「羽ばたけチドリ」 (Habatake Chidori)
“Take Flight, Chidori”

Following the basic introductions to our MC last week, I seriously thought Brave Witches would continue the same pace, giving us some more characters with maybe a bit of sisterly bonding. Colour me surprised when all those assumptions were all but thrown out the window.

Sink or Swim

Knowing we were getting a battle this week, I couldn’t help thinking of the first season of Strike Witches once again. In that season’s second episode, Yoshika similarly assisted in defending against a Neuroi attack, donning a Striker Unit and (although the complete novice) successfully helping Mio fend off the assault. Although Brave Witches’ homage to the original here is undeniable, what is pleasantly surprising to me is how different it all felt amid the similarities.

Probably the standout point for me was the frenzied, hectic nature of the attack. Strike Witches (at least from my hazy memory) never felt like this a lot of the time, especially in the first season. A lighthearted veil then arguably covered up a lot of potential bloodshed and agony, something brought to the forefront this time around. The obvious indication of course is Takami, who I doubt anyone predicted to be offed this fast. Later in season yeah (the death flags were all there), but the second episode? It’s quite the shock. Although she’s still technically alive, Takami is effectively removed from the fight for the foreseeable future, simultaneously gut punching Hikari (can someone say character development?) and forcing her into a role she certainly wants, but is woefully unprepared for. I could think of worse ways to skip the rear line training.

Really intriguing, however, are some of the background bits brought up. Takami’s ability in particular stands out because none of the original Strike Witches (barring Sakamoto if I remember) had something remotely similar. The ability to perceive Neuroi cores is uncommon already (correct me if wrong), but Takami’s Absolute Eye is something else entirely. Hikari too appears to possess the same ability, although not currently as strong or controllable to the degree of Takami’s. Expect this power to become especially important later on given the 502nd leader Gundula is fully aware of it. Then there’s the bit about the Neuroi never congregating together for attacks before, which really screams out “prepare thyself, huge battle coming”. Hikari’s ability will become important you say? Well I think we just found when that prediction will come true.

Next Time: Let’s Meet the Gang

After this week’s impressive little bout of action, it looks like we will finally be introduced to the entire 502nd Squadron next episode. Don’t expect it to be all sunshine and roses either. Squadron Leader Rall (while certainly charmed by our gutsy MC) has already set a clear bar of performance for Hikari, which she is certain to run into the first few times. Then we have the hot-blooded Naoe who looks set to be the squadron’s main antagonist for Hikari. Guaranteed Naoe’s respect/infatuation with Takami will be Hikari’s primary obstacle here, and I fully expect some troubles to erupt between both soon over Hikari’s “failure” to fill her sister’s shoes. If Hikari has anything to say about it, however, such impressions will not last. Hikari has already shown the drive, and now thanks to Takami possesses a tangible reason to fight. If Brave Witches can give Hikari the development hinted at and keep on providing the action witnessed here, then this season will definitely be an entertaining one.

Random Tidbits

Yes, I do bet that flight deck attendant never tires of seeing Takami’s wonderful ass flight performance during training.

Complementing our foray into Japanese naval architecture this week are cruisers, which are some form of Aoba, Myoko, or Mogami. Also Takami’s Striker Unit appears based on the Kawanishi N1K Shiden, specifically a carrier conversion prototype.

I severely doubt sailing in the Arctic Ocean is ever that warm and pleasant, especially in the autumn 😛




  1. https://randomc.net/image/Brave%20Witches/Brave%20Witches%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2002.jpg
    The very face and expression I had when I saw the subs for BW. I really like how SILVERLINK handled Brave Witches. For one, yhe neuroi are no longer a walk in the park and there is an immediate sense of urgency and danger and the neuroi aren’t simple push overs. Speaking of which, the corrd medium sized neuroi looks like ARP Kirishima and ARP Haruna in gattai mode and the uncored smaller ones look like Predator UAV.

    As for the CBG, they’re escorted by 3 Akizuki DDs and Takao class CA. The question that should be asked is, which CV is assigned to support 502nd? Zuikaku? Shokaku? And that CV returning to port… Which CV is that?

