*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.
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)
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.
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.
“Never in the animated medium has a cast of so many, worn clothes so few.”
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”
Strike Witches is the story of some flying panties, a bunch of girls and a few pairs of breasts. If that’s all it takes to make you happy, then great, because Strike Witches offers very little else.
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?"
Strike Witches is a fresh, entertaining anime that has been unfairly criticized by a handful of spoilsports who claim moral superiority over the rest of the internets, all the while ignoring the excellence and vibrancy of this fine series.
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.
Strike Witches is by far the best anime of the year. It will not only save Gonzo, but also influence lots of animes in the near future.
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.
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.
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.
Watching this series was painful, long, boring and tedious; I can hardly believe I endured until the end. This anime is just plainly too innocent, naive, happy, friendly, whatever you want to call it. The "problems" that are presented in the anime are all very dumb and not interesting, and the way the characters act is too childish. If you like fast-paced animes, with good action in it, you can stop reading this immediately and look elsewhere.
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).
I've heard much about Strike Witches before I first watched it. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised by its actual depth than what common hearsay has informed me of. Allow me to elaborate.
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.
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.
The mere premise of Strike Witches is enough to make some cringe. It reeks of otaku pandering nonsense, and is sure to alienate just about anyone who does not take pleasure in voyeurism. Really, all this appears to be is another reason to show half-naked girls using big weapons, and in truth, that is exactly what it is. The funny thing is this show is not bad. In fact, once you get over the unspeakably absurd premise and all the shameless fan-service (or already like this sort of thing), this show is actually quite enjoyable.
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.
I found the anime Strike Witches really interesting and catch the anime viewers attention fast.while i was watching it there are two elements present in this anime one of the element of the mahou shoujo genre and the other is the gun user female characters which is also present in other anime series.
the strike witches characters are unique because each of them has animal ears on their heads and some of them have unqiue abilities like Miyafuji who has healing abilities and major sakamoto whose eye can see far targets.their Mahou shoujo type character is different from the others because instead of having use of
Magical wands or reciting long spells,they only use Heavy rifle,machine gun and rocket launcher and their flight devices are awesome too because its attached on the legs instead on riding it making their flight much easier
You've probably heard a little about Strike Witches already, I'm willing to gander.
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.
When I left my home and mom two years ago, I (along with Pikachu) venture into the deep realms of the anime territory. Alienated towards the otaku culture, I felt depressed looking for a war anime that can suit my tastes; Grave of the Fireflies was not enough for me. I entered into a forest one night. Night came and none appeared before me. I ate all my Kitkats by then. Hungry, I killed Pikachu and devoured its tender meat over a campfire. I continued journeying, but my vision blurred; everything around me turns misty and foggy. I hear the flapping of the wings and
the rustle of the trees. The forest was laughing at me. Losing hope, I fell down to the mud. Writhing in agony, I looked towards the dark night sky. I called up to the heavens, “Save me, God. Save me from this despair.”
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.
Three years ago, I watched this anime and slapped it a rotten score. After all, an anime featuring pantless, gun-bopping teenage girls couldn’t possibly ascribe anything of depth to the varied community of anime goers and entertainment seekers today, right?
Then during my second time through, I realized something unbelievable about this series. This anime isn’t about half-naked chicks shooting down big, black cocks with guns. Right?
So yes…by my THIRD time through I realized: Strike Witches is an idiot savant of an anime. It is an attempted excuse for Japan’s WWII guilt, and combined with incidental, radical feminism investigates a unique reality of victory for
all humans and absolution of the original Axis Powers. Furthermore, rather than to be undone by fellow man, the retribution for all the anger of that era is instead unleashed upon an enigmatic alien race bent on aimless worldwide destruction.
Your 501st Fighter Wing. All the guns, less of the garments. (9/10)
Despite my rather despicable claims, this simple, misdirected story eagerly rakes in a “bare” perspective on Japanese postwar culture more than anything other anime series I’ve ever watched. Yoshika Miyafuji, our protagonist from the Fuso Nation, has after a series of misadventures found herself smack dab in the middle of an international war between humans and a hostile alien invader known as the Neuroi. Though the Neuroi’s intentions and methods are unknown, Miyafuji and the 501st Joint Fighters—the Strike Witches, or gun-wielding teenage girls utilizing magic-powered, leg-mounted rocket engines known as “Strikers” to fly—dedicate their lives (and panties) to the survival of mankind.
