「空へ…」 (Sora he…)
“To the Sky…”
Episode at a Glance:
With the formation of the 1st Special Assault Team, Warlock, the Strike Witches are disbanded and sent home to their respective countries. Maloney claims it’s due to Yoshika’s attempt to desert, but Minna and Mio are more concerned about the Warlock footage that Yoshika saw inside the Neuroi nest. Having collapsed on the runway, Yoshika later wakes up to find everyone packed up and ready to leave, so she tearfully apologizes. After all the witches go their separate ways, Maloney is annoyed about having to bring the Warlock out earlier than planned, especially when they only have one, and blames it on Yoshika for coming in contact with a Neuroi. In spite of this, he allows Yoshika to return home, claiming that witches are nothing without their Strikers Units.
With Perrine accompanying Mio and Yoshika back to Fuso, Minna, Gertrud, and Erica decide to head back to the base and investigate further, having realized that the Warlock may be linked to the Neuroi somehow. In an effort to display the fruits of their Neuroi research, Maloney sends the Warlock to Gallia in order to reclaim it, but Gertrud and her fellow Karlslandians see this as a prime opportunity to blow their cover. Still being off the coast, Mio catches sight of the Warlock destroying a Neuroi in a single shot and starts to suspect that it contains Neuroi technology like Yoshika suggests. Her, Yoshika, and Perrine then witness a swarm of Neuroi surrounding the Warlock, which activates its core to control the Neuroi and have them destroy one another. Back at the base, Maloney and his team are pleased with the unexpected result, but soon find out that the Warlock has turned on their own forces, attacking the Akagi carrier that Mio and the others are on. Out of options, Maloney attempts to activate the forced shutdown system on the Warlock, only to realize that it has no effect.
With the Warlock wrecking havoc on the Akagi and the base, the other witches easily catch sight of it. Meanwhile, the Akagi is sinking, so Mio reveals the Striker Unit she’s been hiding underneath her wheelchair and tells Yoshika and Perrine to escape while she buys some time; however, Yoshika volunteers to fly instead.
「ストライクウィッチーズ」 (Sutoraiku Uicchiizu)
Isn’t it convenient how the Warlock has pinpoint accuracy when shooting down the Neuroi but completely misses a big honking battleship sitting still in the middle of the ocean? Or even better, a humongous base sitting in the middle of an island. I guess it wouldn’t have been very interesting if everyone got vaporized before they could do anything, but I couldn’t help but think how silly that part was. Likewise, watching Charlotte start crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a two-seater airplane with Francesca, because we all know a small plane like that carries enough fuel…
So in an attempt to show off their stuff, Maloney ends up causing more damage to Britannia with his invention. What I found kind of stupid though was him sending all the Strike Witches away when they only had one unit. I mean, even if he wanted to replace them, he could have still used the witches to his benefit (i.e. have them help protect the country but display how superior the Warlock is), so I’ll cast this off as both arrogance and convenient story writing used to scatter all the girls before having them come back and save everyone.
With the next episode being the finale, I kind of figured that they’d need to build up some suspense in this episode, but it still seems like a cheap way of doing it. Granted, this will give us some sort of a climax to the series, but it completely avoids any attempt to resolve the issue about the ongoing war and the truth behind the Neuroi, so I get the feeling we’re going to get a “and so things continue on as-is” kind of ending. I still haven’t heard if Strike Witches will be getting a second season though, but if it does, I’d be much happier with this type of conclusion (i.e. for a first season). Seeing as GONZO pulled the same bit with The Tower of Druaga: the Aegis of Uruk, I wouldn’t discount the possibility of a sequel just yet.
Finally, this isn’t to say I’m not enjoying the series though, as I actually enjoy every minute of it, but I feel inclined to be a little more critical of things at times. Ending theme this week was by Mio and Perrine. It’s about time isn’t it?
– 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)
– General Maloney (マロニー大将) / Akimoto Yousuke (秋元 羊介)
– Adjutant (副官) / Uo Ken (魚 建)
– Captain Sugita (杉田艦長) / Mugihito (麦人)
– Vice-captain Tarumiya (樽宮副長) / Hori Yukitoshi (堀 之紀)
– Micchan (みっちゃん) / Satou Arise (佐藤 有世)
– Soldier (兵士) / Miyashita Eiji (宮下 栄治)
– Soldier (兵士) / Oobayashi Youhei (大林 洋平)
– Soldier (兵士) / Tokumoto Yukitoshi (徳本 恭敏)
– Researcher (研究者) / Fujii Keisuke (藤井 啓輔)
– Researcher (研究者) / Mochidzuki Kenichi (望月 健一)