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A handsome fighter pilot Charles must escort a beautiful princess through enemy lines to her betrothed. But Charles soon learns traversing an ocean alone, and into enemy territory, will prove to be a much more dangerous ordeal than anyone could have anticipated. Inspired by the story of Tristan and Isolde.
When you see the film's title, you can get a close idea about the plot of the film; once you have watched the first fifteen minutes of it, you will no longer doubt that you are facing a love story between a commoner and a princess. I have never read the light novel, so, as I ignore how the print version is, I'm just going to judge the film as a work alone.
The film causes enough warm feelings and develops its story to keep its audience interested during the hour and half the movie longs. However, beyond showing a romantic cliché with elements of typical Japanese animation (traumatized characters, those who cannot express what they feel, and people who gives exaggerated hate treatments against someone, etc.) the film do not offer anything else.
On the technical aspects, the film is visually beautiful. Colorful drawings, landscapes where blue and white prevail that transmit the spirit of marine-celestial calm which is the protagonist life desire. There is use of animation Cel-Shading, which never leaves me a good impression, but, as a relief, it is limited to the airships. The music never represents a memorable accompaniment, it is appropriate to situations, however, you will forget it after have finished the film. The theme song of the film don't shines against any other presented in many animated films for young audience: calm, simple, repetitive and with some degree of "catchiness" tune.
Now I would like to talk about a link between the narrative and the technical side: the resolving of action scenes. This is one of the weakest points in the film. Those moments in which the Santa Cruz is surrounded by enemies, a huge army firing thousands of projectiles, and the pilot always can fly away, managing in the process to destroy one or two enemy ships, are nonsensical. These scenes are really disappointing and quickly ruin any credibility that the film have harvested. I could not help thinking on those American films of the eighties where an army from a Third World country is incapable of firing a single shot at a single man running among indiscriminate fire. I'm not exaggerating. The talented but still young Charles Karino evades tens of thousands of projectiles, including those tracker ones, with his exceptional but supposed not indestructible airplane. Certainly, only a companion like Juana del Moral could honor the young pilot, who was able to beat the ace pilot of the enemy army during the first time that in her whole life she had ever fired a gun.
There are actually very few roses I can give to this film. Since the beginning, when it's given a mission of national importance to a young mestizo in a country where clearly xenophobia and racism are deeply rooted. It is never suggested that the boy is experienced enough to do such a quest: he has never done the route that he was asked to do and, worst of all, it is pretty obvious that his country distrusts him. The future empress of the state is left in the hands of a mercenary who is constantly insulted (in a way close to absurdity), almost trying to incite him to an uprising before a feeling of patriotism.
The rest of it is more cliché: childhood friendship, lonely protagonist, cruel fate, travel in which the characters open their hearts The ending is unsatisfactory to the western ideals, as the most of Japanese entertainment love stories; that does not make the end of a film a bad end. You can't complain about the film when it lacks texture, is predictable in most cases, has a unlikely plot. If anyone wants to watch this film, it's going to be OK. If you don't have anything else to do and just want to relax in your sofa, this is your film. A simple, flat, sweet feature film.
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