Wings of Honneamise has been sitting on my watch list for years, but I got a chance to see and review it recently. I heard that the art was quite good, and this anime had an important historical role due to the highest anime budget of the time, it was the first Gainax project, and involved five anime directors and two magna-ka who later became famous. This anime explored human nature, purpose in life, and relationships with God.

Oritsu Uchuugun – Honneamise no Tsubasa
王立宇宙軍 オネアミスの翼

Genres: drama, science fiction

Plot Summary: Surrounded by a cynical public and corrupt, manipulative State leaders, the Royal Space Force (RSF) is largely viewed as a joke as well as a waste of precious money and resources. After a chance meeting with a young, empathetic woman reencourages cadet Shiro Lhadatt to become the first man in space, the RSF cadets and a team of aging scientists rush to complete their epic launch before the military uses their space program as bait to start an all-out war.

Running time: 125 minutes

Production cost: ¥800,000,000 (projected)

Vintage: 1987

Director: Hiroyuki Yamaga (Abenobashi, Mahoromatic)

Screenplay: Hiroyuki Yamaga

Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto

Character Design: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Evangelion manga)

Art director: Hiromasa Ogura

Animation director:
Fumio Iida
Hideaki Anno (Evangelion, Kare Kano)
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Yuji Moriyama

Key Animation:
Akiko Nakano
Akiko Tsukui
Atsuko Inoue
Chihiro Hayashi
Ichiro Itano (Gantz, Megazone 23)
Jiro Kanai
Katsuya Kondo
Kazuyoshi Takeuchi
Kazuyoshi Yanaginuma
Kitarou Takasaka
Kumiko Kawana
Kunihiko Sakurai
Mahiro Maeda (Blue Submarine No. 6, Gankutsuou)
Masaaki Endou
Mika Sugu
Nobuteru Yuki
Noriyasu Yamauchi
Shinji Otsuka
Takao Yoshino
Tatsuya Egawa (Golden Boy manga, Magical Taruruuto-kun manga)
Tensai Okamura (credited as Yutaka Okamura)
Toshio Kawaguchi
Toshiyuki Inoue
Yasuko Tachiki
Yooko Kadogami
Yoshiyuki Ichikawa

Source: ANN

I liked the backgrounds and direction, but disliked music because it didn’t fit well with the scenes and was of poor quality (“Fade” was an exception though). Also I really didn’t like the protagonist… The main points of the anime, that I included in the images or in captions, didn’t offer anything new and felt underdeveloped to produce a proper impact, but the message might have been more relevant in historical context. Overall, I enjoyed the movie primarily because of art.

6 thoughts on “Wings of Honneamise Review

  1. The protagonist was kind of iffy to me as well. I didn’t enjoy his VA that much. Yeah, the art was outstanding, the music horrendous (soooooo bad). The cliche GAINAX end was a little weird too – favoring a dense metaphorical montage over something actually connected to the story at hand isn’t my cup of tea. I did enjoy the political message of the show, though, which may have been a stereotypical “science doesn’t benefit all of humanity” ism. The relationship between the proselyte and the astonaut was also interesting – especially that one scene.

  2. It is interesting that Ryuichi Sakamoto actually won an Oscar that year, but that was for his other work.

    That one scene was well executed. I especially liked that it contrasted the perspectives on a person: views of the legs and from the back with that of the face. A look at human face at close proximity made him realize that he deals with a human being rather than an object. That is why he hesitated and that gave her an opportunity to retaliate.

  3. Hm, we share very different opinions on the music. I have Sakamoto’s New Age soundtrack now for 15 years in my anime OST collection and I think it’s one of the very best I’ve ever heard in an anime, fitting the images top notch (as in the opening and ending, for example). As for the voice actor, Leo Morimoto is rather well-known among japanese audiences unfamiliar with anime voice actors. I remember showing the movie to japanese friends and they immediately recognized his voice.

    1. I have not heard the OST, so can’t comment on that, but I was not impressed with the music in the movie. The OP/ED “Fade” was ok though. Well, this just shows yet again that perception widely varies among people, but there is no right or wrong way – it is just a matter of preference 🙂

      Yes, Leo Morimoto played in some TV shows, but not many anime.

      1. Sakamoto’s music is sometimes an acquired taste because he’s a “musician’s musician.” The harmonic structures he incorporates and the inventive arrangements are often unconventional and experimental. Also, Sakamoto didn’t compose the entire score to Honneamise–there were other composers that worked on it–he supervised the score and composed some of it. With all that said, the Honnemise score is one of the very best in the history of anime scores, and anyone with some knowledge and training in music will immediately recognize the brilliance of it. My other composer friends also love the score very much.

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