Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Ep. 2: Class tension in the sky!

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Warning: this will not be a serious post. Why? ‘Cause nothing serious happened whatsoever. Even this handshake between two people of supposedly different social classes actually ends up symbolizing nothing. You’ll see.

Episode summary: This is just your average boring slice-of-life episode. The kids attend a commencement ceremony. The kids cook. The kids eat. The kids go to class. Our hero pines for his true love, but she’s nowhere to be found… until near the very end of the episode. They fly a plane together. Kal is really the former crown prince of Balsteros. Yay, episode over. Much plot, very development.

Notes:

• There’s nothing wrong with cherry blossoms per se. Within a fantasy world, however, I expect a little more creativity than invoking Japanese motif just for the sake of tradition.

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• Hm, I didn’t realize running up to a girl to say “hi” was the same as hitting on them. I guess unless it’s business talk or there are relations between the two of you, don’t even bother talking to the opposite sex.

• Nina’s bangs are odd to me upon closer inspection:

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Also, that dude on the right looks as though he’s depressed. Maybe this whole anime is just depressed at its own lack of production values. Anyway, these guys are apparently taking control of Isla’s government, but we don’t really know how anyone else actually feels about it. All we get is some semi-ominous music for contextual clues.

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• Well, isn’t the guy above a role model we can all aspire to?

• Man, this world has got some strange geographical phenomenons:

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That’s the thing… this is a whole new universe. So I wish the creator of the story could’ve just been a little bolder and stretched his or her imagination a bit. A school academy in the skies is not imaginative. An endless waterfall that stretches farther than the eye can see? Well, it’s a start. As a medium, anime can be used to capture (but is not limited to) the fantastic and the phantasmagorical. At the back of my mind, however, I can’t shake the fact that the OP prominently hints at a future beach episode.

• This admiral’s logic:

1. A flying island exists.
2. The holy spring exists.
3. Therefore, the End of the Sky exists.

A, B, therefore C. Yep, I personally couldn’t have put it any better.

• It seems foolhardy to me to drag an entire island nation on a wild journey in search of something that is merely theorized to exist. Hell, he doesn’t even have a theory. You saw it up above: A, B, therefore C. That’s no fucking theory, man. Sounds to me like someone’s been going on a shopping spree in Colorado.

• Man, look at this guy:

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Is there a second of his life where he is not frowning? Doesn’t it hurt your face muscles? Or were our parents actually right: “If you keep making that face, it’ll be stuck like that forever.” Well, I know one thing for sure: don’t let that guy hold any babies.

• Oh dear, Kal’s heart aches for Claire but it would appear that she is a noble. Hands off, peasant!

• Ah, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before, but their uniforms definitely remind me of religious attire:

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The girls look like nuns, albeit somewhat sexy nuns. The guys? Eh, kinda looks like clerical clothing for priests. So now with that being said, why do you suppose this design is the case? Well, I’d say there’s definitely something fanatical about this End of the Sky journey, but that’s just me.

• I am surprised, though, that there isn’t anything to help us distinguish the nobles from everyone else. You’d think nobles anywhere would be wearing fancier clothing. Or maybe they’d have a pin just to designate their special status. Otherwise, how would I know that accidentally bumping my ice cream cone into some guy’s chest is a royal mistake as opposed to a plain ol’ mishap? But as far as the eye can see, the only possible clue here to help one spot a noble is perhaps their fancy follicles.

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• I really don’t understand this show’s logic:

Snooty guy: What do you want!
Old dude: *silently walks up and wipes away the ice cream stain* Is there still a problem?
Snooty guy: YOU BASTARD!

Wait, what? Fuck him for cleaning your outfit for you, right? What a dick! Then everyone cheers for the old man as if he did something (heh) noble. No, he just kowtowed to the asshole, but I guess he saved that kid’s life. That’s right, kids, never leave home without stain remover. You could save a life or two!

• “You’re really good, just like a real chef.” Yeah, draining cooked pasta is definitely some culinary level shit. Looks like she’s making spaghetti vongole, but the animation quality made me think she had dumped some halved hard-boiled eggs into the pasta for some reason:

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Clams on a floating island… hm. I’ll give Nisekoi credit for one thing though: the main character does the cooking. Whether or not that’s because Raku’s some sort of Gary Stu character, that remains to be seen, but at least we’re avoiding a cliche. I don’t have a problem with female chefs though; Chef Dominique Crenn out here in San Francisco has one of the best restaurants in the city in my opinion. I’m just saying it’s anime, and since Ari asks whether or not she has to cook for the gloomy guy, it sort of implies that the girls are somehow in charge of providing well-prepared meals for the boys (as always).

• We finally learn the name of our “gloomy” friend: Ignacio Axis. Now that’s a brooding name if I’ve ever heard one.

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• That old guy is actually a student? Goddamn. In fact, he’s the same age as everyone else… according to him. Yeah, I don’t know about that. Anyway, the old man blushes when everyone expresses their (understandable) disbelief. Animeisms, man. We’re on a floating island heading towards the mythical End of the Sky, and yet the episode features a bunch of students buying ingredients then cooking said ingredients for the boys. Killer plot. Then another guy blushes at a cute girl. Why do you do this, anime? Why?

• We cut to Claire staring at a star then nodding at it. Mm hmm. Good star. Very shiny. Nod.

• Here, we see a teacher punching another teacher in front of her students because his class is late. Violence is cool; in fact, it’s definitely a good way to express your frustrations with your peers and colleagues. Why, I sock my employer in the face every single time they annoy me.

