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.