Romagna is under siege for the finale as the invading Neuroi race intends to battle it out there.
What They Say
As the final battle with the Neuroi goes on in Romagna, Yoshika and Sakamoto face major challenges. Will they succeed?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Strike Witches draws to its conclusion for the second season of the series and it again provides us with few real answers. The Neuroi race has been one that I do find fascinating in their design since they have a really neat look to them and a very otherworldly feeling overall when you watch how they move over the world and interact. The downside is that both seasons have truly given us little to work with when it comes to them as they're essentially just there. They're often defeated easily as the alien of the week which keeps the show much more focused on being about the Witches and what makes them tick along with their relationships.
Except at the end of the seasons when they go big in dealing with the Neuroi. tHe first season gave us a bit more with a Neuroi that tried to make contact with Yoshika by taking humanoid form and attempting communication. This one has the Fuso battleship Yamato having Neuroi technology added to it so that it can fly up out of the ocean and ram the massive Neuroi ship that's over Romagna. Except that when it hit the barrier, it couldn't break through, leaving the thing a powerful weapon on the edge that can't be utilized. A weapon that requires a sacrifice to use from one of the Witches who is needed to go there and accelerate the special engine, allowing it to explode and break through the special barrier.
Surprisingly, a lot of focus is shifted to Yoshika towards the end here as the battle takes on an unsurprising approach with the Yamato. Yoshika hasn't been that strong of a focus throughout the season as other characters have taken precedence and we've not even had a lot of what the first season was like in her being awed by it all or spending a lot of time with the other girls to make her a part of their story reveals. So giving her such a big focus when she's become less of a primary character feels a little off. She gets to shine pretty well in this one though as the tide of the battle turns and she has to take up some of the mantle that Sakamoto has left, which is something that has been the subplot of the season for her. Yoshika's a character that has really left me cold for the most part, and in this season especially, since she hasn't really taken to everything in a serious way until the very end.
As much as I hate to admit it sometimes, Strike Witches is a serious guilty pleasure sure. It is all about the fanservice, though they cloak it in a lot of cute characters that draw people to care about them and want to see them succeed while protecting them. Those kinds of things don't really grab me for the most part, so it's not a huge hook for me. What Strike Witches gives me is a show that sometimes plays up some neat World War II themes and an entirely goofy concept of magic and aerial dog-fighting combat. It also serves up heavy doses of fanservice in creative ways at times that makes me laugh and enjoy it because it is so blunt. Much like the first season, you almost have to shake your head in disbelief that such a concept actually got made, but it works in its own quirky way and this season is definitely a solid successor to the first with what I think are some better production values. It has its charms to be sure, but it's definitely something that has a definite audience that I don't think it will expand too far beyond, unless it's part of a drinking game.
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.