Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise
|Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise|
Japanese theatrical release poster
|Hepburn||Ōritsu Uchūgun: Oneamisu no Tsubasa|
|Directed by||Hiroyuki Yamaga|
|Written by||Hiroyuki Yamaga|
|Edited by||Harutoshi Ogata|
|Distributed by||Toho Towa|
|Box office||¥347 million[a]|
Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise (Japanese: 王立宇宙軍~オネアミスの翼, Hepburn: Ōritsu Uchūgun: Oneamisu no Tsubasa) is a 1987 Japanese animated science fiction film written and directed by Hiroyuki Yamaga, co-produced by Hiroaki Inoue and Hiroyuki Sueyoshi, and planned by Toshio Okada and Shigeru Watanabe. Ryuichi Sakamoto, later to share the Academy Award for the soundtrack to The Last Emperor, served as music director. The film's story takes place on an alternate world where a disengaged young man, Shirotsugh, inspired by an idealistic woman named Riquinni, volunteers to become the first astronaut, a decision that draws them into both public and personal conflict. The film was the debut work of anime studio Gainax, whose later television and movie series Neon Genesis Evangelion would achieve international recognition, and was the first anime produced by toy and game manufacturer Bandai, eventually to become one of Japan's top anime video companies.
Yamaga and Okada had become known through making amateur fan-oriented short films, particularly the Daicon III and IV Opening Animations, but their pitch for Royal Space Force argued that growing the anime industry required a shift away from works that pleased fans on a surface level but reinforced their isolation, advocating instead for a different type of anime that attempted to engage with fans as human beings who shared in the alienation issues of a larger society. The making of Royal Space Force involved a collaborative year-long design process using many creators, including some from outside the anime industry, to construct an elaborately detailed alternate world described as neither utopian nor dystopian, but "an attempt to approve existence."
Royal Space Force's collective approach to filmmaking, its deliberate rejection of established anime motifs, its visual complexity, and the general lack of professional experience among its staff were all factors in its chaotic production, while increasing uncertainty about the project led to what has been described as an attempt by its investors and producers to "fix" the film before release, imposing a late name change to The Wings of Honnêamise, and a lavish but deceptive publicity campaign that included misleading advertising and a staged Hollywood premiere. Although receiving a generally good reception among domestic anime fans and the industry upon its original 1987 Japanese release, including praise from Hayao Miyazaki, the film failed to make back its costs at the box office, but eventually became profitable through home video sales.
Royal Space Force did not receive an English-language commercial release until 1994, when Bandai licensed the film to Manga Entertainment. A dubbed 35 mm version toured theaters in North America and the United Kingdom, during which time it received coverage in major newspapers but highly mixed reviews. Since the mid-1990s, it has received several English-language home video releases, and various historical surveys of anime have regarded the film more positively; the director has stated his belief in retrospect that the elements which made Royal Space Force unsuccessful made possible the later successes of Studio Gainax.
In the Kingdom of Honnêamise— on a different, Earthlike world of mid-20th century technology— a young man named Shirotsugh Lhadatt recalls his middle-class upbringing and childhood dream to fly jets for the navy. His grades disqualifying him, Shirotsugh ended up instead joining the "Royal Space Force," a tiny unit with poor morale whose commander, General Khaidenn, dreams of human spaceflight, yet is barely capable of launching unmanned satellites. One night, Shirotsugh encounters a woman named Riquinni who is preaching in the red-light district. Riquinni Nonderaiko, who lives with a sullen little girl named Manna, surprises him by suggesting that humanity could find peace through space travel. Inspired, Shirotsugh volunteers for a last-ditch project to keep the Space Force from being disbanded: send the first astronaut into orbit.
Riquinni gives Shirotsugh scriptures to study, but becomes upset when he touches her and angry when he suggests she should "compromise" with God. Riquinni feels such compromise is to blame for the evils of the world, but Shirotsugh suggests it has made it easier to live in. The General arranges a shady deal to help finance his project, and tells a cheering crowd that the orbital capsule will be a "space warship." Soon after, Riquinni's cottage is foreclosed upon and demolished; not wishing to expose Manna— whose mother was constantly abused by her husband— to any more conflicts, she rejects the outraged Shirotsugh's offer to get her a lawyer. He begins to read Riquinni's scriptures, which assert that humanity is cursed to violence for having stolen fire.
A test explosion that kills the chief rocket engineer is suggested to be the work of radicals, and Shirotsugh confounds his friends by sympathizing with protestors who says the mission is a waste of federal funding. The launch site is suddenly moved to the Kingdom's southern border, which will assist in reaching orbit but is also adjacent to a territory occupied by their international rival, the distant Republic. The General learns to his shock that his superiors see the rocket only as a useful provocation; unknown to the Kingdom, the Republic plans to buy time to get their forces into position by assassinating Shirotsugh.
Increasingly disenchanted, Shirotsugh goes AWOL and joins Riquinni's ministry, but is troubled by Manna's continued silence and the impression that Riquinni has been concealing money. He turns away when she offers him food and reads to Manna about the power of prayer. That night, he sexually assaults her; when he hesitates momentarily, she knocks him unconscious. Next morning, a repentant Shirotsugh is bewildered when Riquinni maintains he didn't do anything, apologizing for having hit him and calling him a "wonderful person". Reuniting with his best friend Marty, Shirotsugh asks whether one might be the villain in one's own life's story, not its hero. Marty replies with the view that people exist because they serve purposes for one another. The Republic's assassin strikes— Shirotsugh attempts to flee, but eventually fights back, killing the assassin. The General confides in the wounded astronaut afterwards that he once wanted to be a historian and not a soldier, but found history harder to confront, because it taught him human nature would not change.
At the launch site, the crew finishes assembling the rocket even as both sides prepare for the expected attack. Without informing his superiors, the General decides to launch early by trimming safety procedures, to which Shirotsugh agrees. When the Republic's forces invade to seize the rocket by force, an evacuation is ordered, but Shirotsugh rallies the crew to proceed with the countdown. The combined ground-air assault ceases with the rocket's unexpected launch, and the Republic forces withdraw. From orbit, Shirotsugh makes a radio broadcast, uncertain if anyone is listening: although humans have brought ruin to each new frontier, he asks nevertheless to give thanks for this moment, praying for forgiveness and guidance. As the capsule crosses into the dayside, a montage of visions suggests Shirotsugh's childhood and the passage of history; far below, Riquinni, preaching where he first met her, is the only one to look up as the snow begins to fall, and the camera draws back, past the ship and its world, to the stars.
|Shirotsugh Lhadatt||Leo Morimoto||David A. Thomas|
|Riquinni Nonderaiko||Mitsuki Yayoi||Heidi Lenhart|
|Manna Nonderaiko||Aya Murata||Wendee Lee|
|Marty Tohn||Kazuyuki Sogabe||Bryan Cranston|
|General Khaidenn||Minoru Uchida||Steve Bulen|
|Dr. Gnomm||Chikao Ōtsuka||Michael Forest|
|Kharock||Masato Hirano||Tom Konkle|
|Darigan||Hiroshi Izawa||Stephen Apostolina|
|Domorhot||Hirotaka Suzuoki||Jan Rabson|
|Tchallichammi||Kouji Totani||Christopher de Groot|
|Majaho||Masahiro Anzai||Tony Pope|
|Nekkerout||Yoshito Yasuhara||Dan Woren|
|Prof. Ronta||Ryūji Saikachi||Kevin Seymour|
Royal Space Force developed out of an anime proposal presented to Shigeru Watanabe of Bandai in September 1984 by Hiroyuki Yamaga and Toshio Okada from Daicon Film, an amateur film studio active in the early 1980s associated with students at the Osaka University of Arts and science fiction fandom in the Kansai region. The Daicon Film staff had met Watanabe earlier through their related fan merchandise company General Products, during his involvement with product planning for Bandai's "Real Hobby Series" figurines. The position had also led Watanabe into Bandai's then-new home video label Emotion, where he helped to develop Mamoru Oshii's Dallos. Released at the end of 1983, Dallos would become the first anime original video animation (OVA), an industry event later described as the beginning of a new "third medium" for anime beyond film or television, offering the prospect of "a medium in which [anime] could 'grow up,' allowing the more mature thematic experiments of creators..."
Okada and Yamaga's pitch to Watanabe had followed the recognition Daicon Film received earlier that year in Animage magazine through a special secondary Anime Grand Prix award given to their 8 mm short Daicon IV Opening Animation.[b] Their September 1984 proposal gave the outline for an anime to be entitled Royal Space Force, to be produced under the heading of a new, professional studio to be named Gainax. The proposal listed five initial core staff for the anime. Four had been previously associated with Daicon Film: Yamaga was to be the anime's concept creator and director and Okada its producer,[c] Yoshiyuki Sadamoto its chief character designer, and Hideaki Anno its chief mechanical designer. The fifth, Kenichi Sonoda, listed as responsible for the anime's mechanical design model sheets (settei), had previously assisted with product development at General Products.[d]
The Royal Space Force proposal, subheaded "Project Intentions: A New Wave in a Time of Lost Collaborative Illusions," began with a self-analysis of "recent animation culture from the perspective of young people."[e] Yamaga, who at the time of the proposal was 22 years old, had at age 20 been director on episode 9 of the original Macross TV series and had directed the opening anime films for Japan's 1981 and 1983 national science conventions, Daicon III and IV, which through their sale to fans on home video through General Products were themselves regarded as informal precursors of the OVA concept. Okada and Yamaga argued that what prevented the anime industry from advancing beyond its current level was that it had fallen into a feedback loop with its audience, producing for them a "cul-de-sac" of cute and cool-looking anime content that had the effect of only further reinforcing the more negative and introverted tendencies of many fans,[f][g] without making a real attempt to connect with them in a more fundamental and personal way:
"In modern society, which is so information-oriented, it becomes more and more difficult even for sensational works to really connect with people, and even so, those works get forgotten quickly. Moreover, this flood of superficial information has dissolved those values and dreams people could stand upon, especially among the young, who are left frustrated and anxious. It could be said that this is the root cause of the Peter Pan syndrome, that says, 'I don't want to be an adult'...If you look at the psychology of anime fans today, they do interact with society, and they're trying to get along well in that society, but unfortunately, they don't have the ability. So as compensatory behavior, they relinquish themselves to mecha and cute young girls. However, because these are things that don't really exist—meaning, there's no interaction in reality happening between those things and the anime fans—they soon get frustrated, and then seek out the next [anime] that will stimulate them...If you look into this situation, what these people really want, deep down, is to get along well with reality. And what we propose is to deliver the kind of project that will make people look again at the society around them and reassess it for themselves; where they will think, 'I shouldn't give up yet on reality.'"[h]
The proposal described Royal Space Force as "a project to make anime fans reaffirm reality." Gainax asserted that the problem was not unique to anime fans, who were only "the most representative example" of the increasing tendency of younger people not to experience reality directly, but as mediated through "the informational world"...."We live in a society mired in a perpetual state of information overload. And the feeling of being overwhelmed by the underwhelming isn't something limited to just young people, but everyone"..."However, this doesn't mean that people want to live alone and without contact, but instead they want to establish a balance with the 'outside' that is psychologically comfortable for them." Yamaga and Okada believed that this sensibility among some fans explained why anime often combined plots that "symbolize modern politics or society" with characters whose age and appearance was "completely incongruent with reality." The Royal Space Force plan proposed to use the creative techniques of anime for a radically different aim, to make "the exact opposite of the 'cool,' castle-in-the-sky anime[i] that is so prevalent these days...It's on our earth now, in this world of ours now, that we feel it's time for a project that will declare there's still something valuable and meaningful in this world."
"It is essential to pay close attention to the smallest design details of this world. It's because it is a completely different world that it must feel like reality. If you ask why such an approach—when the goal is to get anime fans to reaffirm their reality—it's because if you were to set this anime in our actual world to begin with, that's a place which right now they see as grubby and unappealing. By setting it in a completely different world, it becomes like a foreign film that attracts the attention of the audience. The objects of attraction are not mecha and cute girls, but ordinary customs and fashions. If normal things now look impressive and interesting because they've been seen through a different world, then we'll have achieved what we set out to do in the plan; we'll be able to express, 'Reality is much more interesting than you thought.'"
The September 1984 proposal for Royal Space Force was unusual for an anime pitch in that it described the setting and story, but never named the main characters. The written proposal was accompanied by a set of over 30 "image sketches" depicting the world to be designed for the anime, painted in watercolor by Sadamoto and Mahiro Maeda. Maeda, a high school classmate of Daicon Film director and character designer Takami Akai, had attended Tokyo Zokei University with Sadamoto; Maeda and Sadamoto had also worked on the Macross TV series, and both were subsequently recruited into Daicon Film. That same month, Watanabe brought the pitch to Bandai company president Makoto Yamashina, who himself represented a younger corporate generation; Yamashina's response to reading Gainax's proposal was, "I'm not sure what this is all about, but that's exactly why I like it." Royal Space Force was initially planned as an OVA project, with a budget variously reported at 20 or 40 million yen; however, resistance elsewhere within Bandai to entering the filmmaking business resulted in the requirement that Gainax first submit a short "pilot film" version of Royal Space Force as a demo to determine if the project would be saleable.
