The year is 1944 and the world lives in fear of unidentified flying objects called Neuroi. With the old-boy old guard unable to thwart this deadly menace, humanity turns its desperate eyes to an aerial attack force with much nicer legs. Meet the girls of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, better known as the Strike Witches. These darlings of the great blue yonder may not have standard issue uniforms, but they do have all the right stuff. Where the average flyboy falters, these dolls blast aliens to bits in the bat of an eyelash. With a little magic and a whole lot of leg, the girls of the 501st are winning the war on pants, and aliens!
#01: "Bookmark A Head" by Misato Fukuen and Saeko Chiba (eps 1-2) #02: "Bookmark A Head" by Misato Fukuen and Kaori Nazuka (ep 3) #03: "Bookmark A Head" by Misato Fukuen and Mie Sonozaki (ep 4) #04: "Bookmark A Head" by Chiwa Saitō and Ami Koshimizu (ep 5) #05: "Bookmark A Head" by Mai Kadowaki and Erika Nakai (ep 6) #06: "Bookmark A Head" by Miyuki Sawashiro and Sakura Nogawa (ep 7) #07: "Bookmark A Head" by Rie Tanaka and Saeko Chiba (ep 8) #08: "Bookmark A Head" by Misato Fukuen and Miyuki Sawashiro (ep 9) #09: "Bookmark A Head" by Misato Fukuen and Rie Tanaka (ep 10) #10: "Bookmark A Head" by Saeko Chiba and Miyuki Sawashiro (ep 11)
#11: "Bookmark A Head" by Misato Fukuen, Saeko Chiba, Rie Tanaka, Miyuki Sawashiro, Kaori Nazuka, Sakura Nogawa, Mie Sonozaki, Chiwa Saitō, Ami Koshimizu, Mai Kadowaki, and Erika Nakai (ep 12)
*A Japanese government endorsed loli-pantsu anime.*
Please don't say it is bad just because you find girls in panties horrifying. I admit it is lousy for the director to claim that girls in panties = fashion in the Strike Witches' world, but that alone is no reason to give a bad rating to an anime (if you do, I am sorry, you don't know how to rate at all). Strike Witches is MUCH deeper than one may expect to find from a fanservice-oriented series.
--Updated on February 12, 2009--
The Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs has recently openly endorsed Strike Witches as an example of cultural excellence.
The world of Strike Witches is pretty much parallel to our world up to 1939 (before World War II). At that time, mysterious beings known as Neuroi invaded Europe. Thus rather than the real WWII, this resulted in a war between Human VS Neuroi. The story revolves around a group of girls with special magical powers that allow them to equip the "Striker Units" to combat the Neuroi. The story proceeds nicely with these magical girls fighting Neuroi, but sadly the ending seem to be a bit "wishy-washy".
The art and animation quality is great for the most part. The battle scenes, in particular, are extremely well made. In short, we see a nice blending effects from the battle animation with the regular drama scenes. All episodes seem to have highly consistent animation and of course, the DVD includes polished artwork and fanservice.
The OP and ED are both good although not particularly outstanding and there's a good chance you'll forget about them after a few days. However, the melody of the songs suit the theme of the anime quite nicely. In addition, the battle themes and the Japanese version of Lili Marlene (a famous German love song that was popular during World War II) all contributed nicely to the series and are valuable assets to the show.
The production group did a nice job at introducing the main/supporting characters and then slowly further develop them. Actually, the character introductions might explain why the story started out slowly (after all there are 11 girls to talk about). If there is one thing I find the characters disappointing it is that some of the witches' specialty were not revealed until the end (most were never mentioned).
Though I didn't like to see girls showing off their panties the way they are done in this anime, but putting that aside, the show itself (from story to art to sound to character) is very well planned out and the fact that they include references to the real WWII is just that much more interesting to watch. (*edit* The ending was really surprising, hope you'll enjoy the show just as much as I did)read more
I don't know what it was that intrigued me about this show when I first saw it but I was very interested in seeing it after the first episode. In the end it was a bit disappointing though because early on I thought it had the potential to be something very special.
As others have said, Strike Witches is automatically going to appeal to a certain group of people, and you probably already know who you are. Basically SW is the battle of Britain with Loli witches riding mechanical brooms fighting mysterious aliens and carrying huge guns... without pants. Yes I don't understand the last part either. If you love cute girls in their panties and LOTS of highly detailed shots of those girls in said panties, this is definitely your show! Also judging from the amount of bath scenes there is surely to be a lot of boobs for those who watch the DVD release.
