In the distant future humanity has finally found solace. The entire planet is encompassed by an unending peace. However, it is soon realized that the seemingly blissful idea of peace, is destroying the human soul. Without our basic instinctive needs of the chemical tensions of fight or flight, life itself has become worthless. Even the heavenly sound of children's laughter is meaningless without the potential of loss.
In an effort to regain the necessity of peace, artificial wars are feigned between the Rostock and Lautern corporations to create the necessary strain and stress upon the general populace that authentic wars once brought mankind, the excitement of fear. To achieve this, these warring corporations raise genetically created pilots called Kildren to dogfight in these epic battles. The Kildren don't age and live their entire existence in perpetual adolescence. The wars are a form of entertainment and the Kildren always return regardless of how many times they tend to be killed in action. Only through the constant threat of war and these tensely orchestrated aerial engagements is this long-standing peace finally appreciated.
Preceding the deaths of three of Rostock Corporation's pilots at the hands of the mysterious ace Lautern pilot, the Teacher, a new ace pilot, Yuichi Kannami is assigned to area 232 and is shown to his new plane, a Sanka B Push-prop. Yuichi starts growing curious about his predecessor and begins to ask questions around the base to find out more about the planes previous pilot. He is sent to meet with the base's Commanding Officer, Suito Kusanagi. When he interrogates Kusanagi about the things on his mind, he finds himself quickly given a brush off after receiving a new set of orders.
As Yuichi delves deeper and deeper into this foggy world he continues to find new questions but few answers. Before long he finds himself locked into a deadly game of cat and mouse that will lead him on a journey of truths so terrifying it will shake the foundations of his very existence.