「ミーナの空」 (Miina no Sora)
How do you know when the endgame approaches? When the
clothing melts off the tanks start moving of course! Or, you know, when key plot points start getting teased in earnest. Yes, Strike Witches has at last reached the moment where it all starts coming together, and in one way or another, the fireworks are bound to get a little explosive.
Following the warning bell that Gertrude and Minna were on their last legs as Witches last I did say it wouldn’t be long before we saw that actualized, and lo and behold the first real sign of it appeared this week. While I wouldn’t anticipate Minna totally losing her power before the end of the season—finales demand everyone play their part—her situation has undeniably lit a fire under everyone that’s bound to result in some more concerted efforts in the not too distant future. Gertrude after all is unlikely to simply let Minna keep going out and about for fear of actually losing her, while the other girls will want to ensure Minna has no reason to fly in the first place by going above and beyond. Not that Charlotte has any reason to work towards that end of course. It isn’t like that fancy new Striker Unit would need a new Witch.
As for what is in store for the big finale, well, I think ominous boss shots do a fine job of foreshadowing. Besides the fun which comes from Strike Witches paying homage to the V-1/-2 rocket strikes of London and the role of jets in combatting them (although the British Gloster Meteor and not the Messerschmitt 163 Komet was first used to intercept these attacks), it’s pretty much going to be season 2 electric boogaloo as Neuroi hive is attacked, surprise mechanics appear, and the Witches are forced to improvise to deal with it. Mind you, probably not the exact same as before (unless Shizuka finds herself absorption target numero uno), but methinks copious saturation bombing probably won’t have the same effect as special Witch powers catalyzed by friendship. Well, that or Ursula-designed weaponry, no one knows what that stuff’s efficacy is going to be like.
After all, we’ve seen how well it works in practice.
The clothing dissolution is not a random bit of fan service but a homage to the rocket propellant used in the Me 163 Komet. The fuel was significantly volatile and corrosive and was actually responsible for dissolving one Komet pilot while alive following the rupture of a fuel line.
Likewise the impromptu takeoff from the Autobahn this episode is a sly calling back to the original purpose the American interstate system was built during the Cold War. Cannot use your airfields because they’re a nuclear wasteland? Just use the highways instead!