As events build up, the military acts stupidly once again.
What They Say
The Allied forces make their way for the Neuroi den over Romagna and yet the girls are asked to play a lesser role than they'd like. Meanwhile Sakamoto battles with her ever-decreasing magical abilities and her struggle to master the True Reppuzan.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Shades of the first season have been apparent through this one as well and it's coming up again now that the season is close to the end. With the fight against the Neuroi going on as long as it has, the military has been working hard to gain an ultimate weapon to use that will end things once and for all. And as they pursue this, they see them having less and less use for the Witches themselves, which they believe cannot actually end the war and only prolong it, or stave off things until they can get their weapon ready. The weapon that they've come up with also have shades of the first season as they've designed a Neuroi based mechanism into the Yamato battleship that will allow it to destroy the main den of Neuroi in Romagna, which they are close to losing.
With the plan to essentially sacrifice Romagna, a place the Witches recently had a mission in, it impacts them pretty hard as they get really concerned and there's even a bit of crying. But Minna has her own plans she wants to put into effect to try and salvage something here so that Romagna isn't destroyed. In the midst of this decision, Sakamoto faces her own personal crisis as her powers are dwindling ever more, which was expected to happen even earlier because of her use of the sword that eats up a lot of her magic. Her quest to use the sword and master the True Reppuzan, something she talked about before with Yoshika, is what is driving her more than anything else at this point and has pushed her over an emotional edge.
The second half focuses mostly on the action and it plays out well as the numerous Witches we have make the attack against a large horde of Neuroi. The Neuroi are taking on a bit more of a traditional look for UFOs here and there, but by and large it's a well animated CG battle. When the Yamato engages its Neuroi drive and essentially launches into the air, a beautiful moment for classic anime fans, it takes on shades of the Neuroi architecture which really is intriguing in its design. The battle builds up well through this segment and it's easy to enjoy the show for its action and basic fanservice, though I wish there was just a bit more meat to it overall. Still, the show has a good bit of action here and it builds up the tension nicely as the ultimate weapon is brought out.
Strike Witches wants to get to the big epic part of the storyline now that the show is almost over. This is part for the course for series like this, but it feels like it's cribbing too much in a general sense from the first season with the dismissive attitude towards the Witches. While there's an uneven feel about the show, and it reminds you that young girls do not make good members of the military, the battle scenes are a lot of fun and seeing the Yamato fly gives me a bit of a shiver since I've always liked this kind of wacky surreal element that's been a part of anime for ages. Sakamoto takes on the main role here, though she is mostly sidelined for a lot of it, but when she shines, she does so strongly and come across as a very intense person who is losing their last chance to prove to themselves something important.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.