The Magnificent KOTOBUKI (anime review)

Title: The Magnificent KOTOBUKI: Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Director: Tsutomu Mizushima

Studio: GEMBA Digital Frontier (production co-operation), Wao World (2D animation)

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Feb. 2nd, 2020

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Action, Adventure, War Fair

Age Rating: T. V. 14

Overall Personal Rating: C+


In a desolate world where the safest form of transporting cargo is by zeppelin; air pirates roam the sky, preying on aerial commerce and holding remote towns for ransom. Against these airborne marauders, the only defense is to hire high-flying protection of your own, and that’s where mercenary pilots like the girls of the Kotobuki Squadron come in.

Behind the joysticks of their lightweight Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa fighters, these lady falcons play a deadly game of escort, where a single mistake can end up in a fiery crash or mid-air collision. But for birds of prey like Kylie, Reona, Chika, Emma, Kate, and Zara, the danger is worth it for the chance to spread their wings and soar into the heavens. The wild blue yonder gets even wilder as every dogfight becomes a catfight!


Within the first 5 minutes I was asking myself how I was going to make it through The Magnificent KOTOBUKI because I was so put off by the unfortunate selection of Computer Generated (CG) production. It was almost impossible to look at the women with their hard edge CG that I just pushed through the first episode. By the time I got to the third episode I had become used to the poor production quality and was able to focus on the series.

I was able to connect with several of the characters and found the squadron to be likeable, but at times a little too flippant. Just like many of the sports anime these young women have their internal struggles and their own reasons to fly and fight. Some of the best moments is when they are all together drinking and eating. This is when you get to understand them the most. The arial battles entertaining enough, but the harsh CG really detracts from the overall enjoyment of the series.

Overall Grade: C+

The Magnificent KOTOBUKI has some fine writing and character development that helps to keep this series above water. If you are looking for some great ariel battle scenes then you might be a little disappointed. If you are in the market for a series that tell a decent story and gives you characters that have a story to tell then you will enjoy The Magnificent KOTOBUKI, just give the poor production value some time to not be an issue.

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