"This was a project that made full use of all sorts of wiles. At the time, Hayao Miyazaki said, 'Bandai was fooled by Okada's proposal.' I was the first person at Bandai to be fooled (laughs). But no, that's not the case. I'm a simple person; I just wanted to try it because it looked interesting. Nobody thought that Bandai could make an original movie. There wasn't any know-how at all. But that's why I found it interesting. No, to be honest, there were moments when I thought, 'I can't do this.' But [Gainax]'s president, Okada, and the director, Yamaga, both thought strongly, 'I want to make anime professionally, and speak to the world.' Producer Hiroaki Inoue felt the same way, as did [Yasuhiro] Takeda...I was about the same age, so I got into the flow of all those people's enthusiasm." —Shigeru Watanabe, 2004[j]
Work on the pilot film began in December 1984 as Yamaga and Okada moved from Osaka to Tokyo to set up Gainax's first studio in a rented space in the Takadanobaba neighborhood of Shinjuku. That same month, Gainax was officially registered as a corporation in Sakai City, Osaka; founding Gainax board member Yasuhiro Takeda has remarked that the original plan was to disband Gainax as soon as Royal Space Force was completed; it was intended at first only as a temporary corporate entity needed to hold production funds from Bandai during the making of the anime.
The Royal Space Force pilot film was made by the same principal staff of Yamaga, Okada, Sadamoto, Anno, and Sonoda listed in the initial proposal, with the addition of Maeda as main personnel on layouts and settei; Sadamoto, Maeda, and Anno served as well among a crew of ten key animators that included Hiroyuki Kitakubo, Yuji Moriyama, Fumio Iida, and Masayuki. A further addition to the staff was co-producer Hiroaki Inoue, recruited as a founding member of Gainax by Okada. Inoue was active in the same Kansai-area science fiction fandom associated with Daicon Film, but had already been in the anime industry for several years, beginning at Tezuka Productions. Takeda noted that while a number of the other Royal Space Force personnel had worked on professional anime projects, none possessed Inoue's supervisory experience, or the contacts he had built in the process. Inoue would leave Gainax after their 1988–1989 Gunbuster, but continued in the industry and would later co-produce Satoshi Kon's 1997 debut film Perfect Blue.
In a 2004 interview, Shigeru Watanabe, by then a senior managing director and former president of Bandai Visual, who in later years had co-produced such films as Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell and Hiroyuki Okiura's Jin-Roh, reflected on his personal maneuvers to get Royal Space Force green-lit by Bandai's executive board, showing the pilot film to various people both inside and outside the company, including soliciting the views of Oshii[k] and Miyazaki. As Bandai was already in the home video business, Watanabe reasoned that the strong video sales of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, released the previous year, meant that Miyazaki's opinions would hold weight with Bandai's executives. Watanabe visited Miyazaki's then-studio Nibariki alone and spoke with the director for three hours, of which time, Watanabe joked, he got to speak for ten minutes. Miyazaki, who had worked with Hideaki Anno on Nausicaä, told him, "Anno and his friends are amateurs, but I think they're a little different," comparing the matter to amateurs having "a gorgeous bay window" versus having a foundation: "They feel like they can make the foundation, and maybe raise a new building. If necessary, you can give that advice to the Bandai board." Watanabe laughed that when he told the executives what Miyazaki had said, they approved the project.
In April 1985, Okada and Yamaga formally presented the finished pilot film to a board meeting at Bandai, together with a new set of concept paintings by Sadamoto. The four-minute pilot film began with a 40-second prelude sequence of still shots of Shirotsugh's early life accompanied by audio in Russian depicting a troubled Soviet space mission, followed by a shot of a rocket booster stage separating animated by Anno, leading into the main portion of the pilot, which depicts the story's basic narrative through a progression of animated scenes without dialogue or sound effects, set to the overture of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Okada addressed the board with a speech described as impassioned, speaking for an hour on Gainax's analysis of the anime industry, future market trends, and the desire of the young for "a work called Royal Space Force." Bandai gave interim approval to Royal Space Force as their company's first independent video production; however, the decision to make the project as a theatrical film would be subject to review at the end of 1985, once Gainax had produced a complete storyboard and settei.
In a 2005 column for the online magazine Anime Style, editor and scriptwriter Yuichiro Oguro recalled seeing a video copy of the pilot film secretly circulating after its completion around the anime industry, where there was interest based on Sadamoto and Maeda's reputations as "the genius boys of Tokyo Zokei University." Oguro noted as differences from the later finished movie the pilot film's younger appearance of Shirotsugh and more bishōjo style of Riquinni, whose behavior in the pilot put him in mind of a Miyazaki heroine, as did the composition of the film itself.
Yamaga, in a 2007 interview for the Blu-ray/DVD edition release, confirmed this impression about the pilot film and speculated on its consequences:
"It's clearly different from the complete version, and by using the modern saying, it's very Ghiblish...Among the ambitious animators of those days, there was some sort of consensus that 'if we can create an animated movie that adults can watch, with decent content "for children" which director Hayao Miyazaki has, it will be a hit for sure.' The pilot version was also created under that consensus unconsciously. However, I figured it's not good to do so, and my movie making started from completely denying that consensus. Of course, if we had created this movie with the concept of the world similar to the pilot version, it would've had a balanced and stable style, and not only for staff, but also for sponsors, motion picture companies, and the media...it would have been easier to grasp and express. But if we had done that, I don't think that any of the Gainax works after that would've been successful at all."
Following the presentation of the pilot film, Gainax transferred their operations in May 1985 to another location in Takadanobaba that offered twice the space of their previous studio. The existing staff gathered in friends and acquaintances to help visualize the setting of Royal Space Force. Among those joining the crew at this time were two of the film's most prolific world designers: Takashi Watabe, whose designs would include the train station, rocket factory, and Royal Space Force lecture hall and Yoichi Takizawa, whose contributions included the rocket launch gantry, space capsule simulator, and rocket engine test facility.
Yamaga decided that the vision of the alternate world depicted in the pilot film did not have the kind of different realism he was hoping to achieve in the completed work. Rather than use the design work of the pilot as a foundation for the full-length anime, it was decided to "destroy" the world of the pilot film and start over again, creating a new series of "image board" paintings to visualize the look of Royal Space Force. The total worldbuilding process went on for roughly a year, and was described as a converse process between Yamaga and the gradually assembled team of designers; expressing his ideas into concrete terms, but also bringing their concrete skills to bear toward the expression of abstract ideas. Yamaga reflected in 2007 that this reciprocal process influenced his writing on the film: "My style is not 'I have a story I created, so you help me make it.' Creators come first, and this is a story I created thinking what story those creators would shine at the most."
In the decade following Royal Space Force, the Sadamoto-designed Nadia La Arwall and Rei Ayanami would each twice win the Anime Grand Prix fan poll for favorite female character; Sadamoto's Shinji Ikari would also win twice for favorite male character. By contrast, his male and female leads designed for Royal Space Force, Shirotsugh and Riquinni, ranked ninth and twentieth respectively for their categories in the Grand Prix poll of 1987 releases. In a roundtable discussion on Royal Space Force following its release, it was pointed out that neither Shirotsugh nor Riquinni look like typical anime lead characters. Yamaga remarked in his 2007 retrospective that, "One of the changes you can easily see from the pilot version is the character modeling of the protagonist. He used to look like a boy, but has become like a middle-aged man. As you can see in Evangelion later on, characters that Yoshiyuki Sadamoto creates are more attractive when they look young. But of course, he's really skilled, so even if he challenges the area that's not his specialty, he can give us what we're asking for."
Sadamoto in fact did use for the final version of Shirotsugh a model reference significantly older than the 21-year old character's age, the American actor Treat Williams, although the character designer remarked that that Yamaga's instructions to make the face square and the eyebrows thicker had him thinking the redesign would look like the director himself. As a reference for Manna, Yamaga referred Sadamoto to actress Tatum O'Neal as she appeared in the first half of the film Paper Moon. Takami Akai remarked that "Sadamoto drew Manna so perfectly that we were sort of intimidated," adding she was "a sidekick who brought out the darker aspects" of Riquinni. Regarding Riquinni herself, Sadamoto commented in 1987 that there seemed to be a model for her, but Yamaga did not tell him who it was. In a 2019 interview session with Niigata University, Yamaga remarked, "What I see now is surprisingly the character Riquinni is nothing but me. At any rate, Shirotsugh is not me. If you ask me where I would position myself in the film, I would identify myself as Riquinni in many aspects, in terms of the way I think. I was probably someone weird [and] religious, ever since my childhood."[l] The appearance of several minor characters in Royal Space Force was based on Gainax staff members or crew on the film, including Nekkerout (Takeshi Sawamura), the Republic aide who plans Shirotsugh's assassination (Fumio Iida), and the director who suggests what Shiro should say before he walks out of his TV interview (Hiroyuki Kitakubo).
Commenting on the character designs in Royal Space Force, Sadamoto remarked that in truth they more reflected the tastes of Gainax than his own personal ones, although at the same time, as the artist, his taste must be reflected in them somehow. Sadamoto discussed the issue in terms of anime character design versus manga character design: "Manga can afford such strong and weird characters, but it's difficult to make good moving characters out of them in anime. The moment I draw a character, for example, you can see how it is going to behave, really...but I was asking myself what I should be doing. 'Should I make their facial expressions more like those you see in a typical anime?' and so on. I feel that the audience reaction was pretty good, or at least that I managed to get a passing grade."
On the premise that the real world itself was a product of mixed design, Yamaga believed that the sense of alternate reality in Royal Space Force would be strengthened by inviting as many designers as possible to participate in the anime. By September, the worldbuilding of Royal Space Force proceeded forward by a system where designers were free to draw and submit visual concepts based on their interpretation of Yamaga's script; the concept art would then be discussed at a daily liaison meeting between Yamaga and the other staff. Yamaga compared the approach to abstraction in painting, seeking to liberate the audience from their prior view of real life by subtly changing the shape of familiar things; citing as an example the image of "a cup," and trying to avoid the direct impulse to draw a cylindrical shape.
A deliberate exception to Royal Space Force's general design approach was the rocket itself, which was adapted from a real-world Soviet model. This exception was later noticed by Hayao Miyazaki, for whom it formed one of his two criticisms of the anime; he was surprised that a film which had gone so far as to change the shape of money did not make the rocket more unusual. Yamaga argued that although the anime reaches its eventual conclusion through a process of different design paths, it was necessary to end the film with a rocket inspired by reality, lest the audience see it as a story about a different world that has nothing to do with them. In their roundtable discussion with OUT, Gainax described the rocket as also emblematic of the film's approach to mecha; despite its many mecha designs, they all play supporting roles, and even the rocket is not treated as a "lead character."
Yamaga returned to his hometown of Niigata to begin to write the screenplay and draw up storyboards, using a coffeehouse in which to work, taking glances out the window. The opening scene of Royal Space Force, narrated by an older Shirotsugh considering his past, depicts a younger Shiro witnessing the takeoff of a jet from an aircraft carrier; the look of the scene is directly inspired by the winter damp and gloom of Niigata's coastline along the Sea of Japan. Yamaga envisioned the fictional Honnêamise kingdom where most of the events of Royal Space Force took place to have the scientific level of the 1950s combined with the atmosphere of America and Europe in the 1930s, but with characters who moved to a modern rhythm. The inspiration he sought to express in anime from Niigata was not the literal look of the city, but rather a sense of the size and feel of the city and its envrions, including its urban geography; the relationships between its old and new parts, and between its denser core and more open spaces.
In a discussion shortly after the film’s release, Yamaga remarked, "I wanted to taste the sense of liberation I could get if I recognized everything [about human nature] and included it," a view with which Okada concurred, saying, "this is a film that acknowledges people in their every aspect." On the 2000 DVD commentary, Yamaga stated of the character relationships in Royal Space Force that "A critic once said that none of the characters in this film understand each other. That there's no communication between the characters. He was exactly right. The characters don't understand each other at all. But throughout the film, there are moments where there are glimpses of understandings between [Shirotsugh] and the other characters...In reality, it's okay not to understand each other. People all live their individual lives—it's not necessary to feel the same way another feels. And in fact you will never understand anybody anyway. This is how I feel about the relationships I have with the people in my life."
In August 1985, six members of the Royal Space Force crew, Yamaga, Okada, Inoue, Sadamoto, and Anno from Gainax, accompanied by Shigeru Watanabe from Bandai, traveled to the United States for a research trip, studying postmodern architecture in New York City, aerospace history at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and witnessing a launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Yamaga made revisions to the script during the American research tour. While staying in the US, the group was surprised and amused to see an English-dubbed version of Macross showing on their hotel room TV, a series which Yamaga, Anno, and Sadamoto had all worked upon; the scenes were from a rerun of Robotech, which had completed its initial run on American television earlier that summer.
After the completion in December 1985 of Daicon Film's final project, Orochi Strikes Again, its director Takami Akai and special effects director Shinji Higuchi moved to Tokyo to join the production of Royal Space Force as two of its three assistant directors, alongside Shoichi Masuo. Higuchi would make the first scene actually animated and filmed in Royal Space Force, depicting a newsreel of Shirotsugh arriving in the capital city; its look was achieved by filming the cels using the same 8mm camera that Daicon had used for its amateur productions. At age 20, Higuchi was the very youngest of the main crew; his previous creative experience had been in live-action special effects films rather than anime. Higuchi was described as someone who did not "think like an animator," and would therefore bring unorthodox and interesting ideas and techniques to the project. The director felt that Royal Space Force benefitted from the creative contributions of people from outside anime, including opening and ending credits artist Nobuyuki Ohnishi, and several part-time college design students who did not go on to pursue a career in animation; Akai and Yamaga joked in retrospect that, owing to their scant experience, at the time they themselves had limited familiarity with the anime industry.
