Yukikaze (戦闘妖精・雪風 Sentō Yōsei Yukikaze?, lit. Battle Fairy Snowstorm) Yukikaze=(Wind Blown Snow)is a five-episode Japanese direct-to-video anime series produced by Gonzo and Bandai Visual and was released in Japan from August 28, 2002 to August 25, 2005. It is based on a popular science fiction novel of the same name by Chōhei Kanbayashi, and was produced in commemoration of Bandai Visual's 20th anniversary. It was also later aired in Japan on the anime television network Animax, who later aired in its English language networks across Southeast Asia and other networks worldwide.
Yukikaze has twice won the Tokyo Anime Award for Original Video Animation in 2003 and 2006.
Yukikaze occurs in the near future. Some decades ago, an alien force known as the JAM invaded Earth through a dimensional portal that appeared over Antarctica. The United Nations established a defense force to oppose the threat and after a series of bloody battles, managed to push the enemy back to the other side of the portal, which is a planet named "Fairy" by the humans. However, the battle still rages on. The main character, Rei Fukai, pilots the Super Sylph B-503 fighter, nicknamed "Yukikaze", an advanced armed tactical reconnaissance plane equipped with a near-sentient AI computer system, and belongs to the Special Air Force (SAF), the strategic recon wing of Fairy Air Force (FAF). After one mission, B-503 and crew encountered what appears to be a friendly Super Sylph, but without IFF. Yukikaze, the AI, designated the other plane as hostile, and Fukai opened fire, shooting it down. (this covers only the 1st of 5 episodes.)
- Lieutenant Rei Fukai is a 2nd Lieutenant (later 1st Lieutenant) in the Special Air Force (SAF), the reconnaissance unit of Fairy Air Force (FAF), assigned as the pilot of B-503 "Yukikaze". Diagnosed by Edith Foss as having a tendency toward social rejection, he seldom shows interest in anything other than B-503 "Yukikaze" and his only friend, James Bukhar. Aside of Bukhar he only showed mild interest towards a few other humans, namely Edith Foss, Tom "Tomahawk" John and Lynn Jackson. Voiced by: Masato Sakai (Japanese), Steve Staley (English)
- Major James "Jack" Bukhar is de facto second-in-command of SAF and Rei's commanding officer. He is the only person to attempt to befriend Fukai, to get him to "loosen up" to deal with stress of battle. He cares a lot about Rei, and in the beginning tries to separate him from Yukikaze in order to pull him back to the "human world." A prominent theme with the character is his interest in boomerangs and their aerodynamic characteristics. Voiced by: Jouji Nakata (Japanese), Dan Woren (English)
- Brigadier General Rydia Cooley, the Commander-in-chief of Special Air Force, and a former investment banker who enlisted in the FAF during the early days of the JAM war. Cunning and careful, Cooley is a skilled player in the FAF's power plays. Voiced by: Youko Asagami (Japanese), Carol Stanzione (English)
- Captain Edith Foss is a doctor and psychiatrist, attached to FAF, Special Air Force. Responsible for profiling Yukikaze and diagnosing Rei Fukai after he lapsed into a quasi-comatose state after the original Yukikaze airframe's destruction. She was ordered by General Rydia Cooley to "profile" the JAM as a single personality. Voiced by: Miho Yamada (Japanese), Kari Wahlgren (English)
- Lynn Jackson is the author of The Invader, a chronicle of the FAF's struggle against the JAM. She went to Antarctica to research the book several times. Voiced by: Masako Ikeda (Japanese), Barbara Goodson (English)
- Colonel Ansel Rombert, head of FAF Intelligence Division, is determined to find out more about the JAM. Voiced by: Takaya Hashi (Japanese), David Mallow (English)
- Yukikaze ( literally: Snow Wind ) is the nickname of the plane B-503, but also refers to the AI of B-503 (sometimes shortened to "B-3"). It never speaks, but it does send messages to Fukai via the cockpit display screen and responds to voice commands. The AI is capable of communicating with and reprogramming all nearby compatible computers and systems. Voiced by: Katsumi Chou (Japanese), Grant Albrecht (English)
Based on a science fiction novel by Chōhei Kanbayashi, Yukikaze was produced by Gonzo and Bandai Visual to commemorate Bandai Visual's 20th anniversary. The five episode series was originally released directly to DVD as an original video animation. It was later aired in Japan on the anime television network Animax, which also aired the series on its English language networks across Southeast Asia and other networks worldwide.
Yukikaze was licensed for an English language release in North America by Bandai Entertainment, and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. It was licensed for regional language releases in France by Beez Entertainment, Italy by Shin Vision, and Germany by Panini Video.
- Official site (Japanese)
- Yukikaze (anime) (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Yukikaze at Gears Onlineko:전투요정 유키카제ru:Yukikaze