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Kōya no Kotobuki Hikōtai Anime Reveals New Video, Characters, Story

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
ZAQ, main 6 cast members perform theme songs for January anime centered on air combat

The official website for director Tsutomu Mizushima and scriptwriter Michiko Yokote's Kōya no Kotobuki Hikōtai (Kotobuki - The Wasteland Squadron) original television anime project revealed a new promotional video, visual, character visuals, story summary, and theme song artists on Thursday.

The new story summary revealed that the story will take place in a barren frontier where people trade goods with each other in order to help each other survive. The Kotobuki Squadron are bodyguards for hire, led by a strict but beautiful squadron leader, an unreliable commanding officer, and a true artisan of a crew chief. Alongside pilots who don't lack for personality, they take to the air in dogfights, letting the engine noise of their Hayabusa fighters ring out in the skies.

ZAQ will perform the opening theme song "Sora no Ne" (Sound of the Sky), while the main six cast members will perform the ending theme song "Tsubasa o Motsu Mono-tachi" (Those Who Have Wings). ZAQ is composing and writing the lyrics for the ending song.

The site also revealed that the anime will air on the Tokyo MX, TV Aichi, MBS, and BS11 channels in January.

The main six characters will also get Figuarts Mini figures.

The new character visuals are shown below. The characters do not yet have a voice cast. (Note: Name romanizations are not official.)

Madame Lulu, the head of the Ōni Company, a company that makes a living on the transportation of goods and materials. She maintains a confident and imposing figure as she gives orders to those around her.

Saneatsu, an indecisive commanding officer who has occupied his rank for a while. People say that he is always unlucky and draws the short straw.

Anna, a headstrong and determined girl who criticizes and makes quips against Saneatsu without fear.

Natsuo, the chief of the maintenance crew for the fighters. While she may look like a child, she is a full-fledged adult, with the mouth to prove it. She is helpful, and a big sister figure to everyone.

Ady, Betty, and Cindy, three girls who are always together at work and outside of work. While they look very similar to each other, they are not related at all.

Johnny, the owner and bartender of the bar that the pilots frequent. Aside from the drinks, he also cooks the food. He has a calm and quiet personality.

Ririko, the bar waitress. She constantly acts disinterested in her job, and has few words to spare, even for customers. She is especially cold toward Johnny.

The site also revealed a new fighter plane, the A6M2b Model 21 "Zero," officially designated as the "Type 0 carrier fighter." Like the previously revealed fighter, this new fighter appears and is similarly named to the real-life Mitsubishi A6M2b "Zero" fighter.

The main cast includes:

Sayumi Suzushiro as Kyile, a pilot with excellent piloting skills and a natural aptitude for the air.

Eri Yukimura as Emma, Kyile's childhood friend, and a pilot with superior dogfight senses and observational skills.

Sayaka Nakaya as Kate, a logical thinker who prefers to remain silent.

Asami Seto as Reona, the unit's experienced commander.

Hibiku Yamamura as Zara, the unit's executive officer, who watches over all the squadron members.

Miyu Tomita as Chika, the squadron's youngest and most cheerful member.

The Kotobuki Squadron operates the Ki-43-i Model 1 "Hayabusa" fighter plane (official designation "Type 1 fighter"). The plane's appearance and designation are similar to the real-life Nakajima Ki-43-i "Hayabusa" fighter plane.

Mizushima (Girls und Panzer, Shirobako) serves as both the director and sound director for the anime, with Yokote (Shirobako, Prison School, Cowboy Bebop, Rurouni Kenshin) credited for series scripts. Hiroyuki Kanbe (Oreimo) is the assistant director. Hidari (Natsuiro Kiseki, Santa Company, Phantom in the Twilight) drew the original character designs, and Shou Sugai (The Princess and the Pilot, The Sky Crawlers key animation) is adapting those designs for animation. Shigeyuki Ninomiya (Girls und Panzer, Shirobako, Kuromukuro) is credited for military supervision, while Tetsuya Nakano, Hideyuki Kikuchi (Vampire Hunter D), and Jirō Tokihama are credited for military setting. Digital Frontier is credited for production, while Gemba is producing the animation. WaoWorld is handling key animation production.

Mizushima reported on his Twitter account that the anime will be a hybrid of 3D CG and 2D animation, and that he has been working on the anime for a number of years. The anime will only show Japanese planes, and Mizushima specifically said that Germany's Messerschmitt planes will not appear in the anime.

Other staff members include:

  • Setting Cooperation: Seiichi Shirato
  • CG Director: Hisashi Egawa, Ten Hirota
  • Technical Director: Keita Mizuhashi
  • Asset Director: Kentarō Kogusuri
  • Key Animation Producer: Yusaku Saotome
  • Animation Director: Shouta Ueno
  • Assistant Animation Director: Tōko Nakamura
  • Art Director: Kazuo Ogura
  • Art Setting: Nobuhito Sue, Sakura Ogawa
  • Color Setting: Aiko Yamagami
  • Director of Photography: Kentaro Kashiwagi, Takamasa Hatakeyama
  • Editing: Masato Yoshitake
  • Music: Shiroh Hamaguchi
  • Sound Effects: Yasumasa Koyama
  • Sound Mixer: Takayuki Yamaguchi

The project will also spawn a smartphone game titled Kōya no Kotobuki Hikōtai - Ōzora no Take Off Girls! (Kotobuki - The Wasteland Squadron: Take Off Girls of the Sky!) that will debut in winter 2019. The iOS/Android game's genre is a "reciprocating-engine air combat simulation RPG," and the game's site is accepting pre-registrations.

Mizushima and Yokote have previously worked together as director and scriptwriter, respectively, on numerous anime including Genshiken, Genshiken: Second Generation, Big Windup!, Joshiraku, xxxHOLiC, xxxHOLiC: Kei, Squid Girl, Squid Girl Season 2, Shirobako, Haré+Guu, Prison School, Witch Craft Works, and Kujibiki Unbalance.

In Mizushima and Yokote's Shirobako anime, the 3rd Aerial Girls Squadron (Dai-3 Hikō Shōjotai) show-within-a-show has a similar concept, but unlike Kōya no Kotobuki Hikōtai, the characters pilot modern jet aircraft.

Sources: Kōya no Kotobuki Hikōtai anime's website, Comic Natalie

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