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Japanese Variety Shows, Dramas, and Pop Music

Posts Tagged ‘Miss Pilot’

Miss Pilot Ep 11 Review

Posted on: February 23rd, 2014 by tylerraiz 1 Comment

What sort of finale will Miss Pilot have? Will Tezuka Haru (Horikita Maki) really be put in a serious in-flight emergency like the previews at the end of the previous episode led us to believe? If this episode is going to be a successful conclusion to this drama, it has to bring a lot of tension into some sort of climactic event that will prove to us that Tezuka is really a pilot. She started to look like one in episode 10 (finally!), but I still need more evidence.

I’ve avoided saying it through this entire series but I can’t help myself now that it’s the last episode – she does look cute in the uniform:

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Anyway, they all find out where they’ll be flying for their first on-the-job training flights. Considering Yamada Kazuo (Fujii Ryusei) mixes up RJFK (Kagoshima) with KJFK (New York’s JFK International), I’m not sure he’s ready. Incidentally, all major Japanese airports have the R prefix, and all major American ones get the K prefix, and not knowing that is . . . well, it still beats me how Yamada managed to pass, so I think ANA might want to tighten up its standards.

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The Kunikida team all greet dispatcher Chisato (Aibu Saki) as full-fledged pilots . . .

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. . . after taking 1304 days to get here according to Moroboshi (Shounozaki Ken).


Miss Pilot Ep 10 Review

Posted on: February 15th, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

This is the second-to-last episode of Miss Pilot and there’s still one thing that this drama needs to do – convince me that Tezuka Haru (Horikita Maki) is someone I want piloting a plane. So far, I haven’t seen any indication that she would be level-headed in a crisis – pretty much the main requirement for a pilot. Will these last two episodes change that?

At the very least, I hope after the focus last time was largely on how she dealt with her mother’s illness, that this time we see her struggling with the fact that she’s already quite far behind the other trainees.

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Kunikida (Saito Takumi) lays down the situation. All the trainees except Tezuka are through with training and have to pass the final test. Tezuka gets an extra week to prepare, but it’s not much. I’m a bit puzzled by the way he frames this as a one-chance-only test, since you’d think that after all the money and time spent training these pilots, they’d give them a second chance if for some reason there was a chance for improvement.

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Anyway, this makes them all very tense and worried that all their efforts might come to naught if they fail . . .


Miss Pilot Ep 09 Review

Posted on: February 2nd, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

With the trainees in Miss Pilot now facing the need to prepare to fly a real airliner – the Boeing 767 (ironically, my least favorite airliner) – Tezuka (Horikita Maki) faces an additional stumbling block because her father is ill. She doesn’t know that yet, but it’s coming – presumably in this episode.

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Which leads me to an observation – is this a frequent plot point in dramas? A parent getting sick near the end of the series? We just saw it in Pin to Kona, and Asahi’s mother faked it in Ando Lloyd. I think this is reflective of an understandable anxiety among people as both Japan and America see the post-war generation age. It’s a concern for both generations, as the parents wonder whether their children will really be all right.

Well, these trainees sure look all right in their uniforms, don’t they?

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They face some serious simulator time where they’ll train not only to handle the normal routines of flight, but also to handle the emergencies that pilots are really there to manage. Unfortunately, Taiji (Mamiya Shotaro) seems to be less focused on the task at hand and more interested in trying to court Tezuka now that Suzu has technically broken up with him. Could they make Taiji any sleazier, by the way? It’s sort of annoying that they didn’t bother to give him any redeeming qualities at all – he’s just a one-dimensional character. His sole purpose is to be unfaithful to Suzu (Sakuraba Nanami) and then to try to make a move on Tezuka. Good thing Tezuka doesn’t seem the least bit interested, but if that’s the case, isn’t this already-failed romantic subplot annoying?

Speaking of already-failed romantic subplots, maybe Yamada (Fujii Ryusei) can console himself after his simulator run by dreaming that Rinko (Nanao) actually likes him.


Miss Pilot Ep 08 Review

Posted on: January 22nd, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

I think my expectations for this episode of Miss Pilot must be pretty low, since I find myself wondering whether anything is going to happen. At all. You see, last time they spent their time fretting about the disappearance of Chisato (Aibu Saki), and that situation didn’t really get resolved. Not fully, anyway. So, as the trainee pilots return from their basic pilot certification in America, is all the focus going to be on Chisato, or do the trainees still have interesting work to do in order to ensure their places on the pilot roster for ANA?

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Tezuka (Horikita Maki) calls Chisato as soon as she gets back to Japan, but Chisato seems to busy contemplating a resignation from ANA to answer the phone.

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The trainees return to their old stomping grounds looking spiffy in their uniforms.

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Tezuka’s only thoughts are for Chisato, though, and she immediately asks Kanoko (Fujisawa Ema) if Chisato has checked in.


Miss Pilot Ep 07 Review

Posted on: January 14th, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

In the last episode of Miss Pilot, Oda Chisato (Aibu Saki) failed the instrument flight test, and the sheer surprise of that result made it the best ending of any episode of the drama so far. After all, everything has always ended great for the trainees by the conclusion of each episode until now – there have been no cliffhangers.

Kunikida (Saito Takumi) was the one to give Chisato the bad news . . .

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. . . and it was Kunikida who also had to explain what happened to Tezuka (Horikita Maki), Chisato’s buddy in the training program.

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Faced with oncoming traffic (and when we say oncoming in mid-air, we’re talking about miles away), Chisato froze. She totally went catatonic for some reason. It could be a form of catatonic schizophrenia, though I don’t know if that condition can have such a specific trigger. More likely, we’re going to find out there’s some trauma involved, but I’m not sure. In any case, it was her instructor who had to make the landing for her, so it was an obvious automatic fail.


Miss Pilot Ep 06 Review

Posted on: January 6th, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

The cast really looks ready for action at the beginning of this episode of Miss Pilot:

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But as Kunikida (Saito Takumi) points out, they really don’t need to be – this is an optional exercise to practice being in a depressurization situation where they’ll have to put on gas masks.

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Even though it’s optional, they all go for it. It’s certainly a great way to start the episode – really gets the mood right to see these guys looking like pilots.

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Somehow, Kotori (Koyanagi Yu) goes out of it before they’re at a pressure where they should even need a mask – 4000 feet. That’s around what cabins are normally pressurized to in-flight, so they’ve all been breathing it already. Why did Kotori have trouble here? No idea. They don’t explain it at all. I guess it was just played for laughs because somebody had to have trouble with the lower pressure – you don’t show something like this and just have everyone get through it smoothly.


Miss Pilot Ep 05 Review

Posted on: December 21st, 2013 by tylerraiz No Comments

It’s finally time for the pilot trainees in Miss Pilot to earn their wings, and they’re going to do it in the United States! Now, that could be a good or a bad thing, depending on how horrible the American characters are (whether they’re cartoon characters based on a strange Japanese notion of what Americans are like or halfway realistic human beings). My final assessment of this episode will probably largely hinge on how cringe-worthy the portrayal of my country and its people is (though there are admittedly people in this country that make me cringe, so it might not be unrealistic even if I don’t like it).

But before we get to any of that, we have to get the trainees awake.

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Three guesses which wanna-be pilot requires some extra effort to get out of bed.

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The next scene is a bundle of the half-baked relationships we’ve seen in this series. They just go through the relationship chart one arrow at a time, mostly reinforcing what we already know about everyone . . .

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. . . except that Kunikida (Saito Takumi) seems to be trying to start some new arrows at the last minute. Or is he just trying to make Suzuki Rinko (Nanao) jealous?