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I have better reasons this time, but I'm shamefully behind in my Kotobuki/GAF reviews. And if that's not bad enough, I've got a doctor's appointment this afternoon that'll interrupt me halfway through this one! So I'd best get started on Kotobuki Ep. 11 right now.

FURBALL TIME
Who thought it was a good idea to paint an Oni mask on the ceiling of their main government building? I mean, even the Nazis had the occasional hint of subtlety. Very occasional, but it was there. If you squinted.

Lads, please.
mark_hamill_NAZI.mp4
"The Hole from Yufang brought us airplanes, triple-A, Yufang booze, curry, rice, and EVEN PANCAKES!"

He shouts that last part just as he thrusts his fingers through the donut hole, as pictured. It'd seem Kylie's lust for the fluff is not unique. 🤔
"And for my next trick, I will pull an entire air force out of my ASS."
His opening statement made it sound like he was addressing a gathering of politicians from his newly subjugated territories, but given the general thrust of his conversation (booze, food and planes,) I'm thinking these folks must be... fighter pilots.
The worst part is, even if everyone knew he was lying his ass off, it might not make much of a difference. The potential boons to be had from a stable wormhole to our world could easily make whoever accesses it a new military superpower, who'd then dictate affairs to others.
So even if everyone knows that Rahama is a peaceful country who's leaders have no excessive designs on their neighbors or aspirations to power, simply having access to the wormhole would bring about their total dominance anyways.

Capabilities usually inform desires, basically.
... but even that cannot begin to justify waging total war with firebombing of civilian population centers. Especially given how scarce resources seem to be in this world, we can presume the population is fairly small. This animal is committing unspeakable atrocities, for power.
As an aside: what you see here is exactly what the "bomber mafia" of the 30s once predicted heavy bombers would be capable of - forcing the submission of entire nations with the punitive wholesale destruction of entire cities.

Magic Man is putting this theory into practice.
In our world, this theory (usually) didn't work out due to effective resistance (the bomber did NOT always get through) and the simple sizes of populations. Simply put, Magic Man is swinging around a lot more bombers than this desert civilization should be capable of building...
... at least in a hurry. The "punishment" doctrine is working for him where it failed in our world because he's bringing to bear what's likely *decades* of bomber production all at once, a buildup made possible due to the mostly static nature of technology in this world.
In sum, we're looking at the end result of long-laid plans. At the very least, a movement set into motion by this man's father, or perhaps his father's father. This squares with what we saw of Old Sab's mysterious visitor in Kylie's memories.
Whatever military force Rahama and "Porokka" (the other nation Magic Man names as dissenters to his new empire) can muster probably won't be able to win against that kind of build-up in a stand-up fight.

They'll need to stop Isano's Open Hole movement at the source.

HIM.
... there is so much going on in this goddamned image I don't know where to start. Samurai top-knot with a half-off jumpsut and a bandolier? His butler or attendant's wearing a... polyester leisure suit?

LEOPARD-PRINT CARPET IN THE BRIDGE?

😐
BATPHONE BATPHONE RING RING RING
GET US A HOTDROP SO WE CAN KILL THEIR BLING
BLOPS THINK THEY'RE SNEAKY, BLOPS THINK THEY'RE COOL
BUT I'VE GOT A GANG SITTING ON A TITAN THAT THINKS YOU'RE A TOOL
Looks like a pretty significant force has been assembled. After that scrap over Rahama the balloon has well and truly gone up, after all. The full capacity of these airships has never been established, but even if they only pack ten or so fighters per, that's 60 aircraft, there.
Ah, right, it's "Isao" who's the magic man, not "Isano." I can barely keep track of these names. I still can't remember AYY LMAO's cover identity name. Also, last thread I made a mistake; it was the damaged bomber that accidentally into the wormhole, hence the destruction of it.
The destruction of the wormhole might've been from the burning bomber's fuel stores unluckily detonating whilst still in-transit, Lucifer'ing the wormhole in finest Freespace fashion... or it could've been destroyed by forces within the wormhole itself.
In other words, just because these wormholes are self-generating (and likely natural) phenomena does not necessarily mean that they can be safely transited without some application of artificial technology to stabilize and facilitate the transfer.

Wonder if Isao knows...
Some people on /a/ commented that among the wholesome titles on Old Sab's bookshelf (Twain, Carrol, etc.) there was also the Maquis De Sade's depraved work in evidence.

I submit that we can theorize Plato's "Republic" got through the wormhole as well... and that's much worse.
>unpause video
>SHRIEKING DEMON FOWL POUNCE
>pause video
>breathe
>unpause video
>shrieking demon fowl rage continues

I don't think we're giving the zeppelin's XO enough credit. He stands around on the bridge with this terrifying hell-beast EVERY DAMN DAY.
AGAIN WITH YOUR VICS

AGAIN, WITH YOUR

MOTHER

FUCKING

VICS

However, that's at least 44 aircraft in this one screenshot.

Oh.

Oh, it's on now.
KI-61s with a rather handsome and effective camo job...
AND A WHOLE HORDE OF RAIDEN-CHANS, RIDING IN WITH SUPERCHARGERS A-SCREEE-ING

W O O P GET FUCKED BOMBERS
Oh my GOD the SIZE OF THAT GAGGLE. LEIGH-MALLORY AND BADER, EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT
>roughly a hundred fighters
>another hundred or so on our one o'clock
THANK YOU, FRONTIER PRIEST, FOR DEMONSTRATING YOUR MASTERY OF ADDITION

BRAVO
Am I fucking ready for this?

Am I ready for this, you ask?

I've cleared ALL of my appointments for today except my doctor's appointment, because by the time I go, this erection will have lasted for FAR longer than four hours.

I HAVE WAITED MY ENTIRE LIFE FOR THIS ANIME
Courage may fail the true fighter pilot, but stupidity, bravado and his dick will never flag in leading the way.
Now THAT is a reaction image for the ages.
With such sizeable assets and so little restraining them, I hope for her sake that she doesn't have to join the caterpillar club today. The free-fall slipstream would play merry hell with her. Egads.
Remember how several threads back - magic man's first appearance, in fact - I said we might have a chance to talk about situational awareness?

