I think my expectations for this episode of Miss Pilot must be pretty low, since I find myself wondering whether anything is going to happen. At all. You see, last time they spent their time fretting about the disappearance of Chisato (Aibu Saki), and that situation didn’t really get resolved. Not fully, anyway. So, as the trainee pilots return from their basic pilot certification in America, is all the focus going to be on Chisato, or do the trainees still have interesting work to do in order to ensure their places on the pilot roster for ANA?
Tezuka (Horikita Maki) calls Chisato as soon as she gets back to Japan, but Chisato seems to busy contemplating a resignation from ANA to answer the phone.
The trainees return to their old stomping grounds looking spiffy in their uniforms.
Tezuka’s only thoughts are for Chisato, though, and she immediately asks Kanoko (Fujisawa Ema) if Chisato has checked in.
Meanwhile, Chisato’s father, Shinozaki (Iwaki Koichi), is flying less and less . . .
. . . and concern for Chisato brings her father and mother together for the first time in many years.
They talk about how Chisato has changed, and Shinozaki points out that he’s also changed – hinting that he might not want to be so distant now that he’s thinking about retiring. It sounds like the two parents separated because he was too involved in work.
Chisato’s mother suggests that they leave Chisato alone for a while to sort out her feelings or disappointment.
Tezuka doesn’t look willing to give Chisato that kind of space and, at the slightest sound from next door, she rushes to see if Chisato has returned.
Instead, it’s just Kunikida (Saito Takumi), who had to make the determination that Chisato was unfit to become a pilot. You can tell that Tezuka hasn’t quite forgiven him for that, and nor is he completely without regret, though he at least has the right understanding of Chisato’s psychology. He, too, suggests giving Chisato space to figure things out.
Tezuka then gets a call from her father, and even though he doesn’t say anything specific, there’s the hint of trouble in his voice.
It’s all the normal stuff between Suzu (Sakuraba Nanami) and Taiji (Mamiya Shotaro) with her wondering if he’s into Chisato and then proposing marriage. Well, okay, the marriage thing is kinda new. This conversation ends very oddly, but fortunately I’ve never felt particularly interested in this relationship throughout the series – Suzu always comes off as too pushy and Taiji is flagrantly unfaithful to her.
Tezuka does stop by her parent’s place, but her father seems to be holding back, reluctant to say anything. He doesn’t mention what’s on his mind here, and her mother doesn’t give any sign that there’s a problem.
And if Suzu is constantly jealous, so’s Rinko (Nanao) when it comes to Kunikida. He objects when she suggests that he’s only concerned about Chisato because he likes her. The characterization of Suzu and Rinko is really shallow and annoying – Rinko herself was worried about Chisato in the last episode when Chisato didn’t return on the expected flight, isn’t it natural for Kunikida to still be concerned about her? It isn’t necessary for romantic jealousy to be the primary driving force for two female characters – one is quite enough.
Yamada Kazuo (Fujii Ryusei) gives us some comic relief in the midst of a very serious and slow episode, once again thinking he has a chance with Rinko. That’s a real persistent crush he’s got on her, considering it’s survived for a year and a half.
He even manages to put a smile on Rinko’s face eventually.
Finally, Kunikida meets up with Chisato, and after apologizing for causing trouble, she tries to hand him her resignation. Shouldn’t she hand that in to human resources? She’s not even a pilot trainee anymore. Obviously, Kunikida tries his hand at some counseling.
He doesn’t get through to her, and also doesn’t accept her resignation letter, telling her what I already knew – she should hand it in to human resources.
This is getting to be a very tedious episode, and we’re only (or already, depending on your point of view) a third of the way through.
Kunikida informs the others of his conversation with Chisato, and tells them that she’s now speaking to her father.
So, will the talk with her father change Chisato’s mind about resigning, or reinforce it? Seems like it could go either way.
Maybe it’ll be the trainees who convince Chisato to stay with the company, even if she doesn’t get to be a pilot, when she drops by to get her stuff.
Or will it really be down to Tezuka?
Oh, and what’s up with Tezuka’s father?
This was excruciatingly slow – every effort was made to drag things out. As I had feared, it was all about Chisato, and there was no training at all – they didn’t do anything involving planes. While I think the Chisato-Tezuka sisterly relationship is the best character relationship in the series, most of this hour was a blatant attempt to delay the inevitable talk between the two characters. And this episode also lacked the positive, charming aspects of that relationship between them.
The best moments were actually between Chisato and Shinozaki – especially potent because we hadn’t really seen the father-daughter dynamic until now.
Well, maybe now that we’ve gotten this phase out of the way, the drama can get down to some piloting excitement. Or do they have some other melodramatic distraction planned? There are three whole episodes left, after all.