Strike Witches Episode 02 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: N/A
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: N/A
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Region: 0 - All Regions
  • Released By: BOST TV
  • MSRP: 1.99
  • Running time: 24
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Strike Witches

Strike Witches Episode 02

By Chris Beveridge     July 11, 2008
Release Date: July 11, 2008


Strike Witches Episode 02
© BOST TV


What They Say
On their journey to Britannia, Yoshika and the others are assaulted by mysterious invaders called the Neuroi, menacing beings from another world. In order to buy time until reinforcements arrive, Major Sakamoto sallies forth alone, only to be met by a fierce attack from the opposition. Despite her best efforts she is driven back and ultimately cornered. Yoshika can do nothing but wait in terror inside the battleship.

The Review!
Is it a sign of growing old when you actively want your female anime characters to wear pants?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Strike Witches didn't exactly grab me in its first episode as it looked like it was throwing everything it could at the screen to see what would stick. I'm honestly surprised there aren't any Witches done up in maid outfits, unless there are just so many on the screen I can't figure it out just yet. What's kept it at least interesting so far is the setting is one that is appealing with its alternate World War II design and that the first episode did focus rather strongly on character elements rather than big bang action sequences.

The second episode picks up well where the first one left off by dealing with the imminent attack by the Neuroi on the flotilla that's headed to Britannia that has Mio and Yoshika on board. This is apparently Yoshika's first direct involvement in the war and it's certainly unsettling to her, enough so that she's easily led below decks to be kept in her room for the duration of it. While she's there, Mio is off fighting in her Striker gear against the big aircraft that's proving to be very difficult to take down. Yoshika's desire to help people doesn't allow her to stay put though and she ends up heading up on deck to provide some medical assistance. Of course, with military doctors running about, they aren't keen to have an amateur involved who doesn't have any combat medicine experience.

What this episode really has to deal with is whether Yoshika will stick to her principles about not liking war and fighting and avoid becoming involved. She's come to Britannia solely for the hope of finding out about her father since she got the letter from him. Yet when she's thrown into the thick of things, and sees people being hurt around her, her desire to protect others may begin to change into something that's more proactive rather than reactive. It's not exactly the most explicit or detailed internal dialogue ever done, but seeing her having to face this and run with it in the middle of a battle, and to try and stick to her principles to some extent, was rather enjoyable. In the end though, it's hard to imagine one of the lead characters in a war series like this one not being involved in the front lines in an active way. At least they're working her into it fairly logically.

In Summary:
Strike Witches is so obviously pandering in so many ways that it really does feel strange that there is a good bit of focus on the character and emotional elements of it. The action was relatively muted in the first episode as there was more of an emphasis on the pleasure and beauty of being able to fly like that. This one swings more towards the action, with Mio taking an active role to show what it's like to go up against the Neuroi, but it still brings in a good amount of character material and some internal struggles for Yoshika. I still can't see this as more than blatant pandering but at least it seems like it wants to try and be a little more than that. But for the love of all good things, please put some pants or skirts on these girls already!

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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