Well, today, we have the perfect opportunity. I've discussed bag-and-drag (which is what Frontier Priest is mentioning here,) but SA?
The plan seems to be to tie down Isao's primary fighter force in a nice noodly clusterfuck of a furball while someone else does something sneaky somewhere else.

I presume that somewhere else involves the Kotobuki squadron, a time-delay fuzed bomb, and Isao's fucking FACE.
Once again, the studio demonstrates their attention to detail and their commitment to showing the viewers what the hell is actually going on with the bigger picture, instead of just stitching together action clips of a few aircraft dueling here and there.
SO ABOUT THAT FLEET OF SUPER-LONG RANGE HEAVY BOMBERS ISAO JUST PULLED OUT OF HIS ASS LIKE A RABBIT
Didn't someone say that at Midway, too? 🤔
Adam Schiff speaking before the House Intelligence Committee, January 2019 (C-SPAN)
I know they're playing up a samurai stereotype but I can't help but feel they missed a golden opportunity to give him a suspiciously club-like swagger stick and an outfit vaguely reminiscent of winged vikings.

BRIAN BLESSED LIVES
... she thinks he does it for a reason? 😐
That's not how this works!
NOBODY ASKED YOU BOKANOVSKY BROADS TO WEIGH IN
So those 40 or 50 odd fighters are Porokka's military force... which means that Rahama, entire, is still uncommitted. Probably in these Zeppelins.

In land combat this would be a bad day for Porokka, due to mass of force and the concept of defeating enemies in detail...
... in air combat, however, it's a different story. It ties in directly to the nature of situational awareness in air combat, and has played itself out in real life a few times, most famously during the "Big Wing" controversies in the Battle of Britain.
Even if Miss Supergreen here is incorrect about their numbers advantage, they can still pull this off. 50 vs. 200 can actually tie down the 200 for a while. But what's their actual numbers? Now that we know Rahama is uncommitted...
Almost 50 in this shot at a minimum, assuming everyone's flying in a complete vic. Didn't get a wide-angle on the Ki-61 squadron. And at least twenty Raidens, which makes sense given they're a late-war aircraft with much greater manufacturing requirements (supercharger.)
That's 70-100 or so, I'd guess, which is certainly better than 50, and more than enough to tie that gaggle up for a while. Given SuperGreen's comment, that means Rahama has a significant number of aircraft in reserve on their airships that they're going to hit Isano with.
AYY LAMO's brother is putting his science skills to work , figuring out how to phone home.

Interesting. Will this battle be about striking a knockout blow to kill Isao and behead the snake, or a fight to control the airspace around the next wormhole?
That's right, girl. Redpill Johnny away from that shrieking anti-gun harridan. Open his eyes to the big, uh, tracts of fertile land set directly before him, almost begging him to plant a harvest.

Yeah. Yeah, that's the OTP right there. Bow-chicka-wow-wow
The time for drawing your weapon has passed, Johnny. Now it's time to reach for your guuuuuuuuuuun

IYKWIM
C O R R E C T

So if they're cranking them out fast enough to make the factories, and not the finished bombers the priority, that means that long buildup was more about machine tooling, trained machinists, and the entire supply chain that goes into that...
>it can fucking read maps

This goddamned thing is basically the Terminator with feathers. Jesus Christ.
A lot of criticisms of the Allied daylight bombing campaign over Germany in WWII oriented around the inaccuracy of light bombs from high altitude. What these critics fail to understand is how large a factory complex can BE. The Allies were carpet-bombing industrial *districts.*
That was as much due to the sheer number of aircraft they had available to commit, however. Once you have two boxes of 50 bombers flying formation on a third, lead box, with that flying formation on the lead ship, all releasing bombs when the lead ship does... well.
You don't actually NEED to do that to put a factory out of commission, however. A handful of dive bombers can end a factory's productivity in short order, simply by using their relative pinpoint precision to knock out the factory's power transformers. No juice, no work.
The art and science of intercepting level bombers in this kind of large-scale air war is difficult enough that - (as the Big Wing imbroglio shows) even our world's air forces, which trained and wargamed and debated the strategy beforehand, still had to learn and adapt during war.
For this world, this kind of large-scale action is pretty much completely unprecedented; and the professional military theorists who'd be tasked with anticipating these situations (with Isao's foreknowledge) almost certainly don't exist.

Ergo, Isao doesn't have a clue.
This is probably a significant reason why Isao's punitive bombings have worked so well; whilst most pilots will know how to go about attacking bombers, it seems that raids of only a few are the norm; nothing like this.

However, as Isao's about to learn, this works both ways.
[ALIENS TERRORIZE RAHAMA]
Or you could drop a 500 pound general-purpose iron bomb on Isao's headquarters and blow his genocidal ass into little meaty gibs. That would work too.

JES SAYIN
Blondie is correct. Actions speak louder than words, and a dive-bomber planting a delay-fuze HE egg in someone's ass speaks very loudly indeed.
The laughter I emitted upon seeing this was neither dignified nor sane. You can SEE the gears creaking in her head as she attempts to grasp concepts above "BULLET GOOD, KILLIN FUN, PANCAKES BEST"
>AYY LMAO wishes to engage in an Alien Research mission

Y'know, I was only half-memeing with this whole alien thing, but even half was too much. I think I was more right than I knew.
>this entire panning glamour-shot sequence

If you look carefully you can see how she's in full take-off setup; split-flaps dropped, but also her engine cowling wide-open for cooling. The cowling flaps create drag, but if you close them, you cage more heat inside the engine...
Note how she only closes her canopy now - it's standard procedure to leave it open until you're safely off the runway. Even private pilots in light aircraft today will often taxi and roll out with the door cracked and one foot holding it open - in case a quick exit is required.
ISAO BEST GET READY FOR A FINGER-FOUR FISTING WHOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

FINGER FOUR

FINGER FOUR

THEY HEARD ME

YEE-HAW BABY LET'S ROCK AND ROLL
Kylie is so overburdened with those Big Thonks the other girls dropped on her in their casual pre-flight conversation that she can't even fly formation - which does take attention, but for a pilot with her stick-time should be second nature and muscle memory by now.
"I picked a hell of a day to start thinkin."
"HOLD'EM BY THE NOSE AND KICK'EM IN THE ASS."

