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Idol Defense Force Hummingbird

One of the fun things about rummaging around anime OVAs from the 80s and 90s is that from time to time it is possible to come across a bizarre combination of ideas that somehow works. Idol Defense Force Hummingbird is one such example of this as it takes fighter planes and dogfights, then combines that with an all-girl pop idol band. It’s a silly idea, but manages to make for an entertaining bunch of stories spanning four episodes.

For whatever reason, Japan has decided to entrust the defense of its airspace to private companies. Most businesses didn’t take this seriously and ignored the call, but not the entertainment industry. Over time it developed talent that weren’t just fighter aces, but they could also sing and dance. With that, we’re introduced to the Toreishi sisters: Satsuki, Kanna, Yayoi, Uzuki, and Mina. They’re just making their debut in this new world of entertainment / defense with their group, Hummingbird. To gain fame and win the hearts of their fans they enter various events like mock dogfights with other pop groups, volleyball competitions, and once they even sang a song while flying their planes. They keep themselves pretty busy. Of course, they’re still responsible for protecting Japan, so there is always the possibility that they may suddenly have to scramble their jets and intercept enemies that are about to attack.

It’s an eclectic mix of things going on but it largely comes down to girl idols doing girl idol stuff interspersed with high flying action. Given the unusual mix of themes for the show, Idol Defense Force Hummingbird makes for a unique watch. Adding even more to all of the stuff going on in each episode is that there are at least a couple of music sequences. Folks who enjoy 90s J-Pop will get a kick out of the tunes, while everyone else can just fast forward past those parts.

As one can probably guess, the character designs are quite nice. The show is about idols after all, and viewers are going to expect cute girls to oggle, which Hummingbird has plenty of. From there folks can argue who Best Girl in the group is, or make the sensible choice and put go with the Fever Girls instead. When viewers aren’t soaking in all of the fan service and general hi jinx these girls are up to, they can take a gander at all of the different fighter planes in the show. There are a few different types to be seen, although the Hummingbirds get their own unique custom built planes that look more like something out of a videogame. With all of this in mind, visually, these OVAs are pretty nice to look at.

A quick perusal of those involved with the show tells one that a lot of big name voice actors of the time were part of Idol Defense Force Hummingbird. Satsuki, who gets the majority of the screen time, was played by Kotono Mitsuishi was was well known for playing Usagi Tsukino in Sailor Moon, Misato Katsuragi in the Evangelion series, Asuko Sugo in Future GPX Cyber Formula, and Mink in Dragon Half. Meanwhile, Kanna was voiced by Sakiko Tamagawa who also did the voice work for Natsumi Tsujimoto in You’re Under Arrest. Also of note, Mina was played by Hekiru Shiina, who was the voice of Alpha in Yokohama Shopping Log.

While the show may seem like a silly premise at first glance, Idol Defense Force Hummingbird is actually quite a lot of fun all things considered. If anything, it feels relaxing with its eclectic mix of slice of life pop idol shenanigans, song and dance numbers, and occasional dogfights. Folks looking for something a little bit different that not many have likely heard of would do well to give these OVAs a shot.

- IroIro
June 24, 2019

Related Articles:

- 801 T.T.S. Airbats (Also features fighter planes)
- Future GPX Cyber Formula (Shares voice actor)
- Yokohama Shopping Log (Shares voice actor)
Directed by: Kiyoshi Maruyama
Studio: Ashi Production
Released: 1993-95
Episodes: 4

Idol Defense Force Hummingbird Image 1

Idol Defense Force Hummingbird Image 2

Idol Defense Force Hummingbird Image 3

Idol Defense Force Hummingbird Image 4