Posted on 15 September 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


If you’re looking for Real Men, Rescue Wings is the correct place to look. It’s a series about the Japanese rescue force, and it especially follows one of its helicopter pilots as he gets introduced into the team. If you’re looking for the realistic side of mecha (well, helicopters in this case, but you get the point), then this series is one to seriously consider. There are no spiky haired teenagers who instantly know the controls of complex machinery here; there are no overly moe females. This is a series about saving those in real trouble.

The result is one thought-provoking anime. It immediately makes things clear to both the viewer and the main character: a job in the rescue force isn’t something to think lightly at. And that’s where this series is a master at: it knows exactly how to pick out your unconscious thoughts, and confronts you with them. It managed to portray the fact that many people die in this business. After watching this series, I can honestly say that I’ve gained a lot of extra respect for the people who work in rescue forces in real life.

The characters are also a very important aspect of this series. Without proper fleshing out, the viewer wouldn’t be able to care about what happened to them, and the creators manage to succeed in making even the smallest victims count. Whether they survive or don’t make it. The major characters are all developed, in the short time of only 13 episodes as well. I’m still impressed at how much development the creators managed to stuff into such a short time, especially considering that the pacing isn’t really faster than average.

The problems in this series arise with its huge cast, though. As interesting as they were, the creators failed to give an identity to the different characters. Too often, I just found myself thinking “wait… who the hell is this guy?” The big problem I think is that spent too little attention to introducing its characters. They’re just… there, and it’s very hard to figure out whether you’re dealing with a new character or an already existing one. Especially since the very inconsistent animation makes all the characters look like each other. Just take a look at the promo-art here. Who are those people?

That’s not to say that the animation is horrible. In fact, the animation-budget for this series seems quite large. There’s lots of movement; it’s just inconsistent. And with realistic character-designs, where everyone looks like each other, that’s not something you want to have.

Nevertheless, Rescue Wings is a typical series for those who are tired of the standard stereotypes that are associated with anime, because this one has none of them. It’s about actual adults, who have to work for their job, and especially to save the lives of others. JC Staff may be a very questionable animation studio, but they do have a few very talented people.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 9/10

10 Responses

  1. Kim says:

    While this series sounds interesting for its own merit I don’t understand why people feel the need to put down one series to promote another. You telling me that this series has “real men” unlike Gurren Lagann is not going to make me want to watch this series. And for the record I am pretty sure most fans of Gurren Lagann are not watching it for the realism.

  2. midenz says:

    I saw this a while back, if you guys watch the first episode and drop it (like i did) don’t. It’s a total waste if u do. Just keep going, it gets better!

  3. psgels says:

    Kim: that was a semi-serious message. Of course, Gurren Lagann isn’t focused at realism at all. It was just intended as a subtle jab at its huge focus on manliness.

  4. Denizen says:

    There’s a difference between actual comparison and a subtle jibe. Jeez, people these days.

  5. Kim says:

    Kim: that was a semi-serious message. Of course, Gurren Lagann isn’t focused at realism at all. It was just intended as a subtle jab at its huge focus on manliness.

    But you don’t need to make a “subtle jab” about one series to promote this one right? That was my point.

  6. Kurisu says:

    Kim, thanks for demonstrating the difference between a man and pussy.

  7. juu says:

    nice review… I guess I really should finish watching this sometime. I remember decently enjoying the first three episodes… so this review is a good reminder :D

  8. Kim says:

    I see you edited the review :)

    I really didn’t mean to get on your case but the review sounds much better now that it is only focused on the series in question.

  9. psgels says:

    Ah, don’t worry, even I make mistakes. Some things that sound like good ideas at first turn out to work not so well in practice, and that was one example of it. ;)

  10. SageGaiGar says:

    I’m getting quite hooked to this series. And yes it is kind of difficult to keep track of everyone.

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  • Raggers
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 06:52 PM)
    No Game No Life 3: Awesome, hilarious, and the most unsubtle (and even funnier than last ep’s) JoJo reference I’ve seen.
  • Juno
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 06:09 PM)
    I’ll answer questions after work, but let’s still try to avoid direct spoilers. I’m not sure even psgel has seen the film yet.
  • Joe
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:53 PM)
    It’s also made more ambiguous by the state of Homura’s soul gem during the movie. She wasn’t exactly in the best condition for making decisions, and she might have acted differently than she otherwise would have.
  • Joe
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 05:51 PM)
    Definitely disagree that Homura didn’t have any character. Most of her characterization in the original series was ambiguous, though, so a lot of it was up to interpretation.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 03:42 PM)
    Not trying to piss off Juno, but this probably will anyway, but I noticed how polarized the debate over Homura’s choice at the end of rebelion. “It’s out of character!” “No it isn’t!” I find it funny considering the girl has well…barely any character at all.
    And when someone says that this choice ruined Homura’s complex character from the series..boy…how I laugh.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 03:36 PM)
    @Emma, Just a guess, but the koren webcomic fomat isn’t really print friendly. Those long tower rows of panels would be hard to fit on a book format.
  • Friend
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 03:10 PM)
    @Emma I guess its the same here as k web comics. They either dont care about it, or they just cant.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 01:22 PM)
    @Juno, So I might as well ask before you hinge your entire opinion on whatever the maker say. What do you believe happened and how it effected the law?
  • Juno
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 12:19 PM)
    It’s been a whole half year since the film came out and the BD has been released, so we’re finally getting a lot of substance-focused interviews and guides to the film now. The one thing I’m hoping they can do is finally clarify what happened at the end of the film, metaphysically, like they did for the TV series’ ending. I don’t really care about whether [spoiler] is evil. I just want to know how this affects the laws of cycles…
  • Juno
    (Wednesday, Apr 23. 2014 12:11 PM)
    It’s just that, in terms of making Rebellion stand out, InuCurry were the visual masterminds this time around. Shinbou only carried the helm so far, even if he had a bigger role in the story-writing this time around. =P

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