God bless redheads. They're so frequently best girl.
Does she not understand the strategic objective, or...?
MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY
You LIVE in this world. Nobody should have to explain the relative dearth of land combat given the distances and terrain involved. Also, actually exploiting a wormhole requires air transport, seeing as how they spawn IN THE AIR. A bomber can carry cargo if you wish.

GIRL PLS
"Is this bitch for real right now"
"Psi Strength Assessment: Sub-Muton-Tier"
Meanwhile, her fellow-in-retardation is fascinated by Professor Kylie's dissertation.

Holy shit does this show nail fighter pilots, like, the whole god-damned gamut of 'em.
Assuming the formations we see just poking into the scene here are also finger-four, that's 128 fighters Rahama has mustered. At least.

I have significantly underestimated the carrying capacity of those zeppelins.
... does she actually believe Isao pulled that army out of his asshole just like he pulls rabbits out of a hat?

No wonder Kylie wears that hat, and her squadron-mates don't. She's in much greater need of head-warmth than most people.
"I have just realized that I an a mercenary that kills for money"

K Y L I E
The frozen expression of someone who doesn't even know where to begin with all that bullshit she just said.
AND NOW, FOR YOUR PREVIOUSLY SCHEDULED FURBALL
>it's not just a brief establishing shot, the ACM is already beginning

don't be gentle baby, I can take it
So Naomi bags her bandit and immediately begins a defensive barrel roll, because his mates are closing in for revenge. She either saw them coming, or executed it simply because she assumed someone, anyone, had to be on her tail - either one works, in a furball.
One bandit follows her through the maneuver, clinging to her tail, while the other simply follows with a flat turn. You can see how it puts him well behind once Naomi rolls out, but that also keeps his proper spacing between him and his element leader. These guys are good.
Now Naomi's entering a split-S, which could also be an inverted loop if she pulls all the way through - and look who's sidling up behind the Union pilots! Naofumi kept her eyes peeled and didn't stick on her bandit long - these guys are about to find out why.
The sense of velocity in these scenes is unmistakably kinetic and EXCELLENT.
They still haven't reacted to the Nazarin pilot on their six. A painful lesson in target fixation is coming.
BOTH Nazarin pilots!
[autistic little girl screaming]

And just like that, the tables turn AGAIN with two more Union pilots latching into the Nazarin squad's tail even as they fire on their own bandits.

Once again this studio does not disappoint. This is exactly what a furball is like.
And after showcasing that with that sequence showing the conga-line bounce problem, we get this beautiful wide-shot to really drive the point home as to what the nature of this gigantic furball is.

A furball, in sum, is a clusterfuck.
I've mentioned the "bag-and-drag" principle in passing as relates to fighting outnumbered, but this is a whole new ball-game. A "furball" (a massive fight between large numbers of aircraft) really underlines the finite nature of situational awareness.
It's common knowledge that pilots are always flying with one eye over their shoulder, and that most defeated pilots never saw the bandit that smoked them. What is less appreciated is how pilots consider situational awareness a *resource* that they budget just like energy & alt.
The concept is simple - you only have one pair of eyes (in most aircraft) and one brain (in all aircraft) to keep track of the fight. You have to keep track of it in every direction, including above and beneath you - and still try to fly your plane and target your enemy.
Simply put, in a clusterfuck of this size, it's basically impossible to do that - even if you're not trying to put your guns on a target at all, you can rarely take deliberate evasive action against specific threats, because you simply can't look in all directions at once.
Once you lose your situational awareness, you are gambling with your life, as it's only a matter of time before someone nails you. Especially in a furball, it could be as simple as just flying right in front of an enemy who wasn't even looking for you, by pure chance.
Thus, a fighter pilot's situational awareness is finite, and good pilots actually keep track of what their "SA" state is. If a fight gets too complex for you to keep track of, that's as much a reason to disengage as insufficient speed or altitude.
Just like insufficient energy or altitude or what-have-you, remedying the deficiency can oftentimes take mere seconds, depending on the severity of the situation. But it's absolutely something pilots concern themselves about, keep track of, and carefully budget.
To illustrate the importance, consider that situational awareness matters quite a bit in even 1v1 combat - the visibility from a fighter's cockpit is far more restricted than you might imagine. Losing sight of your enemy under your nose for even a few seconds can be very bad.
Imagine you're in a tight turning fight, and you pull your nose clean over your bandit in order to pull lead for a shot. If your bandit is psychic, or just lucky, and pushes his stick down hard right then, you'll be out of position by the time you realize what happened.
Worse, if he makes a major, dramatic move - like rolling into a split-S - you'll look for him where you expect him and not find him at all. And just like that, you have no fucking idea where he went - above, behind, below? And in most planes you can't see through the floor!
This is why head-tracking equipment like TrackIR (which lets you move your in-game view just by moving your head as you sit at your desk) is pretty much mandatory for playing flight-sim games at any serious level. Thumb-hats and such just aren't flexible/quick enough to suffice.
Now take that problem and multiply it a thousand-fold, by the gigantic clusterfuck of a full-on furball, and you've got some idea why furballs are the way they are.

This is also why a small number of aircraft can effectively tie down a larger number.
This debate played out with the "Big Wing" strategy in the Battle of Britain, in which some advocated for massing big squadrons to meet big squadrons of German bomber raids. However, this just generated furballs, which, as we can see, are a chaotic melee.
By contrast, a smaller force can set up their attacks, dive in, attack the bombers, and continue their dive to disengage - perhaps with a top-cover element engaging the enemy's top-cover escort to allow this attack (who can then disengage in a steep dive themselves.)
A "big" wing can also use this tactic, but this scarcely justifies the logistical effort of mustering and forming up that many aircraft, much less the operational opportunity cost.