One of the most misunderstood things about this anime is its high degree of fanservice. Nearly every ten seconds the viewer is exposed to some sort of sexual innuendo, be it the slightest visual of pantsu or a blatant bath scene with boobs flopping about like custard. The delivery is unabashed in consistency, if not almost bewildering considering the depth of the alternate historical content. Indeed, this deceitful mask of perversion disguises a highly controversial possibility for this alternate universe as follows:
Despite being a relative time frame to what we live, there is no evidence for existing non-Japanese Asians, Jews, or Blacks in the entire series INCLUDING doujin and movie-based media. In the series, the closest to being black might be the Italian girl, Francesca, but considering the brutal circumstances of World War II it freaks me out that neither a Jew or a Chinese exists among the ranks of survivors.
For some reason only a small group of magical women between the ages of 12-20 seem to be effective as combatants. Men, older women, and machines seem to be rather defenseless, rendering none but Highly Effeminate Teenage Vixens (HETV) as our only hope.
What are the Neuroi? The mysterious qualities of the enemy are vividly explored, but some answers aren’t given. I find it fascinating that the Neuroi have chosen a spot of the world between Karlsland (Germany) and eastern Russia (Orussia) as their hive. If we consider the alignment of world powers during the war era, isn’t it interesting that the brutal enemy of humanity is stationed somewhere in Central Asia? Also, isn’t it just as interesting that the “good guys” in this series happen to hail from Japan (Fuso), Karlsland, and Orussia? Does anyone see what I’m getting at here?
My conclusion is that Strike Witches presents as an innocent peep show, when it ruthlessly stakes on radicalism and nationalism as the true berth of survival. The weakest races have been eliminated, and a unique gift of power to women establishes a rather unanticipated form of feminism—perhaps with the intent to balance out the missing historical factors of this show.
This is particularly true with feminism. Throughout the series we CLEARLY see the reduced sexuality of women’s legs, as nearly all women in the show do not wear pants. For the otaku this is obnoxiously fanservice; to the alternate reality, this is a normal getup. In this setting, men would have to start from this specific style of dress to find sexual arousal, and thus would be presented less opportunities to think perverse thoughts. Women, too, lose power through arousal of men, and are then more focused on careers and independence. I’m sure many a fan has tried to excuse this by saying that “in order to fit into the Strikers they can’t wear pants—blah blah—requiem stop talking—I’ll bite you” sort of argument is the most cogent.
The sad truth is that they’re only halfway there. Feminism wins simply by the lifestyle of this series, and—considering that all other types of Asians are missing—it is winning much more than races or gender stereotypes by default.
We also have evidence for radicalism through the consistent failures of men throughout both seasons. Airplanes, battleships, and maritime weapons are all rendered useless, bereaved of all duty but to serve as cannon fodder for the elite Witch squadrons. Commanders shrug helplessly while their ships are mercilessly crushed and sunk, and whatever authority they might even have over Witches is easily bypassed.
Next, if the Bechdel test were to be applied to this series, hardly a moment in it would fail. The entire series voids men of any appeal or authority, focusing the entire story on the Witches and their sisterhood. This is fascinating, especially considering that a tit or ass flies across the screen with all but sexual abandon. Even Yoshika’s awkward tit fetish remains effeminate, keeping the perversion limited only to women without delving into yuri or shoujo ai. Also, in great relief there are absolutely no random peeping scenes involving half-naked men getting punched by tiny women into the stratosphere while shouting “I AM LIKE…SO SORRY.” Or at least not as in the exhausting case of practically EVERY ecchi harem series known to otakukind.
Altogether, though the creator himself may not have even dreamed of this, his lewd creation defines “unique” in its background, plot, and style. It may have been designed to make men horny and stupid, but it could still be insightful enough for any informed viewer. For reasons such as this, I can offer a ridiculously high score.
