388th G-View: The Magnificent Kotobuki

A group of cute and sexy girls piloting old school fighter planes in a semi post apocalyptic landscape and of course engaging in epic dogfights. That was all I needed to know about the show for it to grab my interest. Let us find out whether it is worth readers’ time as we take a look at The Magnificent Kotobuki.

The Magnificent Kotobuki.jpg

Alternate Title: Kouya no Kotobuki Hiokutai (Japanese)

Genres: Action, Post-Apocalyptic (sort of)

Themes: Aerial Warfare, Airplanes.

Number of Episodes: 12 with a light novel sequel

G-Rating: 8/10

Plot Summary: In a desolate land, people trade goods with each other to survive. Goods are transported via huge zeppelins which hire squadrons of fighter pilots for defense against air pirates and carry their single-engine fighter planes on board. One of these is the Kotobuki Squadron, a team of six young women; Kylie, Emma, Kate, Reona, Zara and Chika.


Kotobuki Chilling.jpg

5 of the 6 Kotobuki Squadron chilling.

The main plot is politically driven as it is set in a world where people depend on trade of goods to survive. The one MINOR spoiler I will give is that the reason fish are considered goods worth sacrificing one’s life over is because water is extremely rare in this Wild West like world. Viewers will have to watch the show to find out why I said “rare” and not “gone”. The rest of it is the standard “politicians fighting for power”. Worry not as it is more exciting than it sounds. I do not mean the debates and stuff. That is standard stuff, meaning discussions on what is the right move to make for a better tomorrow. The topics are decent but the excitement comes from the slow buildup to the reveal of the main antagonists and the secrets of the world. The latter is neat but the former…let me put it this way. I love the main villain because he is so old school, meaning over the top and not deep at all. Plus the main story is buried behind a wall of super fast arguing, bantering, complaining and rambling among the cast. What I mean by this is more often than not when everyone is arguing with each other they talk really fast (Not Teekyuu fast thankfully. Keeping up with that for more than two minutes would be exhausting) and when the Japanese talk fast, especially women, it is music to my ears. Besides, learning more about the cast is more interesting. None of them have particularly deep character arcs but it is still fun to learn more about them.

attitude adjustment

John Cena would be proud of Chika.

Speaking of arguing,  a trend on the show is depicting most male side-characters as stubborn, narrow-minded mules with most of them being nearly beyond reasoning. Most (non-enemies) are also incompetent or less reliable than the female pilots/employees/politicians. Now certain viewers annoyed by the “Girl Power” trope need not worry. Although the women are more skilled, capable, intelligent, stronger etc than the men they are not devoid of the same weaknesses as the men. It is meant to show viewers how not to act, unless you want to run for government office. Yup. Obvious jab at stupid middle-aged politicians if obvious. When the ladies lose their cool or let their guard down they pay for their mistakes. Basically the male cast are split between grumpy narrow-minded nitwits, decently capable dorks and dangerous villains.

kotobuki dogfight

The first battle is a bit confusing but it becomes less of an issue in every other battle.

One of the two main reasons to watch this show are the air battles. While the anime is 90% Japanese CG animation it is at its best during these battles. The show drops viewers right into the action from the first person view of a plane taking off to the epic final battle. Each dogfight is action packed, complete with sweet maneuvers and strategies as the heroes and villains try to outdo and shoot down their respective planes. The camera movement during battles is fantastic. Every angle making absolutely sure to give viewers the feeling that they too are part of the action. Let me put it this way. This anime would benefit from virtual reality lenses (At least I think so). As I just mentioned the animation is mostly CG with some 2D thrown in here and there. It is well done in my opinion. It may take some getting used to for some but I am somewhat confident it will be no time at all for viewers to not mind the animation. The soundtrack is simple but fitting with the tunes matching most of the planes’ and blimps/zeppelins’ nostalgic designs. As an interesting artistic choice there are several dogfights with no music. Some thought this felt weird. I thought it was great. Another great decision to help viewers get into the action as the only sounds heard were the propellers spinning, planes flying, machine guns firing and damaged planes crashing. This was not the case for all battles. Most have background music. The silent ones to me felt more personal in a way. The OP is pretty cool and the ED neat.

Kotobuki Squadron

Left to right: Reona, Zara, Kylie/Kirie, Chika, Emma, Kate.

Not going through all the characters so let us briefly talk about the Kotobuki Squadron.

Kylie/Kirie: The main protagonist. An energetic hothead who has a short temper but means well. She loves pancakes and flying.

Chika: Like Kylie/Kirie she too has a short temper but may be more energetic. She enjoys squabbling with Kirie but when she is not around she shows her more caring side for the hothead. Enjoys kicking ass.

Emma: The ojou-sama of the group. She is part of the calm trio (Emma, Zara and Kate).

Kate: The “robot” of the group, meaning she uses a lot of big words and talks in a logical/calculating manner, hence coming off robotic and monotone. She is simply not good at expressing more than one emotion. Not an ice princess.

Zara: The sexier one, big sister of the group and Reona’s right hand. Is aware of her sexiness and knows when to use it to her advantage. The most levelheaded of the group despite being a heavy drinker.

Reona: The sexy commando and team captain. The most devoted to completing missions, stemming from her hatred of being indebted to someone, meaning she dislikes not being able to repay anyone for helping her (Remember this). Although it often appears she has everything under control, which she does, there are of course times she loses it.

Kotobuki Julia.jpg


Although I said I would not go over most of the cast there is one side-character worth mentioning. Julia. An egotistical, yet cool deep down, beauty who often comes off like a nagging hag but in reality is a brilliant badass who speaks the truth. At least she is aware of her flaws and hag status and embraces them. There is also one last thing about her…

Oh and the Kotobuki mascot is a dodo. Because. Okay. Maybe it is connected to the status of the world setting. Just a guess.

