. Air combat was well done, the bonding moments were memorable, and had me glued to the screen. I’m not even joking or exaggerating. This movie is one that I can watch, re-watch, and even re-rewatch without being bored.
The whole racial thing got to me, and maybe that is why I ended up rewatching, because I could actually understand how Charles felt. Either do what you can and feel proud or do nothing and feel like shit, sinking into depression in response.
Fana is a nice mature-minded royal lady who appears not to be pampered all that badly. She is pampered, but only because she is royalty, though her personality says otherwise. Even a 20/20 vision fit for piloting. She also didn’t hide, cower, nor flee from battle when the time came to it. Instead, she braved it all when asked or when it came to it. If anything, Charles brought out her true personality to be herself when she was denied to see him off.
The ending was as neutral as you could possibly get. Charles didn’t die, he didn’t fly off with her; Fana didn’t give birth nor did she fall fully in love. She didn’t even die, nor did she even get lucked up. She stood up and saw Charles dancing happily within the sky. He also sprinkled the gold to shower the ship. Gold? Who needs it when you have a girl that loves you from a-far and a plane that can allow you to dance freely within the open sky?
Can’t fully comment on the music. I will however say that the background music itself was enjoyable when I did notice it. I had to skim the movie to see if there was any at all or if I was simply that immersed. Great, but I didn’t notice it at first.
I’m pleased with the ending. Of course, I would want and to see Charles and Fana be together. Seeing them or their possible children fly in the open sky would of been made me and everybody happy, yet I’m also glad it was done the way it was. Left the ending open to your imagination. Having a short OVA seems to be highly recommended by people and would be nice.
I highly recommend this Anime to whoever wants to watch a 2 hour movie with planes, air combat, romance, and adventure. I see little to no flaws with the Anime and nothing felt like a “gimmick”. Everything is nicely toned, perfectly balanced into the plot, and the quality is high. I went back to enjoy the high quality scenery, the plane, and the character building points. I could stare at them for ages.
Let me word it this way – If a movie made me rewatch it a few times within two days and made me dream about it then it truly has to be good. I tried watching others only to watch it once or get put off from watching it another time.
Perfect for those that enjoy aviation or Anime in general.