When I was younger my family and I used to get movies from the library alot. We only had dial up and no cable so that was our only source of entertainment. We rented this movie that I still can’t remember lots of details about. It was anime or an animated movie with a similar art style. We rented it around 2005ish (not sure).
The only thing that stuck with me was that there was a scene where two characters were trying to defend someplace. I think it was a war blimp or airship or something to that effect. They used these steampunk looking pods, kinda like the ones in star wars episode II where the clones shoot those green lasers out of the gunships, except in the movie they were big. A person used one by laying their chest against a harness and grabbing joysticks (I think) on the other side to aim and shoot the turret, which was ballistic in nature (no lasers). My brother and I used to pretend we were in those turrets whenever we were in a car. We’d go to the backseat and put our chests to the seat with our arms thrust into the trunk (we drove a minivan) and pretended to shoot at the cars behind us.
In the movie two friends/cadets jumped into them to fend off a threat, and when all was said and done one of the friends had been killed while manning the turret/pod. That’s really the only thing I remember.
Some snippets of thought want to place a giant whale or whale like ship into it, with a mad scientist grandpa that wants to save his grandaughter or something like that. The only thing I can definitively say is that the turret pods were real, and that the Main Characters friend died in one.
I know this isn’t a lot to go off of, and I only recently wanted to finally solve this mystery since I’ve recently gotten into anime and wish that I could remember this show I remember loving as a kid. Any suggestions will be helpful. Thank you.