Synonyms: Strike Witches TV
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 4, 2008 to Sep 19, 2008
Producers: Gonzo, FUNimation EntertainmentL, Kadokawa Shoten, The Klock Worx, NTT Docomo, 501st JOINT FIGHTER WING
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: R+ - Mild NudityL represents licensing company
Score: 7.291 (scored by 22627 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsloli magic military sci-fi
Aug 28, 2008
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
Oct 25, 2008
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.
Dec 28, 2009
It's a story that has been done before, of course: mysterious aliens invade earth. They attack our cities and villages one by one, and conventional military weaponry is useless against them. Luckily, an elite band of young people have been found and given experimental weaponry that can be used against the xenos. This kind of story usually creates all kinds of angst and bawwwing, but Strike Witches avoids this cliche since it's set in the last good war. In fact the series is full of vitality and optimism, and the heroines are a squadron of cute flying catgirls that you will surely grow to love.
The art style reflects the good nature and spirits of the series with a vivid palette of colors that will delight your eyes and mind. In fact, the production values in general are excellent, from the cheerful, quirky character designs to the gorgeously animated aerial battles between the witches and their alien foes. There are a few scenes of war-ravaged Europe to show the stakes of the battle, but the series in general is bright and clean. There are a few darker twists towards the end of the story, but it finishes with a positive note, even though many parts of the story are left to be wrapped up in the second season.
It seems, however, that a few people known to the world as moralfags have taken offense to the fact that females in this alternate version of earth have foregone the useless and unpleasant shackles of wearing pants. Why these people would bitch about such a thing is anyone's guess, but this bit of trivia doesn't hurt the entertainment value of Strike Witches in the least, and in fact only adds to its quirky charm. read more
Sep 18, 2008
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
Nov 6, 2008
Young girls with guns and no pants...Hell Yes!
Good characters-All of them stood out among each other and they all mesh very well while still clashing with each other.
Air combat-Well it's no Area 88 or anything like that but it's still pretty cool to watch if I do say so myself.
Forced homosexuality-Though there is no lesbian action here, you can pretty much tell are either gay (Perrine especially) or are still exploring their sexuality (Yoshika), and that adds some nice humor.
Archetype aces/characters somewhat nailed-They definitely nailed the whole Erich Hartmann/Gerhard Barkhorn thing pretty well. Anyone who's read "The Blond Knight of Germany-The Story of Erich Hartmann" will know how well that was translated into Erica and Gertrud. Saburo Sakai was very well translated into Mio Sakamoto, and Chuck Yeager's spirit of adventure seemed to be very well present in Charlotte. The aristocratic side of Pierre Clostermann was also pretty well translated into Perrine as well.
Weak plot-Yes, I understand the whole saving humanity thing, but it took about eight episodes in a twelve episode series for the plot to really pick up and things to get really juicy. And then it just ended. Lame...
Animal parts-Okay, I know lots of people like this, but I don't. It just looks rather disturbing and not very cute to me at all. While watching Strike Witches I was able to mostly overlook it, it still got on my nerves at times.
Not enough done with certain characters-The biggest thing that got to me, Erica didn't play a bigger role. Come on, she was based off of the ACE OF ACES Erich Hartmann himself, the greatest fighter pilot of all time. Why didn't she get more spotlight time in air combat? Who knows, but I don't think it does the guy a lot of justice.
Better archetypes could have been made-I don't understand why Minna wasn't based off of Adolf Galland and instead was based off of Wolf Dietrich Wilcke. Sure he was a high scoring during WW2 (175 kills), but if you know anything about WW2 air combat, no one ever talks about him. Lynette should have been Johnnie Johnston (highest scoring British ace of all time, 35 kills against the Luffwaffe) and not Billy Bishop, who was Canadian and not British. While not that bad, it would have been cooler to see Sanya be based off of Alexandr Porshynkin rather then Lidiya Litvak simply because of the gender thing, but that wasn't as bad as basing Minna off of a relatively unknown ace and basing Lynette off of someone who was Canadian and not British.
Archetype/characters messed up a bit-Pierre Clostermann's aristocratic side was rather overdone, and Erich Hartmann's free spiritedness was also a bit overdone. Also Billy Bishop wasn't very translated well into Lynette, the real guy was a pretty daring pilot and yet she was pretty shaky and not very confident of herself. I can't say much about characters like Francessca, Minna, Eila, Sanya, and others on how they lived up to their pilot archetypes.
Striker units-The whole idea of basing them off of other planes, well it just seemed like one more side note to make them stand out that kind of just failed. I don't understand why Erica's striker was painted black and gold when it was Gerhard Barkhorn who did that in WW2, Erich actually painted his black and red (read on how the Soviets feared what they called "The Devil's Tulip" when they saw him in the air). Only really Charlotte's stood out as looking anything like the plane it was off of.
One final note that's a bit sad, all but one of the aces used as pilot archeytpes are dead. Erich Hartmann (cause of death-a cold due to a weakened immune system from another disease), Gerhard Barkhorn (cause of death-car accident), Lidiya Litvak (cause of death-KIA), Billy Bishop (cause of death-natural causes), Pierre Clostermann (cause of death-natural causes), Saburo Sakai (cause of death-natural causes), Tetsuzō Iwamoto (cause of death-blood poisoning after surgery), Kaneyushi Mutoh (cause of death-KIA), Ilmari Juultainen (cause of death-natural causes), Franco Lucchini (cause of death-KIA), and Wolf Dietrich Wilcke (cause of death-KIA), those guys are all gone. The only one that is still alive is Chuck Yeager, who as of today is 85 years old, healthy, and still alive and goes around the country to speak at various demonstrations and such. Apparently because of some fans of his on his myspace page, he may even know about Strike Witches as well. I wonder what he thinks of all this?
