In summation of all the shit and arguments that are going on with regard to Yuuya Bridges and Yui Takemura:
Both Yuuya and Yui have correct points, and at the same time have flaws. This catastrophe of a relationship
is both their faults
. Takes two to tango.
Yuuya is predisposed to be an ass because he doesn't want to be in Alaska
. He wants to stay at Area 51 and continue being a test pilot there. Although Project PROMINENCE (caps for codename, no fancy acronym)
is based at Yukon and involves international next-gen TSF development, he feels strongly that this is a demotion for him. He went from being one of the select few to be testing all the cool toys at Area 51 to a more normal test pilot. He's very unhappy about that, which is coloring his behaviour.
Next, as a result of the shit he went through as a child, and because he feels abandoned by his Japanese father, Yuuya does not identify as Japanese, but as American. Unfortunately, he looks more Japanese. (Surprisingly, Yui is fairer than he is. I suppose the sun in Japan isn't as strong. Or something. Who knows.) Anyhow, he is therefore unhappy to see Yui present, and even more unhappy that instead of working on the Raptor, or an improved variant, his unwilling assignment is to improve the Shiranui for Japan, the nation that his father ditched him and his mother to go and die for.
Before we digress further, do note that while in the grand scheme of things his father was being proper samurai dying to hold the line against BETA, to a child the message received is that they weren't worth sticking around for, and thus he feels a sense of rejection. Yuuya has not dealt with this issue, which is why it's subconsciously poisoning his relationship with Yui. Note that he gets along fine with the other pilots.
Now, we move on to Yui and Yuuya's first meeting. It's after the mock battle, he's on an endorphin high after the win, and then Yui shows up. He's visibly unhappy to be interacting with her, but swallows his scowl, and instead decides to talk about happier things, namely his waifu the Strike Eagle. Yes, he's being a bit braggy, but note that everything he said is correct - the F-15E Strike Eagle and the F-15 ACTV are
superior to the F-15C Eagle/Type-89 Kagerou in terms of performance. And what does Yui respond? Here's their conversation, quoted from Crunchy's subs:
"Did you enjoy seeing the latest in American combat manuverability, 1st Lieutenant? Well, I suppose the Empire's TSFs-"
"I'm disappointed in you, 2nd Lieutenant Bridges. To think I have to entrust the future of the Empire to someone like you..."
Note that the word she uses for "you" is not the usual "omae/anta/anata", but "kisama", which is not only considered rude, it's used to show contempt for the person you're addressing.
Let's be very clear on this. Yuuya did not fire the first shot in rudeness. He was heading into bragging territory, no doubt, but that's very much part and parcel of American fighter pilot culture/mentality. It was Yui
who started being rude.
Next, let's talk about the Fubuki.
Firstly, Yuuya is being an ass. That said, he is
aware that the US and Japan have different TSF design philosophies and doctrine, and he agrees with Yui that it would be a good idea to pilot the Fubuki to familiarise himself with Japanese TSFs before he transitions to the Shiranui - he just won't admit that to her. (Were he a girl, this is the part people would swoon over the tsundere. Since he's not a girl, he's an ass.) In the real world, this is him going from the F-15 and F-22 to the Kawasaki T-4
, in preparation for flying the Mitsubishi F-2
Now, let's look at his conversation with Yui. She informs him (while consistently referring to him as "kisama") that he'll be piloting a trainer until the Shiranui is ready. Yuuya, who is used to high performance TSFs, is unhappy at that revalation, and asks himself, "Did this woman look at my record?" The implied interpretation of that statement is that he questions whether Yui has actually read his file and actually knows what his skillset and capabilities are. He feels... underestimated, perhaps.
Yui then remarks that he appears dissatisfied. Yuuya, not wanting to point blank say so, attempts to formally answer and and say he has no information to be dissatisfied. So far, so good. However, in the grand American tradition of parenthetical swearing, he then draws himself to an exaggerated position of attention and replies to Yui in exaggerated military formality. His words are polite enough, but Yui picks up on the fact that he's showing contempt to her, and attempts to call him out on his attitude.
Yuuya being an ass, he continues to answer with exaggerated military formality which manages to convey his contempt, even as he denies that he has any problem with her or the program. Yui is visibly annoyed, and thus tells him to quit the attitude. Yuuya... continues being an ass while staying within the letter of the regs, questioning whether her order is part of the XFJ project, or if she's forcing her own personal whims upon him.
