Episode 11 Impressions: The Pilot’s Love Song

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As Noriaki and Benji charge head on into the smoke of the Sky Clan, Nina Viento desperately tries to control her powers once again.  While Nina Viento fails to aid in their current struggle as her powers have been long dormant, Benji manages to give word back to Isla on their arrival and attempt to take the place of the now destroyed spotter.

Synopsis
The officials within the command center debate over whether or not to accept the students’ intel even though it’s clear they have no alternative.  It’s not until Nina Viento speaks up to support the word of her fellow classmate that the commander gives word to relay the information to the cannon operators.  During Noriaki and Benji’s constant brush with death, Kal-el and Ignacio arrive to give them full support thus leaving them to focus on giving better (and closer) information.

e11pilot11At the support of Benji, Noriaki swoops in close to the enemy battleship and relay pinpoint intel back to command.  Giving them the spot on accuracy, however shortly after relaying the information a cannon fires point-blank at their plane and severing Benji’s right hand.  As he struggles to regain consciousness, he remembers the scarf given to him by Sharon and quickly ties his arm tight to stop the bleeding.

Cannon fire arrives and quickly wastes the Sky Clan’s battleship but at the cost of Noriaki and Benji’s plane which is caught in the blast.  Kal-el fears the worst but finds the two slowly descending in their shoots before enemies arrive to chase them off.  Kal-el is then filled with rage and begins to execute amazing piloting skills that even Ignacio cannot keep up with.  Though Ignacio just finds it appalling that he’s blessed with such skill.

As word gets back to command as to the destruction of the battleship, they also relay that communications with Benji and Noriaki has been lost.  No sooner are they faced with a barrage of Sky Clan bombers that leaves their vessel descending in flames.  While Kal-el and Ignacio attempt to defend them, their fight is seemingly hopeless as their ammo runs dry.

While hope is lost and it seems death is imminent, Nina Viento is asked if there is something she wishes to tell Kal-el.  Nodding in agreement, she rushes out to the deck of the ship where Kal-el hovers nearby.  She sheds her white hair and crown, pleas for his forgiveness in her part in his family’s death, thanks him for helping her change, and confesses her love for him.  As Kal-el and Ignacio shoots down an attacking plane, they swoop by allowing Kal-el to reply with a simple request.  To live.

e11pilot0In response to his plea for life, Claire once again prays to the wind to help her save Kal-el who is being pursued by enemy planes as well as the island of Isla that she loves so much.  Suddenly wind surrounds her and channels against her enemies while also blowing away the flames that engulf the ship.  Afterwards both the ship and Kal-el’s plane are surrounded by guiding winds that bring them safely back home to Isla.  At the same time aircrafts from The Holy Levamme Empire arrive to take down pursuing vessels.

Back at Isla, Kal-el and Ignacio are welcomed by their fellow students.  While Ignacio keeps his usual attitude and ignore’s Kal-el’s attempt to a hand shake, everyone shrugs it off as the same ol’ Ignacio.  Nearby a plane arrives tattered from edge to edge.  Bandereas is drug from the cockpit with unknown injuries, though his goal was a success.  In his back cockpit lay Benji and Noriaki, injured but alive.

Thoughts
A very impactful episode overall.  I really enjoyed the struggle that Benji and Noriaki went through though the lack of trust command had for their ONLY shred of hope in winning their battle was a bit silly.  Let’s think about it.  You can’t see the enemy, your spotters are dead, and someone can see where the enemy is.  It seems like a no brainer.

I am REALLY happy that they didn’t follow through with another death flag.  Really surprising me in the end.  Though similar to the “trust” issue with command, I found it a bit silly that Kal-el couldn’t just pick up Noriaki and Benji.  Instead having Kal-el scream like a child was a bit off-putting.

The big saving grace in this episode was Claire finally shedding Nina Viento and confessing to Kal-el.  Not sure how he could hear her, but reality aside it was a smile inducing moment.  Then to top that off with her release of power to save the day was very rewarding to watch.

To be honest, the series has been up and down.  But this episode reminded me why I originally jumped to covering it.  It has a solid love story buried in a lot of predictability and melodrama.  While it hasn’t been a top rating show, it still has a unique and interesting world.  As well as some solid combat scenarios.  However, as I’ve said before, with one more episode, there’s FAR too much to answer that will probably never get answered.

Episode 11: Love Song

THUMBS UP! PROMISING!

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Great

Goods:

  • Good combat scenario
  • Solid character evolution
  • Emotional climax

Bads:

  • Off-putting screaming
  • Silly conflict

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.