OP Sequence

OP: 「アシタノツバサ」 (Ashita no Tsubasa) by Yoko Ishida

「佐世保の魔法少女?」 (Sasebo no Mahou Shoujo?)
“The Witch of Sasebo?”

Strike Witches returns, and it’s like it never left.

Witches without Pants

Strike Witches is one of those series which is you have not seen you probably will have heard of. It is quintessential anime, replete with sci-fi universe, magic, girls, and fan service. Definitely fan service.

For the completely uninitiated, however, Strike Witches is in the same vein as Muv Luv, Vividred Operation, and the (in)famous Infinite Stratos. Alien beings called the Neuroi invade a WW2 era Earth, and through the spreading of a toxic miasma succeed in wiping out a good chunk of the planet. Mankind’s solution is witches, girls possessing magic not only capable of bringing down the Neuroi, but giving them tails and ears when activated. Plop a pair of mecha-like exoskeleton legs on our cat/dog/Playboy bunny girls and you’ve got yourself a collection of Neuroi killing machines.

Although Brave Witches is part of the Strike Witches universe (specifically set during the aftermath of Strike Witches’ first season), the show is looking like a true standalone. Barring a few hints regarding season 1’s events, Brave Witches is an entirely separate story, meaning you can easily jump in here and reasonably understand what’s going on. Prior viewing of the first two seasons will likely give you better bang for your buck, but thankfully is not a requirement.

Hikari Ganbatte!

Starting us off on our new pants-less witch adventure is Hikari. Courageous, steadfast, and never willing to give up, Hikari is going to keep on trying until she succeeds. Yeah she might fail most of the time, but gosh darnit practice makes perfect I say. After all, you cannot disappoint onee-sama.

This struggle to improve and finding the inner determination to beat the odds is one of things I liked most about Strike Witches. It’s a typical plot, but works well here due to the lack of self-insert male character whose only challenge is attempting to satisfy all those unintentional conquests. Having Hikari already indicate through her personality a similar story pleases me, especially considering she is already experienced being a witch. This will likely eliminate a lot of the training downtime often seen in similar series and hopefully provide more action.

What concerns me currently, however, is how similar Hikari is to Yoshika (the Strike Witches MC), as both characters are from the same country, have the same personalities, and even possess the same physical appearance/witch apparel. Except for Hikari’s unique tendency to mess things up, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re watching Strike Witches episode 1 all over again. Of course this is just the first episode and Brave Witches may be doing a Star Wars VII for the sake of brand new viewers, but I hope Hikari will develop into her own soon and not meander along as a Yoshika 2.0. One thing not escapable from is the annoying Misumi, however; the whole Misumi-Hikari drama subplot certainly helped highlight Hikari’s tenacity, but really felt forced. It also did not help that Misumi’s attitude towards Hikari took a near-instant 180 following her rescue by Hikari. Just a little embarrassment and respect from Misumi towards Hikari saving her would have made the whole thing more believable instead of feeling out of place. If you’re going full superiority complex, typically you ride it out until the end.

While I’d say this was not the strongest of opening episodes (especially for those already familiar with Strike Witches), Brave Witches’ introduction certainly did its task well enough. Considering the original series never found its charm until the complete introduction of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, I’m expecting Brave Witches to follow a similar format. So long as we can get a good array of characters and a decent story, however, there’s no reason why Brave Witches cannot find the magic of its predecessor. I’d recommend sticking around and giving this one a shot if curious. You know you want to.

Random Tidbits

Pity the father, he only gets half a lunch. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

Like with Strike Witches WW2 machinery will feature prominently. Hell we already have Flak 88s and Japanese carriers/destroyers.

A fantasy WW2 setting just wouldn’t be complete without the strange state names (case in point, Fusou = Japan in case you didn’t know).

Big sister Takami be having that death flag disease. Expect it to get worse. A lot worse.

Stilts apologizes for not being able to intro the ecchi choice this season. Feel free to lambast him 😛


ED Sequence




  1. Points of difference between Hikari and Yoshika: Yoshika was a determined (and highly ignorant) pacifist in the beginning who got involved because she received a letter from her deceased father, and only started fighting once she saw people getting hurt by the Neuroi. Hikari is a witch trainee, a member of a military family, an ardent follower of news about the war, and is personally eager to serve.