Well, I guess for history buffs like me, Strike Witches was an interesting watch. I guess it's worth watching again, though not without serious thought and caution. It's a fun series and one that isn't too serious, and I think that may be it's greatest charm. One thing's for sure, I can't wait to hear what Chuck Yeager has to say about all this. read more
Apr 12, 2011
Yoshika Miyafuji is a kind-spirited, perky 14-year old. She also happens to be able to heal others with magic. She leads a peaceful life, that is until she decides to join the fight against the Neuroi, the mysterious enemy threatening the Earth, with a little prodding from commander Mio Sakamoto. Yoshika becomes a member of the Strike Witches, young women with magical powers who are the strongest defense against the Neuroi. Yoshika's reputation precedes her, as her father is the designer of the "Striker" units the Witches use to fly. Together with her new comrades in the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, Yoshika is bound to have some big battles ahead of her, as well as some silly mishaps.
On the technical-side, Strike Witches is a pretty little package. The character designs are not anything especially innovative, but they look lively, and are well proportioned (which is important considering the rampant fan-service). The backgrounds are also well detailed, everything from the vast sky to the interior of the witches outpost looks stellar. The animation is fluid overall, though it is clear most of the focus went to the spectacular air battles. The camera angles do a good job of getting maximum exposure of the girls, even in the midst of battle, which is a big plus for the ecchi fans out there. Gonzo's habit of inserting CGI into their works is present here, but it is used accordingly; it is mainly used for the Neuroi. The music is probably the least memorable thing here. It is not at all bad, and fits the series quite well, but somehow it just does not stand out much compared to what you are seeing.
Well, the problems this show has are pretty obvious. For one, it caters to otaku, or more precisely ecchi fans, rather than casual viewers. Anyone who is not into animated teenage girls having their privates exposed while fighting a seemingly faceless adversary will likely avoid this after a single glance. Even if they did though, they will still find a plot that is lacking. Very little is explained about this world, which is in fact an alternative version of the WWII era, a fact I left out in my summery because it has very little barring on the plot (other than the characters' names). The Neuroi are given no understandable motive, not that it matters since they only serve as opponents for the witches and little more. Heck, the powers of the witches are barely even explored. Why do they sprout animal appendages when they activate their powers? To please the otaku masses is my guess. Why do witches lose their magic around the age of 20? Well, they needed some reason the military would rely on a bunch of teenage girls. This is all haphazard writing, and it shows. However, all these short comings are remedied by the fact that the show does not take itself too seriously. Most of the shows run is spent on ecchi shenanigans and visually spectacular battles against the Neuroi, and it works. This is what makes the show enjoyable despite its poor writing.
One thing that the writing did get right was the characters. The witches are a collection of surprisingly refreshing personalities. They all have distinctive personality quirks that make them likable, from shy Lynette to free-spirited (and boob obsessed) Francesca. Even the snobbish Perrine is likable. The girls play off each other well, especially within the duos the show seems to pair them in. Whether they are kindred spirits, like the mischievous Charlotte and Francesca, or an odd couple like disciplined Trude and laid-back Erica, the chemistry between them is delightful. This is not really masterful characterization, as characters have difficulty carrying more dramatic moments, but it cannot be said that any of the characters are unlikable (with the exception of the hard-ass general, who's whole purpose was to be unlikable).
Strike Witches is a show that knows its viewership and aims straight for them. It does not even try to appeal to anyone outside of its demographic, and therein lies its biggest strength and weakness. Those who like this kind of thing will love this show; those who don't will avoid it like a plague. As for this reviewer, I'm on the fence, torn between the guilty pleasure that is the ecchi genre and the sensibility of better penned stories. read more
Dec 1, 2012
Strike Witches is perhaps the most elaborate method to showcase girls in their underwear that has ever been contrived; while other series make use of upward camera angles or ‘hillarious’ accidental groping to provide the viewer with their ration of sexual titillation, Gonzo decided that it was time to stop beating about the bush and start being candid. And what could be more candid than a five second close up of an adolescent girl’s camel toe?
Admittedly it’s not exactly the most cultured form of entertainment around, and certainly not one you’ll ever find yourself recommending to your parents, co-workers, prospective sexual partners or any Federal Agents that happen to be paying you a visit. However, for those of you who only need to worry about the last item on that list, Strike Witches is the perfect anime for you!
But you don’t need your picture on the side of a Milk Carton in order to enjoy Strike Witches; if you just want to watch one of the most creative, action packed and entertaining anime series out there, then all you need to do is swallow your pride and take your first flight with the guys and girls of the 501st Joint Fighter Squadron.
Just kidding- there aren’t any guys in Strike Witches. Honestly, who on earth would want to see men flying around in their underwear? No, that would just be silly. Yup, they’re all girls. All eleven of them. With each one representing every country in the world that matters- Japan, Britain, The United States of America, Germany, France, Japan, The Soviet Union, Finland, Italy, Germany and Germany. If you’re feeling a little disappointed with that list, you needn’t worry too much—there are more German characters introduced later on in the show.
Of course, with a main character to episode ratio of almost 1:1, you might expect a few issues with character development. And you’d be right- almost half of the cast spend three quarters of the series effectively as background scenery- though the problem is alleviated to a certain degree by the fact that the whole cast has only a quarter of a personality between them.
It sounds terrible, and it probably is- a cast made up entirely of stereotypes is certainly not an artistic statement- but at the same time it’s what allows Strike Witches to work. We don’t need to know about each character, because we already know everything there is to know about them- because we’ve seen them a thousand times before. It sounds a bit illogical, but what’s the use of applying logic to a show about a group of teenage girls flying through the air with aeroplane propellers strapped to their ankles?
