Well, here comes the Darling in the Franxx comparisons. In order to keep Gripen from falling asleep “behind the wheels,” Kei offers to fly with her. Unfortunately, the human body can’t handle all these Gs! So even though Kei’s mere presence successfully keeps Gripen awake, his body ends up suffering as a result. O-M-G, this is like Hiro and Zero-Two! Well, kinda. Zero-Two is the sole reason why her partners die. She practically feeds on them. The situation is entirely different in Girly Air Force. Kei gets hurt because the flesh is just weak. As for the girl, I suspect that her problem is that she’s too human. Yashiodoori and his bosses seem to treat the Daughters as nothing more than just tools for the job. They’re advanced computers, but still computers nonetheless. They’re designed to take orders and carry out their orders, no questions asked. But humans aren’t like that. Humans need a reason to fight, and this episode spells this out very clearly. Gripen knows what she has to do, but this by itself isn’t enough to motivate the girl. Only when she learns that the town is about to be destroyed does she seem to attain any sort of determination. Despite their short time together, our heroine is desperate to protect the place where she formed all those “precious” memories with Kei. Wanna save the day? Take a girl to a ramen bar. Anyways, one of the big worries is that because Gripen is made from spare Xi parts, there’s a small chance she might betray them in the end. Well, this shouldn’t be an actual concern because she has a strong emotional attachment to Kei. Gripen is essentially all too human.
At the end of the day, I’m just not interested in shallow comparisons. The two shows are too different both thematically and tonally. It’s not meaningful to say, “Hey, they both fly together, and the male protagonist gets hurt as a result! Oh no, the childhood best friend is going to be super mad and overprotective when she finds out about this!” I’m just going to treat Girly Air Force as its own thing, which is a subpar anime about cute girls flying fighters and some dude being forced into the picture simply because he’s got that magical dick.
— Lots of crazy eyes in this week’s episode.
— It’s a shame that Minghua’s entire purpose in this show is to be the unfortunate backup waifu. Whenever Kei can’t be with Gripen for whatever reason — whether it’s his fault or not — Minghua is there to pick up the pieces. But as soon as he can suddenly be with Gripen, he instantly drops his childhood best friend like she’s hot garbage. In our latest example, when Eagle reveals that Gripen is scheduled to be scrapped, Kei hightails it out of there, leaving Minghua in the dust. Like I said, what a pitiful fate for the girl.
— As for Eagle, she’s the blonde waifu who has spent a lot of time in America, so basically, she exhibits all the expected stereotypes. Big boobs, kind of an airhead, rather flirty for no reason, so on and so forth.
— I like how a teenager has no problems sneaking onto a military base.
— God, the Animas are garish-looking.
— Damn, look at all those boggies.
— Initially, Gripen has trouble piloting because Kei is onboard. As a result, he has to fly the fighter for a short while. Despite being a teenager with barely any training, the guy pulls off a snazzy move and takes down a Xi fighter all on his own. I guess it’s just in his blood. Or maybe it’s all them video games.
— Kei eventually succumbs to all them Gs, but instead of just being completely useless, he somehow enters a magical anime world where his waifu is waiting for him. His conversation with Yashiodoori at the end of the episode seems to suggest that he merged his consciousness with both the Anima and the Daughter. Shrug, whatever.
— And seeing how this is a typical anime, both Kei and Minghua will be attending school after this episode. I wouldn’t be surprised if the three Daughters somehow end up transferring into the same class.
— So with four episodes under our belt and the whole scrapping Gripen situation under control, we can say that we have a solid impression of this show, right? Well, Girly Air Force is just too straightforward. Kei’s relationship with Gripen is nothing we haven’t seen before. Unfortunately, the cast is neither large or interesting enough to make up for our canon couple’s lack of excitement. Furthermore, Kei never really earns anything. How does he know how to fly so well? Why did Gripen emotionally attach herself to the guy before she even really knew him (back at the start of the first episode)? They can’t actually be childhood friends as well, can they? Anyways, I digress. Last but not least, the Xi are shrouded in mystery, but the storytelling isn’t strong enough to make us care to find out more. All in all, it’s just an uninspiring package. Anime typically recycles and regurgitates the same story beats and plot points over and over, but with some decent execution, you can overlook this. It doesn’t appear as though Girly Air Force is even trying. It’s sole gimmick is that the girls are kinda like anthropomophized fighters but also kinda not? Meh.