The Sky Crawlers (2008)

Hong Kong Panorama Blu-ray edition reg. A

Text below written 2016-11-20

This interesting anime must surely be very underrated ? I haven't heard anything about it and it may've flopped?
From Mamoru Oshii i've only seen 3 films before this one, the classic Ghost in the Shell, my favourite Avalon
and the awful Assault Girls. As the latter one of these - Azaruto Garuzo from 2009 was so painfully bad i had
very low expectations for this 2008 anime from Oshii.
Actually, it has been lying waiting at my place for some year or so as i didn't until recently have a Blu-ray player
that managed all regions. So, when this dilemma was remedied i could finally see it, and i liked it a lot.
(It has been released world wide though, and once even in Sweden).

This film is based on novel series The Sky Crawlers by Hiroshi Mori and it's remarkably pensive and permeated
with sadness, but it's also strangely beautiful. Sometimes it has this .... arrgh, my english are too poor, sorry ....
this melancholic Avalon-esque tone to it, and maybe the fine soundtrack from Kenji Kawai supports that feeling.
Well, i guess some people got bored when watching this film, just like they did when watching Avalon. In Avalon
our war-gaming heroine Ash lived her grey everyday life in Warzaw, taking the tram and living in her crappy
apartment (with her Basset dog, the Mamoru Oshii trademark) and in this film the young pilots sees the days pass
by, repeating their flying missions for ever and ever and .... yes, there's a Basset dog also in this film.

The film takes place in a future alternative world where the wars are performed as internationally televised War
Games, and possibly mostly with fighter jets doing the battles. The world of war are divided into regions and
private contractors are handling the fighting, as in this case somewhere in northern continental Europe in the war
between Rostock Corporation Tactical Air Force vs. Lautern.
They're using very young fighter pilots called Kildren, and these youngsters are treated like japanese Idols.
This film starts with Yuichi Kannami arriving at his base, a teenager Kildren with blurry memories of his past.
His officer and all the other pilots are also Kildren but the mechanic staff are grown-ups

The animation can't be compared with Miyazaki's but all of the flight scenes in this film looks Gorgeous, and
especially then a flying by night sequence. The planes look a bit Retro Punk, like WW2 planes from the future
and the costumes also look like WW2, but other stuff like they're from today. In the opposing war team there's
the undefeatable ace flyer "Teacher" and why is that? Will Yuichi try and take him down?

An underrated and unusual melancholic anime drama that stays in your mind with nice animation, especially in the
flight scenes, and with a beautiful soundtrack from Kenji Kawai.
widescreen, japanese audio DTS HD MA 5.1 or 5.1 DD with english subtitles, no extras REGION A