Plus, should either attempt a sustained fight, the results are often much the same.
A smaller force engaging a larger one - within a reasonable range of ratios - will result in a similar furball as equal forces, as pilots try to stay in their mutually-supporting wing-leader/wing-man formations, and with such numbers Boelcke's 8th dicta can be hard to obey.
Plus, keeping near your wingman requires splitting your attention between scanning the sky and watching your flight lead's moves. It's worth it however, because exploiting your numbers advantage requires you actually stick together to set up the attacks that use it (sammich etc.)
So even if you outnumber your enemy 2 to 1, you want - as a matter of doctrine and common sense - to engage their two-man elements with your four-man flight, so you have 2v1 for every attack.

And once the pairings break down in combat, it becomes a clusterfuck *anyway.*
There's a lot of history and theory going on in this show, and the people who make it are quite clearly aware of it. Their military adviser(s) know their shit COLD.

I

LOVE

THIS

SHOW
As Naomi observes, these Union pilots are pretty competent.
>properly leading the target

When can I buy this show on Blu-Ray?
This moment shows why defensive break-turns work - had this bandit kept pulling hard across her nose, he would've whipped through her gunsight like a wraith, and only caught a few rounds. You only need a few cannon shells to score, but cannons fire slowly...
The great machine guns vs. cannons debate came to its zenith during the Korean War, where the higher speeds of subsonic jets exacerbated this basic problem. American .50 cals didn't do enough damage, and Soviet cannons just didn't fill enough of the air with lead.
This is why the modern aircraft autocannon is what it is - both large in caliber (20mm) and with an insane rate of fire. This is also why the limited fire duration of modern fighter planes isn't a huge issue - it only takes the briefest of bursts at the right time to score.
Frontier Priest's packing cannon pods on his N1K. I can't recall how frequently those were used, or even if they were standardized armament. The Germans made frequent use of them as optional add-ons, trading weight for firepower.
Remember what I said about an entire flight sticking together? He's got all four bandits in this flight glued to his ass.

The people who made this goddamn show. These people, are my people.
A great many air combat maneuvers can be summarized as "AW FUCK SHIT TRACERS WHIPPIN PAST ME CANNYPEE FUK ROIGHT OUT OF DIS AIRSPACE." This is why you'll sometimes hear people opining that tracers were a bad idea. If they were, THIS is why - nothing to do with "ballistics."
In Borethunder they're called "stealth" ammo belts; which hits the truth; the advantage is that you don't give away your presence with the tracers zipping over the enemy's canopy. In truth, however, the attacking pilot took a shot they couldn't make, and should've gotten closer.
Thus claims of tracerless ammo use greatly improving pilot's kill-counts in certain WWII units might have some truth to them, but if they do, it's because the lack of tracers compensated for the poor discipline of over-eager pilots.
Since most pilots cannot deflection-shoot anyway, and need to close in to close range to be sure of the job, tracerless belts cost them nothing and prevent them from sabotaging themselves with impatient fire.
Pilots who see tracers *just* missing are also more likely to keep shooting. However that psychological effect works both ways - in aircraft with just twin .30 cal cowling guns aside from the cannons, I'll loft those tracers out there to keep bandits from unloading to run from me
Naomi has just demonstrated one of the most basic air combat maneuvers - a low yo-yo. Since her opponent kept flying straight, her vertical jig has placed him well out front.
This also works in a turning fight, as you can see from this diagram. You'll note that sustained use of this is why the "tactical egg" I mentioned a while back exists. In fact, the vertical scissors (two pilots yo-yoing against each other) is just a series of yo-yos.
ACM can be confusing until you realize that there's only a few basic maneuvers, only so many ways to move a plane, and all the specifically named maneuvers or tactics simply refer to using those maneuvers in a specific context.

Quite similar to swordfighting in that regard.
This is also true! An account by a Soviet pilot I read mentioned how he let a bandit close on his flight leader so he could kill them, but also mentioned that he knew he had to be ready with "blocking fire" in case he couldn't take the shot in time.

In other words, his job was not to shoot the bandit down, but to whip tracers in their general direction to let them know that they had someone behind them, forcing them to break off the attack. It was more important to save his flight lead than shoot down a bandit.
... naturally, being a fighter pilot, he stretched that mandate as far as possible to also score a kill.

Anyone who hasn't read these accounts should do so as soon as they can: lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/index.…

Time for my appointment! Be back in a few hours!
I'm back! And I have the usual peanut gallery in my mentions sniggering with unholy glee at what bullshit Isao is about to unleash before my eyes!

Sounds SUPER PROMISING, THANKS GUYS
So where were we? Ah, right, Kylie is kill-stealing. Because of course it's Kylie.
... oh no. Oh, no. You poor bastard. PLANE FUKKEN DANDY
That's an amazingly restrained comment, given the situation.
YA DUN GOOF'D
He should really be covering her tail to make sure nobody picks her off while she's target fixated. This might be a translation error. Derpy derpy doo
He'd get along great with Kylie.
At least he's flying on her wing now, to cover her. That's actually useful - enemy pilots don't know that he's a moron. They'll target him, first, giving Naomi time to reverse and whack'em - assuming this dink stays alive long enough.
C O R R E C T

YOU'RE FLYING WING, BRO, SHUT UP, FALL BACK AND WATCH HER TAIL

and what a tail it is iykwim
Good boy. Just hang back and make her immediate six o'clock an unhealthy place to be.
Now THAT is one hell of a fustercluck.
These canyon runs are gratuitous as fuck and I do not care. If you've made a setting with fighter planes and copious amounts of canyons and do NOT utilize them at every opportunity, you're a numbskull.

EMBRACE THE CHEESE
Aaahahaha holy shit that is a formation I would not want to fly in.

