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Number of Episodes

2

 

Language Options English/Japanese/English Subtitles

 

Extras

- Yukikaze Making Report

- Mission Briefing

- Technical Data Files

- Yukikaze Glossary

- DTS Disc

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Yukikaze Volume 01:

Danger Zone (DVD)

 

If most anime can be described as being eye-candy, Yukikaze has got to be eye-steak. An OVA that blends bishonen-style animation with awesome CGI flight scenes, this show is just jaw-dropping amazing. The mood of the animation is schizophrenic, one moment slow and plodding and the next frantic with some of the most intense action this side of Macross Zero.

 

yukikaze anime review          yukikaze anime review

 

The back-story is as follows (gleaned from the extras): 33 years ago, an alien invader attacks Earth from a dimensional portal that opened up in Antarctica. This race, called the JAM, is pushed back through the portal and the human follow the attackers back to their home planet call-signed “Fairy”. On the planet, Earth forces have built five forward airbases to engage the enemy and have been involved in a prolonged air-war.

 

The main character of the story is the moody pilot Rei Fukai, a Lieutenant in the Special Air Force (SAF) under the Boomerang Squadron. Unlike other squadrons, the Boomerang Squadron is an information gathering division which spends their time collecting data on enemy movements and watching enemy engagements without getting involved. With information being the most important commodity, this squadron will break off from an attack to protect the information that they collect 

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(which leaves them particularly unloved by the main forces who don’t appreciate their missions and willingness to leave people behind). Lt. Fukai flies the Yukikaze, an advanced fighter that possesses an advanced control system capable of taking over the fighter in dangerous situations.

 

The first episode involves Lt. Fukai shooting down an unidentified Slyph fighter after Yukikaze designates the ship as being an enemy. This action draws him a hearing but after the 

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investigation clears him it appears that the JAM have infiltrated the SAF or duplicated the human fighter technology. This is upsetting as the humans know little about their opponents despite fighting them for 33 years. A later sortie turns dangerous as Lt. Fukai is jumped during a patrol and appears sick at a forward base. Rei is barely strong enough to stand but the Commander is insistent on knowing more about the Yukikaze and keeps pressing Rei to deactivate the security protocols on his fighter. After communicating with Yukikaze, Rei decides that this is a JAM plot of some sort and attacks the Commander and kills him. At this point, the entire world he is in collapses and Rei escapes in his fighter before crashing it in the desert. The Yukikaze uses its communications package to take control of a nearby unmanned test fighter flight; the fighter uploads all collected data on their time missing before ordering the fighter to strafe the Yukikaze. An injured Rei is ejected from his damaged fighter before it is destroyed and lays injured on the desert.

 

The second episode begins with a now comatose Lt. Fukai being shuttled around the airbase while the Yukikaze is being readied to fly under the new unmanned control system. The first flight under the unmanned system appears to go well until the Yukikaze returns to base and instead of landing, it engages its’ air to ground cannons and destroys five fighters on the tarmac and kills the crew working on them. The scene is enough to bring Lt. Fukai out of his state and he quickly begins raving about JAM having infiltrated the base and asks why no one else can see them.

 

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After putting the incident behind him, Rei begins rehabilitation towards flying again but almost doesn’t get flight certification after being brusque with the psychologist (who believes him severely unstable… hmm… an unstable pilot who is a danger to others with his risky flying… they should make a movie out of that!). After a direct request from his best friend and CO, the psychologist certifies him but only after making him agree to let her be Rei’s commo-officer on his next flight. The next mission turns out to be a mock battle between the unmanned fighter and Yukikaze under Lt. Fukai. Rei’s success is abysmal after being “killed” three times during the simulation, but as the group heads back to the base the group is jumped by a wing of JAM fighters.

 

Rei breaks off to draw away the attackers while the unmanned fighter and the control ship try to run for the base. Yukikaze is unarmed, but Rei is confident that its’ superior maneuverability will keep them alive while the scrambled interceptors are flying towards them. During the course of the action, the unmanned fighter unexpectedly breaks off with a new mission of protecting the Yukikaze and even sacrifices its’ control ship to buy time. The episode ends with the General receiving a report that the destroyed fighters from Yukikaze’s attack were tampered with and had some JAM components in the wreckage.

 

Freakin’ awesome: top-notch graphics and some impressive action definitely make this title worthwhile.

 

- Tazman

(April 1, 2004)

 

“We need to collect more data on this planet. Don, you go with my 16-year-old daughter in the chariot for the rest of the day. Penny, you stay here with me. Will, take the robot and go into the uncharted wilderness with this menacing boy-hungry pedophile.”

               - Dr. Robinson (The Family Guy)

 

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