And it’s not as if they’re unlikable characters. Quite the opposite, in fact- among the cast of eleven, you’ll end up liking at least eight of them. If nothing else, they certainly are an entertaining bunch to watch.
Now we’ve covered all the key points, let’s delve a little deeper and look at the less important elements of the story, like the story itself: Post World War 2, Alien invasion, Aircraft powered by magic. Got that? Good.
There is an overarching storyline here, but if you hadn’t already realised, Strike Witches isn’t exactly a work of literary genius. What does matter though are the individual episode stories, which are excellent- great fun to watch and reasonably original, which believe me is saying a lot for an ecchi anime. There’s a good mix of action packed battles, low brow humour and some melodrama that makes for some lowest common denominator entertainment of the highest calibre.
On the subject of melodrama, one unintentionally amusing aspect of the show is the use of overly dramatic orchestral music during the battle sequences. When juxtaposed to the high pitched, middle of the road J-pop of the opening sequence, it’s hard not to let out a snobbish little chuckle. Talk about delusions of grandeur...
Of course, when it comes to presentation, there are no delusions... just sweet, sweet grandeur.
Whatever you may think of Gonzo Entertainment, of CGI visuals or of the moe aesthetic, there’s no getting around the fact that Strike Witches is quality animation at its finest. Particularly the battle sequences, which were fast paced, well choreographed and smooth. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it was so well animated that I get a hard on just thinking about it, and not just because of those panty shots I mentioned earlier.
The integration of CGI with traditional animation (by which I mean digital animation) has long been a burning issue for anime fans, without any clear resolution -should those responsible for it be burned at the stake, or would tarring-and-feathering them be justifiable- where you stand on the issue is entirely up to you; but even the most unreasonable of lynch mobs should be willing to consider letting Strike Witches off the hook, because it has actually made it work. That’s right; no obvious shade-free surfaces or objects that look out of place- everything is well done and kept in the backdrop, where it should be when it can’t be where it really ought to be (off screen).
This review has attempted to justify the unjustifiable. It has struggled desperately to sing the praises of a show that is little more than a cacophony of the worst vices in anime- thirty year old single men, thirteen year old girls and, worst of all, three dimensional animation. Cynics will say that Strike Witches is a show that was made with only one goal; to sell to as many depressing and possibly slightly gullible single middle aged men as possible, and the fact that it’s hugely entertaining is a mere co-incidence -and maybe they’re right. But perhaps they can take a little comfort from the fact that it didn’t quite work out.
“A single sale is a tragedy; but even a million sales won’t save Gonzo from Bankruptcy”
Jan 23, 2009
Picking up slowly, with the introduction of the setting and characters, it eases us in to a somewhat formulaic format. We begin with our heroine, Yoshika Miyafuji and her initial anti-war sentiment and her joining the titular organisation. It then segues in to the exploration of the respective members of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing with a Neuroi usually present to showcase the ability of that particular member. There is a twist of course, but I leave that for you to discover on your own. I have a particular gripe about the plot's pacing though. It feels like the plot twist was constructed in a hurry and tacked on for the last few episodes. All in all, not too shabby.
The 501st Joint Fighter Wing is an aerial unit circa WW2 and its task is to stop Neuroi who deploy in the air. Beautiful aerial dogfights ensue with pretty explosions and very "nice views". Many seem to discredit Strike Witches solely for the fanservice and in a sense I understand, its enough to cause a fatal nosebleed. But that isn't the only fault it has. Rendered English countrysides look plastic when the 501st have some field exercises. My god do they look plastic. Otherwise, the 3D rendered art looks detailed, especially the Japanese Carrier Akagi, the 2D backgrounds look up to snuff and the lighting is justly positioned.
The sound is not spectacular though it does a good job of providing us with good audio cues. Few parts have audio that I feel does not go with a scene. Sound effects too sound a bit off kilter and it feels like all the guns sound the same. Those who watch quite a lot of anime may recognise some familiar voices too but this is where your mileage may vary.
At its heart, Strike Witches is the 501st's war story and in war stories, it explores the characters and their relations to each other. Some of it feels too sudden though, such as Yoshika's sudden change of heart to enlist. However, as the bulk of character development is on a per episode basis, we get enough of a feeling for each of the characters, showing interpersonal relationships, personalities, hopes and fears, particularly of the veterans of the conflict.
This was a fun and mostly light show. In fact, if you look past the fanservice and the initial blood loss involved, its something that could be recommended to anyone interested in magical girls or aerial combat action. However, it was more the little parallels to our history that had me appreciating Strike Witches, especially mirroring Erich Hartmann wearing Hitler's hat with Erica Hartmann's wearing someone else's "pants" (they have the gall to call them pants) as a result of their stupor. As far as enjoyment goes, taking an alien threat and putting it in a WW2 era setting while replacing actual ace pilots with loli magical girls with no pants sounds like a winner to me. read more
Jul 7, 2012
Opening sequence: 7/10
Ending sequence: 7/10
My Age Rating: PT: Strong suggestive content as well as moderate sexual content.
The story of Strike Witches is simple, an alien invasion takes place in what is basically WW II and the countries have united to fight that threat with pantless witches flying with machine guns and swords. During the course of the show the plot remains fairly simple and easy to follow and there is a bit of a twist at the end that’s rather interesting, the fanservice takes a bite during the last episodes too, but aside from that it’s not really anything deep even though it is quite entertaining. Around half the episodes are not even plot related, most of them involve the girls doing training or going about their lives on the base and of course, they are episodes that truly accentuate the fact that this in fact a fanservice series, though don’t get me wrong, you’ll pretty much know from the get go.
At the very least the series pulls some really great action and aerial battles as well as naval battles of sorts at some points. The action is well made and really pulls you in. I think that this series didn’t go for a complicated plot because it knew it didn’t need one, after all plot isn’t everything and so where that element lacked they used the free space it gave them to up the quality of the remaining factors, action being one such factor.