TEN PICTURES TAKEN SECONDS BEFORE DISASTER
Oh, they tucked it away in a small valley, huh? Clever. Though... who's carrying the bombs, here? Are they planning on just strafing the place?
Oh shit, this place has Hardened Aircraft Shelters ("HAS"). You won't be cracking those very easily at all. Even armor-piercing bombs will have trouble, as without guided weapons, you'll need a few dive-bombers per shelter to guarantee one direct hit.
That there is an airport here is not surprising. Willow Run Airport, in Michigan - which is today a municipal/freight airport - was originally built as an extension of the Willow Run production plant, to fly out complete B-24 Liberators built there.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow_Ru…
No shit, Sherlock. And for that matter, I don't see a factory, either. Unless it's in a natural or artificial cavern hollowed out of those cliffs, in which case destroying it will be significantly more difficult. Not impossible, mind you, but nobody seems to have bombs...
Not an unreasonable assumption in this world, but survivor reports from the bombed cities should - even accounting for exaggeration - rule that out.

So when they said "attack the factory" they really meant "destroy the completed bombers at the factory's own airfield."
That is a BIG fucking HAS, and it looks sized just right to squeeze in those bombers. Note the raised cut-out in the center to accommodate the vertical stabilizer.

Concrete requires water. It's expensive in this world. They wouldn't build these for giggles.
Given that those HAS's are big enough to cram most if not all of their ground support equipment in once the bombers have sortied (and it seems they have) and that the fuel and munitions should also be in bunkers, you ain't doing shit without bombs, kiddo.

SHOW'S OVER.
I suppose this isn't a bad idea, though it's a crying shame they don't have some tape dispensers to utilize. Cover that runway with AP mines. Nobody'd be landing there, and have fun clearing THAT shit out of the way.
This whole thing is screaming LEL ACKBAR but to be honest, if Isao's bomber force has sortied, their hardened base being attacked doesn't mean much. Even a cratered runway the ground crews can fix in a hurry after they drive their dozers out of the hardened shelters.
It'd be perfectly acceptable for him to sortie everything and not worry about the hardened airbase, especially given that this is likely a decisive battle. He's a weird motherfucker so who knows what he's gonna do.
>Ki-84s

Finally, our Mysterious Elite Mercenaries return, eh? And given that this same group are the ones that tried to hijack the Kotobuki's zeppelin, I guess we know why Isao snapped up the captured boarders so quick. That, too, was a False Flag.
Also, that's an awful lot of Ki-

ki

wait

what the fucking

are

wait
literally how
Yes, it should be. Outside of a multi-decade effort to get to this point, as I supposed earlier, or Isao having stumbled across a cache of mad dosh and machine tools left behind by the Imperial Japanese, this seems a bit... excessive.
"IT'S ME, AUSTIN! IT WAS ME ALL ALONG!"
>asswipe is already donning a parachute

If this jackass is worth his topknot he'll shoot that SOB down where he stands.
"Since you're the dumbest motherfucker I have ever seen, I will literally spell out the fact of my betrayal for you, because I know me standing here with a parachute on right as you get fucked in the ass won't be enough."

He's not wrong, either.
LESS TALK, MORE KILLING

Have you not even two brain cells to rub together to spark a thought?
I have to wonder why Isao would make that concerted attempt to wipe out the Kotobuki squadron by (literally) de-platforming them, if he was sitting on this heavy of an advantage in materiel.

... unless he couldn't match the materiel with sufficient manpower?
Unfortunately, getting away from this one won't be easy, but everything I said earlier about furballs still applies. Unfortunately, a mob of fresh pilots with mediocre training benefit the most from this situation, esp. combined with their numbers.
This is also a lethal fight for the attackers, the good guys, because at this altitude they're either going to auger in before they can jump for it, or belly-land in enemy territory.
It's really beautiful how long they hold this scene, so you can see the main bodies of fighters crashing into each other, with the enemy's "flanking element," (the enemy's six flights to the left) circling around to meet the good guy's vanguard flights head-on.
Ah, I wasn't watching well enough; it seems a few flights of enemies were being chased by the friendlies vanguard, and that flanking element was charging ahead to engage the zeppelins.
Bitch your zeppelins top out at 60 knots; even if the fighters bug out, your flying airships are gonna eat shit.
>disengaging from a furball on the deck against fighters that mostly have a higher top speed

Fuck that noise. If Isano pulled 200 goddamn fighters out of his ass AND 200+ well trained pilots and ground crew you're screwed anyways. Stay and fight.
If you run, you'll just be run down from behind and massacred. In a furball it's anyone's game, and since your pilots are, on average, likely to be much more experienced and aggressive, they should gain a serious psychological advantage.
If you're hit in a dogfight on the deck, you have to belly your fighter in, as there's no space to jump for it. Everyone knows this. There's far less chance of survival than there is usually - crash landings are dangerous.

That's the only advantage they have right now.
... ah. I see how they're gonna get away.

Oh dear.
YOU THERE, PILOT FLYING BY
GO TO POKORRO AND TELL THEM
HERE, BY THEIR LAWS, WE LIE
If this fight was happening at 10,000 feet I'd agree with Julia; the Union must've staged from another airbase - one they can look for on any map. *Two* secret airfields is pushing their luck, and you don't stage 200 fighters off a temporary strip.
Conversely the allies have their airbase (the zeppelins) close to hand, so if they could dive out of the fight and extend a bit, they'd stand a good chance of keeping ahead till the enemy hits bingo fuel.
But as discussed above I'm having a hard time seeing how the good guys can cleanly disengage from this without taking many more casualties than they infl-

- holy hell the completely neutral, slightly amused look on this fucker's face as he hears his sister is in the shit. WTF.
I swear to god, they're both aliens. She's asking him about - er, wait, my bad.
Finger slipped, didn't get as much of that screen as I intended. Ahem. Anyway, she's asking him about backup plans and he's going lul I dunno.

Honestly the only way the fighters AND the zeppelins are getting out of this shitstorm is if they zip through a...

