Strike Witches, Complete 1st Season
2010 TV Series (episodes 1-12). DVD, bilingual, $59.98. Distributor: FUNimation.
In the world of Strike Witches, Hitler did not invade Poland in 1939. No, an invasion of a different sort occurred. The mysterious Neuroi invaded the Earth, obliterating much of the world’s landmass. And with the current aerial technology unable to stop their ships, the human race turned to a combination of technology and magic. Enter the “striker unit;” a pair of cybernetic leggings that allow its owner to fly like a fighter plane! But not just anyone can operate a striker unit. Only a witch can pilot this advanced technology. And I suppose, in this race to save the planet, it doesn’t hurt that the girls of the 501st squadron have an aversion to wearing pants! Maybe it’s a fashion statement. Maybe it’s the constant need to strap on these units and protect humanity. Either way, the 1940’s have never been so leggy!
The plot structure of Strike Witches is rather is simple and familiar to the world of anime. Yoshika Miyafuji is a naïve young girl, whose father happened to invent the striker unit. After he is presumed dead, Yoshika refuses to participate in the conflict. But, as a powerful young witch, she’s is unavoidably dragged in. And so, as she learns to master the striker unit and navigate the embedded relationships within the seasoned 501st, we watch Yoshika mature as a young woman and pilot.
That being said, Strike Witches gets an A for creativity. This series is utterly original! Not only do we have a re-imagined World War II era Earth, but also biotechnology that complements rather than consumes the human form. The resulting and predominately fleshy fighter plane offers a new take on aerial combat. However, these pilots are girls who just can’t seem to find a pair of pants. So, whether cavorting around base, or engaging in a high-speed dogfight, Strike Witches seems to oscillate between combat flick and panty fetish video!
Hey, those stripes may be cute, but I’m not all that moved.
I’m on the fence about this one – though not like a peeping tom.