Follow TV Tropes

Following

Anime / The Magnificent Kotobuki

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/a21371_22196120971540699136.jpg
Kotobuki Squadron, fly high!note 

"Long ago, the world opened right up, and lots of things rained down on us. Some good things. Some bad things. Some lovely things. Some tarnished things. There was all sorts of things. But since then, things had closed up again. And now, while we slowly lose many of things that we have... We still live on."
Kylie, narrating about the Yufang hole.
Advertisement:

In Ijitsu, the world is an endless expanse of wasteland where people are struggling to live their life. One day, 80 years ago, the world opened up right on everyone, and many things came out of the hole. Among those things was the 'Yufang', a mysterious group of people who brought with them the marvel of aeronautical technology. Yufang shared their knowledge with Ijitsu, improving their livelihood with the use of airplanes.

However, a decade later the Yufang suddenly disappeared, returning to whence they came, leaving Ijitsu fending for themselves with all the technology they were given to without really understanding the Yufang and their motive. Aviation culture flourished, but the depleted resources in Ijitsu caused conflict among the people. Sky pirates appeared among these starving populace and cargo companies started employing mercenary flight squadrons to fend them off.

Advertisement:

In a barren frontier where people trade goods with each other in order to help each other survive, the Kotobuki Squadron are bodyguards for hire, led by a strict but beautiful squadron leader, an unreliable commanding officer, and a true artisan of a crew chief. Alongside pilots who don't lack for personality, they take to the air in dogfights, letting the engine noise of their Hayabusa fighters ring out in the skies.

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (lit: The Kotobuki Squadron in Wilderness), localized as The Magnificent Kotobuki, is an original anime based on an upcoming mobile game The Kotobuki Squadron in Wilderness: Take Off Girls in the Sky, directed by Tsutomu Mizushima and animated by GEMBA and WaoWorld, premiered on January 13, 2019. The game was launched on February 13, 2019 and focuses on other flight squadrons besides the Kotobuki as they live their life in the chaotic and lawless Ijitsu. A sequel gaiden miniseries focusing on the Harukaze Squadron from the game, Harukaze Squadron in the Sky, premiered on April 10, 2019 and can be viewed in the Official Youtube channel. The manga adaptation, starts from the mission of which Kylie joined the Kotobuki Squadron, was released in April 23, 2019 in Shounen Jump + here.

Advertisement:

In many ways a Spiritual Successor to both Girls und Panzer and High School Fleet.


General Tropes:

