Wings of Honneamise

Wings of Honneamise is a not an easy film to appreciate. The animation is abolutely superb, but unlike alot of anime, the characters are not immediately appealing. They seem to be too... human. Depressingly so, even. But this is a film with a lot of things to say, and it's worth taking the trouble to figure it out.

Wings of Honneamise will stand a fair bit of critical analysis. Show it to your English prof today!

The protagonists...

Shirotsugh Lhadatto
Leiquinni Nondelaiko

From Alan Takahashi's ANIME POCKET GUIDE:

In an alternate world, Shirotsugh Lhadatto dreamt of becoming a pilot...but his grades weren't good enough, so he became a member of the Royal Space Force instead. The Space Force is led by a General whose dream is to put the first man into space. The Space Force, however, is a laughing stock and a career dead end, so its members aren't exactly the cream of the crop. After an encounter with Leiquinni Nondelaiko, a very religious girl, Shiro is inspired to volunteer to be the first astronaut. The movie details the growth of Shiro's character, as well as the trials - both political and technical - which culminate in the launch of the first manned rocket.

Young Shiro stands in a snowy field and watches the Navy jets fly overhead.
At Leiquinni's house Shiro talks of his plans.
After joining the Royal Space Force, and volunteering to be their first astronaut, Shiro has a chance to fly as part of his training. Away from the troubles of the world...
The rival nations look at spaceflight as a political threat. War fought against the winter sky...
Enemy jets cross the border.

Shirotsugh Lhadatto, prepares for the dawn launch. The lauch time has been advanced several hours to hopefully thwart the advancing military units, but it will be a close thing. The pre-flight safety checks also had to be sharply curtailed...

With more than a passing nod to the Soviets, the rocket engines shatter the morning air. One of the most awesome animated sequences of all time