Posted by SuperMario on 6 March 2019 with categories: Finished Series: Action, Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai

Kotobuki pulls off another solid episode this week, as it surprises me in many ways. For the first time, the Kotobuki Squad faces a defeat, but by some incredible stretch they manage to get out of the situation magnificently. While the characters motion still feels awkward and off-putting at times – characters designs suffer the most when the show frames characters in profile, and when Johnny shows off his inhuman skills – Kotobuki more than makes up by its CG aerial combat craft, and exciting heist story this week. The episode represents the best the wild west tone of Kotobuki as a whole. It starts out pretty simple, our team has to protect “the golden fish” (noted that in Kotobuki’s world, real fish is as rare and precious as Swiss watch). The thieves, however, have a better idea. Instead of just stealing the fish, they hijack the Hagoromo ship, and demand Isao to resign or else they’d crash the ship to the town. Honestly I didn’t see that coming at all, and these enemies prove to be more and more formidable, almost army-like status.

But the plan to counterattack from our girls prove to be pretty entertaining, as well. This robbery is a chance to flesh out ship’s supporting casts, this time Johnny, who is revealed as a veteran shooter, and Ririko, who might or might not be Johnny’s ex-wife, that they claim back the ship with style (a bit over the top but hey, so do all the Western movies). The problem doesn’t stop there though, as the ship’s control is badly damaged and there’s explosions on board. Hence the Kotobuki has to fight a way to shoot the ship down safely before Isao’s air jets, for safety reason, destroy the ship themselves. While this episode is pretty thin on paper, we can still draw out two deeper plot threads going forward. First, it’s still unclear what the enemy’s objective is. It’s clear that they’re skilled, and they’re disciplined unlike normal air pirates. Second, while the rest of the team has their reasons to pilot (case in point this week, Reona wanted to protect the orphanage), Kirie doesn’t seem to have one. From what we know about her, she learned to flight from the old man and she loves to flight with all her heart. Is there any need for a reason to be up in the air at all?

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