    The Yuri is strong in them. Guided by Yuri Sisterhood they are. My goggles can’t hold out yuri of that magnitude!

    Good sign of things to come

    Come on readers… Admit it… You hummed the iconic Strike Witches tune to this scene…

    You know… Izetta might not be the last witch. She may however be the last Elystadtian witch. For all you know, she’s an unidentified Strike Witch! Her Striker Unit will be based on Elystadt’s MS 406 and her weapon would be that AT rifle.

    Velvet Scarlantina
    1. I have a feeling that the carrier returning to port was Zuikaku‘s sister ship Shoukaku. Historically though, were they built to similar specifications or were there some minute differences between the two ships? Because if they were built similarly, I’m assuming the CG animators just recycled/cloned Zuikaku‘s model (and added a few differences to the CG ship model as necessary) just for that scene…and then move on to the next scene.

      Also, that mention of the Myoko-class made me remember the namesake kanmusu‘s memetic damaged pose… Though another possibility is that the heavy cruiser in the CBG is Maya, as she was historically refitted for AA warfare (like the Akizuki-class DDs) and as such, would be more useful against the airborne Neuroi.

      1. Look at the superstructure in one scene when the Neuroi alarm was set off. It’s flat. Plus the superstructure is not Myoko class or Mogami or Aoba class. It’s the iconic Takao class. I don’t think it’s AA refot Maya since I could make out ABC-XY turret layout.

        Though from what I see, the battle narrative kind of fits my Strike Witch 1/700 battle narrative. I built 3 Karlslandian ships to usher in Brave Witches

        Velvet Scarlantina
  2. I was not expecting Takami to get taken out in this episode. Taking a critical injury mid-to-late season, yes. That would have precedent, as a way to amp up for the finale. But not right here in the beginning. Logically this is going to have to keep her sidelined for most of the series, at least, because if she recovers and is able to return to duty before Hikari is trained and truly accepted by the 502nd, then they’ll just swap the two of them out, take the sister they were supposed to get in the first place, and send Hikari on to her rear line support station. I can see Takami coming back near the end, but for most of the season she’s going to have to be unfit for duty.

    Which is sad. I liked the two of them together. I was hoping some other scenario was going to happen that would put them both in the 502nd, and we’d get to see them working together there.

  3. So originally Hikari was going to join the 507th unit known as the Silent Witches at Suomus, Kauhava. Said unit is also known as the “Suomus Misfit Squadron” due to the reputation of some of the squad members. Maybe on day we will see them in action who knows.

    I’m really liking Hikari’s character, determination is strong with this one.

  4. Another difference is that, with Strike Witches, it was only one single large Neuroi that attacked. Here, we had thirty Neuroi – a mixture of small and medium ones – coming all at once with an interesting aspect that not all Neuroi have cores; only the medium or bigger ones seeming to have them while the small are just expendable cannon fodder, along with an entire Neuroi Nest just sitting nearby and unleashing a couple more mediums that the rest destroy.

    Then there’s the fact that, where Yoshika actually does, with Mio’s help thanks to her eye, defeat the large Neuroi in Strike Witches, all Hikari can do here is just survive while briefly showing future development with her magic.

    And considering just how strong Takami was already even before using so much magic (which apparently is something the other Witches knew wasn’t a safe thing to do), it’s probably a good thing that she was knocked out of the fight early. Not only does it mean that the 502nd won’t have a near-deus ex machina witch to bail them out a lot, but as mentioned, it also gives Hikari more room to develop without having Takami there to hold her hand, thus allowing Hikari to develop into her own person rather than simply trying to emulate Takami like she’s been trying to do.

    We’re also now officially in-between Strike Witches seasons one and two due to the mention of the Neuroi Nest around Galia being destroyed and with a couple more Strike Witches newspaper references, even one of Erica in Orussia.

  5. Actually, I kinda expected that Takami will leave the stage, and rather sooner than later. For a moment I even thought the off her in first episode. She was set up as such perfect, almost Mary Suish character and draped herself in so many death flags, that they had to do something with her if they didn’t want plot to collapse. If she had some minor flaws – was bad cook, or clumsy or something, then there would be hope for her. But without that, there were basically two options: remove her (kill off, cripple or transfer to Australia) or make her antagonist, and since Neuroi weren’t (so far) shown to use mind control… Well, that’s pretty much what I expected.