Of course another thing that compensates for the lack of plot and most likely helped gather such a fanbase as Strike Witches’ is the setting: They really went all out on making a WW II setting, complete with guns, scenery and references from that period. The characters themselves are derived from well known WW II prominent figures and several events are intended as comical versions of actual events that occurred. This was more than a smart move on their part as it attracted a large amount of people who are fascinated and interested in the subject. Of course this being Gonzo it also goes without saying the backgrounds, the sky and the animation in general was top notch as well, which only further assists in delivering the theme itself.
The characters were something else that impressed me. When it all starts the first impression is that they are stereotypical or moe fuel for Otaku but it turns out to be quite different. Indeed relying on first impressions is not a good tactic as when you really don’t know anything about the characters of a show they can all seem like they aren’t much. Overall the cast is quite diverse and really well portrayed; whether it be to deliver fanservice, good action scenes or just plain regular character interactions, the series does so with accuracy and stays true to the characters in the process. You won’t get characters that act completely out of whack or out of character purely for the purpose of the scene or even the fanservice. They chose the right characters for each scene and make them react properly according to their personalities, which can be a bit uncommon in this kind of series. I would elaborate more on the characters themselves but they are fairly simple, even if well executed. Basically you should expect a lot of different characters from cute kind girls to strong willed fighters as well as fairly perverted ones.
The fanservice! This series needs praise for it as it basically delivered for every possible scenario. You have everything from fairly young girls to teenagers to full grown women, they made sure to hit every fetish in the book. They also included yuri in the mix. Now the really great thing about the fanservice is how they executed it, they started strong by making it so the girls all do not wear pants, they are constantly in their panties. They also blended in the ecchi elements with humour, managing to make the former not only stimulating but funny as well. They also adapted the girls’ actions to their personalities making the ecchi to be somewhat more believable than it would be in your average harem show so it needs to be noted that if you want to see ecchi done right, this show is for you.
To conclude this review, I really enjoyed the series, lots of WW II references, good fanservice, good action, good characters, decent story and I got some laughs out it as well. I recommend it if you know what you’re getting into and are in the mood for such a series. read more
Oct 7, 2008
The story starts out with some mysterious "Neuroi" race that has appeared on Earth and has suddenly started attacking humans all around the world. That's about as much as you get to understand about Neurois since, after the first episode, they appear spontaneously only to disturb some other, not-entertaining activity the witches were holding. They suddenly decide to keep developing the Neuroi story in the last two episodes of the series, but they just act as if they're getting somewhere, as if they're going to uncover and explain something new, just to leave the viewer expecting something that never happens.
Art is alright, it's better than many other anime series, but it's nothing astonishing; you can find the same art and animation quality, even better, in many other series.
Voice acting happens to be good, and the intro song might be just a little bit catchy, but it's nothing to be surprised or "touched" by. Sound effects are alright as well. It has a fairly good sound, overall.
I must admit that the characters are explained in a nice manner; you get to know a bit about everyone, enough as to understand them. However, the characters are all based on anime standards; in other words, every character in this series resembles some other character from another series. And, as stated before, they all act too childish; extremely childish. For some reason, too, female characters apparently hate wearing pants; they always hang around wearing panties and some shirt (although Perrine wears pantyhose, too).
This series lies in the borderline of "bad" and "just acceptable". I wouldn't invite anyone to see this anime, though; do so under your own risk (although it might be good to watch it at night, in order to fall asleep quickly). read more
Dec 10, 2012
This is a fanservice anime, so if you're expecting anything deeper than a puddle in terms of plot or people, you might as well give up now. However, that's not an excuse for a truly awful anime.
The premise is about as dumb as it sounds. We have eleven girls with magic powers and airplane propellers strapped to their legs, who are apparently the military’s only hope of defeating a bunch of outer space aliens.
Sounds like fun, huh?
The bad part is, the story doesn't really go anywhere from there. More than half of the episodes have absolutely nothing to do with the plot. Most of the show is just a bunch of girls running around doing goofy things, taking baths, and beating up the obligatory bad guy. The ending tries to scrape together a plot at the last minute, but it’s so full of plot holes and unresolved stories it ends up being a mess, too. If you were waiting for a conclusion to the loose ends strewn all over the place, you’re out of luck. At the end of the series, all I could say was, “zuh?”
The characters are pretty paper-thin. Only about four of the eleven characters get regular screen-time, the rest of the gang is pretty much scenery. In lieu of character development we’re supposed to be satisfied watching cute girls do cute things. (But really, who doesn't love watching cute girls do cute things, right?) By the end of the series, the only things you’ll remember about the characters are their hair color and sexual orientation.
The villains (if you can even call them that) of the story are a band of aliens called the Neuroi, and they’re among some of the most laughable bad guys in all of anime history. First of all, nobody knows a blessed thing about them, not even the military or the Strike Witches themselves. We never figure out who they are, what they are, where they come from, or what they’re doing. The design for these extraterrestrials is baffling. Most of them look like they were lifted from some bad Cinema 4D tutorial. In one episode, we have the girls fighting an alien shaped like a giant Rubik’s cube. On top of that, the enemy isn't even remotely threatening. Apparently they’re so little of a threat that the Strike Witches don’t even bother to go after them, they just laze around at home base until one flies overhead.
The fanservice isn't anything you haven’t seen before. If, for some reason, you haven’t seen enough of girls scrabbling at each other’s breasts, it might amuse you. But, while I like naked lolis as much as the next guy, the fanservice is stuck in place of a coherent story. There’s literally an entire episode about panties. After a while it just feels like a waste of time.
