As promised from my Spice and Wolf Review I was able to finish marathoning Strike Witches alongside S&W! So I thought it would be nice if I were to make a double combo and make a review for Strike Witches too (Even though it ended last year). Props to Gonzo for making such a wonderful ecchi anime series.
Soo pretty much my Spice and Wolf Review this review will consist of 5 categories I’ll be looking upon.
- Character Designs
In a nutshell, Strike Witches is about a 14 year old girl, who goes by the name of Yoshika Miyafuji, from a nice quiet town in the fictional country of Fuso (Japan, speaking in the real world) who get recruited and becomes part of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, one of the forces stationed off the coast of Brittania, built up by the military in consisting of young women (woo!) with high magical potential who are recruited into militaries around the world to fight against the enigmatic Neuroi, which began an invasion of unprecedented scale on human territory in the year 1939. And across the anime she goes through rigorous training and missions to fight against the Neuroi, making some friends, rivals, working together as a team, fun stuff. Only until like any other battle anime, a climax to end off the series in a blast.
The story is pretty original, based off the Battle of Britain in the Second World War, and the fact that young pantsu-less girls are fighting in the war makes it more original (and entertaining 8D). The anime has a faint sense of an episodic styling in the episodes, which first off, starts introducing each and every character in the squad, showing their true personalities, their background, their purpose of being there, and at least in several episodes, an attack from the Neuroi takes place. Also with my favourite episode out of the 12, the 7th episode of its pantsu-swiping madness and non-pantsu action =3, it was pretty much an episodic episode (filler) if you look at it in another way. Well other than that, I find the plot-device of Yoshika’s apparent deceased father very creative, since Yoshika is fighting in the military against the Neuroi all because of him and her promise made back when she was a kid. Also as being the inventor of the marvellous Striker Unit (the modern day “Witches Broom Stick”, hence one the many reasons they are called Witches) was also a great touch as it kind of motivates Yoshika more in joining and fighting to protect the word. But what kind of irritates me is of the fact that since they have the technology of the Striker Unit (which seems very futuristic), and the Warlock mecha (which shows up at the end, and even more futuristic) and the very modern equipment in the runaway, yet all the furniture, houses in civilisation, cars (ect) all look just like it was back in the old times. Anyone getting what I’m saying? =P
So anyway, a nice original WW2 styled plot a quite confusing way of bringing modern-day technology back into the 19 hundreds in the WW2 era.
Overall Rating: 9/10
What a daring way to end the series I must say.
Holy crap I am soo in love with the OP, the melody, the lyrics, the compatibility with the theme of the series, everything. Love it to the point that I even managed to find a torrent for the OP full album (which only had around 5 seeds/2 leeches so downloading it took a loong long time.) and hit the play button (and loop) non-stop. Gotta say if I were to rate the OP separately I would give it 9000/10. But sadly I cant =(
Only 1 video of the full OP on YouTube!? >:O
The opening “Strike Witches: To Do What I Can” and is sung by Yoko Ishida.
Well moving on the background music in general was generally great. I haven’t really noticed the BGM as I was usually at those time paying deeep attention to the plot, or either staring at the pantsu which is, pretty much what I was doing throughout the 12 episodes =3.
What was special was the fact that the ED, called “Bookmark A Head”, was different in every episode, and when I mean different, usually a solo/duet between the seiyuus of the Witches singing the OP, and in the the last episode, all the main cast is pitted singing together the ED.
If I remember right this one is sung by either Yoko Ishida (The original I assume) or the seiyuu of Yoshika (Misato Fukuen).
So overall, a totally kick-ass awesome OP, awesome ED and excellent BGM/OST that I dodn’t really acknowledge -3-
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
The character designs are pretty well done, even if 97% of all the character aren’t wearing any pants and have their pantsu exposed, haha. With the main character’s age ranging from 12 (Lucchini!!!) to 19 (Sakamoto =/), you could even say that everyone is a minor (=3).
Out of all the characters, I would say my favourite character would be Lucchini, due to her slight sense of tsundere, and mostly because she’s the youngest out of the team and that she’s another fellow bearer of the shimapan legion =3.
What I also found very creative and original was that the designers actually made different models of the striker units Dr. Miyafuji created, and that they are all given a name (eg. Yoshika’s and Sakamoto’s bear the same unit (the A6M3a) and Erica uses the Bf109g-6) I have no idea if they were randomly made using some generator or that they have some purpose, but, its very creative in my opinion.
But if you look at the visual overview of the characters in the above image you’d see that the Striker Units are actually based off the most known fighter planes used in the Second World War, such as Minna’s unit is based off of the Messerschmitt Bf109g-2, and also using the code at the end as her Striker Unit’s model name, and Charlotte’s unit based off the North American p-51D Mustang fighter plane (Which fits in with her Country of Origin, being America 8D).