I should point out Yui has no grounds for official
reprimand or disciplinary action against, as he has not been overtly
rude to her, and has replied in a manner that's within the letter of the regs. (This is ignoring the issue of Yui's status, as it's not clear whether she's actually within Argos Flight's chain of command, or outside it, given that she's the XFJ project manager. My interpretation is that she's not within their chain of command, but they're attached to her project.) At this point, what she really ought to do is bring this matter to Ibrahim, who would then counsel Yuuya unofficially and then escalate things depending on his response.
At this point, this is where Yui slides down the high ground. So far, Yuuya was being an ass towards her. Now, she becomes a bitch towards him. Note her remark that I quote below:
"Also, according to your personal data, you are a second-generation Japanese-American, Yuuya... Bridges."
"As someone of the same race, I find that haughty attitude unpleasant and upsetting. You are, yes... an embarrassment to the Japanese people."
Yui was initially justified in calling him out on his attitude. But then, rewatch the episode. Notice how she pronounces his name, stressing his Japanese name, and giving a significant pause before saying his American surname, which sets him on edge. And then she brings race into the question.
If a white officer were to say to a mixed race soldier that they were an embarrassment to white people, he'd be under charges so fast heads would spin. If Yuuya were to make a formal complaint about racism, he would be justified. Furthermore, this has absolutely nothing to do
with the task at hand, which is the XFJ project. What the fuck does being Japanese - or not Japanese - have to do with the flight tests?
Regards the exercise, I'll just point out that he's a test pilot
in an unfamiliar machine. His job as a test pilot was to push the envelope and make sure the machine is working as it was supposed to. So yes, in terms of anti-BETA combat, he's pretty green, compared to the rest of Argos Flight. Note also that when he's starting out, he makes a declaration to himself to master the Fubuki, and he initially thinks it's a fine machine.
Of course, no plan survives contact with the enemy, digital or physical.
In the aftermath of the excercise, Yuuya is pissed because he slowed everyone down. Then, Yui shows up, and questions him why so, and says:
"You weren't able to keep your Fubuki under control. Given that you're not used to flying it, a certain degree of that is forgivable. But if you'd understood your TSF better, you would have, for example, chosen to make a gradual circling descent instead of plunging straight in."
She probably doesn't mean
to be rude, but her tone is quite condescending to Yuuya, even if she doesn't realise it. Note his response:
"I'm sorry, Lieutenant, but from my perspective this TSF is a piece of junk...
"The main engine lacks power. It's only effective at certain speeds which the engine has difficulty maintaining. And more than anything else, it puts too much emphasis on maneuverability, making it unbalanced."
Emphasis mine. His tone is not arrogant, or boasting, but serious: from his perspective, the Fubuki is flawed, due to a combination of an underpowered engine and over-emphasis on maneuverability, which is a stark contrast to the Eagle and Raptor, which had powerful engines and were well-balanced, which is the American way. (We also see this historically in the fighters of the Pacific War: the Japanese preferred highly maneuverable fighters - with maneuverability defined as how fast they could turn on a flat plane - which were twitchy and difficult to master, compared with American planes which tended to be more balanced with more powerful engines, and were easier to learn and train new pilots on.)
What is Yui's response? That from the Imperial Japanese Army's perspective, the Fubuki is no more difficult to master than any of their other units. And that Jap pilots are in complete control, even trainees, and thus Yuuya has less skill than her class. She's conveniently ignoring or forgetting the facts that (1) Yuuya has only had a few days at most
with the Fubuki, (2) her class had several months
of training after school, and (3) her class were also balls at this whole TSF piloting thing when they first started out.
Pilot training takes months for the basic flight training, and then months again on the type of fighter that they’ll be flying. It is not something that can be learned in a few days from reading a manual, especially when the TSF is question is a completely different paradigm from the TSFs that Yuuya has been flying. There is a reason the USAF uses the T-38 Talon for initial flight training of fighter pilots: because it is an agile, supersonic aircraft that has a similar paradigm to the F-16 and the F-15. Why is the F-16 being used as an advanced trainer for the F-35? Because the F-35’s cockpit layout and paradigm were derived from the F-16, and there are points of similarity and similar flight characteristics.