The newsreel scene was located near the beginning of the storyboard's "C part."[m] The third out of the anime's four roughly equal half-hour divisions, the C part began with the scene of Riquinni working in the field, and concluded with the assassination attempt. Royal Space Force followed the practice, adapted from TV episodes, of breaking the storyboard up into lettered parts; although intended to denote the parts before and after a mid-show commercial break, the practice was also used in theatrical works for convenience in production. As 1985 drew to a close, Bandai had still not formally committed to Royal Space Force as a feature-length film release, as a distributor for the movie had not yet been secured. Gainax was also late in finalizing the storyboard, which would not be completed in its entirety until June 1986. However, the C part was nearly finished, and the decision was made to start production there, on the reasoning also that the sober tone of many C part scenes required precision in expression; as there was no release date yet, it was better to work on them while the schedule was still relatively loose.
In January 1986, Toho Towa agreed to distribute Royal Space Force as a feature film, and production assumed a more frantic pace, as the process of in-betweening, cel painting, and background painting began at this time; additional staff was recruited via advertisements placed in anime magazines. Gainax relocated its studio once again, this time from Takadanobaba to a larger studio space in the Higashi-cho neighborhood of Kichijoji, where the remainder of Royal Space Force would be produced. Following the C part of the film, the animation production proceeded in order from the A part (the opening scene through the fight in the air force lounge), to the B part (the arrival at the rocket factory through the funeral for Dr. Gnomm), then to the concluding D part (the General's talk on history to the film's ending). The daily exchange of ideas between Yamaga and the other staff at Gainax continued during production, as the artists attempted to understand his intentions, while Yamaga reviewed animation drawings, designs, and background paintings to be re-done in order to get closer to the "image in his head," although this questioning process also continued within Yamaga himself, between concept and expression, or "author versus writer."
Although Royal Space Force was essentially a pre-digital animated work using layers of physical cels and backgrounds painted by hand, computers played an important role in its production. Scheduling and accounting on the film was performed using a Fujitsu OASYS100, while design drawings were scanned into a NEC PC-9801 which permitted them to be studied at different rotations and for possible color options, using a 256-color palette. Rough draft animation of line drawings testing how sequences would work utilized a Quick Action Recorder computer-controlled video camera, a technology by that point common in the anime industry. Computer-assisted animation seen onscreen in Royal Space Force was used for certain difficult motion shots, including the contra-rotating propellers of the Honnêamise air force plane, the rotation of the space capsule while in orbit, the tilted wheel turn of the street sweeper, and the swing of the instrument needle in the launch control bunker. The motions themselves were rendered using ASCII 3D software, and then traced onto cels. By contast, Ryusuke Hikawa noted that the flakes of frost falling from the rocket at liftoff, which might be assumed to be a CG effect, were done entirely by hand under the supervision of Hideaki Anno.
A one-minute scene of Shiro and Marty conversing on the bed of a truck delivering the Royal Space Force's electromechanical computer, originally meant to precede Shiro's first training run in the capsule simulator, was scripted and animated for the film's B part, but was not included in the theatrical release. The scene was cut for reasons of length before it reached the audio recording stage; however, the 1990 Royal Space Force~The Wings of Honnêamise Memorial Box LaserDisc edition, described by Animage as a kodawari (committed to perfection) project of Bandai co-producer Shigeru Watanabe, would reassemble the film's sound team and voice actors Leo Morimoto and Kazuyuki Sogabe, and record the dialogue and sound effects for the scene. This one-minute scene would also be included on subsequent DVD and Blu-ray editions of Royal Space Force.
Many of the staff of Royal Space Force had also worked on two of the major anime film projects released in 1986: Project A-ko and Castle in the Sky, including Royal Space Force's assistant director Shoichi Masuo and animation director Yuji Moriyama on A-ko; design artist and key animator Mahiro Maeda had worked on Castle in the Sky, as did Noriko Takaya, who had earlier developed for its director Hayao Miyazaki the "harmony" method used to portray the shifting carapace of the Ohm in Nausicaä; the technique would be used also for the rocket nozzles in Royal Space Force.[n] By the summer of 1986, both works were completed, and a large number of their crew joined the production of Royal Space Force, which by that point was running on a round-the-clock schedule.
Yamaga would later say of the making of Royal Space Force, "it was like we were all swinging swords with our eyes blindfolded." Akai and Yamaga remarked that since they weren't "animation purists," they altered the animation drawings, cels, and timesheets in ways that were not traditional industry practice, to the extent that "the young people who followed in our footsteps in creating anime thought that was how it was done," speculating that they may have created new traditions for anime by breaking the old on the production of Royal Space Force. The idea that Royal Space Force would not use anime's traditional division of labor and strictly assigned roles was developed while it was still in the pre-production stage. In 1995, Okada reflected that the film "was made in that kind of chaos...On a Gainax anime project, everyone has to be a director. Therefore, everyone's feelings and everyone's knowledge are going into it...That's the good side of how Gainax's films are different from others. But we have no strong director, and that's the weak side." On the director's commentary, Yamaga himself noted that when the film's final retakes were done at the end of 1986, out of 100 adjustments made to scenes, only three were based on the director's own suggestions. Akai had personally rejected other change requests by Yamaga on the basis of representing the opinions of the entire staff and making sure that "everyone was being heard." Yamaga replied, "I was just pleased that everyone was so involved in the project. I hadn't expected that to happen. It was a wonderful time. At the beginning, I was expected to make all the decisions, but as time went by, the staff started to understand that I wasn't going to make all the decisions and that they were going to have to get involved. By the end of the project, nobody cared what I had to say...I thought that was great."
In April 1986, Ryuichi Sakamoto was selected as the musical director of Royal Space Force. Sakamoto was already regarded for his work in the pioneering electronic band Yellow Magic Orchestra and his soundtrack for the 1983 Nagisa Oshima film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence which had won the United Kingdom BAFTA Award for Best Film Music; the year following the release of Royal Space Force, Sakamoto would share the Academy Award for Best Original Score with David Byrne and Cong Su for their soundtrack to The Last Emperor. In 1986 Sakamoto was prominent also in the Japanese domestic film market for his soundtrack to the top-grossing nationwide movie of that year, Koneko Monogatari.
Sakamoto brought into the Royal Space Force project his prior collaborators Koji Ueno, Yuji Nomi, and Haruo Kubota; the team together composed over 40 pieces of music appearing in the film of which 15 were included on the Royal Space Force original soundtrack album released in March 1987. A majority of the soundtrack album pieces were composed by Sakamoto; the several exceptions included Kubota's "War," used for the battle to capture the launch site, Nomi's "Holy Riquinni," played when Shirotsugh first reads her scriptures, and Ueno's "Dr. Gnomm's Funeral." Gainax gave Sakamoto a sardonic checklist of items to guide the composition of the Royal Space Force's pompous anthem, requesting for example that it sing of the galaxy even though the force had never even left the planet, that its lyrics evoke manly phrases befitting the 1950s and 60s generation, and that "on a sunny day, you can feel the tranquility of ten people singing it in the middle of a graveyard." A version of the Royal Space Force anthem featuring Sakamoto's own vocals would appear on a December 1986 promo 12" maxi single containing early mixes of four pieces from the film's soundtrack.
"Royal Space Force was put into production at the very height of the first surge in [anime] video sales, when a studio's ownership of an all-new product, deeply ingrained in the newfound market of adult fans and active fandom, made 'by fans for fans', was immensely tempting. One imagines that investors hoped to bootstrap a new Gundam or a new Yamato out of nothing, which might have explained the enthusiasm during production for a possible movie sequel or television spin-off.[o] However, as the footage of Royal Space Force neared completion in late 1986, and was found to be inconveniently free of many merchandising spin-off opportunities, there were signs among the investors and sponsors of cold feet."
In a 2013 survey of the last century of the anime industry, Jonathan Clements devotes three pages to a case study of the distribution and exhibition issues surrounding Royal Space Force, describing "outrageous attempts" by the movie's financial backers "to 'fix' the ailing film project," not by changing the film itself, but through a deceptive marketing campaign that began with "prolonged arguments over a sudden perceived need to rename it." The project had been pitched, developed, and approved for production under the name Royal Space Force; Okada remarked that, to Gainax, it was "its one and only title." All Nippon Airways, one of the film's sponsors, however desired that the title include the word "wings," while Bandai favored that the title should use the form "Something of Something," on the reasoning that the last big anime hit had been called Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Over the course of 1986, more than 20 other titles for the film had been suggested to Gainax by outside parties, including Space • Love • Story, Myth of Passion, Young Morning Star Shirotsugh, Spirits of Fire, Song of Icarus, Parallel Zone 1987, and Zero Vertex. As Royal Space Force "was 'not sexy enough'" and Riquinni was "conveniently female," the initial push was to use the title (The) Wings of Riquinni.
Although the plan to make Royal Space Force had been known around the anime industry since mid-1985, the official announcement of the film was not made until June 4, 1986 in a press conference held at the prestigious Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Ryuichi Sakamoto, who was the only member of Royal Space Force's main staff known to the general public spoke at the event, remarking that Royal Space Force would be his third film soundtrack and that its details reminded him of one of his favorite movies, Blade Runner.[p] The announcement at the Imperial Hotel used Royal Space Force as the main title of the film, with (The) Wings of Riquinni as a smaller subtitle; privately, Yamaga objected strongly to the subtitle, pointing out the purpose of the film was to expand the audience's view of the world, and that he did not want a title that focused on one character; therefore, if a second title was absolutely required, he suggested it use Honnêamise after the name of the kingdom in which most of the film's events takes place. As 1986 drew to a close, the battle over the film's final name could be traced through updates on the project in the anime press; in the October 1986 issue of The Anime, just half a year before the film's release to Japanese theaters, the movie logo was still listed as it had appeared at the June announcement, with a large Royal Space Force above a smaller (The) Wings of Riquinni. In the following month's issue, the logo no longer contained (The) Wings of Riquinni, and now read The Wings of Honnêamise~Royal Space Force, with Royal Space Force moved to the bottom, but both titles at equal size. By the December 1986 issue, the logo had assumed its final theatrical release form, with Royal Space Force now smaller than The Wings of Honnêamise.
Clements remarked, "the promotions unit did everything in their power to make Honnêamise appeal to precisely the same audience as Nausicaä, even if that meant misleading advertising," citing one example recalled by Okada as "the 'insect incident', in which the artist [Yoshiyuki] Sadamoto was commissioned to draw an image of a giant spider-beetle attacking the city from the film. The insect in question only appeared in the film as a finger-length child's pet, although the advert gave the impression that it would grow into a house-sized behemoth equivalent to the giant ohmu in Nausicaä. Okada was incensed, not only at the apparent conspiracy to mislead audiences about his film, but that the producers would assent to wasting the time of Sadamoto, who spent three days on the commission. Okada felt...that, if he had three days to spare, he [as one of the film's animation directors] could have better utilised the time by correcting several problematic scenes in the film itself." Okada had earlier affirmed the deceptive marketing push in a 1995 interview: "Toho Towa was the distributor of The Wings of Honnêamise, and they didn't have any know-how, or sense of strategy to deal with the film...And they were thinking that this film must be another Nausicaä, because Nausicaä was the last 'big anime hit.' But when they finally saw Wings, they realized it was not another Nausicaä [PANICKED SCREAM] and they thought, 'Okay, okay...we'll make it Nausicaä in the publicity campaign!"[q]
In 2000, Akai likewise stated, "The PR department didn't really seem to understand the film. They have a tendency to make a new release interesting by making it appear similar to a film that was previously a hit." Yamaga remarked that, "There was no precedent in advertising a film like ours at the time. When they are asked what type of a film it is, they can only compare it to something like Nausicaä. It's actually completely different. But Nausicaä at least served as a reference when we were asked to describe our film. If it wasn't for that precedent, there would have been no reference point at all. We could never have explained why it was animated or why it was a theatrical release, or much of anything about it."
The national publicity campaign for the film now being promoted under the title The Wings of Honnêamise~Royal Space Force began on New Year's Day, 1987, including full-color newspaper and magazine ads, as well as TV commercials, with eventual placements in over 70 media outlets. As with the "insect incident," a frequent aspect of the marketing push involved taking images from the film and presenting them in ads as fantastical. Akai gives as one example the steam train on which General Khaidenn departs for the capital to seek funding; advertisements labeled it as a "bio-train." The official press kit for the theatrical release presented Riquinni and her book of scriptures as elements in a prophecy of salvation that drove the plot, describing the premise of the film as: "'...Through the guidance of a lass with a pure and untainted soul, those who are awakened shall take wing and rise to Heaven, taking in hand the Honneamise holy book'...Shirotsugh grew up to join the Royal Space Force, as did other youths as hot blooded and energetic as he. It was then that work began on a grand project to search space for the envisioned holy book that promises eternal peace to Honneamise." The weathered standing stone seen briefly outside the church storeroom where Riquinni lives during the latter part of the story, while given no particular meaning in the film itself, was made into a major feature of the film's advertising, relabeled as a "Symbol Tower" that shines due to what ads described as a secret telepathic link born from the "passionate love" between Shirotsugh and Riquinni; one of the film's trailers opened with an image of the glowing "tower" struck by lightning, then rising through the clouds as Riquinni prays before it while Shiro gazes up beside her; a caption proclaimed, "A world of love and youth, containing electrifying romance!" The only dialogue spoken in the trailer, "Do you believe in the miracle of love?" said by Riquinni's voice actor, Mitsuki Yayoi, was not a line from the actual film, but referenced a catchphrase used in the advertising campaign.
What was described as the world premiere of the film occurred at an event held in the United States on February 19, 1987 at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Americans invited to the showing included anime fans from the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization,[r] and several figures associated with U.S. science fiction cinema including The Terminator and Aliens actor Michael Biehn, as well as Blade Runner designer Syd Mead. The screening, intended to help build publicity for the film's release to theaters in Japan the following month, was arranged for and covered by the Japanese news media. Footage from the Hollywood event was incorporated into a half-hour Sunday morning promotional special, Tobe! Oneamisu no Tsubasa —Harukanaru hoshi no monogatari— ("Fly! The Wings of Honnêamise—Story of a Distant Star") that aired March 8 on Nippon TV, six days before the film's release in Japan. Although referred to in Japanese publicity materials as The Wings of Honnêamise~Royal Space Force's "American prescreening," the movie was shown under the name Star Quest, and presented in an English dub remarked upon by both U.S. and Japanese anime magazines covering the event for its differences from the original film; in particular its use of "Americanized" names for the characters and changes to their motivations: as examples, in Star Quest, Riquinni, now known as "Diane," opposes the space project from the beginning, whereas Shirotsugh, now known as "Randy," is more positive toward it, while the superiors of General Khaidenn, now known as "General Dixon," wish to use the rocket launch not as a provocation for war, but as a peace overture.
The Wings of Honnêamise~Royal Space Force was released nationwide in Japan on March 14, 1987 through Toho's foreign film branch theaters; in some smaller cities, it was shown as a double feature with the 1985 made-for-television film Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. In a roundtable discussion in late spring following the film's release, co-producer Hiroaki Inoue observed that he could say the film "put up a good fight," arguing that the average theater stay for original anime films was four weeks, and Castle in the Sky had shown for five; in one theater, Royal Space Force had managed a seven-week engagement. In 2002, Takeda recalled, "Not a single theater cancelled its run, and in some locations, it actually had a longer run than initially planned...The budget scale meant that reclaiming all the production costs[s] at the box office simply wasn't feasible." Clements commented, "Such a claim, however, obscures to a certain degree the goldrush tensions of the period, when Japan's booming bubble economy arguably resulted in more investors than a film warranted," contending that Royal Space Force might have been reasonably expected to make back its money on its initial release, had it been a more modestly-budgeted OVA as first conceived. On home video, the film's title was changed back to Royal Space Force, with The Wings of Honnêamise as a smaller subtitle, beginning with the 1990 Japanese laserdisc box set release. Although Gainax itself was nearly bankrupted by the project, Bandai was reported as having made back its money on the movie in September 1994, seven and a half years after its Japanese theatrical release; the anime continued to generate profit for them in the years to come.[t]
Toshio Okada, who had attended the Star Quest event together with writer/director Hiroyuki Yamaga, "concluded that a market did indeed exist in America for well-dubbed and subtitled animation," and after discussions with Bandai prepared a subtitled 16 mm film version of the film to be shown at the 1988 Worldcon in New Orleans, with the subsequent aim of making a "budget-priced videotape version" available in the United States. However, Royal Space Force did not receive an English-language commercial release until 1994, when a new English dub of the film was made by Manga Entertainment using its original 1987 Japanese theatrical release title, The Wings of Honnêamise: Royal Space Force. Previously active releasing anime in the United Kingdom, the dub of Honnêamise was Manga's debut project upon entering the US anime market.
The new English dub showed in over 20 movie theaters during 1994–95 in a 35 mm film version distributed by Tara Releasing and in June 1995 the film was released by Manga Entertainment in separate dubbed and subtitled VHS versions followed in January 1997 by a bilingual closed-captioned laserdisc release by Manga Entertainment and Pioneer LDCA. Animerica, in a contemporary review, assessed the dub as "admirable in many respects," but remarked on several differences between the dialogue in the English subtitled and dubbed versions, noting that in the dubbed version of the film, Riquinni suggests that she herself is to blame both for Shirotsugh's attempt to rape her, as well as for the earlier destruction of her home, and that in the dub, Shirotsugh does not ask Marty about the possibility of being the villain of one's own life story; the review argued that the subtitled version represents "a clearer presentation of the original ideas and personalities created by Hiroyuki Yamaga."
The 2000 release by Manga Entertainment on DVD, which features a commentary track with Hiroyuki Yamaga and Takami Akai, was severely criticized for its poor quality. In 2007, Bandai Visual released a Blu-ray/HD DVD version to mark the film's 20th anniversary; this release used the audio of the 1997 Japanese edition of the film in which its sound effects were re-recorded in Dolby 5.1. Although containing a 20-page booklet with essays by Hiroyuki Yamaga and Ryusuke Hikawa, it lacks the commentary track of the 2000 Manga DVD release, and is now out of print. Maiden Japan re-released the movie separately on Blu-ray and DVD in 2013.
The film's initial release in the United Kingdom on VHS in 1995 by Manga Entertainment was cut to remove the attempted rape scene; in a contemporary interview, BBFC examiner Imtiaz Karim indicated this was done voluntarily by Manga, so that the film, which had been certified for audiences 15 and up when shown in UK theaters, could receive the lower PG certificate when released on home video. The 2015 Blu-ray and DVD UK edition of the film from Anime Limited was released uncut with a 15 certificate.
Japanese critical response
The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan's largest daily newspaper, published a mixed review of the film the day before its Japanese premiere, advising readers that, "if what you’re seeking is Top Gun heroic fantasy, you’re not going to get it;" the review took the perspective that rather Hiroyuki Yamaga, as director, writer, and original concept creator, had been attempting with the film "to pour out all the images within his mind into contemporary Japanese society." The newspaper characterized the movie as scattered and boring at times, and stated a certain "resentment at its lack of excitement," but concluded by expressing its admiration for the film on the grounds of its effort and expense, honest and personal vision, and for not clinging to the patterns of previous anime works.
Royal Space Force ranked high in major annual retrospectives awarded by the Japanese anime press. The film won the Japan Anime Award for best anime release of 1987, chosen by an industry jury and sponsored by a consortium of magazines including Animedia,[u] OUT, My Anime, The Anime, and Animec. In the Anime Grand Prix fan poll rankings, sponsored by Animage magazine, Royal Space Force made two of the year's top ten lists: voted #4 anime release of 1987, with Shirotsugh Lhadatt as #9 male character, in addition to receiving an Animage Award presented that year by the magazine to the film itself.[v] In 1988, Royal Space Force won the Seiun Award, Japan's oldest prize for science fiction, for Best Dramatic Presentation of the previous year. At the beginning of 1989, Animage founding editor Hideo Ogata, writing for Tokuma Shoten's retrospective on the first 70 years of anime film, compared Royal Space Force to Isao Takahata's 1968 The Great Adventure of Horus, Prince of the Sun; just as Horus had suddenly demonstrated a new level of realism and social themes in anime, Ogata saw Royal Space Force as a work that also seemed to have emerged onto the scene unrelated to any previous commercial release, "an anime movie with a different methodology and message...It's uncertain what influence it will have on anime in the future, but what is certain is that this was a work filled with the tremendous passion of its young staff." Hayao Miyazaki, who had been a key animator and scene designer on Takahata's film, would in 1995 himself argue that the staff of Royal Space Force demonstrated it remained possible to make an anime film the way he had helped to make Horus in the 1960s, as part of a crew of "inexperienced amateurs in their mid-20s, who hung out together and ate together, who mingled their work and their personal lives together."
Tetsuo Daitoku, editor of the anime magazine OUT, reviewed Royal Space Force for Japan's oldest film journal, Kinema Junpo, in their March 15, 1987 issue.[w] Daitoku wrote that he began watching the movie wondering why the young creative staff making the film, whom he called "a new kind of people in anime," had chosen to use the "well-worn subject" of space travel, which had already been the focus of such iconic works as Space Battleship Yamato, not to mention live-action films such as The Right Stuff.[x] Daitoku however found the question in his mind being removed "little by little" as the film progressed: "Yes, human beings have gone beyond this world in the physical sense, and left their footprints up among the stars, but did their conscience and mentality go along with them?" He felt the movie acknowledged the issue and therefore took it as "necessary to observe the history and civilization of mankind from [a point] where the whole Earth can be seen...The Wings of Honnêamise has this kind of motif at its very bottom. It is obvious from the scenes where they look at the real history of mankind, not from the different world [of space] that is shown at the end of the film." By "taking full advantage of the unique medium of animation," the creators "observe civilization objectively first and then disassemble it to eventually restructure it"..."creating the different world by newly creating everything," down to the spoons, in the example Daitoku gives. "Stories that feature cool machines, robots, and attractive characters, with the plot unfolding while drifting through space, already reached their peak in a sense with the  Macross movie. Rather than trying to go beyond Macross, I think the creators of this film believed that they could find a new horizon for anime by creating a different world in a way that draws the story closer to Earth again." Daitoku points out Shirotsugh is aware that whatever technology humans invent will be misused, and that Shirotsugh, although with noble intentions, is shown by the film to be less than heroic as a person, asking in conclusion: "What did the windmill mean that this Don Quixote named Shirotsugh Lhadatt went to space to confront, on this Rozinante called a rocket?"
The March 15 issue of Kinema Junpo also featured a conversation on the film between Hiroyuki Yamaga and Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki praised Royal Space Force, calling it "an honest work, without any bluff or pretension...I thought the movie is going to be a great inspiration to the young people working in this industry. They may be intensely divided over whether they like it or not, but either way it's going to serve as a stimulus." Yamaga debated several aspects of the film with Miyazaki, asserting a great difference between their filmmaking approaches. Miyazaki himself characterized a fundamental difference between the settings of his movies and that of Royal Space Force, explaining he thought Yamaga's film was honest because, "sending up a rocket may give the characters meaning in their lives, but you understand very well they live in a world where they'll be caught up by reality again. That's why I make anachronistic [anime] films on purpose."[y] In the OUT roundtable later that year, Okada would also affirm this difference: "People make serious movies trying to give answers. Mr. Miyazaki's stories are good examples. He creates a fictitious world where he can respond, 'this is what's important.' But our generation knows that it doesn't work that way."
—Hayao Miyazaki in conversation with Hiroyuki Yamaga, 1987
In the Kinema Junpo conversation, Miyazaki related the two problems he personally had with Royal Space Force. The first was the rocket itself, which he saw as not unusual enough; for Miyazaki, its appearance detracted from the sense of victory he wished to feel at the end, because it seemed too reminiscent of "big science like NASA." Related to that was his second problem with the film, in that Miyazaki did not find it convincing that the older members of the launch team would have been prepared to stop the countdown and give up after all their years of work, and that it was Shirotsugh who had to rally them to continue: "I didn't think these old guys would ever say, let's quit. Don't you agree? They seemed forced to say that...Shirotsugh was only riding because he had the physical strength. After all, it wasn't the young people who'd had the passion; I couldn't help but feel that it was the old guys. I thought it was just done for drama." Yamaga did not deny that he wrote the script in a way he thought would appeal to young people, but argued that the clash between generations was not the message of the film. Miyazaki felt that since it was young people like Yamaga who had "actively sown the seeds of improvement [in anime]" with Royal Space Force, it would have been better in the movie if the young told the old, "'Stand back, old men.'" Yamaga noted in response that the film showed a reality where neither generation of the Space Force saw their personal visions prevail, as the construction of the rocket and its launch only happened because of support from a government that had a different agenda from their own. "It's not about making a leap, even though from the beginning it seems that way. More than going somewhere new in a physical sense, my aim was to show something worthy in the process."
English-language critical response
Critical reaction to the English-dubbed version of the film during its 1994–1995 theatrical release was greatly divided, with reviews differing widely on the film's plot, themes, direction, and designs. The San Jose Mercury News's Stephen Whitty gave a one-star review, writing that the film offered "nothing really original...nothing's ever really at stake; there's never a resolution because there's never any conflict to begin with...And there's also the same misogyny that ruins so much 'adult' animation." Whitty also perceived "self-loathing stereotypes" in the character designs: "The only characters who look remotely Japanese are comical or villainous; the hero and heroine have Caucasian features and big, cute, Hello Kitty eyes." A very similar perception was advanced by LA Village View's Sean O'Neill: "nearly all the good guys look white, with big, round, Walter Keane-style eyes, while the villains are sinister Asians, straight out of a WWII-era American movie. Is this an example of Japanese self-loathing, or does it simply underscore the international prevalence of Western standards of beauty?" The Dallas Morning News's Scott Bowles had a more fundamental disagreement with the film's approach as an anime, comparing it to attempts to "commercialize punk music" that instead "stripped the music of its anger, vitality and interest...face it, anime, and the manga (Japanese comic books) that inspire them are pretty scurrilous pop art forms. Filled with perfectly sculpted heroes, large-breasted and often naked women and lots and lots of violence, they're forms best appreciated by 13-year old boys. And in trying to appeal to a broader audience, writer/director Hiroyuki Yamaga has smoothed out anime's rough edges so much that what he's left with is about as interesting as a Formica counter top," recommending instead that audiences see "a far more representative anime, Fist of the North Star...Fist has few of the pretensions of Wings and it's driven along with an energy its better-dressed cousin never attains."
More favorable contemporary reviews tended to regard the film as unconventional while nevertheless recommending the movie. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Andy Grieser wrote that the film "blends provocative ideas and visual beauty...The world of Wings is a bawdy, claustrophobic Sodom reminiscent of the hybrid Japanese-American city in 1982's Blade Runner." F.X. Feeney wrote in LA Weekly, "These strange, outsize pieces fuse and add a feeling of depth that cartoon narratives often don't obtain...Technical brilliance aside, what gives The Wings of Honnêamise its slow-building power is the love story—a mysterious and credible one." Richard Harrington in The Washington Post viewed its two-hour length as "a bit windy" but also asserted, "Hiroyuki Yamaga's The Wings of Honnêamise is a spectacular example of Japanimation, ambitious and daring in its seamless melding of color, depth and detail." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars out of four, writing: "One of the pleasures of the film is simply enjoying Yamaga's visual imagination, as in a montage at the end, which shows the planet's suffering and turmoil," and remarked on his "offbeat dramatic style"..."If you're curious about anime, The Wings of Honnêamise, playing for one week at the Music Box, is a good place to start." Chris Jones of The Daily Texan gave it four stars out of five; while describing the film as "really strange," Jones nevertheless urged readers to see the movie, writing, "I really liked this film more than any other animation I've seen and more than most other 'real' films. Depth and intelligence are written into it in more ways than words can describe." In the United Kingdom, Jonathan Romney, writing in The Guardian, regarded the movie as the standout of an anime festival at London's National Film Theatre: "One film in the season, though, proves that anime can be complex and lyrical as well as exciting. Hiroyuki Yamaga's Wings of Honnêamise...Creaky dubbing notwithstanding, it beats recent Disney offerings hands down."
Following its initial English-language release in the mid-'90s, later retrospectives on anime have had a positive view of Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise. In a 1999 issue of Time, former Film Comment editor-in-chief Richard Corliss wrote an outline on the history of anime, listing under the year 1987 the remark, "The Wings of Honnêamise is released, making anime officially an art form." In the 2006 edition of The Anime Encyclopedia, Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy characterized the film as "one of the shining examples of how cerebral and intelligent anime can be." Simon Richmond, in 2009's The Rough Guide to Anime, wrote that the film's "reputation has grown over time to the point where it is justly heralded as a classic of the medium." whereas in 2014's Anime, Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc described the movie as "an example of science-fantasy anime as art-film narrative, combined with a coming-of-age drama that is intelligent and thought-provoking." In a 2017 Paste listing of the 100 best anime movies of all time, Adult Swim senior vice president and on-air creative director Jason DeMarco ranked the film at #11, remarking, "If The Wings of Honnêamise is a 'noble failure,' it's the sort of failure many filmmakers would kill to have on their résumé."
During 1992–93, Gainax developed plans for a sequel to Royal Space Force to be entitled Aoki Uru (also known under the titles Uru in Blue and Blue Uru); an anime film project to be directed by Hideaki Anno and scripted by Hiroyuki Yamaga, with Yoshiyuki Sadamoto serving as its chief animation director and character designer. Although a full storyboard, partial script, and an extensive collection of design illustrations were produced for Aoki Uru, the project had been initiated without a secured budget, and its development occurred within a period of personal, financial, and managerial crises at Gainax that contributed to the indefinite suspension of work on Aoki Uru in July 1993; the studio instead shifted to producing as their next anime project the TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion. In the years following 1993, Gainax has made occasional announcements regarding a revival of the Aoki Uru concept, including a multimedia proposal in the late 1990s, and the formal announcement of an English name for the film, Uru in Blue, at the 2013 Tokyo Anime Fair. In 2018, the Uru in Blue project was transferred from Gainax to Gaina, a different corporate entity and subsidiary of the Kinoshita Group, with the aim of a worldwide release of the film in 2022.
- Toshio Okada has stated that movie theater ticket sales were "only about 120 or 150 million" yen.
- The award was part of the "Minor Anime Grand Prix" section, in which the Anime Grand Prix's sponsors, Animage, recognized achievements outside the major categories of the main award. The Daicon IV Opening Animation was given that year's prize for the "Local Works" category; the award was made alongside a prize in the "Foreign Works" category for Yuri Norstein's Hedgehog in the Fog, originally released in the Soviet Union in 1975.
- Although the original 1984 proposal for Royal Space Force listed Okada as its producer, the film as released in 1987 listed Okada, together with Shigeru Watanabe, under the credit 企画 (kikaku, "planning"), a job described as assisting with the "herculean task" of assisting the producer with all aspects of production management.
- Okada recalled in 1995, "He made lots of designs for [Royal Space Force]. At first, he was supposed to be one of the main mechanical designers. But I couldn't use his mecha designs because they were too fantastic." Yamaga suggested he instead work on creating the movie's red-light district; Sonoda's designs for it appear in the finished film.
- Gainax's proposal referred to their own generation using both the term wakamono, "young people," and the term yangu (ヤング), "[the] young," a loan word that had become associated with Japanese youth pop culture in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as reflected in the launch of such manga magazines as Weekly Young Jump or Weekly Young Magazine.
- The word used in the proposal to describe this personality trend was ネクラ (nekura, "gloomy"). A term in popular use within Japan during the 1980s, nekura had connotations that would later be associated with the word otaku.
- In a 2016 commentary track for the Otaku no Video Blu-ray, Yamaga remarked that the term nekura was in use as far back as his high school days [in the late 1970s]. Gainax producer and publicist Hiroki Sato gave its meaning as "dark root" or "creep," and described it as one of two different Japanese terms to describe hardcore fans that predated the use of otaku. First came マニア (mania, "maniac," "fanatic," "enthusiast") a loan word used in Japanese to refer to the obsessed person, rather than to the obsession as mania would be used in English. Yamaga commented that mania literature often affected a professorial mien and was a word that lent such fans "a sort of air of dignity…It gave the impression of somebody intelligent, a person of multifacted knowledge." Sato remarked that the label nekura rather than mania came into use later, once "things got focused on the negative aspects."
- In a 2004 essay on Akihabara and the history of otaku culture, professor Kaichiro Morikawa wrote in similar terms: "...as shadows of reality descended upon the 'future' and 'science,' dreams of youth raced off into the realm of fantasy. Objects of fascination veered from science toward science fiction and on to SF anime, whose two leading lights have characteristically been 'robots' and bishōjo 'nymphs.'"
- The phrase esoragoto (絵空事) used in the proposal for "castle-in-the-sky" is different from that used in the title of Hayao Miyazaki's Tenkū no Shiro Laputa (Castle in the Sky), whose production would partially overlap with that of Royal Space Force. Toshio Okada maintained that "during the production stage of [Royal Space Force] Miyazaki would often appear in the dead of night...and talk members of Gainax's crew into leaving to work instead on his own movie."
- The term Watanabe used for "wiles," teren-tekuda (手練手管), is a traditional yojijukugo (four-character phrase) with overtones of seduction, coaxing, and guile. In his 2002 memoir, Takeda notes that both Watanabe and he were born in 1957, "and the two of us have gone out drinking together many times...He is also the one who arranged for Bandai to help fund the production of our first theatrical anime release. If it hadn't been for him, Okada and Yamaga's dream of producing a feature length motion picture might never have been realized."
- In a 1996 appearance at the San Jose convention Anime America, Okada, miming gestures of Watanabe praying and running, remarked to a panel audience that Watanabe "believes in Mamoru Oshii, just like Jesus Christ...I told Mr. Watanabe, 'I want to make this film'...and he thinks, 'I think it's a good idea, but I can't decide if it's really good. So—just a moment, I must go to Mr. Oshii's house'...And Mr. Oshii says, 'Oh—it's interesting!' So, he thought, 'It's good, it's good, it's good!' [LAUGHS] And it's a very powerful motivation for him, inside. So, he works very hard, and gets a very large budget for our film from the president of Bandai. So Mr. Oshii, he is a very good person for me, or for Studio Gainax, but...but...it is very strange to say, 'Maybe it is good, but maybe it is not so good.' It was a religion. But just now, Mr. Watanabe, he's come out of his brainwashing. So, he sometimes says: 'Maybe...maybe, maybe, Mr. Oshii is sometimes wrong.' [LAUGHS]"
- In the 2000 director's commentary, Yamaga noted that he personally drew the tract that Riquinni is seeking to give to passersby at the end of the film. Akai suggested to Yamaga that in deciding to go to space, Shirotsugh "deep down inside thinks that he has done [this] for" Riquinni, and comes to realize "there's a part of her in him," yet at the end Riquinni herself now has doubts about the mission, and can no longer give her wholehearted support to Shirotsugh. Yamaga agreed with this interpretation.
- The original storyboard used the style "C part" (Cパート), rather than "Part C" as might be the more usual phrasing in English.
- Akai notes that the heroine of Gainax's 1988–1989 OVA series Gunbuster was named after the artist. In traditional cel animation, the impression of movement is created with a sequence of images painted onto transparent acetate cels, each separate cel image differing in position from the previous cel. Each cel is individually photographed against a background image visible beneath the transparent portion of the cel, so that when the photos are run as a sequence, the cel images simulate the appearance of an object moving against the background. Takaya's method, instead of using a sequence of separate animation cels, created movement within a unified "harmony layer" where the object intended to move was constructed as one single assembly made from flat overlapping cutout pieces, each piece mounted individually on an elastic strip; the strip was pulled, and the resulting motion of the parts filmed. Miyazaki's assistant on Nausicaä, Kazuyoshi Katayama, compared the technique to a bellows, remarking that the varying levels of elastic tension along the parts of the assembly conveyed a distinct sense of dimension and mass to the motion depicted.
- Okada describes the idea for a TV anime series spinoff as originating from a split at Bandai between executives in one group who simply regarded the film as a loss for the company and wished to move on, and those in another group who believed it could still eventually become a successful investment. Around June of 1987, this "success" faction suggested to Okada and Yamaga that Royal Space Force could be developed into a TV anime series that would begin airing in April of 1988. Yamaga and Okada began to discuss the outline of a 52-episode weekly series that would expand the background events of the film’s story. In the outline, the space program itself would not get underway within the TV series until the fall, several months into the show; it would be preceded by a major plot event, the first nuclear test within the alternate world of Royal Space Force, giving military significance to the development of the rocket as a possible delivery system. Yamaga desired that the nuclear test storyline be featured in an August episode, to coincide with the anniversary of the end of the Second World War. At the time, Okada compared the outline’s structure to the approach taken in Isao Takahata’s 1976 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother, itself a one-year series where the eponymous search does not begin until the fourth month. As the planning for the TV series consisted only of conversations, Okada felt he could not say how serious Yamaga was about the show, but in retrospect compared Yamaga’s ideas for episodes peripheral to the main narrative to Shin Takahashi’s Saikano, as well as to Cowboy Bebop, whose episodes Okada descibed as "branches and leaves" that enriched the main storyline. Okada commented that at some point the TV proposal faded away within Bandai without his knowledge, and he and Yamaga continued to discuss the series idea for a time until they later became aware it was no longer under actual consideration.
- Sakamoto had sampled Blade Runner earlier that year for the track "Broadway Boogie Woogie" on his album Futurista.
- All-caps "[PANICKED SCREAM]" is in original sourced quotation.
- The Cartoon/Fantasy Organization (C/FO) has been described as "the first American anime club," founded in Los Angeles in 1977. The C/FO later expanded with chapters in multiple US cities before breaking up as a national organization in 1989; the Los Angeles and Cleveland chapters continued to hold local meetings under the C/FO name.
- Okada remarked that of the 800 million yen budget for the film, 360 million had been spent on the direct production costs; the remainder was for indirect costs including advertising (senden) expenses and distribution costs (kōgyō, "entertainment," a term here referring to booking advance blocs of screening dates for the film in theaters).
- In an interview conducted in April 2003 (published in 2005), Yasuhiro Takeda remarked that when Gainax was planning Royal Space Force, there were people who asked whether they intended to secure rights in the work, but at the time it was more of a priority for Gainax to get the film made the way they wanted to than to insist on rights. Although Yamaga did retain the right to supervise the film, and Gainax was credited by Bandai for making it, Royal Space Force was financed through Bandai, to whom the contract gave 100% of the copyright; Takeda commented, "Contractually, [Royal Space Force] is not 'our thing.'"
- Founded in 1981, Animedia is Japan's second oldest remaining anime magazine after Animage, although it is perhaps better known for its spinoff magazine focusing on bishōjo characters, Megami.
- The Animage Award was a special recognition prize and former category of the Anime Grand Prix that was issued on several occasions between 1981 and 1987.
- The review's title does not use isekai in its current sense of a story genre where the main character is someone transported to another world; here it refers simply to the idea of another, alternate world itself.
- Daitoku, in describing Gainax as a "new kind of people," employs the term shinjinrui (新人類), sometimes used as a Japanese equivalent of what in the United States is referred to as Generation X.
- The phrase Miyazaki used in referring to his own movies was manga eiga (マンガ映画, "cartoon films"), a once popular term in Japan for animated works.
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- 「映画館の売り上げが一億二千万とか一億五千万ぐらいしかありません。」Okada 2010, p. 92
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- 「『オネアミス』の基本的な思想で面白いなって思うのは、楽観でも悲観でもない、けれど存在を肯定しようとしているところなんです。現実の世界というものをシビアに見すえた時にすごく悲観的に考え、そこで思想を作る人間もいるし、逆に現実から離れてユートピア的に考える人もいるわけですが、『オネアミス』の場合、そういう観点からじゃない。。。」Daitoku 1987c, p. 23
- Clements 2013, pp. 172–174
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- Matsushita 1987, p. 25
- Takeda 2005, pp. 46–48
- Takeda 2005, p. 188
- Ruh 2014, pp. 16–17
- Clements 2013, p. 160
- Ogata 1984, pp. 43–47
- Takeda 2005, pp. 90–91
- Studio Hard 1987, p. 48
- 「プロデューサー 岡田斗司夫」Studio Hard 1987, p. 48
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- 「本作品の企画意図 ──共同幻想を喪失した時代の新しい波──」Studio Hard 1987, p. 48
- 「現在のアニメーション文化を特に『ヤング』と呼ばれる若者の視点で見ると、いくつかの切り口が見つかります。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 48
- Kinsella 2000, p. 48
- Matsushita 1987, p. 23
- Clements 2013, p. 172
- 「このように最近のアニメは 『かわいい女の子』と『かっこよくリアルっぽいメカ』。。。それは現在のネクラといわれるアニメ•ファンの嗜好をそのまま反映しているからです。。。見る方はそれを一度見ただけで次の、より刺激の強い作品を求めるという袋小路に追い込まれる一方なのです。。。今こそ方向転換の時期です。では、この袋小路を打ち破る、あたらしいアニメとはどんなものでしょうか？」Studio Hard 1987, p. 48
- Saitō 2011, p. 12
- Sano, Sato & Yamaga 2016, 00:16:28
- 「高度に情報化された現代社会においては、どんなセンセーショナルな作品も感動を呼ぶことはむずかしく、すぐに色褪せてしまいます。しかも、皮相な情報の氾濫により、安心できる価値感や夢が打ち壊されてしまっており、特に若者は欲求不満と不安のただなかにいます。『大人になりたくない』というピーターパン•シンドロームも、そこから発生しているといえましょう。。。そこで現在のアニメファンの心理をもう一度振り返って考えてみてください。彼等は社会との接触を持ち、その中でうまくやっていきたいにもかかわらず不幸にもその能力を持たないため、 代償行為としてメカや女の子に興味を走らせていたわけです。 が、当然それらが現実のものではない、すなわち自分との関わり合いが無いものであるため、 より刺激的なものを性急に求めすぐ欲求不満を起こしてしまいます。。。そんな中で彼等が根本的に求めているのは、現実とうまく楽しくやっていく事、と言えるでしょう。そこで我々は身近な社会を再認識し『現実もまだまだ捨てたものじゃない』と考えられるような作品を提示しようと思います。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 48
- Morikawa 2004, p. 22
- 「アニメ•ファンに現実を再確認させる作品」Studio Hard 1987, p. 49
- 「そこで彼等はその捌け口を自分を束縛する直接的な 『現実 』── つまり、あるがままの周囲の世界──にではなく、テレビや新聞、映画といった間接的、情報的な世界に目を向けることに見出しているのです。。。そして、その若者の典型例といえるのが、アニメ•ファン達なのです。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 48
- 「『情報過多』といわれる現代社会。若者に限らず誰もが『シラけて』います。。。が、人間というのは決して一人で生きていたいわけではなく、 外との接触で精神的なバランスを保つものなのです。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 48
- 「だからこそアニメ•ファンのなかには、或る面で最も現代の政治や社会を象徴する。。。や直接的な欲求を最も現実と切り離した状態として提示する」Studio Hard 1987, p. 48
- Horn 1996c, p. 27
- 「もちろんこれは今まで作られてきた、現実には極力抵抗しない『かっこいい』絵空事のアニメとは正反対のものです。。。この地球には、この世界には、まだまだ価値あることや意味あることが存在する、と宣言するような作品こそ、今、もっとも望まれるのではないでしょうか。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 48
- 「世界設定には細心の注意必要です。この世界は全くの異世界であると同時に、現実そのものであらねばならないからです。なぜなら、現実を再認識させるためとはいえ、全く現実の通りの世界でストーリーを進めても、その現実というもの自体が彼等にとっては手垢がついた、魅力の無い世界と感しられるからです。それより、この作品の世界を全くの異世界として設定してしまい、まるで外国映画であるかのようにふるまった方が観客の注意をそちらに引きつけられるわけですし、その引きつける対象がメカや女の子でなく、ごく普通の風俗やファッシヨン（普通といっても考えぬかれた異世界ですから、充分興味深く、面白いわけです）であるのならば、企画意図はほば、達成したといえるのではないでしょうか。つまり、その手法をとれば『現実とは自分が今、思っているよりずっと面白い』という事が表現できるのではないでしょうか。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 49
- 「あえて割愛させていただいた。唯一あるとすれば、主人公とヒロインに名前がないということくらいか。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 49
- Takeda 2005, p. 187
- Moss 2018, p. 526
- 「『何がなんだかわからないけど、何がなんだかわからないところがいい。』」Matsushita 1987, p. 25
- Clements 2013, p. 174
- Takeda 2005, p. 90
- Takeda 2005, p. 91
- 「『いろんな手練手管を駆使して企画を通したものです。当時、宮崎駿さん『岡田さんの企画書にだまされたバンダイ』と言われましたよ。そのバンダイでもいちばん初めにだまされたのが僕だと（笑）。しかし、だますとかだまされるとか、そんな話ではなくてですね。僕は単純な人間ですから、ただ面白そうだからやってみたかった。誰もバンダイが映画をオリジナルでつくれるなんて思わなかった。ノウハウだってまったくなかったし。しかし、だからこそ面白いと思ったんです。いや、正直に言うと、自分自身でも「そんなことができるわけがない」と思った瞬間もありましたけど。しかし社長の岡田さんも、監督の山賀さんも、とにかく「ちゃんとプロとしてアニメをつくって、世に問いたいんだ」と、強烈に考えていた。プロデューサーの井上博明さんもそうで。。。武田さんも同じ気持ちだった。僕も同じくらいの年でしたから、そうしたいろんな人の熱意の流れのなかに入って。。。」Hotta 2005, pp. 425–426
- Takeda 2005, pp. 92–93
- Takeda 2005, pp. 91–92
- Watanabe 1990, p. 22
- Takeda 2005, p. 184
- Osmond 2009, p. 34
- Hotta 2005, p. 417
- "Return of the Otaking: Toshio Okada at Anime America '96". j-pop.com. Archived from the original on January 26, 2000. Retrieved February 17, 2020.
- 「それが完成したのが'85年。そしてパイロットフィルムを社内はもちろん、いろんなところに見せてまわった。押井さんにも見せましたし。。。宮崎駿さんのところにも見せに行きました。」Hotta 2005, p. 426
- 「そしてもうひとつ、宮崎さんは『ナウシカ』の仕事で、映像の世界に確固たる存在感を示していたので、もしその宮崎さんがフィルムを評価してくれれば、バンダイの内部も説得できるようになるだろうと考えていたんです。」Hotta 2005, p. 426
- Takeda 2005, p. 13
- 「宮崎さんとは3時間にわたって話して、といっても宮崎さんが２時間５０分お話しになって、僕は１０分だけでしたけど（笑）。そのときに宮崎さんは『庵野君たちはアマチュアだけど、ちょっと違う存在だと思う』と評価してくれたんです。『アマチュアには豪華な出窓はつくれても、基礎をきちっとつくるという部分でふらつく人間が多い。しかし彼らはきちんと基礎をつくって、たぶん新しい建物をつくることができそうな気がするから、もしも必要ならばバンダイの役員会の皆さんの前で、アドバイスなどをして差し上げてもいいですよ』とまで言ってくれたんですよ。もうそれだけで、僕は我が意を得たりといいますか、『これで大丈夫だ』という気分になりました。実際に役員会でも、『宮崎さんはこうおっしゃった』と伝えたら、それで企画は通ってしまいました（笑）。」Hotta 2005, pp. 426–27
- Watanabe 1990, p. 21
- Studio Hard 1987, p. 85
- 「重役会議で岡田は熱弁する。」Matsushita 1987, p. 25
- 「この日の為に何度も頭の中でセリフを考えて、メモを作り完璧を期した。まず、現在のアニメ界の状況分析から話を始めて、市場分析から市場予測へ。今、若者たちはどんな映画を求めているのかを。最終的に、だからこそ『王立宇宙軍』という作品が必要なのだということを１時間に渡りしゃべり続けた。」Matsushita 1987, p. 25
- 「企業として映像事業に進出する機会を欲していたバンダイは『王立宇宙軍』を第一回自主 製作作品に選んで、本編の制作は決定する。しかし、その決定は設定と絵コンテ作業までの暫定的決定であり、劇場用映画として正式決定は８５年末に再び検討するということにある。」Matsushita 1987, p. 25
- 「『東京造形大学の天才少年達が、凄いアニメを作っている』という噂を聞いて、しばらくしてから、『王立宇宙軍』のパイロットフィルムを観る機会があった。仕事で観たわけではない。業界の誰かにこっそりとビデオを観せてもらったのだ。」Yuichiro Oguro (October 4, 2005). "Anime-sama 365-nichi dai 340-kai Ōritsu Uchūgun Pairottofirumu [365 Days of Anime #340: Ōritsu Uchūgun Pilot Film]". Anime Style. Studio Male. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
- 「映像に関しては、全体がまるで宮崎駿の作品のようにきっちりと構築されていた。。。パイロットフィルムでは、後のシロツグに相当する主人公は、完成した本編よりも幼い感じで、やや二枚目。リイクニにあたるヒロインは、完成した本編よりも美少女寄りのキャラクターだ。彼女が涙を散らして、何かを叫ぶカットがあり、それは宮崎作品のヒロインを連想させた。」Yuichiro Oguro (October 4, 2005). "Anime-sama 365-nichi dai 340-kai Ōritsu Uchūgun Pairottofirumu [365 Days of Anime #340: Ōritsu Uchūgun Pilot Film]". Anime Style. Studio Male. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
- 「ガイナックスは同じ高田馬場の倍のスペースのスタジオに移転する。各人の友人知人関係からプロダクションデザインのスタッフが集められる。［王立宇宙軍］の作品世界観を決めた渡部隆《プロダクションデザイン》や滝沢洋一《プロダクションデザイン》たちが次々と参加する。」Matsushita 1987, p. 25
- Matsushita 1987, p. 109
- Matsushita 1987, pp. 112–113
- 「プレゼンテーションの材料であるパイロットフィルムは魅惑な異世界が強調された。しかし、［王立宇宙軍］の作品世界観である現実より現実的な異世界を構築する材料ではない。パイロットフィルムで構築された異世界は破壊されて、再び［王立宇宙軍］の異世界がイメージボードによって構築される。画面構成を重視する［王立宇宙軍］は、山賀博之の抽象的なイメージをデザインがそれぞれの分野で具像的なボードにする作業で約1年を費す。逆にそれぞれの分野のデザイナーの具体的なボードを山賀が抽象的なイメージでまとめる作業でもある。」Matsushita 1987, p. 25
- Yamaga 2007, p. 6
- Takeda 1991, p. 31
- Takeda 1992, p. 33
- Watanabe 1996, p. 41
- Watanabe 1997, p. 39
- Watanabe 1997, p. 38
- Matsushita 1998, p. 40
- Suzuki 1988, pp. 40–41
- 「『 「オネアミス」のキャラというのは、いわゆるアニメっぽくないしシロツグにしてもリイクニにしてもカッコイイ主人公、かわいい女の子という風に作られてないわけですが、その点での反応は？』」Daitoku 1987c, p. 20
- Studio Ash 1987, p. 58
- 「『モデルはトリート＝ウィリアムス（［ヘアー］［プリンス•オブ•シティ］他）という俳優ですが、山賀監督から顔を四角く眉を太く顎を張らせてと言われて描き直していくうちに監督本人に似せればいいんだなと。』」Matsushita 1987, p. 51
- 「『最初に監督からテイタム＝オニール、それも［ペーパームーン］の前半1時間のテイタム＝オニールと言われたんです』」Matsushita 1987, p. 63
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 1:11:21
- 「『「モデルがあるらしいんだけど山賀監督は教えてくれない。」』」Matsushita 1987, p. 56
- Ishida & Kim 2019, p. 27
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 1:56:02
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 1:18:06
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 1:07:26
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 1:05:08
- 「『「 オネアミス」のキャラは、どちらかというとがガイナックス好みのキャラで、僕自身の好みのラインではないんですよね、正直な話。。。まあ、自分の絵だからそれなりに自分の好みを反映してはいるんだろうけど』」Daitoku 1987c, p. 20
- 「『マンガだったら、これだけアクがあってもいいかなって思うんだけど、アニメだと動かしずらいキャラだし、デザインした瞬間に動きが見えちゃうんですよね、リアルな方向で。。。その部分で少しあがいていたんです、もっと表情をアニメ的にしてみようとか……。反応としては、わりとよかったというか、何とか合格点キープはしたんじゃないですかね。』」Daitoku 1987c, p. 20
- 「 スペースシャトル打ち上げの見学である。『感想は、すさまじい光と音。これにつきます』と山賀は語る。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 52
- 「 『。。。また多くのデザイナーによる物が混在している現実世界をトレースして、なるべく多くのデザイナーに参加して貰った。思想や感覚の違うデザインが混ざることで現実感を強くするわけです。』」Matsushita 1987, p. 27
- 「 スタッフの全員が作品世界観を把握する為に設定作業は、デザイナーがシナリオから自由にデザインボードを描いて、毎日定時のデｨスカッションによるチェックで進められる。その為にデザインボードは山賀とスタッフの連絡表的役割の設定（検討稿）」Matsushita 1987, pp. 25, 27
