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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  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:29 AM)
    @Friend But having said that, I come from the school of screenwriting that says a screenplay is just a starting point for the director, actor, editor, cinematographer, etc. to build a real shooting script off of.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:26 AM)
    @Friend I have actually written novels, screenplays, and stage-plays as well, so I feel like I have a decent understanding of the differences in terms of what goes into them. But from my perspective it’s harder to write a great novel.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:24 AM)
    @Emma I agree that movies tend to be more emotionally-involving, but I think that’s just because there are a lot more of them and so it’s easier to find good ones that are well-written enough to really make you feel emotionally-involved. That’s always been my interpretation.
  • Friend
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:20 AM)
    @ninja I dont know if you’ve ever written a script, but it’s pretty hard. There’s the story, script, screen composition, acting, music, lighting, and a WHOLE plethora of other factor when writing a film, as compared to a novel.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:15 AM)
    @Realist: I think that may be to do with that I can get more emotionally involved with a movie too and that they are quicker to watch and more consummable too. But your right though while I prefer certain things I will watch/read anything out there from anywhere.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:11 AM)
    @Emma I’m kind of surprised that you prefer one over the other. You strike me as the type of person who appreciates all forms of fiction.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:08 AM)
    @Realist: Also alot of anime/manga are going to be series rather than a single volume or a movie. There is more to cover when writing about a series and find to write about, takes a bit longer too.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:07 AM)
    @Realist: Ah, that would be because I have more practice writing about films than anime/manga and am more familiar with writing that type of review. Ontop of preferring American/European films to anime/manga.
  • ninjarealist
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:02 AM)
    @Emma Why do you think films are easier to write about it? Just because people have less constrained expectations of what films are supposed to be and don’t expect you to treat the material a certain way? I feel like some people are (unjustly) put off when you try to write about anime/manga as if it was any other form of literary fiction.
  • Mikey
    (Sunday, Apr 20. 2014 12:01 AM)
    Mahouka 3: Well, “that” scene wasn’t subtle at all.

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