Strike Witches and Dawn of the Seeker
Ah, Strike Witches. Anime fans with silly things like taste and standards quickly dismiss this series on the grounds that a show about little girls wearing no pants is fucking retarded. I concede to that point. There are two acceptable clothing levels for females. The first is clothing that is practical for the situation. It doesn’t matter what clothing it is, if the situation calls for it, it’s acceptable. For example: wearing a bikini at the beach, wearing a suit in the office, wearing full plate-mail while battling a dragon, or wearing a retarded combination of colors and materials while staring in a 80s music video. All of these are acceptable and not retarded, and if a woman is truly attractive she can rock any outfit she’s wearing, be it an extremely revealing outfit or Kevlar battle gear. The second clothing level that is acceptable, is full nudity. (I’ll permit some ‘extra wear’ like stockings, for the fetishists). Those are the only two acceptable levels of clothing. This means that, wearing a parka at the beach is not acceptable, wearing a bikini to the office is not acceptable, battling aliens without pants is not acceptable, and wearing a retarded combination of colors and materials in anything but a 80s music video is not acceptable. In short, if Strike Witches was about lesbian orgies, lack of pants would be a good thing. Sadly, it is not. It is a show about cute-girls-doing-cute-things… and fighting aliens.
However, I feel that dismissing Strike Witches due to it’s lack of trousers is unfair, because it ignores the far more egregious problems with the show. The plot. Yes, the plot. Not the pandering bullshit, not the generic characters (when the best character is so lazy that I’m pretty sure being part of the cast is too much effort for her, you know you have a great set of characters), and certainly not the inane writing. The. Plot. Strike Witches‘ plot is completely fucking retarded and I don’t think there was a single moment in the show past the first fifteen minutes where I didn’t find something wrong.
Why is Yoshika even given a choice to join the Strike Witches? You really expect me to believe that in a universe where aliens have conquered all of Europe (sans Britain) and magical teenage girls are the only force capable of fighting them effectively, there aren’t draconian compulsory military service laws for those girls? The first episode was twenty minutes longer than it needed to be! Scene 1: The
Japanese Fuso Special Police show up and conscript the everliving shit out of Yoshika. Scene 2: episode ends. That should have been literally all of Yoshika “joining” the 501st. Moving on…
Why, if there is only a small number of these girls and some of them clearly suck at fighting and only exist to have “lesbian” hijinks with each other, aren’t there special breeding camps specifically designed to pump out more and more witches? Why aren’t some of them in labs being used in genetics test to attempt to produce more? Even counting the witch units outside of the 501st, there doesn’t appear to be more than fifty or so. That’s a really small army to protect humanity. I’m pretty sure the other two billion people in the world in the 1940s would be focused on raising those numbers. But let’s say forced breeding is out? Why does nothing the military does in this show make any sense!?
As basically the only line of defense against the Neuroi, why don’t they have a much larger support group backing them up? Why doesn’t the “useless” (they apparently can kill Neuroi through great effort) standard military provide more comprehensive back up fire? Why do the witches only employ basic military tactics even though some of them are supposed to be ultra aces? (Why don’t the girls employ the tactics of the pilots who they are named after?) Why does humanity allow its only hopes of survival to fuck around all day? Why isn’t the 501st Joint Fighter forced to uphold much higher standards of military discipline? You think if Patton had let the third army sit around all day without pants on and play grabass that he would have kicked as much German ass as he did? Fuck no! Why, if they use magic to make it so that their weapons can harm the Neuroi with relative ease, don’t they use two or three witches to make witch powered bombers and fighter planes with much heavier munitions, better flight specs, and offer more protection? Why does the 501st Joint Fighter Wing put new recruits with nearly no combat training on the front lines so quickly? Obviously if the unit has “aces” with kill counts in the hundreds it’s doing just fine and throwing new recruits into battle only increases the chance that everyone dies horribly. Why does the 501st’s training lack any real instruction beyond, “point the gun at that and shoot until you hit it”? Why does Mio not instantly reprimand and punish the 501st when they refuse to train in favor of wacky beach shenanigans? Why don’t we get a scene where Yoshika is beaten for being stupid and a disgrace to
Japan Fuso? Why doesn’t every battle feature the Japanese Fuso and Russian Orussian military making human wave attacks against the enemy? Okay, fuck it, let’s just say that humanity is stupid and deserves to die. Why are the enemy forces retarded as well?
