So over the summer and my adventures in tackling my “to-watch list” as well as shortly after writing the Kancolle review I had that urge to watch something else. Something that some people said was like Kancolle but with planes. This show was on my list for a while now and I finally decided to check it out. Before I knew it I am already making plans to do the review for the second season, the film, as well as the OVAs at some point. Any way enough about that. Like always for series reviews this will be spoiler free. So without further ado, time to get started on this action, sci-fi, military based anime.
The year is 1944, in an alternate earth. Flying creature knowing as Neuroi have invaded Europe. With plans, ships being infective against it humanity turns to women known as Strike Witches. They are known to have magic and can easily defeat these aliens. (After looking up several versions of the plot online they all also mentioned the fact that there is a lot of fan service, when talking about the plot. So I just wanted to add that here at the end that there is a lot of fan service)
There are Nine Main Characters for this series, because I will be covering the series in multiple reviews, I will be covering them in groups of Three.
Yoshika Miyafuji: She is the main character and has a tremendous amount of magical energy. She comes from the Fuso Empire (Japan of this world) and can use her abilities to heal. She is very kind-hearted and looks out for others as well as being the rookie of the group. She handles a lot of the cooking and cleaning on the base as well. She also admires Mio Sakamoto (who also comes from Fuso Empire) greatly. She has ears and a tail like a dog when flying.
Lynette Bishop: She is the same age as Yoshika at 15, and is her very close friend and partner for most of the time in battle. She comes from the Britannia Federation (Britain of this world). She is much like Yoshika and cares for those around her. She is second best girl in my opinion. She has ears and tail like a cat when flying.
Mio Sakamoto: She is the sub-commander of the group. She is the oldest of all the Strike Witches at age 20. She comes from Fuso Empire, like I previously said. When she removes her eye patch she can see the weak spots in the Neuroi. She is highly respected amongst the members. She wields a Katana, and is just plain awesome in general. Although at times she can be strict, she can still be fun-loving and acknowledges what is going around them and what could be done to make things better. She gains a tail and ears like a dog when using magic.
I will say on a personal level I really enjoy this series. Much like when I watched Ben-to I finished within a day. Only with this one I was surprised I did. However the second seasons I slowed down since I did not want to end. Anyway I should mention this earlier; this series does have a fair amount of fan-service, especially of the leg verity. Also their pants are very short. However the fan-service getting past that area is not really on the level of fan-service is now. This series came out in 2007, and that was right around the time when fan-service was starting to incline on going more and more extreme. Other than that I really have nothing to really bash on this series. It was very enjoyable. I do like the fact that it was episodic in nature and had a monster of the week sort of situation with it. At the same time it really did not feel like there was an overarching plot in this series, and I think it worked it the show’s favor with the monster of the week scenarios. The characters were also focused on well with each getting a fair amount of screen time and an episode focusing on them to give their character more information on their background.
Bonus and Minus Points:
– The story does feel like it is lacking in something, this could be from the Monster of the week situation
+ Each episode focuses on a character/characters and gives more information about the character and expands on them
– Some, bathing scenes can be a bother, which is depending which version is watched, personal problem.
+ Wide variety of characters from country, powers, personalities and ages. Youngest being 15, oldest being 20. Most being 17-19.
+ The episodic nature of the series does add to the means to focus on the characters, which is nice.
+ Many parallels to WWII tactics, battles, and things like that. I may not know much, but there were some I could tell but it was said that certain fights did focus on certain battles. So I just find this interesting.
? Yuri undertones, although this might be more for fan service reasons BUT not for all of them, some are legit.
Overall Score: 80/100 (For me it was just plain fun and enjoyable to watch. The episodic nature really helped with the character development, especially with a large cast. The fan service is only really seen in their outfits and a few other times, but it never gets in the way of the battle)
This series is Licensed by Funimation in North America and is available in dub. Naturally I turn to sub since the OVAs were not dubbed yet.
So as always for people that have seen this series I would like to know your thoughts. Also just your thoughts on the review itself are always appreciated be it here or on twitter. As always I hope you enjoyed.