I love Deniel’s cavalier, devil-may care approach to life. In the wake of Sharon’s grim prognosis, his attitude is a breath of fresh air. He’s not trying too hard, but he’s still living life to the fullest and tackling aging with a decidedly youthful vigor. Nothing like a charming old romantic to enhance the already significant natural beauty of flight.
Deneil’s explanation of flight procedures was a bit heavy on the exposition, but I like how he emphasized the importance of thoroughness and attention to detail. It grounded his character in reality a bit; it’s a vital step since he flies like a whiskey-guzzling daredevil. It’s simultaneously believable that he’s a seriously qualified instructor and that nobody wants his lessons. His credentials were also further bulked up when he expertly pushed Mutta’s buttons and waving stories about Hibito in front of him like a matador with a cape.
The training sequences this episode managed to be subdued and awesome at the same time. Mutta was equal parts slow learner (mundane altitude maintenance issues) and unquestionably badass (flying formation with Kenji). It’s increasingly obvious how similar the aspects of pilot training are to flight training, as a cool-headed, surgeon’s demeanor is necessary when crap hits the fan in either one. It’s a theme that that show has definitely done before, though, and it could honestly stand to repeat itself a bit less than it has. Still, Deneil managed to the episode fun.