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.
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.
Pity the father, he only gets half a lunch. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
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:Spirit of LINDBERG by LITTLE WING