... ah.
God damn you could spread this girl over toast right now because she is J E L L Y
MEANWHILE
THE SOUND YOU JUST HEARD WAS ME SPIKING THE GODDAMN FOOTBALL

God damn I'm good.
Oh my god who is this jackass and why is he on this squawk
Oh my GOD Naomi PLEASE feed this fucker a 20mm through the windscreen
Notice that Naomi's roll here accomplishes two things: it keeps her well away from the bandit's horizontal vector (i.e. his gunsight) but also lets her reverse direction while doing so, instead of trying to wallow her Zero through a normal roll to reverse.
He seems to pull high to counter a bit with a slight yo-yo, and now you can see them start to get offset a bit as they begin to weave a little. This could develop into the scissors, which would favor creepster supreme in his Ki-44, so Naomi should go vertical.
She seems more interested in using the terrain, however.
This looks funny because of the distance, but I think that's foreshortening in effect. Naomi's exploiting her excellent depth perception (i.e. distance estimation) and her very innate knowledge of her aircraft's performance (how long it takes to enter that climb.)
Creeptacular Von DevilDollars here also knows what his plane can do; including the lesser climb/turn performance compared to a Zero. His instantaneous turn is better, but... he's also heavier and faster, and they were at lower speed due to hard maneuvering...
"Must go faster must go faster go go go go GO"
THE LAST STAND OF THE REAR-GUARD
Without their air wing, what good would it do? If Pokorro's force stays to tie down the enemy, it'll at least let Rahama disengage without being totally destroyed as an effective force - and that goes for the zeppelins as well. And this way Pokorro's zepps have cross-fire.
And it looks like the Harogumo here is sortieing - oh heavens help us are those Ki-27s launching to engage the incoming bandits?
... well, it's allegedly better than nothing.

I'd remark the loss more, except the pilots aren't much better than their planes, from what we've seen of them in the past. Maybe they'll cost the enemy ammo and fuel.
At least they've got the balls to take them up on their head-on pass, which in this situation is the right thing to do. They're unlikely to get many chances to actually fire once the maneuvering combat begins, so trading a Ki-27 for a Ki-84's not a bad idea. Esp. right now.
Chika's teachings? The fish-bitch? Little Miss Troglodyte's Rule? Miss "my murderboner is for jousting with Kylie with?"

... well, given the quality of these militia pilots, it's better than nothing!
Well, if they've got numbers on them, that'd help, yeah. Make sure everyone gets a few on their tail, keep them too busy to support each other.
... did that fatass moron Mayor manage to HIT SOMETHING!?
[SCREEEEEEEEE INTENSIFIES]
More than one stricken warship, holed and aflame, has had its helmsman swing her bow towards land, in a desperate attempt to beach the ship before it sinks.

... most have never made it.
Oh dear. April's almost here, and you know what that means - rain.
It's raining.
Oh for fucks sake it's "Porokko" not "Pokorro" well WHATEVER the Other Dudes.

Yeah.
It's raining in the desert.
... I'm gonna pause here to get some dinner. And close the window, becuase it is definitely raining and a lot of it seems to be blowing into this room. I'm getting wet. Especially my face.
Dinner was turkey. Kicks ass. Unf. The peanut gallery's chortling is growing ever louder, so let's get on with it and see what Isao's gonna meme.

I guess a Ki-61 Zwilling mod is out of the question? 🤔
CHUGGA CHUGGA HEAVY CANNON GOOD
ME-UM BIG CANNON STRONK CRUSH WEETLE MANS WITH MACHEEN GUN

Your raiden has a type 5 that's very nice
...
There IS a God.
Even after all this time, all the confirmations of faith, I still had doubts. A lifetime of toiling in obscurity, of being the strangest little plane-autist in the room, is hard to forget. A lifetime of being betrayed by every media producer who should know better.

But no more.
they

they actually understand

they KNOW

these animators, these... these people... are MY people. We are of one soul. We have suffered the same slings and arrows, trod the same stony path to enlightenment.

It's... real.
It's no mere... *airframe.* They comprehend its true nature, and thus, they animated it as it truly is. An awful, howling sound. A brief, blurry flash of the planform; like Bigfoot, glimpsed vanishing into the treeline in the gathering gloom of twilight.
Like the thrice-cursed San Shiki shells, it is a forgotten vestige of history that warped into a shambling revenant of a meme amongst the military otaku, animated by an awful, unholy unlife. A vile shade that haunts every WWII-adjacent media until it can be made manifest.
And like the Shiki shells before it, they knew that given their domestic market, and investor/publisher demands, and all that, that there was no escaping this fate. They knew the Beast was going to shove its way into their show, snarling and hungry.

There was never any escape.
... but for the first time in my memory, for the first time that I have ever seen

THEY HAVE CHOSEN

TO STAND

AND

FIGHT
The Beast... is in the hands of the primary antagonist.

At long last, the rancid ultrameme disease that is the FUCKING GOD-DAMNED SHINDEN WILL BE SHOT THE *FUCK DOWN* AND I WILL BE THERE TO BEAR WITNESS TO THE FINAL BLOW
For God so loved his people, that he went to this anime studio and armed them with the good fortune to slay the beast which has dogged his children's footsteps for so long.
I have a few more of these, and I'm going to post them.
This is how I knew.

From the first horrible, fleeting glimpse, I knew they understood.

Understood The Beast.
This... *flawless* combination of over-hyped meme cancer that thinks its a lot more clever than it is. That you just want to see reduced to a little smudge of oil-smoke and shredded aluminum so badly that you can almost taste it.

Yes.

This.

This, is perfection.
>LUL BATTLE ROYALE GUIES

... flawless. The ULTIMATE detestable cancer, concentrated in one bright-red airframe.

I am in awe.
And we're gonna get his little butler, too.
He just doesn't get it, does he?
Yes. This dipshit was born for this flying cancer-crate.
He's being as efficient as he can be with the shooting, but the shit-tier ballistics of those 30mm cannons are telling here, and he's eating through his very limited ammo load fast.

