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STRIKE WITCHES – 05

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「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.

 

Next Episode:
「いっしょだよ」 (Issho da yo)
“Solidarity”

STRIKE WITCHES   05   Preview 01 STRIKE WITCHES   05   Preview 02 STRIKE WITCHES   05   Preview 03
STRIKE WITCHES   05   Preview 04 STRIKE WITCHES   05   Preview 05 STRIKE WITCHES   05   Preview 06

Impressions:
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.

Finally, I went out of my way to make a few quick full-length shots, so enjoy!
- Lynne and Yoshika
- Mio and Minna
- Gertrud and Erica

 

Cast:
- 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)

July 31, 2008 at 11:56 pm
34 comments »
  • August 1, 2008 at 12:03 amAznCoffee

    First! xD yay no pants

  • August 1, 2008 at 12:16 amAPsycho

    Wait, it seems one of the girls have worn pants in the past… well, VERY short shorts at the very least (Which brings up the question of why she doesn’t continue to do so?)
    http://randomc.net/image/STRIKE%20WITCHES/STRIKE%20WITCHES%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2013.jpg

  • August 1, 2008 at 12:21 amexia

    droolz

  • August 1, 2008 at 12:27 amAnonymous

    I think nearly all mainstream anime watchers would be able to pick up on the “hentai” pun.

    Also, Yeager in hot pants is…hot.

    Animation was really good in this episode. It seemed almost like a different style, reminded me of Kamichu, that really dynamic sort of stuff.

  • August 1, 2008 at 12:30 ambakaneko

    Oh very nice job on the full length pics. And I’m impressed with your knowledge of history, or maybe I just need to read more. :)

  • August 1, 2008 at 12:40 amEvilDevil

    Yoshika is slowly starting to become a pervert… yes!!!

  • August 1, 2008 at 12:43 amAnonymous

    We could use composite pics of the girl’s (especially Perrine) frolicking in the water too, if that’s not too much to ask ^_^

  • August 1, 2008 at 1:06 amJulius

    パンツいない

  • August 1, 2008 at 2:31 amlonghaul

    That had alot more plot than I was expecting for a beach episode.

    Animation quality was pretty high in some scenes as well.

  • August 1, 2008 at 3:04 ammiles

    good lord…

  • August 1, 2008 at 3:59 amDanny

  • August 1, 2008 at 4:02 amObaba-sama

    Art of animation in this episide is awesome, it seems an oav. *_*

  • August 1, 2008 at 11:15 amTheOtaku

    Well, Danny. Then it would explain a lot why she died so suddenly in Code Geass! – They needed her in STRIKE WITCHES XD

  • August 1, 2008 at 1:18 pmdivine

    TheOtaku:
    I would be a bit more inclined to go with that idea if Shirley in STRIKE WITCHES wasn’t played by Koshimizu Ami (i.e. Kallen Stadtfeld). =)

  • August 1, 2008 at 2:02 pmLord Octane

    My (African-) American opinion is that I like the Russian more than I like the American. Sleep > Noise.

    And my hope is that the ass-kick-ery of Iron Linebarrels would counter the blatant loli lesbianism that’s infecting this fanservicy show about “WWII Vs. Monsters From Space.”

  • August 1, 2008 at 2:14 pmDuran

    Though I seen somewhere about Oppai hunter Yoshika. and that makes sense both Charolotte and Kallen are busty readheads.

  • August 1, 2008 at 2:58 pmSyaoran Li

    I really liked this episode. Sadly the series is only a 12-episode run, because this is the type of fanservice and storytelling that I like in a series of its genre. Yoshika stole the show with her “wet dream” with Lynne; then groping her captain and Shirley later. I liked Sky Girls, and Strike Witches being almost the same think, with big breasts, is on my weekly list of must see.

    Hopefully we’ll have a few more shoujo ai hints.

  • August 1, 2008 at 7:00 pmKozta-boom

    @Danny Well, I agree with you man. She does looks like Shirley.

  • August 1, 2008 at 7:05 pmSolaris

    Strike Witches… is it a good show or not? Well, i don’t know it yet.
    I mean, the idea behind this show and Sky Girls is awesome. We have these mechanical girls doing great dogfight in the sky. So we could expect great action and war plots before stalling into panty shots and mune mune thingies…
    Well there is some dogfight and war too, but it looks like the real interest in this serie is all another… http://randomc.net/image/STRIKE%20WITCHES/STRIKE%20WITCHES%20-%2005%20-%20Large%2002.jpg

    I guess the entire screenplay is wrong and they’re just telling us the wrong story.
    This anime is about these bunch of kids playing the war, and befriending each other while enjoyng some kind of quiet school life. Military isn’t so nice and all, someone should tell that to the script writers…

    More over, shouldn’t be Strike Witches WWII airplane girls? So, if they were in a WWII scenario, what better occasion to let Allied Strike Witches fight vs Axis Strike Witches? We could have got much more better fight than thos vs generic aliens, don’t you think so?

