Episode 12 Impressions: The Pilot’s Love Song

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As the attacks from the Sky Clan seem to never reach an end, the leadership of Isla are faced with a difficult decision. To sacrifice something dear for the greater good of all of its citizens. While this may be acceptable for some, it’s a greater struggle for those that cherish this sacrifice.

Synopsis
As Isla is blocked from the “End of the Sky” by an endless assault by the Sky Clan, the commander of the Holy Levamme Empire arrives to meet with the governor Nina Viento as well as the leadership of Isla. According to him, many islands rule over the lands near the Holy Spring, but none have been able to enter the Holy Spring due to the Sky Clan and their unwillingness to call a truce and allow entry.

e12pilot7No sooner is this meeting in play that an unidentified plane flies by Isla dropping off a capsule containing a message. It reads that the Sky Clan wishes to call a truce under one condition. That they surrender Nina Viento to them. Apparently it has been a long time prophecy that someone called the “Girl Who Calls the Wind” would arrive.

Seeing this as an opportunity to stop the bloodshed Claire jumps at the idea of allowing herself to be a bargaining chip. Much to the disapproval of all of her constituents. This decision comes to the attention of the remaining class members through their instructors and Kal-el quickly decides that he wants to attempt to stop her. As Ari asks Kal-el if he really loves her, he hesitates in embarrassment but nods in agreement. Ari seems noticeably shocked by this admittance but it seems to escape Kal-el as to why she’s bothered by it. Despite her obvious attraction to Kal-el, Ari agrees to help him get an audience with Claire before she leaves.

The following day Ari and Kal-el march off to the gates of the royal sector where Ignacio gets them passage through the gates. When they arrive at Claire’s quarters, Ari gives her a stack of letters from her friends at the aerial academy. Ari refuses to say goodbye, but instead that they’ll see each other soon. After Ari leaves, Claire expresses this same desire to Kal-el. After they embrace and Kal-el speaks of running away together, Claire is happy for him suggesting it, but knows what she has to do.

As Claire readies to take her leave from Isla, Kal-el rushes out to the line of guards only to be stopped. He tells Claire that he’ll see the End of the Sky and return for her. As Ignacio makes his way to the aircraft, he assures Kal-el that he will keep Claire safe. And while Ari once again calls Ignacio a Tsundere, he passes by Kal-el and mutters for Kal-el to return “stupid (older) brother”. Though Kal-el thinks he misheard him.

After the aircraft carrying Claire leaves the Isla, many days pass and the aerial island finally reaches the “End of the Sky”. There they witness the prophecies being unfolded. As this prophecy tells, the Isla must reach the “End of the Sky” and be absorbed in it. Seeking to complete this prophecy, the Isla is ordered to be evacuated and the Isla is let to drift into its colorful edge.

e12pilot2As the Isla slowly is destroyed by the “End of the Sky”, the citizens and students watch in awe. After it vanishes, the colorful edge fades away revealing a vast sea past it and an unexplored world.

Thoughts
At first I was absolutely dumbfounded by this ending. Mainly because I didn’t realize the prophecy was very important to the people of Isla. I only found its regular telling as mumbo jumbo that didn’t mean anything to the story itself. However due to this being their religion and something they dedicated themselves to (and even died for in many battles), this is actually a pivotal point of the show. I guess they just didn’t drive that aspect home, but rather gave us endless battles of stupid decisions leading to stupid deaths. For that I’m finding myself rather disliking how the story is unfolding. Admittedly it may be my ignorance, but at the same time it could just be poor storytelling.

“Oh yeah, that prophecy that we didn’t think was true that we’ve been sacrificing many lives to seek out… it’s true!!”

I was sad to see the writers finally decided to bring out the brother/sister love trope. After 11 episodes of steering away from it, I was rather convinced it would never happen. I had assumed that Ari KNEW Kal-el loved Claire, and they made a rather cute brother/sister bonding moment after Ari nearly died. Though out of nowhere in this episode we had the trope sister storming off after learning of her brother’s love for someone else.

For some time now I’ve been noticing a steady decline in the quality of the character art in the show. This recent episode has been pushing that even further. While the animation seems to be holding strong, I often find character faces popping back and forth from triangles to round edges. Hopefully they can keep things from falling apart for one more episode at least.

Episode 12: The End of the Sky

NOT BAD, BUT NOT GREAT..

NOT BAD, BUT NOT GREAT..

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Slow and Trope’ish

Goods:

  • Big shift in the world
  • Purpose to prophecy

Bads:

  • Plot starting to feel flaky
  • Bro-con trope put into play
  • Character art deteriorating

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.