The official website for director Tsutomu Mizushima and scriptwriter Michiko Yokote‘s original television anime project Kōya no Kotobuki Hikōtai (Kotobuki – The Wasteland Squadron) revealed the second promotional video, January 13 premiere, and more fighter plane designs on Thursday. The video features ZAQ‘s opening theme song “Sora no Ne” (Sound of the Sky).
The anime will premiere on Tokyo MX on January 13 at 10:30 p.m. The series will also air on TV Aichi, MBS, and BS11.
The anime’s 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.
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 (Natsu-iro 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. Wao World is handling key animation production.
The six main 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.
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.
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, Bandai Namco Arts YouTube channel, MoCa News, Comic Natalie