The story follows a pilot who rises to the top ranks of the military. As a beautiful daughter of the noble family del Moral, Fana was proposed by Prince Carlo, who is the crown prince of their country Levamme. However, since Levamme is at war with Amatsuvian, the marriage had to wait until the war ends. Meanwhile, as a bestado, the lowest caste in Levamme, Charles had always dreamed of flying and eventually became the ace pilot of the air force. Although he was often mistreated, a glorious chance came about when the Amatsuvian bombarded del Moral’s home in order to get rid of the future empress. Charles was then entrusted with the top secret mission of delivering the princess to the prince. In addition, near the start, we are shown an extravagant ball, the guest of honor is Lady Fana del Moral, the silver-haired daughter of the del Moral, who have garnered prestige as a royal house.
In the film, The Princess and the Pilot, Charles is shown to be a perfect soldier: skilled, obedient, and loyal. However, it’s in a very different tone and feel from the typical Mazui project, focusing on the story of a pilot and a princess and the battles, emotions, and determination they must fight through to get to their destination together. His choice to value his duty to his country over love for Fana was unwise and detrimental to his future happiness. That is basically the meat if this film in trying to decipher arguments between who is right and just. A final argument for Charles’s decision is that it was for Fana’s protection. I am sure many people will have many different perspectives on the matter, which shows how good of a film this is that can warp the minds of its viewers.
Thirdly, technically it’s a romance movie, however it’s not the main focus of the story, or so I felt like. After living in a country that has given him nothing but hardship, it is baffling to me why he chose to place his duty to that country above the love he had for Fana. So what did I get? I got a pleasant enjoyable movie, nothing groundbreaking, but a solid enjoyable watch. It looked nice, the characters were pretty cool guys, some nice dogfights which sticks smartly to a compact cast, as the majority of the screen time will be firmly fixed on the Pilot and his glamorous gunner.
The only blemish in an otherwise great anime was the incomplete, or shall I say lack thereof, ending. Not only is the end rather inconclusive, but the ending credits have a nice description of what the two main-characters do in the future. How lazy is that? I expected a bit more from a MadHouse porject in terms of that aspect, but still, all of the flying scenes were amazing as well, including some great action sequences which were filled with superb piloting while being believable at the same time. And really, isn’t that why you go to see an anime that takes place in the sky? Aside from the glitter dance scene at the end, there is an abundence of excellent cinematography to set the mood and feel for the setting, especially the planes and airships. I hope in 2012 this gets a bigger buzz from the anime community because it deserves it.