Burning Mirage

Burning Mirage is an anime episode of Area 88 OVA that was released on 06/15/1986

 The final, feature-length installment of the OVA. The episode begins with Shin and Mickey each leading a squadron of fighters from Area 88 against a group of rebel MiGs. Unlike in earlier installments, Shin revels in the combat a little more here then he did before. Jess, one of Shin's squadron members, is hit repeatedly and starts to panic. Perceiving that he has no choice, he shoots down Jess's plane, killing him.

Mickey talks to Shin after the fight, and Shin bemoans how desensitized he'd become to killing. This leads to laughter from one of the new pilots, Nguyen Van Chom, a former pilot in the South Vietnamese air force. Chom criticizes Shin for shooting down Jess. Just to make Chom's life worse, Kanzaki has become president of Yamato Airlines, and has switched equipment providers to the same company that supplies weapons to the rebels, Maxwell Corporation.

In Japan, Ryoko comes to see Kanzaki, and discusses Kanzaki's hostile takeover. Further, she informs Kanzaki that she's dumping her shares to raise capital to buy out Shin's contract. Kanzaki agrees to buy the shares from her, on condition that she make love to him. She rejects his offer, and Kanzaki mocks her as she leaves, and laughs maniacally.

McCoy has returned to Area 88, and announced that he's discovered that Maxwell essentially controls the company through Kanzaki, and further that Yamato Airlines has switched their main airplane for Southeast Asia and Europe to Maxwell's Airbus, the MB-14, which has a reputation for defective components, particularly engines and landing gear. McCoy also has a souvenir for Shin – cup ramen and some disposable chopsticks.

Back in Japan, Ryoko has been doing some research of her own, and found some irregularities in Yamato Airlines books. Further, one of the new Airbus planes, on a flight into Osaka undergoes a catastrophic engine failure and loss of cabin pressure, and crashes into the harbor, with all passengers on the plane being killed. Kanzaki's press conference goes very poorly, as he's pressed on the MB-14's record, and Maxwell is likely to abandon him as well.

At Area 88, the pilots next mission is against a fuel dump, one that will take them down a narrow canyon somewhat similar to the Death Star II interior. Several pilots are lost on the approach (to emphasize the danger). The attack also faces an additional challenge of a squadron of Harrier Jump Jets. During this dogfight, Chom displays his true blood-lust, complete with shooting down a pilot who ejected.

In Japan, Ryoko is having difficulty getting the necessary Yen to buy out Shin's contract. Selling the shares without Kanzaki's “help” won't earn enough money. However there might be grounds for a lawsuit to get the money.

Shin, Mickey and Saki return to the town where Shin received his combat training almost 3 years earlier, the capital of the Aslan Republic. As Shin and Mickey wander through the city, Mickey sees his old girlfriend with her new husband. Saki explains how the war started to Shin and Mickey. That evening, one of the new recruits, a Japanese man, attempts to desert, but is caught. After being captured he asks to speak to Shin. The deserter mocks Shin, before breaking down in tears. The deserter later overhears the execution.

Meanwhile, Ryoko approaches Kanzaki, and he reiterates his demands. This time she almost accepts, but is spared from having to follow through thanks to the intervention of the police, who arrest Kanzaki for fraud.

In Aslan, the capitol city is finally attacked by rebel forces, after being spared by throughout the wars earlier stages. Area 88 is put onto high alert. Shin is also given his last mission – escort King Zak to France, after which his contract will have been concluded and he'll be able to go home. However, on leaving, Shin finds himself worrying about the fate of Aslan and the people he fought alongside. Shin gets an unexpected escort from the rest of Blue Flight.

Once Shin gets to Paris, he has a series of near-misses with Ryoko. He finds himself feeling restless until he encounters some street punks who try to mug him, only for the mugging to get disrupted by an attempted armed robbery of a cafe. Shin thwarts the robbery and realizes what he was missing – the thrill of action. He decides to return to Aslan. Before leaving, he tries calling Ryoko one more time, and finally gets ahold of her.

In Aslan, Area 88's fighters are preparing to go out in one last sortie. In the briefing, Saki informs the men that after this action, once they've broken through the enemy formation, their contract is considered up, and they may leave and go where they wish, and Area 88 itself will surrender. Shin leaves around this time to return to Aslan. As he flies back, he's taunted in his mind by “Chom”. Shin vows that he's returning not because he's a killer, but for the sake of those he fought alongside, and because he wants to see this through, one way or another.

Blue Flight breaks through the enemy lines, and immediately turns around to attack the enemy, against Saki's orders. The members of Blue Flight are picked off one at a time, with Chom in particular getting picked off after ejecting. The series ends with Shin about to return, and Saki and Mickey making one final pass on the enemy fighters before they're completely out of ammo and missiles.

Characters & Voice Actors

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Shin Kazama ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Chris Patton ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Kaneto Shiozawa ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Micky Simon ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Kei Tomiyama ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
John Swasey ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Saki Vashtal ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Taro Shigaki ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Illich Guardiola ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
McCoy ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Iemasa Kayumi ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Andy McAvin ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Ryoko Tsugumo ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Hilary Haag ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Sakiko Tamagawa ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Satoru Kanzaki ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Jason Douglas ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (English)
Yoshito Yasuhara ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)
Nguyen Van Com ( x ) ( x ) ( x )
Chikao Ohtsuka ( x ) ( x ) ( x ) (Japanese)


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Shigeharu Shiba Audio Director Sound Director for Urusei Yatsura, Ranma 1/2, and other notable series.
Kaoru Shintani Original Concept
Hisayuki Toriumi Director
Akiyoshi Sakai Writer
Mitsuki Nakamura Art Director
Ichiro Nitta Music
Toshiyasu Okada Animation Director


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