Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Strike Witches Part 1: Episode 1

Strike Witches Part 1: Episode 1
Rated MA
3 Slimes
Copyright Funimation Entertainment 2010

THE CHARACTERS
 
Yoshika Miyafuji: The main character of our story who has no desire to fight in the war. 10 bucks says that tune changes quickly in the next episode. She goes with Mio to Britain to see if her father is still alive. Also, she seems to only wear her school uniform everywhere she goes. Is she just too poor to afford other clothing?

Mio Sakamoto: The oldest Strike Witch and Squadron Leader of the group. She is the one that tries to recruit Yoshika into the group. She strangely has a Geass looking right eye and has a laugh that makes her sound older.

Michiko Yamakawa: Yoshika’s best friend who seems to be way too fragile if watermelon pieces can pierce through her skin.

Ichirou Miyafuji: Yoshika’s dad who is one of the creators of the Striker Units and is believed to be dead. However, a letter of his shows up, signaling that either he may be alive or a it is convoluted ploy to get Yoshika involved in the war.

Strike Witches: A very elite fighting force made to fight the Neuroi also called 501st Joint Fighter Wing. It consists of young witch girls who believe pants and skirts are for suckers. I wonder how their legs stay warm since flying high up in the atmosphere must be cold.

Neuroi: Alien fighters from beyond the stars as far as I know. They like to have their ships covered with glowing Tron like lines all over them.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ If aliens had invaded during WWII, pants would have become optional in the future.
+ Broken watermelon pieces are incredibly sharp.
+ Witches are part canine, part fox, part rabbit, part dog, and part cat.
+ School uniforms do not consists of pants or skirts, but a one piece swimsuit.
+ Fighting aliens is more important than helping people at a health clinic.
+ Only one person is needed to clean an aircraft carrier.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
3 min – Do a barrel roll!
4 min – I think I reached a maximum of money shots for the rest of the month with this one scene alone.
5 min 29 sec – FREEZE FRAME! Isn’t that Himeko from Pani Poni Dash in the back?
6 min – How the hell can you even see that ship from your angle and from behind a hill?
9 min – She approached her from behind, despite the fact she was in front of her a second ago.
10 min – Whoa, where did she teleport in?
14 min – Mio Sakamoto: You didn’t come to sign up? Then take a hike you brat!
20 min – Oh thank God! A girl wearing a swimsuit that isn’t completely creepy.

NOTABLE QUOTES
Mio Sakamoto: Now let’s say we put that power of yours to work for us fighting against the Neuroi.
Yoshika Miyafuji: Alright! … HUH?!

THE PLOT

If I were to tell you that there exists a show out there that involves little girls flying around with fox/cat/dog ears that shoot down alien spaceships, you would laugh in my face. Then if I told you it was an anime, you probably say, “Oh, I could see that.” As such, allow me to introduce you to the action & fetish fuel packed show known as Strike Witches.

What we are dealing with here today is a weird one indeed. It is probably one of the strangest, not to mention one of the most perverted, and yet silliest conception for anime I have ever seen. However, I, admittedly, am a bit curious about what the show is like. I mean it’s like Vampire’s Night Orgy; you know it probably won’t be good but you still got to see this to believe it. As such, I’ll take a look at the first season (I’ll look at season 2 when it’s dubbed) and see if it has anything really going for it outside of the creepy fan service and the silly premise.

Also, let’s start up a fun drinking game for the first episode! Every time we see a fan service shot of any of the girls, take a shot. Now let us begin…

We begin with a prologue that tells us about the invasion of Neuroi, spaceships that have Tron markings, which are attacking major countries and wiping them out. However, to combat these video game looking UFOs, army personal create machines called Striker Units (those spaceship/airplane looking legwarmers/tall boots that the characters wear) that heighten magical powers, which are the only thing able to fight these enemies. So all the nations of the world send out a call to the witches everywhere to join the 501st Joint Fighter Wing and fight these space invaders. In a surprising move, this whole introduction contains no fan service. Don’t get use to that.

After a catchy opening number (let’s not start up on the drinking just yet during that opening), we see the Strike Witches attack one of the Neuroi ships. In all honestly, it’s not that bad of an action scene as the girls lay waste to the machine with rifles, missile launchers, machine guns, and the like. However, in this barley 2 minute scene alone, make sure to take 12 shots right away because you’ll see that many crotch & panty shots right away. Oh goodie, this certainly will be a classy action show, won’t it?

