I trust my gut positive feelings most when they're about anime in which, on paper, I should have little interest.
Hence my relative confidence in my judgement that there's something to Simoun.

A show I bothered to watch twice despite it not being (mixed metaphor alert) up my street on paper. ImageImage
Also I had forgotten that in Aer's first on-screen combat she straight-up rams the enemy aircraft. Image
Revisiting this—& maybe it's just me—Aer seems very jock-fighter-pilot-ish early on in the show.

She's good at her job but she lacks emotional intelligence, treads on every conversational landmine, & is generally trouble. Image
I could write out a long list of facts about Simoun & many of them would make me go 'this show could never work'.
In this episode: the CO yells at Aer for flying while her squadr—chor is grounded. Image
The simoun are made up of a lot of traditionally-feminine shapes but the cockpit profile always reminds me of the Mi-24/Hind. Image
My mind had entirely forgotten the main part of this ep, which gets slightly gruesome. Image
And I think on previous occasions I'd simply never noticed this mural on the ship's bridge. Image
Figured if I was going to look at CG aircraft I could at least be rewatching another ep of this. Image
Early-show Aeru is so jockish, bless her heart. ImageImage
Didn't notice before, but there's totally a 'Neviril makes Paraietta tea / Kaim makes Paraietta coffee' thing here. ImageImage
Seventh episode is Mamina's introduction, and after episode 2 probably the second time class intrudes. Image
Within the squadron the sibyllae manage a certain parity.

But the ones from noble families are secure. The commoners seemingly earned, & sustain, their roles by flying. Image
Aer abseils down the side of a flying airship: 'cos she's young enough not to sense her own mortality and/or 'cos Neviril's in danger. Image
Ah yes, that's right, episode 8 is when the show really goes in. ImageImageImageImage
Cut-ins after the suicide bombing like this is a mid-80s real robot show. ImageImage
Therapist: The 3DCG in Simoun is very real, and can absolutely hurt you. Try to outrun it.

The 3DCG in Simoun: ImageImage
Among the many other things in this show which make it astounding that it works, shoutouts to the weak gunshot sounds & explosions.
Aer gets in a whole solid minute of wondering about Neviril's motivations here before deciding not to worry. Image
In this ep, Chor Tempest save the day & then, in good Yang Wenli tradition, get hauled before an inquiry. ImageImageImage
To the inquiry Neviril says, We were priestesses. Now you send us to kill and to die. Are we still priestesses? ImageImage
The squadron's exiled to the Messis, a smaller, older, rustier ship.

But it can still launch fighters, so the implied reprimand flies right over Aer's head. Image
This is one ep I remembered from previous viewings: the squadron take part in an experimental combined-arms op.

It becomes necessary to destroy the village to save—not it, exactly, but the soldiers committed to attack it. Image
It's our first glimpse of the poor bloody infantry, & they're quite a contrast to the sibyllae. ImageImageImageImage
Incidentally all the men in the show are voiced by women (as are all the women).
The war on the ground feels roughly equivalent to modern or later twentieth-century fighting.

The PBI's standard guns seem to be automatic. ImageImageImageImage
Pour one out for Floe, who just introduced her crush's hometown to the displeasures of aerial bombardment.

(This seems to be an unfamiliar idea to the characters, so we might be looking at this world's Guernica.) ImageImage
Good to see these in use once again. Image
Oh hey, some shots which actively take advantage of the Messis's design. ImageImage
Water's key in this episode: rain, but also the shower. The Messis is old enough that it springs leaks. Image
Respect to this flying aircraft carrier. Also introduced this ep: a new twin-engined enemy fighter. ImageImage
Aer continues to lumber ham-fistedly into everyone's very sensitive issues. Image
In which Floe attempts to explain emotions to someone who hasn't heard of them & wants to know if they're edible. ImageImageImage
In this episode of Simoun, things get weir'd. Image
The lead partnership is, ah, not going well. ImageImageImage
Don't crack open a helical motor. It's bad for you. ImageImage
simounpla Image
Thinking about it, that eyecatch certainly fits this episode, whether by chance or by design.
Morinas is making a model Messis to go with her simounpla. Image
This's a pretty good run of episodes. Four in a row apparently written by the same person (someone you've probably heard of, in fact). Image
Possibly this ep's script highlight: Neviril observing that Aer is, like Amuria was, basically into her for her piloting ability. Image
I've time for the show's portrayal of faith, but I'm not yet ready to articulate why. Image
Back at it again. Image
Perhaps the most militarised shot of the simouns so far. Image
It is, by this point, very clear that the Simulacrum forces' past advantages have stopped them from learning elementary tactics.
An important hinge episode, in various ways. ImageImage
Lots of big events this episode. ImageImage
Apart from [massive twists], there's Aer experiencing, possibly for the first time, an emotion that's not wanting to fly & blow things up. Image
The briefing confirms that the war situation continues to develop not necessarily to the Simulacrum's advantage. Image
This is not really a spoiler for the show.

It's clear relatively early on in Simoun that our heroes serve in an increasingly desperate military. Image
I remember this bit of Simoun. Show's fairly rocketing along now. ImageImage
They nearly managed to make the 3D model of the Arcus Prima look nice here. Image
Aer, Neviril and Paraietta when they were smaller. ImageImage
(This is not a good episode for Paraietta, briefly driven beyond reason as an indirect result of Aer finally learning what emotions are.)
Eighteen episodes in, this character's established as perhaps the show's first real villain. Image
Every show should have the bridge crew shouting lines like this before a ramming attack. ImageImage
Really every show should have someone calling for the anti-beam beam, but sadly only one show has managed this. Image
This episode hinges on an act of reciprocal sacrifice which mirrors but also reverses the suicide bombing earlier in the show. ImageImageImageImage
And this in turn hangs on the strange relationship of conflict but also veneration between the sibyllae and the highland clergy. ImageImage
A heavy but cathartic episode of Simoun this evening. Image
Understandably enough, it's all been a bit much for Aer. ImageImage
I don't think I'd twigged before how the sibylla who makes plastic models is also the sibylla who hangs out with the mechanics. Image
Floe has decided to go [Floe does not go] ImageImage
Chor Tempest begin to absorb their loss, and defiantly reaffirm their religious role over their martial one with ri maajons.

But the episode's most crucial object is its smallest: a braid of hair in a wicker cradle. ImageImageImageImage
Tonight: the instalment in which Simoun finally rends the curtain and lets you know what's going on. Image
(This is also the episode with an eyecatch which looks highly illegal.)
I don't make Biggles jokes about Simoun merely because they both involve flight.

While it's almost certainly a coincidence, both Biggles and Aer have notably small hands. ImageImageImageImage
(The /reason/ for this scene? Neviril's subsequent Gundamesque remark that war makes it so hard to see 'normal' things.)
Me after the workday has finished. Image
There's a subtle but very good marrying-up of a sound effect and a cut in this episode which entirely resists discussion via tweet.

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