Two-dimensional, but well-grown. (6/10)
While stock characters are expected for a series focused on as many pantsu shots as possible, making sure the characters actually fit together is not as such required. Strike Witches makes several attempts to go beyond that, particularly with complicated ladies like Minna, Eila, or Gertrud. I should not be spoiling this series at all in saying that our main protagonist lives up to our expectations, as her limitations and delimiters all come and go as expected. There are a few good moments for everyone, even support characters such as Shirley, Perrine, and Francesca.
Regardless, all of the girls make up for their limited personalities with well-placed anecdotes of growth. Mio, in particular, encounters a struggle that puts the entire squadron through many hardships, yet we see with her continued passion to save humanity a constant state of perseverance. When not enthused by boobs and butts, we actually start to see a little bit of depth to everyone as they fight their own personal battles, (at least moreso than the drooling we do while they fight the actual enemy.)
My personal favorite? Definitely Perrine. Not because she’s a prissy, tsuntsun nerd that offers the best personality-to-sexual-exploitation ratio; mainly just because she is easy to figure out. In fact, each witch has some sort of spice to her that feeds the lonely wolves like me. While it is designed as an advertisement net to catch and draw my attention, it is at least nice to get a little more differential between the women than a typical 21st century harem series with the same visual appeal.
Incidental music WIN. OP/ED fail. (8/10)
Neither the opening nor closing theme of either season was particularly fascinating. Though well composed and nicely sung, the openings are unfortunately the same, drab Ishida Yoko dancepop ditties that dominate such a small market with upbeat feel and trendy melody. Even though they are in the same court as Ishida, the I’ve Sound girls always manage to harness a stronger or more atmospheric melody. To its own justice the series should have had its own personal opening theme. Or perhaps rather than dance music, why not something on the side of a tune from the WWII era? Either way, another pop song about “Doing what I can do” and “loving some certain, undistinguished person” is justifiable for me to skip ahead one and a half minutes as soon as possible every time.
Meanwhile, the real groundwork is done by a time tested artist like Seikou Nagaoka. His track “Witch no Tatakai,” or “A Witch’s Fight” is a driving force for perhaps the entire series’ climactic moments. Written with a very powerful bass line, we can feel the surge of excitement build up as the melody creeps in at some point seconds later. The sort of “champion melody” rises out of the trumpets (or in some cases, an electric guitar) through the oscillating strings, and builds up more and more intensity when recapitulating for a second time through. This track is perfectly aligned for underdog victories, high speeds, and pretty much most highly emotional scenes on the battlefield. For something that he probably threw together in 20 minutes, the perfectly chained elements make it quite unforgettable—I still could recall it several years after my first viewing of the show!
Nagaoka also empowers more endearing moments with his gentle strings in “Eikou no Kiroku.” He draws out mystery with “Kunou” and its Dorian harp. He demonstrates his mastery of orchestration with the grinding bass harmonies in “Neuroi no Su he.” Without a doubt, the musical programming for a show like this fit all too perfectly to serve as distraction from the fanservice, or at least more than the jumpy tunes that surround each episode.
An animation behest to bre-hests. Ha. Ha. Ha. (7/10)
As a healthy male I would be criminalizing this series for giving the animation a score lower than 70 points. It is literally as though the animation studio took an extensive class on drawing vaginal protrusions and ample bosoms while studying butlery.
Seriously. Every few seconds, however subtle or obvious, a boob or butt is “served warm” to our eyes as a feast, delivering the most intoxicating form of perversion so much so that we are left passively molested by our screens. While many other series might put this one to shame in this regard, very few can deliver with the same degree of tastefulness.
My biggest detractor for score here is solely the key animation. Often during fight scenes the characters shapely figures would become too fluid and perhaps not-so-shapely. In fact, within the first five minutes of the series we see a rather terribly drawn view of Gertrud’s patooty, as it is quite clear that somebody was too busy completing key frames to actually bother providing detail to her shape. This same mistake happens several times, showing that despite the “ample” details, the budget wasn’t exactly such.
