Girly Air Force

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Girly Air Force
Light novel cover volume 1 featuring Gripen
(Gārī Ea Fōsu)
GenreAction, military science fiction[1]
Light novel
Written byKōji Natsumi
Illustrated byAsagi Tōsaka
Published byASCII Media Works
ImprintDengeki Bunko
Original runSeptember 10, 2014 – present
Volumes12 (List of volumes)
Illustrated byTakahiro Seguchi
Published byKadokawa Shoten
MagazineMonthly Shōnen Ace
Original runOctober 26, 2018May 26, 2019[2]
Anime television series
Directed byKatsumi Ono
Written byShingo Nagai
Music byI've Sound
Original networkAT-X, Tokyo MX, BS11, SUN, AbemaTV
Original run January 10, 2019 March 28, 2019
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Anime and manga portal

Girly Air Force (ガーリー・エアフォース, Gārī Ea Fōsu) is a Japanese light novel series written by Kōji Natsumi and illustrated by Asagi Tōsaka. A manga adaptation by Takahiro Seguchi launched Monthly Shōnen Ace in October 2018, and an anime television series adaptation by Satelight aired from January to March 2019.


Earth has come under attack by the Zai, a mysterious "armed group" using unusually highly advanced weapon systems far superior to any Terran military technology. A young Chinese-Japanese teenager named Kei Narutani and his Chinese friend Minghua, both living in Shanghai, are force-evacuated to Japan when the city is attacked by the Zai. During their escape by sea, several Zai fighters begin sinking the evacuation fleet when Kei suddenly witnesses the Zai being repelled by a strange airplane. When the plane subsequently crashes, Kei rushes to aid the pilot, but is surprised to find a pretty girl at the controls.

After arriving in Japan, Kei begins investigating the origins of the strange plane, and before long he is captured by Japanese secret service agents. He learns from them that it was a Swedish fighter retrofitted with special technology developed by the JASDF. In order to combat the Zai, their technology - HiMAT (Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology) and EPCM (Electronic Perceptory Countermeasures) - was reverse-engineered and applied to existing fighter models, which are codenamed "Daughters"; but in order to function properly, this tech requires an autonomous interface unit called "Anima", android shaped human-like girls who are made from salvaged Zai parts. The girl Kei encountered, by the name of Gripen (after the plane she flies), is such an "Anima" unit who formed an emotional attachment to him when he came to her aid. When her supervising developer notices that effect, he invites Kei into the Anima project and act as Gripen's partner in order to boost her flight performance and prevent her from being scrapped.


Kei Narutani (鳴谷慧, Narutani Kei)
Voiced by: Ryōta Ōsaka[3]
A Chinese-Japanese teenager who was living in Shanghai before it had to be evacuated due to a Zai attack. After witnessing Gripen fighting a pair of Zai fighters and then crashing into the sea, he impulsively comes to her aid, which creates an emotional bond between them. With his mother, an airshow pilot, killed in a Zai ambush attack, he decides to join the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to take revenge on them. After becoming privy to the Anima project, he becomes Gripen's weapon systems officer and emotional anchor.
Gripen (グリペン, Guripen)
Voiced by: Yūka Morishima[3]
A pink-haired Anima unit flying a Swedish JAS 39D Gripen produced by Saab. She suffers from an inherent emotional defect which leaves her scatterbrained and lacking a sense of purpose. When they first meet, Gripen forms an emotional dependency on Kei, which is noted by her supervisor, and thus Kei is taken into the program to provide her with a motivation for fighting the Zai. Her call sign is "Barbie 01".
Eagle (イーグル, Īguru)
Voiced by: Hitomi Ōwada[4]
A blonde Anima who flies an F-15J Eagle, developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. She has a perky and capricious personality and is also a very talented combat pilot. Right upon meeting him, she takes a close personal interest in Kei. She also adores Yashirodōri as a father. Her call sign is "Barbie 02"
Phantom (ファントム, Fantomu)
Voiced by: Shiori Izawa[5]
An Anima with the call sign "Barbie 03", who arrives at Komatsu separately from Gripen and Eagle. She flies an F-4 Phantom II, and she is the first Anima created by the JSDF. Although trained for combat, her specialty is tactical reconnaissance; because of this, she is also able to interface with the Anima information channels to obtain or manipulate information. Because of her status as the first ever Anima, and the self-reliance forced upon her when it was assumed that no other Anima would be created, she is very condescending to her counterparts, causing friction within the team. After Kei saves her from a tight spot shortly after her arrival, she has become quite fond of him. As a hobby, she dyes her hair, mostly in shades of green.
Viper Zero (バイパーゼロ, Baipā Zero)
Another Anima produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, her designated call sign is "Barbie 04". She flies a Mitsubishi F-2. Her actual appearance is unknown, as any spectator seeing her beholds an image of the person they are currently thinking about the most; this effect occurs due to the instability of her central core, which acts as an empathic reflector. Additionally, she likes to dress up in lolita fashion.
Rhino (ライノ, Raino)
Voiced by: Ryoko Shiraishi
The only American Anima produced by Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Her call sign is "Sapphire 01". Her will and consciousness are taken over by the Zai when she is lured into a Zai trap along with Kei and Gripen, and becomes the first Anima to be corrupted and destroyed.
Minghua Song (宋 明華, Son Minhoa)
Voiced by: Lynn[5]
Kei's forceful Chinese childhood friend who lost her parents during the chaotic evacuation of Shanghai. She has formed a crush on Kei and considers herself his girlfriend; but since she never told him about her feelings, he just views her as an older sister.
Haruka Yashirodōri (八代通 遥, Yashirodōri Haruka)
Voiced by: Kenji Nomura
The leading JASDF scientist behind the reverse-engineering of the Zai's weaponry, and the developer of the Anima system. Because of the emotional effect Kei has on Gripen, he constantly nicknames him "Prince Charming" (王子さま, ōji-sama). Despite his gruff demeanor, he cares for his creations like a father.
William Shankle (ウィリアム・シャンケル, Wiriamu Shankeru)
Voiced by: Kenjiro Tsuda
An American scientist responsible for Rhino; his specialty is AI and he is developing drone fighters based on Anima flight and combat data.
Funato (舟戸)
A JASDF engineer working under Yashirodōri.