Why if it takes the full squadron of witches to take down one Neuroi, and the Neuroi are clearly a large military force, didn’t the show end in the second episode? Surely a force capable of completely decimating Earth’s forces understands a mass attack. The second episode should have been this. Scene 1: the Neuroi attack with a full squadron of aircraft. Scene 2: everyone dies horribly. Scene 3: show over.
Why, why, why, why, WHY!? That’s all I can ask watching this show. Why? Because the show really wants to pretend that the plot is important. If you want to make a show about cute-girls-doing-cute-things, that’s fine. If you want to make a show about cute girls fighting aliens, that’s also fine. You can’t have both though. Even shit like the old 60s/70s/80s Space Operas (the era when spaceships had old-timey steering wheels) still had some semblance of military discipline going on. My point is this. There is a reason why cute-girls-doing-cute-things shows “don’t have a plot”, that’s because that is the plot. If your show is devoted to a bunch of women having character interactions in a lighthearted and non-serious manner, there isn’t exactly a whole lot of room for a complex plot about war. And that’s a shame, because there are some cool aspects of the show. The WWII references are nice, the animation (for GONZO) is pretty good, and the characters (while half of them suck) are far better than standard moesploitation stupidity. So maybe if it was just a show about fully-clothed teenage girls fighting aliens in fighter-planes and having good character interactions (AKA not stupid fucking hijinks) the plot could actually function.
Wait… I’m supposed to be talking about the dub aren’t I? Oh… well it was bad in a bland bunch of 20-30 year old girls failing to sound cute kind of way. The decent parts of the cast were the older girls, but even then, there was no performance I particularly enjoyed. If I had to pick a bright spot I’d be Luci Christian as Erika. It also lacked accents and I am seriously getting tired of these not being in dubs. If you have a multinational cast and you don’t have accents, your dub is now 100% worse.
Final Score: D+/C- depending on what episode I watched. (It was still better than the Bang Zoom! dubs of cute-girls-doing-cute-things shows.)
I also watched the trailer for that Dragon Age anime. (I’m not spending money on this.)
Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Really BioWare? Really Funi? It’s not the worst CGI I’ve ever seen but my god… why!? I’ve seen PS2 cutscenes with better character movement than that. In fact, that’s insulting to the PS2, I’ve seen PS1 cutscenes with a better range of movement. I mean just look at the like two milliseconds it shows of an action sequence. I think one of the swords actually clips fully through another character. Where is the quality control? Not one person watched this and said, “maybe we should make this look less shit?”. I’m not going to blame the Japanese directors because Japanese CGI has always been ass, but BioWare didn’t watch this and force them to fix it? Funi didn’t watch this and say, “maybe we shouldn’t tarnish our image by proudly saying we produced this?” And did Cassandra really need a side-story? Why not Varric’s bro-adventures with Awakening (not that DA2 abomination) Anders… and possibly a time-traveling Garrus. That’s what we needed. Why don’t we have more road trip anime? Instead of Rebuild, Anno should have just given us Gendo and Fuyutsuki’s Road Trip Across Japan.
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Rating System 2.0
Ratings are not directly reflective of the quality of the vocal performances. Simply how much I enjoyed watching the show in English. Usually, a higher grade means overall higher quality, but sometimes lower-tier performances can work with a show and make it enjoyable to watch, while not being so-bad-it's-good.
A - Great.
B - Good/Above Average.
C - Mediocre.
D - Bad/Below Average.
F - Horrible.
S - Amazingly Horrible.