That said, the action scenes were made with good intention. The weapons are drawn badass—even to the extent that they can be as exciting as the…yep, you guessed it…perhaps the best action scene in the entire show might be the part in season one concerning Shirley and Mach 1; though not very detailed, the desired effect came through quite well. (As for the best episode, it is without debate the infamous sukebe-mushi of Season 2, episode 7.)
Uncomfortable for many at first, but the wounds will heal. (8/10)
And that is perhaps the best thing about Strike Witches, considering the great deal of socially unacceptable content unleashed over 8 hours visually. If you are a Forever Alone, this series will provide great comfort. If you want to see something controversial and can choke down the hypnotizing amount of female parts, give it a shot. OR even if you are looking for unique Feminist propaganda, this would be great material for a write up.
If you are a married man who wants to pick up a good series to watch with the family…while I would personally think how awesome you are for even trying to suggest this series, you might just want to save it for when the family goes to sleep (or if you watch in sprees, when they go to see the old folks for the weekend.)
Strike Witches was originally created by illustrator, Shimada Fumikane as a mixed-media project. It has since been adapted into light novels, manga, anime and video games. The first anime series was brought to us by Gonzo. You may remember them from their work on Gantz, Brave Story, Bakuretsu Tenshi, Basilisk & Zettai Boei Leviathan, just to name some of them I've reviewed. So, how does this one compare to the others? Let's delve into it and see.
Strike Witches is set in an alternate world where an enigmatic enemy called the Neuroi has appeared and started attacking people. Humanity's best line of defense is a group
of young girls, most of whom range in age from twelve to sixteen, with magical powers. These are the titular witches. With the background stuff out of the way, our story proper opens with fourteen year old Miyafuji getting approached by one of the few characters who isn't disturbingly young, Major Sakamoto Mio. Sakamoto wants to recruit her for the Witches but Miyafuji refuses, not wanting to use her powers for violence. Things change, because the setup is so obvious that of course they do, when Miyafuji receives a letter from her deceased father, the man who designed the “brooms” that the witches use to fly through the sky. She reluctantly agrees to go with Sakamoto.
Let's start with what's wrong with the series. The biggest thing is that it wastes a lot of time on really disturbing fan-service scenes. Keep in mind, most of the major characters are twelve to sixteen years old. There are only three of eleven who are adults. And I thought Devil Hunter Yohko was bad about sexualising a young girl, which it is but at least she's not twelve nor did they have an episode about undergarment pilfering. What were they thinking? The series also doesn't fully develop its aspects that have potential. There are some interesting ideas that get brought up but never fully taken advantage of. The stuff with the girls trying to unravel the truth about the Neuroi is really interesting, but they only give you a small chunk of it. I guess showing a twelve year old in the bath was more important. Way to keep things the complete opposite of classy and to have your priorities completely ass backwards at the same time. I'm sure the multi-tasking was very hard. Maybe they're saving it for the sequel, which wouldn't be a problem if they at least gave you something compelling in the meantime as opposed to really sick fan-service involving girls who are way too young for that shit.
To the series' credit, it does have some legitimately good stuff too. When the focus is on the characters, rather than the characters' underage bodies, it has some really good moments. The story proper, in spite of being filler heavy, is legitimately interesting and the last couple episodes are actually really strong. I like that they start things out looking like it's just going to be a monster of the week type thing but quickly start introducing plot elements that move it beyond that, even if they don't take full advantage of their potential. The story elements for the major story had a lot of really good ideas that could have made for a really compelling work if not for all the sleaziness.
This is an area where I'll give Strike Witches credit. In spite of having almost as many major characters as they have episodes, they manage to flesh them out pretty well and there are some really good character moments and interactions. Unfortunately, the villains aren't particularly compelling. You know that there's more to them then is readily apparent and there are some interesting bits to go with it, but it's not fully realised. If only they'd had something pointless and disgusting to cut out, like fan-service scenes of barely pubescent girls. Then they might have been able to go somewhere with it. Oh wait... they did. They chose to keep the fan-service scenes instead.