  • Ace Pilot:
    • All the girls are pretty good at dogfighting. They all are riding somewhat lower quality planes against those with higher specs and they usually win in spite of this disadvantage. They even outfight an F-86 Sabre in the final episode.
    • Kylie's mysterious snake-emblem archenemy is a very technical pilot with great spatial awareness, even more so than Kylie herself, who Kate notes to be a pilot with almost instinctive battle insight.
    • Isao is a war veteran who scored 12 stars from a single skirmish and saved Leona, who herself is a war veteran. This becomes a bit of an issue when he goes full megalomaniac, and turns out to have a super-advanced fighter plane up his sleeve...
  • Action Girl:
    • Besides piloting skills, Zara knows how to fight hand to hand too.
    • Ririko is very good at fighting despite claiming she's only a waitress.
  • Aerial Canyon Chase:
    • In Episode 4, Zara in the mayor's Raiden gives chase after the treacherous HR and Sales Department of the Elite Force through the mountain range the pirates are holing themselves in. They successfully flee by slipping through a tight crevasse and fooling Zara into almost crashing into the canyon.
    • In Episode 6, Kylie and the snake-marked Zero ends up bringing their chase into the surrounding mountain range of Mount Ofukou despite initially flying above the cloud deck.
    • In Episode 11, Leona and Zara chase after Isao through the surrounding hill of the Fugaku factory near Ikesuka. While Leona and Zara initially hold their fire because they only wish to ask for a ceasefire, it becomes violent when Isao stalls behind Leona and shoots her down after saying that he agrees for a ceasefire.
  • After the End: There's some sort of calamity that caused the world to turn into a wasteland where every town only has one resource to depend on. Kylie describes it as, "The world opened up, and a lot of things rained down." The incident(s) managed to drain the entire ocean, among other things.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The squad's zeppelin, the Hagoromo-maru. It seems to be a standard fare in Ijitsu; other zeppelins are also around the same size or larger than the Hagoromo.
  • Airstrike Impossible: Episode 12 is filled with this, as most of the dogfights take place among Ikesuka's soaring skyscrapers.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: Nearly. Traditional animation appears occasionally, usually at the start of an episode or for a single character (often for fanservice enhancement), but 99% of it is CGI designed to resemble hand-drawn art.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Kylie and Emma are childhood friends. It's not very obvious except for a remark in Emma's profile.
    • There's nowhere in the episode 1 that this guy's name (Ishmael) is spoken, unlike the others from the Nazarene Squadron.
    • The official youtube channel puts up a web-radio show featuring Kylie and Emma's voice actress separated into two segments, Kotobuki Communication and Natsuo's Mechanical Corner, which episodes were released after the anime episode aired to talk about the planes that appeared in the anime episode. Some of the setting details are info-dumped here, like in the Episode 4's Natsuo's Mechanical Corner has an explanation about the Suisei the Elite Force uses shed some light regarding the world. There's a global scarcity of water to the point of there's no major sea exists, much less a naval power. Because of this, while the Suisei is an aircraft carrier plane in real world, people in-universe don't know what a carrier is. This was aired before Episode 5, which outright confirms that oceans no longer existed for a long time.
    • The flavor text of the game's depiction of Emma's reprimanding Rahama city council outright says that her words are colored by a past experience.
    • A twitter from one of the show's military advisers notes that Rahama mayor's Raiden and Old Sabu's Zero have faint outlines of their Imperial Japanese Navy livery underneath the newer paint-job, most notably the large red Hinomaru markings on the body of the planes. You can see them by zooming on the models seen in the show's official site. This indirectly confirms that these two planes aren't Ijitsu-made, but 70+ year old relics of the Yufang.
    • After the series' airing, the official twitter account accepts Q&A from fans about the show's setting, like the exact circumstance of Chika's 'big brother' Chito or from where majority of the populace who never saw a large body of water get their water supply.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: With the exception of the Elite Association until their schism. Sky pirates act as little more than generic bad guys that anyone can shoot down with no tears being shed. Given that many of the 'sky pirates' attacks are instigated or funded by Isao, including the aforementioned schism in the Elite Force, this view is likely enforced by him to discredit Julia's bill to pardon the pirates and turning them into productive workforce. However, in other story campaigns of the mobile game, especially the Akatsuki and the Gekitetsu, people like pirates, mafia, and thieves are more varied when it comes to their motivation for doing crimes.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Kotobuki squadron stands out for being made of only women. The other playable squadrons from the mobile game are also all-female.
  • Anachronism Stew: All the vehicles featured in-series are 1940's Japanese but examples of more modern items (like modern vending machines and Kylie's favorite pancakes) are also scattered around. This is later said that while the major hole that transport the Yufang into Ijitsu had closed 70 years ago, there were smaller holes that still spit out things from the Yufang, seeing that the Episode 12 features an American-built F-86D Sabre (an aircraft used by the JASDF between 1958 and 1961) armed with rockets with radar-proximity fuses, which from Isao's remark, is one of those things that came out the hole he had kept watch and crippled Allen for.
  • And the Adventure Continues: While the series ends with Isao's ambition thwarted when he gets sucked into the wormhole, his cronies, like his butler and the traitorous HR Head, are still at large and the Freedom Union won't just vanish into thin air after he's gone. Julia intends to return to her city-state to clean up after those who support Isao, those from towns that Isao bombed will have to rebuild their cities, while the Ouni Company and Kotobuki Squadron have to start from scratch because their beloved zeppelin is destroyed in a suicide attack. The heroes return to their homes, freely living their lives the way they want.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Dodo birds, besides being extinct (presumably this is an Alternate History), cannot fly. They also make poor dirigible captains, but neither of these things bother the Kotobuki's "captain."
    • The amount of blood rushing down Kate's head and the sheer time she holds it on when she's doing her negative-G stunt should have knocked her unconscious, or at least make her slightly delirious, no matter how precise she's calculating the entire thing. The series' military adviser shows that this is possible, but he also claims that the speed of her turn is significantly slowed down for dramatic effect of the shot of her flying upside down.
  • Art Shift: Both Saneatsu and Madame Lulu alternate between 2D and 3D animation often in the first episode.
    • The girls are shown in 2D animation instead of their usual CG during the opening scene of episode 2.
    • Episode 3 also has Leona and Zara drawn in 2D at the beginning of the episode.
    • While infiltrating the Elite Force's base during episode 4, Zara is drawn in 2D.
  • Bait the Dog: The politician Mister Isao is introduced as a comical weirdo who has some conflict with Julia, but otherwise seems harmless. He even helps fight off some pirates. The next time he shows up, though, he's gone full megalomaniac, and reveals that he personally shot down Allen and Old Man Sabu, presumably killing the latter.
  • Bang Bang BANG: Small-arms that aren't mounted on planes tend to sound a bit off around here, especially since the Nambu pistols and action-lever rifles seem to make Wild West revolver gunfire sounds. Sub-machine guns wielded by hijackers sound like they've been fitted with suppressors, despite the lack of such.
  • Bar Brawl: While effectively happens outside the bar, in Episode 2 Chika picks a fight with one of local vigilante's captain because he was cutting a line. Kylie joins the fight because he ends up accidentally knocking her pancakes off and Leona ends it by putting another vigilante member that tries to attack them in a wrist lock before reprimanding the two girls.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Never mess with Kylie's pancakes.
    • Emma really hates sky pirates. It seems one reason why she became a mercenary is because she can shoot as many pirates as she wants.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The Battle in episode 11 between Isao's Freedom Union and those who refuse to bow down to him, among them the Kotobuki squadron. There are two skirmishes, with more than 300 planes tangling around in each of them.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In episode 11, just as Rahama's mayor is about to be shot down, Torihei and the Elite forces join the fray and take down the fighters.
