Notetaking: Unionised Female Magic Users


The premise – sudden alien portal, inscrutable airborne invaders – reminds me rather of Battle Fairy Yukikaze, though I’m going to assume that Strike Witches doesn’t have the military consultants – it doesn’t need them, after all. The show also doesn’t feature trousers, or at least not many. I’m hoping some suitably wacky in-universe explanation for this bizarre sartorial absence will be provided (and no, the King Solomon’s Mines Gambit doesn’t count as a proper excuse for trouserlessness).


Maybe there’ll be some character traits derived from nationality to write about in this squadron; other bloggers (viz.) have already noted that the American witch is the well-endowed one. If we’re really lucky there’ll be some traits which are meant to be read back onto countries as a whole. G Gundam is my touchstone for this sort of thing: did said show’s immature but powerful Chinese, for example, function as a comment on China’s geopolitical role in the 90s?

Yoshika harbours a strong anti-war sentiment, which might not be a terribly logical reaction to an inhuman threat like the Neuroi. Still, she’s not particularly old and the war took her father away, so I suppose I’ll let that pass.

To reassure us that yes, this is a war that we’re allowed to fight even if we’re Japanese, we have Major Sakamoto, replete with Japanese sword and eyepatch (let’s hope she channels GARlock). Plotted in purely geographical terms, of course, this episode portrayed Japan sending help to Britan(nia) in the face of a Central European danger. Which is a nice gesture.

Why does the ending sequence remind me of Doujin Work? Maybe it’s the amount of leg on display.

[And is the show any good? Josh says ‘no’, and remarks that it’s not worth $30 or more. Personally, I’m up for spending £15 on this simply because the novelty value of legal downloads hasn’t worn off, but then I’m an irrational consumer, and I find mecha musume easy on the eye.]

EDIT: Den Beste has (besides detailed episode commentary) pulled out a list of the witches and their attributes from the official site. Since the Striker Units are based on specific planes (as is [somewhat NSFW] traditional), I’ll be interested to see whether they differ in performance or are just cosmetic distinctions.

12 responses to “Notetaking: Unionised Female Magic Users

  1. Now that I think about it, I should’ve linked back to my OAV post because the named the witches based on WW2 aces, like Saburo Sakai, Billy Bishop, Eric Hartmann, etc.

  2. [ID Sojourner]

    Holy shit. I kinda like this one.

  3. In a way, I found the first episode to be very cheesy, and a little disturbing, but endearing in a way. So I’ll be spending that $30 without too much worry about it. :P

  4. They had me at Hawker Hurricane and Perrine (!) Clostermann.

    (WTF? Charlotte Yeager? Okaaaayyy…)

  5. @ jpmeyer: Well, well, well. I’m not too familiar with the airborne bit of World War II, beyond its influence on the layout of my hometown (wide streets, because they all had to be rebuilt).

    @ The Sojourner: I think that bear avatar of yours is beginning to scare me.

    @ TheBigN: Actually, I suppose I could’ve just written what you say there instead of my post. Endearing’s a useful term here.

    @ EcureuilMatrix: What do we call this, then? Aceservice? Planservice?

  6. I’m glad someone isn’t bitching about this show besides myself.

  7. The one with the parasol has got to be the brit. I’m personally holding out the unlikely hope that one of them get’s to be Canadian. Only G Gundam ever seemed concerned enough with us to stereotype the character as a Lumberjack.

  8. @ 21stcenturydigitalboy: Oh, there are few others around and about.

    @ Kaioshin Sama: Actually, I think Perrine is French. Lynette Bishop is the Britannian (yeah, yeah), if I recall the character profiles correctly.

    Wasn’t there a Canadian character in Sketchbook? I don’t recall her being marked out by much other than blonde hair and dodgy Japanese, though.

  9. Actually apparently Lynette Bishop is a Canadian and by extension British according to a character stats picture I saw. The Red Ensign is next to her name as are the Swatiska and Hammer and Sickle next to the German and Soviet characters respectively.

    As for Kate… we sound like that?

  10. Hmm. In ep.03 they just said she was Britannian, but maybe I missed something, or we’ll learn more later, especially if they’re using the Red Ensign.

    I suspect Kate simply sounds ‘foreign’ to Japanese ears, rather than specificaly Canadian. But I wouldn’t know for sure . . . I haven a relative who emigrated to Canada a few decades ago, and his voice got about halfway across the Atlantic and then stopped. I’ve never met anyone with such an odd hybrid accent.

  11. I like this show.

  12. So do I, though I’m not exactly proud to admit it.


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