Light novels

Kōji Natsumi published the first light novel, with illustrations by Asagi Tōsaka, under ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Bunko imprint in 2014.[6]

No.Japanese release dateJapanese ISBN
1 September 10, 2014[7]ISBN 978-4-04-866862-0
2 March 10, 2015[8]ISBN 978-4-04-869187-1
3 June 10, 2015[9]ISBN 978-4-04-865195-0
4 November 10, 2015[10]ISBN 978-4-04-865502-6
5 March 10, 2016[11]ISBN 978-4-04-865810-2
6 July 9, 2016[12]ISBN 978-4-04-892188-6
7 October 8, 2016[13]ISBN 978-4-04-892391-0
8 November 10, 2017[14]ISBN 978-4-04-893479-4
9 June 9, 2018[15]ISBN 978-4-04-893875-4
10 January 10, 2019[16]ISBN 978-4-04-912324-1
11 March 9, 2019[17]ISBN 978-4-04-912384-5
12 June 8, 2019[18]ISBN 978-4-04-912611-2


A manga adaptation with art by Takahiro Seguchi began serialization in Kadokawa Shoten's shōnen manga magazine Monthly Shōnen Ace magazine on October 26, 2018.[4]

No.Japanese release dateJapanese ISBN
1 December 25, 2018[19]ISBN 978-4-04-107818-1
2 July 26, 2019[20]ISBN 978-4-04-107819-8


An anime television series adaptation by studio Satelight was announced on June 1, 2018.[6] The series is directed by Katsumi Ono and written by Shingo Nagai, with character designs by Tōru Imanishi.[5] I've Sound is composing the series' music.[5] The series aired from January 10 to March 28, 2019 on AT-X, before airing on Tokyo MX, BS11, Sun TV, and AbemaTV.[3][21] The series ran for 12 episodes.[22] Run Girls, Run! performs the series' opening theme song "Break the Blue".[5] The ending theme song is "Colorful Wing" performed by Yūka Morishima, Hitomi Ōwada, and Shiori Izawa. Crunchyroll simulcast the series worldwide excluding Asia.[23]

