Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time.
Yukikaze Vol. 1
Distributor Beez Entertainment
Date 15 Apr 2006
Set 33 years after a failed alien invasion of our much sought after real estate, a portal remains open on Earth between our world, and the home of the invaders (known as JAM). Humanity followed the invaders back to their homeland, and continue to fight in order to safeguard our world.
Yukikaze itself is the name of an AI controlled aircraft which represents humanities finest technological achievement in aerial warfare – a semi-sentient system which acts as a virtual wingman, communicating in text across the control panel, it also represents the anime perfectly – sombre, clinical and open to interpretation.
Based on the award-winning novels written by Chohei Kambayashi, the series has a distinctly adult flavour. The original novel is over 20 years old, and contains none of the teens in tin-cans action of Gundam or Macross, choosing instead to focus on adults in an adult situation, this is about as hardline as Science Fiction anime gets.
Certainly the series is utterly, utterly beautiful. Everything onscreen is sharp and bright (check out the screenshots above) with fluid animation and confident direction from Masahiko Ohkura.
In terms of action, the series has it in spades. The aerial combat sequences are blisteringly fast and superbly choreographed, with an air of realism that makes it all the more exciting. Yukikaze hammers home the deadly aerial dancing between combatants as planes are shot down on both sides with attacks coming from nowhere – the shots alternate between the cockpit and the battle, as split-second decisions are acted out with deadly efficiency, creating spectacular and heart-pounding moments.
However, Yukikaze seems entirely bereft of human emotion, and it’s just too early to say whether that’s a social comment on technology in war, or whether the creators just became so wrapped up in how the series looks that they forgot to add any human emotion. Time will tell, but on first viewing it remains a fascinating, if detached experience.
Extras include a fascinating interview with the author, a behind-the-scenes look at a trip to the JSDF with series creators Gonzo, and the original Japanese trailers.