    Second: Yoshika was completely untrained and uneducated about military witches, but was a natural prodigy and powerhouse: able to fly effectively in combat the first time she tried on a striker unit, and possessing so much magical power that her biggest problem was learning how to keep it under control so it would do what she wanted, rather than just dumping it all out inefficiently. Hikari has been training with striker units for quite some time, and is most definitely not a prodigy with them. She has control issues, and also power issues. Unlike Yoshika, Hikari is apparently light on magic power, and is definitely not going to shock anyone with “Wow, even though she’s new look how powerful she is with (insert magic x here),” unlike Yoshika.

    Third: Yoshika lsot her father to unspecified and mysterious circumstances, and letters from him randomly appearing long after he’s supposedly dead jump-started the plot at least twice. Hikari’s family is all alive and accounted for, and she will be going into action with her sister, which could allow for a different sort of dynamic than we’ve seen before.

    It is true that Hikari and Yoshika have similar cheerful personalities, and they do resemble each other. But if you allow those general similarities to blind you to the specifics of their characters, you’ll be overlooking a large number of important details, many of which, I suspect, were written specifically to distinguish them and ensure that Hikari’s story would not simply be Yoshika’s Story: Take 2.

    1. Thanks for the refresher there Wanderer. I haven’t seen the original in years so I had to go off of what I remembered of Yoshika 😛

      Personally I do expect the differences to start playing up soon though considering the change in area of combat and Yoshika’s sister being directly involved with her as you mention. At this point I’m just waiting for the 502nd introduction so we have everyone introduced and can get a better idea how the two shows compare.

  2. As Wanderer said, there are plenty of differences between Yoshika and Hikari that would prevent a mere “repeat” of Yoshika’s story. Aside from general looks and general cheerful personalities, they are practically opposites.

    There’s also the fact that Hikari is getting involved without having to fight any Neuroi yet, but rather we get to see her worthiness through her own (unexpected) personal actions (aside from rescuing Misumi despite Misumi’s treatment of her, and also her physical stamina she built up from her daily training and even from her own constantly-waterlogged clothing weighing her down, hence unhampered by the rain), and that the actual Neuroi fight is being held off until after she gets introduced to the rest of the girls next episode, so it seems like this may be more of a military-oriented Strike Witches series’ whereas the original felt a lot more carefree all things considered.

    1. Oh yeah this one could certainly be the more militarily “serious” of the two, especially given Hikari’s largely stable background (intact family, noncombat training, etc.) and is fighting alongside her sister–there’s a lot of prime targets for death and suffering. Kind of hope it does go that way as it would be a nice change from the original.

  3. https://randomc.net/image/Brave%20Witches/Brave%20Witches%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2028.jpg
    To sat Hikari is Yoshika 2.0 might be stretching it too far. For one, Hikari is undergoing training and is fully aware or has some semblance of awareness. True that she is a green horn in the business of war but at least she knows about it. Plus, for some inexplicable reason, Hikari is less annoying than Yoshika and this probably stems from the latter’s civilian background. It was only in the movie that I was rather contented with Yoshika.

    Following the tradition of Strike Witches, have we been introduced the first yuri pairing? And it’s wincest yuri for the shipping!

    *Hums the witches tune*
    That attack scene… Minna’s flurry of orders were running through my head.

    Following the tradition of watching GuP, HaiFuri, Izetta and Strike Witches, I had to pause and do a quick research to the stuffs mentioned. Anyone saw Akizuki class DDs and IJN Zuikaku? We also got Spitfires in the opening scenes. For the 88mm in the ED, I believe that part of the Karlslandian Army retreated eastwards beyond The Vistula and gets incorporated into the Red Army.

    Oh, no one spotted the school principal? She disproves the long held opinion that witches don’t wear bottoms!

    Looking back at the episode, Strike Witches never really left us. SILVERLINK really has done the franchise good and up to its popularity and hype. I really do wish SILVERLINK takes over this and hope it’s their Monogatari series.

    Velvet Scarlantina
  4. Oh forgot one more thing… If Strike Witches game an exposition of Royal Navy, Kaiserlieche Marine and Regia Marina, I suspect that Brave Witches would debut the GLORIOUS RED NAVY MADE OF STALINIUM ARMOUR ARMED WITH GULAG GUNS SHOOTING VODKA! URRAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

    Comrade Katyusha will be happy and I I wonder if woWs might be involved to prodive the 3D models for Orussian ships.