No. Title Original air date
1"Crimson Wings"
Transcription: "Akai Tsubasa" (Japanese: 紅い翼)
January 10, 2019 (2019-01-10)
Kei and his childhood friend Minghua are Chinese refugees fleeing to Japan to escape an unknown and highly advanced alien force called the "Xi". Several Xi aircraft arrive and attack the ship Kei and Minghua are riding in, but they are saved by the intervention of a highly advanced plane resembling a JAS 39E/F Gripen. The Gripen crashes into the water after the Xi retreat, and Kei swims over to rescue the pilot, who is a mysterious girl that kisses him upon seeing him. The Japan Air Self Defense Force recovers the Gripen and Kei and Minghua reach Japan safely where they live at Kei's grandfather's house. Intrigued by the Gripen, as well as wanting revenge against the Xi for killing his mother, Kei heads to a nearby JASDF base to see if the Gripen is being stored there. Minghua follows him, and they are both captured by base security. Inside, Kei meets Haruka Yashirodōri, who reveals to him that the JASDF has developed advanced fighters called "Daughters" which are capable of overcoming the Xi's technological advantage, and they are piloted by special entities called "Anima". He further reveals that for some reason, Gripen seems to respond positively to Kei's presence, and he offers him a chance to join his team and help fight the Xi.
2"Komatsu Rendezvous"
Transcription: "Komatsu Randebū" (Japanese: コマツ・ランデブー)
January 17, 2019 (2019-01-17)
Upon Yashirodōri's invitation, Kei returns to Komatsu Air Base the next morning to start working with Gripen. Gripen fetches him from their meeting point and begins showing him around, thereby revealing a surprisingly, dreamy human-like but very scatterbrained side. Kei also notices a strong antipathy by the JASDF staff towards the Anima. The next day, Gripen seeks Kei out at his home for a date, in which course she reveals that she suffers from an unknown defect, which leaves her without a clear purpose of existence and frequent breakdowns during her missions. They spend the rest of the day with leisure activities until Gripen inexplicably collapses and is immediately picked up by Yashirodōri's staff for repairs. Yashirodōri tells Kei that Gripen usually breaks down (i.e., falls asleep) after just three hours, but during this day her activity cycle was substantially extended, and expresses hope that Kei's presence will affect her positively during her test flight in a week's time, because otherwise she will be declared a write-off prototype and scrapped.
3"Anima Core"
Transcription: "Anima no Honishitsu" (Japanese: アニマの本質)
January 24, 2019 (2019-01-24)
When Gripen performs substandard during a test simulation, Kei is allowed to take the controls of a "Daughter" for the first time. As the critical test flight approaches, Yashirodōri finds out that Gripen's brainwaves have synchronized with Kei's upon their first meeting, and that her inner stability depends greatly on his close proximity to her. But during an encounter with antipathic JASDF members, Kei learns that Anima are created using salvaged Xi technology, which incites an emotional conflict in him. At the day of the test flight, however, he receives a message from Gripen explaining that she knows of her Zai origin but has chosen to fight for humanity's sake. Deciding that he cannot abandon her, Kei races to Komatsu to attend her test flight, but Gripen suffers another breakdown and a Zai fighter unexpectedly moves in to attack. But before Gripen is shot down, another Anima - Eagle - intervenes and takes out the enemy.
4"The World You See"
Transcription: "Kimi no Miru Sekai" (Japanese: 君の見る世界)
January 31, 2019 (2019-01-31)
Soon after Eagle arrived at Komatsu, she barges in on a date between Kei and Minghua (much to the latter's chagrin). After he learns from her that Gripen is going to be scrapped on this very day, he frantically rushed back to the air base and seeks her out, assuring her that he cares for her. Just before he can spirit her away from her impending fate, a massive Xi attack force approaches Japan, and with Eagle outnumbered on her own, defeat seems assured. Despite Yashirodōri's willingness to allow Gripen and Kei to defect, Gripen and Kei decide to go up together. Gripen's initial failure to interface with her fighter forces Kei to take the controls, and after he manages to shoot down a Xi fighter, Gripen's confidence is boosted, allowing her to enter the fight by herself. The hostile force is defeated, but in the process Kei somehow manages to interface with the plane's controls just like an Anima can.
5"Independent Mixed Test Unit"
Transcription: "Dokuritsu konsei hikō jikken-tai" (Japanese: 独立混成飛行実験隊)
February 7, 2019 (2019-02-07)
Kei begins combat training as Gripen's co-pilot, but her performance still leaves something to be desired because she is now too concerned about Kei's health during high-G maneuvers. As Kei leaves for home in the evening, he encounters another Anima, Phantom, who has just newly arrived at Komatsu. The next day, Yashirodōri announces that the Animas have been reorganized into an Independent Mixed Test Unit (IMTU), meaning a combined fighting team for greater effectiveness against further Xi incursions; but any ideas towards an esprit de corps are hindered by inherent rivalistic tensions between the three girls, so Yashirodōri schedules an immediate training flight for them. However, Phantom uses her special cybernetic interface ability to cheat during the dogfight, which sparks animosity with the rest of the team.
6"Raison d'Etre"
Transcription: "Rezon dētoru" (Japanese: 存在意義 (レゾンデートル))
February 14, 2019 (2019-02-14)
As Kei discusses his mounting discontent about Phantom's disdainful, self-opinionated attitude with Yashiodōri and Gripen, he learns more about the uniqueness of each Anima model's personality. Soon afterwards, an emergency arises as the Xi begin establishing a forward base on an island right within the edges of Japan's ADIZ. The Animas are sent out to destroy the base, with Phantom assigned to guide in a missile barrage while Gripen and Eagle provide cover. However, Phantom, thinking herself too valuable to die, hangs back from the action, which leads to Gripen and Eagle being overwhelmed by the base's defenses and forced into retreating. After their return, Kei begins taunting Phantom with a challenge to a match between her and Gripen: If she loses, she will finally subordinate herself; and if she wins, Kei will become her partner.
7"After the Bewilderment"
Transcription: "Madoi no Saki" (Japanese: 惑いの先)
February 21, 2019 (2019-02-21)
