Strike Witches gave us fanservice hyperinflation (not the Divergence Eve kind). If any shot involving a female character is a pantyshot then the pantyshot becomes fanservice’s Zimbabwe Dollar, as it loses its air of the extraordinary. The ‘panty’ part of the word ‘pantyshot’ also begins to feel superfluous. Perhaps Strike Witches was actually part of a conspiracy to denature fanservice (and perhaps in 2009 the UK will get an artbox release for Mellowlink).
It’s an interesting exercise to go back and look at the ‘sphere’s initial reaction: eyes were rolled and heads were scratched. While the exact timing will vary from fan to fan, we can distill this into one definable moment: when you realised that there would not be, could not be, a satisfying explanation for the lack of lower-body overclothing. Other than, I suppose, ‘because they could’ and ‘because it sells’.
Apart from the absence of trousers, the other main topic seems to have been the show’s distribution via Crunchyroll and BOST. It was rather amusing that something so well-calculated to provoke moral disapproval should be one of the few anime legally available within a respectably short time of its first broadcast.
Actually, speaking of BOST, wasn’t Strike Witches the last new anime that they announced? I rather liked BOST, although it’s probably a bad sign when a site is muscled out of the top spot on Google by the Birkenhead Operatic Society and the Bankside Open Spaces Trust.
EDIT: Author points out that the mismatch between pantyshot-laden content and legal distribution highlights the fact that laws and morals are, or at least can be, unconnected.