Oh, the irony. The wonderful irony. The Wings of Honneamise is Gainax first major production. While I haven’t seen all of their works, I have seen quite a few, and I must say that Wings of Honneamise is Gainax’s only production without any reliance on moe-stereotypes, there’s hardly any useless or stupid fanservice, and it also has a pretty good chance to be one of their most down-to-earth work. I’m not certain whether one thing comes from the other, but for me, it also was among the best that the studio has ever shown me. Oh, the irony.
Basically, The Wings of Honneamse is about space-travel. Sending the first man into orbit, to be exact. The main character feels real and likable and not overly GAR for his own good. He’s pretty stupid at times as well, but make no mistake: the script is very clever at times. There’s lots of symbolism, and this is one movie that makes you think without trying to shove its message down your throat.
While it isn’t a comedy, there’s plenty enough to laugh at, and especially for major part of its airtime, this movie knows exactly when to be funny and when to be serious. The side-characters also do a wonderful job in supporting the main character. For a movie, there’s also a relatively large amount of character-development. Regarding the bad points, well, the creators seemed a bit too keen on making the climax as perfect as possible, and didn’t quite get it right. The result feels a bit weird, but by no means bad.
One thing that should be noted is that you do not want to go into this movie, expecting standard Gainax. This is absolutely nothing like their other works. The pacing is slow, the characters are nearly all adults and none feels out of place. There’s no outrageous animation and everything feels much more life-like. It’s a shame that Gainax went into such a different direction after making The Wings of Honneamise, as this movie is a pretty damn good one!