Strike Witches is an absolutely terrible anime, and I can only hope that I have saved you from the pain of watching it. In the end, the only reason you should ever watch this is if you need an anime that will make you sit back and think, "What the hell am I doing with my life?" read more
Apr 13, 2011
than by after the first few episodes its really the secondary characters that kept me watching it and thats about it. The main characters are unlikable. Yoshika is unbelievable as the hero, Mio Sakamoto though a mostly like character has a laugh that grates on your soul and then there is Perrine after a few episodes my wife who likes most everything about anime was jumping off the couch screaming for someone to punch her in the face.
The secondary characters make the show, there interactions are fun and thought out and enjoyable to watch. Other than that it really feels forced. It seems there motto on this one was Echii pays screw the story.
that being said i will watch the second one and i have scoped out some figures i may buy, what can i say Echii pays. read more
Jun 11, 2010
Very nice artwork. Other than all the magical stuff, everything just give off the vibe that you really are in 1944. The cars, train, ships, uniforms, even the base. (can't forget the girls too) All the little things really do make this anime that much better.
Not much to say about the sound. The strikers sound like old fighter planes, guns sound like how you think they should sound, the alarm that sounds when the enemy is attacking, all of which really help set the mood.
Now on to the main focus and the biggest selling point that the anime has to offer, the characters. All of the witches seem to be fairly young. They can only use magic powers when they... transform? Well not really transform, but they get car ears and a tail. Did I mention they walk around half naked everywhere? Anyway, non stop ecchi action. Multiple naked scenes. Although I said this anime is mainly about the characters not much info is given about them. Everything is based around sex appeal.
Fairly good anime, if you like the ecchi genre. If not I say you should stay away because that is all the anime is about. It is not one of a kind, but it is something different i'll give it that. Slightly boring because all the fights are very repetitive. In the end I kept watching because of the half naked girls, and that is probably why you will too. (If you watch it) read more
Nov 2, 2008
The story of “Strike Witches” takes place during the 1940's on an alternate version of our earth, where magic and technology coexist and most countries have different names. Thrust into a conflict that spreads across the globe by an unknown race or entity called Neuroi, the human race is put on the defensive after the Neuroi quickly wipe out several nations. Humanity's best hope to defeat the airborne Neuroi lies with the 'strike witches' of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, young girls with high magical powers that are able to fly when donning their striker units, propulsion devices that envelop each leg.
Undoubtedly one of the series' prime and most visually obvious aspects are its copious amounts of fanservice. One could judge “Strike Witches” solely by its abundant fanservice, but this would be a short-sighted judgement.
The level of fanservice is obvious from episode one on, as in the alternate world that “Strike Witches” takes place in, women do not wear pants or skirts, they simply walk around with their panties or swimsuit bottoms showing in plain view. Each episode is packed with blatant pantsu shots and is rife with other fanservice scenes such as glances at character's bosoms, scantily clad bed attire or bikini's while during the obligatory beach scenes. On top of that each of the witches displays animal ears and tail when activating her magical powers, most likely this was intentionally added to appeal to the fans of animal eared girls.
To fully enjoy the series viewers must be willing to accept these high amounts of fanservice, so “Strike Witches” might not be for all audiences.
At first I was reluctant, assuming the series would be mere mindless fanservice of a questionable level such as in “Kanokon” or “To Love RU”. Watching the first few episodes I was quickly proven wrong and discovered this terrific series holds much more. Though present in large amounts, the fanservice stays digestible and never becomes offensively rude or of poor taste. “Strike Witches” shows how fanservice laden series should be, cute and even daring or sensual, but never without reserve and all in sufficient good taste.
Furthermore, the series offers other well executed elements, such as its homage and accurate references to World War II era air combat, it has flawless animation, and classic but well executed plots such as personal growth, overcoming challenges.
Character design for the anime series as well as artwork for the “Strike Witches” light novels was done by Humikane Shimada, who was also responsible for the character designs of “Sky Girls”, hence associations between both series can easily be made. Next to character design similarities, both series show young girls on the front lines of an apocalyptic war where the human race must defend itself against annihilation from an inhuman entity.
There are also quite a bit of differences, from more obvious ones such as the series' length, “Sky Girls” being animated by JC Staff while “Strike Witches” is animated by Gonzo, “Sky Girls” with its post-modern setting has the girls use futuristic mecha while “Strike Witches” used the concept of magic to have the girls fly around with propulsion units inspired on World War II era aircraft.
With this World War II air combat element one of the other main themes in “Strike Witches” becomes apparent, all of the witches' striker units are reminiscent of existing propeller fighter planes such as the Mustang P51, Mitsubishi Zero, Messerschmitt Bf-109,...
The witches themselves are based or named after famous World War II ace pilots such as Pierre Clostermann, Erich Hartmann, Chuck Yeager,...
“Strike Witches” is full of references and homages to combat aviation from that era, including these direct references to air planes and pilots but also showing accurate recreations of fighter plane combat manoeuvres and tactics.
Furthermore the series accurate and detailed depiction of historic weapons and military equipment is remarkable and helps immerse the viewer into a World War II era atmosphere. Plenty of attention to historical details was made to accurately recreate era weaponry and equipment, such as the Maschinengewehr 42 or M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle.
While most characters may seem generic, they never come off as uninteresting. “Strike Witches” features quite a large cast, there are no less than 11 witches in the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, nearly four times as much as the girls of “Sky Girls”, yet “Strike Witches” has only half the episode count. With those time constraints it is to be expected that not all characters get the same amount of airtime or background depth, yet “Strike Witches” manages to give every character its moment in the spotlights which introduces her better to the viewer or reveals more about her past background.
No characters jump off-screen as being novel or unexpectedly deep, most are based on well known character formula, but because we are either shown their background story or they get enough scenes to make them familiar so that we as viewers will end up knowing all of the witches well enough to care for each of them.
