Idol Boeitai Hummingbird ( アイドル防衛隊ハミングパード ) Youmex/Toshiba EMI, 1993 U.S. Distributor Pending. Not Rated (Suggested 13-Up). Contains violence, slight nudity and mature situations. When the Japanese government puts civilian organizations in charge of the country's air force, some of these companies decide to put their aspiring idol singers behind the controls of their fighter planes. Among these groups of idol singers is Hummingbird, a five-woman team consisting of the Toreishi sisters - Satsuki, Uzuki, Yayoi, Kanna and Miina. During a taping session, video director Kudo sees some potential in these girls and jumps in to help them reach the top of the charts by directing their debut video. Story: B- Top Gun meets American Idol in this high-flying adventure. Sounds like a silly idea at first. As a matter of fact, I got flashbacks of the idol anime flop Assemble Insert when I read the synopsis. And when I look at the whole flying girls premise, I keep thinking of another anime flop: Virgin Fleet. I'll tell you one thing, though: Idol Defense Force Hummingbird is much better than those two titles. And yes, the singing pilots premise sounds ridiculous, but if you're a fan of Macross 7, you'll definitely enjoy this one. Animation: B- Aviation buffs will want to check this title out as the F-14s and F-4s and other aircraft are well-drawn. The character designs are pretty good, but the animation seems a bit dated compared to other fighter pilot anime like Area 88 and 801 T.T.S. Airbats. Soundtrack: B The BGM itself is late-80s style music reminiscent of Harold Faltermeyer's score for Top Gun. The songs by the voice actresses themselves are pretty good, but not Bubblegum Crisis material. Cast Idol Defense Force Hummingbird features Kotono Mitsuishi (Excel Saga, Misato in Neon Genesis Evangelion) as Satsuki, Fumie Kusachi (Miki in Fancy Lala) as Uzuki, Yuri Amano (Kiyone in Tenchi Muyo!, Rain in Mobile Fighter G-Gundam) as Yayoi, Sakiko Tamagawa (Natsumi in You're Under Arrest, Tachikoma in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) as Kanna, Hekiru Shiina (Hikaru in Magic Knight Rayearth, Kotomi in DNA²) as Miina, Koichi Yamadera (Spike in Cowboy Bebop, Togusa in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) as Yajima, Mika Doi (Misa in Macross, Houquet in Genesis Climber Mospeada) as Hazuki, Masami Kikuchi (Tenchi Muyo!, Keiichi in Ah! My Goddess) as Yasuda, Katsumi Suzuki (Kakizaki in Macross) as Ijyuuin, Ryotaro Okiayu (Jinnai in El Hazard, Sakata in Love Hina) as Kato, and Takehito Koyasu (Il Palazzo in Excel Saga, Gamlin in Macross 7) as Piotr. The Bottom Line It's got fighter planes, but it ain't Macross Zero. It's got chicks, but it ain't 801 T.T.S. Airbats. Nevertheless, Idol Defense Force Hummingbird is worth checking out for its unique concept.