Not that any of the above really offends me, because it doesn’t. But I hate to see the story suffer because of excessive fan service, and in Strike Witches case it does. In a 12 episode series there is very little time to develop the characters and storyline, and SW wastes at least 2 full episodes catering to fan service. One episode is devoted entirely to the girls walking around without their panties on and stealing each others.
The story which started with a lot of promise really loses steam as it winds down. So much is left unexplained and the motives of the Neuroi are never explained. A very significant plot hole remains unexplained in the final story arc and it just felt like a downer when you don’t get a very satisfying conclusion.
You might think because of the above comments that I hated this show, but I really didn't. The show does do a number of things right. First the animation is really good. The girls are really cute and I fell in love with all of them. The show does manage to develop all their personalities pretty well. There is a lot of action too, the air battles with the Neuroi are pretty fun. The OP and EN songs are pretty good but aren’t really anything special.
In the end the show was fun to watch but I am left feeling a bit let down. It just didn't live up to the potential it had early on. Some people are going to like this show a lot though. If you’re looking for some mindless fun for several hours with the bonus of pantsu then you should check this show out. read more
Though Strike Witches isn't nearly as generic as the first few eps would lead you to believe, it's still nothing to get all in a tizzy about. Moe cliches and fetishism abound, you already know the audience with one glance, and if you're in that audience it's not half-bad.
Strike Witches is about young girls fighting faceless enemies in an alternate WWII era. Inexplicably, they sprout animal ears and tails when they use magic and pants don't seem to exist anymore. As you can probably guess, this isn't a show heavy in plot. What makes it relatively enjoyable is that the plot (and use that word very loosely) is often negated in favor of servicey hijinks and yuri subtext. Well, at least the show knows it's audience.
This 1940s farce is headed by a gaggle of 16-year-old girls who look half that age, but somehow have boobs. The girls' personalities are relegated to such archetypes as tsundere, big-boobed klutz, brat, etc. etc. They're somewhat redeemed by being reverse-gender caricatures of famous WWII leaders. Go figure.
The art, though GONZO, is relatively subdued. It's aesthetically pleasing outside of the Neuroi and flows smoothly. Best of all, there's no CG glut commonly associated with anime of this studio.
The soundtrack is just a hair's breadth above mediocre, and the OP and ED are patchwork themes in music and lyrics. Hardly inspiring.
If you like cute girls showing their panties, then I don't see why you'd turn this down. But don't expect anything even remotely serious from Strike Witches. It's a 100% guilty pleasure.
Overall, Strike Witches gets a 6 out of 10.read more
The Strike Witches series follows Yoshika Miyafuji, teenage girl who goes to school (in a skirtless uniform) and helps her mother and grandmother around their medical clinic. Her father, Dr. Miyafuji, the inventor of the Striker Unit (what you're here for, if not the butts) has been MIA for some time. Yoshika, appalled by war, ends up enlisting in the navy in order to find out about the fate of her father. Hilarity ensues as she enters the boob-and-butt-festival that is the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, a group of elite ace pilots, even though she has no combat experience whatsoever. Doesn't it sound idiotic? Guess what? It's actually not half bad.
As part of the Strike Witches fandom, I've endured many a slight against my favorite anime. Every single one has been accurate. Yes, this show is 75% fanservice and 25% inaccurate WWII history. Yes, it caters to fanboys who just want to see boobies and big guns. But does it have potential? You bet. Nearly every character has the major components of a good one. They have reasons for their behavior, they have motives, they're relatable. The writers and animators could have focused on this aspect, and Strike Witches would have been a whole lot better. Hell, they could have kept in all the butts and cameltoe if they wanted. A little character development would have made this show a great challenge to the general flat-as-a-board ecchi character group. However, they decided to appeal to a mishmash of historical buffs and drooling, mindless fanboys.
Despite all this, I think that Strike Witches is worth watching. As a SW fan, I've learned more about WWII than I ever learned in high school. People claim the same thing of Hetalia, but somehow Hetalia manages to annoy me even more than Strike Witches does. That's beside the point. Strike Witches has a huge universe to build on, appealing animation, and is basically a big bundle of untapped potential. Until that potential is tapped, I'll keep searching for an anime with character, story, and sweet butts.read more
A perfectly-timed gust of wind. A low camera angle. Once in a while we get a peek under a skirt. And sometimes, just sometimes, we get a glimpse of the legendary striped anime panties that are shimapan.