The writers did a terrific job, certainly so seeing the number of characters and time constraints. While we're never told much about the pasts of Lynette, Perrine, Erica or Lucchini, their actions and interaction with the others firmly establishes their characters. We're shown scenes or sub plots about the pasts of Minna, Gertrud and Shirley, which immediately makes us feel more involved. So even though there's so many girls next to Yoshika, the leading character, throughout the episodes the viewer will become attached to each and everyone of them.
With an all female cast, several yuri or shoujo-ai pairings and scenes are a given. While some of the girls have strong bonds of friendship, like Lucchini and Shirley or Mio and Minna, others are hinted or plainly shown to be more than friends, which either leads to humorous scenes such as Perrine's jealous fits, Yoshika's infatuation with Lynette's bosom or to more endearing, romantic scenes like those between Sanya and Eila.
Animation by Gonzo is absolutely stellar in the series. Quality almost never drops and retains a high level throughout all of the episodes, with gorgeous scenes and renderings of all the cute witches with a lot of attention to detail. The many air combat action scenes are fluid, fast and well done.
The 3D CGI generated Neuroi are portrayed as alien flying entities built up from black honeycomb structures which makes them not only simple but also makes them seem more realistic and acceptable compared to the Worms from “Sky Girls” which appeared as large animal-like things.
Many series should have consistent animation levels like “Strike Witches”, especially the characters are so well animated, a true feat Gonzo accomplished here when compared to their other creations.
The first Japanese DVD releases of “Strike Witches” have shown Gonzo took it a bit further for the DVD versions, removing any censoring present in the episodes of the television broadcast, where steam, rays of light, shadows or other obstacles obscured full view of the character's bare breasts and the likes. Hence the DVD versions seems more niche oriented than the television broadcast version and as such may not appeal to the viewers who are not keen on the fanservice element of the series. Such casual viewers may be best served by watching the regular television broadcast episodes.
Music is more generic in “Strike Witches”, while the soundtrack is solid, it does not particularly excel on its own but contents itself by accompanying and supporting what is seen on screen, a job it does well. The opening track 'Watashi Ni Dekiru Koto' (the things I can do) is an upbeat song full of hope, which accentuates the theme of Yoshika's struggle to be able to achieve her goals as a witch.
I do recommend “Strike Witches” to everyone looking for a nice series with a good mix of action and humour, regardless of the more niche elements it has like its fanservice it will no doubt be a fun series to watch for all. read more
May 4, 2011
And those hopes were brutally murdered.
The plot of this anime is ridiculously full of holes.
For example in episode one Miyafuji and Lynne fall in the ocean with their striker units on and swom without any trouble, while in episode two they actually undertake training for situations with falling into the ocean with their units on AND THEY SUCK AT IT suddenly.
There are many mysterious events going on about without much explaining at all. Like the thing that every single young girl has only underwear on her lower body parts! That's just stupid and I would've let it slide IF someone would mind at least explaining it a little bit.
The story is focused on showing panties and that's the main star- girls' underwear. I know, in some quantity it's fine, but there you get ONLY THIS.
Oh, right, and guns. some shooting for action.
The art is actually pretty good. I like the style, the girls are made cute, teh animation doesn't screw up. The colors are enjoyable for the eye. Just some minor details don't seem right, that's it.
I actually don't remember the sound from the anime itself. That means it didn't catch my attention at all as good. The intro is simple yet catchy. Same goes for the ending. It might be too simple for all the fans out there, though.
Characters are all pretty cute girls, with some past, reasons to fight and so on. Apart from the panties-all-their-lives outfits they aren't so bad. Their reasoning seems off at many times though, the story itself is taking it's stupid toll on them.
Don't watch this show without drinking alcohol or just being drunk. You won't enjoy it a bit if there's plot you're looking for. It seems as if the show was aimed at not very bright male teenagers hungry for women. It's not enjoyable to watch panty shots over and over and over all the time. It can bore the watcher quite quickly.
My note is up at 4 because I like the art. The charcters are cute too and that's where the good parts end. I was very dissapointed in the show as the plot is just dumb. Perhaps the second season will bright things up for me, but as I heard from my friends, it doesn't get better...
I recommend this show for people who want to search for plot failures, like the one I used as an example. And just for that.... read more
Jan 26, 2012
God said, “Okie dokey, dude. Check out this anime. It’s called Sora no Woto. You’ll love it; it’s pretty radical, man!”
Today, I am back at home well-fed. My mom cried when I told her Pikachu was killed by the characters from K-On!. Nevertheless, the miracle known as Sora no Woto made me ponder about the future of war animes.
A few weeks ago, Professor Oak gave me Charmander along a copy of Strike Witches. He boasted, “It’s uncensored. Consider it a rite of passage.” He patted me on the shoulder, winking. I had never heard of Strike Witches until the professor told me so. Judging from the synopsis, it looked like a war anime. I went into the MyAnimeList database, reading the synopsis and the reviews; many people likened this work to Sora no Woto, the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs awarded this work for cultural excellence, and God told me to review works through Fox News before that. I decided to watch this work and review the work.
Strike Witches is set in an alternate World War II setting, specifically the Battle of Britain. Considered one of the toughest battles in World War II history, the Battle of Britain setting has the potential to set up thought-provoking characters and themes. It can make us ponder about the effects of the appeasement effort led by Neville Chamberlain, war in different people’s perspectives, shell shock, and more. Sora no Woto might actually lose to the work’s possible themes; its themes are environmental, cultural, and anti-war by nature, criticizing warmongers for making the world it is today. Consider Strike Witches’s setting for a minute. Wouldn’t this be a fascinating show for everyone to watch?
