A pilot and a scholar spend their vacations saving the world and entire nations. That sounds interesting, right?
This collection is the first half of a bi-generational story based on a series of short novels. This part covers the story of the young hotshot pilot Allison Whittington and scholar/marksman Wilhelm Schultz. Set in a world with generally WWI-era technology and sensibilities, these two childhood friends through the course of their seasonal vacations just so happen to affect major changes to their world’s socio-political structure. From stopping a centuries-long war to installing an estranged princess to her throne, these two stumble into the course of history and unknowingly direct its path while staying out of the limelight.
The aggravating part is that we never see the outcome of these supposedly monumental events. The story focuses so much on Allison and Wil and their friends that the repercussions of their adventures are glossed over to move onto the next adventure.
The other aggravating part of this series is that there doesn’t seem to be any real tension. Even in scenes where characters’ lives are in peril, something about the storytelling or the pacing never leaves the viewer in suspense. The only suspense in this collection is the will-they/won’t-they moments between Allison and Wil, which gets old fast.
The mysteries or the outcomes aren’t particularly compelling either. The show really rests on the interactions of the characters with each other and everyone else, and everyone is generally so cordial and polite with each other that there’s not really much of a conflict. The bad guys are easily brought down and everything is fine just in time for tea.
The twist at the end, a time skip going into the second part of the series, would be more intriguing if it made more sense and didn’t seem unmotivated. It’s a generally lethargic series that makes it hard to find anything to care about.
The video comes in typical 16:9 widescreen. The animation is clean, but it’s not kinetic. Everything feels slow, which may be due to the story’s pacing, but the animation definitely doesn’t help. There’s also some obvious and obtrusive CGI for some of the vehicles, really sticking out like a sore thumb.
The series has only Japanese 2.0 audio. The soundtrack and background music features some uplifting tunes you’d expect from a show that heavily features flying and piloting, even to the point where my roommate heard the music and correctly guessed that the show featured flight. Those are well-inspired tunes, but others like the ending are lackluster.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The two-disc set comes in a single care, featuring only trailers for other Sentai Filmwork series and clean opening/ending. That’s it. Really bare bones.
This series feels almost like childhood short novels. You know, those that feature kids getting into random mysteries and adventures and everything’s fine at the end, perfectly suited for their elementary-middle school audience. Perhaps those are the kind of novels this series is based on. Nothing really compelling about it though to recommend though. It’s not awful, but there’s nothing really interesting either.
Overall (Not an Average) 3/10
The Series 3/10
The Video 4/10
The Audio 6.5/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 8/10
Overall (Not an Average) 2/10