- monthly subscription or
- one time payment
- cancelable any time
"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
Anime blogger and dedicated otaku/fanboy! RSS this for a constant stream of WIN or your money back.
Hyakka Ryouran SAMURAI GIRLS
Motto To Love Ru
Ore no Imouto Konna ni Kawai..
Otome Youkai Zakuro
The World God Only Knows
Yosuga no Sora
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
Megane na Kanojo
To Heart 2
Un-named GONZO 2011 anime
Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka
Oniichan no koto nanka zenzen suki janai dakara ne
Strike Witches II TV vs Blu-ray version!
There wasn't any censorship to be removed from these first two episodes, but what's surprising is the attention to detail they paid to correcting these drawings (especially some corrections are more about personal preference rather than actually fixing mistakes!). I like that they added lots of blushing to up the moe ante. But a word of advice - don't pay attention to the ears... (sorry ^^).
Stupid, cliche fun is a pretty good phrase to describe Strike Witches, and it's never been more appropriate than in this final episode of the second season, when the forced tension and farfetched action finish are dished out. It was pretty much the same in the first season, but that climax had more oomph to it, and featured some genuinely impressive animation. I'll give this one credit for a pretty good storyboard, and 3D visuals, but the lack of captivating 2D animation was as much of a weakness here as it has been in AIC's whole season of Strike Witches. GONZO did a better job.
Production aside, the ending didn't really do much for me. There weren't any shocks, twists or moments of tension, it was just a predictable by-the-book dues ex machina wrap-up ("we can't defeat it, we have on magic!" "oh wait, yes we can, hooray!"). But I guess it was kind of sad to think that this could be the last Strike Witches season following the 501st (if there is more, I don't think even these writers would want to have them regroup yet again). I feel little more than ambivelance toward this episode, and it's much the same for this season. I appreciated the fun, fanservice moments, and LOVED the intensified yuri themes (Sanya X Eila ~kyaa), but otherwise it was pretty average. I guess that's kind of what I expected, but I still think GONZO's efforts imbued Strike Witches with more charisma.
Yet another average episode of Strike Witches II, which is entertaining enough to hold your attention, but which doesn't really go much beyond that. Well, I guess the first season was quite like that, and this season has done well with the moe-fanservice scenes and scored extra points for turning the yuri dial up a notch. But when the first season wanted to pull of something really awesome, it did. This season often feels like it wants to do something really big and impressive but can't afford it. It lacks charismatic animation and often uses 3D awkwardly (although I'll admit there were some good 3D effects in this episode's battle). The emotional stories are generally hit and miss, with this week's tale of a weakened and distraught Sakamoto falling onto this miss side of things.
Like the series overall, this episode was fun but mediocre.
This wasn’t a bad episode of Strike Witches. Not bat at all. It lacked the emotional punch of some of the best episodes, but the excitement surrounding the exotic new character, and the competitive streak she bought along with her, made for an interesting episode. I’ve always felt that Erica was probably the most unexplored character in this series. Other than seeing how lazy and unmotivated her attitude toward life is, we haven’t really got much of a feel for her. This episode helped because she had to stand up for something. The childish rivalry that the new witch was seemingly obsessed with actually made Erica look surprisingly mature! Things culminated with a full-on duel between the two, which featured some impressive aerial manoeuvres but again lacked the great animation that could have made their showdown truly memorable. The action was complimented with some fanservice, with Luccini once again revelling in her comrades’ generous bust sizes (ahh, her fondness for puni-puni oppai knows no bounds!). I still feel that AIC have either spent too little money on this anime, or spent it poorly, because it looks fairly cheap a lot of the time. Still, it’s hard to complain when we’re constantly exposed to cute young girls and panty shots.
