「一人じゃないから」 (Hitori Janai Kara)
“Lonely No More”
Episode at a Glance:
While updating the general and prime minister of their situation, Minna reassures them that the Strike Witches will protect the world’s skies. Waking up early in the morning, Yoshika is surprised to find Mio training outside, who tells her that they have train when they can on the front lines. In a meeting, Minna introduces Yoshika to the rest of the 501st Joint fight Wing as a new recruit, and asks the similarly ranked Lynne to help her out. Yoshika is then presented with various things, including a gun, which she returns, saying she won’t use it. Mio’s amused by this, but Perrine isn’t in the slightest, so she storms off. After a bust size check courtesy of Francesca, everyone introduces themselves to Yoshika, who then goes off on a tour with Lynne. Subsequently, Yoshika gets indirectly introduced to Erica and Gertrud, whose impressive kill counts make Lynne feel inadequate as a witch. Taking Yoshika to the highest spot on the base, Lynne then shows her how close the Neuroi-overrun Europe is.
Mio later comes along to give them both some training, including Striker Unit flight practice, which Perrine volunteers to help with. Being relatively new, the two sergeants quickly get exhausted, while a prissy Perinne tries to get some praise from Mio. In the next day of flight training, Minna discusses with Mio about their lack of progress, and in Lynne’s case, her inability to perform in battle as well as she does in training. With the two of them worn out again, Gertrud comes by and tells Yoshika to either go home or become stronger if she doesn’t want to die. At night, Yoshika comments about she got scoled yet again and has to try harder, making Lynne envious of her strong will. Feeling really inadequate now, Lynne accidently lashes out at Yoshika, but apologizes before running off.
The next day, Neuroi have been spotted heading towards Britannia, so Mio scrambles with a group of veteran witches. In the skies, Mio and the others shoot down the enemy really easily, but quickly realize that this coreless Neuroi was probably a diversion. Meanwhile, the others remain on standby at the base with Minna, who informs Yoshika of the pressure Lynne feels while trying to protect her homeland. Hearing this, Yoshika finds Lynne and tells her how she wants to be a Strike Witch to protect everyone, despite how incapable she is, and encourages her to try her best too. The alarm then sounds, so Minna tells Eila that the two of them have to go out alone, but Yoshika and Lynne insist on coming as well. While originally against sending out a rookie, Minna agrees to let them help out, so the four of them launch to intercept the incoming Neuroi. Minna and Eila engage the enemy first, but aren’t able to catch up to it when it accelerates towards their base. With Yoshika and Lynne being the last line of defense, Lynne tries to shoot the Neuroi down, but can’t aim well while hovering. Realizing this, Yoshika decides to carry Lynne on her shoulders, allowing her to concentrate on aiming. Predicting the Neuroi’s evasion path, Lynne theb fires several rounds along with Yoshika, and manages to shoot down the enemy.
Lots of new faces, new names, ranks, and native countries this episode that will make anyone’s head spin I think. If I wasn’t always adding a credits section to my posts, I think even I’d have a hard time differentiating who’s who. Luckily though, they’ve introduced all the Strike Witches now, so these are all the characters we have to familiarize ourselves with. Or I guess I should say, that I have to familiarize myself with.
For future reference, I’ll use this opportunity to make a list:
|Commander||Minna-Dietlinde Wilke||Karlsland||Tanaka Rie||Lacus Clyne in Gundam SEED|
|Major||Sakamoto Mio||Fuso Empire||Chiba Saeko||Natsuki Kruger in Mai-Otome|
|Lieutenant||Gertrud Barkhorn||Karlsland||Sonozaki Mie||Hasebe Aya in Comic Party Revolution|
|Lieutenant||Perrine-H. Clostermann||Gallia||Sawashiro Miyuki||Shinku in Rozen Maiden|
|Lieutenant||Erica Hartmann||Karlsland||Nogawa Sakura||Asakura Nemu in D.C. ~Da Capo~|
|Lieutenant||Charlotte E Yeager (a.k.a. Shirley)||Liberion||Koshimizu Ami||Kallen Stadtfeld in CODE GEASS|
|Second Lieutenant||Eila Ilmatar Juutilainen||Suomus||Nakai Erika|
|Second Lieutenant||Sanya V. Litvyak||Orussia||Kadowaki Mai||Usa Mimi in Kodomo no Jikan|
|Second Lieutenant||Francesca Lucchini||Romagna||Saitou Chiwa||Aika S. Granzchesta in ARIA|
|Sergeant||Lynette Bishop||Britannia||Nadzuka Kaori||Yuasa Hiromi in true tears|
|Sergeant||Miyafuji Yoshika||Fuso Empire||Fukuen Misato||Konjiki no Yami in To LOVE-Ru|
Character introduction overload aside, the main focus of the episode was on Lynne, a relatively new member like Yoshika, as the two of them struggle together to become great witches. While some may see an overly pessimistic character like Lynne as an eyesore (which I often do), luckily she didn’t come off that way at all. In fact, I find most of the characters amiable in their way, but this may be because I’m biased towards their voices. Fan-service wise, I believe there were a couple of slightly censored underwear shots this episode (mainly from the bright sun), but they may have been on purpose, so I’ll let you be the judge. Oddly enough though, the fan-service this time involved large breasts more than anything else, with Shirley leading in the shenanigans, which I found pretty amusing. Likewise, Yoshika’s envious stares at both Shirley and Lynne. Overall, I felt it was a good episode for establishing all the characters in the series, and reaffirmed why this is quickly becoming one of the more entertaining series I’ve picked up this season.
Next time, it looks like we’ll learn more about Gertrud and her past, as we find out about how the Neuroi took over her country.
– 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)
– 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)
– 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)
– Prime Minister of Britannia (ブリタニア首相) / Watabe Takeshi (渡部 猛)
– General (大将) / Akimoto Yousuke (秋元 羊介)