- 「 『。。。各人が抽象的に思っている印象に多少の記号化された情報も残して実体を創り上げるという、抽象絵画のようなデザインをしたんです。例えば"コップ"という物を表現しろと言われたら、すぐに"円筒のような物"を簡単に描いてしまう。それは避けようと。』」Matsushita 1987, p. 27
- 「『今回はNASAというよりソ連のロケットをモデルにしたんですが。。。』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 77
- 「『お金の形まで変えたデザインをやってるじゃない。そしたら、何でロケットだけ変えないのか、奇黄に見えたの。』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 79
- 「『ただ、結論の部分で、それを現実の世界からはずしちゃうと違うものになっちゃうんです。その過程までは、いろんな所を通っててもいいけれど、最後の結論の部分では現実のものを時ってこないと、それはもうまるっきり自分らと関係ない別の世界の話になっちゃう』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 79
- 「『 それに合わせて言えば、うちはワキ役メカに撤して、主役メカなんていらないよって感じで作っちゃったところがありますから、主役メカってひとつもないんですよね。あのロケットでさえ主役メカではないんです。』」Daitoku 1987c, p. 20
- 「脚本も絵コンテも全て新潟の喫茶店で窓の外を見ながら書いた。」Matsushita 1987, p. 25
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 00:35
- 「山賀は故郷の新潟でシナリオの執筆を開始する。山賀は語る。『この作品が狙っているイメージは、科学は1950年代、世界の雰囲気は1930年代前後のアメリカやヨーロッポ、登場人物と動きのリズムは現代という感じです。オネアミス自体が地方都市という感じで、実は僕の故郷である新潟をベースにして考えてあるんです。新潟といっても絵的なイメージではなく、街の規模や雰囲気という意味。街の作りや古い部分と新しい部分の同居ぶり、街の使われ方、荒野とも空地ともつかめ無人地帯と街の継がり方とか、新潟の街でオネアミスの雰囲気を（スタッフに）掴んで貰った。。。』」Matsushita 1987, p. 25
- 「『何か、そういう風に考えると、とにかく全部入れて、全部認めちゃったらどあうなるかみたいな、それで得られる解放感のようなものを僕自身が味わいたいというのがかなりあったんです。』『でも最終的にこの映画はあらゆる局面において、人間を肯定するものだから。。。』」Daitoku 1987c, p. 22
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 1:21:34
- Studio Hard 1987, pp. 50, 52
- Matsushita 1987, p. 27
- 「 渡米中に加筆、修整を加えたシナリオをたずさえて……。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 52
- Napton et al. 1990, p. 11 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFNapton_et_al.1990 (help)
- Horn 1996b, p. 22
- Takeda 2005, p. 96
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 53:05
- Matsushita 1987, p. 200
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 10:55, 34:13, 38:46
- Matsushita 1987, p. 118
- Matsushita 1987, pp. 118, 149
- 「TVシリーズは、30 分物の場合中CMを境にし、前半をAパート、後半をBパートと呼称して作業上の便宜をはかっている。劇場作品には途中CMが入ることはないが、コンテの分割や作業上の便宜をはかるために、やはりいくつかのパートに別けられることが多い。本作品の場合も例外でなく、4つのパートに分かれている。」Studio Hard 1987, pp. 52–53
- 「作業は進み、昭和60年末となった。しかし、バンダイが「王立」を正式に劇場用映画として始動させるかどうかの最終決定はまだでない。そのころバンダイでは、「王立」を成功させようとする人々が一丸となって配給会社捜し、最終検討を行っていた。ともかくも、製作作業を停めるわけにはいかない。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 52
- 「86年6月撮影──絵コンテの作業が終了して、撮影が開始する。」 Matsushita 1987, p. 31
- 「 絵コンテの方はかなり遅れていたが、幸いCパートの部分がほぼ完全で、作画もCパートから突人。最も最初にとりかかったのは、ニュースフィルムのシーン。。。作画をCパートから始めた理由は、絵コンテとの兼ねあいだけでない。まずCパートは地味なシーンが多く、地味であるが故に的確な作画と緻密な演技力が必要とされる。そのため比較的スケジュールの楽なうちにやっておこうと考えたためだ。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 52
- 「 86年1月 正式決定──劇場用映画として正式決定されて、［王立宇宙軍］の制作作業は慌しくなる。アニメ雑誌の公募でスタッフが増員、吉祥寺にスタジオを移転してスペースが拡張される。絵コンテに合わせて原図、原画が進む。動画、仕上、背景の作業も開始する。配給会社が東宝東和に決定する。」Matsushita 1987, p. 27
- Takeda 2005, pp. 14, 96
- Matsushita 1987, pp. 46, 76
- Matsushita 1987, pp. 78, 108
- Matsushita 1987, pp. 158, 188
- 「 作画の方は、パート順で言うと、C—A—B—D となった。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 54
- 「 一方山賀は、上がってきた原画、設定、背景に目を通し、自分のイメージとは違うとリテイクを出し、"自分の頭の中のイメージ"に少しでも近い画面をあくまで追求する。作画スタッフも、山賀の意図を理理解しようと務め、また自分のイメージも引き出してくる。ガイナックスでは連日のごとく、山賀対作画スタッフ──ひいては作者対作家の意見の交換が繰り返されていた。」Studio Hard 1987, p. 54
- Takeda 2005, pp. 49–50
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 1:55:27
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 36:45
- 「 富士通のオアシスメイトを制作管理の為に導入する。入力した全シーン、カット、秒数と枚数の、レイアウトから撮影までの各作業が予定日までUPしていない場合に受註担当者が出力される。また、受註金額などの経理管理まできる」Matsushita 1987, p. 31
- Kanda 1983
- 「 NECのPC-9801は色指定や立体回転、移動の作画補助の為に導入する。イメージスキャナーで入力したキャラクターやメカニックにおえかきソフトで256色の色を組み変えて色彩設計を具像化する。」Matsushita 1987, p. 31
- Clements 2013, p. 161
- 「 3Dグラフィック•ソフト（（株）アスキー協力）で回転や移動をさせてプリントした画をトレースして難しい作画を補助する。例えば王国空軍レシプロ機の二重反転プロップファンの回転、衛星軌道上の宇宙軍ロケットの宇宙船の不規則な回転、道路清掃車の傾斜した車輪の回転、計器盤の指針などである。」Matsushita 1987, p. 31
- Hikawa 2007b, p. 15
- Matsushita 1987, p. 108
- 「制作当時、尺数の関係でアフレコ前にカットされた１分間のシーンを再現するため、監督、音響、録音監督、声優らが３年半ぶりに集りアフレコを行った。１分の内容は、鉄橋の上を走るトラックの荷台で横になったシロツグとマテｨが話をするというシーン。」Takeda 1990, p. 39
- Ogata 1989, p. 117
- Ogata 1989, p. 120
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 36:13
- Katayama 2019, pp. 153–155
- 「86年7〜8月［プロジェクトA子］［天空の城ラピュタ］──西島克彦監督、宮崎駿監督の劇場用娯楽アニメ映画。［王立宇宙軍］に参加するだいのスタッフが参加していた作品。この二作品の制作が終って森山雄治 《作画監督》たち、スタッフの全員が揃って［王立宇宙軍］の制作業は24時間体制で進む。」Matsushita 1987, p. 31
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 37:52
- 「85年9月 デザインボード──「。。。従来の分業体制をやめて、設定作業を含める全作業に設定、原動画、美術などのスタッフが参加する。」Matsushita 1987, p. 27
- Horn 1996c, pp. 26–27
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 28:32
- Matsushita 1987, p. 31
- Studio Hard 1987, p. 54
- "Kako haikyū shūnyū jōi sakuhin (haikyū shūnyū 10 Oku-en ijō bangumi) 1986-nen 1-tsuki~12-tsuki [Top distribution income (1 billion yen or higher ) January-December 1986]". Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan, Inc. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
- Matsushita 1987, p. 208
- Watanabe 1990, p. 26
- Green House [sleeve design] (1987). Oneamisu no Tsubasa~Ōritsu Uchūgun Original Sound Track [Aile De Honnêamise~Royal Space Force Original Sound Track] (LP). back cover: School/Midi Inc. MIL-1025.
- Matsushita 1987, p. 32
- Green House [sleeve design] (1987). Oneamisu no Tsubasa~Ōritsu Uchūgun Original Sound Track [Aile De Honnêamise~Royal Space Force Original Sound Track] (LP). back cover: School/Midi Inc. MIL-1025.
- 「。。。（４）『太陽が燃えてる•••』『星が呼んでる•••』等、５０〜６０年代風の男くさい、元気のより語を使いモンタージュ効果で威勢のよさを出す。（５）一度も宇宙に出た事がなくとも銀河（この単語もいい）の歌は唄える。（バカらしいほどのスケール感）。。。（７）よく晴れた日に墓地のど真中で１０人並んで歌うとのどかな感じが出る。」Matsushita 1987, p. 31
- Ryuichi Sakamoto [producer] (1986). Oneamisu no Tsubasa Image Sketch [Image Sketch of Aile De Honnêamise] (12" maxi single). back cover: School/Midi Inc. MIL-1501.
- 「バンダイの社内でもこの『オネアミスの翼』というのは、失敗したからさっさと撤退の手を考えようという派が生まれました。それとは別に、『これは今成功しつつあるから、もっとメジャーにどんどん拡大していこう』という派もできて、二つの派閥が対立し始めました。。。もう一方の「成功しつつある』という派閥の人たちは 『「王立宇宙軍オネアミスの翼」は行けると思う。これTVシリーズになりませんか」と言ってきます。。。で、山賀君に『バンダイからすごい話が来てるよ。「王立」 をTVシリーズでできないかって。それも一年間五十二話で の、ストーリーラインを考えてみてくれ』だって。。。その話を聞いたのって六月ぐらいでした。翌年の四月から一年間オンエア予定らしい。それなら準備期間が一年近くあります。。。『どうすんの！？これで「オネアミスの翼」二時間くらいあるやつの、前を書くの？ それとも後ろを書くの？ それともこれ二時間を五十二に伸ばすの？』って訊いたら『もちろんこの二時間を五十二に伸ばすんですよ』。。。『母をたずねて三千里』。。。母を訪ねて出発するのって、四ヶ月目に入ってからなんですよ。。。山賀君がすごく嬉しそうに『八月十日〜十五日の終戦記念日あたりでやりたいネタがあるんです！』『何したいの』って聞いたら『世界初の核実験をやりたいんです。』ロケットを開発してるってことは、もちろんロケットだけ開発してるはずはないんです。ロケットというのはミサイルです。核兵器とミサイルと両方持たないと、軍事的に何の意味もない。。。実は『オネアミスの翼』は、その中のロケットの部分しか書いてないんだけど、もう一つの部分として、核兵器の開発を絶対やってる答です。。。今考えれば『最終兵器彼女』(高橋しん原作。二〇〇二年アニメ化)みたいな話を、山賀君はやりたかったんだと思います。彼は口べたなので、どこまで本気で考えたのかわからないですけど。そういう外したプロットばっかり出てくるんです。『青年たちががんばって力を合わせて宇宙へ行こうという青春映画です！』というメインプロットがほとんど出てこない。メインストーリーじゃなく、枝葉ばっかり作ろうとするんですね。これを後に僕は『カウボーイビバップ現象』と呼ぶようになったんですけど。そういう風に枝葉のストーリーばっかり充実させて、秋口から宇宙計画がようやっと始まる、みたいな感じです。ところが、TV版の話はいつの間にかバンダイの中で立ち消えていたんです。企画が立ち消えた時って、だれも教えてくれないんです。だから、僕と山賀君はそれに気づかず、色ヶ考え続けていたわけです。後から発見したことなんですけどね。。。あんまり話さないからTV版の話どうなったのかなと思っ。」Okada 2010, p. 92–95
- Clements 2013, p. 173
- Horn 1996d, p. 9
- 「協力 全日空 株式会社ネットワーク 」Studio Ash 1987, p. 126
- 「他にガイナックス以外のところで考えられたタイトルは下記のとおりである。宇宙•愛•ものがたり、情熱たちの神話。。。若き明星シロツグ。。。スピリッツオブファイアー。。。イカロスの歌、パラレルゾーン１９８７。。。０の頂点。。。」Matsushita 1987, p. 31
- 「今から、２年前ぐらいのことだったそうだ。編集部にゼネプロの岡田氏から電話がかかってきた。それによると、劇場用映画を作るということである。」Daitoku 1987b, p. 27
- Hikawa 2007a, p. 1
- 「86年6月4日──日比谷の帝国ホテルに於いて［王立宇宙軍 リイクニの翼］の制作発表記者会見が行なわれる。席上で坂本龍一は語る。『［戦場のメリークリスマス］［子猫物語］に続いて映画音楽は３回目ですが、今回は特に僕の好きな［ブレードランナー］的な細部にこだわった異世界ものということで、 非常にのって仕事ができると思っています。』」 Matsushita 1987, p. 31
- 「『リイクニの翼』だと、観客の意識がリイクニに向き過ぎるということで変更した。世界観を広げる為ですね。『オネアミス』という名は山賀君が考えた。」Matsushita 1987, p. 31
- "Ōritsu Uchūgun~Riikuni no Tsubasa". The Anime. Kindaieigasha. October 1986. p. 53.
- "Oneamisu no Tsubasa~Ōritsu Uchūgun". The Anime. Kindaieigasha. November 1986. p. 57.
- "Oneamisu no Tsubasa~Ōritsu Uchūgun". The Anime. Kindaieigasha. December 1986. p. 57.
- Bandai Visual Co., Ltd. 2007, Title 4, Japanese Trailer, 00:01
- "Oneamisu no Tsubasa". Animage. Tokuma Shoten. February 1987.