  • Bookend: The first and the last episode end with Kylie narrating about the world they're living in, yet they would not stop living on.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: The conflict between Julia and Isao about their pirate policy is basically this. Julia wants to give amnesty to the pirate because she understands that most pirates are simple miners whose livelihood had run out and thus deserve a chance to turn their way around as productive members of society, all while also not being a blind idealist who dismissed their threat because she's still hiring bodyguard against them. On the other hand, Isao realizes that they live in a world where oceans aren't even a thing, and thus have very limited resources to go around in the first place. Thus, he wishes to make betterment for the law-abiding citizens instead of criminals no one can trust for the sake of maintaining a working society. The only reason they're not making compromise seems from the fact that their enmity with each other is mostly personal. Both of their sides end up not as optimal as how they would advertise it; Julia's city-state council is corrupt and would rather shift allegiances rather than being hung up dry for their crimes, while Isao is a greedy and murderous Psychopathic Manchild with too many guns in his disposal and has no place in being the world's dictator.
  • Breather Episode: Episode 9 appears to be this, following up the action-packed previous episode with some lower-stakes character development... until Kylie's "scenic flight" with Allen leads to a visit to the mysterious portal the Yufang came from, and a pitched battle with numerous unidentified fighters.
  • Bridge Bunnies: A crew of mostly identical girls staff the bridge of the Kotobuki zeppelin.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: The Elite Force leader. One of his minions mentions this when Zara goads him into drinking some strong alcohol. He passes out after one swig. She soon incapacitates everyone else in the room, minus the bartender, in the same manner. Zara herself remains unaffected.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: The show's depiction of various kinds of capitalism are generally not ideal for various reasons, especially when there are few resources to begin with. Julia's Anarchist Capitalism is bad because it encourages conflicts between social groups out envy toward the better well-off cities, and in the world where just about anyone can ride attack airplanes, the notion of war between businesses is very real. Lulu's generally offering the Kotobuki's mercenary services toward struggling towns with unreasonable prices, which they often can't refuse because they have no other choice. Meanwhile, Standon Oil Company is monopolizing the oil industry by buying off smaller wells and, when they refuse, attacking any competition they have. They make lower quality oil with negative profit margin with the prediction of monopolizing the industry before rising the prize sky high afterward is reminiscence of the Rockefeller's Standard Oil industrial octopus.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Kate's brother, Allen, used to be a pilot but can no longer fly, or even walk, after getting shot down sometime before the series began while investigating the origins of the Yufang.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • At the end of Episode 1, Kylie visits a stone and prays on it. Episode 6 reveals that the stone is a landmark of her mentor's house which was burned down when he refused to make more warplanes. The episode also reveals that Kylie's red falcon tail art is based on said mentor's tail art on his Zero.
    • Yufang is name-dropped as a group of people who came to Ijitsu 80 years ago and Kate identifies the Ki-44-I Shouki flying with them as being made by Yufang rather than the Nakajima Aircarft Company. Yufang turns out to be the precursor of Ijitsu's aviation culture and actually are the Japanese people that came to another world. This is confirmed in episode 11, where it's stated outright that the Yufang are the Imperial Japanese Army.
    • Ikesuka is mentioned in Episode 2 as one of those cities that would never go bankrupt. Episode 7 reveals that it's because Ikesuka is the main base of operation for Standon Oil, plutocratic oil company that is attempting monopoly on Ijitsu's fuel industry. Episode 12 also shows that the city is one of the rare place with a quite large body of water with giant expanse of metropolis walled by a natural mountainous cliff.
    • Mount Ofukou is mentioned in Episode 2's mission briefing as a mountain 260 km away from Rahama, but it isn't until Episode 6 that we know the significance of the mountain when Kylie gets stranded on it after she is shot down by her snake-marked Zero opponent.
    • Episode 9 implies that the reason why Kylie takes special offense on the purple snake plane is because the pilot flies the Zero Model 32, which is the same as her mentor Old Sabu had. In episode 10, it is revealed that Naomi, the Zero's pilot, was also Old Sabu's student and she likely rides the Zero out of her respect to him. Just like how Kylie takes offense that Naomi is copying Old Sabu, Naomi also takes offense on Kylie for using his tail art. When they realize this, they stop being antagonistic to each other.
    • A minor one; according to Word of God, the cargo that Ouni Company carries in Episode 1 is milk. Given that Madame Lulu says that the cargo is especially precious and Ijitsu has a global water scarcity, it can assumed that cow ranches are loaded because they give an alternative to drinking water. In episode 11, several Raiden, already established as a rare plane, affiliated to Gyu-Gyu Land Ranch are seen among the Rahama-Porokka Coalition fleet.
    • Squadrons tend to make their personal marks' propellers based on the number blades of their main planes' propellers. The Kotobuki has two because they fly the Hayabusa, while the Elite Force has three because their CEO flies the Suisei. Ikesuka has six, and Isao ends up flying to battle in a Shinden.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Julia mentions Isao back in Episode 2 before he appears in Episode 5, revealing that he was a pilot hero who saved Leona in a war 8 years ago. The only reason the audience didn't make the connection is because Julia talks with Saneatsu with Kylie and Chika eavesdropping nearby - the people who are ignorant of the connection.
  • Common Place Rare:
    • Fish are rare and valuable in this world. The crew gets a contract to use their airship to transport a single fish; the main characters had never seen one before, and the bartender mentions that he "splurged" to buy a fish to serve at his wedding.
    • Passenger cars are considered rare compared to trucks because people are in need more of cargo transport in large numbers and the roads between towns aren't paved so the cars have no other use than as luxury travel inside the town.
  • Connected All Along: Turns out Kylie and Naomi, the mysterious pilot of the purple-snake plane, were both mentored by "Old Man Sabu."
  • Conspicuous CG: The Cel Shading variant for the girls, their dodo, Johnny, Ririko, Madame Lulu, Saneatsu, Julia, Isao, the generic sky pirates and most other non-background human characters; and more realistic shading for the aircraft.
  • Comfort Food: In the night before their attack to Ikesuka in what might well be a suicide flight, Kylie, Chika, Kate, and Zara gorge themselves with Rohta's vending machine foods and drinks that they could not have back in Episode 4.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • The Elite Forces are nothing but pirates that offer to buy planes in exchange for (imitation) paintings, and if they refuse they come back and attack your hometown until you accept. Though it's less total corruption than it is incompetently forcing otaku-type stuff on people for no apparently good reason. However, they end up not being that bad and even has a Heel–Face Turn after the true Corrupt Corporate Executive among them betray the group as a whole.
    • Isao, who is the mayor of Ikesuka and the head of the Brotherhood of Freedom, is far worse. He controls a monopoly of oil with his city's Standon Company by buying out small oil wells and bombing them if they refuse, before selling low octane fuel to the masses and manipulating price the way he likes it. He then uses the fund and supply to build superweapons in his ambition for world conquest, accuses other towns of air piracy (even though he's the one who funds pirates to do his dirty works) if they refuse to submit to his empire, attacks even his allies if it's convenient, firebombs civilian centers with no regard of the casualty, and refuse their surrender when they decide to give up fighting. Why he does this? Because everything he has in Ijitsu is not enough; he wishes to monopolize even the Yufang's prosperity.
