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Yukikaze: vol. 1 - Danger Zone (2002)

    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Bandai Entertainment
Genre: Anime, Action Anime, Science Fiction Anime, Drama Anime, Mecha
Running Time: 75 min.
Languages: English, Japanese
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Synopsis
Unbeknownst to the general population, an alien force opened an inter-dimensional gate in Antarctica over 30 years ago in an attempt to invade the Earth. The unified forces of Earth formed an elite military unit under command of the United Nations to combat the aliens and to push them back towards their own dimension. But the war still rages on. Rei Fukai is an elite pilot of the Special Air Force (SAF) and designated pilot of the Yukikaze, an advanced fighter armed with a sentient computer control system. When fear of alien infiltration within the SAF spreads, the Yukikaze may be the only weapon humanity has to bring an end to this war.

Special Features:

  • Yukikaze Making Report
  • Mission Briefing
  • Technical Data Files
  • Yukikaze Glossary

Special Features:

  • Yukikaze Making Report
  • Mission Briefing
  • Technical Data Files
  • Yukikaze Glossary


GreenCine Member Reviews

Drop-dead gorgeous flight animation by hneline1 November 9, 2004 - 1:11 AM PST
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4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Yukikaze (Sentou Yousei Yukikaze) is drop-dead gorgeous. It's all about beautiful fighter planes soaring against billowing white clouds. There are dazzling explosions, jaw-dropping chasm sequences, and realistic dogfights. Yukikaze has the most stunning flight animation that I have seen recently, better than Last Exile and even Macross Zero, and Studio Gonzo lives up to CGI expectations. When I wasn't drooling over the mechanical eye candy, I was entranced by the rumble of jets and exhaust and machinery and wind in Dolby 5.1.

Also, for a short series, I thought that the plot and characters were intriguing enough. The protagonists are adults facing a prolonged war, and the story almost becomes a psychological mystery where the main character, Lt. Rei Fukai, is losing his grip on reality while his A.I. plane and the enemy toy with reality. I thought it was effective, but I was watching in Japanese and perhaps the English dub didn't capture that edgy feel.

The DVD only contains two episodes out of a four episode OVA series. In the Extras, there is an excellent "Making of Yukikaze" mini-documentary, which includes live action footage of the animation team visiting real fighter pilots in a Japanese Air Base and taking test flights, shots of the very messy Studio Gonzo interiors, interviews with the Japanese voice cast, and an interview with Chohei Kamibayashi, who wrote the novels on which this anime is based. The other extras explain terminology, some history in the Yukikaze universe, and technical spec (length, width, engine, thrust, max speed, armaments, etc.) for almost all the crafts in the show.

Story!...We don't need no stinkin' story! by GEvans February 26, 2004 - 7:43 PM PST
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9 out of 10 members found this review helpful
In fact Yukikaze Volume 1: Danger Zone don't got no stinkin' story and what semblance of a story it does have, stinks! For years, Fans of Anime have turned a knowing blind eye to the often mundane, at times invisible, storylines that populate many of our favorite series, because we know that what they may lack in this department they more than make up for in characterization and interpersonal interaction. Well Yukikaze's got none of that. The characters, what few of them there are in these opening two episodes, (what's with only two episodes!) are less than one dimensional. The main human character (I make a distinction since the real main character in this series is the jet fighter Yukikaze) Rei Fukai, is introverted, withdrawn, and in bad need of a haircut. He walks out on people in the middle of a conversation, ignores them, and hardly speaks. During a day long celebration after a recent flight/fight Rei said maybe two words the entire time. Rei is so socially out of touch that, by his own admission, can only relate to the jet that he pilots, the Yukikaze, and the only 'emotion' (for lack of a better word) he displays is when they attempt to take away his right to pilot the Yukikaze. That's just what the military needs, emotionally unbalanced people piloting deadly flying weapons who are so socially out of touch that they have no moral conscience or concept of the tragedy their actions bring. Oh wait...that's exactly what the military wants.
But here in lies one of this shows major problems. The A.I. of the Yukikaze is so sophisticated that it doesn't even need a pilot. In fact a subplot has the military spearheading a project of pilotless fighters to use against their enemy the Fairies. (I don't make this stuff up.) Yes, our brave fighting men and woman are proud members of the Fairy Fighting Force. So the only reason the Yukikaze turns control over to Rei, every once in a while, is so that the writers will have an excuse to even keep human characters in the show.
So is Yukikaze all bad? Heavens no! It has, without a doubt, the best CG/animation blend I've ever seen, and the dogfight sequences, which really are the backbone of this particular volume, are spectacular. The details of the fighters, and the way the real life physics are incorporated into the beautiful choreographed ballet that make up these battles are at times absolutely flawless. They are the only moments that make this series worth watching...and these sequences are definitely worth watching! My only wish is that the creators would have spent a mere fraction of this incredible attention to detail expended on the jet fighters and the fighting sequences on some of the characters and the story.
If there is one thing I'm hoping for from Yukikaze, is that it makes the phrase 'RTB', the acronyn spoken by all the pilots after every mission (it stands for Returning To Base), as big a household term as 'FAB' became back in 1964 when it was uttered by the Tracy family ad nauseam in 'Thunderbirds'. So to get this trend started...My review is finished, RTB.




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(Average 6.42)
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