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 40:40
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 41:22
- 「昭和６２年元旦、事態は急に回転し始めた。この時、初の広告が新聞にの載ったのである。しかも四色印刷である。。。「TVや新聞でもしっかり告知されている。その上、いろんな雑誌が取り上げてくれている。。。」Daitoku 1987b, p. 27
- 「７０を越える雑誌メデｨア」Daitoku 1987b, p. 31
- Akai & Yamaga 2000, 40:39
- 「『。。。汚れなき魂の少女の導きのもと 目覚めしきものは翼を持ち天に昇り オネアミスの聖典を手にするであろう』。。。成長したシロツグは彼同様血気盛んな若者たちが集まる王立宇宙軍に入隊する。そこではオネアミスに永遠の平和を約束する幻の聖典を、宇宙へ捜しに行く大プロジェクトが進行していた。」Matsushita 1987, p. 33
- Matsushita 1987, pp. 134–136
- 「『熱愛──ふたりだけの秘密。シロツグとリイクニの愛が始まった。２人は彼らだけがマインド•コミュニケーションというテレパシーを使得ることを発見。リイクニの愛の思想とシロツグの平和への夢が結ばれ、シンボル•タワーが光を帯びて輝き始めた。』」Daitoku 1987b, p. 26
- Bandai Visual Co., Ltd. 2007, Title 4, Japanese Trailer, 00:43, 00:58
- 「『あなたの知ってる！？オネアミス 君は愛の奇跡を見たか！？。。。ロケットは無事発射できるのか、シロツグは生きて戻ってこれるのか、そしてオネアミスの歴史を変えてしまうような "愛の奇跡" とは！？』」Daitoku 1987b, pp. 25, 26
- Matsushita 1987, pp. 31–32
- Patten 2004, pp. 9, 24, 29, 39
- Suzuki 1987, p. 22
- Patten 1987, p. 3
- Daitoku 1987b, p. 31
- Daitoku 1987b, p. 30
- Smith 1987, pp. 28–29
- Ebert et al. 1987, p. 35 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFEbert_et_al.1987 (help)
- Takeda 2005, p. 97
- 「『地方はルーカスの「エンドア」と２本立てだったので。。。』」Daitoku 1987c, p. 20
- 「『３月１４日公開作品と春休み映画の中では２番目ですから、健闘したと言えますね。一番長い劇場で7週かかりまして、最近、この手の映画は長くて４週、「ラピュタ」でも５週でしたから、長くかかった方でしょうね。』」Daitoku 1987c, p. 20
- 「具体的に言うと『王立』は、直接制作費が三億六千万円、宣伝•興行用の間接経費を含めた総製作費が八億円くらいかかっています。」Okada 2010, p. 92
- Horn 1996d, p. 24
- Horn 1996a, p. 6
- Clements 2013, pp. 174–175
- 「『王立』のときはまず作品をつくることが優先事項で、それどころではなかった。もちろん周囲には『権利はどうすんねん、確保しとけ』と言ってくれる人もいましたけど、あのときは『今 は作品ができることが大事。そういうことを主張するよりも作品の完成度を上げることに集中しよう』と、最初に申し合わせていたんです。だから『王立』の著作権は契約上、100%バンダイビジュアルにあります。もちろん法律上は監督した山賀には監督権というものがあります。またバンダイビジュアルも配慮してくれて、クレジットの表記にガイナックスも入れてくれていますし、お金も入ってきます。しかし契約上は、『ウチのモノ』ではないんですよ。」Hotta 2005, p. 36
- Ebert et al. 1987, p. 33 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFEbert_et_al.1987 (help)
- "Subtitled Wings of Oneamis". Animag. No. 4. 1988. p. 7.
- Carl Gustav Horn (January 1995). "Winging its Way to a Theater Near You". Animerica. Vol. 3 no. 1. Viz Communications, Inc. p. 14.
- Carl Gustav Horn (March 1995). "Wings of Honneamise Update". Animerica. Vol. 3 no. 3. Viz Communications, Inc. p. 60.
- "Out of the Blue and Into the Black: The Wings of Honneamise". Animerica. Vol. 3 no. 6. Viz Communications, Inc. June 1995. p. 16.
- "Animerica Radar". Animerica. Vol. 5 no. 1. Viz Communications, Inc. January 1997. p. 15.
- Horn 1995, p. 9
- "The Manga Entertainment DVD of Wings of Honneamise is widely reviled as a poster child for poor compression and authoring. From the horrific telecine to the double flagging, fake anamorphic and the ludicrous edge halos, many professionals I've shown it to couldn't believe it ever was released at all, as The VHS looks better in many cases." http://www.thedigitalbits.com/reviewshd/wingsjinbrd.html
- "A Technical Analysis of Manga's Wings of Honneamise DVD". Inwards. 2000. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- "...the print Manga have sourced shows frequent signs of ageing. Dust, hairs, cigarette burns (as they are known in the industry) at reel changeovers, it is all here and all faults make frequent appearances. There really has been zero effort put into remastering this print which is a great shame, and the encoding is again quite poor, resulting in a picture that loses out on a lot of detail due to an overall softness (edging on blurriness) that kills the kind of clarity this film requires...but on the whole for fans this release is a definite disappointment." DVDTimes 2001
- Brian Hanson stated simply that "the transfer looks like ass"
- Bandai Visual Co., Ltd. 2007, Title 2
- "'Sound Update Version' Production Locale Report". Gainax Network Systems. October 1997. Archived from the original on Feb 9, 2005. Retrieved October 26, 2020. Cite has empty unknown parameter:
- Ryusuke Hikawa Hiroyuki Yamaga (July 27, 2007). Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise (Blu-ray/DVD). liner notes: Bandai Visual Co., Ltd.
- "Maiden Japan to Release Royal Space Force Film on DVD/BD in October". Anime News Network. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- Ridout 1996, p. 120
- "Wings Of Honneamise—DVD/Blu-ray Collector's Edition". 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- 「『トップガン』的なヒロイック•ファンタジーを 期待すると、当てが外れる。。。原案•脚本•監督の山賀博之は、現代日本社会への自分のイメージをすべて注ぎ込もうとしている。」Watanabe 1987
- 「間延びして退屈なところもあるし、話がバラバラなまま盛り上がりを欠く恨みもある。だが、これだけ金も時間 もかかった大作に、既成のアニメのパターンに寄り掛かることなく、飾りの無い率直な自分のイメージを貫いたところは、あっぱれといわねばなるまい。」Watanabe 1987
- Manga Entertainment 2000, back cover
- Suzuki 1988, pp. 38, 40
- 「かつて『ホルス』が突然に、リアルな描写と社会的なテームをもったアニメ作品として観客の目の前に登場したように、この作品もそれまでの商業作品との関連なく突然に、それまでと違ったアニメ映画の方法論とメッセージを持った作品とした登場した。それがのちのアニメ作品にどのような影響を与えるかは定かではないが、若手スタッフたちの素晴しい情熱に満ちた作品であったことは間違いない。」Ogata 1989, p. 124
- Ogata 1989, p. 47
- 「それは今だって可能なんですよ。『オネアミスの翼』はそれを立証していると思うんです。あれを作ったのは経験という点では素人ですよ。一緒にたむろして飯食って、私生活も仕事もぐしゃぐしゃになりながら、二十代半ばの連中だけで作ったんですから。」Miyazaki 1995, p. 18 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFMiyazaki1995 (help)
- Daitoku 1987a, pp. 80–81
- 「アニメ映画という観点で限ってみても『宇宙戦艦ヤマト』や『銀河鉄道999』といった作品がそれこそ脱•地球の興奮と解放感を観客に与えたのはもう大分以前のことだ。さらに、映画好きの人間ならば『ライトスタッフ』や立花隆原作の『宇宙からの帰還』が宇宙飛行士や宇宙の姿を実与で伝えていることを知っているだろう。アニメ界の新人類ともいえる『オネアミスの翼』の若手スタッフたちが何を意図して、それほど手垢のついた題材を、あえて、それもアニメーションで描こうとしたのか？」Daitoku 1987a, p. 80
- Bolton, Csicsery-Ronay Jr. & Tatsumi 2007, p. xxii
- 「だが、この疑問はこの映画を観ていくうちに氷解していった。なるほど人類は物理的には地球圏を離れ他の星に足跡をしるすまでの経験をした。しかし、意識や精神の面においては果たしてどうであろうか。」Daitoku 1987a, p. 80
- 「そこで、地球全体を眺め得る地点から人類の歴史と文明を、もう一度相対化してみる必要があるのではないか。『オネアミスの翼』という作品にはそうしたモチーフが根底にある。その事はこの映画のエンデｨングに流れる異世界ではなく現実の人類の歴史をたどるシーンからも明らかに読みとれるし。。。」Daitoku 1987a, pp. 80–81
- 「なぜあそこまで異世界の創出にこだれるかということも。。。アニメーションという表現媒体の性格をフルに活用して、それこそ匙一本にいたるまでありとあらゆる物を別物に創り上げることによって、実は文明そのものを一旦相対化し解体した上で再構成しようという意志の表れなのだ。」Daitoku 1987a, p. 81
- 「かっこいいメカやロボット、魅力的なキャラクターが登場し、宇宙を漂流しながら物語が展開していくという話は、ある意味では映画『マクロス』で一つの頂点に到達してしまっている。『マクロス』の先を進むことよりも、もう一度より地球に物語を引きつけた形で別の世界を創出するこどの方が、アニメ映画の新しい地平がひらけるのではないかという目論見はこの映画の創り手たちにあったと思うのである。」Daitoku 1987a, p. 81
- 「ロケットというロシナンテに跨がって宇宙に旅立つた宇宙飛行土シロツグ•ラーダットというドン•キホーテが立ち向かった風車がいったい何であったのか？」Daitoku 1987a, p. 81
- 「『「オネアミスの翼」を見て、よくやったと思って感心したの、俺。はったりとかカッコつけみたいなものが感じられなくて、正直につくってるなと、とても気持ちよかった。。。その映画が、若い同業者の諸君に、非常に大きな刺激になると思ったんです。賛否両論、激しく分かれるかと思うけど、それでも刺激になる。』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 76
- 「『「でも、宮崎さんと僕のつくり方の違いもすごく大きいと思うんです。』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 80
- 「『「そこでロケットを飛ばした結果、生甲斐をそこで感じても、次にまた現実にからめとられるだろうという中に生きているという、やりきれなさもよく分かる。だから、俺だった、アナクロニズムのマンガ映画をわざと作ってる。』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 79
- Clements 2013, p. 1
- 「『映画をマジに作る人というのは、それに答えてあげようとするんです。宮崎（駿）さんの話もそうですが、答えてあげたいからフィクションの世界を作ろうとする、せめて、これだけは大切だ、と。でも僕たちの世代はそうじゃないことを知っている。』」Daitoku 1987c, p. 23
- 「『とにかく、今日は僕は自分の土俵に引きずりこもうとしているのか、よく分かんないけど、それより自分がここでやっぱりよく分からんことをはっきり言いたい。ただ言うだけじゃなくて、「オネアミスの翼」をその前に十分評価していることも言いたかった。あたたかい目で見守んなきゃいけないとか、そういう気は全然ないんでね。ダメならけなそうと待ちかまえていたんだから。映画を見て、とにかく気持ちよく帰ってきたんです。』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 80
- 「『僕は、最後までNASAのロケットが上がって行くという、むなしさと同じものを感じてね。やったぜ、という感動がない。』『ただ、ロケットを打ち上げるなら、NASAなどビッグサイエンスにかすみとられないためにも、変なロケット。。。』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 77
- 「『僕は、ジジイがもうやめようとは絶対言わないだろうと思った。そう思わない？ 無理してるって感じがした。。。ただ、シロツグは体力があるから乗っかっただけです。やっぱり情熱を時ってやってたのは、若者じゃなくて、ジジイたちという気がしてしょうがない。あれは、ただ一つの作劇術でやってるだけだと思う。』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 78
- 「『それは、最終的なところにあって……。』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 79
- 「『でも、今回の映画でも能動的な出発的の、タネをまいて推進してったのは、君たち若者だから。』『ジジイと若者の関係。ジジイ引っこめって、やればいいのにと思った。』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 80
- 「『ジジイと若者が、僕らが打ち上げると思って打ち上げたロケットだと思ってもらっちゃ困るというところがあったんです。あれは、あくまで国がお金を出してつくったロケットで。だから、ああいう形で。』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 80
- 「『いや、最初から飛び出したように見えて飛び出してないけど、物理的に飛び出すこと自体より、その過程において、いいものがあるんじゃないかみたいなのが、狙いですから。』」Yamaga & Miyazaki 1987, p. 80
- Whitty, Stephen (December 2, 1994). "A journey to no place special". San Jose Mercury News. p. 9.
- O'Neill, Sean (March 10–16, 1995). "Broken Wings Is Offensive". LA Village View. p. 18.
- Bowles, Scott (November 28, 1994). "Animated 'Wings' looks good but isn't". Dallas Morning News. pp. 11C.
- Grieser, Andy (June 24, 1995). "'Wings' of wonder video blends provocative ideas and visual beauty". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. p. 3.
- Feeney, F.X. (March 10–16, 1995). "The Wings of Honneamise". LA Weekly. p. 55.
- Harrington, Richard (December 23, 1994). "'Wings': Soaring Animation". The Washington Post. pp. D6.
- Ebert, Roger (May 12, 1995). "The Wings Of Honneamise". rogerebert.com (originally published in the Chicago Sun-Times). Archived from the original on April 24, 2010. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
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