As always before ending the G-View we talk about the yuri. There is one ship, a (probably) one-sided crush and a couple who slowly build up to the big moment. I already threw some clues about the types of yuri on the show but here is the biggest one for the aforementioned couple.

Mutsu X Nagato

KanColle fans can figure out who the couple is from this clue.

Overall The Magnificent Kotobuki is a fun and rowdy time with epic dogfights, a likable cast who like to bicker but care for each other deep down (each having a neat story to tell) and have a good time beating up stupid men, very nice CG, fitting soundtrack and some yuri for viewers who pay attention. While the main plot is ultimately a means to an end we do get some hints on the kind of world the show is set in. Hopefully there will be a second season and the continuation is not relegated to a light novel and mobile game. Recommended to fans of badass cuties and hotties and epic dogfights.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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16 Responses to 388th G-View: The Magnificent Kotobuki

  1. cirno9fan says:

    I never knew people were complaining about the fights that lacked music. I am with you on that enhancing the fights. Music isn’t needed for things like that, as music’s main purpose is to “set the mood” but all those sounds create their own music, and set the mood quite nicely yes~

    My favorite was Chika ❤

    Her and Pancake really started to hit it off more as the show went on! The other couples you mentioned were nice too.

    The show had some crazy things (never forget that gunfight), and the villain was indeed very 1D, but it worked out well for the story.

    Speaking of the story, I also deeply hope it gets a continuation in animated form. Preferably not a movie, because then there’s a horrendous wait….

    PancakeChika 4ever!~<3

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Zacraen says:

    who is the couple you are talking about?


  3. Loved it!

    The dogfights were indeed amazing, and I agree that the musicless fights had their own charm, very much indeed. I’m not sure I liked them especially more than the ones with music, but it is true for me as well that they had more impact of a sort.

    The secretly-not-all-she-seems waitress of the ship might be my favourite of the show, followed by Reona and then Kirie/Kylie. Julia was pretty fun too.

    The villain was at least effective in their methods, if way too focused on their goal at the end…some really, really good dogfights with them involved, though.

    I would also like to see more of the team, they were all great! And more dogfights please!

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Dogfights were awesome. I enjoyed the ones without music more but they were all excellent.

      The waitress was sexy and badass. Most of the female cast can be described as such.

      I loved how hammy and unrelenting he was. He’s like a rotten kid in an adult body. His butler was amusing.

      Fingers crossed for a 2nd season.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mauron says:

    I was excited when I first heard of Third Aerial Girls Squadron, and it did not disappoint.

    It felt like they were going for a more western vibe for the setting, so I definitely prefer Kylie over Kyrie, and Leona/Sara probably fit that a little better.

    It was a fun series, although it needed a little more world building to be great.

    The best followup to the series would be Reona and Zara’s inevitable wedding. Maybe it could end with Kylie and Chika finally admitting their feelings for one another.

    I will definitely read/play the followups if they get translated.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      A SHIROBAKO reference and joke. Noice.

      Yes. The English pronunciations in the subs are most likely the correct ones. Kylie, Leona and Sara.

      Fingers crossed we get to the see Leona and Sara wedding at some point. They already have the orphans to adopt into their family so no worries there. Kylie X Chika will hopefully be followed up on in the sequel media.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sayamane says:

    where is Loulou? she is one of the most important chara and appears frequently in anime. there is a scene where Julia says she loves her. although its not confirmed to be romantic or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Because Loulou didn’t respond to Julia in the anime. Hopefully her rejecting the male captain means there’s hope for Julia in the sequel media.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. LuzeP says:

    Almost forgot to comment. I enjoyed this show. I liked how they talk fast, and funny too. Especially when Kirie and Chika start arguing. Being 2 tsundere and all. Reona and Zara are eventually canon. Too bad our two sexy ladies story didn’t go anywhere. I liked the dogfights too, I feel like I’m the one whos flying. Although the last episode was too intense I got motion sickness just from watching. I don’t know about the light novel but there is a game to this. Fingers crossed we get a second season.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Yes. They had several funny dialogues.

      Tsun X Tsun.

      Reona X Zara are all set, yes.

      Shame about Julia X LouLou not going anywhere as of yet. Hopefully they do in the future.

      Ah yes. I can understand people getting motion sickness from this show.

      We need a 2nd season.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. K says:

    First off, I didn’t know that there was a LN AND a mobage for this show. How interesting.

    Honestly, the super-fast dialogue threw me for a loop but I got used to it.

    The dogfights were exhilarating. The POV shots and music that plays during these battles reminded me of Girls und Panzer and sure enough, they had the same director.

    One of the funniest moments in the show for me was when Kylie finally came face-to-face with her rival. I was thinking that she and Kylie knew each other a long time ago and Kylie just couldn’t best in combat but it turned out that she had no idea why Kylie tried to shoot her down whenever they crossed paths. So hilarious.

    Isao was a goofy dude who knew a lot of magic tricks but his piloting was nothing to sneeze at. I was a bit surprised that he ended up being the final boss but he played the role well. I wonder if he made to the other side of that hole.

    I liked the dodo’s blank expression. Also, it always got me laughing whenever it squawked.

    The characters outside of the Kotobuki pilots were alright but my fave was Kate’s brother. He had such a carefree attitude even when there were perps trying to shut him up for knowing too much. I liked that.

    Reona/Zara’s got my back. As for Madame Julia and Madame Loulou, there may have been something in the past, but now, I ain’t sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. yurimylove says:

    awesome aerial acrobatics XD Beside the main cast I do like, I also find the “cranky” mechanics girl who always carries a crank shaft/handle around very funny.

    Liked by 1 person

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