I remembered Professor Oak’s winking. As I began to watch, I realized why he winked. Oh dear, I’m seeing young girls’ reproductive organs and underwear for no apparent reason except Freudian imaginations. The alternate history made little sense whatsoever. This did not bode well.
In this alternate historical setting, Japan worked with the Allies and stationed their troops at London. The Neurois, aka the Nazis, were unknown sentient creatures that kept blasting away Europe for no particular reason. Their aircrafts looked starkly similar to US stealth fighters. The Allies were stumped, losing all of Europe except England. How could anyone damage the aircrafts when they clearly had force fields protecting them?
Japan’s answer: girls with jetpacks and basic weaponry.
Strike Witches’s setting combined the Battle of Britain, mecha logic, and the mahou shoujo genre so weirdly it made little sense. Questionable aspects of how things worked were never answered throughout the course of this anime.
As I began to write this review, God cried out through Hannity’s mouth, “What about the characters? This show is all about the characters just like Sora no Woto is!”
What made Sora no Woto’s characters so special was that they felt necessary in contributing the story and the themes. Strike Witches’s characters could go into that direction, but most of the times want to, you know, go in an upper direction.
Take Lynette, one of the few likable characters in the work. When she was introduced in the work, she was shown as a shy girl character; a good comparison would be a girly version of Ikari Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion. In the end of the episode, she began to open up towards Miyafuji by squishing her to death; suffocating and dying between Lynette’s cleavage sounded like a nice way to die, but it was no example of good storytelling.
Gertrud Barkhorn and the two white-haired girls are the only characters to go completely into characterization. The episode with Barkhorn has some fantastic exposition added in; people can understand her mindset more clearly. The two white-haired girls have interesting stories as well.
Everyone else feels stale. All we really know from Sakamoto Mio is that she laughs like Jack from The Shining and does whatever cos a pirate is free. Perrine is a stalker of Mio. Erica is a clumsy ace pilot. Miyafuji can heal. Francesca is Ed from Cowboy Bebop. There isn’t many characteristics that make these characters involving or realistic; they are just there. Cardboard boxes make better characters than these people.
Like Sora no Woto, it is somewhat episodic. Most of the plot involves the fascinating premise of “cute girls doing cute things”. A particular episode involved about underwear. Very few of them are memorable. When the show adds tension, it does not feel tense; it looks plain silly. The dramatic story and conclusion emerges at the end. Predictable and silly, the conclusion to the work does not pay off well; things get solved with a deus ex machina. There is also a cliffhanger, pointing people to watch Strike Witches 2.
No thanks, Gonzo. I might watch it someday, but it’s not due to your cliffhanger.
I returned the set to Professor Oak and yawned. I do not think this work was the worst work I’ve seen. It did not piss me off a lot; though, I ate a boiled skewed Charmander on a satay stick in the end because of how bored I was. There are things I disliked -- the fanservice, the wasted potential, the unfunny side characters. However, they don’t cause me to hate this work. Instead, I just thought this work as really average; it did not offend me at all. I was just really bored.
There are definitely people who loved it; some may say it is thought-provoking, maybe even more against Sora no Woto. I don’t see it that way nor do I think the endorsement by the government is needed. Say all you want, but I see it as a government-endorsed loli pantsu anime with girls on jetpacks beating up Nazis. It’s no Sora no Woto, that’s for sure. I suppose it can be entertaining to people -- it is possible that I have no soul. As a work of artistic and cultural achievement, now that’s a great joke to laugh about. read more
Apr 10, 2009
The premise is that young girls wearing flying boots modelled off of WWII era aircraft are the only things on this alternate version of Earth that can consistently defeat the attacks of an unknown invading force hell bent on razing the planet for unknown reasons.
Lets get the 'good stuff' out the way. The art isn't all that bad, generic character designs and such, but the boots modelled off of WWII aircraft do look good. Also the designs of the Neuroi enemies based on prototype aircraft were also pretty good.
The sound wasn't terrible. The OP and ED weren't very memorable and the actual sound design didn't really have any faults.
The story is full of plot devices designed for fanservice. Only gender with magical powers are women, and they 'reach their magical peak' at 18 years old. The lack of trousers and skirts is put down to the girls needing to be ready at a moments notice to sortie, although in this version of Japan, it seems young girls generally just only wear underwear.
The actual plot is full of rehashed ideas and tired cliches borrowed from a variety of other anime. Unassuming young teenage protagonist is thrust into a world of magic and/or battles against mysterious and powerful enemy, and suprisingly has great untapped potential. Each episode revolves around some plot point for minor character development which is resolved in the end by usually overcoming a challenge to destroy a bad guy. The required forseeable plot twist near the end is also present.
Character development is incredibly minimal for characters outside of the protagonist Yoshika, which leaves the show with a cast of one dimensional stereotypes with different body design to appeal to varying fetishes.
All in all, its a terrible show, and only for those who need more loli fapping material. read more
Oct 6, 2008
You've probably already heard something about it being a fanservice anime if anything. And have already formulated your opinion about it from that.
The likelyhood of that opinion being that it's just a fanservice anime and is therefore not good. And while there are quite a few fanservice anime that would make you to think that way, being since there are a lot of poorly done fanservice anime, that is not the case here. Oh, but it is not the case at all. Strike Witches is in fact a fanservice anime. But it is an exceptionally well done fanservice anime. In fact, it is a perfectly done fanservice anime. And a recommendation to anyone who wants to see a fanservice anime done right.
And since it's given me criteria, I think it's time for me to move on from my preface and work on into the various ratings and why I rate them so.
I really wanted to rate this a ten, but...I don't know how to say this without spoiling it, it builds a decent amount of story and plot and could very well be worked on. But instead of delve into this properly, they focus almost purely on character development. Which is good, considering what it is, that's a good thing. But still, it only leaves for only development like it's an unfinished anime.
