Watching a show as it airs definitely gives a different experience to marathoning a show. The spaces in time between each episode can give you time to analyse and really absorb a show, rather than getting carried away with emotions if you were watching episodes on a binge.
Anyway, without further ado, here's a review of:
The Pilots Love Song
So you see that trailer? Seems pretty action packed huh? Probably seems like its got pretty high production values. Seems like its got a lot going for it. Well that's all a lie. And the worst thing is, it took me 12 episodes to realise that it was a lie.
This was a show that I picked up on a whim. Just after the season started, I just saw it on the crunchyroll listings, and though, hey, how bad can it be. And hell it wasn't actually that bad, at least whilst I wasn't thinking about it.
The Pilots Love Song tells the story of Kal-El Albus, as he embarks on a journey aboard Isla, to the end of the sky. Isla is a giant floating rock, ala Laputa, and it was one of the first things that drew me about this show. At times it could be very very pretty. Once on Isla, Kal and his sister Ari are enlisted in the flight school so that they can learn to fly planes so that they can protect Isla.
The shows artwork is genuinely beautiful at points, and there is often a lovely sense of warmth used in the colour pallets.
Once on Isla, Super Dumbledore meets Claire Cruz, and they fall in love in about 6 minutes of screentime.
Yes, I'm serious.
To be honest, that's not too bad a thing for the show to do (it does far worse) but in hindsight, that should have been the point where I started to question the quality of the series. The story floats along at a reasonable clip with predictable beats and a story filled with themes of revenge and love. If anything, this is what the show does best, giving us an introspection on the characters mindset, using flashbacks and experiences to illustrate them. The characters are well defined, if generic, and aside from one shounen style yell, I believed the characters for the most of it.
You may notice that I haven't said an awful lot about the plot. That's because neither does the show. Until the info dump that is the final episode, we are like Isla, floating towards an uncertain point, with no real idea of what will happen there. And that is the biggest issue with The Pilot's Love Song. it gets lost in its lack of a plot, and when it tries to have one, it is far too little too late. Enemies will come and go, allies will arrive, and in all of that, you have to rely on our rather generic cast of characters to keep our interest. And they do until the plot shows itself and is shown to be a pile of poop.
To go onto a technical level, so much of what is here is just so very by the numbers. The artwork whilst occasionally very pretty, is often just plain boring. Add to the murky and blurry draw distances, and those horrid bits of action where all the detail kind of fades away, and its not really that good a package anymore.
The music is all pretty much stock standard stuff, and whilst the ED is pretty cool, the OP was skipped almost every single time for me. The VA's all did a reasonable job. Standouts for me were Aoi Yuki as the female lead and Kaito Ishikawa as the antagonist of sorts. Aoi's performance varied between delicate and firm, and it lent a lot of believability to her relationship with Super Dumbledore. Ishikawa as Ignacio was generic as hell, but he was enjoyable evil sounding for the most part. He also got to narrate the episode previews, which always put a bit of a smile on my face.
Overall, I still have mixed opinions about this show. On the one hand it had me very into it for the majority of its runtime, but on the other, the shortcomings once revealed were so glaring it pains me to see that I missed them. It's often said in criticism of media that the ending of a show is of paramount importance, and that is definitely the case here. The final act twist's and the ridiculous lack of plot really meant that this ended on a damp squib rather than soaring high.