  • Cosy Catastrophe: Although some unspecified calamity reduced the world to a desert wasteland overrun with Sky Pirates, no one seems particularly concerned about the bleakness of it all even though there's an underlying despair, and the series focuses on a crew of adventurous fighter pilots who rove around defending people from those flying pirates.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Camilla, head of the Shouto Vigil—Aaah! *crash*—ahem... the Shouto Vigilantes, topples off the wing of her plane while introducing herself, dangling upside-down for a moment before faceplanting onto the floor. Platform shoes might not be the best choice for a pilot.
  • Cypher Language: The alphabet in-universe are not all real world alphabet letters. For example, the C, N, and O letters are エ, ホ, and Γ respectively.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Zara and Chika. Kylie has the same aesthetic in the form of a barely-long-enough coat with, seemingly, no pants.
  • Defeat Means Friendship:
    • A variation. When Kylie's plane and her elusive rival the purple-snake fighter both run out of gas simultaneously, they end up gliding down to land right next to each other. After yelling at each other for a few minutes, they become friends over shared memories of Old Man Sabu.
    • Tokiwagi, the vigilante captain that Chika has a street brawl with in episode 2, ends up having a high opinion on her when the Kotobuki prove that they're greater pilots than the vigilante and stalwart in their promise to protect Rahama. He even calls her 'Sis'.
    • The Elite Force concede defeat after some of their numbers betray the rest and the Kotobuki end up chasing the mutineers off. They then allow the Kotobuki to borrow their Suisei in their bombing mission in episode 7 and join Rahama-Porokka Coalition against the Freedom Union in episode 11.
  • Democracy Is Flawed:
    • When the sky pirates Elite Force threats Rahama with further raid if the major doesn't trade his Raiden with their counterfeit painting, the town council still bickers whether they should hire the Kotobuki Squadron and fight or they just surrender the plane. The townfolks are under the impression that the pirates will stop raiding them if they give into the demands and the mayor is a wet noodle who uses the excuse of not wanting to be a dictator when called out of this. Emma ends up telling them all to just go die already for everyone's good.
    • Episode 9 has Julia attempt to make her case against Isao to the council she's a member of, only for them to spend the entire speech yelling and jeering and throwing wads of paper at her, demanding that she be thrown out. They ultimately don't even let her vote on the issue. After leaving, she complains that all of them are either driven by bribes and corruption, or too smitten by Isao's personality to make a rational decision.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: Episode 8 has pirates take over the Kotobuki airship, leading the girls to take it back.
  • Diesel Punk: Zeppelins, World War 2-era fighters, and post-apocalypse. How could it be anything else?
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The ending of the anime is sung by the voice actresses of the Kotobuki Squadron.
  • Drunken Master: Allen is actually a very competent gunman after drinking alcohol.
  • False Flag Operation: Almost all of 'pirate attacks' in the series are on Isao's paycheck to terrorize the mass about the danger of the sky pirates and put himself as the spearhead protector against these pirates. After establishing his reputation with the formation of Brotherhood of Freedom Union, he then could accuse those who are against him as accomplices of the sky pirates. Pretty much the only pirate attack doing a straightforward piracy is the Episode 1's Doborok Pirate's, though still funded by Isao as seen in Episode 12, attempt to raid the Ouni Company's milk delivery.
  • Fanservice: Episode 3 opens with Leona doing sit-ups in minimalist workout clothes, and Zara in skimpy underwear for no particular reason. Zara also spends most of the next episode in an equally-skimpy outfit, in order to infiltrate an enemy compound by posing as a member of an erotic dance troupe.
  • Everybody Lives: With the exception of Isao, every major character survives. That includes Gaudreau, who survived the crash and subsequent explosion of his zeppelin.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": "Captain," the Kotobuki's pet(?) dodo bird.
  • Eviler Than Thou: It is revealed that the Elite Force's main body of organization is actually a misguided Doting Parent of a young artist whose passion not many understood. The mutiny done inside the organization was made by newcomers who attempt to hijack the planes the Elite Force owned for a benefactor outside of the common piracy crowd. The mutineers' act ends up being even slimier than Torihei's Snake Oil Salesman antics, and the Kotobuki girls call them out for it. It's ultimately revealed that the mutineers joined Isao's Brotherhood of Freedom group, which has been responsible for the majority of the pirate attacks shown in the show.
  • Evolving Credits: The ending song has a part where Kylie's Hayabusa flies with the planes that appear in the episode. In Episode 8, the one that flies with her is Captain Dodo and being a bird, he gets tired and almost falls to the off-screen. The last episode is The Oner of Kylie flying past her allied planes as they return back to each of their homes.
  • Faceless Goons: When generic pilots or gunners appear, they usually have cloth over their faces and opaque goggles. This is reminiscent of the Japanese airman's attire when flying with an open cockpit.
  • Fantastic Measurement System: The setting uses "khrills" and "kilo-khrills" instead of meters and kilometers. They also measure fuel in bottles instead of liters or barrels.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The abandoned city of Yufang is an analogue of Japan in a world largely inspired by Wild West frontier wasteland. When describing the allied Shoki planes, Kate identifies them as Yufang Ki-44 instead of Nakajima Ki-44, with the implication that every Nakajima Aircraft Company's planes were also made there. Also, when Saneatsu is given alcohol from Yufang, his reaction says that it was sake and the Yufang painting that the Elite Force tries to scam Rahama with is an ukiyo-e. It is later confirmed that the Yufang are Japanese, who just happened to pass through a portal into another world and had since returned back home and sealed the portal away.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Isao is revealed to be this, keeping the same friendly and energetic attitude he always shows even after revealing he shot down Old Sabu and Allen.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Ijitsu's Weird Moon is already there since Episode 1, when the snake-marked Zero flies away and the moonlight shines on the wings prompting Kylie to pursue it.
    • Julia's in-door playground is seen, slight obstructed by the people inside, in Episode 6 before Julia outright plays in it in Episode 8.
    • In Old Sabu's bookshelf, there were children books like Alice in Wonderland or Chinese Philosophy. However, at the end of the shelf there's Les infortunes de la vertu by de Sade. You know, the guy from whom the word "sadist" came.
    • When Julia escapes from Gadoll, the purple Zero is seen hiding inside a foliage on the right of her escape plane.
    • The content of Kylie's contract that will buy her out from Ouni is actually the lyrics of "Oh, My Darling Clementine" written in Ijitsu script. Fitting, as Rahama, which is a mining town, is about to lose its beloved girl.
    • Episode 10's Rahama city council shows Euca, Erika, and Belle of the Harukaze Squadron, protagonists from the mobile game, are among the crowd that is watching the discussion before Euca is outright seen front and center watching the Kotobuki make their landing after the town's defense.
    • When Julia is making her speech in front of Gadoll's council and other councilors are throwing her with paper balls, one is apparently not satisfied with paper and throws an inertia crank at her.
  • General Failure: Gaudreau, the mayor of Porokka, is not only trusting his intel 100% without making a plan B, when it turns out that his intel is a double agent and his fleet gets caught in a trap, he refuses to retreat despite it's obvious that the situation turns for the worst and keeps advancing right into the gunsight of enemy's squadron. His zeppelin unsurprisingly explodes and his fleet is in chaos after losing their flagship.
  • Genre Shift: While "The Western Diesel Punk with planes" is a constant, it is revealed that the backstory of the setting is basically science fiction isekai from the point of view of the natives.
  • Ghost City: The fate of frontier cities that run out of their main trade commodity; without anything to offer, the townfolks will lost their income and forced to abandon their home to search for fortune. Many become pirates or mercenaries, while the previously bustling town left with only little population scraping by with whatever they could. Rahama, the protagonists' home, will end up the same way if their salt mine runs out.
