Patapata Hikousen no Bouken

Essentially translates to “Adventures of Patapata Aircraft”.
I found this anime purely by chance while browsing through a a list of titles, the length of the name caught my eye and while trying to find information on it I realized there was very little to be had. Virtually every site gave the same summary and nothing more, so I hardly knew what to expect while watching it. I’ll say this now: the animation is far less than spectacular since everything seems very flat and the sound track lacks diversity, but the story and plot make up for it. This series gives off a sense of nostalgia (one I rarely ever feel outside of Hayao Miyazaki’s works) being set in what I can only assume to be the Victorian era and having a large focus placed on transportation and cultural diversity. This’ll be spoiler heavy.

Now on to the actual story; the Buxton family consists of a rich banker and his two children: Jane and George. His first wife dies shortly after Jane is born and he remarries getting a step-son in the process, William, who dislikes his new family, his contempt for them only grows when his mother also dies from illness which leads him to bond with Jane due to her innocence and caring nature believing that she is the only one to understand him. Years go by and now George is a scholar while William is working in the bank along side his step-father, however he is less than honest by making profit for the bank, something that does not go unnoticed by the father. George is researching a way to achieve flight, a dream shared with Jane, when he gets his expedition to the East to search for a mysterious floating liquid approved by the university his father appoints him the heir to the family by giving him the gold pocket watch heirloom while William leaves the house shortly after George departs to the east. Jane, now alone, continues trying to fly.

A messenger arrives at the estate to inform the family that George has been executed for treason and shortly thereafter the bank is robbed by a group using a mysterious flying ship.

Leaving the gold pocket watch behind at the scene. This ruins the Buxton reputation accused of robbing their own bank and another letter arrives, one containing nothing but an odd blue stone that begins to float when exposed to water

Leaving nothing behind but sand. Jane is convinced if must be from William due to the style in which the words are written (George’s hand writing is very distinct) and decides to head east as well to find him along with her butler. After boarding a ship she eventually solves the mystery of where the passengers jewelry is disappearing to and gets a new pet in the process, a Dachshund she names Sky. When they arrive at their destination they encounter one of the passengers that was on the ship who is headed the same way on an expedition (related to George’s disappearance, but Jane won’t know about this for awhile). After arriving by train in a town on the outskirts of the dessert a man is seen spying on the travelers with ill intent, but hides when he spots Jane in utter surprise. A street urchin (this is a blatant Aladin reference if I ever saw one) steals their money

And is eventually recruited to be their guide through the dessert where travel is done on sail boats and other such sand ships

Of course their pilots are planning to kill them in their sleep or steal all their valuables leaving them stranded in the dessert, after some quick thinking they avoid this fate but still wind up in the dessert with very little provisions only to be saved by a trunk dropped off a flying ship. While still trying to cross the dessert a sand storm nearly swallows them up, but the steamship their expeditioning friend is on saves them and takes them aboard. While on board Jane eventually convinces them to let her work in the engine room where she excels at working with machines. While journeying though the dessert they come across a stange ship perched high atop a large rock formation

and it’s loaded with the same blue sand that became of the stone Jane received in the letter. After pondering this abnormality for awhile they move on to more dangerous parts of the dessert while a group of bandits riding flying machines raid a village under the full moon.

When Jane’s group comes across this village they are immediately attack by them believed to be part of the bandits, after the misunderstanding is cleared up they agree to lend aid to the village with their superior firepower and technology. We learn that the bandits are also kidnappers who abduct the villagers to a place called “Neo City” and after repelling the bandits they make it their destination. While traveling on foot though the forests on the other side of the dessert, the expedition group’s guide, Moririre, is discovered to be a spy leading them in circles, after capturing him and his subsequent escape thanks to a flying ship, the group presses on un the mountains where they are bombed by the same flying ship. Afterward Jane’s group heads off to the town where George’s gave is reportedly located, after some trouble caused by the same masked men under Moririre’s command they eventually arrive at the grave and proceed to excavate it.

The coffin does not contain his body, only a model plane with the words “George rests here” attached to it and then they get captured by Moririre after a botched escape attempt and taken to Neo City unharmed under Harry Killer’s orders, Moririre’s master.

Upon arriving at Neo City Jane is taken to meet Harry Killer while the rest are thrown in a cell unbeknown to her. After meeting with the ruler of Neo City Jeanne comes into the picture, a girl slightly younger than Jane, who takes her on a tour of the city on a hover machine and tells her that it is thanks to professor Camerot that they have this technology. After escaping her room she makes her way to meet this professor and confirms her suspicions that it is her brother George than the guards take her back to her room before she can explain the Neo City is nothing but a bunch of greedy lunatics empowered by captured slaves to mine the blue stones out from beneath the city. George has a talk with William (Harry Killer if it was not obvious at this point) and he assures him that he will take care of it and to get back to work on Genesis. Jane’s imprisoned friends manage to get a message to her and so Jane escapes from Neo City after hijacking a flying machine along with her guide while the exhibitioners infiltrate the city by taking Moririre hostage while he was out on patrol. Once Jane makes her way back to the city the would be rescuers have already been captured and so the process of revealing the truth to George and Jeanne begins by showing them the wretched conditions the slaves work in, both are left in despair by this revelation and William takes Jane hostage to force George to finish Genesis, a high powered laser beam that can even melt though solid steel in seconds.

After a full scale revolt by the slaves and the explanation that William followed George from the beginning and set it all up where he would be forced to work with him under a new name to his goals, he abandons Neo City with his personal air ship Prominence equipped with a much larger scale Genesis firing mechanism with atomic level fire power used to get rid of Neo City

While on board reason fails to work on William and after he loses his mind and attempts to be rid of everything betraying his comrades in the process (leading to their deaths and sabotage of his ship), William attempts to escape, but George and Jane (who refused to escape earlier) stop him in one last effort to bring him back to his senses. Only when Jane is in the escape pod that failed to launch does William realize why he even tried to do all this and frantically cuts the cables holding Jane to the doomed vessel

After freeing her both George and William plummet to their deaths when the Prominence crashes into what’s left of Neo City, although happy that at least they saved their little sister in all the trouble they’ve caused.

Some months later back in England George’s name is cleared and Jane manages to build a working flying machine where she sees the images of her dead brothers and her mothers flying alongside her.

I left plenty out of this spoiler heavy summary just so you readers (if any) know.

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