Yes. Keep on shooting, retard. Please. PLEASE.
Put on your 3D glasses, Isao, because SHE'S COMING AT YA
soundtrack:
Isao right now
WASTE 'EM
BUT IT WAS TOO LATE FOR TALK, WASN'T IT?
And with her so close to your cold six, I'm sure Isao's coming to feel pretty similarly too!
HE'S GONNA WELSH
Go ahead, Isao.

MAKE YOUR LAST MISTAKE
TO THE TOWN OF IKESUKA FLEW A STRANGER ONE FINE DAAAAAY~
Given how ass-heavy this little atrocity against God and man is, plus the maneuverability of the frontal... er, elevons? It could probably do strange shit like this.
Going end-for-end like that - without taking enough time to recover that it'd go into the canyon walls - I'm more dubious about. Plus, this just drops you directly into the attackers wingmen's gunsights.
Top ten anime betrayals
BAZOOKA MED HAS FOUND THE TRAIL
I'm out of clever commentary, I'm just lusting for the BLOODSHED
Oh no OH NO HE'S GONNA DO IT

HE HAD ONE LAST FUCK-UP UP HIS SLEEVE, DIDN'T HE

SAY THE LINE, ISAO

SAY THE LINE, YOU MISERABLE LITTLE SHIT
SAY IT WITH ME, SHITFORDICKS -

"I KILLED YOUR MASTER"
Now THAT is the rolling scissors!
The top cover chimes in and conveniently betrays his presence.
That moment every writer knows, when you are obliged to stick in one last revelation for the inevitable knuckle-dragging morons in the back row who still haven't got it through their thick goddamn skulls yet.
>trying a vertical fight against a Ki-43

Yo brah I know it's a fancy plane and all but really, now
I've sometimes imagined the dogfights I've written out in my head as movies, little "mind movies," and close-up shots of the instruments telling the story of how hard the aircraft is being pushed has been part of them.

This is the show I'd make, if I could.
Here it comes.
Apparently Kylie stalls out first because Isao's The One Airframe To Rule Them All benefits from even more hax bullshit (read: more engine development than "Japan in 1945"). This is known as a "tree fight" (due to the way the diagram looks) or, if you lure your enemy into it-
- the "rope-a-dope," named after the boxing move. That's more of a steep climb, though, tricking your enemy into following just a little longer, and a little longer, till you're both close to stalling and it's too late for him to disengage safely.
As you can see, the basic idea is that whoever stalls first loses, as if the pursuer stalls first - or at the same time - they lose. Although, come to think, Kylie didn't stall for lack of horsepower or climb performance - let's look at the gauges again.
Altimeters can be tricky to read if you don't know how; they're not complicated, but the third hand can throw you for a loop. The stubby one that looks like the hour hand indicates thousands of feet, the long minute hand, hundreds. This one's around 920 feet or so.
It works just like a clock does so far; with the "hour" hand moving closer to the next marked increment, and the longer hand just indicating that position with greater precision. It's the longest one that can trick you; it's not analogous to a "second" hand. It shows 10k feet.
So once you get to 10,000 feet and run out of digits on the dial, the 10k indicator flips over to "1" so you can start over from 11,000 feet, and so on. Pretty simple. The wee window provides tens of feet precision, the "barber pole," an at-a-glance low-altitude warning.
I'm telling you all this so you understand when I say that I have no fucking idea what this god-damned instrument is indicating. Which goddamned hand is the 10,000 feet indicator and which is the 1,000 foot indicator? Why the color coding? WHAT DOES IT FUCKING MEAAAAAAAAAAN
From some quick googling it seems that daffy thing where the 0/10 starting position of the gauge is at the bottom is indeed a Japanese Thing. Note the scale only goes from 0-5 instead of 0-10 before repeating because it measures in meters, not feet.
Since the needles are quivering right before Kylie stalls out completely, I can't even see which ones move faster. Meters being thrice the length of feet are the cause of my confusion; given 40,000 feet (high alt for any plane of this age) is only about 12,000 meters...
So if it's thousands, hundreds, tens, but then how does...

... oh for fucks sake, I give up. SHE'S ABOVE HER PERFORMANCE CEILING SO HER ENGINE POWER IS SUCKING SHIT. SHE'S HIGH. JAPAN LOST THE WAR, MEASURE YOUR SHIT IN FEET, YOU FUCKERS
Why is there even black on those needles. How the hell are you supposed to read that at night. Or even with shadows in the cockpit. This plane's old enough that the instruments would've had radium on the needles originally. Do they like, obscure one another or...?
me right now

I have meters engraved on my left temple and I DO NOT UNDERSTAND
.... AND THERE IT IS
Kylie right now: puu.sh/D7ie8/1ce41679…
[REVVING INTENSIFIES]
Dicta Boelcke #6, coming atcha, baby.
... what even the fuck is this guy. I don't even know.
Isao really should've used a power dive to chase Kylie, to get into guns range so she wouldn't have the room to reverse on him like this. But he was overconfident and smug and gee, 30mm cannons have a shit trajectory, eh?

DOOOOHOHOHOHOHOHO
Kraken Status: VERY FUCKING AWAKE
>Isano actually ducked from her tracers in his cockpit before he thought to maneuver

SHE'S IN HIS HEAD
Meanwhile, the peashooters finally down a Ki-84.
Well you are chasing N1Ks here, but perhaps she means even compared to normal N1Ks?
This is the problem you often face in a slower fighter against a much faster one - even when you get on their tail, you can't force the matter, as you simply can't catch up to them to take a good shot. They extend out of range, then come back in at you - often from above.
This is why Boelcke's sixth dicta instructs you to meet a diving enemy rather than attempt to evade - if you're shooting back it makes life quite rough for them, but if you're not, they can focus all their energies on gunnery.

