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DVD Review

DVD cover

Strike Witches
Season 2 Collection


Starring (voice): Misato Fukuen, Ami Koshimizu and Chiwa Saito
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £29.99
Certificate: 15
Available 24 September 2012

In an alternate reality 1939 did not see the start of World War Two, but rather a different aerial battle against the invading aliens the Neuroi. Man’s conventional weapons were no match for the invader and mankind was pushed to the edge of extinction, until it was discovered that the aliens were susceptible to magic attacks. The surviving countries banded together to collect their precious and rare magic wielders. These young girls were forged together into the fighting force that was known as the Strike Witches...

Strike Witches: Season 2 Collection (2010) continues the story of the magic empowered girls and their fight against the Neuroi. The second season was directed by Kazuhiro Takamura for the AIC Spirits studio. The twelve episodes of the season are presented on a three disc DVD set. The release has a stunning picture, with the increase in levels of quality animation for the second season, displaying a sharp image with high levels of detail, deep blacks and vibrant colours. The discs are presented with a reasonable English 5. 1 dub, plus the original Japanese 2.0, with optional subtitles.

Pants at the ready, the girls are immediately thrown into action when the old Neuroi nest is destroyed, just as they were attempting peace negotiations, by the Neuroi themselves. The old nest is replaced by a newer and more powerful version.

The story picks up six month on from the Battle of Brittania, Mio gets a letter from her father and heads off to the base to see if anyone can help with the contents. Whilst there, another attack begins pulling Mio and Yoshika back into the battle when they overhear a transmission from their friends who are in immediate danger.

The show has a strange mix of elements, good levels of animation are complimented with elements of action and characterisation well balanced and then we come to the fan service, which allows for lots of peeks of young girls pants and even whole storylines involving said pants. The low or high point of the season, depending on why you watch the show, has to be episode seven when bugs, literally, get into the girls pants. Obviously this is all a Neuroi trick, the girls only prevails after a lengthy chase round the base.

The disc does contain a number of extras, including a commentary for episode five with Jamie Marchi (Charlotte), Trina Nishimura (Francesca) and episode nine with Anastasia Munoz (Mina) and Jade Saxton (Myuki), both are light hearted in nature, but worth watching, there is also the textless opening and closing sequences.

Strike Witches is certainly a guilty pleasure, the increase in animation quality is an improvement, but mostly even though the show has a fixation on pants, if I can put it this way, whilst they are prominent, but rarely shoved in your face, allowing the audience to enjoy the battles, the science fiction elements and the relationships between the girls.


Charles Packer

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