Posted by psgels 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 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 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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  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:38 PM)
    And also remember how Darker Than Black had a big jump between the main series and Gemini of the Meteor. They later made a 4 episode OVA that covered the gap, and although you knew the outcome it was still entertaining; or at least more than the Gemini one. There’s merit to non-linear chronology and storytelling, but it is usually very hard to pull. The audience is intrigued by secrets that can later be uncovered, although in anime the pay-off is not always substantial.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:32 PM)
    I don’t know, the audience usually only needs very limited information to figure out dynamics and histories between the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:27 PM)
    A 13 episode series would work for the second title unlimited. But Alternative is a pretty long visual novel. You need at least two cours to give it justice. Making extra an OVA could work but you do need it for alternative. But it’s not an optional part of the trilogy. It needs to be read first, so that event later have a greater impact. Personally I am not even sure Muv Luv can even work in another medium.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:12 PM)
    That might compress things, but I think a good screen-writer can fit pretty much any VN in 12-14 episodes (covering just the main route).
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:07 PM)
    @Aidan: then the best solution would’ve been to make a two cour season covering the 2nd and the 3rd book. Have the cours air two anime seasons apart, and in the middle have an offshoot short OVA that covers the 1st book, but has a more harem comedy feel to it. Think Full Metal Panic and Fumuffu.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 01:34 PM)
    @bam, Muv Luv has the problem that most of its brillence lies in the third title. But in order for the third title to have the same effect you need to read the first two. Successful or not, I doubt theres animation studio willing to go all in and adapt the full trilogy. There’s also the issue of the first title being a really mediocre harem.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 12:48 PM)
    just a glimpse at the tip of the iceberg of reasons why y’all need a PS4 for the upcoming year:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3Hz8eXWHNY
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 08:09 AM)
    Why they didn’t adapt the original Muv Luv novel or Alternative is a mystery to me. Wasn’t the VN really successful? Whats with these offshoot shows instead of doing the real deal? They are avoiding it for some reason.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 08:06 AM)
    @Aidan: I have a suspicion that they got it from that 80’s song Total Eclipse of the Heart. Japanese authors are strangely enamored with the corny pop songs from that era.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 05:46 AM)
    And even then, those two muv-luv alternative episodes, schwartzmarken is still better than those.

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