The Princess and the Pilot is an anime movie based on a manga by the same name. Now I could go into details as to what anime studio produced it, (Madhouse, TMS Entertainment) or who the licensor (NIS America) is, but that’s not what you’re reading this review for, is it?
Heck most of that information can be found with a quick Google search, so without further adieu let’s get on with the review.
The Blu-Ray Edition of this anime comes in a standard BR case with one Disc. The Disc features the standard amount of menu options that you would usually get on a standard anime DVD or Blu-Ray Disc. Play, chapter select, audio settings for stereo and 5.1 surround, the Japanese trailers for the anime and other anime trailers.
Once you select play from the menu you’ll be presented with a plot that follows a pilot named Charles, who has the very important task of escorting a princess, Juana through enemy territory to her betrothed, a Prince named Carlo, however along the way both the Juana and Charles discover they share a very close past. It is then that their personal feelings towards each other, and their responsibilities are placed at odds, and they must make a choice. Between the two of them it becomes pretty clear very early in the anime that Juana has doubts about her arranged marriage to Carlo. As for Charles, he being a mercenary, and a victim of some form of racism due to his heritage & social status, finally has an opportunity to change his situation.
That being said I didn’t find that either character made enough of an effort to achieve their true desires which were very apparent to me while watching the the show, and this ultimately results in the anime leaving an unfinished feeling with me. If I put my hopeless romantic shipping aside for a second, I can easily see this type of situation happening in real life, because for the most part many of us are born into situations that we have very little control over, and as a result most just work with the cards that they are dealt.
HOWEVER THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE, GIVE ME MY SWEET SHIPPING!!!
Though the plot left me wanting more, there were other aspects about this anime where I believe I got exactly what I wanted. The first of which was the amazing visual style that this anime presents. It’s a very modern style of animation, with very vibrant colors, detailed characters, and environments. This style is a favorite of mine and I found myself glued to the screen from the moment I saw the menu screen on the Blu-Ray. Add that with one of the most jaw dropping dog fights I’ve ever seen, varied locations including; a beach, jungle, a few military themed settings, and you have a recipe for a pretty good looking anime.
The second aspect in which this anime shines is in the audio department. The voice work is Japanese with English subs, and with me not knowing much more than a few measly words in Japanese, I can only assume that these were some of the best VA out of Japan. There were no voices that stood out to me as bad. In fact none stood out to me, because I was more interested in the soundtrack. A soundtrack that I believe is just as awe inspiring as the visual style of this anime. Had it had a different ending I might have placed this anime on the same level as something from the famed Studio Ghibli. The music and visuals are that good.
So in conclusion I can easily say that I enjoyed my time with the Princess and the Pilot. It’s a beautiful anime pared with an equally beautiful soundtrack. None of the characters really stand out except for Charles, Juana and another character named Takeo, and that’s exactly what the anime needed. It’s supposed to be a solitary trip between two strangers from different worlds who come to realize that they share more in common than they would have expected. The only part of this anime that I didn’t find myself liking was the way in which it concluded.
If you like brilliant music, and really polished visuals then I’d recommend picking this one up immediately. If you’re looking for romance then prepare for some serious heartbreak. It’s still worth a watch, even if it’s just a single streaming session.