Even though chagrined at the infighting, Yashiodōri gives Kei permission to go through with his plan, knowing that time is of the essence. Using the simulators at Naha Airbase, Kei and Gripen engage in mock combat with Phantom, but she attempts to cheat again. Despite this, Kei outwits Phantom and shoots her down, revealing afterwards that he had expected her to use her hacking routine and developed a matching counter-tactic. Admitting defeat, Phantom sets the condition that during the next day's repeat to destroy the Xi base, Kei must fly while Gripen is to handle the plane's weapon systems, as she knows that Gripen can't handle the stress of combat piloting. The next morning, the attack is renewed, but Eagle is sent off to support an allied strike force, leaving Kei, Gripen, and Phantom on their own.
8"An Unhappy Top Secret"
Transcription: "Fukigen na Saikō Kimitsu" (Japanese: 不機嫌な最高機密)
February 28, 2019 (2019-02-28)
Despite the Xi's formidable defenses, Kei, Gripen, and Phantom manage to complete their mission with the unexpected assistance of another Anima, Zero One. Shortly thereafter, Kei encounters a girl who bears an uncanny resemblance to Minghua, leading to some confusion in their relatioonship. As Yashirodōri later informs him, the mystery girl is Viper Zero, whose defective EGG makes her assume the illusionary appearance of any specific person in the eyes of any who see her. But while Kei desperately attempts to mend his relationship with Minghua, yet another Anima - with her own supervisor - makes her appearance.
9"Unphysical Layer"
Transcription: "Anfijikaru Reiyā" (Japanese: アンフィジカルレイヤー)
March 7, 2019 (2019-03-07)
Kei experiences a dream where his interfacing with Gripen's memories appear to unlock a very important secret about the reason for Gripen and the Xi's existence. Soon after, he is taken to Atsugi Air Base where he, Gripen, and Yashirodōri meet William Shankle, an American scientist, and the USA's sole Anima, Rhino, a F/A-18E Super Hornet, and learns of an impending mission to retake the continent by using both Anima and specially designed drone fighters. Shankle invites Kei and Gripen to play a simulation to either defeat the Xi or ensure humanity's survival for 10 years. After Kei fails several times, Gripen wins the scenario by ensuring humanity's survival. After the simulation, Yashirodōri explains to Kei that Shankle views Animas as computers and programming, when in fact they are thinking beings whose loyalty and friendship must be won for humanity to succeed.
10"The Mission to Retake Shanghai"
Transcription: "Shanhai Dakkan Sakusen" (Japanese: 上海奪還作戦)
March 14, 2019 (2019-03-14)
An invasion of Shanghai, which entails a massive missile barrage and air superiority action, is being planned as the first step of beating back the Xi. As Kei, who wishes to participate in the mission, tries to sort out his feelings, he is nearly overrun by a truck due to Phantom's actions. Phantom does not want him to take part in the attack lest he gets hurt, as she surmises that the assault will only serve to sacrifice the Japanese Anima in order to both provide live combat data for the new drone fighters and preserve the status quo between Japan and America. Soon the IMTU relocates on board of the USS Gerald R. Ford for the operation. Just before they embark on the perilous mission, Gripen assures Kei that she will stand beside him until the very end.
11"A Homeland With No One Home"
Transcription: "Daremo Inai Kokyō" (Japanese: 誰もいない故郷)
March 21, 2019 (2019-03-21)
The mission begins with a carrier launch of Gripen and the other Animas. The US sends a large conventional fighter force to split up the Xi groups, after which they are followed by the Brawlers, who show surprising effectiveness and take out a large group of the Xi fighters. The Animas finish the break through to head towards Shanghai, only to be betrayed by a large EPCM burst that confuses the Brawlers and forces them to switch sides, attacking the Animas instead. Gripen is saved by Rhino, and while the two of them have a great deal of damage and end up low on fuel. Without options, they continue on to Shanghai Pudong International Airport, which appears to be covered in the same white fog. Kei notices that this looks similar to the scenes he saw in his dreams. After an unsuccessful search for fuel, Kei, Gripen, and Rhino retire to a hotel room, noting that while empty of people, the terminal is still running on full electricity with food and toiletries available. Kei hears a cracking sound that has him suspicious. Rhino agrees to keep first watch, but ends up keeping all watches and disappears in the morning, leaving a note about going to find fuel. Kei hears the cracking sound repeatedly again, and tries to find it. He opens the door, only to find Rhino, with her hood up, in the hallway.
12"The Sky I Fly With You"
March 28, 2019 (2019-03-28)
Rhino greets Kei cheerfully, explaining that she has found fuel. The cracking sounds increase,and a blue glass appears on the floor. Rhino and Kei go to fill the planes with fuel. After fueling is complete, Kei, now suspicious, asks Rhino how she was able to find fuel when there was none available yesterday. She reveals herself to have had her anima side taken over by the Xi, who have turned her into one of them, and then shoots at Kei, wounding his face and leg. As Kei runs to rescue a dreaming Gripen, the entire airport starts turning to the Xi's blue glass. Kei manages to awaken Gripen from her dream, in which she is dreaming about peace and the order of the Xi. They run, being chased by Rhino who claims to want to simply let them stay in the peace and order of the Xi world forever, saying the human world is too full of noise. Kei and Gripen take off, still being chased by Rhino. Rhino nearly manages to turn Gripen to the Xi through her programming, but Kei uses their relationship to snap her out of it. The two planes engage in a dog fight, which Gripen and Kei win by dropping a missile behind them and using the distraction to shoot Rhino down. Now chased by many Xi fighters, the two are rescued by Eagle, Phantom, and Viper Zero, who dispatch the Xi. Kei then blacks out, awakening in the hospital. Yashirodoori-san reveals that the Americans had placed many restrictions and controls on Rhino's source coding, causing her to lose control of herself when the Xi dissolved those restrictions. It was only the bond between Gripen and Kei that prevented the same,although the Japanese Anima have their own, less restrictive safeguards. Afterwards, Kei tells Gripen he would love to fly with her over China one day.


