Back again with another post, this time it’s an afterword! Can you guys believe the last one was almost two months ago? Surprising.

Well onto the post, I managed to watch the latest film by Madhouse and TMS Entertainment — for those unaware, these are the same fine studios that brought us the brilliant Redline, Summer Wars, The Girl Who Lept Through Time, and Akira among others — titled To Aru Hikuushi e no Tsuioku or Remembrances for a Certain Pilot, though I believe the US release title will be called, “The Princess and the Pilot.”

The plot of the film, taken straight from Wikipedia: Koroku Inumura’s original war romance light novel revolves around Charles Karino, a Revaamu Empire mercenary aerial pilot who mans the twin-seater reconnaissance seaplane Santa Cruz. One day, he receives a preposterous assignment: to fly solo over 12,000 kilometers of enemy waters to protect a girl named Fana del Moral. Fana happens to be the next in line to the empire’s throne.

*Possible Spoilers Ahead (Scroll down for non-spoiler after-remark)

I don’t really want to spoil the film, as I found it a very pleasant watch (similar to my feelings during The Girl Who Lept Through Time), but I will mention that I felt the movie progressed a bit too fast. The one volume novel does a much better job at pacing the relationship growth between Charles and Fana, which I felt was very borderline in the movie (compared to the novel). Nevertheless, there was enough for the viewer to really experience that Fana had grown to like, even love, Charles through their journey together.

Charles character is also amazing in his own way, he manages to fight off the princess’ feelings for him out of loyalty to a country that doesn’t want him (tough). I imagine that there are few men around that wouldn’t take advantage of a beautiful girl during a hopeless situation, especially when she’s in love with you. Fana on the otherhand plays the part of the true princess i.e. naive to the world around her. She does a good deal of character growth thoughout the movie and I’m happy to note that at the end, she’s become someone you can respect a bit more.

The action sequences were quite superb and it hasn’t been since Last Exile, that I last saw a remarkable aerial dogfight in an anime. Madhouse has really done a fine job in animating the piece, tho it sucks that the movie was not made to be 1080p native and so the best we ought to get is around 720p without any upverting. Charles skills as a pilot are nothing to scoff at either as he surprisingly is able to out maneuver out of many tricky situations. (it’s alot harder to take on multiple enemy aircraft when 1. they have superior machines and 2. you can’t shoot back, than in normal aerial dog fighting).

Ending wise, like the novel, the movie leaves it to the viewer to figure out what happened to the two of them. I’d like to assume that Charles did find another later on, as its generally understood that Fana continued the imperial line and became a great empress. Sad that Charles ended up not keeping his reward, which was always one of those internal dilemmas that ran through my mind when I read it.

The great Empress who carved her name deep into history, and the nameless pilot who vanished into the blank pages of the past.

/End Spoilers

Trailer

All in all, I liked this movie. (Truthfully, would I even make an Afterword for something I didn’t like? Not sure, but it hasn’t happened quite yet.) Some of my gripe’s involved the plot pacing and Fana’s VA, which I wasn’t a fan of, but other than that nothing too serious comes to mind. If you enjoyed any of Madhouse’s previous works or like fantasy/aviator stories do give this movie a shot when it’s available near you.

It is a story of these two that takes place over one summer—a story of love and aerial
combat.

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