  6. I was expecting something forcing Hikari to take place at the frontlines, but that was rather drastic. I was expecting rather Takami being recalled to other duty for some reason, for a moment thought she would need to escort Fusou fleet back home.
    Anyway with Takami having such brokenly OP powers it was necessary to remove her efore she steals the show and runs away with it.
    Also, hikari seems to have at least some talent – surviving 5 minutes alone versus multiple Neuroi, in a Striker Unit she was not trained for… she might be rough but diamond nonetheless.
    Also, 2 LOL moments of the episode:
    anonymous Fusou sailor:
    “I could never tire of watching this”
    me: I know your feelings, man….
    “can I come sleep with you?”
    me: Anytime, baby!

  7. “I severely doubt sailing in the Arctic Ocean is ever that warm and pleasant, especially in the autumn :P”

    I’m gonna assume global warming occurred a bit earlier in the Strike Witches verse and blame it on the Neuroi. Anyway…

    So the Neuroi are starting to move around in wolfpacks… (Figuratively speaking.) That’s one way to up the stakes from the previous Strike Witches series.

    Also, Hikari requesting to join the 502nd kinda reminds me of Katia Waldheim requesting to join the Schwarzesmarken unit. (Idealistic new recruit trying to join an elite, battle-hardened squad.) While the Strike Witches verse is definitely not as grimdark as the Muv-Luv-verse (thanks to the lack of political intrigue/maneuvering between nations, their leaders and powerful individuals), I’m still expecting the eastern front of the Neuroi war to be far more challenging than the western front where the 501st fought.

  8. Takami’s loss wasn’t really surprising, I actually saw it coming a mile away.

    When one has been watching or reading fiction for years they tend to pick up the classic story beats. Simply put, Takami was perfect. She was a war hero, a highly skilled witch, and everyone worshiped her especially her sister. It gets to the point that the only way to develop Hikari’s arc was to either kill off Takami or find some way to bench her. Thankfully they did the latter, and it opens up the next obvious development for Hikari: being compared to her perfect sister.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind this kind of plot, as long as its done right. I like how weak Hikari is, because it gives her plenty of opportunity to develop. I’m fairly certain how Hikari’s arc will culminate: with Takami awakening late in the series, and give validation to how much Hikari has grown. I’m calling it now.

    1. Really?

      Naoe at least has a logical reason for being against Hikari joining; her complete lack of combat experience, even if there is more than likely something else to it that we’ll probably learn about next episode.

      Perrine simply disliked Yoshika out of pure jealously due to how “close” she was to Mio and, like how Misumi was in the previous episode, seemed to try to take any opportunity to show-off, talk down to Yoshika, and so on until well into the series. IIRC, Perrine never even mentions Yoshika’s own lack of combat experience, but simply didn’t like her for shallow reasons.

    2. Except they’re giving her bellicosity a reason instead of using it for artificial drama. It’s pretty obvious Naoe likes Takami and probably considers Hikari a nobody getting in only on her sister’s name. So far at least there’s little concern for Naoe’s character IMO.

    3. Logical what? So the other brave witches are not logical? It’s not about logic and reason here. It’s about manner and how she treat other.

      You don’t act like a bitch and yell at people you only just met like that. No matter what. Except you’re a rude little shit.

    4. You need to put yourself in her shoes.

      She was expecting her friend, a great Ace, to join the 502th. And then, she suddenly found that:
      *Her friend was seriously wounded, going into a coma.
      *The much-needed Ace is incapacitated, with no chances of getting another reinforcement, because the new nest blocked the sea corridor.
      *Aaaand, a rookie, and a true nobody, is asking to join a unit who fight in the frontline in her sister’s place.

  9. In Strike Witches 1/2 Miyafuji discovered there appear to be 2 Neuroi forces at war with each other. One wants to conquer the Earth and the other “appeared” to be trying to communicate with her and even sent a humanoid Neuroi to Miyafuji before it and its hive were destroyed. I hope this season we see some more of that story and not just endless conflict.


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