「復讐の猟犬」 (Fukushuu no Ryouken)
“Hounds of Vengeance”
From Antwerp to Berlin, one
crash landing step at a time. Continuing in the vein of weekly character (re)introductions, Strike Witches brought back everyone’s favourite German duo of Erica and Gertrude this week for a bit of friendly bonding—and some more than friendly exposition. We may still be taking our time in getting to the big showdown at season’s end, but never fear, because the results are always worth it.
Much like last episode helped remind us about the intricacies of Perrine’s personality, this one was pretty much all about showing how Gertrude is more than just a serious leader purely looking to maintain discipline amongst the rabble. Sure, we got plenty of that disciplinarian in action again (albeit less effective than Gertrude would probably like), but really it was all about highlighting just how much the girl cares for her junior Erica and the lengths she’ll go to keep her safe. And how much it affects her when she thinks she’s failed. Such intense emotion inevitably colours many of the scenes this week, and while Gertrude’s cold and determined rage is understandable, a few of her responses left a bad taste for me. No matter the plan in mind, no matter how much the anger is needed to stay on track, I think girls like Charlotte are owed some form of apology after stuff like this, even if the end results were successful. Might just be me, but close allies never deserve such talk at any time; as with Minna in the sauna it can often be better to simply stay silent than lash out.
Beyond embarrassed Gertrude though, it was the same steady buildup to the big fight. Yoshika is now firmly back in action after getting in the right mindset, and while the threat of a repeat burnout exists (have to keep options open for later after all), she’s more or less return to normal. Likewise, with Antwerp still intimately acquainted with Titanic’s iceberg, the ever-ravenous wartime logistics machine turns to Kiel, which per Strike Witches’ love of history, was actually a suggested invasion target in both World Wars I and II (got to love reading specialist literature). And then comes the Neuroi with their newfound love of speedy bois and giving Charlotte’s latest flight unit a true run for her money. How will all of this fit together and where will it end? Anyone’s guess at this point, but rest assured Strike Witches won’t leave us hanging when it comes to a season finale. There’ll be fighting, there’ll be plenty of struggle, and oh yes there’ll be a massive celebration when victory is achieved.
At least right after we finish indulging in Francesca’s feminine impulses and figuring out just where the hell Gertrude kept that pistol of course.
Full-length images: 27