    • In the game, Inno is an abandoned mineshaft town that the Akatsuki are using as their home base. The place consists of several deep mine holes in a dryland, with no vegetation nor resources. The Akatsuki instead use the place as a black market and gambling cage.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Zigzagged. While the six girls of Kotobuki Squadron have aviator's goggles, only Leona and Chika actually wear them while piloting. All of their planes have closed cockpits, making goggles redundant, unless the glass gets hit by enemy bullets. Kylie is usually keep her goggles on her aviator hat, but properly using them when she pilots a Type 95 trainer bi-plane, likely because it's an open cockpit plane.
  • He Knows Too Much: Allen has been the victim of this trope both times he's tried investigating the origins of the Yufang, or more specifically, the place that's purported have been the site of the "hole" they came from, by unknown parties with a seemingly vested interest in ensuring no one knows the truth. The first time it happened, Allen is shot down and left paraplegic as a result. The second time, the Type 95 trainer bi-plane he's riding in, piloted by Kylie, is also shot down, but Kylie manages to bring the crippled biplane to a relatively smooth crash landing that leaves them unharmed.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: While there's a lot of instances of Taking the Bullet, the end results of the attempted sacrifices usually subverted the 'dying' part.
    • When Kylie and Chika almost got run over by Isao's car, Kylie is seen moments before the impact pulling Chika away and slightly covers the smaller girl with her arm. Fortunately, they don't get run over.
    • Kate takes a bullet for Leona when the later has her head in a battle daze, not noticing a rear gunner. Kate got shot down, but she ultimately survives.
    • After dropping several hints that he might die in the near future, Fernando flies his plane between Kylie and Kate's bomber and an enemy fighter, getting himself shot down to protect them. Subverted when he parachutes to safety. Adolfo points out how misleading and potentially unnecessary all this sacrifice talk became.
    • When it's obvious that Isao would shoot Leona down, Zara tries to shield Leona's plane with her own. She's too late, and Leona still gets hit on her wing, which is a better alternative because if Leona didn't immediately turn hard to the left, Isao would have fired at her cockpit.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Not only Zara is an excellent pilot, she's also a good cook and dancer as well.
    • The usually level-headed Leona got her Red Baron "The Tenacious" because she regularly went berserk in battle when she was younger.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • In episode 10, one of the bombers appears to reach its target and begins dropping its explosives, but moments later it crashes into the "hole" in the sky—the MacGuffin the bombers were attempting to take control of. It catches the craft and its bombs in midair, and a few seconds later the bombs detonate, destroying the bomber that dropped them and destabilizing the portal.
    • In episode 12, the F-86D Sabre pursuing Kylie and Chika launches the last of its Mighty Mouse rockets at the two, who then immediately bank in opposite directions and fly down side streets, causing the rockets to strike a monument up ahead which the Sabre clips when flying past, forcing its pilot to eject out of his now-crippled Sabre and take it out of play.
  • Homage: The entire show is not only a love letter to the World War II Japanese aviation but also toward The Western genre in general, with the planes replacing the horse-riding gunslingers, from the setting, ambiance lighting, soundtracks, and general tropes. However, Episode 8 is especially apparent with this; not only "a Retired Badass gunslinger who quits the trade for his love is forced to take up his gun again to protect his friends" is a genre staple, the gunfire sounds from the Hagoromo crew are closer to the stereotypical western cowboy gunfire instead of the realistic one we heard in Episode 4 when Rohta's station attendant is firing at the Kotobuki Squadron.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick:
    • The Bridge Bunnies of the Hagoromo are a lot more competent than the bumbling First Officer Saneatsu and the Captain, who is a non-anthropomorphic dodo bird.
    • The vice-mayor of Rahama, who is also the chief of the town's vigilante, is stern, brave, wise, and good-looking - unlike the bumbling mayor.
  • Impossible Task:
    • Kylie gets stuck on an infamous plateau that no one has ever flown off of without crashing. And her plane's engine is broken. After patching the engine back together with a spark plug and a scarf, she takes off successfully, though not without plummeting off the edge and skimming the ground on one wheel.
    • It is said that fighting against Isao's air power is impossible, that towns would rather immediately surrender than risking utter annihilation from his long distance bomber Fugaku fleet, because not only Ikesuka, Isao's town, as the money and manpower to maintain the fleet, he's charismatic enough to attract other towns to join his city-states alliance and turning them against his targets. Thus, when Rahama successfully destroys all but one of his bombers, it would give hope to other towns to fight back in case of something like this happen to them.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Though there are a significant number of male characters—seemingly all the pilots besides the six protagonists—most of them are either incompetent extras or bad guys (or both). The Kotobuki zeppelin technically has a male first officer, but he's a subordinate of Lulu, and in effect mostly a middleman used for Comic Relief.
  • Isekai: The backstory of the setting turns out to be an after-the-fact reverse perspective on an isekai story. People from Earth came here,and left behind their technology, which has sustained the economy for the last 70 years.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Old Sabu is the only Yufang that stayed behind in Ijitsu, thus his knowledge of Yufang's aviation tech is highly sought after. When he was approached by a mysterious stranger to make more warplanes, Old Sabu refused because he had sworn off making more weapons. When the stranger came across Kylie, he asked whether she's Old Sabu's daughter. The way he immediately denied relation, and later burning down his own hut to fly off into parts unknown, it seems that Old Sabu left Kylie to prevent her from being used as a hostage.
  • It's Personal: Kylie and Kate both decide to go after Isao for shooting down Old Sabu and for crippling Allen.
  • Jiggle Physics: Many of the large-chested characters, such as Zara and Lulu, are quite bouncy.
    • Camilla and Naomi in Episode 10 are particularly noticeable in this regard.
  • Just Plane Wrong:
    • Because the straps aren't visible, it can be assumed that Allen is using only a waist-type seatbelt when he and Kylie are investigating the Yufang wormhole. If so, then Allen should have been thrown from the cockpit when Kylie was making wild turns of any kind.
    • The Type-3 incendiary artillery round, as seen from Kantai Collection, makes better use for wrecking installations than as an anti-air weapon.
    • Most of what the Shinden does and everything that the Shinden-Kai do are pretty much artistic license, because the Shinden's only two test flights did not involve any high-performance testing (The third test flight would've seen such testing happen, but the Potsdam Declaration happening two days before the test was scheduled to take place scuttled that), and the Shinden-Kai is pretty much a fantasy plane. To be fair, Shinden-Kai's stat sheet in the official website is filled with question marks, so the staff implemented this plane with the fully conscious realization that they're pretty much making stuff up.
    • The damage sustained by Kylie's Hayabusa should have trashed the plane right there when Isao shot it, but not only does the plane proceed to flip above Isao's Shinden-Kai and shoot its entire length full of holes, it also endures a long credit sequence as the heroes fly back into their homes. Then again, the possible explanation could have been that Isao's cannon shells penetrated without detonating on the Hayabusa's thin skin.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Isao, obsessed with the Yufang hole, gets sucked into it along with 4 ton of explosive when he tries to prevent Hagoromo-maru from destroying the hole, never to be seen again. In Harukaze Gaiden, it is revealed that his Brotherhood of Freedom Union lost a lot of political clout in Ijitsu after Isao's war crimes were exposed, Porokka is rebuilding (likely from Ikesuka's war reparation), Julia returned to Gadoll and hung her fellow councillors' corruption to dry as she promised, and the sky pirates that Isao funded to make his good PR use their newly acquired weapons to terrorize the masses in a reorganized fervor. The entire incident, now named Ikesuka Unrest, makes the Kotobuki Squadron, the people Isao antagonized the most, a Living Legend for resisting his world conquest.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    • Isao may act like a goofy businessman obsessed with magic tricks, but he's also a former Ace Pilot known as the Soaring Magician. When a pirate bomber makes it past the Kotobuki squad, he jumps into his old plane and shoots it down. And then he accidentally fills his own cockpit with birds.
