|Title (Japanese)||Aozora Shojotai 801 TTS||Art Sample
|Notes||AIRBATS (AD Vision, 30 mins, cert PG, £12.99, subtitled)|
|Review||801 TTS Airbats is the story of flight maintenance engineer Takuya who finds himself posted to a new squadron. He makes a bad start by getting frightened by a bat and bursting in on some female personnel in various states of undress. The down-at-heel 801 TTS is, he learns, a display squadron crewed solely by female pilots, a dumping ground for 'problem' personnel, and under threat of closure by unsympathetic staff officers. Takuya determines to make a go of it and encourages the demoralised and misfit girls to do their best. AIRBATS is full of small virtues: there are some fine characterisations; notably the moody Sergeant Mitaka, the kind of girl who as well as planes likes leather jackets and fast motorbikes; the flying sequences are good, and there is a fascinating glimpse of the (doubtless real) aviation fanboys who lurk outside the fence with binoculars and radios. There is no fantasy or supernatural stuff whatsoever (and believe me that makes a refreshing change!) - perhaps the most implausible thing in it is that two of the pilots develop a crush on Takuya. There are many sly touches of comedy. There's even a plot, though it does tend to get repeated in succeeding episodes. All in all a delightful series, and much better than some of the stuff I've sat through on your behalf recently! It does seem poor value at £12.99 for a 30 min. episode, (ie £39 the set), considering that American fans were able to buy all three episodes together for $35 (about £23). AIRBATS #2 (AD VISION, 28 mins, subtitled, £12.99) I reviewed this series for the release date of #1. In this episode, mechanic Isurugi is invited out on his birthday by sweetie-pie female pilot Haneda, but the uncontrollably jealous Mitaka becomes inconveniently ill at the very thought... The rest of the team go to the races. Another charming episode in this better-than-average series.|
|TV Showing||See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.|
|References & Help||Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
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