Area 88: Search The Skies
Words & Ink by: Desmond Childs
Audio Length: 9min 36sec
Series Directed by: Hisayuki Toriumi
Although Mr.Toriumi gathered the most attention for directing Science Ninja Team Gatchaman; he also had a hand in several other anime and manga projects. Toriumi seemed to have a fascination for “flight”, with many of his projects using ships (planes or space crafts) to serve as a “vehicle” for the number of themes he liked to pepper throughout his shows. Earlier in his career (early 1970s), Toriumi worked on a number of unique series such as; Demetan Croaker, The Boy Frog, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils, and The Mysterious Cities of Gold. He’s also directed a series about a deadly virus that nearly claims the lives of a crew of spaceman in Lily C.A.T. Toriumi was also a well acomplished novelist back in the 1980s. Unfortunately, he passed away February 9, 2009. According to Anime News Network, he had remained active in directing as recently as 1994.
This series kicks off with a betrayal. Shin Kazama and Sataoru Kanzaki were close friends for some time prior to the series. Shin is a very skilled pilot, who has found favor with the father of a woman he later begins a relationship with. Sataoru, who had become jealous of Shin’s “up-and-coming” status as an airline pilot; conjured up a plan to trick Shin into sigining up for a mercenary band that had been fighting in a Middle Eastern kingdom of Aslan. Shin is soon snatched up into the slave-like contract of those serving within Area 88. Pilots are paid for their services (per mission), but everyday immenities are made expensive by the air base’s mechanic/shop keeper. Shin and others on base spend the series fighting to earn enough money “buy” their way out of the base.