an anime television series adaptation by Satelight premiered in January 2019,Earth has come under attack by the Zai, a mysterious "armed group" using unusually highly advanced weapon systems far superior to any Terran military technology. A young Chinese-Japanese teenager named Kei Narutani and his Chinese girlfriend Minghua, both living in Shanghai, are force-evacuated to Japan when the city is attacked by the Zai. During their escape by sea, several Zai fighters begin sinking the evacuation fleet when Kei suddenly witnesses the Zai being repelled by a strange airplane. When the plane subsequently crashes, Kei rushes to aid the pilot, but is surprised to find a pretty girl at the controls.

After arriving in Japan, Kei begins investigating the origins of the strange plane, and before long he is captured by Japanese secret service agents. He learns from them that it was a Swedish fighter retrofitted with special technology developed by the JASDF. In order to combat the Zai, their technology - HiMAT (Highly Maneuverable Aircraft Technology) and EPCM (Electronic Perceptory Countermeasures) - was reverse-engineered and applied to existing fighter models, which are codenamed "Daughters"; but in order to function properly, this tech requires an autonomous interface unit called "Anima", androids shaped like human girls who are made from salvaged Zai parts. The girl Kei encountered, by the name of Gripen (after the plane she flies), is such an "Anima" unit who formed an emotional attachment to him when he came to her aid. When her supervising developer notices that effect, he invites Kei into the Anima project and act as Gripen's partner in order to boost her flight performance and prevent her from being scrapped.