The past 2 or 3 months have been the least anime I’ve watched over a period this long since I got back into it last year (actually I have no facts to back that statement) so I once again turned to the handy recommendation forum of Animesuki for help (the only section of the site I like at all) and happened to get a mention of something I’d never even heard before – Rescue Wings. I watched an episode when I was about to go to be and immediately ended up watching the first 5 before getting too tired to coninue. I then finished it up today.
The two shows that come to mind quickest when thinking about Rescue Wings are Honey and Clover and 5 cm Per Second. If that’s not indication enough, Rescue Wings is definitely a show meant for adults (or really matur teenages like I consider myself.) It’s about a guy named Uchida who gets assigned to be a pilot of a rescue helicopter although he’d wanted to be a fighter pilot. At first he’s not feeling too great about things since he didn’t get the job he wanted, the town he’s moved to is tiny, and he and his girlfriend back home keep missing each other’s calls. Things only get worse when he has a hardass training instructor and worse yet when a major accident occurs on the first mission he spectates.
However, thing steadily get better and Uchida comes to enjoy his place in the JSDF. The biggest driving force behind his character is his steel determination. When his instructor tells him about his mistakes or he makes fuck ups he always sets out to improve himself and never bitch about it. He develops kinship with those around him and is overall a great guy.
Rescue Wings is a very soft-spoken anime. Emotions are expressed through action and interaction rather than eplanation, which is something I wholly admire in anime. Episode 4 in particular has Marimite-level communication fuckwin. Every character, no matter how minor, has a depth and human quality to them.
Perhaps my favorite element of the show was how it superbly highlighted the importance of relationships and displayed more than ever how mouch a couple needs to rely on each other, always keeping within totally real context. That’s something that should be mentioned forthright – except for a JSDF member just so happening to be involved in a dangerous situation in one episode, everything in Rescue Wings is 100% realistic. There is not an ubelievable moment within. But anyway, Uchida and his girlfriend’s interactions are brilliant because we see the imperfections of both characters and how they balance each other out. There are other examples of these relationships and are all great.
I found the directing to be exceptional as well. Episode order, pacing (slow but not too slow) and some great decisions such as Honey and Clover esque songs during episodes and an ed that changes to fit the episodes. Animation was off the charts, definitely one of J.C.Staff’s finest and proving once again that not everything they do is trash (in fact they are an extremely respectable studio who is unfortunately most recognized for it’s worst shows. Wait did I just refer to them in 3 different ways in that sentence? I’m leaving that in here.)
The only problem I had in Rescue Wings, and is a minor complaint, is that all the characters look very similar (realistic, all asians look alike) and it made certain scenes confusing when I thought one guy was another guy. Minor complaint though.
There was also a (beautifully animated) OVA. This one was very very very hard for me to grasp and I imagine would be for most people my age. I want to watch this as an old man and see if I understand it. Very introspective and nostalgic feeling that i could see but couldn’t feel.
Anyway, good show, go watch.