    • In Episode 8, the Airship crew gets a chance to strut their stuff, taking down a group of pirates that took over the ship. Special mention to the bartender, who (between bouts of anxious stammering) takes out a dozen guys with sub-machine guns using only pistols and cut-down lever-action rifles loaded with rubber bullets, performing several bullet dodges in the process; he also turns out to know how to defuse bombs.
    • Saneatsu and the Captain (both almost entirely Comic Relief before this) pilot the jet-propelled and bomb-filled Hagoromo on a one-way trip into the hole above Ikesuka. As the airship gets near the hole, Isao tries in vain to shoot it down. The ship doesn't change course or even slow down. Just before impact, the dodo and the first officer hop into their getaway plane, bailing out of the doomed airship and surviving the ensuing explosion.
  • Lost Food Grievance: Kylie flies into a rage and kicks a guy in the face because he knocked her pancake onto the ground. Episode 4 shows that the others (even Kate) don't take kindly that someone was shooting up vending machines that spit out their favorite foods.
  • Medium Blending: Akin to studio GEMBA's previous series, with the main characters and planes rendered in 3D and background characters in 2D.
  • Military Moe: Similar in style to other such shows.
  • Modesty Shorts: Though it's rarely shown to maintain the illusion, Kylie does wear shorts under her jacket.
  • Motor Mouth: Almost all the dialogue in this show is spoken at a very fast speed, especially the six main characters. On top of that, there is hardly any pause between sentences. All of this may be a result of having to talk fast over two-way radio.
  • Ms. Fanservice: There are several examples in the series.
    • Madame Lulu definitely fits the trope. Blonde hair, huge breasts, wide hips, and wearing a seductive red dress.
    • Zara also fits, being the largest of the Kotobuki girls in bust size and wearing a very revealing outfit. We also get a scene where she's only wearing lingerie. She even uses her looks to infiltrate a sky pirate base disguised as an erotic dancer.
    • Episode 10 introduces Camilla, who is even more stacked than Zara, wears a tight corset and whose breasts tend to bounce from the slightest movement.
    • Naomi also counts, wearing hotpants and a midriff-bearing tank top, while having huge, bouncy breasts.
  • Mundane Luxury: Because of the lack of water, anything that has something to do with fishes is considered a luxury spending. Johnny is said had spent a lot on his wedding so he and his bride could eat a fish, while an arowana is more like a precious art piece and its transportation is a job dangerous enough to be taken by several air squadrons.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Ofukou (Great Misfortune) Mountain, a mountain near Rahama with a completely flat top said to be long as an aircraft carrier's runway, was used for training facility of new pilots. But because of the geographical nature of the mountain, with strong wind and surrounded by other taller mountaintops, those who tried to fly from the runway always crash.
    • At least until Kylie manages to take off from it, with a damaged engine, no less.
  • Never Gets Drunk:
    • Zara is very good at not getting intoxicated, even after drinking under the table an entire bar full of people.
    • Allen, Kate's brother, is always seen downing booze, but never seems to be affected by its effects.
  • Nerves of Steel: Even when a downed medium bomber crashes into the front door of the building she's in, Julia continues to calmly drink her tea.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • The Nazarene Squadron is modeled after a real-life aerial acrobatic team, the Whiskey Papa, a team of the show's many military advisers. Nazarene's mark is a slightly modified version of Whiskey Papa's, their planes color schemes are similar, and Fernando (Utsumi) and Adolfo (Yamada) are named after the team's pilots.
    • Julia's almost identical pair of personal bodyguards seem to share physical resemblance with the retired wrestlers Dory and Terry Funk, which means Chika's remark about doing things and eating together make you look alike has merit - after all, they're brothers. Of course they're doing things and eating together.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: It is implied that Old Man Sabu, the one person who taught Kylie aviation, is actually Saburo Sakai, Japanese WWII ace who had sworn off from killing another life.
  • No Name Given: A lot of characters have no name, even in the official site's profile. They're instead identified by their in-story nicknames, like the Elite Force's artist is called "Big Sis/Young Mistress", or their occupation like the mayor of Rahama.
    • Subverted with the Elite Force's traitorous HR Head; it is revealed in Episode 9 that his name is Hideaki.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • The Shirokuma (polar bear) Pirate has a yellow bobcat as their squadron mark.
    • The Brotherhood of Freedom Union does not advocate freedom because they add red tapes on the pilot regulations and trade goods, while also forcibly subjugate towns with military force.
    • The Canary Vigilante is closer to the definition of a girl scout than a town militia because they mostly functioned as an advertising campaign for the real vigilante squadron of Idzulma, the Shirazagi. They initially spent their work hours looking for lost cats than fending off pirates. It is until the end of Idzulma's story campaign, where the Shirazagi get wiped out because of a sabotage, that the Canary become Idzulma's vigilante force.
    • The game's subtitle, Take Off Girls, gets slightly misleading when it is revealed that Rola of the Gekitetsu Family is actually a Wholesome Crossdresser.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: The guns that the Hagoromo's crew use are filled with rubber bullets. While it makes seem so that our protagonists won't be seen outright shooting people's head off messily, there's a justification for this when an unconscious pirate's trigger finger ends up spraying live bullets in the bridge when he gets knocked out; real bullets and any zeppelin's interior (especially navigational controls) don't mix well.
  • Occidental Otaku: The Elite Force might be an equivalent of this, with Yufang as the Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Japan and the usual anime and idol industry is replaced with Japan's corporate culture and ukiyo-e. While they go and 'advertise' their identity as such, it is very obvious that they don't really understand the culture they replicate, leaving the actual student of the culture exasperated. They worships a young female artist and her works like a modern idol would and the "Elite" word (misspelled with an obsolete kana) written on their planes wings is the only instance, except for a native Yufang man's library, where Japanese letters are outright used instead of being a part of the in-universe Cypher Language.
  • One Degree of Separation: Kylie and Naomi quickly discover they both knew Old Sabu and actually start bonding because of it.
  • Only One Name: Seemingly the standard in this world. Adolfo (Yamada) and Fernando (Utsumi) are the only known exceptions.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Kylie immediately gets worried when Leona starts acting like a Military Maverick, when she usually flies and fights by-the-book.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat:
    • Emma really likes insulting people by making an apparent compliment. With Kylie, though, she's a lot more straightforward with her insults because Kylie is also a straightforward trash-talker.
    • While Julia makes her dislike of Isao obvious, Isao is slightly more subtle about his own implied dislike of Julia despite his cheery attitude. He's usually using more flattering flowers for his magic tricks, like with Kylie and Chika's rose, but he gives Julia a bouquet of weeds and Rafflesia at the center.
  • Potty Emergency: Emma has to use the ladies' room while she's Kylie's passenger. Luckily there's a landing station nearby.
  • Precursors: The people of Yufang who one day, long ago, just came from a hole in the sky, built facilities and made planes, only to one day disappeared back into the hole except for one man. The aeronautical technology they left behind galvanized Ijitsu to use air-based transportation and military that shapes the majority of their culture, while at the same time it clearly still can't compare to the Yufang's due to the hardships of the landscape making the technology level stuck in WWII statis despite it had been 70 years since the Yufang disappearance. The Yufang brought not only planes, but also things like vending machines, rice (thus farming technology), art, books, and even Kylie's beloved pancake.
  • Private Military Contractors: Because of the lack of united government protection and asylum, cargo company like Madame Lulu's Ouni employs mercenary squadrons to fend off pirates. The Kotobuki are on semi-permanent contract while the Nazarene are freelancers.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: What Isao turns out to be.