Other than the Striker Units themselves, the characters are also given actual weapons and arms, which were used in WW2 as well, take a look the the Arms column in the visual overview in the above image for more reference. And also take note that the models were originated from the bearer’s country of origin.
Moving on from the ammo and equipment used during battles the sizes in breasts also ranges from flat chested *looks at Lucchini* (I’d say from A+) to relatively large chested *looks at Charlotte*. Quite a nice turn move with the ranges than making all characters flat chested, or into with ridiculously large boobs *looks at Queens Blade*, not only breasts but the undergarments too, especially the pantsu (dunno about bra, I’d say 40% of them actually wear it =P), from normal plain white pantsu to the ever-loving shimapan pantsu, quite a range we have here. Oh and also Perrine’s tights, hawt =3
So to be tl;dr, well thought-out pants-less character designs, background, virtually anyone wearing any pants (or Trousers -3-) and very moé.
Overall Rating: 10/10
The animation… well, the animation had been given relatively mixed reviews, either its top high quality, and others saying it god damn sucks. But the reason of all this is because of the differences between the animation and the way its shown during the TV broadcast and its DVD release. With the TV broadcast being in lesser quality, the art seems like its been drawn with less effort than expected, and the annoying white void/ordinary household objects censors (for legitimate reasons). With the DVD release episode being in suuper high quality, the art and animation completely revised with several scenes being completely re-drawn and with all the censors annihilated and the steam, dee-steamed.
Here are some examples which I’ve hi-jacked from Sankaku, touched-up and posted here for your leisure.
TV Broadcast on the left and the DVD Version on the right.
This time, the DVD Version on the left, and the TV Broadcast on the right.
Unfortunately, due to my intention of my blog being at a PG-13 minimum, I had to censor the boobs out. You have to go onto Sankaku where I hijacked these to see them~
I guess you all know what I mean by now, the animation was basically crap for the TV Broadcast (which I watched, and literally cried at the censored scenes) and stupidly awesome for the DVD version. Oh! Ohh! This means I get rate BOTH versions! =D
Overall Rating (TV): 3/10
Overall Rating (DVD): 9000/10
Recommendation: Watch the DVD/Uncensored version. As the animation in the TV Broadcast will be shit.
We now interrupt this review with a…
RANDOM SPAM SPEM ATTACK!!!!!!11!!!!!11111111111!!!!!
Strike Witches is about a team of young girls fighting in defending the Earth from some evil aliens which came from nowhere, taking place in a fictional WW2 era. Contains heavy fanservice, pantsu/occasional boob exposure and nude scenes (If you watch the uncensored version) so its mainly aimed at the Older Male target (Seinen) but it can be for anyone I suppose, well not young kids if you want to see them getting scarred at such a young age from exploring a females body, sure. But despite the ecchi ero themes, its also a battle anime (also on the lines of episodic) in saving in Mankind I suppose. Also with a climatic ending and an annoyingly ending cliffhanger, which makes me wonder of Yoshika’s dad really is still alive. Anyways we might as well wonder in our dream world to see that happen.
Well, all in all, its a nice anime to watch if you got the time (I didn’t, but I still watched it =3) with lots of amusing entertainment in every episode, and the seemingly recurring ending cliffhangers in every episode, which makes you crave strongly to watch the next episode asap. Shame it had to end with 12 episodes (Would have been satisfied with 26, or even more =3) but with all the heavy fanservice and the nopan in the 7th episode, I’ll happily accept the short-lived 12 episodes.
OVERALL RATING: 10/10
With the second been announced and Gonzo attaining the rights of being the studio producing the season, even though they’re in (and still?) in a financial crisis and its employees losing their jobs. With no announcements made after their confirmation back in February, the chances of the second season being aired this Fall/Autumn seems slim. Guess we have to wait next year…
Bonus Review! Strike Witches OVA!!
Since I went out my way and wrote this long Strike Witches Review, I thought it would be fun to throw in the OVA review with it. Well here it is~
The OVA (also done by Gonzo) was released a year before the TV Anime began broadcasting. Which lasted 9 minutes (Well technically 6 minutes of footage and 3 minutes of slow moving credits) and basically summarises the story of Strike Witches in 1 episode (Well, a half). Being a year young than the main series, there are several alterations which had taken place in the main TV Anime from the OVA, for example…
TV Anime Title
Notice the main difference between the OVA and the Anime is the silhouette of the Spitfire (?) just at the right of the title and the silhouette of Yoshika in her striker unit in the Anime. Other than that they both seem similar.
That pretty much summarises the OVA. Just a short briefly telling the plot in a few sentences.
OVERALL RATING: 8/10
And thus, the legend of the Witches continue! As they are plunged into the never ending cameos in other airing Anime…