I went to see a wonderful anime film today, The Princess and the Pilot (とある飛空士への追憶) which was recently released in theatres here in Japan. I liked the flying scenes and the beautiful art work, truly magic on a big screen. Madhouse Studios is a smaller company than Ghibli, which this story seemed to take some inspiration from, especially the fanciful European setting and the huge steampunk aircrafts that hover above the sea. The pilot is a young flyer who is ordered to rescue a princess, but who said she wants to be rescued? Ghibli would have made this story a lot more sentimental, but I liked how the pilot stays true to his mission until the end.
The fighting scenes involve aircraft like the Shinden, which was developed late in WW2. Our hero's plane is called Santa Cruz, a fierce two-seater. All have already been transformed into plastic models for true fans.
As often happens in anime, we are both in the past and in the future, at the same time. Lovely sound track with theme song performed by Seiko Niizuma. Highly recommended!
Official website: http://www.hikuushi-tsuioku.com/ (in J but there are plenty of trailers here)
To Aru Hikūshi e no Tsuioku's story revolves around Charles Karino, a Revaamu Empire mercenary aerial pilot who mans the twin-seater reconnaissance seaplane Santa Cruz. One day, he receives a preposterous assignment: to fly solo over 12,000 kilometers of enemy waters to protect a girl named Fana del Moral. Fana happens to be the next in line to the empire's throne and a girl possessing beauty "equal to 5,000 beams of light."
Source: Anime News Network
Update: Oh, blame me, I didn't even think of the obvious connection to recent news here about saving the The Imperial Y Chromosome (Shisaku).