「結成ストライクウィッチーズ」 (Kessei Sutoraiku Uicchizu)
“The Strike Witches Come Together”

Although I’m somewhat kicking myself for covering Strike Witches a couple weeks early (that quality difference does not lie), no denying it’s nice seeing the original witches back doing witchy things. Don’t think for a second that this season will be doing anything different than before (heh), but if you needed some cutesy alien invasion done right, look no further than this.

After all the fun of having Yoshika featured last time, this week was a more “traditional” affair of overcoming hardships, bringing back the boys girls, and crushing alien face. Obviously by Strike Witches standards it’s the bog-standard material seen countless times before, but after such a prolonged break? Oh you know you loved every minute of it. Even I have a hard time really complaining about the usual Neuroi butt-kicking going on considering animation quality (barring the honestly fine 3DCGI I’m sure some will still find a way to hate) and voice acting were all on point, and we even found time to work in some first episode quirks that I honestly thought would be one week affairs. Note to self: Swiss military equipment in real life is definitely not that poorly maintained.

Beyond the fun of witchy reunions though, in terms of story little else is known for the moment. While the nature of this season is out in the open with striking forth towards Berlin, there’s still quite a bit of ambiguity surrounding the nature of the upcoming threats and what we can expect our half-clothed cast to experience before reaching their final objective. After all, you don’t just tease the enemy doing something wholly unexpected – i.e. their appearance in water – and then forget about it later on. Clearly the Neuroi have been growing and improving in order to further their relentless march, obviously they have additional plans if attacking Antwerp is any indication, but what those specifically are? Your guess is as good as mine. Frankly it’s nice seeing Strike Witches knows how to keep a surprise or two in reserve though, for while we all know how this season will likely end—i.e. not a witch killed—the path to reach it can certainly retain a few hidden cliffsides.

No guarantees they’ll be the most stupendous of cliffsides of course, but next week should hopefully give us a good taste of just what’s in store for the rest of this season.

 

Preview

22 Comments

    1. Biggest surprise for me was the featuring of the Scheldt, even for some WW2 buffs and historians that’s a seriously overlooked (and utterly brutal) campaign.

      Guess it helps having a great uncle who fought in it though 😛

      1. Well, we did give you guys enough of a heads-up, while also citing other ani-news sources (Livechart, ANN, MAL) that mentioned Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club will be airing this season.

        That said, thanks for not totally ditching Love Live! Nijigasaki.

        Incognito
  1. Did a back-to-back watching of the TV version of episode 1 and this episode… And it’s much, MUCH better with the opening and ending themes (that quality, too). Also enjoyed the opening’s cameos of Sherman Calliopes and a late-war(?) Tiger I with a different camo scheme from the usual panzergrau seen in the movie. Ditto the ending sequence call-back to the 501st’s old Britannian and Romagnan home bases from seasons 1 and 2, respectively.

    OK, on to the actual episode:

    – I know the explosion on Fort Scheldt was most likely caused by the Neuroi detonating the fort’s ammunition stores. (T’was also eerily reminiscent of that massive explosion in Beirut back in August.) But mushroom clouds will always remind me of the one weapon that would literally bring hell to the Strike Witches world if the Neuroi had them: Nukes. (Hell, I already shudder at the thought of active nuclear weapons stockpiles at the hands of a sociopathic tyrant who thinks little of his own or other people IRL. Nobody “wins” in a nuclear war, after all.)
    – Ah, Antwerp(en)… The ultimate strategic objective of the failed Ardennes Offensive in real life, it was a crucial supply port for the Western Allies. To think that’s also the target of the Neuroi (albeit by sea this time) in the Strike Witches-verse. And despite failing to take Antwerp(en), the attack nonetheless delays the Allies’ westward push into Germany/Karlsland. (I sense the Eastern Front’s Brave Witches will be busier as a result. Fingers crossed on a future joint operation.)
    – If a Neuroi managed to embed itself inside that huge iceberg and made its way toward Antwerp(en), by any chance (based on this map of Neuroi-occupied territory), could the Neuroi still have an active hive up in the cold northern area of Orussia? (Or did that Neuroi somehow sneak past witch patrols and snagged a ‘berg from an icy fjord in northern Baltland?)
    – I almost expected the 501st to stop that iceberg with their magic shields–in a similar vein to the signature scene from Char’s Counterattack. But perhaps that reference would be too on the nose, plus the whole battle with the Neuroi already exhausted the 501st (also, physics). Good thing the civilians were evacuated in time.
    – While Altia and her father managed to get that happy reunion, the brave men who manned Fort Scheldt had to make the ultimate sacrifice. While this isn’t as grimdark as Muv-Luv Alternative, war is still hell.

    If the push to Berlin begins after episode 3 (which seems to be a breather episode where Shizuka Hattori adjusts to life in the 501st), I wonder if it will also involve Romagno-Venetian, Britannian, Liberion and Karlsland naval units as well? (The Imperial Fuso Navy did manage to sail the Yamato up the Rhine River in the movie.) Or will this be more of an army + air force thing? Looking forward to the rest of the season.

    Incognito
  2. While reading here the old Movie, i saw this Picture:
    https://randomc.net/image/STRIKE%20WITCHES/STRIKE%20WITCHES%20The%20Movie%20-%20Large%20100.jpg

    and something came into my mind. In Girls und Panzer movie, the was a”Slipstream” scene with tanks, what if here they could do the same?

    With Shirley (The US Girl) as the Main Witch on Speed and some other Witch cling to her like on the Picture? or Both use their Full speed to arcive braking the Sound barrier with Piston Engines.. Well, if Shriley could overtake an Witch ME 232 Version (You still remember?) then with a little help she surly can break the Sound barrier.

    Why two?

    1. Speed of course
    2. Stronger “wind shield” and guarding aura for her bodies and machine (or alone the Wind and heat would make this impossible
    3. Friendship are Strong!!

    😉

    Worldwidedepp
    1. Hero Academia – where our Deku had the “Reverse Time and healing” Girl on her back..

      Shirley and our Little Healing Girl here could fit. Shirley converts the extra power of her into Speed and the other Girl keep the “Sonic Speed Shield” alive and feeds Shirley Engines

      p.s. Sorry for falling into my old bad habit. But i blame it on the “forced stay at home!” lockdowns and my Mind need distraction

      Worldwidedepp
      1. Because of the Overdrive, Shriley’s Engines will not last long. When the Job is down she will crash with Burnout Engines, The Italian Girl catch Shriley and our Sniper Girl the other, voila

        An typical “Strike Witches” save the day happy end

        Worldwidedepp

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