「ザ・フォッグ」 (Za Foggu)
Port secured; logistical chain successfully in place; happy feels all around: yupp, it’s tried and true Strike Witches alright. While I imagine some may be a tad disappointed reserved dominated over lewd this time around (unless you’re neko Francesca of course), it’s hard being satisfied the main plot is back to moving right along and gearing up for big boss fights and happy celebrations both. Not that I’m expecting stupendous finale fireworks, but methinks rave-esque laser beams will do the job just fine.
After getting Erica and Gertrude some time to shine, the only Witch pair left outstanding (barring one wholesome Lynette) was Eila and Sanya, which was conveniently taken care of this week. While we got a typical premise for such character reintroductions/development (overcoming personal biases and hubris are hallmarks for creating happy ever afters, no matter the influence of alien invaders in the proceedings), it still did the job just fine of showing Sanya to be a smart little cutie pie in need of a head pat or twelve, and playing up one perfect tsundere-in-training with Eila who definitely can use some further screentime because reasons. Important reasons. And that doesn’t even touch on going full Finnish
Christmas Saturnus festival because obviously nothing says adorable like surprising the wannabe gift giver with some gifts of her own. Yes, I might just indeed have a soft spot for Eila.
On a more serious note though is where things are heading in this season’s latter third and we got some indication this episode. Besides the seizure of Kiel giving way to an inevitable battle for Berlin within the next few weeks, the coming of post-Witch age for both Gertrude and Minna means some noticeable pressure is about to be exerted on the 501st to see this latest offensive through as soon as possible. This isn’t just to give both our senior leaders a well-deserved sense of cathartic satisfaction either; once Gertrude and Minna reach the age of twenty, the 501st is set to lose two very important members who arguably have similar status to Mio. Not only will affect the current squad members (Erica for one is going to feel really listless with her designated chocolate dispenser), but bring on a whole new set of troubles as promotions occur and new members like Shizuka are brought on. These sorts of changes are not what you want to deal with when in the middle of battle, so you can expect a serious attempt to wrap things up before they make their presence felt.
After all, such change and growth would be perfect for any future Strike Witches sequel.