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801 T.T.S. Airbats

a.k.a. Aozora Shojotai

airbats-1
Genre: Comedy
Company: Studio Fantasia
Format: 7 OVA
Dates: 10/21/1994 to 8/21/1996

Being obsessed with planes, Sergeant Isurugi scored the job of his dreams when he was appointed sole mechanic of the 801 Tactical Training Squadron, also known as Airbats. Even if this squadron’s purpose is only aerial acrobatic shows, he can find comfort in the fact that all the pilots are attractive young women. After learning this the hard way, Isurugi will spark some desire from two of his sexy coworkers and get himself stuck in the biggest love triangle of his life. Because we all know chicks go nuts for short, scrawny otaku.

summary by Kjeldoran

 

Reviewed: 12/21/2004 by

Grade: 67% av-Kjeldoran

Highs: Promising characters and storyline; nice art

Lows: Half filler; one big tease

Even though the shounen routine is getting tiresome, a few anime manage to show hints of demarcation. 801 T.T.S. Airbats is one such anime that does stand out. Yet, it is also one such anime that flounders in spite of its potential.

What happened here? After it managed to arouse my curiosity with three nicely animated OVA featuring interesting characters and a somewhat original storyline, I get hit by back-to-back-to-back filler episodes. Not the mild type of filler that still connects to the plot or develops the characters. No, the kind of filler you find in full-length television series that have loads of time to spare, complete with fan service, hot springs and ramen-eating contests. In my mind, the viewer needs to connect to the characters before he or she can enjoy seeing them having fun outside the storyline. With 801 T.T.S. Airbats, having seen a meager three episodes with limited character development, watching the characters struggle with the ghost of a haunted hotel is not as fun as it promises to be.

With the energy of despair, episode seven is everything its three predecessors should have been. While not developing on many characters, it goes remarkably deep on the few chosen. I could easily see Airbats continuing on the same incline and fighting its way to the top of my favorite romantic comedies list. But by some twisted act of faith, episode seven is the last of this OVA series, and in the blink of an eye it was all over.

Now, six years later and still no sign of the promised sequel. Until the day that happens, Airbats is but a curtailed series with unexploited potential.

801 T.T.S. Airbats can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.

 

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