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Trust me, it’s okay! Why? ‘Cause look at him. He’s a big, ol’ giant oaf. Female-on-male violence is okay as long as he’s a manly man. If you can’t take a jab to the stomach, I’m afraid you’re just not a man.

• Apparently, Claire isn’t normally allowed to leave her fancy noble estate, but thank god for Luis de Ala-something. Don’t forget that this is Mr. Logic from earlier in the episode. So you can already tell, he’s going to deliver one hell of an argument to convince the big meanie of a countess that Claire should be allowed to attend high school. Alright, alright, to set the stage… the Countess is all like, “No! There’s no reason for her to go to school!” Bam, shut down. What say you now, Mr. Logic?

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Oh. Well, that settles that. Moving on….

• According to the blonde instructor, there are three parallel curricula at our high school: the normal track, the mechanics track, and the flight track. Could you be a part of more than one? I think having the know-how to fix my plane would be really handy if I’m going to be a pilot.

• Anyway, incoming plane porn. We learn of the planes’ dimensions, its engine, etc. Very riveting stuff.

• Oh finally, a good question: one of the students openly wonders what all these weaponry are for. I mean, who exactly are they training themselves to fight against? So of course, the anime will deliver, right? We’ll actually get some relevant plot information, right?

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“Fuck you,” says the anime. “I’ll give you relevant plot information when I’m ready. You’ll watch my slice-of-life episode and you’ll like it.”

• The instructors give the students thirty minutes to pair up for an upcoming flight exercise. Goddamn, thirty minutes to mingle and socialize. Or is it thirty minutes to allow Claire-chan to catch up so that Kal can spurn his poor imouto (or onee-chan… we still don’t know).

• This guy…

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This guy knows what he wants and he goes for it: “Just give it up, and partner with me.”

• Oh dear, Claire is a black-haired beauty from the noble class and Mr. Strawberry Ice Cream Shirt guy from earlier has his sights set on her. How dare Kal speak to her! But our boy can handle himself! Don’t let Mr. Strawberry Ice Cream Shirt push you around!

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Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooh!

you just got served

• Unfortunately, Kal feels the compelling need to go on one knee in front of both classes in order to ask Claire to accompany him to the skies. What’s next, dude? Are you gonna tip your fedora and address her as “milady?”

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My neckbeard follicles are tingling!

• Well, as if we couldn’t have predicted it from the very start, Ari finds herself left alone with IGNASIO AXIIIIIIS, who, by the way, has apparently been looking off to the side the entire time. I didn’t know being a brooding asshole also meant you are just to real to give a shit about your surroundings.

• Anyway, for an anime about a bunch of kids at a flight school — on a floating island, no less — we finally take to the skies at the 19-minute mark. Oh would you look at that… there’s only a couple minutes left in the episode.

• “So that’s the path you’ve chosen, Kal-El!” mutters the broodster from the shadows. What path? The talk-to-the-cute-girl-regardless-of-her-nobility path? That’s just called game, son. Get some.

• Kal-el Albus? More like Karl la Hire! Yea…ah…

Jags_fan

But here’s the thing. The show makes a big deal out of Kal and Claire hooking up because she’s of the nobility and he’s just a filthy commoner, but at the end of the day, he’s really a deposed prince! Whoa, it’s like nothing changed at all. He’s still got that fancy blood that we don’t got. Class tension, ho!

With that, the episode comes to a close, and I just can’t to see what wacky, non-sky related hijinks the anime has in store for us next week.

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5 thoughts on “Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Ep. 2: Class tension in the sky!”

  1. My mind was so bored that the only thing I could think while skipping the episode was “Is it really a good idea to have the head of the co-pilot in the middle of two spinning blades?” Maybe there is still hope for this anime.

  2. So… I’ll just copy these things off from what I wrote somewhere else, that point towards a… weridness in the background world-building we have gotten so far:

    Balesteros
    – Is currently a republic, was a monarchy before that. Now, the historical examples of a monarchy transitioning into a republic that I know of fall into two categories: The French Revolution and it’s sisters, and Decolonisation (Conquered territories that paid tribute, like Rome did to Etruria are included in this). Because the Balesteros Empire lost none of its landmass to secessionists in transitioning to a Republic, I think it is safe to assume that they had an equivalent of the French Revolution. So… Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, and probably plenty of guillotines.
    -The revolution is quite recent, because our chief navigator worked with the Balesteros Empire in his lifetime, and apparently got a few medals and whatnot.

    Benares
    Is weird.
    Why? Because it has a revolutionary, incumbent government, which is somehow not very much in the aristocracy’s good graces. The aristocracy still regards affiliation with the Balesteros monarchy as an honor, but the incumbent government has put in laws and whatnot to force egalitarian principles into the existing military structure. However, the commanding officers are nobles, the navigators are noble, the financial backers are probably also nobles. The priest-woman looks plenty noble too, so the big question is:
    -If the revolutionary government is a government, why has it done such a crap job of being revolutionary?
    -How/Where does this government get its power. and authority, such that it can stay a government and put out these laws?

    My point here is twofold: one, the show is full of meaningless highschool hijinks, but is strategically throwing around world-building tidbits, so it appears hollow at first sight, but does have material.
    Two, this world is kinda weird.

    1. My point here is twofold: one, the show is full of meaningless highschool hijinks, but is strategically throwing around world-building tidbits, so it appears hollow at first sight, but does have material.

      Sure, but I don’t think I ever said the world around the characters were “hollow.” I’m just highlighting that the high school hijinks are really, really banal.

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