Archive for agosto, 2012

Area 88, an anime I didn’t knew nothing about until a month ago. This wouldn’t be a bad thing on its own, but it actually is because Area 88 is an anime ( and a manga ) strongly related to aviation: how could I have missed it?

As the title suggests, there are two anime series: the first one is a serie of three OVA released in the mid ’80s, the second one is a TV serie of 12 episodes that aired in 2004. Both have more or less the same plot because they are both based on the manga with the same title.

As there are no real spoilers here, you can continue reading without fear.

Because I like to see things in order, I watched the OVA serie first, followed by the the TV serie less than two weeks after. Always because I like to do things in order, I’ll start talking about the aviation part of the show.
If you know a little about aviation and air forces, then there is no problem; if you know a lot, there there could be some problems; if you are an aviation enthusiast since 1989 then there would be some more problems.

Nevertheless, the show will be really enjoyable anyway.

Even if some errors are less noticeable than others, like the F-15 / Tornado -style pylons on the F-8 “Crusader” ( you do remember about “Crusader”‘s pylons and hardpoints, don’t you? ) or a drop tank mounted under an F-14A “Tomcat” centerline “Sparrow“‘s mountpoint, seeing aircraft like the F-4 “Phantom II” flying without the RIO or the F-14A used as a ground attack aircraft during the Vietnam conflict could bring some worries to the viewer.

Dogfights are the standard even if there are some ( at least one ) long range actions using the “Sparrow” SARH AAMs.

The main character, Shin Kazama [ 風間真 ], is probably able to shot down a “Flanker” flying a Sopwith “Camel” with three bullets ( one of which is defective ), even if sometimes he screw things. A lot.

While the TV serie is almost always action-oriented, the OVA, even if shorter, focuses more on what Shin feels and what happens back in Japan. The story development is better depicted in the OVA than in the TV serie. I’m curious to see what happens in the manga though.

The animation is of course really different and the aircrafts of the TV serie seem to come straight from Initial-D, and they move in the same way, that is, with the same handling as cars. When flying I mean.
Visual effects are of course better on the TV serie and some details can’t be depicted on the OVA’s hand-drawed aircrafts. I think they’re on par even if for different reasons.

More or less the same characters are present in both shows, the most notable exceptions are two mercenary pilot, Kim ( that is absent in the OVA but came from the manga ) and Kitori ( a brand new character for the TV serie, and currently my favourite character ).

Both shows are fun and I suggest everyone to watch both, starting with the OVA as I’ve done.
I prefer the OVA over the TV serie because it’s shorter and the story is IMHO better developed both around the main character and his background.