801 TTS Airbats

An airplane squadron made up of entirely women, lots of high flying and a touch of lechery...sound like a zillion other anime you've seen? Well, you might want to take a second look at 801 TTS Airbats for a fresh look on things. 801 TTS Airbats is by no means original, but it is much more fun than it deserves to be. Take the cool aviation from Area 88, sprinkle in a dash of fan service, add a flavorful love triangle and an unassuming male lead ala Orange Road, spice with a bit of well-done animation and a slight hint of shojo, and you've got this show. It's not brain surgery, just a bit of fun that goes by surprisingly quickly.

801 TTS Airbats follows the trials and tribulations of Isurugi, a young man full of great aviator dreams who is assigned to the 801st Airborne division. It turns out, however, that he is to be the mechanic for the squad, which turns out to be made up of all female pilots. He makes a fool of himself at first in an unwitting mistake that makes him look like a dirty old man to the pilots, but he makes amends over time. Two of the girls, Haneda and Mitaka, find themselves falling for Isurugi, and they both know it. Nothing like a few catfights to get in the way of a good dogfight...and since the Airbats was deliberately made up of problem personnel, you know things will be rough! Even worse, though, is that the brass want to close down the 801st to prove that women aren't really capable of being fighter pilots. Things get hairy as Kengamine, one of the 801st more persistent detractors, tries every trick in the book to get them grounded permanently.

801 TTS Airbats: First Strike includes the first three episodes of the series. I wasn't expecting much out of the show and was very pleasantly surprised. If you haven't made a habit of watching much anime, you'll probably really enjoy this one. For those of us who've been watching anime for a long time, well...it's still fun, but the plotlines aren't exactly brand new. If you like a show that's got a little bit of everything, this is a great place to start.

801 TTS Airbats: First Strike -- brief nudity/mild lechery, mild language, mild violence -- B+