There are a lot of issues with the art. For one thing, most of our heroines don't wear pants or anything that covers their legs. Instead, we get shirts and panties. They fly around in the air at high velocities, how do their nethers not get really cold and uncomfortable? Now, you might say “But Ktulu, they use magic. Isn't it possible that their magic regulates their body temperature?” Which might be a fair point, except that several of them actually talk about being cold during the panty pilfering episode. Because a single pair of panties was so much protection, apparently. You might shift to “well, maybe the lack of fabric helps their flying units work.” Except that they show three of the girls actually covering their legs and it works out just fine for them. You might also wonder if, maybe, their machines heat up a lot and it's more comfortable. The problem is that they wear the same outfits when they're on the ground and in the air. No, these outfits are because some sick bastard wanted to see barely pubescent girls in their panties.
The outfits would be bad enough by themselves, but the series really pushes the sleaziness bar by showing these girls, most of whom are twelve to sixteen (I can't emphasise that fact enough), completely starkers. There's a continuing tradition in this series of unnecessary group bath scenes involving full breasts, nipples included. Did you want to see a twelve year old's breasts? You're probably replying in the negative since you're sane, but this series will show you anyway. Now, I will be fair to the series. It does have really good action sequences and the designs of the Neuroi are pretty cool. They also did a pretty decent job with the background scenery.
Here's another area where I'll give the series quite a bit of credit. The cast does do well in their roles. Tanaka Rie and Ohashi Ayuru in particular but there aren't any bad performances by any means. The music is also nicely done. I'll give Nagaoka Seikou credit on that one.
There's quite a bit of les-yay in Strike Witches. Miyafuji has a thing for Lynne. At one point she even has what is heavily implied to be a sex dream about her, and there are certainly indications that the feeling is mutual. Perrine explicitely has a crush on Major Sakamoto. Barkhorn and Hartmann seem to have a romance going. Eila and Sanya definitely have a romance going, and I will say that the stuff between the two of them is absolutely adorable and, surprisingly for this series, unsexualised. Lucchini gropes the other girls on multiple occasions, Shirley taking the brunt of it. There are also some moments where Minna and Sakamoto seem to have a thing. So, the ho-yay factor is an 8/10. Expect a lot of les-yay.
Strike Witches could have been a good series. Possibly even really good. It has some strong story elements and characters. It does really well with action sequences and the vocal cast is solid. Unfortunately, it's held back by an absurd level of sleaziness. It wastes time that could have been spent on plot or strengthening the characters with barely pubescent girl fan-service and it makes it a really uncomfortable series to watch at times. Does that aspect make it a bad series? No, but it certainly has a severe detrimental effect on it. If you can tolerate the exploitative shit, and that's a big if, you might enjoy it. If you're an ill-supervised horny young teenager who likes girls, then this might just be for you. Seek it out, Young Lady. For me, the positive aspects and negative ones do balance pretty evenly so my rating is a 5/10. Maybe I'll look at Strike Witches 2 at some point, either because I get curious or because someone requests it, but for next week I'll look at Choujigen Game Neptune: The Animation. Please tell me it doesn't have under-aged nudity.
I had very high hopes when I finally made a move and started watching Strike Witches.
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....
I've got to level with you, fellas. This series was just unbearable.
It takes place on an alternate earth in World War II-era and focuses on a government-assembled air force squad formally named "Strike Witches." It may seem interesting on the surface, but what we expected was far from what we got.
I am completely aware that this anime was heavy on the fan-service. But when the fan-service eclipses any traces of intended plot, the series will drag on for what feels like eternity. Every time I thought that things were about to get interesting, the creators instead slapped me with more insignificant loli ecchi. You can
do fan-service right, but the creators in question exceeded the acceptable limit ten-fold. Strike Witches beat the dead horse and inconveniently used characters that could only realistically consent in third-world countries. Eventually you come to a point where you sense the disappointment radiating from your deceased ancestors and you will find yourself contemplating whether or not this life on earth is all that there is.
There is definitely a target-audience for this type of series, but I just want to point out that if every girl was replaced with a middle-aged man, there would be a unanimous distaste for the progression of the plot. If you've been challenged to try out a fan-service anime like I was, stay far away from this one.
To conclude, I really wouldn't recommend this anime to my worst enemy. I gave it a 2 because despite everything terrible about it, there was a lot of production and effort that went into this. But still, save yourself the 5 hours.