    Velvet Scarlantina
  5. “Pity the father, he only gets half a lunch. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.”
    Either that, or the lunch got smushed while Hikari was running to her father’s workplace.

    Mio and Yoshika! I was already expecting a cameo from the two of you, but not this soon… And Hikari not recognizing Yoshika made me chuckle a little.

    Also (for all you IJN/KanColle buffs), if Akagi and Kaga are First Carrier Division, and Soryuu and Hiryuu are Second Carrier Division, then which carriers belong to Third Carrier Division? (Taihou? Shinano? Or perhaps some of the light carriers? Pretty certain that carrier above isn’t Ryuujou…)

    1. 3rd Carrier Division consisted of IJN Zuikaku, IJN Zuiho, IJN Chitose, IJN Chiyoda and 653rd Naval Air Group.

      Though this scene, we have IJN Zuikaku escorted by Akizuki class DDs

      Velvet Scarlantina
      1. Interestingly enough, all four carriers were the ones that participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

        Also, I read that Zuikaku was also the basis for Ooarai’s school ship, which makes it doubly interesting…

        That said, I do wonder if this is the last we’ll be seeing of “discount Perrine”…err…Misumi.

      2. @Velvet: Maybe even a few Polikarpovs and Lavochkins. Or perhaps an Airacobra or two.

        On the ground front, Katyusha rocket launchers, ML-20 and B-4 (a.k.a: “Stalin’s Hammer”) howitzers would also be nice. Also, I can’t wait to see if some of the Orussian (and perhaps Suomi) witches carry PPShs with drum magazines on occasion. (I did see a couple of witches with DP-28s.)

        Blin, this just makes me want to watch Soviet Storm: World War II in the East again… (As much as I want to go back to grinding for supply in Company of Heroes 2, my PC suddenly restarting in the midst of a game–constantly–prevents me from making any progress. *deep breath* BLIN!)

        @Pancakes: Awww…Misumi’s not even an advertised extra? (Trope!) Poor girl, she was turning out to be a decent foil to Hikari. (An ace in their class, looked up to by the other girls, a bit smug…but I have a feeling she has her reason/s for being that way. Oh well… I guess the staff wanted to avoid her becoming “Perrine 2.0.”)

        BTW, “blin” means “pancake” in Russian. It’s also the family-friendly version of the Russian cuss word “blyat.” (You can thank comrade Boris for that trivia.)

  6. I don’t get why everyone say that Yoshika and Hikari are similary. From my perspective they are almost total opposites. Hikari is not to smart, ready to fight, has full family and a sister, weak magic capacity but a lot of courage and stamina and she is not serious. While Yoshika was strong and talented in magic (albeit with weak control), hated war, grew up as a single child and lost her father, was a bit angsty and uncertain and first but serious and a bit pervy (strange combination, yes).

  7. I was going to come in and post that I hadn’t seen this but clearly Stilts would be covering this if there was some nice side boob shots visible for this on the main page. Imagine my surprise to see it is newest writer Pancakes. Giving you the hard hitting material early I see.

  8. Strike Witches has been one of my favorite shows ever since I watched the second season among the first shows I ever watched weekly. Being able to experience this series weekly again has honestly given me a sense of joy unlike anything else :’D

  9. Pity the father, he only gets half a lunch. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

    It’s a full lunch, Hikari just uses the trip to deliver it as part of her training regimen so it all ends up getting mushed around and ends up piled up on one side.

  10. One thing I hope they will explore is where the Neuroi come from and why they are invading the Earth in 1940s? They kinda touched on it in SW1/2 but we still know very little about them.

    1. You shouldn’t need to I think. Brave Witches looks to be a self-contained story with only passing reference to the original Strike Witches. Watching the first two seasons would definitely help in understanding those references, but it isn’t required compared to something like D. Gray Man Hallow.

  11. Concerns that Hikari would turn out to be Yoshika turned out be unfounded, and hints in the first episode already outline the differences between the two characters. Further, Hikari’s father didn’t get half a lunch, the contents shifted because of how quickly she’s running.

    Phoenix Actual

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