STRIKE WITCHES – 05
「はやい・おっきい・やわらかい」 (Hayai, Okkii, Yawarakai)
“Swift, Gigantic, and Soft”
Episode at a Glance:
Waking up from a dream about Lynne having her way with her, Yoshika is embarassed yet intrigued by Lynne’s breasts. After inadvertently getting fondled instead, Mio tells everyone that they’re heading to the beach tomorrow morning for training. With Shirley and Francesca not around, Minna asks Yoshika to pass on the word, so her and Lynne head to the hanger and find both of them there. Shortly after they arrive, Shirley shows them her newly tuned Striker Unit before taking it out for a speed test. Based on Francesca’s readings, Shirley manages to reach a maximum speed of 800 km/h, setting a new record, but Mio and Minna notice that it’s still far from her goal—the speed of sound. Back in the hanger, Shirley explains that she used to race bikes at Bonneville Flats, but joined the military after hearing about witches who fly through the sky with magical engines. Finally remembering the message they were supposed to pass on, Yoshika and Lynne are embarassed that Shirley is looking forward to seeing them in swimsuits. Meanwhile, Francesca accidently knocks over Shirley’s Striker Unit and hastily puts it back together in a panic.
At the beach next day, Yoshika and Lynne get tossed into the water with their Striker Units for some emergency swimming lessons, while the other girls who have already completed this training enjoy their time there. After the two new recruits nearly drown, a recess is called, during which Yoshika notices something in the sky. Seeing this, Shirley declares it’s the enemy and everyone goes into a state of alert. With a Neuroi slipping through the radar net somehow, Shirley quickly heads back to the base and scrambles, while Yoshika and Lynne try to keep up. Minna and Mio deduce that the Neuroi is heading towards London, so Shirley accelerates all out in an attempt to catch up to the enemy. Worried whether Shirley’s Striker Unit will hold up, Francesca reveals to Minna and Mio what happened the day before and gets punished for it. Mio then frantically tries to tell Shirley to return, but she continues to accelerate with the radio communication breaking up. Sensing that this is like before, Shirley uses her magic to accelerate more, reaching Mach 1 and breaking the sound barrier. Unable to stop though, she ends up running through the enemy and destroying it, before falling in shambles towards the water. Yoshika and Lynne manage to catch her though, but can’t quite tell Mio exactly what’s going on.
「いっしょだよ」 (Issho da yo)
Lately, I’ve been finding the imaginative fan-service in anime a lot more amusing than outright perversions for some reason. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a lot more suggestive than having breasts shoved in your face, meaning it can be funny without showing you anything at all. At least, that’s how I felt when Yoshika was fantasizing about Lynne doing all sorts of stuff to her. If you’re watching the subs, note that a joke was lost in the translation, as Lynne’s remark about doing hentai hikou, “formation flying” 「編隊飛行」, was supposed to make you think “perverted misconduct” 「変態非行」, just like Yoshika did.
This episode in particular reminded me of the small details and nuances this series has which aren’t overly important, but nice homages to national roots. While the obvious case is how the girls’ Striker Units and weapons resemble their World War II counterparts, Shirley’s interest in bikes and tuning her Striker Unit was reminiscent of an American biker enthusiast, where louder is better. (I’m thinking Harleys here.) Her pursuit to reach Mach 1 speed was undoubtedly a tribute to Chuck Yeager as well, who was the first “officially recognized” person in the world to break the sound barrier, flying a Bell X-1. It was also nice to see them make reference to Bonneville Salt Flats, home of the Bonneville Speedway, a race strip in America known for setting speed records.
As for the expected fan-service this week, I would say it wasn’t too out of line with the norm, except for Yoshika groping just about everyone. The girls were in swimsuits this time though, making the whole pantless thing not an issue anymore. Fans of Shirley should be pleased though (or simply fans of Koshimizu Ami), as she’s Ms. Swift, Gigantic, and Soft. The preview for next week says it’s all about Sanya, Sanya, Sanya, so I guess we’re in store for some back story on that sleepyhead.
- Miyafuji Yoshika (宮藤 芳佳) / Fukuen Misato (福圓 美里)
- Sakamoto Mio (坂本 美緒) / Chiba Saeko (千葉 紗子)
- Minna-Dietlinde Wilke (ミーナ・ディートリンデ・ヴィルケ) / Tanaka Rie (田中 理恵)
- Perrine-H. Clostermann (ぺリーヌ・クロステルマン) / Sawashiro Miyuki (沢城 みゆき)
- Lynette Bishop (リネット・ビショップ) / Nadzuka Kaori (名塚 佳織)
- Erica Hartmann (エーリカ・ハルトマン) / Nogawa Sakura (野川 さくら)
- Gertrud Barkhorn (ゲルトルート・バルクホルン) / Sonozaki Mie (園崎 未恵)
- Francesca Lucchini (フランチェスカ・ルッキーニ) / Saitou Chiwa (斎藤 千和)
- Charlotte E Yeager (シャーロット・E・イェーガー) / Koshimizu Ami (小清水 亜美)
- Sanya V. Litvyak (サーニャ・V・リトヴャク) / Kadowaki Mai (門脇 舞以)
- Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen (エイラ・イルマタル・ユーティライネン) / Nakai Erika (仲井 絵里香)
- Narration (ナレーション) / Gouda Hodzumi (郷田 ほづみ)