Kamikaze pilots, given their ephemeral contribution, are seldom assigned personality in accounts of this war. David deftly does so, rendering their role all the more uncomfortable to contemplate. They gather together before a big mission and tell bawdy jokes, boasting of sexual experiences they don’t actually have. Bathos quickly shifts to pathos when they board their planes and mumble farewell to their mothers. One kamikaze pilot asks permission to marry his stepsister before his mission. She understands that she cannot refuse.