In my readings around the anime blogosphere I came across a review for this movie and reading how this was Gainax’s first work – I figured it was worth a watch, if only to see how far Gainax has come in it’s 20+ year history.
Final Series Score: 2/12 F
Rewatchablity: 0/5 – None
Ending: 1/5 – Profoundly Deficient
Animation: 2.5/5 – Average; The quality of animation is pretty good, even 20+ years later, but the styles used for the characters is very off-putting
Pros: High class animation quality which impresses even more when one realizes there’s no CG used
Cons: Poor characters and very weak characterization make it difficult to care about what happens, the fictional world this takes place in is not fleshed out well so it never feels like a real place which removes the importance to the character’s actions, weak storytelling leaves the show feeling disarrayed and unfocused
The Wings of Honneamise follows the life of a guy who joins the Space Force when he’s not good enough to get into the military, looks for love in all the wrong places, and musters enough courage to volunteer to be his country’s first astronaut shot into space.
Thoughts and impressions
This movie should have been right up my alley – I deeply love a somewhat similar movie: Apollo 13 and SF in general and I like Gainax – but I was surprised to find out that I really did not like this movie.
After watching the whole thing, there was one scene that really bothered me and is responsible for this show getting a 2/12 F but the scene occurs well into the second half of the movie and by that point my opinion of the movie had pretty much crystallized. Without that scene, I probably would have given Wings of Honneamise a higher grade of 4/12 C but I would still have mentioned all the same problems of this movie.
Skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to be spoiled about the scene in question. … The astronaut guy has been visiting the home of a woman who spends her days on the street trying to convert people to her religion. She’s happy that someone is interested in her religion but in reality, he’s interested in her and continues to try to move their relationship into a romantic direction which she resists. On one of these visits it had been raining and so the religious woman is soaked and has to take off the outer layer of her clothes which leaves her in a knee-length skirt and blouse. This allows the guy to look at her ankles and legs from the knee down which drives him into a frenzy and he tries to have his way with her and is only stopped when she knocks him out with some blunt force trauma to his brain. When he wakes up the next day, she apologizes for hurting him and he leaves. My jaw just dropped after this scene; I’d really like to know just what the hell Gainax was thinking by putting this scene in. I can’t figure out any other motive then they wanted to show some explicit fan service to sell tapes.
Anyways, like I said, that scene pushed it down to but the whole thing had problems. A couple of characters that were likeable and had some actual character development might have gone a long way to making this show decent. A well-plotted story would have also helped immensely. And for the most part the show lacks the trademark trappings of a Gainax production; being the first thing they did I guess that makes sense but if it at least had some of the style of their future productions like Gurren Lagann or FLCL then there’d be something to pay attention to. The one small Gainax thing that this show does feature is interesting vehicle/machine design but that’s hardly any reason to watch The Wings of Honneamise.
That’s about all I feel like writing about The Wings of Honneamise, I wished it would have been a better movie but hindsight being what it is – I’m glad the movie was made because without it Gainax might not have ever existed and we’d have lost all their other good stuff.
- genre: Sci-fi, Action
- animation studio: Gainax
- director: Hiroyuki Yamaga