  • August 1, 2008 at 7:15 pmdivine

    Solaris:
    The thing to keep in mind is that this series is meant to be a bit out there (animal ears/tails, mages, etc.) and not meant to tie in specifically to real life. I agree that making it a war against aliens involving young girls doesn’t depict the severeness of war, but I really don’t think that’s the kind of message they want to convey anyway. To me, this series is meant to be lighthearted and humorous, and doesn’t want to succumb its viewers to the real anguishes of war. If it did, the show would be pretty dark and gloomy and it just doesn’t fit in well with the animal ears/tails, mages, and pantless dress code.

  • August 1, 2008 at 10:15 pmv1cious

    i can’t believe you’re still watching this show. i could barely suffer the first episode.

  • August 1, 2008 at 10:39 pmexia

    yeah ur thinking too much into it. just enjoy the damn show

  • August 1, 2008 at 11:29 pmNoah

    I am female. I am not into loli. I couldn’t care less about animal ears. (And don’t get me started on panty shots…) I hate harem anime where the male lead accidently gropes the girls’ breasts every episode.

    Yet, I am still watching Strike Witches. It’s brainless cute and fun. The artwork and production quality has been very nice. The characters are likeable. (Minna is down right awesome. Tanaka Rie for the win. ^-^)

    The fanservice in this show somehow doesn’t bother me as much as I thought when watching the first episode. By this time, I feel like they are simply courtesy fanservice. And this show has more to offer than that.

    Episode 5 preview got me to think the girls would be posing in their swimsuits most of the ep, but it turned out to throw in a big chunck of Shirley’s story for half the episode, while I don’t share her passion, the creator has succeeded in proving that Shirley is not just your generic boobs-character.

    I’ll keep watching. And thanks for the review!

  • August 2, 2008 at 12:41 amdivine

    Noah:
    You’re welcome. And I agree. Tanaka Rie ftw. =)

  • August 2, 2008 at 3:38 pmGuardMonkey10

    Well, from a more serious standpoint, war is nasty and brutal. I think we haven’t see it all yet. We have seen some images of cities being destroyed in the show, and fleets of warships being sunk in mass. They’re only managing to keep them back barely. Also, they’re not groundpounders. Ground wars are the worst and war at its most brutal. Air services, and navy just do not see as much misery as an infantryman. If you really want to complain about the lack of realism, just to watch Hogan’s Heros, stalag 17, or any other unreal ww2 media. Heck, even Wolfenstein makes things look not so horrible. This is a bit darker and harder than your average magical girl save the world bs. People do get hurt, people do die. But its still got light and hope, and adorable girls in pantsu. This is fun stuff. The lesbo issues of miyafuji are interesting, I hope its not just going to be some silly joke all the way through. If there’s some real meat and potatoes there, I want to see it. Plus, its fucking hot. Damn hot.

  • August 2, 2008 at 8:15 pmLord Octane

    Noah:

    Yeah. Where is all that “harem anime” where the male lead DOESN’T accidently grope girls’ breast every episode? “Tsukihime” and “Black Cat” are two of them.

    So now we have a female lead wanting to grope breasts on purpose. Wow, Japanese anime industry. Just wow.

  • August 3, 2008 at 12:13 amzaeris

    @Lord Otctane
    I believe your definition of “Harem anime” is flaw as I would never consider “Black Cat” or “Tsukihime” as harem titles.

  • August 3, 2008 at 3:33 amNoah

    Lord Octane:

    Maybe I should have stated more clearly. I dislike the ones where groping happened excessively. I do not necessarily dislike every harem anime.

  • August 3, 2008 at 10:05 amMeimi132

    I noticed the hentai joke!! I heard the word hentai and guessed there was something missed in the translation by gonzo…

  • August 3, 2008 at 10:54 pmAsteroth

    As mentioned by you guys, this episdoe is a homage to Chuck Yeager.

    Somehow I also think that this episode is particularly well drawn.

    and is it only me that finds the bike looks abit like the X planes?

  • August 3, 2008 at 11:09 pmAsteroth

    BTW this show is scheduled for 12 episodes (?) and there are 11 chrs, i wonder if they are going to keep making an intro of each chr w/o delving on the main storyline (if there is one in the first place)

    Somehow I get the feeling that Minna will die (something which I wont want to happen) if this show is ever going to get serious.

    Anyway I do enjoy this show quite alot sofar as I find the gals pretty cute and the anime very well drawn.

  • August 4, 2008 at 9:09 pmdarkredeyes13

    this is the first time i’ve seen this series does anyone know the melody that plays during the ep….i dont mean the opening or ending theme…..i mean when Yoshika saves Shirley by catching her….does anyone know what it is called

  • August 9, 2008 at 2:23 amtakagi

    I don’t know what it’s called, but yes, the background music is nice.

    It makes me wonder, though: are they going to have jet girls for the sequels?

  • May 14, 2009 at 9:36 pmanon

    What an educational episode! I just learned that Mach 1 = the speed at which your clothes disintegrate XD