Yui had a point that for Yuuya to evaluate the XFJ, he would need to get a grip with the Fubuki and the Shiranui, to understand the requirements of the Japanese end users. At the same time, however, Yuuya also has a point that the Fubuki has its flaws. Just because the IJA has been doing the same shit for the last 30 years doesn't mean there aren't any better ways - which is the whole point
of XFJ, because the Japanese can't
upgrade the Shiranui, as it's too specialised for an incremental upgrade
, and requires a completely new TSF to be developed. The wiki makes that quite clear.
To be fair, Yuuya realizes that yes, the Fubuki is working properly, as per its requirements and design philosophy, and he actually agrees with Yui. It’s just that he won’t admit that to her.
There are reasons the Japanese prefer this oversensitive control setup and high maneuverability - you would need those for TSFs focused on melee combat. It's like how the F-16 can run rings around the F-15 in a close range dogfight. At the same time however, Yuuya is still fresh from the American TSF doctrine, which calls for lots of dakka and staying at range and not getting sucked into melee, because that's BETA's strength.
That said, a balance needs to be struck between Yuuya understanding the end user's requirements and ensuring the product meets those requirements, and voicing out his honest opinion as a professional test pilot. At the same time, Yui must also strike a balance between staying true to what Japan wants, while being willing to listen to the possibilities of things that Japan may not want, but may need
Also, both of them are responsible for the interpersonal cold war/mess they're in right now. Takes two to tango. There were opportunities for both of them to clear the air, but they go right on baiting each other.
Last thing I’d want to talk about is on Yui’s final statement to Yuuya on the exercise being a game. It’s…well… yes and no, in that no exercise can accurately simulate the real world fully. And yes she does have a point that enemy numbers and detailed dispositions would rarely be present in the real world. (Unless, that is, you have SF conducting recon and feeding you intel, or really good sat scans.) Even Red Flag
, the USAF's biggest annual training excercise, can feel like a game at times, what with mid-air respawning, aggressors making a canyon run outta Ace Combat, Raptor pilots going against F-16s three to one with guns only...and the fact that the VR sim is literally a game.
At the same time, however, the whole point of training is to train how you fight. I can’t say for Japan, but the American adage is to “Train like you fight, fight like you train.” Training also serves to identify weaknesses, which is exactly what happened here, which Yuuya recognises his own weaknesses that need improving.
(Also, looking at Yui, it suggests to me that she hasn’t gotten over the trauma of losing her class and seeing Izumi and Yamashiro being devoured by BETA.)
tl;dr summary: Yuuya is an ass and Yui is a bitch, and both of them are correct on certain things, and wrong on certain things, and share responsibility for this unpleasant relationship they currently have.
Which, personally, I believe is a setup that will eventually lead to angrysex. Or a grudge fuck.
Originally Posted by Destined_Fate
No Yuuya isn't doing his job. He knows the TSF is outdated, it's a training one. His job is to adapt and learn how to use it so he's prepared for the test unit. Instead he doesn't even try and is dead set that the Japanese TSFs are inferior, shitty, and that it isn't his fault he can't make it work but the machine's fault for being Japanese and not American.
See above, in which I have addressed this, and also note that Yuuya does admit that the Fubuki is working as it's intended, and that it's true the problem lies with him. When he's not talking with Yui, he actually admits that the Fubuki is a decent machine, if just too over sentitive for his liking.
Still, like I said above, do recall that he's only had a few days with the Fubuki, compared to the several months
that are required of flight training to really train someone. Even the F-16, which is one of the easiest fighters to learn to fly, still
takes months to master.
Oh, and BTW: The Fubuki isn't that
outdated. It's a Type-97, meaning that it was deployed - or at least, ordered/achieved Initial Operating Capacity - in 1997, meaning that as of Total Eclipse (which takes place in 2001), it's only four (4) years old. Now, the F-4/Type-77 Gekishin, on the other hand, that Yui cut her teeth on.... that's
an old and outdated TSF, being as how it was adopted in 1977, which makes its use as a training unit for the Royal Guards an obvious choice - particularly as the Type-82 Zuikaku is derived from it, and so the Gekishit has similar flight characteristics to the Zuikaku, which makes it a natural use as a trainer.