So this was the obligatory beach episode! While there were plenty of nice butts and cute girls in swimsuits running around, it didn't really feel very sexy like a good beach episode should. But that's probably because we're used to seeing the witches in the underwear anyway. On the plus side, they tried to do a little more than just swimsuits for 20 minutes by incorporating a character story revolving around Perrine. The sentiment was nice, but the whole premise felt a bit too silly for me to enjoy. I just couldn't bring myself to care about the bridge, and it just felt like Perrine was being needlessly emotional about the whole thing. So the passable fanservice was really all the episode had going for it, and the yuri kiss between Mio and Mina. Alchohol does wonderful things, right? In this case, it feels like it let out some dormant sexual tension!
But the episode gave the very striking impression of being CHEAP. Low-framerate animation, crappy-looking in-between drawings, and glaring budget-saving tactics. It was kind of fun, but lacked the usual Strike Witches spirit!
It's pretty clear to me by now that this new season of Strike Witches can't live up to the standards set by its first season. The kind of content is the same, and the writing is not too different (arguably better, even), but the area where things fall apart is AIC's animation production . This series has had limited animation, and when this episode delivered some fleeting moments of actual animation, some of that was marred by poor in-between drawings. The action sequences look awkard and are uninspired. GONZO definitely got the job done better, and the presence of animator Hiroki Tanaka is sorely missed. The production highlight of the series so far was Shoujo Saeki's storyboard for episode 6.
Animation aside, this was a fairly average episode. The final climax had a satisfying emotional kick to it, but it doesn't make up for the flat first half of the episode. At least Miyafuji has levelled up now! It's a shame I didn't have time to review the 7th episode, because that was a lot of fun (although, again, it doesn't match the first season's -extreme-fanservice episode!).
Words .. words simply cannot describe the eruptive fanboy response that the tender love-love yuri tones of this Strike Witches episode triggered in me. If you know me at all, you'll know I'm a devout lover of yuri, but few anime are able to do justice to the potential sweetness and romance of the 'girl-love' genre. So when something like this comes along, I get really excited! There hasn't been anything all year that's hit such high-level yuri notes! The couple in question? Sanya and Eila of course! While we have the bordering-on-perverse infatuation of Perrine, Sanya/Eila is still the most well-defined yuri pairing in the whole series (or perhaps the only). Last series, hinted at this, but this episode took things to new heights (pardon the pun), stopping just short of them confessing to each other. Eila's jealousy, and the way they fight indicate a relationship that's much more intimate and possessive than merely friendship! And I think, judging from her body language in the sauna, Perrine has caught on to them!
It's just a shame that (given that this is anime we're talking about), their yuri situation isn't going to develop any further. It'll always been unspoken and not at all physical. But in some ways, that captures the essence of yuri that made me a fanboy all those years ago~ When they looked at each other, held hands, and apologised, it was just so romantic!! ♥♥ And it's a very believable romance. I never looked to Strike Witches for strong character development, but Sanya and Eila are both exceptional characters, and their interactions feel so much more real than some of the other characters.
⚫ Just like Chiwa Saito stole the show last week, voicing Lucchini, Nakai Erika really made an astounding impression as Eila! Her voice has this charming honesty behind it. She should get more roles :\
⚫ The episode needed more animation, and less 3D. The cel-shaded 3D in Strike Witches serves a purpose, but when it's just a substitute for traditional animation, it's very intrusive. Other than that, it was better directed than other episodes, and had some pretty good framing for some scenes. It was also, I think, much better written than the Strike Witches standard, presenting an actual challenge for the witches to overcome, as well as providing a strong emotional climax. This all speaks to the talent of 佐伯昭志 (Shoujo Saeki), who, amazingly, wrote, directed and storyboarded this episode! He's a practised director, having directed He is My Master, This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, and, shockingly, FLCL!! He produced a great storyboard for this episode, there's no doubt!
⚫ As for the science of getting 30km above the Earth's surface ... yeah, magic, and apparently wearing a coat is vital.
"Tell the chef, the beer is on me."
"Basically the price of a night on the town!"
"I'd love to help kickstart continued development! And 0 EUR/month really does make fiscal sense too... maybe I'll even get a shirt?" (there will be limited edition shirts for two and other goodies for each supporter as soon as we sold the 200)