In this case Chika wasn't nose-on anyway tho.
The motion in this sequence here is almost spooky against that stationary background; I got a sense of depth that feels like real footage. Uncanny.
Chika's damaged, and Emma smoked the wingman.
The terrified bitch-squeal here was hilarious. I vocalized mine mirth in a fashion most bounteous. He just holed your aileron, dipshit, PARE out. Power Idle. Ailerons Neutral, Rudder opposite, pull elevator through neu-
... Oh, dear, there goes that, er, entire aileron, and a bit of your wingtip, too. Whoopsie daisy.
... I want to be shocked that she just did a "Death Blossom" maneuver, but considering that she was just firing randomly in blind rage and all, it... kind of fits. As if her sheer hatred overflowed her tiny frame and just guided those rounds onto target. 🤔
Yeah, now she's tumbling in three axes, sans an aileron, and already at dangerously low altitude. I'd opt to part company as well. Although, with such violent gyrations, you'd have to pop the canopy's emergency release, unbuckle and hope to get tossed out.
Is the blondie Emma or...? Whoever the fuck, whatever. Whatev-

... what even is that parachute
Meanwhile the Harugomo is getting some bad licks and looks like she might have to put down.
This guy's starting to freak me the fuck out.
She's certainly taking this well.

Basically, shit's fucked, and there's only two ways out of it now.

1. Kylie rips Isao a new 13mm diameter asshole, and the morale panic among his men turn the tide of battle or compel a ceasefire.
2. The wormhole opens and F-14s come in.
It's like counter-flooding, but for airships!
The mayor is still... useful. Huh.
Nothing scatters a formation quite like dual 20mm cannon fire.
About time these assholes showed up. If he starts selling more ugly paintings though I hope they crash the airship into his fucking face.
Oh jesus they even have the music again
Varying degrees of my EXACT SAME FEEL
How many AYY LMAOs are on this goddamn thing
Daddy never let ME fly as his rear gunner. Pff. Some kids are just spoiled.
... she's a good shot tho
I don't have time or fucks to give so just imagine the Navy Seal copypasta overlaid in the background of that second image.
Oh, Kylie, you adorable little puffball of simple-minded aggression, gluttony, and pent-up rage. All you needed was a little more motivation to kill besides "IT'S FUN!" and his big damn mouth just gave it to you.

Feed the beast, Kylie.

LET THE DOGS OUT (WHO, WHO-WHOWHO)
"Watch me barnstorm like a gigantic clown who thinks that matters right now"

IT DOES NOT
THE MAGIC FLOUNCY FUCK DID SOMETHING FLOUNCY ZOMG

Kylie.

Kyle, how do you breathe.
TADIMAAAAAAAAA
Really, how did that work. Did Kylie not jerk back on the stick hard enough? In Real Life, maneuvering close to the ground and/or obstacles like that usually serves to make your pursuer grab alt and fall back a bit - which keeps them safely behind you, but not in firing position.
MY GOD, HIS PLAN WAS TO GET BEHIND ME THE WHOLE TIME

Kylie

How is this

still

a shock to you

at this late date

KYLIE, YOU NEED TO LIKE, KEEP A NOTEBOOK OR SOMETHING. WRITE THINGS DOWN. "TODAY, NAOMI WHIPPED MY ASS AGAIN CUZ I AM DUM."
Welp. Now they're fucked, especially because I haven't seen Naomi for a while and she's not a main character, so despite her l33t skillz she neither has plot armor nor Protaganist Bullets.
GUTEN TAG
MY EXPECTATIONS HAVE BEEN VIOLENTLY AND INSTANTLY SUBVERTED

@rianjohnson YOU GIGANTIC FUCKING TOOL, COME OVER HERE AND SEE HOW IT'S ACTUALLY DONE
... Reona's down, Chika's down, Reona's wing-woman was daffin about elsewhere...

.... there's only one true killer left in the air. I know who it is. It can only be... her. The Terror from the Skies.

*inhale*

aaaayyyyyYYYYYYY-
-LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I *FUCKING KNEW IT*
My neighbors right now be like
I was just shouting TURN THAT HAYABUSA AROUND AND STRAFE THAT FUCKER BEFORE HE OPENS THE CANOPY and it looks like his big fuckin mouth is gonna seal the deal for me SAY IT, ISAO, OPEN YOUR GIGANTIC, RETARDED FACE-HOLE AND SEAL YOUR GODDAMNED FATE
[MISSION: ALIEN RETALIATION]
you can't stop there you can't YOU CAN'T STOP THERE WHAT EVEN IS GOING ON WHO IS LOSING ARE THEY GONNA MAKE IT HOW CAN YOU CLIFFHANGER ME

YES, SHUT THE FUCK UP PEANUT GALLERY *I AM AWARE OF THE PAINFUL AND BITING IRONY EAT MY ENTIRE ASS*
But back to this. Back to those flames.

BURN.

BURN.

BURN, YOU MISERABLE PILE OF SHIT. I HOPE YOU BURN ON THE TARMAC. I HOPE YOU BURN TO ASHES. BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBUUUUUUUUUURN WITH US
EPILOGUE SCENE!
Reona might've lost her ship. Chika definitely did. The situation is b-what the fugg
Fishsticks, what even the fuck goes on in your head.
WRATH OF THE CREW CHIEF

THEY'VE ROUSED THE FIRE WYRM
[MISSION: ALIEN ABDUCTION]
I guess that'd make the fucking Dodo a terror unit.
... so all this fucking death and mayhem was for nothing? The dumb ass Isano just had to wait for a wormhole to open in his neck of the wood?

... sure would be convenient if the other end happened to manifest a little ways below the alternate Earth's surface, eh? In the mantle?
>Land of the Rising Sun/Land of the Setting Sun

K I N O
The next episode is the last one.

I...

I don't

I

can I just like, GIVE an anime studio money, without even buying anything? Like, just send them a nice gift basket with money and more money in it, and perhaps a letter asking them to be my son's god-child, if I have one?
I need to find this man's contact information. I need him to know that his heroism is recognized and adored across the world.

And I need to ask him how the fuck you read that goof-ass altimeter in the Hayabusa.
It's only a twelve-episode anime.

Very soon, our journey is over.
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