Sunday, July 29, 2012

801 T.T.S. Airbats Anime Review

801 T.T.S. Airbats
ADV Films
Complete Collection - 2 discs
175 mins. - 7 episodes
$34.98 (2002)
ISBN 702727026621
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Yuji Moriyama
Studio - Studio Fantasia

Synopsis: Fighter technician Takuya Isurugi is transferred to the 801st Tactical Training Squadron.  The 801st is an all-female aerial acrobatics unit (like the Blue Angels) and a dumping ground for rejects.  Isurugi quickly gets on the ladies' bad sides by accidentally walking in on them changing while the group's mascot (a bat) is conveniently dive-bombing him.
Isurugi accidentally walks in on Haneda changing
He meets his new flight crew and learns their idiosyncrasies, and they learn his.  Somehow he manages to become the love interest between the two incredibly beautiful fighter pilots of the 801st - Miyuki Haneda and Arisa Mitaka.  The two ladies battle it out in the skies and on the ground for Isurugi's affections.
Isurugi's positive attitude bombards Mitaka
Each of the 801st group has an interesting personality and they must come together as a tight-knit unit in order to remain in existence!  Constant threats of disbanding the group are made by the Self Defense Force higher ups.  Haneda and Mitaka must put aside their rivalry in order to save the team.  A visit by an American aerial acrobatics team puts them in another tailspin, almost as much as an eating contest at the local ramen house.
Isurugi works on a plane while Haneda talks to him
Get to know your 801st T.T.S. Airbats team:
  • Takuya Isurugi - airplane mechanic, closet otaku with an extensive collection of anime figures, positive attitude and supportive of his teammates
  • Miyuki Haneda - one of the two top fighter pilots of the 801st, positive attitude, very self-conscious and shy at times, Isurugi's kind demeanor and personality won her over and she is hopelessly in love with him
  • Arisa Mitaka - the other of the top two fighter pilots of the 801st, bad ass piloting skillz, branded a major trouble-maker, despite her best efforts to dislike Isurugi she ends up a falling for him just as hard as Haneda
  • Mitsuru Konishi - always wears sunglasses, he's a man's man and constantly working out, hardcore food eating contestant, secretly in love with Sakura
  • Sakura Saginomiya - compulsive gambler - particularly horse races, loves her dog Patriot, she makes me nervous
  • Yoko Shimorenjaku - has pink hair and a pet bat (Chi-Chan), is not a very good drunk, constantly eats junk food and snacks
  • Kouji Kengamine - officer in charge of the 801st who really wants the team disbanded so he can command a combat unit, went to training school with Konishi, a total suck up to superiors and only interested in getting promoted away from the 801st
The 801st crew - Chi-Chan the bat, Yoko eats sushi, Sakura sings karaoke,
Konishi screams, Kouji attempts to flee, Mitaka and Haneda drink too
much and fondle Isurugi!
Pros: Decent animation (it's an OVA), amusing comedy moments, a bunch of fan-service (particularly in the hot springs episode with a little nudity thrown in), couple extras, good supporting cast outside of the three main characters
Haneda and Mitaka perform aerial maneuvers
Cons: No clue why Haneda and Mitaka are so hung up on Isurugi - he's a total dork, no conclusion to the series - just another episode, bland opening/ending themes, the team goes head-to-head with an obnoxious American aerial acrobatics team -
The 801st crew cries bloody murder at a haunted hot spring!
Mike Tells It Straight: This is not a harem anime - it's a love triangle comedy show.  The animation is well done and the plot is pretty standard - lots of slapstick comedy and convenient misunderstandings.  We get the typical hot springs episode with a little nudity from the female cast members (mostly Mitaka) while the guys are all closet perverts.  Amusing stuff and completely formulaic.
Mitaka has a wardrobe malfunction at the hot springs!
Isurugi is a nerdy otaku who 'just happens' to have two beautiful fighter pilots swooning over him constantly. WTF!  I found it interesting the short OVA series wasn't structured to have a conclusion and instead played like a much longer episodic series.  Overall a cute little comedy show with airplanes.   

TO BUY and Recommendations: