801 T.T.S. Airbats

Alt title: Aozora Shoujo-tai

OVA (7 eps x 28 min)
1994 - 1996
3.207 out of 5 from 689 votes
Rank #11,912

The 801 Tactical Training Squad is an all-female acrobatic pilot team, a massive PR stunt by the Japanese military, and apparently a dumping ground for trouble makers; Haneda Miyuki struck a superior officer, Mitaka Arisa is a hot-head who doesn't get along with anyone, and Shimorenjaku Yoko is a terrible pilot. But for Isurugi Takuya, a budding service technician, it is a dream come true to work with aircraft and those who love them. However, as quickly as it started, it might come to an end; to cut operational costs, the military is looking for any excuse to pull the plug on the 801. With the constant threat of being disbanded looming over their heads, can everyone pull together to keep the 801 TTS going?

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Reviews

SnapTite
3

I really looked forward to watching this and was very quickly disappointed. The story is about an all-female version of Japan's Blue Impulse Aerial Demonstration team. Actually, the story is about the love triangle with the flying in the background. First off, the love triangle is very contrived. There appears to be no basis for it other than "insert love triangle type C here." The protagonist shows up, has embarrassing encounters with members of the love triangle, then forgive him with and start the actual love triangle. Forgiveness is reasonable but it is rushed in this story with only a short paragraph of dialogue by one character explaining the change of heart. By the way, this particular change of heart could work if given another 10 minutes of screen time but they apparently felt there wasn't time for that.  Second is the flying story. There is a side story that mid-level command wants to shut the squadron down BECAUSE they are a Female unit. Okay, I get the gender inequality idea here and, considerfing the expense of Aerial Demonstration Squadrons (most nations only have one. The US has 2 because they have an Air Force as well as a Naval Air Force), shutting down the squadron might make some sense. However, if a squadron of ONLY female pilots is created to parallel the Blue Impulse team, it has some very high level support that mid level command couldn't shut down if they wanted to. Third, let's talk about the squadron composition. You have a commander who apparently has more important things to do than command or fly but he doesn't appear to do them. You have 4 female pilots, one of which is characterised as a decent pilot but not up to aerial demonstration quality, and they are all non-commissioned officers. Very few, if any, nations still make use of enlisted as jet pilots. The US Army has many but most achieve warrant officer status not long after being fully qualified. An aerial demonstration team should be made of nothing less than experienced captains. Finally, there is 1 maintenance NCO, the protagonist. To maintain 3 airplanes, there is 1 maintainer. I want that to sink in. One maintainer for 3 airplanes. There is no avionics troop, no engine troop, no hydraulics troop, no sheet metal troop, no life support troop. There isn't even a crew chief for each airplane or a pro super to manage the entire maintenance force. This force should have no less than 5 crew per plane with 2 per plane assigned SPECIFICALLY to THEIR plane! Especially for an aerial demonstration team! Fourth, let's talk professionalism. While the team is flying, the commander should be in the tower performing SOF (Supervisor of Flying) duties. If planes ding wingtips, it's his job to talk the team down. Before that, he should be watching to ensure they do not approach a min fuel or emergency fuel situation! He shouldn't be hanging out in front of the hangar watching the show like a tourist! A non-flying maintainer is not going to be directing pilots on how to safely fly their damaged airplanes and the pilots won't be listening to him! AND NO ONE IS HAVING A CASUAL CONVERSATION OR CONFRONTATION ON THE RADIO WHEN FLYING A DEMONSTRATION, EVEN FOR TRAINING!!!!! If such a situation were to ever happen, the SOF would immediately order, "ENDEX!" and the crews would land. In such tight formation, one tenth of a second inattention could (and has) led to the deaths of the entire team. Making an intentional openly emotional statement on the radio which could emotionally impair pilots in flight would lead to immediate replacement. The skeleton of a good story is there but they didn't put any meat on this frame. They added a lot of guts, actually surplus to requirements but placement has no rhyme or reason. Some of this is simply badly paced because they only had 7 episodes and made very poor choices on what and how to cut. This needs a remake with a much better script writer and at least 10 episodes to clear up its glaring errors. Also, the fan service can easily be cut because there isn't enough or important enough to make it worth a mature rating and it certainly won't satisfy anyone looking for that. The idea that ANYONE can just "sub into" the USAF Thunderbirds after a couple days training is laughable and insulting. I watched the Thunderbirds practice 3 times a day, 5 days a week in the off season (after tryouts for the next season's team). Also, "Remove rings and scarves" is a mandatory part of the pre-mission briefing. NOONE is ever going to wear rings on a military jet.

Cessnaace
5

I had high hopes for this one, namely due to the superior series Area 88. Both series feature fighter jets, but that's where the similarity ends. Area 88 has a real plot and characters you grow to care about. So far, after watching the first three episodes of this series I am far from impressed. A love triangle, which seems pointless, takes up as much screen time as the flying sequences.An OVA series from Studio Fantasia, this features a squadron made up of female pilots. Most don't seem to have much flying ability, and the one that truely is a good pilot is thus far portrayed as a petty hot-head. The animation is ok, but far too many shots of the aircraft are reused.What I've watched so far are the first three Japanese LaserDisc releases from Victor of Japan. Each disc is in CAV mode, alowing for perfect stills of each frame. There is considerable text detail on some shots of a racing form, etc., but fans of funny (goofy)/ecchi will find not much to enjoy. Silly sound effects during dreams and daydreams abound. If this is your cup of tea, than you may not want to go past episode 1 (Defcon I). Most of the ecchi takes place in episode 1's shower scene.The LaserDiscs, released by Victor, were manufactured in Japan by Kuraray and are in Japanese language only. In the interest of full disclosure I don't speak Japanese. They only placed one episode per disc, but encoded the disc with an ample number of chapter indexes. Each episode runs 30 minutes or slightly less. Disc 1 has 16 chapters, Disc 2 14 chapters, and Disc 3 15 chapters.

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