  • Ramming Always Works: Saneatsu and Captain fly the full of explosives Hagoromo into the hole in the sky, causing it to collapse.
  • Rebellious Spirit: In Ijitsu, pilots are always free-spirited. Unbounded by rules, they fly the way they want and go wherever they want. Those who quit being a pilot are painted as an analogue to adults who despaired and settled down with the bare minimum because they can't chase after their dreams. So when Isao imposes regulations on pilots, many are discontent with licences and struggling with the sudden change. One is even mentioned to outright quit flying because of the red tape, of which the conversation is more in line of someone just had a Death by Despair.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Anna and Maria the navigators. Anna is a headstrong and determined girl, while Maria is more timid. For bonus points Anna has red hair while Maria has blue.
    • Leona (red) and Zara (blue) have this interaction when it comes to disciplining Kylie and Chika; Leona will mouth their ears off with a scolding so frightening that they can't come up with a good comeback, while Zara opts to just quietly slap the back of their heads so they won't offend people they're supposed to work with.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • When the Elite Force tries to scam Rahama with counterfeit painting for a rare plane, the CEO fast-talks the mayor into giving in before the vice-mayor calls him out. When the town finally refuses to buy the painting, the Elite Force proceeds to torch the town down. In their fight, the CEO jumps down into the mayor's Raiden, yanks the mayor out, and in his salesmen shtick act, 'trades' the plane for the painting. Later in the series, the head of the Production Department pulls the same move on the HR department head, firing a warning pistol shot next to his right ear.
    • One of the acrobatic moves Kylie does is basically braking her plane mid-air, letting her Hayabusa get dragged down by gravity for a moment so she can get behind an opponent, and regaining her speed to chase after said opponent. Naomi is seen pulling the same move in her Zero later in the series. This makes sense considering both Kylie and Naomi learned how to fly under Old Sabu's tutelage.
    • Isao begins his world conquest by accusing cities that don't join his Brotherhood of Freedom Union of being accomplices of the sky pirates, despite said 'sky piracy' is more likely to benefit him than them, before sending countless number of bombers to the cities' civilian center and governmental buildings.
    • Isao pulls a Kulbit in his Shinden against Leona.
  • Right Behind Me: Kylie and Chika attempt to eavesdrop on Kate's conversation with her brother. As soon as Kate leaves, he reveals that he knew they were there the whole time. After they make some comments they likely wouldn't make to Kate's face, they wonder aloud if she also knew they were listening. Kate suddenly appears a couple inches behind Kylie to announce that yes, she did.
  • Rule of Cool: Though the show often goes out of its way to make sure dramatic stunts are realistic, there's still some wacky stuff thrown in for fun, like the Hagoromo's bartender leaping through the air to dodge bullets like he's in The Matrix. The finale takes previously-seen canyon-flying to the next level by having the squad weave their planes though narrow city streets and between densely-packed pier pillars, and they also strap a bunch of rockets to the Hagoromo and send it on a kamikaze mission. In other words, they turn an entire zeppelin into a gigantic missile. The pilots, the bumbling first officer and the dodo bird, manage to escape in a spare plane just as its massive supply of explosives goes off.
  • Scenery Gorn: The towns that the Freedom Union bombs are always seen with at least several thick smokes. One is an outright fiery landscape.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: After Kylie damages his plane, Isao completely loses it and intentionally flies into the collapsing portal. Whether he died or got sucked into our universe is left ambiguous.
  • Servile Snarker: Isao's butler is completely calm and occasionally deadpan towards his boss' antics.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The entire show's Homage for The Western genre is seen from the show's episode titles;
    • The Nazarin Squadron's is based on the Mexican Wild West movie of the same name, which is about a priest who has a crisis of faith after countless misfortunes pile on him.
    • Episode 5 takes a page out of Pearl Harbor, with Fernando and Adolfo flying head-on at each other while each of them have a flight of bandits on their tail, before evading at the last second and cause a pursuer from each flight to crash into each other, reminiscent of Rafe and Danny's similar stunt during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in the movie.
    • The scene with Hiryu bomber crash is a Con Air reference; an out-of-control plane is using the long straight road as an emergency landing runway before stopping after crashing into a building's front lobby.
    • Johnny's Gun Kata is pretty much something out of Equilibrium, especially the part when he flips backward to shoot at enemies on his sides.
    • Isao and his butler flying into battle with one-off (or nearly so) prototypes (Kyushu J 7 W 1 Shinden for the former, with only two built in reality, and the Kawasaki Ki-64 for the latter, which is truly a one-off), combined with Isao pulling what appears to be jet maneuvers in the Shinden (eg. The Kulbit/Pugachev's Cobra against Leona) should bring to mind The Sky Crawlers.
  • Show, Don't Tell:
    • The Kotobuki Squadron has six members, but Chika is hospitalized in the first episode so it appears that the squadron is a five man team. If you didn't see the promotional materials, then you'll definitely notice it when Leona gives command to split the squadron into three two man cell before she realizes her mistake.
    • The end of episode 1 shows that Emma lives alone in a large mansion, Kate has a sick brother, and Leona grew up in an orphanage without giving verbal exposition.
    • When talking about Julia, Madame Lulu is reading The Salamander by Masuji Ibuse, a story about a salamander who was trapped inside a small hole he outgrew and in respond, incites a Stockholm Syndrome on a frog so he can drag someone with him out of his helplessness-induced despair. It shows Lulu's disapproval of Julia's pro-pirate policy.
    • If you still haven't caught on that Julia is an Anarcho-Capitalist, then the symbol of her personal bodyguards should give you an idea.
    • Julia's dislike to Isao is a lot more mutual than this eccentric magician would show from his attitude; after all, he gives her a banquet of common weeds and Rafflesia.
    • In Episode 5, the Hiryu that Isao chased, for no reason, drops its payload far from Areshima, the bombing target. If the pirates really intended to attack Areshima, they would keep flying into the city with their bombloads before crashing themselves as suicide bombers, something that sensible pirates won't do. If they really wished to flee Isao, they would drop their bombs to lighten their bombers before taking evasive action or kicking their motors into over-boost mode, not keep flying into the city. That the pirates are doing nonsensical actions is a sign that Isao staged this attack to give himself a good PR, more dramatic the attack without seriously damaging anything the better, with Julia's assassination as a sub-objective.
  • Shown Their Work: This show is pretty much guaranteed to make aircraft nerds to fangasm.
    • A lot of Japanese World War II aircraft galore. The Hayabusa might get the lion's share of screen time, but the others like the Raiden and the Hien are also equally gushed. The anime's official website also has a page that features every single aircraft that appears in the show, as well as detailed specs for each of them.
    • Kylie's take off preparations in episode 1 is 2 minutes long, accurately animated, pilot's routine. It also gives a small glimpse of how the cockpit operates the plane.
    • The pirates aiming for the zeppelin's exhaust valves instead of its main gondola before attempting to attack the bridge is an indication that they want the zeppelin mostly intact to rob their cargo. The exhaust valves are the things that regulate the zeppelin's altitude, and a problem on the valves makes the zeppelin harder to steer. The pirates attack the bridge later as they're actually growing desperate to subdue the zeppelin because the Kotobuki are on the verge of chasing them off or shooting them down.
    • When Emma got shot down in episode 3, we see how a pilot tries to keep a plane level to save herself from a disastrous fall. The episode also gives the first close look at the anti-aircraft gun batteries and how they should be aimed (leading the intended target, with an observer drawing attention to any enemy plane that might attack the battery).
    • The stunt Kate pulls in the same episode is a very dangerous stunt for many reasons. She's flying upside-down for so long is risking her getting knocked unconscious from the negative-g rushing her blood to her head. It also makes her a pretty great target because she's exposing her belly if the enemy is following her roll very closely, which just confirms that the enemy is as crazy as she is to pull the stunt (thankfully, he's not). Getting her plane to the enemy's back is also risky because you need to calculate the roll so your plane is in the right position, how the enemy's going to react to that roll, and how fast you're going to pull your trigger to capitalize the enemy's mistake. This stunt only works because Kate is a numberphile.
    • The roll that Kylie's arch nemesis in Episode 6 is a highly technical maneuver that not only combines several different rolls into one because of the terrain circumstances, the pilot needs spatial awareness for not only the enemy's but also their own plane's. This would explain why Kylie could possibly let her opponent flies literal circles on her; she's not simply holding the Idiot Ball and let herself stunted for no good reason - she, even just for a second, is so in awe at the opponent's skill, she couldn't help but gawking at it.
    • You indeed can extinguish large fire from oil well with explosive, and is in fact the preferred method.
    • The ground crew testing their newly bought cheap airplane fuel to figure out the octane rating. Fuel quality is extremely important to fighter pilots since the octane rating can seriously affect a plane's engine performance, and the lack of good quality fuel is one of the reasons why the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force, the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Force, and the Luftwaffe lost so badly to their Allied opponents.
    • Episode 8 confirms that Leona is a master of deflection shooting, given how she was able to disable the Hagoromo with perfect pinpoint accuracy. Deflection shooting is one of the most difficult skills to master in a fighter, which is why the majority of pilots prefer to either take their opponents by surprise or from behind at close range. Leona's ability to take out targets from range at odd angles alone is enough to make her a fearsome ace without her actual piloting skills. This, combined with the fact that her regular plane has a very bad gunsight and she used to going berserk in battles, make her feat even more impressive.
    • Episode 10 shows that Isao has several Nakajima G10N ''Fugaku'' in his arsenal. From the specs, most obviously from the engines' propellers, they were built on the specification of the blueprint instead of the Project Z's. Back in World War II, Japan was incapable of building any prototype because of the lack of fund and material and the war was worsening for them. It just so happens that the ones who build these things have the money for it.
    • The F-86D Sabre that shows up in Episode 12 doesn't try to turn with the Kotobuki squadron and instead makes hit-and-run diving attacks with its Mighty Mouse rockets on them. This is a common tactic of jet pilots if they're up against slower but more maneuverable aircraft, as it allows them to use their speed to their advantage without overshooting their target. As a side note, the F-86D Sabre was used by the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force from 1958-1961.
    • Isao's Shinden gets a jet engine installed in the last episode. Fittingly, it's the prototype that was drawn up on blueprints but not built, just like the Fugaku depicted two episodes before.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Kate and her brother Allen. Allen is pretty friendly, talkative and loves to drink alcohol, while Kate is The Stoic and almost never drinks alcohol. Both of them are math whizzes, but Allen mainly uses this skill to predict where the sky-portals will appear while Kate uses it for in-flight Awesomeness by Analysis.
  • Sky Pirate: The main antagonists of the series are air pirate squadrons. The term used in Japanese is even kuuzoku which literally translates as sky pirate (this is notable since the other type of common fictional pirate, the Space Pirate, is still called kaizoku in Japanese which is the word for real-life pirates who operate on water).
  • The So-Called Coward: The Mayor of Rahama, despite crying tears of terror, still takes his Raiden up and flies into battle to save Emma from the Elite Force's fighters. His flying skills have deteriorated, but because the Elite Force pilots don't want to shoot him down, he makes for a great distraction (until he gets tossed off his beloved plane, with an embarrassing parachute-snag-on-building landing).
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Several of the R/L variety: Leona/Reona, Kylie/Kyrie. All of them favor the 'L' version.
    • Torihei's card also has his name written as Trihei.
    • There's a lot of instances of this, especially the towns' names. Rahama was translated Rachma in Episode 2, while Roota has a large sign written with Rohta in the installation.
    • The Elite Force, as seen from the name written on their planes, is localized as The Elite Industries.
  • Stocking Filler: Ririko the waitress has this outfit.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Elite Force flies into town with loudspeakers announcing they are a company, and definitely not air pirates. A few minutes later they shoot up the place because the mayor refused to trade a rare fighter plane for a painting. But they're not pirates, really.
  • Symbolic Blood: When Allen's plane was attacked by unknown assailants, the front of his plane got splattered by leaking fuel. Seeing that he ended up disabled after the attack, it might as well have been his own blood that covered the front cockpit.
  • Taking You with Me:
    • In episode 11 just as Chika's plane is falling, she manages to shot down one last enemy fighter before parachuting to safety.
    • And in episode 12, Leona deliberately smashes her plane against Isao's butler after being hit, making him crash in the water.
  • The Sociopath: Isao seems to fit this trope, given how little he genuinely cares for the well-being of others, and how he shoots down Leona even after she begs him for a ceasefire.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: While Leona and Zara have this dynamic, Kylie and Chika can be considered tomboys to Emma and Kate's more feminine dispositions.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Pancakes for Kylie.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Rahama starts to hastily retrain the town's vigilantes to pilot after the Kotobuki Squadron agree to aid the town's defense from the Elite Force. The Hagoromo's crew members are also commanding the AA batteries and instructing the gunners on how to shoot down planes better.
  • Translation Convention: While the show's voice acting is in Japanese, the way Ijitsu's Cypher Language is written shows that the characters all are using English as their mother language, with Japanese as a cultural curiosity from their Precursors, the Yufang. Every time the Japanese is used by Ijitsu's natives, it is invoked for the coolness' sake.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Nobody in-universe comments on the fact that the Kotobuki's so-called captain is a freaking dodo bird. And not a Talking Animal, either. He's really more of a mascot, but in the real world, dodo birds were driven to extinction over 300 years ago, making his very existence pretty bizarre from our perspective.
    • Nobody makes note that their moon has a tanuki tied upside-down pattern. The audience finds out when the show just happens to pan out to it.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Watching the hole be destroyed causes Isao to scream and whine like a child whose toys are being taken, all while he flies into the exploding hole. He is never seen again.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Chika and Kylie are constantly bickering with each other on the ground and on the air.
  • Waif-Fu: The tiny Chika has no trouble beating up much larger men... while on crutches due to an injury (the crutches themselves make for handy bludgeons)! The main victim later claims he wasn't fighting seriously. Right, since you're clearly ganging up on a person better versed in hand-to-hand martial arts...
  • The Watson: Because they're not the most well-read people around, when an in-universe setting topic comes out, Kylie and Chika will go around asking/eavesdropping people about it.
  • Weird Moon: Apparently, the moon of the world Ijitsu is pretty normal, except for the tied upside-down plush raccoon dog over a boiling pot crafted into the surface, large enough to be seen with naked eyes.
  • Wisdom from the Gutter: A lot of aesop of the show comes from Chika's favorite children picture book that everyone seems to grow up with.
  • With Us or Against Us: This is the motto of Isao's Freedom Union, who force the leaders of each city to submit to them voluntarily, or have their cities bombed into the ground.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Zara, Grade A.
 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Top

The Magnificent Kotobuki

Emma doesn't even need to get her words out; her body language automatically gives her intentions away.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / PottyDance

Media sources:

Main / PottyDance

Report