「明日に架ける橋」 (Ashita ni Kakeru Hashi)
“The Bridge to Tomorrow”
For a Perrine-centered episode, I wasn’t expecting this one to double up as a full-out beach one as well. I’m not complaining though, because when it’s in high definition it puts season one’s offering to absolute shame. It’s worth noting that it’s not only resolution that’s affected, but also the colors as well. Under AIC Spirits’ production, everything just has a lot more “pop” to it and nothing looks terribly washed out like when GONZO was running the show. You can call me a leprechaun if you want, but I like vivid colors with pop. Story-wise, it was another fairly simplistic plot that this series uses and thrives upon, involving the rebuilding efforts in Gallia and how Perrine wants to help rebuild a broken bridge in her home country so the kids can go to school. Much like K-ON, Strike Witches can take something as simple as that and completely run with it to very entertaining degrees. This time was no different, and it wasn’t even because of the fan-service filled swimsuits either.
Those definitely have their place, but it’s still pretty hard to beat an earnest Perrine thinking of nothing but treasure to try and raise money for the bridge, and most of all a drunk Mio who’s locking lips with Minna. In the latter case, that must have been some pretty well-aged wine that they stumbled upon, given how it was in the recesses of some seaside cavern formerly used by witches. The comedic build-up to that was pretty golden too, with Minna freaking out thinking Mio just went splat, and Erica on the verge of losing it as well. It was also amusing how Eila and Sanya were nothing more than comic relief with the way they were completely forgotten. Nothing tops Mio running wildly through the caverns and cackling like a maniac though, after which she somehow wound up inside the secret chamber that Perrine had to defeat a guardian statue to get into. Apparently, if you’re that wasted you can either pass through walls or stumble into hidden chambers with ease.
The one difference this time around was that the “Neuroi of the Week” showed up at the beginning instead of towards the end. The actual context of these miscellaneous battles are never too important, so it doesn’t really matter if it comes before or after as long as it’s there. We just have to have a battle every week for the sake of having a battle! However, I did have my eyes on was Yoshika and her newly equipped Shinden Striker Unit in expectation that she would do amazing things with it. Unfortunately, it turns out I’ll have to wait to see that, as the spotlight was reserved for Perrine this episode. Next time, kill counts come into play again with Erica supposedly up for her 500th one. Back in season one’s episode seven, she got an award for her 250th Neuroi shot down and it appears she’s already doubled it. Sounds like it’s something our carefree yet exceptionally talented witch would do, so I’m looking forward to seeing what havoc (if any) she’ll cause next week.