We then meet out main character, Yoshika Miyafuji, leaving the local perverted middle school with her friend Michiko. I don’t care if it’s an all girl school run by girls; the uniforms have a creepy Pedobear feel to them. Anyhow, Yoshika and Michiko hitch a ride with Michiko’s grandfather in the back of his wagon and have some small talk about the war. As they do, they are currently being spied on by Mio Sakamoto, one of the Strike Witches from earlier. By the way, take 9 shots for the scenes from the school to this point.

Speaking of taking shots, if you are truly drinking, let’s stop right now for health concerns. We aren’t even halfway through this episode and I think it’s only to get worse the further we continue.

Suddenly, a raccoon acting like squirrely all of a sudden runs out in front of the wagon causing the grandfather to swerve violently out of the way. Frankly, I didn’t even think they were going that fast, but it apparently fast even to throw the girls out of the back and flip the vehicle. While Yoshika is okay, despite landing on her chin, Michiko, who landed on her side, apparently got stabbed in the chest in the accident. From what, I have no clue; I’m just going to assume that watermelons in the back were extremely sharp when they broke into pieces.

Yoshika runs to her friend’s side and begins to use a healing spell to fix the wound. She is in fact a witch and when you are a witch, you grow animal ears and tail. I’m pretty sure that’s not in any myth, legend, fable, or story I heard about witches. She is having a hard time with the spell, but luckily, Mio pops up and gives her some encouraging words, which helps her heal her friend. After performing the spell, she passes out.

Yoshika wakes up in her family’s health clinic, where her mom and her grandma (who are the only women so far to wear any form of pants or skirt thankfully) are finishing healing up Michiko. They point out Mio, who is also there, is the one who carried them back. She introduces herself and then offers to enlist her in joining the army and her Strike Witch division. Yes, because 14 years old that look like they are 10 are the perfect choice to fight in a war. Naturally, Yoshika says no because she doesn’t like the war and because she wants to take over the health clinic when she gets older. Mio then flat out insults her and her choice not to join. Frankly, I think she is going about this recruiting process the wrong way.

Anyways, Mio leaves to let Yoshika think about her proposal, but firmly states that she believes that the young witch will be joining her soon enough. What, will Mio be using her Geass powers to convince or something? The following day, Yoshika receives a letter from her father in Britannia (Prehaps I was not too far off on my Code Geass joke after all), who is supposed to be dead. In the letter happens to be a few photos, one of which shows her dad with Mio. Curious at the possibility that her dad may still be alive, she goes to Mio to have her be brought to Britannia to find her father. It maybe just a guess, but why do I have a feeling that Mio gave that letter to the mailman in order to trick Yoshika into coming with her?

While on the long journey to Britannia, Mio shows Yoshika the Striker Units and demonstrates how they work and fly. Also, they apparently turn you part CGI in some scenes as well. Yoshika is impressed with the machine, but still says she has no interest in fighting the enemy. All of a sudden, Neuroi ship attacks the fleet they are traveling with. Our episode then ends as the UFO starts laying waste to the ships and Yoshika flees below deck in terror.

And so that ends the first episode of our fan service crazy series. It this episode alone, not counting the opening and closing themes, I have counted at least 37 fan service shots alone. Considering the fact that most of these girls are underage or look underage, this is quite creepy as you can imagine. After awhile though, you just get numb to it and stop noticing everything.

However, I have to admit, this wasn’t too bad. Outside of what I mentioned, some occasional poorly integrated CGI shots, and some nitpicks; this was a solid opening episode. The action was good; the main character is developed enough, likeable, and has a good reason why she doesn’t want to be a part of the war; the animation is great; and the dubbing is solid. I think this show has potential to be actually pretty decent, with the only thing holding it back is the fan service.

I can’t really recommend anyone to watch the show despite this. However, I can say that if you want to riff on something, this be the perfect anime to do so given its content. With the first episode out of the way and the surprising fact that this show is actually pretty good so far, I am actually looking forward to continuing on with this review, unlike that other anime. Stay tuned for Part 2 in coming in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I apologize for doing this on a personal blog rather than send you a message, but I hope this is okay. I read your old fanfiction "I'm Stuck In a House Full of Girls", and it's hands down my favorite fanfic ever. I was extremely disappointed when I heard you were retiring from fanfics and quitting the fic before it was complete. I ask that you please send me an email telling me how it was supposed to end. My email is starwarsboy248@yahoo.com .If you don't get around to it, I understand. You're probably busy. If you do get around to it then I thank you in advance.

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