It's really hard to rate this, because you have to take into account heavy character development is necessary, and that it is a fanservice anime. And that it does at to a whole which I rate a ten. Because even at it's enjoyable pace and good character development and adding to a perfect whole, I can still only rate this an 8.
Art is one of the main things that makes this anime what it is. It is truly superb and a magnificent thing to watch. I don't think an anime, much less a fanservice anime could get much better than this in terms of art. It's animated well, and the character design is flawless. It doesn't make any big deviations from the traditional Japanese animation art style, in fact it only forwards the standard style, but it forwards the style so well and perfectly it's really taking it to what we expect it to be doing, remaining, but only developing and improving that style and raising the bar for it.
So in perhaps more simple words, you have the moe anthropomorphic art style fully realized and rendered. Beautifully used as ever. There's no question that the artwork is what makes this anime. It's not the only thing that's good about this anime of course, but it's something that helps it stand out and be the good anime that it is.
This anime has superb sound. The character voicing is fantastic, the sound effects are good. And after watching the show, and going back and listening to the soundtrack, realizing, what an amazing job they did on the soundtrack so much that it stands on it's own. It may not be epic, but it does what it asks to be, it's charming. And it fits the mood perfectly. And it's a great piece of musical creation that can easily be enjoyed for hours at a time without any other thing involved.
Well, considering I already mentioned character development is the biggest part of this story, it's needless to say it has good character development. I don't think you can say anything bad about the character development, it IS one of the main focuses of the show, and it does it well. They want you to get to know the characters, and the character and made to want to be get to known. They also spend a very decent amount of time on most all the characters. Doing a very good job not to neglect a single one. It's one of the very best parts of this show that keeps you coming back for each episode.
Well I think that's what gives this a ten. Even if it's a fanservice anime, it never stops being fun for one second. It doesn't overload you with ecchi or fanservice, and when it is that way, it provides in a very amusing fashion that most fanservice anime completely and utterly lack. If I could set a standard for what even an ecchi anime should be, Strike Witches would be on the list. And way up on that list. It's easy to even forget it's an ecchi or fanservice anime, because it's just so much pure fun.
Forget the words and associations that come to mind when you hear the words fanservice and ecchi. Because those things are not what makes this anime. What makes this anime is that it is just a ride of pure fun. Or might I say, a ride through the clear blue skies with a bunch of fun girls.
Well, as an anime being pure fun, this results in the same thing for me as Lucky Star. I think something is pure fun overall and a ten in the scale of enjoyment, it's a ten in the scale of overall. Because isn't that what makes an anime? I say this anime is %100 Outstanding. You just really can't be this sort of anime in the area of overall charm. I think it should become a model for what it is, and become it's own sort of mini-genre. I can already feel the influence of Sky Girls and Strike Witches.
Without Sky Girls, we wouldn't have Strike Witches. And with the success of these, at least Strike Witches, I can see this helping to spread and eventually create a flood of panty clad women with guns and superpowers, it seems to be it's own genre already. And if it is, I can certainly say this is the Godfather of what's to come. It's really a masterful work, and I can really only, like many others, hope for being graced by a sequel or at least another anime along this lines.
10/10. My life wouldn't have been complete without watching this anime. read more
Aug 10, 2012
First lets go over some cons.
-I have a issue with the very last episode of the first season and how every other Strike Witches girl knew that Miyafuji was driving the last Striker unit. I know not to use logic when it comes to anime but, how? She is about 500 meters away and yet everyone knew it was her. Not counting Perrine-San and Mio.
-The Cliffhanger. This has got to be the most laziest ways to include more writing to hint at another season. I mean, I guess I can understand it might have a messaging error and it was just now registering but seriously. Really?
-Its a bit generic. At the very least a lot of these characters have probably been done to death but its kinda offsetted by a big assortment of characters
-The Art style is nothing exactly special.
END OF SPOILERS
And now the Pros.
-Episode 7: Need I say more?
-Very Likeable characters. Nearly every character has there own set of personalities. Like Lucchini is the obvious Loli, Shirley-San is the speed devil, Hartman is very lazy, and Miyafuji is the strong heart girl that will do anything to save her friends. I do have to say though a lot of these personalities seem a bit generic but at least there is a variety to it
-The Action: The battles with the Neuroi are just fantastic and show how teamwork can be portrayed as. It also shows how Miyafuji is evolving in her skill set
-The Comedy: Again, need I say anything about this?
-A simple yet great story. This pretty much is kinda like a Rocky story. A person who is a underdog in her class goes out to show the world what she can do and as a result it earns her recognition. It also shows some training moments almost exactly like Rocky, except its not Apollo Creed she's not facing. It also explains her feelings towards a certain Neuroi and to show that not everyone in the same grouping is bad. Its a bit simple though, nothing complex like Black Rock Shooter (TV).
Overall: 9. Its a great show with likeable characters, great story, good comedy and action and its an overall great show. You won't regret watching this show. Except maybe the last episode.
Sep 5, 2008
Story (9/10): The story is not pretentious, but it's quite interesting. Simple and enjoyable it delivers what it pretends.
Art (10/10): Even those that dislike the series have to agree that the art in the series is great. This is one of the best parts of the series and critics may say, the reason why the series is so popular.
Sound (10/10): Great sound effects and cute songs. The Ending songs are really good.
Character (10/10): Strike Witches is a character based series. Every witch is very likeable and pretty cute. In fact, the characters in this series are so good, that you can really love one of the witches and at the same time have her as your 10th favourite witch.
Enjoyment (10/10): Cute girls, fun episodes, great action scenes and character interactions and historical references.
Overall (10/10): This underated series deserves a 10. Best anime of the year so far. read more