  1. Farris, Christopher (March 23, 2019). "Episode 11 - Girly Air Force". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 17, 2019. Girly Air Force has jumped around in genre a few times already, entertaining sci-fi military action and harem hijinks interchangeably.
  2. Pineda, Rafael Antonio (May 27, 2020). "Girly Air Force Manga by Takahiro Seguchi Ends". Anime News Network. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 Loo, Egan (August 9, 2018). "Girly Air Force Anime Announces Cast, Winter 2019 Premiere". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  4. 1 2 Loo, Egan (September 17, 2018). "Girly Air Force TV Anime Casts Hitomi Ohwada, Gets Tie-In Manga". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Hodgkins, Crystalyn (October 7, 2018). "Girly Air Force Anime Reveals Promo Video, Staff, More Cast, January 2019 Premiere". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  6. 1 2 Hodgkins, Crystalyn (June 1, 2018). "Kōji Natsumi's Girly Air Force Light Novel Series Gets TV Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
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  8. "ガーリー・エアフォースII". Dengeki Bunko (in Japanese). Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  9. "ガーリー・エアフォースIII". Dengeki Bunko (in Japanese). Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  10. "ガーリー・エアフォースIV". Dengeki Bunko (in Japanese). Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  11. "ガーリー・エアフォースV". Dengeki Bunko (in Japanese). Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  12. "ガーリー・エアフォースVI". Dengeki Bunko (in Japanese). Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  13. "ガーリー・エアフォースVII". Dengeki Bunko (in Japanese). Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  14. "ガーリー・エアフォースVIII". Dengeki Bunko (in Japanese). Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  15. "ガーリー・エアフォースIX". Dengeki Bunko (in Japanese). Retrieved June 1, 2018.
  16. "ガーリー・エアフォースX". Dengeki Bunko (in Japanese). Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  17. "ガーリー・エアフォースXI". Dengeki Bunko (in Japanese). Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  18. "ガーリー・エアフォースXII". Dengeki Bunko (in Japanese). Retrieved April 10, 2020.
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  20. "ガーリー・エアフォース(2)" (in Japanese). Kadokawa Shoten. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
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  22. Hodgkins, Crystalyn (January 11, 2019). "Girly Air Force Anime Listed With 12 Episodes". Anime News Network.
  23. Ressler, Karen; Sherman, Jennifer (December 27, 2018). "Crunchyroll to Simulcast Girly Air Force, Price of Smiles Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 28, 2018.


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